Sometimes we associate stock photography with some negative concepts such as the photos you see in frames that are on sale at a department store or the photo that comes in a new wallet. Sure, those images did come from a stock photography library but there is so much more to stock photography than that.
You can put a lot of creative energy into building a solid stock photography library that will draw customers who need these images and like your creative eye. Really, if you think about it, stock photography is no different from doing a shoot for a customer. It’s just that you are taking the photos in advance of finding the customer and you can sell the same stock photo a multitude of times. And that last part is what makes running a stock photography service a lucrative business to operate.
The demand for stock photography is ongoing and increasing. But in the economic “model” of any marketplace, supply is as important as demand. So to compete for business you need a good, diverse supply. That means your first step in building your stock photography business is to build the “stock”. In this situation, quantity counts.
When you start entertaining customers, you want to be able to show them a strong catalog not only of many genres of stock photos but of a good variety of photos for each genre. So if the buyer is looking for floral shots, you don’t just have three or four stock photos in that category. You should have dozens for them to pick from. By building a large collection, you vastly increase your chances of making a sale with each customer you entertain.
Don’t think that taking stock photos takes the creativity out of the process. In fact, the opposite is true. Really great stock photography screams personality, even if it’s just an assortment of floral scenes you are taking. The buyer is looking for a photo that seems to have a story to it, that draws the eye and makes the viewer want to ponder the meaning of that photo.
Sounds a bit like art photography, doesn’t it? Well, in a way, it is. Just because you are selling the photo as part of your stock collection, doesn’t lower the artistic value of what you are doing. And if your art is going out the door to be used by a customer, it is still being seen by people who will reflect on what you are trying to say with that photo. So to you, the photographer, your artistic calling is satisfied and you have a nice chuck of change in your pocket to boot.
Along with building a strong portfolio of quality pictures of each category, make your categories as diverse as possible. View other stock collections and gather ideas for the genres they have represented and of the diversity of shots and settings they have included in their collection. You are not plagiarizing other photographers work if you are letting them inspire you to do your best work.
A good discipline to build your stock photography gallery is to take a day each week and go out and build one category of stock photos all day long. So you may do floral shots all day one week, photos of automobiles the next and pictures of college students the next.
Now don’t forget to get your releases signed if you use human subjects. Even if you just hang out on a college campus and talk students into posing for stock photos. Be sure you pay them something for their work and get a release. In that way if their picture ends up in some very public setting because of how a customer uses it, you are protected from them coming back with their palm up wanting more.
Finally, trust your instincts on what to include in your gallery. Your artistic “eye” for what you like is probably pretty reliable and will reflect what interests your customers. Once the gallery is built, then you can go about the “business” of putting together a physical catalog to sell from. And don’t forget the option of building an online gallery to sell from. You will need some technical help to get your site up and learning how to sell from it and collect money that way. But this can be a great expansion of your successful and growing stock photography business.
Brian Scott is a full-time self-employed entrepreneur. Visit Brian’s free website, http://www.FastCashPhoto.com and learn about making money as a photographer and receiving free digital photography help.
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Article by Jeremy Miller
Selling Stock Photography at a Reputable Online Company
Photographers worldwide make a comfortable living through the sales of their professional photography. Not only are photographers in demand for weddings and other family and social occasions, but they are also in very high demand on the worldwide web! In addition, there are monetary benefits to selling professional photography on the internet, but choosing which company to sell your stock photos through is a critical decision that should be thoroughly thought out. There are hundreds of online stock photography websites but, most of them are amateur sites and not worth your time. After doing some due diligence to find one of the best companies in the industry, we discovered a company out of Tennessee, DreamsTime.com.
They are one of the top microstock photography companies on the worldwide web and present an excellent opportunity for professional designers and photographers to contribute their unique work to. From their roots in 2004, DreamsTime grew in a mere four years to a professional microstock photography provider that currently has over one million registered users on their website. Additionally, they have over 50,000 dedicated photographers who have marketed and contributed over four million professional stock images to DreamsTime! With this in mind, there is definitely an opportunity to get involved as a contributor of professional photography at DreamsTime.com and make decent money in the process.
Registration with Dreamstime.com as a photographer is completely free. At the time of registration, you are given the opportunity to upload some of your professional images at which time they will take the time to personally review your photos for potential inclusion into their website. If for any reason your stock photography is not accepted, you (designers) are notified as to what the reason is and given the opportunity to resubmit! What they are really looking for is high quality, non-pixelated quality photography. The minimum image quality they are requesting is three megapixels but if you really want to make the best impression, you really should upload photography that is between five to ten megapixels in quality. As a photographer, you know the true secret to success is to provide high quality photography that is truly unique and not something that everyone else has to offer.
As a company, Dreamstime touts a great reputation and shares a considerable amount of commissions with their photographers. A stock photographer selling on Dreamstime.com has the potential to make anywhere between fifty to eighty percent (with royalties) commission from the sale of his or her photos. With some stock photos grabbing the attention of thousands and grabbing thousands of downloads, some talented photographers are bagging quite a large paycheck for their quality work.
