Selling Stock Photography
The business model of stock photography involves shooting images on speculation and then
submitting them to various stock agencies. Selling stock photography can be quite profitable
as many businesses, advertising and marketing companies are frequently on the look out for
good quality stock photographs to use in a variety of print and online uses.
Selling stock photography can be a great way to make a little extra money from your hobby
or you may choose to turn professional and launch a full-time career taking stock photos. Either
way, there are several elements of stock photography you should be aware of in order to begin making money.
Types of Stock Photograph that Sells
First, do not make the assumption that any type of stock photo will sell well. Some types
of stock photography sell well while others are more difficult to sell. The first rule in order
to make sure that you are able to sell your stock photo and not run into any legal problems
is to make sure that you either have a model release or you do not shoot any faces that can
be identified. If you need to obtain a model release, make sure you get it in writing.
Do not rely on a verbal agreement. You should also avoid shooting any company names or
logos. Finally, focus on shooting photographs that could be potentially used in different formats or ways.
Types of stock photos that tend to sell well include people (with appropriate model release),
landscapes, flowers and plants, business and industry, still life photos, travel, transportation,
sports and leisure, house pets and weather.
It should be noted though that while landscapes, flowers, plants and pets tend to sell
quite well, it's a huge competition and the market is quite saturated. Some stock agencies
do not accept this kind of images any longer.
Pricing and Licensing of Stock Photography
There are two basic types of stock photographs. They are royalty free or rights managed.
Royalty free means that royalties do not need to be paid each time the user uses the image.
In other words, the user can pay a one-time fee and then use the image under different circumstances.
For example, the user might pay a fee in order to use the image in different purposes
or they may pay in order to receive a license that allows them to reproduce the image a specific
number of times. Rights managed or licensed images refer to images in which the user must pay
each time the image is used. In some cases there may be a time limit that restricts the amount
of time that a buyer is able to retain exclusive use of the image. This allows the photographer
to sell rights to the image once again after the initial buyer's time has elapsed.
The exact fee rate is often based on a variety of factors including the length of time
the image is used, distribution, exclusivity, location of use, etc. This type of option can
be beneficial to the buyer because it allows them a larger print run for each image that royalty
free licensing typically allows.
Type of Equipment Needed for Stock Photography
Many people getting started in stock photography are often concerned about whether they
need specific types of equipment. One thing that should be understood is that high-quality
equipment is always good but it can never replace experience and skill. If you are just getting
started with stock photography it is a good idea to obtain a good quality entry level DSLR
and then upgrade with lighting and lenses. With the right collection of lenses and lighting,
even an average camera in the hands of a skilled photographer can produce amazing results.
Once you have begun to make some sales you might then think about growing into a more
advanced camera or even expanding your collection of equipment to provide more options.
John Best is a photography enthusiast that has a hard time putting down his camera. John
also likes to teach photography business and is currently building up a site with free photography