Can I Make Money Selling Stock Images

If you are a photographer and you are looking for ways to make money, then selling stock images can be one of the best options. With modern technology and online business, selling stock images has become a worldwide business. In the upcoming years, the stock photography industry is expected to be worth billions. 

Stock photography does not need the equipment of a professional camera and other gadgets, your smartphone with a high-quality camera can be a source of earning by selling stock photography. You can supplement your income by having an easy side gig of stock photography. Also, you can make it your full-time profession and earn more money than before. 

What Is Stock Photography? 

Can I Make Money Selling Stock Images

Stock photography is a term for images that people can purchase for their small businesses, websites, SEO content, blog posts, etc. Also, they can be used for magazines as promotional material. As technology has progressed over the past few decades, many platforms have begun to offer libraries full of images and views. These images can have different types of licenses to keep their images for limited content. 

People find it cheaper to have stock images for their branding or websites, rather than hiring a professional photographer or model for their marketing purposes. Also, finding stock or free images on the internet is a convenient way. It might cost a few cents or dollars to the buyers to use stock images. Hence, you can earn money by selling stock images. 

What Is Microstock?

The most common way of making money from stock images is known as Microstock. It is when images are sold for a few cents or maybe around $10. These sales are done on Royalty-Free images. Photographers are paid for each image download. It is usually done on monthly basis. Microstock is the easiest way of earning money from the stock photography

What Is Macrostock?

On the other hand, Macrostock photography is known as traditional stock photography. It means that the agencies sell highly-priced and exclusive images to their clients. The individual images are licensed directly to the client and they are sold for around $30 to $3000 a year. Later on, the photographer gets royalties. 

Best Places To Sell Stock Photos

Can I Make Money Selling Stock Images

There are dozens of microstock agencies where you can sell your stock photos. The best platforms where you can make more money by selling your stock images are:

  • Shutterstock
  • iStock 
  • Alamy
  • Dreamstime
  • Adobe Stock or Fotolia
  • Depositphotos

How To Make Money By Selling Stock Images?

Right Equipment

Can I Make Money Selling Stock Images

You may earn money by selling the stock photos captured with a modern smartphone. With advanced equipment, there are higher chances that you will be able to sell more than before. However, you don’t need to invest in the greatest and latest equipment. You can simply buy a high-quality camera for around $1,000. 

For photographers, it is not only about the camera. When you go out shooting, depending on the type of photography you plan to take, you need to invest in different types of camera lenses. It means it is not all about the camera but the lenses too. For example, if you want to shoot a landscape, then you will be needing a wide-angle lens to capture wider shots. 

On the other hand, a telephoto lens is required by those who take more portrait photographs. It captures more details in a closed environment. There are fair chances that you might be needing both lenses depending on the photography you want to do. 

Usage of Keywords 

Can I Make Money Selling Stock Images

The potential buyers of stock images search for them. You can drive them to your gig by using the right keywords for your photos. Hence, the buyers will find your stock photos first. Make sure that your keywords are specific and ranked in order of importance. Also, they should be descriptive. For example, when you upload a photo of a dog jumping in a fountain, then you can use keywords such as dog, fountain, jumping, animal, training, etc. 

With practice, you will understand the usage of keywords. Also, you can use some sites having great tools for keywords. Getting the right keywords means, the buyer will find your photos first and you will be making more sales. 

Take Multiple Shots 

Can I Make Money Selling Stock Images

When you take a photo, try taking it from all possible angles. The reason is that the different buyers are looking for the different things in one image. For example, you take a picture of your dog eating. A dog food company will be looking for an image that highlights the dog food. On the other hand, a dog charity will be looking for a photo focusing more on the dog than the food. 

From the above-mentioned example, you are attracting two different types of companies to your stock images. With more different angles, you might be able to attract 10 or more buyers of different interests. Hence, there are higher chances of you winning the sale and making more money than your competitors.

Regularly Upload Photos 

Can I Make Money Selling Stock Images

There are a lot of platforms that promote the photos of active users. If you upload photos regularly, there are higher chances that buyers will see your photos as more relevant than others. Your previous or old photos might be working for you but uploading new high-quality images regularly help you to stand out in the stock photography industry. 

Invest in Photo Editing Software 

Can I Make Money Selling Stock Images

The work does not stop after taking photos. Some photos require little touch-ups or editing. So, you should be having software like Photoshop that helps you to increase the quality of the photo. You can purchase software that will cost you around $50 with cloud version or you can have some free photo editing software. 

On the other hand, if you are new in the stock photography industry, then it might take time to understand the photo editing software. But with practice, you will learn and become a professional editor.

Think About Customer’s Needs 

Can I Make Money Selling Stock Images

You will observe that some images will sell better than others. You need to understand the reason behind it. Then you will be able to focus on taking photos of the things that are in demand in the stock photography industry. When a business or brand wants to show that people are working for their website or digital marketing or any other tasks. 

You can take photos of people working on a laptop or computer, talking on the phone, dealing with customers, giving presentations, etc. A very popular category is food where people look for photos of food or people cooking food. You can take such photos or even empty plates or ingredients. 

When it comes to stock photography, traveling and nature are one of the hot topics. There is always a demand for photographs of flowers, birds, animals, etc. So, when you are traveling, take advantage and take a lot of photos of nature. Also, take photos of beaches, locals, hotels, restaurants, unique or cultural photos, etc. When you are traveling in the city, take photos of cityscapes, travelers, buildings, cars, etc. 

Stock Images – Make More Money

Making money from stock images is not an as easy thing as it seems to be. You must be having an idea of what the customer needs from you. Once you are clear about that, you can start taking multiple photos with different angles. A one-shot can get you hundreds of clients. Also, make sure that you are an active user and you upload stock images regularly. 

There are various platforms for selling stock images. Most of the photographers choose Shutterstock as their primary stock image selling platform. These platforms help you to promote your photography skills and making money.