How & Where to Selling Stock Photos Online in 2021
This article will tell you the “secrets” about selling stock photography in 2021 and tips to do it right.
Stock photo is a familiar concept, but even designers may not be able to distinguish and use it effectively. Therefore, as a shop owner, you need to understand stock photos and distinguish them to sell them effectively and successfully. Avada will show you the in-depth definition of stock photos, cool and trendy tips for you to sell, and make a lot of profit.
Table of contents
- What are stock photos?
- How to sell stock photos online?
- Best places to sell stock photos online for money
- How much can you make selling stock photos?
What are stock photos?
Stock photo definition
According to photography magazine The Photography, PP Mag, a stock photo is defined as: “What you have is a “stock photo”, meaning that you have already taken the photo; You own the copyright; and the photo is in your stockpile (your storage, inventory) of pictures available to use now.”
This means that Stock Photo is understood to be images taken by the photographer itself (as opposed to Assignment Photo, which is the image taken by the customer on demand), and the copyright of the image belongs entirely to its author. Why is there a Stock Photo? Simply because not everyone can hire their own photographer on-demand, and photographers in addition to making money also consider it a hobby. Hence, these free images can be used as needed.
Depending on many factors like the commercial purpose of the image, how it is used, or the medium on which it will be published, photographers may set different prices for each image. Stock photos are not technically sold in most cases. However, they are licensed for specific uses, and the copyright remains with the photographer.
It will take hundreds of dollars or even more own stock photo licenses. It depends on the license of use, the photographer, and where it is sold. For example, Gettyimages.com is a place to sell stock photo licenses at high prices.
On the other hand, customers can buy royalty-free stock images that sell for only $ 5- $ 10 and even less if they register images at microstock sites like istockphoto.com or Shutterstock.com. You can find discounts for image registration with this Shutterstock coupon code.
Photographers receive only 15-50% of the payment, while stock photo sites account for 50-85% of commissions. Therefore, it would be a difficult proposition to make a lot of money from selling stock photos.
However, take a look at the brighter side. Stock photos may be licensed multiple times to multiple customers. So this is indeed a potential for photographers to sell stock photos. Then, earn the remaining income over time. For high-quality images, you will earn more.
To give you a better idea of stock photos, here are some types of stock photos. It is essentialto consider when selling stock photos.
Related post: 11 Best Stock Photo Sites for Your Business
Classification of stock photo
Royalty-free stock photo
This is the most popular and affordable stock photo. This means that most types of stock photo licenses are royalty-free. Royalty-free means you can use the image multiple times, without paying royalties. This is the best option for neutral budget designers and marketers. The downside of royalty-free is that your photos are no longer exclusive photos, which means anyone can buy and use them.
Stock photo has management rights
License management rights provide for exclusive use and limit the use of an existing image. Exclusive use means that only the licensee can use the image for the period specified in the license contract. Licenses are based on a per-use payment, which means that stock photos can only be used for a specific project, only for some time, and usually only in the most geographical regions. Image management rights are used for licensing, but they help you against brand dilution (by competitors using the same image). You can find it easily on the website istockphoto or Gettyimages.
Stock photo with extended / advanced license
Some image securities companies allow you to purchase an extended license or to expand the authorized use of a previously licensed work (usually free of copyright). The extended license allows you to “extend” the use granted in your original license. Use may include increasing the number of display copies, using it for resale purposes (printing on demand, calendars, t-shirts, greeting cards, etc.), or permitting the media. Other methods of distribution and use. Usage varies from company to company, so make sure you read the specific license agreements.
How to sell stock photos online?
Sign up for an account
To start making money from selling photos online with stock photos, you should choose a few large stock websites to register for an account. The process of registering an account on this stock also needs to be carefully investigated. Not simply register and then upload photos.
As with Shutterstock, after registering, you must upload 10 photos to the censorship team. Through 7/10, you have successfully registered and uploaded photos for sale. And some stock is easier like iStockphoto only need 3 images and censorship is quite easy.
And Dreamstime doesn’t ask for anything, just upload it and wait for them to censor. This censorship process depends on the stock management team. Usually, after only 3-10 days, you can know the response.
Ensure image quality
If you want to make a vast number of sales, the image quality must be good. Therefore, make sure to use a good camera and lens. Stock images may not need to be too large, but they must be very clear. F is as small as possible, depending on the lens, from 1/5.6 - 1/8 is okay. The shutter speed does not matter, depending on the F and the ISO, and decelerates to get the image with the desired brightness. The layout of the stock image is also different from that of conventional photography. Usually, in photography, the subject should be in the middle of the image, because I take a photo to describe the subject.
