Selling Stock Photos Uk
If you think photography is an expensive hobby, you’re right, it can be. But that does not mean you need pro-quality equipment to make money from your own photos! Selling Stock Photos Uk
In actuality, if you have got a good phone camera along with a steady hand, you’re already in with a shot.
However you get your clicks, you will find a growing number of opportunities to monetise photos you’ve already taken. And if photography’s already your luggage, there are heaps more ways to develop your skills, and income; from selling your Insta inventory to pulling a Brooklyn Beckham (famous parents optional).
You know the drill: read, learn, and give it a celebration for yourself!
If you’ve got a digital camera (or fancy picking one up for a steal), you will have more options for selling pics to stock libraries, to sites for prints, or for print-on-demand products. This is because cameras will usually produce larger file photos (although some camera phones are trumping digi cams nowadays so this isn’t necessarily the case).
Got a camera phone? A growing amount of inventory libraries are catering for cellular snaps, plus you still have a shot at the other biz thoughts below. Keep reading!
It helps to have…
Some kind of editing software will help buff your pics for the best results, so it’s well worth sniffing out a nice bundle (and learning how to use it!) So you can make more money with your photos.
Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are industry standards for picture editing. But they cost bucks! Do not crack open your wallet until you’ve checked out the freebies:
- FastStone Image Viewer can open RAW files directly from your digital camera and save them as JPG, TIFF or PNGs. OK for basic edits such as color correction, straightening, cropping and contrast.
- Raw Therapee is a Lightroom-like editor with loads of tools for tweaking colors, curves and more.
- PIXLR is a convincing alternative to Photoshop, and even simplifies the same shortcuts right out the bag. You can run it directly from a browser / through the app for free.
- GIMP can do much of what Photoshop excels at, though some users reckon it is a tougher learning curve.
- There are tons of phone editing programs to be obtained for free or a few pence, but Snapseed (iPhone, Android, free) consistently makes the best-of lists.
- Do not overlook the bloatware image software bundled into your’puter, telephone or laptop. Many can make light work of the fundamentals.
Selling Through Stock Libraries
Stock libraries purchase’n’ sell digital photos to use on websites, in books, on products and even in advertisements, with the photographer getting a cut of the sale each time.
Selling photographs through a stock site is a top way to surf passive income streams: you can upload a photograph once and sell it over and over again, pretty much forever!
You may have to submit a choice of pics (and be accepted) until you may become a stock library contributor. After that, some websites will keep on reviewing all your submissions, and will gladly bounce any they do not think meet criteria.
What that means is you will always need to be on the ball about picking your best shots. Don’t get too hung up about rejections, however; join multiple websites and post pics to all of them to find the best possible coverage.
Which Websites Pay Most?
Swing by Alamy first. Their student contributor scheme gives you 100% of the sales price of your pictures for 2 years. Total win! Your uni will have to be part of the scheme, but loads of UK and US institutions are already on the books. Selling Stock Photos Uk
Alamy reckons images typically sell for $90 (USD) each, but you might get anywhere from $20 to $500 depending what it is used for. If you are not a student, or your uni is not enrolled, the pay-out’s still a fairly decent 50%. Selling phone pics through their Stockimo program (iStore only) provides you a 20% cut.
Other Websites to Check Out:
- Picfair comes with a twist: you decide how much your images sell for. Picfair then add 20% on top for their cut, but the sales price you set is what you get if your image sells.
- EyeEm: if Instagram and Alamy had a love child, this is what it would look like. EyeEm is a photo sharing website but, if you want to earn more than’enjoys’, you can also pimp your images through the marketplace. EyeEm split every sale with you 50/50, with photographs selling from $20-$250. EyeEm Bonus: regular how-to articles, themed missions run by big brands, plus you can upload pics via the web or phone.
- Foap is built around phone photographers, with everything handled through the app (Android, iTunes, free). Foap sells pictures for $10 each and divides it 50/50, so you will earn $5 a pic. They also run monthly Missions, where you are able to submit photos on a theme to be in with a chance of winning extra cash and perks.
