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Selling Photographs Online

How to make money with photography

selling photographs online

Selling photographs online through microstock photography agencies is a popular home business opportunity.

There is a growing demand for stock pictures as competitive stock photography sites focus on keeping their inventory fresh and current. It is simple to access this market - simply take your photographs, apply and then upload. Microstock sites pay you a commission or royalty fee each time your image is downloaded by a customer. The challenge comes in making sure that you images are optimized for selection by customers. There are two obvious ways to increase your chances of downloads. First, submit the type of images that are in demand by the market and second, keyword your images precisely and accurately so that buyers can find them.

What type of stock images are in demand?

Most microstock sites have a "Most Popular" or "Most Downloaded" facility where you can find out the sort of images that are selling well. Current research shows that the following categories are most in demand:

selling stock photos
People Photos Real life scenes of people in their natural surroundings sell well. The demand for these types of "reality" shots as opposed to posed studio-type shots is on the increase. Three-quarter view photos of happy, attractive people, including families, are in high demand as they are versatile and can be used for many different purposes. People participating in sports or activities is another in-demand category.
selling photographs online

Conceptual Images Adding a creative twist or accessorizing your people photo to clearly illustrate a specific concept will help with selling photographs online. Conceptual images that convey an abstract such as success, joy, love, motivation, wealth, despair, innovation, anxiety and teamwork are in high demand.
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People at Work Images of people at work, talking on the phone, in meetings or presentations, making money, office buildings and equipment are popular. Photos of business teams, corporate shots and business people discussing and negotiating are also in high demand.
Travel and leisure photos Images that can be used to illustrate vacation and leisure concepts are very popular. Images of beautiful beaches, people relaxing and families on holiday are amongst the most downloaded travel related images. To sell well a travel photo should not just depict a location but capture the essence of what it is like to be there. Holiday and seasonal themes are also in demand. Christmas images get downloaded from as early as June!
Although you only earn a small amount for each download it all adds up and provides ongoing income. Succcessful stock photographers use multiple sites and upload large volumes of images. Microstock sites or agencies are a great place to start selling photographs online.

Keywording the image

Good relevant keywording of your picture is critical to customers finding your image and to selling your photographs online. Some microstock sites have online forums and facilities that can help you with keywording your submissions. To start with keywording your image first get an overall impression of the image and note down the words that first come to mind. What does the image "say" to you, what is it about, which is the most obvious element of the image and why would someone buy the image? Using concept keywords can motivate the customer to download your image to represent the idea they are looking for. Keep your keywords simple, accurate and applicable to your image.

There are a number of popular microstock agencies you can use for selling photographs online. Find out more at Selling Stock Photography.

Find out more about Making Money with Photography

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Selling photographs online can be part of a rewarding home-based photography business

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Selling Photos online

  • Be an independent photography entrepreneur with your own home based business
  • Unleash your creativity and make money with photography online
  • Upload your images to a number of different microstock agencies
  • With the right camera, the right market and the right approach you can enjoy a successful home photography business

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