For stock images, the subject should be on the edge of the image, leaving a space in the middle of the image so that the buyer can attach the text as an illustration or a background image. Some stock images are used as materials for your graphic design, this image often has a white or black background for easy layering in Photoshop. If you can capture a clear picture of the subject, without grain, and beautiful composition, then your photo will definitely be approved.
The type of photo you want to take
After you have the skills to take a stock-style picture, you need to research what you will capture. Often a picture will always have one of two messages: ideas and expressions. Sometimes a picture has both of these elements in it, and so it becomes a masterpiece.
Web stocks often have their own criteria. They often give preference to photos that match the criteria set. To make money from selling photos online you need to convey the message and ideas. However, there are forms that every market will need such as scenery, tourism, culture, history, architecture, life, cuisine, etc.
Delicate image editing
Using too many techniques for post-processing on your stock photo can make customers feel too saturated. What’s more, excessive editing can result in cropped images to weird proportions. Therefore, make sure to edit just enough to look subtle and eye-catching.
All customers love clean, bright, and colorful images that are well lit. So spread the appeal into your image and focus on sharpness. In case customers want to cut or edit, they can do it themselves. Therefore, keep your images neutral.
Use keywords to make it easier for customers to find your stock image
We all know that for salespeople, having a lot of sales is always expected. Creating high-commercial images is one way you can do that. In addition, using keywords is also a great strategy to bring more customers to you. Keywords will help you get higher search rates.
Even if you have good writing skills, you have good backlink sources, traffic (your visitors are crowded), but your potential customers are not catching you, you are wasting money, time and effort.
Here are a few tips for you to build keywords and use them effectively:
Take advantage of conceptual tags
For example, for images of a happy couple, you can add tags like fun, happiness, love, scenes and similar tags to describe emotions, activities, and characters in photos.
Maybe you have the perfect image that this customer is looking for, it’s best of all the images that appear in that search. However, without any keyword tags on it, this customer will not be able to see so. Therefore, keyword research and tagging are very important to make more people find your stock photo.
Do not spam
Remember to avoid spam when it comes to tags and keywords on image sites. For unnecessary tags, do not use them because they will not fit your image. Stock photo dealers place great emphasis on showing only relevant images in searches. Sometimes, your account will be penalized if you abuse the tag feature too much.
Best places to sell stock photos online for money
Shutterstock is the largest online photo selling website in the world today, this is a reputable address that has been operating for over 15 years. Shutterstock currently has more than 238 million photos, videos, and music. It has millions of regular shoppers.
According to the website, more than $ 500 million has been paid to those who upload photos, videos, and music on this site. In addition, Shutterstock also allows you to keep uploaded image copyright, this is a great privilege to protect your copyright against copyright infringement.
The commission for sharing each photo ranges from 20 to 30%. Payout will be paid to you monthly.
Another plus for Shutterstock is that it doesn’t require you to sell your photos on its website, but you can sell them elsewhere. In some other photo selling websites, this is prohibited.
IStock (sometimes called iStockphoto) is one of the stock photo sites that is losing users, but unlike Dreamstime, it has gradually lost a lot of Photographer because of its small revenue share ratio. On the one hand, iStock is owned by Getty Images so it has a wide view and a lot of brand recognition. But that also means a lot of competition so you will have a hard time selling photos, and what you sell you will not get a lot of commissions (even if exclusive contributions ). We recommend using iStock as an additional source of income from stock images rather than the main source. If you will go exclusively, you will be better off on one of the other sites above.
Income: Keep 15% of revenue as a non-exclusive contribution. Keep between 25% and 45% of revenue as an exclusive contribution.
Dreamstime is also a famous photo sharing website and a reliable place to make money by uploading photos.
Its stock of images currently contains more than 89 million free and copyrighted images, with more than 23 million customers. The commission received on each photo ranges from 25 to 50%. Bonus mode of commission here is also very good.
If the photo is downloaded a lot, the commission can be added by 10%. As for collaborators with many purchased photos, the commission can be up to 60%. If you own a WordPress website, you can link photos directly from Dreamstime through your website with the free Dreamstime Stock Photo plugin.
You can sell these photos on your website, visitors buy photos, you still get the same money as selling photos on Dreamstime homepage.
You will be able to withdraw money if you earn from $ 100 or more. Want to withdraw money, you send a request to support.
4. Getty Images
Getty Images is also a large photo downloading site, helping you make money online. Its commission ranges from 15 to 25%.
