In the Information Age with all of its technological capabilities, stock photography images can now be bought and sold digitally in all corners of the world. Magazines, book publishers, interior decorators, home architects, website developers, service companies, and marketing companies all have a need for stock photography at some point in time to enhance the marketability for their company. Sometimes having the right visual media is just what is needed to add that extra touch increase sales. That presents an opportunity for any photographer. If you are prepared to learn the ins and outs of the stock photography business, then it’s possible to do well.
Here you can find 8 sites that accept stock photography submissions, as well as some of the higher paying micro stock photography websites.
1.) Big Stock Photo
With BigStockPhoto.com, you will earn $0.50 cents for every credit that a customer spends on your image, up to $3 per download. If you choose to provide additional usage rights to allow customers to print your image on a poster, greeting card or any other product, you will receive a special licensing commission at 35% of the sale. Contributors may request a payout when their balance reaches $30.
2.) Shutter Stock
With ShutterStock.com, you will earn $0.25 cents per download of your image until you have reached $500 in lifetime earnings. The reason that the royalty rates for images at Shutterstock.com are lower than other stock photography sites is because they sell subscriptions to customers who download many images. When your earnings are $500 to $3,000, you will earn $0.33 cents per download. Contributors may request a payout when their balance reaches $75.
3.) IStock Photo
With IStockPhoto.com, you will earn a royalty rate of 15% for each download of your image. If you have had at least 250 downloads with a minimum 50% approval rating, you can choose to make IStockPhoto.com your exclusive agent so that you will get a higher royalty rate of 22% to 45% per download. IStockPhoto.com also accepts audio and video contributions. Contributors may request a payout when their balance reaches $100.
With Alamy.com, you will earn a whopping 60% royalty fee on all of your images. This company is among the better ones in terms of paying the highest royalty rates to its contributors. Alamy.com also does do not force you to give them exclusive rights of your image, so you are free to sell your image through other stock photography resellers.
With SubmitStockPhotos.com, the unofficial monthly earning average is about $1 per image. This is assuming that clients who have purchased a subscription have downloaded your image 10,000 times in a month. SubmitStockPhotos.com allows you to keep 100% ownership rights on your images so that you can sell your photos through your own website or other sources at any time.
With US.Fotolia.com, you can earn about $0.30 cents per image download by the site’s monthly subscribers. When your image is sold as a single-image download, you could earn 25% to 63% per download. Contributors can request a payout when their balance reaches $50.
With Veer.com, you can earn a substantial amount by selling different sized images. You can earn as low as $0.35 cents for every image that is downloaded. As the size of your photo increases, so does your earnings. Extra large photos can receive an unbelievable $5.25 per download! Contributors can request a payout when their balance reaches $100.
Their uploading process is much easy as compared to others. And, they’ll share 50% with you if your images has been downloaded.
9.) 500px Prime
Five million photographers list their stock images with 500px, according to the site. You’ll receive 70% net for every license sold (standard licenses are $250), and your images may appear in big-name ad campaigns if you submit them for commercial licensing.
To give 500px Prime a try, first sign up for a free account on 500px .Then submit your photos, enable your store and complete the required forms for each image (including model releases, liability releases, etc.).
You’ll also have the option of selecting an exclusive or non-exclusive license for the images. You’ll earn more for an exclusive license, but that means you can’t license or sell the photo to anyone else.
10.) SmugMug Pro
SmugMug Pro lets you keep 85% of the markup for your images. The catch is you have to buy a Pro subscription, starting at $12.50 per month, to take advantage of this high royalty; there’s no free option.
Once you sign up, you’ll upload photos, select the products you want to sell and pick prices.
This is a good site for someone with a true entrepreneurial mindset, since you get to decide how much to charge for your images.
Etsy’s not just for selling wedding decorations, custom Halloween costumes and quirky cat-themed gifts. You can also sell your photos!
While the fee structure is beneficial to a photographer (Etsy keeps 20 cents on each sale as well as 3.5% of the sale price), you have to put in extra work to make those sales.
While people browsing stock photo websites are specifically looking to purchase images, not everyone browsing Etsy will necessarily be looking for photos. And people looking for photos may not think to look on Etsy.
That’s why, if you choose to sell your images on this site, you’ll need to invest time and energy into marketing your designs and images. But Etsy takes such a small cut of each sale, it may be worth your while.
Hopefully that gives a few budding stock shooters a place to get started. Stock photography isn’t an easy way to make money (top micro stock shooters work damn hard), but it is an opportunity that is there if you want to grab it.
Your Turn: Have you sold your photos online? Did you use one of these sites, and how much did you earn?