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  • Stock photo websites
  • Anyone uploaded photos they have taken to a stock photo website and been paid when it is used?

    I’m curious to how it all works and would like feedback on which websites to look at.

    lol not worth your time! Honestly the payouts are very low: I probably earn 200-300 a year from mine across 3 sites (well now only two since Fotolia got bought out and Adobe stole my balance). Over the past four to five years, it maybe paid for a camera or a lens but there is very little money in ‘the image’ – the value in photography comes from the ‘service’ i.e. weddings, corporate events, etc. A decent wedding photographer might make 800-1500 a day plus editing time. The problem with stock photography is the sheer mass of it – the industry has effectively cannibalized itself. When I first starting selling with Alamy.com, images would reach 300 dollars a hit. Now you’re lucky for 30 dollars.

    So basically, don’t think those several hundred images you’ve got lying around that it’s just a case of uploading them and cashing in. They almost certainly won’t sell or there are already far better images up there that get frequent hits therefore rise to the top of the search engines. IF you do want to go ahead, the types of images that tend to sell most are ones with people and model releases – try hiring a model in the UK who’s OK with unlimited release and giving their image to potentially sell anything from car insurance to herpes treatment. You’ll be competing with photographers based in Eastern Europe where attractive young models are cheap and living costs are low, therefore they can be competitive with studio costs etc. It takes time to build up a solid portfolio that reaches buyers at the top of the search engines: companies put the best selling and therefore most expensive images at the top. Yours will be at the bottom (to begin with).

    Stock Photography is also soul-destroyingly bland: Think smiling generic models in suits or with hands-free kits on their heads. If you insist on going ahead, study what kind of images sell the most, invest in some good lighting equipment and a ‘pro’ level lens kit. How your images sell is down to how smart you are with finding niche’s in markets and keywording – very important to give your images visiblity in a crowded marketplace. Lastly, you need to be good at spotting trends before they develop so if you hired models in PPE gear crying and looking sad/tired, and uploaded these in January, you’d probably do OK off them, maybe even break even after the modeling costs etc.

    One last thing: Stock companies aren’t stupid. THey have minimum payouts so you need to clear 100 dollars for Dreamstime.com, this might take you years. Alamy is 50.00 quid, not sure about Adobe. Getty are hard to get with and will only take the best. Everything else is a waste of time.

    Good luck:)

    PS

    Alamy.com (decent pay outs when you get them, images need to pass QR)

    Dreamstimes.com (low payouts, 100 dollar payout minimum, will take anything off you)

    Adobe Stock photo (Not sure about these, probably worth looking into).

    Getty Images. (the big one and the hardest to get with).

    sands
    Member

    fatmountain Member

    ^^^ good posts

    Stock Photography is also soul-destroyingly bland: Think smiling generic models in suits…

    This one is ‘Female Engineer‘
    Subtitle: Neither model or photographer have a clue as to which part of a soldering iron gets rather hot.

    I guess it comes down to expectations.

    I’m not after an extra income was just curious how much money per photo. I’d be happy with 50p per photo!

    supernova
    Member

    It’s how I’ve earned my living for the past 15 years.

    None of the agencies treat their photographers equitably.

    I think this pandemic will be the beginning of the end for me – ironic as July’s National Geographic cover will be one of my images.

    Going out on a high note!

    I’m not after an extra income was just curious how much money per photo. I’d be happy with 50p per photo!

    That is partly the problem with stock photography.

    Feel free to upload some of your best images and I’ll give some feedback or just have a look at what sells on stock photography sites. I found most of my pictures made three or four sales over the space of 4-5 years – not because they’re bad photos especially but just because they’re not really in demand and there is very high competition. I had several images which sold hundreds of times and that’s mostly what earned me some pocket money.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    I’ve made a few £100 over the years from Flickr, every so often I get a random email asking to use an image and offering to pay for it. Then again, every so often someone just steals my image and plasters it all over their company vans!

    ironic as July’s National Geographic cover will be one of my images.

    Very impressive, they are normally the best of the best! Can you show us the image?

    supernova
    Member

    It’s an image of stars over Mt. Everest. The July issue is an Everest special I think:

    https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/photo/stars-shining-above-mt-everest-summit-himalaya-royalty-free-image/626214298

    This is the sort of stuff I shoot:

    https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/search/photographer?assettype=image&photographer=fotovoyager&phrase=&sort=purerecency#license

    If you enjoy photography as a hobby and already have a job, I’d keep it that way. Working in the bear pit of professional photography will suck a lot of the joy out of something you enjoy. Like being a professional cyclist I imagine.

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Subscriber

    There’s a bit of a stink at the moment over Shutterstock changing their T&C’s, so instead of building up year on year, every photographer starts from scratch every year. Photographers are not happy!

    Shutterstock’s New Tiered Royalty Structure Sparks Photographer Fury Upon Contact with the Internet

    supernova
    Member

    That is a pretty sneaky move even for an industry notorious for underhand tactics.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    This is the sort of stuff I shoot:

    Are the models your family (walking shots)?

    @ supernova
    Wow, stunning pictures

    supernova
    Member

    Yes, that’s how they earned pocket money when growing up.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    I use iStock (part of Getty) extensively for work.

    There is a lot of material on there, but there’s also a lot of gaps in the “real people doing normal things” kind-of area.

    If I were a photographer, I’d look to try to serve that bit of the market. Stock photography that doesn’t look like stock photography.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    This one is ‘Female Engineer‘

    “Bad stock photos of my job” is a thing.

    https://twitter.com/search?q=%23badstockphotosofmyjob

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Don’t get me started on WTF stock photos.

    I look at some of them and my mind literally boggles.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    And then there’s Hide the pain Harold…

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/nov/08/experience-hide-the-pain-harold-face-became-meme-turned-it-into-career

    Never understood why anyone used those photos, he looks like he’s passing a pineapple and not a small one…

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