Big Name Websites
Dreamstime offer up to 60 percent for exclusives. How much your photo sells for also goes up the longer it is downloaded: newbie images start at between $0.34 and $2.38 (USD). If you are shooting on a phone, start with the free Dreamstime app (Android, iPhone).
IStock hands over 15 percent of an image’s sales price, but promise a bigger cut if you make the pic exclusive to the website. Photos typically sell for #7 or #20 a go, but the sort of license or subscription program the customer buys determines how your slice is calculated.
Shutterstock coughs up $0.25 (USD) per sale on the most common subscription programs, but say you’ll get a bigger cut as your life earnings pass different levels. To put that into context, once you’ve earned $10,000, you’ll be bumped up to the heady heights of 38 cents a picture…
Playing the Stock (photo) Market
Making money with stock photographs can involve a substantial cash-in, but there are a few things worth bearing in mind…
- Stock photography is a numbers game: if you want sales, you’ll need to upload a great deal of quality pics to a number of sites.
- Photos of people are constantly in demand, but anybody you pap may want to sign a model release form to say they’re OK with you using it (your stock library will have template forms you can print, sign and publish ).
- Check the account terms! When are you going to get paid, and in what currency? What happens to your photos if you would like to cancel your account later on?
- You often won’t get a say in how clients use your photographs, so in case you don’t need your selfies turning up in ads for STDs or hemorrhoid ointment, do not upload’em!
- Sign-up for contributor newsletters, as they could clue you in on what sells, what to snap next, as well as how to improve your camera or editing skills.
- Add loads of keywords when you upload your images. It helps people find (and hopefully buy!) your pics.
Promoting Your Prints
There is loads of liberty in selling prints (i.e., printed copies of your photos). You decide what to take, who to market to, and for how much and, like selling through stock libraries, it can be a nice little passive income earner.
Now, before you leg it down to Boots to batch print your holiday snaps, there is a little more to it. While you can run off pictures on your home printer or at a high-street lab, better quality means greater profits! Selling Stock Photos Uk
That means using a proper printing lab (one which excels in art or framed prints), opting for expert paper, or even selling limited or signed editions. Seems like a drag? Not necessarily; there’s inspiration below to get you started.
Use a Photo Host
Photographer-friendly website hosts give you a safe place to store your digital pics, a portfolio (so you can show’em off) and shopping tools (so you can sell prints, downloads and wall art).
They even handle the printing and any postage each time you make a purchase. Hashtag hallelujah, right?
But the big catch is, not only do they charge for hosting your website, they also take a cheeky cut from each sale — and that is not everyone’s cup of cocoa! If you want to give it a whirl, be aware of free 14-day trials until you pony up the cash: try Zenfolio or Smugmug.
Get Your Own Photo Shop
As an alternative, you can always get your own site or Etsy shop and hang onto more of your profit!
Obtaining prints or gifts to market is also super easy; go for print-on-demand and you won’t need to store any stock (or be out of pocket if you can not shift it!) .
Sell on Social Media Platforms
Eventually the social media giants will wise-up and begin letting us sell photos and other content directly from our profiles.
But until then, have a hint from street photographer Daniel Arnold: he offered Instagram followers the opportunity to order prints from his feed and made $15k in one day. Obviously it helps if you’ve already got a solid fanbase, but if you have talent (and the ideal hashtags) it is worth a shot!
The best thing about selling on social media is that you don’t even need a website: your feed is your portfolio, and you’ve got a enormous potential audience!
Print-on-demand is a brilliantly simple way to make moolah from mouse mats, keyrings, t-shirts, bags, books and more — often with zero setup costs.
The actual beauty of print-on-demand is that while you can advertise a great deal of products, none of them really exist until somebody buys’em — so there’s no inventory to shop, lose, or fall over. Better still, there are sites out there that do all of the producing, printing and submitting for you, so all you’ve got to do is take the photographs!
