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05-08-2009, 01:55 AM   #1
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Does stock photography pay?

If it does, how much? Any tips for a rookie?

05-08-2009, 02:27 AM   #2
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With the state of the economy and how much production is being done in most areas, I would say NOTHING pays that well these days.

In the "old" days, there were a handful of stockhouses where your work could really be seen by the right people (ad agencies and publishers). But today, with everything being canned on DVD, you have to be really special to become part of their collections--or find a a unique niche.

For example, a mother and young daughter shooting at a supermarket, which can be used commercially for a bunch of different purposes. That kind of shot requires a ton of logistics (also read expense) to set up, and I don't know how the heck the little guy can do that.

Last edited by Ira; 05-08-2009 at 02:40 AM.
05-08-2009, 04:15 AM   #3
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It depends on what sort of stock photography you talking about.

You've got the big stock agencies like Getty (please don't use them).

Or you've got the smaller stock agencies like Alamy (they quite good, I like them)

Or you have the microstock agencies like istockphoto, shutterstock, fotolia, dreamtime to name a few.

If you want to make any money you need a big portfolio and I mean massive 1000's of images.

If you just want to dabble have a look at http://www.mostphotos.com/member.php.
05-08-2009, 05:01 AM   #4
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A friend of mine has approx 250 photos on 8 or 9 different agencies, and he makes a nice amount (500 plus) per month. It wouldnt be enough as a main income, but for all those nice extras a normal salary can't stretch to it does just fine.

I've just (yesterday!) been accepted on to Shutterstock, so if I get any tips Steve, I'll pass them on! They were recommended to me as one of the most profitable sites, so I thought I'd start there.

05-08-2009, 05:43 AM   #5
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Nice information on this thread
05-08-2009, 05:50 AM   #6
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I would like to know one thing. Can you sell the same photos on other services or your are bound to one agency? I'v seen on istockphoto there is a possibility for the photographer to become exclusively istockphoto contributer.
05-08-2009, 06:55 AM   #7
Dom
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QuoteOriginally posted by raoulzg Quote
I would like to know one thing. Can you sell the same photos on other services or your are bound to one agency? I'v seen on istockphoto there is a possibility for the photographer to become exclusively istockphoto contributer.
Yes you can sell your photos on as many agencies as you like. I personally use 10 different agencies.

One thing I've found different agencies accept different photos. One of my best selling photos was rejected by two agencies, mutants.

Never ever ever go exclusive. I know a few people who have and once you've sold you sole that's it, they've got you for life.

P.s. iStockPhoto are not as good as they think they are.
05-08-2009, 07:51 AM   #8
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Since I am intersted in selling my photos, it would be great if those with experience could share links to some of the agencies they think are good THANK YOU!

05-08-2009, 09:15 AM   #9
Dom
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QuoteOriginally posted by raoulzg Quote
Since I am intersted in selling my photos, it would be great if those with experience could share links to some of the agencies they think are good THANK YOU!
Shutterstock :: Make money with your photos!
Fotolia.co.uk - Royalty Free Stock Photos
Search for unique royalty free stock images and photos. Buy unique stock photos at Mostphotos.com
Stock Photography, Royalty Free Images & Licenced Stock Photos | Alamy Images

Done forget to put down as a referral.
05-08-2009, 06:52 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dom Quote
Yes you can sell your photos on as many agencies as you like. I personally use 10 different agencies.
One very important caveat here - Read the agreement you signed with the stock agency. All stock photography houses will make you sign an agreement, even if it's an online form with a checkbox - they have to for many legal reasons, including of course copyright concerns, usage conditions and stipulations, and your rights as an artist.

You need to read these contracts very carefully as some of them will want you to sign exclusivity agreements, or stipulate whether an image they're hosting can be hosted on other agencies.

Read read read and if you're not sure, ask a lawyer.

Otherwise I agree that the more diversified your customer base is, the better your chances of making money out of it.
05-09-2009, 10:33 AM   #11
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It can.

Recently, a stock photo from a proffesional was sold for 84c.
05-09-2009, 11:51 PM   #12
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your excellent, impressive photographs aren't what sells. Boring, clean shots of a fork, a couch, a glass, a flower on white background, a water faucet, endless business people groupings, etc., are what graphic designers are madly searching for to strip into their layout with no work, i.e. no masking out background, fixing exposure, dodging, burning...

Starting out microstock is probably your best option. Upload volume of the above. Most don't pay you anything until they have accumulated $100 in sales. At about $1 per image, volume, volume, volume.

People I know doing this takes about 3 ~ 12 months before they start earning cash money. All of them laugh at the images that actually get purchased, not what they expected.

And again, I stress, boring everyday simple objects. Understand the market: look at the photos in every brochure, flyer, report, advertisement, print and web. Again, some underpaid graphic designer agonized searching for that boring image of a fork, a lone tree, and was elated when she found it for a $1.
05-10-2009, 02:16 AM   #13
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As someone before stated, there are lots of good information in this tread.

This may be something for me to look up later.
05-10-2009, 08:34 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Donald Quote
your excellent, impressive photographs aren't what sells. Boring, clean shots of a fork, a couch, a glass, a flower on white background, a water faucet, endless business people groupings, etc., are what graphic designers are madly searching for to strip into their layout with no work, i.e. no masking out background, fixing exposure, dodging, burning...

Starting out microstock is probably your best option. Upload volume of the above. Most don't pay you anything until they have accumulated $100 in sales. At about $1 per image, volume, volume, volume.

People I know doing this takes about 3 ~ 12 months before they start earning cash money. All of them laugh at the images that actually get purchased, not what they expected.

And again, I stress, boring everyday simple objects. Understand the market: look at the photos in every brochure, flyer, report, advertisement, print and web. Again, some underpaid graphic designer agonized searching for that boring image of a fork, a lone tree, and was elated when she found it for a $1.
I see

I was looking for a place where I could send only a limited amount of images I like a month, like 10 to 20 a month. My idea was sending some selection I like instead of lots of them and for a higher price. seems there is no point on my thinking.

I don't see myself doing the other kind of photos, sooooooooo boring . But I understand your explanation and of course you are right.

One question, is there a place where we can submite our favorite images and make them available for a higher price?

Thanks
05-10-2009, 08:49 AM   #15
Dom
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QuoteOriginally posted by netuser Quote
I see

I was looking for a place where I could send only a limited amount of images I like a month, like 10 to 20 a month. My idea was sending some selection I like instead of lots of them and for a higher price. seems there is no point on my thinking.

I don't see myself doing the other kind of photos, sooooooooo boring . But I understand your explanation and of course you are right.

One question, is there a place where we can submite our favorite images and make them available for a higher price?

Thanks
Alamy or MostPhotos.
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