I’ve mentioned before that I’m always interested in new experiences in photography and one which has intrigued me for a while has been the idea of making money from it.
Now, before I go on, the idea of photographing a wedding fills me with dread. I don’t have the confidence or the gear to shoot family portraits (though I did do a couple over Christmas – more on that another time). So, I kinda thought that was it.
Well, turns out there is another way. Taking stock photography.
When companies need a bit of fluff for a website or an advertising campaign, a nice piece of fruit or some bloke scratching his head, they use stock photography. When someone wants a picture of a city for a new book or for an article, they use stock.
Which is great if you happen to have a made a hobby out of taking pictures of it.
Now, given the amount of photos I take, I’ve always been a bit bemused about what to do with some of them. I’ve managed to sell a couple at an exhibition last year, but apart from that and my own personal enjoyment (and here I guess), they never see the light of day. Stock photography seemed like an interesting idea to try out.
I started “selling” pictures about 2 weeks ago and tonight I discovered I’ve made $5. OK, hardly enough to make me quit my job, but as was pointed out for me – I made that while sleeping, surfing and working. It’s also kinda cool that someone somewhere likes my photos enough to buy them. Best of all though, you can sell non-exclusive rights to the image so you can use it yourself or sell it on a number of sites.
I’m not going to get into what makes a stock photograph right now, and I’m not going to extol on the virtues of it anymore than above. If you’re interested, there are a lot of sites selling it and you need to be prepared for a bit of a meat grinder when it comes to getting accepted and getting an image on sale – images are moderated and no punches pulled when they tell you it’s not good enough. Still, it’s good fun.
The site I’ve been mostly using up to now has been shutterstock. The percentage you get for a sale is very small (think 25cents a picture), but I guess it does add up. Other sites are available and I’ve registered on some of those as well, but without getting round to posting much to them.
I don’t think it’ll change the photographs I want to take, but it is kinda fun to play at from time to time.
I’ll let you know how I get on.
Oh, and yes, there is a referral on that shutterstock link – if you sign up via it, I get 3cents for every picture you sell without it affecting your commission. Tell you what, if you start making me big money, I’ll maybe split it with you!