Making money selling stock photos

A lot of people like to take photographs. Whether it’s images of nature, the city, exotic locations, or even random, every day objects like a bicycle or a soft drink can, photographs are being taken every day. But these photos are copyrighted by the people taking them, and when someone builds a web site or other creation and needs an image of something, anything, they can’t just search for a specific photo and take it. That’s where stock photo sites come in. These sites offer generic photographs about an endless amount of subjects, for a fee, to corporations or individuals who need them. But for someone who knows how to take photos, these sites also offer a good opportunity to make money.

First, you need a basic set of equipment to make photos that can then be sold. Typically, stock imagery doesn’t need to be extremely high quality, but it needs to be in high definition, and to be taken with a good camera. You will need a buy a decent camera if you don’t already own one, and learn how to do close up portraits. Once you have your equipment, you then need to take photos of things that may be needed as stock imagery. Remember that most of the people who buy these types of images are businesses. In truth, they may need almost any kind of image, but most of the ones that sell have to do with corporate life, like people in professional outfits doing something, or pictures of buildings, or office supply like papers, a computer, and so on. That isn’t to say your photo of a couple on vacation in Paris couldn’t make a stock photo, but it’s less likely to sell.

Another thing you need to remember is how copyright works. Typically, you can take a photo, and the copyright of that image lies with whoever took it. However, if you take an image of someone else, you should have their permission to sell it as stock imagery. The same is true for trademark names. If you take a photo of a building with a well known corporation name on it, then chances are you would need their permission to then sell it. A good rule of thumb is to stick to photos of common items. Remember that even the most random object, such as a flash light, TV remote or water bottle can make a good stock image.

Once you have your images, then you can start uploading them to the various stock imagery websites. There are a lot of them, and they usually offer two types of compensations. The first type is to pay for each photo they accept, and the second type is to pay a percentage of each sale from one of your photos. The second type of payment is the most common, which means you’ll only make money if people actually want to buy your photos. Still, stock imagery can be a good way to make money if you know how to capture the subject.


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