The more a photo is uploaded, the higher the commission is. Details commission you see here.
Especially the pictures here are quite expensive compared to the rest of the pages so the quality check process is quite strict.
The price of a photo can be up to $ 450 in the case of the highest quality photo and you buy about want to use it exclusively. So with the lowest commission of 15%, you pocket up to $ 67.5, quite great, right?
Depositphotos is also a prestigious address for you to sell photos online. The commission calculation is similar to the above websites, the more your image is downloaded, the higher the commission (which proves that the image is a quality image).
The minimum commission here is the highest up to 34%, while the maximum commission is 42% (lower than elsewhere).
Collaborators will be divided by level. The higher the number of uploaded images, the higher the commission.
Corresponding Level Green to Platium the commission on each image will be:
In addition, each downloaded image Depositphotos also rewards you as follows:
6. Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock is one of the largest digital product purchase sites in the world (Alexa Ranking ranked 80 in the world, a very high position)
Its predecessor is Fotolia, was born 10 years ago and is one of the pioneers selling online photos in the world. Now it has been acquired by Adobe. The share of photo copyright here is also higher than elsewhere.
You can go to the homepage of Fotolia to upload photos, the photos of Fotolia and Adobe Stock are now synchronized in the common platform is Adobe Stock / Fotolia.
So no matter which one you register, you can still sell photos and earn the same commission (I recommend opening an account in Adobe Stock because it is more popular).
Commissions for contributors (collaborators) from 20-60%.
Like Shutterstock, you can sell your photos on websites not only on Adobe Stock, it does not prohibit this. This is a provision that helps you maximize the profits from your photos.
If your account balance reaches $ 50, you can request a withdrawal via PayPal.
Alamy is believed to be an online photo selling platform that you should join. Currently, Alamy has more than 150 million photos, vectors, and videos. Though not as famous as Shutterstock and Adobe Stock, Alamy has so far brought in $ 180 million in income to its collaborators. An impressive number. The policy to upload photos here is quite airy compared to other websites. The commission for each sale is up to 50%, higher than the minimum of the photo upload websites.
Because of such a high commission, Alamy deserves to be one of the best options for making money by sharing photos online today.
123RF is an effective stock photo website. With over 68 million images in the library, you can rest assured that this site meets two important criteria: it has been around for a while and people still use it.
This website uses the revenue sharing model “the more you sell, the more money you make”. At the start, you will earn a modest amount for each download, but as your download increases, the value of each download will also increase. Your contribution is based on the number of downloads and type of download you have in the past 12 months.
Income: From 30% to 60% of sales from buyers on demand. From $ 0.216 to $ 0.432 for each download from registered buyers.
9. 500px Marketplace
500px is a social network for photographers that allows you to upload and share your own photos to comment, like, and sell. Most serious photographers are engaged on the site to some degree so you should start using it if you haven’t already.
Income: Keep 30% of revenue for photos not reserved for 500px Marketplace. Keep 60% of sales on exclusive photos for Market 500px.
Websites like Etsy are another way to get your photos noticed and you can charge for prints or digital versions of your photos. However, many promotional and discount policies will sometimes cause your photos to lose value. Like eBay, Etsy will charge the US $ 0.2 for each photo posted and 3.5% for every photo sold.
How much can you make selling stock photos?
Surely many people wonder if they can make money with stock photography?
This is possible. However, it is not easy. Many stock photographers earn decent money to enjoy life and passion. Otherwise, some people do not.
Since microstock is available, things have changed dramatically in 15 years or even more. Making income is easier in the early days. After that, many images were created out there, and the market gradually became saturated with photography out. Therefore, it becomes more difficult. The industry has matured these days, and providing images far exceeds customer demand.
Avada can take a good example like Shutterstock. The website receives more than 1 million images added each week and more than 225 million images are uploaded. Therefore, contributors must be smarter and work harder to be successful.
Take a look at a brighter side. It will not be too hard for you to earn a few hundred dollars each month. You need to spend some time (unless you’re extremely lucky) and upload lots of pictures. This plus a bit of dedication and perseverance, you can totally earn 200 - 500 dollars per month.
Selling stock photos on websites may not immediately make you rich, but this is a perfect way to earn passive income from what you have created. It can also become your main source of income. Whether you’ve been photographing for a long time or have just started your hobby, you should start selling stock photos. It will help save time and money.
This post is about how to sell stock photography effectively in 2021. Avada has provided several websites as the best places for you to start with. You will not have to learn how to set up a website for yourself, not to learn how to market, because these platforms have made it for you. It also helps you earn extra income for your life.