How to Make Money with Stock Photography


Until now, photography was only considered as a hobby. Now, people are drifting towards the idea of making their hobby into a career, and turning passion into work. If you are a photographer, you must have thought about turning those thousands of unused photographs, sitting idle on your hard drive into use. Something that can make you some money. Doesn’t it sound appealing? The concept of Stock Photos can make that dream come true.

It doesn’t matter if you are a professional photographer looking for your main income or a budding hobbyist looking for a side hustle, selling your captures as stock photos is definitely a valuable thing to have in your quiver.

You must be wondering how realistic it is to sell your captures to earn money. Don’t worry. This article will replenish all your doubts regarding stock photography and various ways to earn your daily wage from it.

What is Stock Photography?

By now, it is safe to assume that you know what stock photographs are. In case you are new here, let us explain what stock photography is.

Stock Photographs are professionally clicked photos of various places, landmarks, people, things, and basically anything that you can think of. These photographs are bought or sold on a royalty-free basis by companies and individuals according to their needs.

Stock photographs not only help photographers to earn some quick cash, but it also helps companies to save money. Thanks to stock photos, companies need not hire professional photographers to click photographs. They can buy royalty-free photos for a minimal amount, and use them whenever they want. Stock Photographs can be anything, from simple clip art to computer-generated graphics.

There are certain term and conditions that come along with stock photography like licensing of the captured image, limiting the maximum number of copies of the image to be printed, and a million more conditions. Stock Photos can be sold to various websites like Focused Collection or Shutterstock.

Is It Possible To Make Some Real Money?

The internet is filled with attractive headlines like, “I just made $1000 in one month by selling stock photos”. But, can you earn by selling stock photos? The short answer is, possibly.

However, it is not at all simple like it seems and definitely not easy. You might wake up one day and decide to upload all of your dust-gathering photos lurking in your hard drive. Will that earn you money? NO! Even if the photos are of Einstein moonwalking his way into his lab, you can’t earn real money from those. You need to possess what the Stock photo buyers want. Once you have the key to the needs of them, you will see some money rolling moonwalking into your bank account.

Diffeent Ways To Make Money From Stock Photo-Sites

– Firstly, make a kickass website to host your photographs. Lure the customers in with some amazing photographs and make them available for free. Once they get attached to your creative vision, they will want more, and that’s when the clients will be ready to pay for getting exclusive photographs captured by you.
Pro tip: Leave some space on your website for advertisement. No matter how insignificant, little advertisement money never hurts.

– Taking it to the next level, you can host your work in a gallery for private clients to buy directly from you.

– The most amazing marketing idea is to print your work on your merchandise like t-shirts, mugs, notebooks, or bags. Once they become popular, you will be the most sought after photographer dude in town.

– Finally, if you don’t have the means to try any of the above ways, don’t worry. You can upload your captures to different stock photography websites like Focused Collection and get commissions.

How Much Will You Get?

Now that we have covered how to make money let’s see how much can we make. In short, it depends upon the frequency of approved photos and how quickly it goes up on sale.

According to professional photographer Alexandre Rotenberg, you need to upload a minimum of 6000 uniquely captured photographs to get a regular monthly passive income of $500. With a laser-sharp focus, you can manage to click 100 photographs in a month. Even at that rate, it will take 4 or 5 years to upload 6000 photos.

You can get a few cents per download, and if you upload in bulk, then those cents can add up to big numbers. In a nutshell, this is not going to make you rich that quick. However, exceptions are always there and who knows, you might turn out lucky.

Hacks and Tips For Selling Your Captures

As a photographer, you know the basics of the pie, like proper research and planning. Here are a few more of those to take your photography game to the next level:

– 1. Don’t get too much impressed by the quality of work you see on these websites too much. Keep in mind that most of them are professionals and are doing this for years. You are just starting out. The only difference between you and them is the experience. Don’t worry. You will get there someday.
– 2. The most important thing: Keywording is the best way in which prospective clients can find your work. Be as descriptive and specific as you can. If you click a picture of an apple, use the keyword “apple” instead of “fruit.”
– 3. Who is going to buy this: Keep your audience in mind. The customer’s need is like a lock, and once you find the key to that lock, you have hit the jackpot.
– 4. Be unique and don’t copy from other’s works as clients can easily spot that, and you will be viewed in a bad light. There is nothing better than originality in this line of work.
– 5. Pay attention and learn from rejections and come back with a bang.