Blurb enables you to create photo books just by importing your Facebook or Insta pictures — and you can sell your finished book on Blurb or Amazon.co.uk. You can even advertise books on your own website (if you’ve got one), but have Blurb/Amazon handle the payment. Easy! Selling Stock Photos Uk
Gifts and Goodies
Turns out you can slap a photograph on pretty much anything, from shower curtains to pet clothing and PJs; and you do not even need a glue gun to get started!
Most print-on-demand outfits allow you to upload your photographs (or illustrations), choose which products you wish to sell them on, and then give you a cut of the profits if they market.
- CafePress pays you 10% if your products sell in their market, but you may choose to have your very own online shop and add a mark-up into the cost (which you get as your royalty) instead. It is free to set up and run a store, but CafePress take 10% of your royalties monthly, up to a $10 max.
- Zazzle enables you to set your own royalty rate between 5 percent and 99 percent but, while it’s tempting to dial it up to full whack, remember that your cut is added to the sales price: go OTT and you may find it harder to make sales.
- With Spreadshirt you may add a mark-up of $1 to $20 on items sold through the market, or you can open your own store and grab 20% commission.
- Redbubble begins with a product base cost and allows you to add on a mark-up — the default is 20%, but you can tweak it as much as you like.
Running a print-on-demand shop is low-fuss and cheap — if you are contented with the occasional sale, it can be a wonderful way to make cash on the side for relatively little work.
The word from successful sellers is that, to make proper bucks, you’ll want to put in the hours (so just like a job, sadly). We’re talking uploading plenty of photos or layouts, getting the word out, and generally try!
Selling photos anonymously online is simple enough. But if you want to build a rep, get more glory or just have customers of your own, here are some tips to get started as a freelance photographer:
- Know your market . When it’s people, pets, food or something completely left-field, it’s a lot easier to market yourself whether your portfolio showcases what you do best.
- Take the time to learn your craft. You may get lucky selling stock in case you don’t know your aperture from your elbow, but you can’t afford to chance it if someone’s paying you for wedding pics!
- Work out your rate and make sure it covers your time, your prices and leaves you a little on top for gain. And get insurance for your equipment!
- Give to photograph events, parties or portraits for friends and family to develop a portfolio, and ask them to spread the word for you. Or hunt out your favourite bloggers and pitch them your pic ideas!
- Batter your social media account with your best pics, let folk know you are available, and tell’em how to get in touch. Get cheeky and choose alternative promo shots for brands, then label them to get noticed.
- Get in contact with picture editors at newspapers, magazines or sites and ask if you can submit photos or cover local events.
- You may have more chance of getting adopted by Madonna than getting a press pass, but it is like a golden ticket that could get you into sports, fashion and other exclusive events. You’ll want to apply each time (or be a member of the National Union of Journalists) but, as soon as you’re in, you’re going to get plenty of saleable photo opps!
While everybody with an Insta account appears to reckon they’re a pro photographer, the reality is that being a freelancer is probably the toughest route you can take.
You’ll need a great deal of patience, perseverance, good shoes and decent pics — and you may well have to give away images for free when you first start out to get noticed. If you’re in it for the career, do not give up. If you are in it for the money, get your game on with the other ideas on this page in the meantime!
Bonus Tips for Aspiring Photographers
- Carry your camera everywhere — and not just when you’re doing something or going somewhere special. Loads of companies and brands are after photos of daily life and often it is the simple things that produce the best pics — think roads, food (street food?) , facial expressions, family, pets, sports… anything!
- Back-up your best pics (or some you’d hate to lose): keep copies on an external drive or in cloud storage (Dropbox provides you 2GB of space for free).
- As soon as you start getting sales, get to grips with tax and the freelancing fundamentals. It will save you stress in the long run, and can save you cash on your tax bill.
- You might not have the ability to sell photos should they include trademarked products, brands or perhaps specific buildings. Check out the terms with your stock library, or get the company involved and ask if you require permission to hawk your own snaps.
- Don’t just do the same-old or what everyone else is doing. Quirky, cute or weird is always in vogue. Amen to that! Selling Stock Photos Uk