This is how you sell your photos through Microstock Photography Sites!
Are you any good at photography?
Do you love to take photos?
Is your photos sitting on your computer doing nothing but wasting hard disk space?
If the answer is yes then read on. Otherwise you could stop reading here.
Because this post is all about how to make use of your photographic skills and find a way to earn an income using those photos sitting on your computer doing nothing.
Now let’s see how we will do this?
Have you heard about Microstock Photography Sites?
Most photographers have heard about Microstock Photography Sites. If not, I will tell you what it is.
Microstock Photography is a name given to the low priced Royalty Free stock photo industry. Unlike high end stock photo agencies like Getty Images, photographers can sell their photos as royalty free images at Microstock. Microstock Photo agencies encourage hobbyist and amateur photographers to submit their quality photos for selling to customers worldwide.
Buyers who are reluctant to buy from a traditional stock photo agency due to the high cost and limited usage terms, are now turning to Microstock Photo Agencies.
Royalty Free (RF)
Photos or images licensed as RF have very few restrictions. Once purchased under RF license, the customer can use the image any number of times. RF images are not given on an exclusive basis and are typically less expensive than Rights Managed Photos.
RF licenses are popular because they are easier for a customer and a seller alike to understand and deal with. Microstock Photo Stores sell images under RF
Rights Managed (RM)
RM license grants permission to use the photo or image for a one-time specified use. If the customer needs the same image again, they must pay an additional fee. Under RF license, a customer has the option to buy an image on an exclusive basis to prevent others from using the same image.
Microstock Photography Stores has opened up the doors for many photographers. They can now sell their photos as RF licensed which otherwise is sitting on their computer just wasting valuable space.
If you are good at photography and you take a lot of photos, then this is good news for you. Submit your photos to some of these Microstock Photo Agencies and sell through them. A few of the popular Microstock Photo Agencies are:
A word of caution here…
Just because they encourage amateurs and hobbyist, it does not mean that they will accept any photos you submit. Each one of the photos you submit will be reviewed by their quality control team before it is accepted for publishing and selling through their site.
Prepare your photos for selling
Before you upload your photos to the Microstock Photo Agency, make sure that you have checked the photos thoroughly.
[Just for a demo purpose, see the image above which is color corrected using Adobe Lightroom]
However careful you are when shooting, and whatever equipments you are using, the photos may still need some corrections. Do a thorough check of all images for any quality issues.
If you do not have any photo editing software, then investing in Adobe Lightroom will be a wise decision. With Lightroom, you can quickly make adjustments on your photos and make it ready to submit for approval.
Whether you use Lightroom, Photoshop or Gimp you should get familiar with these software; especially on editing photos. There are a number of videos on Youtube that will show you all you need to know about editing your photos.
Once you are finished with editing your photos the next step is to upload photos to the Microstock site.
While there are many Microstock Photo Agencies, we will select Shutterstock for our further discussion.
Shutterstock has excellent free reports “Contributor Success Guide” and “Protect your Content Guide” available on their site. You can download these PDF from https://submit.shutterstock. This will give you all that there is to know about preparing your photos for submitting to Shutterstock.
Sell photos through Shutterstock
Shutterstock is the most popular Microstock Photography store. We will look at what is their requirements to submit photos.
Photos you upload must be at least 4MP (Megapixels) but preferably 5MP. You can easily calculate the megapixel of the images using an image editor. Open the image in the software and view its properties. Multiply its pixel width by pixel length and divide it by one million.
If your image’s pixel width is 2400 and pixel height is 2000 then use this formula; (2400 X 2000) / 1000000 = 4.8MP
Click here to read the complete requirements for selling through Shutterstock.
To submit your photos to Shutterstock, you need to create an account with Shutterstock. You can do it from here.
If you have not already downloaded the free reports “Contributor Success Guide” and “Protect Your Content Guide” you can do it now from the same screen. It has important information on preparing your photos for selling and the copyright details.
Please note each microstock photo agencies will have their own policies. If you are selling your photos on another agencies, please read their policies.
Once your photos are uploaded to Shutterstock then wait for it gets approved. Even when it is approved, it will take some time to see the sales coming in.
Remember your photos are among 75+ million other photos. To bring your photos in front of a potential buyer, keywords are the most important thing. Shutterstock suggests 25 to 45 accurate key words and punchy titles. (Source: Contributor Success Guide – Page 29)
How many photos you can submit to Shutterstock
You can submit any number of photos. Remember, you photos are one among millions; the more photos you have, you have a better chance to sell.
Selling your photos through a Microstock Photo Store is easy. You will also get a first hand experience in understanding what preparations are required to submit your photos to the Microstock Store.
This will become handy when you plan to set up your own Microstock Photo Store which I will discuss in my next blog.
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