How to turn your stock photography hobby into passive income
If you rarely leave the house without your camera, spend hours fine-tuning your images, and enjoy researching new photographic techniques, you might have more than a hobby on your hands. Many photographers earn passive income from their images by submitting those photographs to stock photography sites. Is this path right for you?
What Is Stock Photography?
According to Webopedia, stock photography is the practice of selling royalty-free images for limited commercial and personal use to businesses and individuals who do not want to hire a photographer to commission artwork. Stock photography websites, such as Pond5 and Stocksy, accept images from photographer and display them for sale.
You can sell an image unlimited times on a stock photography website. The buyer purchases a limited-use license to publish the image, but the rights are non-exclusive. Each time someone downloads your image, you receive payment based on the size (resolution) of the image.
How to Get Your Work Accepted
Each stock photography site reviews several of an applicant’s images to determine whether that photographer possesses the skill and vision required to produce content for the site. If you receive approval, you can begin selling your images through the website.
Before you submit samples, browse the pages of the website. Note the level of post-production and the types of lenses used. Create a stable of samples that represents numerous subjects and themes. For example, if the website requests 10 samples, don’t send 10 photographs of apples in a bowl. Mix up your portfolio to include landscapes, portraits, nature, fashion, and other types of images.
If the stock photography site doesn’t accept your images, you can usually try again in 30 days or so. Keep improving your photography and following the critique advice the editors give.
How to Maximize Your Earnings
Copywriters and publications often insert text in photographs as advertising or informative content. If you leave room for text, your images might sell faster and in greater numbers.
The photographers who earn the most passive income from stock photography have a lengthy portfolio, often totaling thousands of images. While you can’t build such a large stable of work in just a few weeks, keep focusing on building your portfolio.
Whenever possible, include photos with significant negative space. Copywriters and publications often insert text in photographs as advertising or informative content. If you leave room for text, your images might sell faster and in greater numbers.
If possible, create images that could align with multiple types of content. A photograph of a woman climbing a mountain, for example, could represent freedom, peace, determination, strength, vulnerability, or success. These types of images perform well in stock photography.
Getting Paid for Your Photography
All stock photography websites offer a unique payment structure. Some make it difficult for photographers from certain countries to receive payments, such as those that only allow you to receive your money via check or bank draft.
Signing up for Payoneer allows you to accept cross-border payments much more easily. We have partnered with several stock photography websites so that photographers all over the world can easily accept payment for the work they perform.
If you’re looking for a simply, fast and secure solution to receive payments from international stock photography companies like istock, Shutterstock, Getty and more, sign up for Payoneer today!