My Stock Photography Equipment

Want to make money selling your photographs? The secret is don't break the bank!

Selling your photographs and illustrations through micro stock agencies is a great way to make some extra cash. Unfortunately the days of making tons of money on stock sales is over. Now the trick is to create enough volume of quality images while keeping an eye on your equipment costs.

If you think you are going to run out, buy the most expensive camera outfit from Canon or Nikon, buy lavish professional quality lens and hope to make back the expense in a few months, think again. Being careful with your expenses is the name of the game.

I started shooting stock photographs and submitting them to stock agencies just under a year ago. I have just under 1,000 images in my portfolio and have earned about $800. At tax time I calculated how much I've spent on equipment (not including gas and other such expenses) and I've spent around $2,000 on cameras, lens, studio equipment, books and accessories.

But I view my purchases as starting from scratch and building up the equipment I need going forward. Year one goes down as a loss but I'm looking at the big picture and see it as an investment in a new source of income. That said, you need to make every purchase count. If you don't really need the top of the line equipment, look for the sweet spot of equipment that will get the job done.

I use Panasonic Lumix cameras including the G2, LX5 and now the G3. I've sold off the kit lens when the results were too soft for stock agencies. I've added a range of lens to my camera bag as well as a tripod to get rock steady shots.

If your equipment is too cheap especially in lens, you'll get more rejections from the stock agencies and become more frustrated. But on the other end you won't get any more income from photos taken with the top of the line cameras than you would with a shot taken with a point and shoot.

Stock agencies have a minimum file size of 3 megapixels. The standard camera used for stock these days is 10 megapixels and up. You want to have enough of an image to work with so you can crop if you need to simplify the concept in the image. The other most important part is developing the images for stock. They need to have some punch to them (clarity and vibrance -- watch out for overdoing the saturation) and they need to be sharp and noise free. Software such as Adobe Lightroom and or Adobe Photoshop can be used to tweak your photographs and fix problems.

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Comments 6 comments

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I am sort of aware of the stock photo agencies but have not tried to list any pictures with them. Maybe if I get a renewed interest in photography I will try it. You article is very informative.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Thanks for this very useful information. I've played with the idea of selling stock photos, but did not follow through, I'm still learning about photography.


peanutroaster profile image

peanutroaster 3 years ago from New England Author

One can never stop learning photography!


Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 3 years ago from Brazil

I have suggested stock photography to my husband. Glad to hear it is working out for you.


passionate77 profile image

passionate77 3 years ago

very nice and so informative post in a simple and plain manner, so very comprehensive. thanks for sharing the info, blessings!


Chun 23 months ago

These photos are absluotely amazing. I love them. They definitely are a tear-jerker .in a good way. Kim & Andrew are such an attractive couple. Amy, you are extremely talented and I enjoy looking at your work. Cheers!

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