sell your stock photos

How to successfully sell your stock photos

What are you currently doing with all the photos you’ve taken? Are they just taking up a gazillions of hard drive or cloud space? Well, we hope you’ll agree when we say it’s time to make some dollars and sell your photos!

But where? And who would want to buy my photos, you may wonder. Well, for a lot of companies, web and print publications, purchasing a stock photo is much easier and cheaper than organizing a whole photo shoot.

Continue reading and we will tell you where to sell your stock photos and enlighten you about the do’s and don’ts of stock photography.

How to sell your stock photos

The three best ways to sell your stock photos are

  1. On your own website
  2. Offering your photos to newspapers or other online and print publications or
  3. Through third party websites.

The most popular third party websites on which to sell stock photos are Shutterstock, Fotolia, Dreamstine, 500px, Getty Images and istock. Simultaneously, these websites have the highest requirements and most will quality-check your submitted photos on size, exposure, and other factors.

How to take great stock photos that people want to buy

Think about what advertisers want. For example, they’re looking for images that have enough space on the sides, so that they can fit text. Also, they’re looking for candid shots (i.e. a naturally smiling woman in her 50’s) and nothing where there’s too much going on (who wants a fully-cluttered desk?). Mostly, simplicity is key. Upload rather large photos to let the buyer see the details. Check out the stock photo site’s most popular downloads to get a glimpse of what people are looking for. If you can narrow down to a niche, even better, because then it’ll be easier for you to dominate it.

Use descriptive keywords that let the buyer know what s/he can expect to see. Start by answering the who, what, where, when, how, and why questions. For images with space for text, include “bleed” or “copy space” in your keywords. The ideal number of keywords ranges between 20 and 25. Don’t use less than ten. Also, use conceptual keywords describing the depicted scene such as “working remotely” or “one of a kind” that are not literal, but let the buyer know about the concept of your image. Double-check your spelling and don’t include small words such as “and” or “the.”

Why you need a model and/or property release before selling your photos

Whether or not the person in your image is aware of you taking it, this model has to give you written consent that you’re allowed to sell the photo s/he’s in. Stock photo sites require model releases for every image that shows a person recognizably. For best practice, have your model sign a release prior to your photo shoot, so you don’t have to hunt him/her down for his/her signature.

Also, be aware of monuments and museums, statues and gardens, because they may not allow you to sell your photographs with the location in it – most notably, the Eiffel Tower at night or the Statue of Liberty. For an extensive list of the locations which shouldn’t be in your stock photos, check out this article.

What’s not allowed to show in your stock photos

Did you know that big name brands such as adidas, Pepsi, and major sports leagues’ logos can’t show in your commercially used photos because they’re trademarked and thus protected?

Or that you can’t sell your photos that depict Seattle’s Space Needle or the Las Vegas or the Hollywood Sign, for example? Trying to sell photos of currency, certain awards or the Rubik’s Cube can also get you into trouble. For an extensive list of what shouldn’t be in your stock photos, check out this article.

Now – what are you waiting for? Go ahead and shoot, shoot, shoot (images!). If someone downloads or uses one of your images without your permission online, or better yet, has the decency to make profit from YOUR photos, don’t hesitate to contact us! We at LAPIXA help you enforce your copyright and make sure you’ll get compensated for you work! Find more Informations about our free service here.