When you make pictures for stock agencies, you have to worry about the right resolution, the right subject, and the question of whether to offend someone when you sell his picture or photo from his home. If you have solved these questions, you still need to consider a few technical specifications to make money with stock photography and of the agencies.
What Kind of Photo Acceptable By Photo Agencies?
- Stock agencies like sharp pictures. Of course, you can also work with depth of field. But remember, if you are not the artist. There are other portals for this.
- Stock agencies do not like noisy pictures. If the colors seem to go wrong, if there are any disturbances in the picture, there is an exclusion criterion.
- Pay attention to the correct exposure. Too bright, too dark or too strong shadows are not desired.
- The same motif in multiple colors bore stock agencies.
- Do not you think of making a hot series of photos of your neighbor’s Porsche or Mercedes. Brand logos are absolutely c on stock agencies.
The Payment Models of Stock Agencies
Basically, the agencies distinguish whether an image is sold in a small or very large amount. This has an impact on the fee they receive: the larger a photograph can be printed, the more money there is. However, more and more agencies are offering subscription models to their customers. This is favorable for the customer, he pays an amount X and is allowed to download a number Y of pictures every month. That’s one for the photographer
annoying on the one hand, because with the subscription model he gets less.
On the other hand, the chance of getting a particular image more frequently is higher. If you do not like the subscription model, you can exclude many of the providers from uploading the pictures that their own photos are sold by subscription.
Another offer of some agencies is to offer pictures there exclusively. However, this only pays off if the agency has many customers. Because for an exclusive picture you can make more money. But if the agency only sells a few pictures and does belong to them, you will not get more but less. For exclusivity, you should only decide when you have the first months of experience behind you.
Paid and Free Photos
Some platforms also suggest that images that are not good enough for customers to pay are available for download in the free section. You should weigh the pros and cons before agreeing. If you just want your pictures published somewhere, that’s certainly a possibility. If you want to earn money with the pictures, it is better to first offer them to another agency, which may include them in the paid section.
If you understand the free section as marketing for yourself, this way could work in principle. The question remains: are customers who access free images willing to pay enough to buy their photos at another time? This question can not be answered in general. But every photographer should have thought about it before giving away pictures.
Another fee model: Each photographer receives so-called credits for each photo he hires and accepts.
He can use these credits to buy pictures himself. If you post a lot of pictures but do not buy anyone, you’ll end up with a bunch of credits you do not need. On the other hand, other photographers use their free credits to buy your pictures – and you have none of them. That’s annoying. Think beforehand, whether you like it or not. The examples show that when it comes to billing, the agencies’ procedures are as varied as with all other topics.
Which Photography Agency Best For You
When it comes to make money with stock photography, it’s best to see whether it’s worth working with an agency or not. Because you can now calculate the average picture price.
Let’s say an agency has taken 80 pictures of you but has not sold one yet. So the value of one of your pictures is zero. Another agency only took 30 pictures of you but sold five of them in the same period. To be able to calculate easier, say, every picture has brought 20 cents. So split 20 cents through 30 pictures. That makes an image price of 0.67 cents. Not much, but better than nothing. After a few weeks or months, it should be clear which agencies are better suited to you should react. Stop feeding those who do not bring anything. Rather, focus on those who sell well.
However, the whole thing still has a catch. Because if you have sold a picture, that does not mean that you get paid your share. Rather, the stock agencies collect your sales until you have saved a set amount. That can be ten euros or $ 100. Depending on what is contractually agreed, it may take a long time for the first returns to flow into your account.
Sell Moving Pictures
Actually, it was clear: If you can sell photographs as stock material, then, of course, it is synonymous with moving images, so videos. The speech here is from the footage, so from the film material. This material may then be included, for example, in homepages, in cinema or commercials.
Footage brings the filmmaker more money than still images to the photographer. First, they are sold more expensive, second, there are not as many providers of video material as photos. However, the video production is also a bit more demanding. You should already be familiar with an editing program and the various formats and encodings before you try to earn money with videos.
The Tax Office
Attention! Depending on what you do for a living, the income from photo agencies can be taxed. For example, if you have a permanent position, you could suddenly become a part-time self-employed person. Or if you are still studying and are now using the income from photography over the tax limit. This can also affect student loan payments or health insurance contributions.
Apart from that, you could suddenly become subject to VAT, and if necessary, the tax office also requires trade tax. That’s why it makes sense to think about this new source of income early enough. Depending on which agencies you sign up for, it gets even more complicated. Because then you may suddenly have income in the US. It makes sense that you consult a tax adviser on this topic.
Art Instead of Stock Photography
Stock Photography is too stupid to you. You do not like the fact that there are so many rules to follow. You do not like the motives you’re looking for, and ultimately, you do not just want to earn cent amounts. Then there are other ways for you to make money with your photographs.
For example, many good websites offer photographers a platform to sell exactly the pictures they want to sell. So there is no editorial, which selects, which images may be set. Even when setting the price, the photographers are completely free. You decide what your photographs should cost. And you get the full amount, so you do not have to pay commissions like the stock agencies to the platform operators.
However, that has its price. Who wants to hire more than five works, pays in the month between five and seven euros, depending on how long the contract period should be.
Himself Is The Artist
Of course, you can also get completely independent of agencies. In principle, you do not need more than one website. There you can offer your pictures. If someone interested, they will send you an e-mail, send you an invoice and once they made a payment, send the photo – digitally or as a paper copy. This process can be accelerated by integrating a Micropayment service into your homepage. This can be for example PayPal. For this, you only need to register as a business customer on PayPal. Then you can easily create PayPal buttons at the click of a mouse.
You then insert the HTML code into your own homepage. If a customer wants to buy the photo, they will click the PayPal button when they are registered, follow the instructions, and you will get a message that you have received a transfer. Now you can send the picture.
In addition to Paypal, there are other micropayment providers. Familiarize yourself with the respective conditions before you decide on a provider. After all, even the micropayment providers get a piece of the cake for their service.
Of course, this is even more professional: For example, by installing a shop system on your homepage. But that also requires that you have enough photos to sell. So maybe it’s better to start small.
Save and Archive
When it comes to digital photography, you should also use thought for archiving and saving. The first step, of course, is to pull the pictures off the memory card of your camera and save them on your computer. The more photos you have, the more important a good filing system is.
For example, save all the photographs in a folder called “Pictures” or “Photos.” Within this folder, you should create a structure by year or by country or subject. How it suits you better, often a mixed form makes sense. You should also name the individual pictures in a meaningful way. After a few months or years, you probably no longer know where you took a picture.
However, this may be important to you. So an example would be, if you want to archive pictures of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin: 2011_01_15_berlin_brandenburger_gate. This is how you saved the correct date, place, and name of the place.
The more photos you make, the more meaningful a tagging of the pictures can be. For example, at the push of a button, you can find all pictures with sunsets or all those taken in the summer, if you have tagged them accordingly. This is best with special photo software possible. Photoshop Elements is just one way.
You should also delete the photos that you do not like and that you certainly can not sell. There is nothing more annoying than being confronted time and with images that are out of focus or that you do not like. Take a heart and delete it, so you do not need to empty your hard drive unnecessarily.