How to Make Money as a Stock Photographer

Become a Stock Photographer

As a Stock Photographer, before you snap away with your camera, you should pick a few photo sites and do your research on their quality of work and demand in the market. Scrutinize all the photos and check on their resolution too. One of the simplest ways to photograph a successful stock photo is by utilizing high-key lighting.

Going through photo after photo, you will be a pro in identifying the right images and the not so good ones and even develop a better eye for photography when it comes to stock photography, one of the most commonly sought after images are those related to finance.

Professional Photography is full of creativity, challenges, and competition. Many photographers go to school to hone their skills, build their portfolio, and learn the technical skills that are needed in the industry. Having a thorough knowledge of photography coupled with photographic capabilities will let you on the path on how to get into stock photography.

What is Stock Photography?

When businesses, media companies, and marketing agencies need photos, they can do one of the two things. Either hire a photographer or can purchase pre-existing images, also known as stock photos. In other words, stock photographs are photos the artist has licensed for others to buy and can redistribute for commercial purposes.

These stock photos can be used for a marketing campaign and internal newsletters, as well. The stock photo industry was rooted in the 1920s and had well-established models such as microstock photography, mid stock photography, and microstock photography.

Stock images that are less commonly used require payments as they retain more value. Apart from traditional freelancing photography jobs, stock photo sites offer attractive and fantastic opportunities for experienced as well as new stock photographers. Stock photography reduced the time consumed in hiring a photographer or a graphic designer as they are an inventory of already created images that are ready to use.

What You Need To Get Started

The first thing a passionate photographer would think of is “How to get into Stock Photography and earn money.” Well, it is not that difficult at all. Before you kick start your career as a stock photographer, create a portfolio with your best shots and submit them to photo stock sites and make sure that they match the basic requirements needed. For instance, Shutter stock requires the photos to be at least four megapixels and should be in JPG format only.

Equipment Needed

If you plan to earn money in stock photography, then you should possess a digital camera. A DSLR or mirrorless camera will do the trick needed, as they both are capable of producing large files to meet the basic requirements for stock photo agencies. All credits to the latest technology in phones that are improving so rapidly that many phones are capable of taking images that match the criteria set.

Some photos need a little bit of tweaking to enhance the quality of it. Softwares like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom come handy. Photoshop, Lightroom, and Illustrator are all a part of the Adobe Creative Suite and Creative Cloud and are paid industry-grade tools.

But if you have just learned how to become a stock photographer, then you can make use of free photo editing programs such as Photoscape, which is free of cost. In case of shooting on your phone, you can download Snapseed. It is one of the best photo editing apps for mobile phones and is available for Android and iOS.

Stock Photography as a Career

Almost all the photographers apply strong technical knowledge in freelance and license their works in significant stock agencies like Shutterstock. The earnings of a stock photographer can be off the chart if they turn lucky with some highly resellable imaged. In contrast, the majority of your hard work will only earn you a few cents per photo, and usually, it takes years to get a decent wage.

Make Money with Stock Photo Sites

Before knowing how to sell stock photos and make money, have an idea of what kind of stock pictures, the stock photo sites are looking for. Use that knowledge and come up with innovative and creative quality stock photos.

Create a portfolio that has both conservative as well as original images to show how versatile you are. Sign up in stock photo sites to make money selling stock photos.

You are wondering how to sell stock photos and make money? All you have to do is sign up on popular websites such as Shutterstock, iStockphoto, Dreamstime, Foap, and Fotolia.

  1. Shutterstock: It is one of the most popular sources that is visited for stock photo images. The company has been supporting freelance photography jobs ever since 2003.
  2. Stockphoto: Powered by Getty Images, pays only 15% of a stock image’s download price but promises a more significant cut if you could make a stock photo exclusive to the site.
  3. Dreamstime: The Company offers up to 60% for exclusive content. It allows you to submit photos taken with your mobile through the Dreamstime app. For every downloaded photo of yours, you get paid in between $0.34 and $ 2.38.
  4. Foap: This platform allows you to make money out of the photos taken with your phone. They will pay you up to 50% of the selling price of a picture.
  5. Fotolia: Teamed up with Adobe, Fotolia enables you to sell your stock photos across all Adobe platforms.

Remember that the bigger your stock photo portfolio is, the more money you’ll make from them. Once you have uploaded a photo on a stock agency, it will be available for years, and you may earn a decent living.