With photographers turning to the internet to market their quality photography, there is not many companies that offer you a one million user database of potential buyers of your unique photography. For any serious photographer, DreamsTime.com makes an excellent home to marketing professional microstock photography. With no cost to join and an incredible opportunity to represent your stock photography to over one million people worldwide, check out DreamsTime.com today. As a leader in their industry, they continue to set the standard for many designers and photographers alike and their impact on the industry continues to exponentially grow with time.
Already producing video content? Then think about about selling stock footage with Microstock agencies.
Article by Simon Sharp
If you’re involved in making videos of any kind, then you might have heard about stock footage. Places like Getty images are known for selling clips of exotic subjects and charging several hundred, or even several thousand dollars for the rights to use the footage. aerial stock footage, shots of polar bears, the kind of stuff shot by experienced wildlife photographers with somewhat obscure laws about where the footage can be used. What you may not have caught onto yet is that the little man can now get in on the stock footage industry. Appropriately enough the arena where this happens is called the ‘micro-stock’ industry and, like so many others things in life these days, it has become possible through the internet. There are now dozens of stock footage companies that accept submissions from…well pretty much anyone. With video for internet becoming ever more present, the need for low-cost footage is only going to grow.
Put simply, you shoot some footage with your camcorder/camera, you edit it on your computer using either a programme like Final Cut Pro or any of the free editing applications that are appearing. You want to keep it simple and not spend too much time editing it and once you’re happy you make your clip into a Quicktime movie and submit it to one or more of the micro-stock agency websites. All being well they approve it and every time someone downloads the clip you get a percentage of the sale price (it varies quite a bit between the various sites). once someone has brought the clip it is on a ‘royalty free’ basis. In other words they can usually make use of the clip in whatever way they wish.
In theory this all sounds reasonably simple but in practice it can take a while to set this up: You may find some sites will reject your clip or ask for you to submit several clips to them before they even allow you to start regularly submitting. You have to decide what to film and you also have to make sure your clips are properly ‘key-worded’: If you have a clip of, say, a fairground, then people need to find it by typing ‘fairground’ into a search box. Again- simple in theory but takes a little bit of practice to actually get right. And figuring out what actually sells is another art. Its best to start by simply looking at what is already selling well.
All that said, if you already do and kind video production work then selling stock footage is a very worthwhile means of generating some extra income. Every time you’re on a shoot or out and about simply remember to take some shots of anything that catches you eye and you’ll be building up a library of clips. The best part is that, once once your stock footage clips are up on the site, they stay there and can be earning you income for years to come. When I started I looked at various sites and found some of the entry requirements a bit confusing. The simplest was Pond5: most importantly you can start uploading clips as soon as you have created your account. They are fairly relaxed on submission quality so, as long as your clip is stable and clear they will most likely accept it (your clip want to be clear but it is not always the most beautiful that gets the most sales. Compared to other sites the uploading procedure for your clips is easier. Another thing I prefer about Pond5 is that you can set your own price for a clip, which means that if you feel you have something really valuable that IS worth several hundred dollars then you can charge that. This is something few other sites allow.
In the long run you want to submit to several sites to maximise your income. Sites like istockhoto offer increased commissions for exclusivity but this will never compete with having your clips distributed as widely as possible. There are programmes such as I-Syndica which allow you to submit to several sites at once. However, when you are starting out and testing the water Pond5 most definitely makes life more straightforward.
You can find out more about selling stock footage at:Pond5 Stock Footage
Simon Sharp is an experienced editor and cameraman of over 7 years. He has been producing and selling stock video for over a year.
To make money register at submit.shutterstock.com and www.dreamstime.com and www.fotolia.com istockphoto.com www.the3dstudio.com – This is a 3 minute tutorial about the basics of selling stock images online. Use the links above to sign up for a contributor account and to start uploading your content. Selling 3D rendered images or vector illustrations just work as fine and sometimes even better than photographs. Please rate my tutorials and let me know if you would like more tutorials on other subjects. I’m more than happy to upload more detailed tutorials about shooting stock, work flow tips etc. The more feedback I get the better I can provide the information.
Video Rating: 4 / 5
FOTOLIA WORKSHOP WITH YURI ARCURS (PT1) ******************************************************** FotoTV has been invited to visit the Fotolia Workshop “SPEND A DAY WITH YURI ARCURS. LEARN TO SHOOT WHAT SELLS” on the 6th of December 2008 in Berlin (Germany). The result is an amazing movie about Yuri Arcurs the most successful Microstock photographer worldwide. The clip contains very interessting statements in regards to Microstock photography and Yuris know-how, his way of working with models and workshop participants and provides impressions of the entire Fotolia workshop. More cool clips on FotoTV www.fototv.de More information and videos here blog.fotolia.com and many more cool clips on FotoTV http