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02-08-2023, 02:43 AM   #1
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Best websites to try to sale photos?

I really came across this idea by chance as I was looking at someone's images (here on this site) and noticed they have their images on Flickr for viewing and also Getty Images for buying... Not that my images are much that most would consider buying - smiles....

I was just curious what websites are good for trying to sale your photos....


MIchael

Addendum: The person is Gary Chalker: https://www.gettyimages.com/search/photographer?photographer=Gary%20Chalker


Last edited by Michael Piziak; 02-08-2023 at 02:50 AM.
02-08-2023, 04:56 AM   #2
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There are various options, Getty Images are a stock photography company, there are many about. You sign up with them and submit a test selection which they'll look at from a technical and content point of view. Each one has different criteria so you need to look at what they want before you submit. Submitted photos then have to be tagged correctly and you'll need to understand rules about copyright, license types, editorial licensing, property and model releases etc.... Get any of them wrong and your submission will be rejected, you can't just submit some photos and stick them up for sale.

It's a lot of work submitting stock photos and you're competing against a stock of millions so what you submit either has to be better or different to what's already there, otherwise even if it's accepted, it won't sell. You also only get a percentage of the sale and depending on the stock company, that might be measured in cents or dollars for each sale. If you're doing it out of interest and fun, well it might be worth it, if you're thinking it'll pay for a holiday or an income, well you have to be pretty serious about it and good.

There are other options like Smugmug and things but then you have to have a way of driving people to whichever site you've picked to host your photos. A few people on here sell their images so might offer some good advice.
02-08-2023, 08:07 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Goals matter. The concept of ďthe long tailĒ which refers to the rise of Amazon due to the extreme broad portfolio of products far greater than the amount any brick and mortar store could carry is applicable here. Do you want to sell a smaller number of individuals special images? Or do you want to sell a broad audience a large number of images that are less personal? The artist in me leans towards the former and I find it hard to pull off without significant investments in time and money. The successful stock photographers Iíve talked to are making money, but the criteria for doing so is different than how I prefer to exercise the hobby of photography. Personally I would suggest that you donít turn your hobby into a career if you want to enjoy your hobby long term. Thatís not to say Iíve never sold a print or an image, but itís a low key effort that I enjoy doing on occasion rather than a monetization effort.
02-08-2023, 02:27 PM   #4
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There was a time when 500px paid quite well, but not anymore in my view. I've not tried any others.

02-08-2023, 05:52 PM   #5
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I'm on Adobe stock, but I don't really shoot typical stock type photos (like Adobe calls for), just normal stuff. Although if I see an interesting pattern, say in water or sky, I may take a few shots to submit as backgrounds, and I've never submitted any that need a release (I avoid people unless they are in the background and unrecognizable). I go through my photos every couple weeks or so and choose some to submit, I've been doing it for maybe five years, I have 2200+ photos in the collection, some taken as far back as 2010. It is surprising what sells, I've sold three different photos of rabbits, but probably landscapes more than anything. I don't make much, I have made anywhere from under a dollar to about $35 on a sale. You would need a large catalog to make a lot of money. A lot of those people who do make a series of shots with the same subjects, I'm sure you've seen those type in advertising campaigns, brochures and the like. I have thought about trying to do series for holidays, but then it would be like work. They accept most of what I submit, I think the first thing they do is run them through some sort of automated analyzer, which will reject photos that the process feels are technically flawed, like it will think a sand pattern is noise, it isn't really explained too well, same answer for any pic that gets rejected.

An oddity is that they will reject a photo if the keywords are in alphabetical order, but for a while Adobe's own Lightroom would output them alphabetically, they have fixed that now.
02-08-2023, 06:24 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by 3by2 Quote
There are various options, Getty Images are a stock photography company, there are many about. You sign up with them and submit a test selection which they'll look at from a technical and content point of view. Each one has different criteria so you need to look at what they want before you submit. Submitted photos then have to be tagged correctly and you'll need to understand rules about copyright, license types, editorial licensing, property and model releases etc.... Get any of them wrong and your submission will be rejected, you can't just submit some photos and stick them up for sale.

