Are you interested in selling your photos online? I’ve often been asked how to start it, how much it’s worth, and whether someone’s photos are good enough for selling. Now it is probably a time to deal with these issues.
In fact, I sent some new photos for sale after a half-year break and it seems that my skills are still in the place. All new photos were approved for sale to all the photo agencies I sent them in. It seems that it is even easier to get the photos approved by agencies than in the past.
Also, at least in Shutterstock and in Bigstock the images were approved almost lightning fast. I received the notice of approval almost immediately. So now it is the right time to start selling pictures as long as it is that easy. You never know what changes are coming, this business is evolving all the time.
Start selling your pictures in one or two stock photo agencies first
I started selling my photos by uploading them to the four most popular microstock photo agencies. That was a cumbersome task to do because the photo agencies then were very different from each other. There were also different requirements for uploading images, either in image size, in the quality of the images, or regarding keywording. At the same time, however, I wanted to make a small comparison between the different stock photo agencies, so I decided to do it properly.
It does not mean that everyone should upload pictures to so many places right from the beginning. If you want to start selling your pictures today, I recommend you to try it first only in one or two photo agencies. It is essential to save your finished photos with the proper keywords, ready for uploading to other image agencies later.
After you’ve found out how exciting it is to sell your images, it’s straightforward to send them all the other places. It is important to start slowly, but at the same time, to prepare for the expansion of sales channels.
I recommend that you start selling your images first in Shutterstock or Fotolia, even though these photo agencies have more strict rules for approving new photos than many other photo agencies. When you first get a picture approved for sale in these more demanding stock photo agencies, you can be sure that the images will be accepted for sale elsewhere as well. In addition, the quality of the photos will then indeed be sufficient to achieve adequate sales in broader distribution.
Where to sell your images?
When the quality of your photos reaches the adequate level, and the images have been approved by a good percentage, it is time to increase the number of photo agencies. I have sent my photos to over a dozen photo agencies, but the sales volumes of smaller excellent are quite weak, and I do not want to list them here. Here’s a list of stock photo agencies that I recommend you to try:
- Shutterstock www.shutterstock.com
- Fotolia www.fotolia.com
- Dreamstime www.dreamstime.com
- Bigstock www.bigstockphoto.com
- 123RF www.123rf.com
- iStockphoto www.istockphoto.com
- Depositphotos www.depositphotos.com
- CanStockPhoto www.canstockphoto.com
How much money can you earn?
Giving a direct answer to this question is impossible. It’s almost the same as if you ask that how much money you can save if you start saving today. So there is no limit, but the accumulation of income, in the beginning, is slow. The pace, however, will improve when you get more photos approved for sale.
The more pictures you have on sale and the more they are sold, the more photo agencies will emphasize your images in their search results. That is, sales volumes will increase for sure if only you are persistent and purposeful.
To achieve substantial sales revenue, you must have thousands, even tens of thousands of images on sale. But when you get your routine for post-processing and keywording the photos in place, it becomes easier and more comfortable to produce sales images and increase sales volumes. The beginning is always hard, and this old fact is right here too.
Personally, I noticed that my photo sales started adequately in Shutterstock only after loading the first hundred pictures up for sale. Before that, it was more of a game of making mistakes and learning. Fortunately, I managed to climb over that barrier, and I know it is possible for you, too.
In the beginning, the idea of putting thousands of pictures on sale was discouraging, so I decided to move on one photo at a time until I knew that selling my photos would be the right choice for me. Now I know it is.
When would it be the right time to start selling your photos?
There is no wrong time to start selling your photos, but now it is maybe easier than ever. On the basis of what I have heard, many have tried but left it for one reason or another. The main reason is probably that the enthusiasm has been lauded because the images haven’t been accepted for sale on the first try.
However, times have changed, and recent changes in photo agencies’ criteria allow more photographers to become contributors. Recently, I wrote a post about how Shutterstock lowered the requirements for new contributors. And it is now shown as a vast image volume and growth in Shutterstock. It is a trend that image agencies want more and more pictures in their sales catalog.
You should start selling your photos right away
So it would seem that it is now easy to get pictures approved for sale in photo agencies. Traditionally, stock photo agencies have been strict in image quality, but now they want to have as many images as possible for sale. The downside here is that competition is even harder. However, with persistent work, selling your images will give you excellent extra income, so you should start selling them right now. The sooner you start, the better you get!
I recommend that you start selling photos in either Shutterstock or Fotolia, and then expand to other photo agencies afterward. I’ll be sharing tips and my own experiences in the future, and I also love to hear about your photo sales experience. You can write your story in the comments of this post. Good luck with your photo sales!