What is stock photography?
Stock or microstock photography is a type of business model where hobbyist and amateur photographers up
load their work of photos to online agency, and then the agency sell to their targeted customer (normally small business owner or online application) at a much lower cost. In comparison to those project oriented professional photographer.
Due to its nature of business and generally distributed on a royalty free basis, it became a sound business trend at this high speed internet age.
How much can I earn?
If you really work on it, 3 to 4 digits (USD) monthly earning is absolutely possible.
You can browse my FAQ page to check on the earning schedule from each stock agencies.
What can I sell?
Stock agencies are companies that looking for profit. They are constantly seeking for strong, clearly defined commercial media contents with creative insight and uniqueness. Nonetheless, the media file need to have high technical quality level in terms of detail, color and lighting.
It sound complex. But Dreamstime provided a quick illustration and explanation on what is a technically good quality photos.
Simple content can sell and all is just around us. One of the articles from Dreamstime article demonstrate how you can turn the ‘just above your head’, free resource – the SKY into a commercial-able photo.
My Experience with Stock Photography Agencies
I did not start my photography hobby with the aim to become a stock photographer. Until now, photography and video-graphy to me are still a hobby. Most of the time, I only shot during the weekend as I have a full time job during weekday.
Rather than call myself as stock photographer, I am more a weekend photographer.
So why I get involved in stock photography?
For me, stock photography serve 2 main purposes below:
a channel to proof your photography works are competitive even at international level,
- passive income (a source of income received in a regular basis, with little effort to maintain). Although it is unable to pay my family full bill, at least it is able to support this seriously expensive hobby.
At this moment of time, I only manage to work on 3 most famous stock agencies below. With most of the time, I do focus on Shutterstock. May be due to this, I get my monthly payout from Shutterstock. While for iStock and Dreamstime, I only able to obtain intermittent payout.
My First Approved Stock Agency – Shutterstock
Back in year 2008, I obtained my first stock agency approval from Shutterstock.
As you aware, Shutterstock require your first batch to have a minimum of 7 out of 10 photos approved before you can obtain an account in Shutterstock.
Here are my first 8 out of 10 approved photos back in year 2008.
Do take note the the only thing that never change in is world is “all things keep changing”. My example before only serve as a reference and submitting the exact similar content will not guarantee Shutterstock will approve your account.
The market is very dynamic and the content requirement changes across time. For example a photo shot of businessman with Motorola hand phone might not be popular now compare to a businessman using a Apple or Samsung smart phone.
Some photo demand saturated and some new niche emerge up. So, my advise is focus on the content and be creative.
Other Stock Agencies
For sure there are plenty more stock photo agencies. For newbie, I would recommend to start with Shutterstock as based on my experiences, they are the most efficient (review and approving your photos) and the only agency that provide me with a consistence income. They have high number of sales daily.