It's a lot of work submitting stock photos and you're competing against a stock of millions so what you submit either has to be better or different to what's already there, otherwise even if it's accepted, it won't sell. You also only get a percentage of the sale and depending on the stock company, that might be measured in cents or dollars for each sale. If you're doing it out of interest and fun, well it might be worth it, if you're thinking it'll pay for a holiday or an income, well you have to be pretty serious about it and good.

There are other options like Smugmug and things but then you have to have a way of driving people to whichever site you've picked to host your photos. A few people on here sell their images so might offer some good advice.

Would just do it as a hobby. I'm retired. I imagine it would be a tough living for anyone choosing photography as a career for income - I expect they mostly do a lot of weddings and photos at schools of students... Or work for a photography type magazine...
02-09-2023, 04:19 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
Would just do it as a hobby. I'm retired. I imagine it would be a tough living for anyone choosing photography as a career for income - I expect they mostly do a lot of weddings and photos at schools of students... Or work for a photography type magazine...
Well it can be an interesting exercise as it forces you to carefully critique your own work from a technical and aesthetic point of view, just don't be ruled by the standards stock libraries want, it can turn a hobby into a chore exactly as per Uncle Vanya said.

02-09-2023, 06:27 AM - 2 Likes   #8
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I've sold at craft shows, never on line. Back in the day, I had 6 million views on a 12 image series I posted, and not one inquiry. At that time my website was on my images.

I was interested in shooting images for the park when I first moved here 14 years ago. At that time they told me that the price they paid for image had fallen from $250 an image to $25. A year later, they stopped paying, amateurs provided all the images they needed for free. The last time I had an image I thought they might want, I got an image of a horned lark that was way out of it's range, another photographer who was there with me, went to a restaurant, worked on his images and donated it the same day. I went home, took mine in the next day, and of course it wasn't needed. These days you have to compete just to donate an image.

I still think impulse buyers at craft shows is your best option.
02-09-2023, 07:08 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I've sold at craft shows, never on line. Back in the day, I had 6 million views on a 12 image series I posted, and not one inquiry. At that time my website was on my images.

I was interested in shooting images for the park when I first moved here 14 years ago. At that time they told me that the price they paid for image had fallen from $250 an image to $25. A year later, they stopped paying, amateurs provided all the images they needed for free. The last time I had an image I thought they might want, I got an image of a horned lark that was way out of it's range, another photographer who was there with me, went to a restaurant, worked on his images and donated it the same day. I went home, took mine in the next day, and of course it wasn't needed. These days you have to compete just to donate an image.

I still think impulse buyers at craft shows is your best option.
My sales have been prints at craft shows also.
02-09-2023, 09:20 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michael Piziak Quote
I really came across this idea by chance as I was looking at someone's images (here on this site) and noticed they have their images on Flickr for viewing and also Getty Images for buying... Not that my images are much that most would consider buying - smiles....

I was just curious what websites are good for trying to sale your photos....


MIchael

Addendum: The person is Gary Chalker: Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images
One route many are taking is the multi-stream revenue approach: YouTube channels form the basis of generating interest to take workshops, photography travel, calendars, etc. Many of these folks use SquareSpace, as evidenced by their sponsorships. Other website platforms include Zenfolio (that's what I use; haven't sold a thing but then again I don't try) and . . . gee, there are lots more.

My wife did the art fair circuit up and down the east coast, from Connecticut to Florida, for a handful of years before the pandemic, selling her paintings and inkjet prints (where they call them giclťes because it sounds artier) made of the paintings that she had sold. The art fair route can be grueling (especially for folks making one-offs like paintings, jewelry, etc., who cannot just pop off some more inkjet prints). If you choose go that route, start off local.

Last edited by EssJayEff; 02-10-2023 at 11:21 AM.
02-09-2023, 04:18 PM   #11
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I see many prints & paintings on the walls in local restaurants and cafes. The business gets some beautiful prints to hang on their walls and I imagine a small fee if the print sells.
02-10-2023, 11:36 AM   #12
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Flicker is still dynamite for me for licensing images. I guess designers, buyers, etc are able to cross reference flicker content in their web searches. I make sure all my posts are well tagged.
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