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how to make money taking stock photos and images, and ways to sell them

Updated on February 5, 2013

make money online selling stock photos

We all dream of earning a passive income. We also dream of doing something we love. Photography opens both of these doors for the wise stock photographer. It's not easy, but thousands of photographers are earning income from pictures they took years ago. We are going to dissect how to get started making money from photos.

1. The first thing you have to do is join the stock photo sites you want to sell your photos. There are dozens of big firms, but the major players are Istockphoto.com gettyimages.com shutterstock.com fotolia.com and corbisimages.com. Once you join these sites, you will have to take a test and offer some samples of your work. If you pass and are allowed to become a contributor, start uploading your work immediately. The more great shots you have for sale, the more you stand to earn.

2. Now that you're a contributor, you have to keep producing great shots. Look at what sells on these sites. You'll notice patterns. Medical, food, sports, etc there are all kinds of themes, but what sells? The best bet is for you to take notice of what isn't for sale. There are millions of shots of nature for sale, but there plenty of ideas you can come up with that people will buy. Don't put more of the same shots into the pool. Think cratively about what an advertiser, or designer would want to downlod and print. Your goal should be 100 great new shots per week.

business themes sell very well
business themes sell very well
the more models in a shot, the better it will sell
the more models in a shot, the better it will sell

 3. Your next goal should be to find a niche. Find something that nobody else is really shooting. Maybe it's a certain type of business or product. Maybe you know a new form of technology will be taking over soon. Shoot the shots that will go along with businesses trying to sell that technology.

4. Models, models, models. People like seeing happy attractive people. You can find models looking to add to their portfolio in every major city. Offer them free prints if they'll pose for a few hours for you. Once you have their model release form signed you can sell that photo over and over again.

Here is a video showing how Yuri Arcurs made himself the best-selling stock photographer online

5. Learn from the best. Find out what the top selling shooters are doing. Yuri Arcurs (see videos) is the top producing, top selling shooter out there. One thing I love about Yuri is his willingness to offer advice to starting photographers. Yuri offers tips and advice on his blog here http://www.arcurs.com/ Get out there and find out who is doing well, and what they're doing. You can't mimic their success, but you can learn from them.

Here is Yuri showing you his studio

Don't assume you'll get rich selling stock. It is work, hard work. However, if you love what you're doing, time will fly. Doing what you love should be your goal, not making millions, Good luck and let me know how you do.

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    • Knowledge>Power profile imageAUTHOR

      Knowledge>Power 

      7 years ago from USA

      i sell stock at istockphoto and it does all right

    • uner profile image

      uner 

      7 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

      i was thinking of jumping into this stock photos sometime ago. maybe i should think about it again now. thanks for the tips!

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