Mar 16, 2010

Making Money from your Photos for Beginners

The best, fastest and potentially most profitable way of making money from the photos you have taken over they years is to simply submit them to stock agencies that sell them for use in commercials and ad campaigns. The easiest of the agencies to enter are the "microstock" agencies. Agencies selling images at low price, but at a high volume. I am currently the world's top selling microstock photographer and yes it is quit profitable, in fact I make more then 1mil USD per year from royalties. The purpose of this post is to give you a two minute, super quick overview of the landscape of microstock and a list of the microstock agencies that are worth submitting to.

The non-exclusive microstock distribution channel (submitting to a lot of agencies, such as I do) still remains the best income provider, despite the higher commission of the exclusivity offers out there.

Finding where to sign up at these agencies can sometimes be a little difficult, so I have provided some names to sign-up with at the bottom of this post.

The income speaks for itself but you should always take into consideration the time it takes to organize, upload, attach model releases and assign categories at the different agencies. Some agencies have made it extremely easy to upload and organize your images, including Crestock and 123RF. Other agencies have not thought so hard about this aspect and it can therefore be quite time consuming to get your files submitted for inspection. Files have to be categorized and organized before they are evaluated by the editors where they may or may not get rejected.

If you have just spent hours organizing your files and a lot of them get rejected afterwards it can be quite frustrating.

The most cost-efficient (time spent uploading vs income) agency to upload to is Shutterstock, followed by StockXpert and Fotolia. The least cost-efficient is Snapvillage and Istock. This does not mean that you should not submit to these agencies, but just that you should take this into consideration if you have to do all the uploading yourself. The Yuri Arcurs Distribution Network does keywording as well as uploading for very good stock photographers joining microstock. Good Luck in microstock!