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How To Make Money Selling Stock Photos In 2024

How To Make Money Selling Stock Photos 2024

How To Make Money Selling Stock Photos 2020

Did you know you can make money with hundreds of unused photos lurking in your photo gallery? If you know what it takes to click amazing photos or create top-notch vectors, you can surely make money by selling stock photos. 

The internet is bustling with the articles on how you can make $500 a month with stock photography. Yes, it is true you can make real money from stock photography, but the competition is super tough. One needs to follow a precise and proper approach to make stock photography business work and harness profits. 

Continue reading to find out how… 

What is Stock Photography?

Wikipedia defines Stock Photography as, “supply of photographs, which are often licensed for a defined purpose.” In Simpler terms, it is the repository that buyers use for the visual content, be it websites, books or blogs.

In contrast to hiring a professional photographer, stock photography is much cheaper. Stock Pictures are usually sold via a platform maintaining a large digital warehouse of such images, wherein buyers have an option to choose from. 

For example, you need a high-quality photo of a family decorating a Christmas tree. Hiring a professional, putting up Christmas tree, engaging lighting and finding suitable models would turn out to be an expensive deal.

Under this scenario, it would be a lot more economical to find a similar photograph on the Stock Site. The former option would need hundreds of dollars, however, with the latter option, a decent high-quality image would be available in a few dollars. 

Need a website to put your photos on? Check out my free 5 step guide here.

What are the different types of Stock Photography?

Stock Photography is broadly classified into three types:

  1. Macrostock
  2. Midstock 
  3. Microstock

Macrostock: It is the traditional type of stock photography, wherein, organizations sell high-priced exclusive pictures. Such pictures are directly licensed to the clients/customers by the seller agencies. Under this scheme, photographers earn from royalties. Any agency which sells copyright-licensed photographs fall under conventional stock photography. The most common platforms are Adobe, Getty, etc.

Microstock: It is better known as Micropayment photography, wherein small agencies, photo hobbyists sell images on a royalty-free basis. Under this module, each agency may have different pricing structure, such as the same image may have different price. The most common platforms are ShutterStock, Fotolia, Dreamstime and many more. 

Midstock: It is a combination of both Macro and Micro hosting both Managed-rights images and royalty-free images. 

Payment Plans

Different portals different pricing structures. A stock photographer’s earnings depend on the end-user’s payment or subscription plan. The cost of the stock photo depends on the agency chosen. Below is a basic compilation of the price of 2 different stock photo agencies. 

Shutter Stock

The plans can be classified into 3 categories, Basic, Professional and Team. Under basic plan, buyer can download a decided number of images for a set amount, say 2 images for $29. The professional plan allows buyers to download a set number of images with monthly subscriptions. The team plan allows multiple users to download images with monthly subscriptions, say 3 users for $399 a month.

iStock

The plans can be classified into 3 categories, Pay Per Download Credits, Essential Subscriptions and Signature Subscription. The pay per download credits allows buyers to download a set number of images for a set amount, say 12 credits for $115. The Essential and Signature Subscription is a monthly plan with different variations, say 10 images a month for $99.  

What can we achieve from Stock Photos?

To put out straight, if you have a good command over photography, you can make money by selling Stock Photos. Why is this idea so alluring? Because

Nowadays, people are not fond of stilted images, they are fascinated with believable imagery. Users are more likely to download natural images over Cliché styles. 

10 years ago, who would have thought smartphones would be capable to shoot high-resolution photos/videos. New generation phones can help the photographers to capture high-quality images without any need to invest in heavy-duty Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras.

The stock photos are supposed to fill the commercial needs. The pictures available on the stock repository are used to describe a certain emotion, point or subject. It is advised to learn about the current trends of the market while capturing pictures. Take time to browse top stock websites for research. The hot topics of the year 2020 are social issues, fashion, nature and tech advances. 

In every business quality is a quintessential aspect, but the number game is also important in stock photos. It is highly recommended to set a monthly goal to gain momentum in the business. The basic objective is to build a portfolio by uploading more and more images for a consistent revenue stream. 

It is always helpful to create generic work, as targeting certain demographic limits your business. 

This is not about doubting your abilities, it is about learning what others are offering. Evaluating portfolios is the best way to learn about the current trends. 

Advertise your portfolio on social media platforms, Insta, Facebook, etc. to reach the targeted audience. No matter how good your pictures are, it goes unnoticed if there is no proper advertising, social media platforms help to overcome this hiccup. 

Additional Help

In 2024, selling stock photos is an exciting way to turn your photography hobby into a lucrative business. With the ever-growing need for fresh, high-quality images in digital and print media, there’s never been a better time to dive into this vibrant market. Here’s how you can get started and have fun while making money from your photos.

1. Capture Authentic Moments

Gone are the days of stiff, posed photos. In 2024, today’s buyers crave authenticity. Think of moments that resonate with real life: laughter at a family picnic, friends sharing a coffee, or a spontaneous dance in the park. These genuine moments make for compelling stock photos. The more natural and relatable your images, the more they’ll appeal to a wide audience.

2. Embrace Diversity

The world is a beautifully diverse place, and your photos should reflect that. Capture people of different ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Show varied lifestyles, from bustling city scenes to serene countryside moments. Diversity isn’t just a trend; it’s a way to connect with a global audience and ensure your photos are inclusive and relevant.

3. Find Your Niche

While it’s great to have a broad range of photos, finding your niche can set you apart. Maybe you love capturing the magic of golden hour, the intricate details of food, or the excitement of travel. Whatever it is, focus on what you enjoy most. Your passion will shine through your work, making your photos more appealing to buyers who share your interests in 2024.

4. Use the Best Tools

You don’t need the latest and most expensive gear to start. However, a decent camera and some basic editing software can make a big difference. Learn to use natural light to your advantage, and practice editing to enhance your photos without overdoing it. There are plenty of online tutorials to help you get the hang of things.

5. Upload to Multiple Platforms

To maximize your exposure, upload your photos to multiple stock photo websites. Each platform has its own audience, and more visibility means more potential sales. Popular sites like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and Getty Images are great places to start. Be sure to read their guidelines and tailor your submissions accordingly.

6. Stay Consistent

Consistency is key. Regularly uploading new photos keeps your portfolio fresh and increases your chances of being discovered. Set a schedule that works for you, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly. Over time, this consistency will pay off as your portfolio grows and attracts more buyers.

7. Engage with the Community

Join photography forums, social media groups, and online communities. Share your experiences, ask for feedback, and learn from others. Engaging with fellow photographers can provide valuable insights, inspiration, and even collaboration opportunities. Plus, it’s a great way to stay motivated and connected in 2024.

8. Keep an Eye on Trends

Stay updated with the latest trends in photography and stock imagery. Pay attention to what’s popular on stock photo sites and social media. Seasonal themes, holidays, and current events can also provide inspiration for timely and relevant photos. Adapting to trends helps ensure your portfolio stays appealing and in demand.

9. Have Fun with It

Above all, enjoy the process. Photography is a creative outlet, and selling stock photos should be fun and rewarding. Experiment with different styles, subjects, and techniques. The more you enjoy what you’re doing, the better your photos will be, and the more successful you’ll become.

The world of stock photography is full of opportunities. By capturing authentic moments, embracing diversity, and staying engaged with the community, you can turn your passion for photography into a thriving business. So grab your camera, get out there, and start shooting!

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