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How to make cash from your photos

Ever posted a snap onto Facebook that loads of people commented on and ‘Liked’? You could potentially have an album full of great photos just waiting to be sold online.
Since photography went digital, many amateur snappers began supplementing their income by doing this. It’s become so popular that the pros are starting to grumble. Here’s how to make them grumble even louder and make yourself some money.
Every day, photos are needed for company websites, newsletters, archives and thousands of other uses. Stock libraries act as conduits for companies that need photos. No matter how mundane or obscure, all manner of photos are in demand.
Here are some of the best online stock photography sites that pay its users for clients to download their photos.
This site is the largest subscription based stock photo agency in the world. It also has a referral program that users can use to maximise their earnings. Unlike most of the other agencies, Shutterstock accepts footage clips, illustrations and vectors.
Istockphoto is the web’s original member-generated image and design community. The royalties made on image downloads are 20%, and this can be pushed to 40% when your ranking is high.
Fotolia pay a minimum of 33% commission to it’s contributors, or up to 50% with a decent ranking. Fotolia suggest sticking to subjects such as Landscape, transport, food and drink and social issues to those who wish to upload photos.
This agency pays a whopping 60% on commissions, and doesn’t force its users to give exclusive rights to their images, meaning you’re free to earn money elsewhere using the same images.

Top Tips...

  • Keep your camera on you and become a photoholic if you’re not already, you never know when a great image opportunity will arise
  • Accept and listen to criticism. Listen to the agencies’ comments, if an image is rejected, read why and work on it.
  • Make sure your camera is of a high enough quality. Most agencies have minimum file requirement for photos they accept - digital SLR cameras (ones you can change lenses on) are much more desirable as they produce better quality images.
  • Familiarise yourself with an editing program. Every photo that comes out of your camera will probably be needed to be edited. Adjustments such as cropping, sharpening and shadow detail will need to be tweaked with to increase the commercial viability of your photos.
  • Once you’ve registered with an agency you’re ready to start uploading your images. Once that’s done it’s all about waiting until people buy your photos!

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