Don’t worry – this isn’t an infomercial for stock photography that is designed to sell you a guaranteed get-rich quick program. If you’re looking to place – or keep – one foot in the photography industry while working full-time, there are a number of ways you can earn additional income (and work credits) without forgoing your current job.
Have you ever wondered where professional advertising agencies and marketing companies get many of the images used to support their client’s marketing campaigns? Yes, many campaigns do call for actual photo shoots, but many images are purchased from 27stock agencies. There is even a huge market for small businesses, who in today’s fiscal market, are marketing DYI campaigns. Are you an avid amateur photographer who would like to make additional residual income with your images? Then I suggest you investigate stock photography. Try breaking into a few micro-stock agency sites. All you need to do is upload your work and let your images sell while you sleep and continue to do so for years to come. High quality images are always in demand, and there is no reason your images shouldn’t be among them.
Here is a short list of some top stock agencies for you to review and learn what you can expect when applying to be a contributing photographer. The following is an alphabetized list and links for you to consider:
123rf currently offer 50% commissions from customers who download with credits and $.36 per download from subscription customers.
Alamy offers photographers 60% of each sale made on the site and currently lists over 15,000 photographers
Big Stock Photo offers 50% commissions and that means your sales will range from $.50 for the smallest downloads to $3 each for the largest.
Can Stock Photo currently offers photographers 50% commissions on all direct image purchases made on their site and $.25 for each subscription download.Dreamstime is a great place to start if you are a newbie to stock photography. The payouts are not as profitable as some of the other agencies. However, Dreamstime offers an extended licensing program to help increase the amount garnered from each sale.
Fotolia employs a sliding scale with royalties per image download of between 30-61%. One very cool feature with Fotolia is that commissions and credits earned per sales are disclosed on their site before registering.
IStockphoto is one of the premiere leading micro-stock agencies on the internet. They offer an exclusive image program that yields a larger commission when your image(s) are only sold via iStockphoto.
Shutterstock pays for your work on a sliding scale. The more images you have downloaded, the more you’ll earn per image. The scale currently starts at $.25 per download.
Stockxpert was purchased by Jupiter Images and offer 50% commissions on all credit purchases.
Other Stock Photography Options
The following are additional agencies that are at the high end of the business. They are primarily listed here for you to reference what the big boys in the industry are doing, and use as an additional resources to better educate yourself:
Corbis is one of the traditional stock photo agencies established well before the internet opened up the stock photo industry. Being invited and accepted as a contributing photographer at Corbis is elusive to most, but coveted by those who sign with them.
Getty Images like Corbis is a traditional stock photography agency the acceptance process is one of the more rigorous in the industry but the payoffs are worth the effort for many.
Jupiter Images is one of the heavyweights and working directly with them is near impossible.
Veer is a subsidiary of Corbis Images that targets the more ‘affordable market’. Not easy for a newbie to break in with outstanding work, but Veer is looking for photographers with industry experience.
If you are not sure and would like to have your worked reviewed or if you need assistance improving your knowledge for photography and or photography business skills Larmon U offers private mentoring with PPA Certified, Master of Photography, Photographic Craftsman Jeffrey H Mantler. Call 215-887-1248 or visit us online to learn more and register.