How to make Money in Stock Photography


“Photography bug bites everyone at-least once”.  This is universal truth, We love to click images and sooner or later when we check out stock photograph, we suddenly start thinking about – how to make money with these stock photographs. Start thinking about sending their photographs to stock agencies in order to make some extra cash. if this is your plan to make some extra money, then my dear friend, your chances are extremely thin.

On the other side there are people making $30,000 to $40,000  per year from commercial stock photography while working on 3 to 4 days a week.  A few selected one, even are making more than $1,00,000 per year but they are putting more efforts.

How to make money in stock photography
Images Like this is better in our Drawing rooms but do not have any stock value.

So there are two tales about stock photography; one is extremely successful over the time and earning huge money and one that with little chance of making any money over the time.

So my advice that will make a photographer an ace photographer in stock photography  that  more likely to pay off.

Planning, planning and better planning

Images like this is very hot when some accident or incident happens. Photo Credit Flicker Photo

“Planning to fail is failing to plan”. Every new business plan start with a through research. Launching a new business with only a vision in your head is risky because what you actually know about commercial stock photography may be totally wrong.  You can start your research reading some wonderful books on stock photography like Stock Photography – 2nd Edition: How to Take Great Photographs and Sell them Online to Stock Photo Agencies by Blair Howard  and Microstock Money Shots: Turning Downloads into Dollars with Microstock Photography by Ellen Boughn

By these books , I am sure , most of the myth people carry about commercial photography in their head will be replaced with a practical frame of reference.

It is your Business ?

Most of the time People are confused between hobbies and business, all the time and end up failing at the business they loved as a hobby.

Any hobby, raised to the level it becomes a business.  The same is true in stock photography. The more businesslike your approach, the more likely you are to be successful. You can’t just shoot any thing randomly whatever you like to shoot and thought that this image or that image is worth millions.

You have to spend time understanding what is your niche market and what people actually want in a stock photo.  Start building that long-term relationship by consistently delivering both the quality and content that commercial customers want.

This Image has potential as it has some faces. photo credit: Lupuca

Smart Tip :  If you are targeting education niche then your collection must have all the types of images that a school/college or educational institute need from kindergarten to High School ranging from Library to every thing else you can imagine.

Season that matters

If you are shooting images for summer  in summer then you are fool. Yes You are, reason behind is – the probable customer that is planning to run his /her ad campaign in summer have already planned and perhaps they have already purchased their stock photos from the net.

So the point is, you have to shoot in winter for the next summers and in summers you have to plan to your next winters. A smart photographer is also a great thinker and able to see the trends coming.

The point is – your stock photo collection must be ready for every season.

Sense of  Creativity

One major advantage of being new is- You are lucky !! Confused , Yes because advertisers constantly looking ahead for new idea, New concept and new faces. Just check out the ads for Soaps, Toothpaste and Whiting creams and thing only one minutes how many times these faces had been changes in last 2 years.

When they are able to see any such thing in your images then you are sure to earn some money, Sometimes they will ask for exclusive right, if this happens then it is just like hitting a jackpot.

If you are able to make few dollars per image per year then you are really lucky over the time you will learn the art of stock photography and your catalogue will also start adding some decent money in your portfolio.

Be Patient

Before earning my first cheque, I used to earn $5.00 per month or some times even lesser than that but once I knew what people basically want from my website then suddenly, I start writing the same type of content on my blog.

The same is also true for stock photography, You have to plan, even invest in accessories and talent, which type of images are hot on stock photo image site must be known to you.

With Little planning and patient, I am sure any average photographer can make a decent money selling stock photos in ShutterStock like website.

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