Does anyone sell their photos on stock photography sites?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by c_pass, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. c_pass

    c_pass TPF Noob!

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    With my day job, I find myself using shutterstock alot for stock images...

    Do you put your photos up on these sites and do you make any kind of profit from doing so?

    Nikon D5100


     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  2. MTVision

    MTVision Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I looked up shutterstock and it says you can make .25 up to 28.00 per download as a contributor.
     
  3. honoryourlife

    honoryourlife TPF Noob!

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    So is there some sort of review process? Like how do you go about sending them stock photos and I assume they own the photos?
     
  4. c_pass

    c_pass TPF Noob!

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    Thanks MTVision.

    I was wondering if you or anyone currently do it or have done it in the past?

    Nikon D5100
     
  5. spacefuzz

    spacefuzz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    microstock is a tough tough buisiness to get into. I looked at it for a while but in the end my photography was worth more in the fine art market. If you have some want to be model friends though, they always love shots with people in them so you might be able to break into the market that way.
     
  6. JG_Coleman

    JG_Coleman No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Stock photography, at least through micro-stock agencies, is an extremely challenging way to make money. Royalty-free images go for such incredibly low prices these days that unless you can manage to sell hundreds -if not thousands- of times per year, you'll make next to nothing. Or, I should say, you will not even cover the costs of your time and equipment.

    There ARE people that make some decent cash selling royalty-free, but it should be understood that these individuals:

    a) have stock portfolios of thousands of images that cover a wide range of subjects

    b) have incredible shots that cater directly to market trends (i.e. oftentimes they shoot specifically what customers want, not necessarily what they enjoy shooting)

    Most often, the people that have true success in micro-stock fulfill both A and B!

    The bare-bones reality is that VERY FEW photographers are industrious enough to make enough money for micro-stock to be a worthwhile endeavor.

    There is indeed a review process for every micro-stock agency. Generally, you must first apply. This application process will vary from agency to agency, but usual involves sending them some number of photographs such that they can review the overall quality of your work. If they don't like what they see, you will be rejected.

    If they do approve of your work, they will admit you. But, understand, it isn't as if you simply add your photos at will afterwards. When you get accepted, you're basically given an account and a control panel at which you can upload all your subsequent photos for review. Every single photograph that you submit will be reviewed... and either be accepted or rejected.

    The micro-stock agency DOES NOT OWN YOUR PHOTOGRAPH. You maintain your copyright, but merely license the photograph to customers through the agency. They take a cut (oftentimes a pretty big cut) and give the rest to you. You can offer "exclusivity" to the agency, whereby you are legally obligated to license the photo ONLY through them, but the photo is still owned by you. This will usually get you more profit.

    All in all:

    There are a rare few that do REALLY GREAT through micro-stock... but suffice to say, they are so rare that you will probably never meet one. Most people are very lucky to pull-down a couple hundreds bucks a year. The ordinary person that gets accepted into any given agency will probably make a miserable pittance... selling rarely and ultimately have a stock portfolio that collects "digital dust". The micro-stock market is driven by trends... and only those photographers that are extremely flexible and on the pulse of those trends will make any real money.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    JG_Coleman alludes to the fact that there are 2 kinds of stock photography agencies, and 2 kinds of use licensing.

    The microstock outfits like Shutterstock, Fotolia, iStockphoto, Dreamstime, Bigstockphoto.

    Then there are the stock agencies like Getty Images, Alamy, and Corbis.

    Microstock agencies mostly sell RF use licenses (Royalty-Free)
    The big stock agencies mostly sell RM use licenses:
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Personally I think you'd make a lot more taking a few good landscape pics - printing and framing them and then hanging them in a local teashop with a price - one sale from that (minus any commission from the shop) and chances are you'd make more than you would with dozens of photos in micro stock.
     
  9. McNugget801

    McNugget801 TPF Noob!

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    I use Getty.
     
  10. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have a few images on a couple microstock sites... Yes, you can make some money - but it's not much.You could make more on a single print sale than you would all year selling on microstock sites.
     
  11. imagemaker46

    imagemaker46 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I supply to a agency in Japan that makes me some ok money every year. All sports and only Japanese athletes. If you find the right stock agency you can make money, if you find the wrong agency they make money, you don't.
     
  12. mavrik

    mavrik TPF Noob!

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