Selling Stock Photography, Make Money, Microstock, Sell Stock Photography

Have you been photographing for fun or even shooting professionally?

Have you thought about what to do with those images sitting on your hard drive(s)?

There are many photographer s who work with models or do certain assignments for minimal amount of pay. Also as cameras become advanced and prices drop, one has to wonder whether there really is a way to make money with photography. The answer is Yes! Of course you could somehow get a large contract, but realistically we have to consider other options.

Budget is Optimized Every Day

With internet advertising agencies and publishing companies, budgets are closely monitored for any available cuts. The big conglomerates that own these advertising agencies, want higher efficiency for half the cost. Professional photography is one of the variables that advertising agencies are trying to push - out. A solution has been created for not only those elements, but also even small upstart companies, and that is Stock Photography. From the Professional Photography to the amateur, everyone can participate. As long as one follows a few steps, you can have your images working for you! I myself have spoken to hundreds of photographers prior to starting this, and realized the amount of potential stock photography has. So I wanted to help others get their Stock photos to sell.

So what if you took one photo and it sold for only a dollar?

So what if stock photos sold for a single dollar? BUT if it sold 100 times on all the sites listed below? $100 x 5 = $5,000. Now what if this happened every single month with your stock photography? There are photographers who have now turned all their attention on Stock Photography. They are not only able to make a living of this, but do it well. Stock photography provides stability in the professional photography industry. This whole process simply has an initial step, which once you figure out, you are ready to go. (Keep in mind you will have stock photography that will sell for $30+ dollars as well!)

You get paid to relax!

There are people who are NOT into professional photography and are shooting things like their hands, or their baby’s feet. Really anything that can be applied across a multitude of facets, will work! Why not spend a couple days just walking around the park or the beach and simply taking pictures? It’s relaxing and you get paid to do it! This is an avenue where you can make a living and you can be your own boss! Start selling your stock photos now!

It’s time to get these images to work for you!

Start out by setting up an account on a few sites, only takes a few minutes. Then create a sample folder. With most stock photo sites, they want to make sure that the you upload pictures, are of their caliber. So look through all the photos you have and pick out 10 stock images you like the best and make sure they vary in subject. For example: a picture of a girl, flower, architecture, or an isolated object on white and so fourth. You can have a few repeat.

Let's Get Started


Step 1:

Open any program, such as Adobe Photoshop. The Following directions are for Adobe Photoshop. Fill out the following fields.

File Info - Adobe Photoshop


Step 2.

Think from a graphic designer perspective, if a designer were to use your stock photography, without thinking of the context you took them in, how else could they be used? Make the title simple and not long IE: “Gorgeous model”. The description should not be more than a sentence or two (minimum of 7 words and a max of 64 characters) IE: “A beautiful female model on the beach”. There should be a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 50 keywords. For most sites, the lower the number of keywords, the higher chance of approval.

Metadata Filled out

Step 3. (Tips)

Save the Meta Data Template (the point of this, is so that if you have similar images, you can simply load the same information. But be aware of keywords that are not relevant to your image, it may not get accepted. This just lets you tweak the photography, if there are minor differences between sets of images)

Save template

So what did this step do? Will this may have seemed like a lot of time, but it really saved you a lot of time. On ever site, typically, you have to fill out the same application. By modifying it directly on the stock image, the websites will pull that data and fill it in for you! So you will not have to fill out the data each time on every website.

Step 3.

Save the stock image (the image has in no way been affected by you adding these tags).

Submitting to the websites:


These are a list of the sites that are recommended to use:

  • Number ONE SELLER! - users get sales every single day
  • (Tool to track sales in firefox: Tracker)
  • (limit of 20 per time) - Big seller
  • (varies but right now 5 a day)
  • (no limit) - Big Seller
  • (no limit) - Big Seller
  • (no limit) - Big Seller
  • Each site has certain regulations. But remember that by uploading to one or another, you are not forced to stay with only one site. Also I would recommend setting up a Paypal account so that these sites can send their payouts to you. I personally upload to all of these sites.

    Think from a designer perspective. If someone were to use your stock images, without thinking of the context you took them in, how else could they be used? Also if you have any people in your stock pictures, please download the model release from iStockPhoto and can use it for all the other sites. Also any images with any logos will be automatically rejected, so please avoid them or remove them in photo editing.

    What kind of camera can I use?

    There are regulations for the sizes. Stick to a camera that is at least 5MP and try to avoid taking pictures with a flash, indoors (unless you have proper lighting equipment), or when it's dark at night. Avoid stock images that look grainy as well.

    So what do I take stock photos of?

    Concentrate on business friendly things. Such as your laptop or a friend sitting with a laptop in the grass. Also stock pictures of people being happy and or isolated on white backgrounds tend to sell. If you need more help you may visit the following forum for more questions and advice. You may also contact me by going to the contact section.

    Make money with stock photography today!