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Old May 11, 2008, 3:01 PM   #1
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I just dabble with my digital photos now and again, but I'd like to know more about selling photos online through stock photo websites.
Seems like when I google this question, all I get are websites telling me how good it is... (to sell from their website, or their sponsors website).

I notice that some give a pricing scheme where they'd pay me a few pennies a picture, there's others that pay more but are basically just like the first type, and a few others that let me decide how much and they take a percentage.

Anyways, I figure a few of you may've dabbled in this kind of thing before, so do you have any thoughts, pitfalls, warnings, or tips you'd care to share?

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Old May 11, 2008, 4:47 PM   #2
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there are countless discussions on here about stock sites.

unless your very very talented your not going to make much.........the people who make money from stock sites are those who run them, the fees they pay out are low because 100s of thousands of people around the world submit to them.

Gary


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Old May 11, 2008, 8:50 PM   #3
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I have thought about stock on and off for the past 30-40 years and decided that it would be another way to ruin a very nice hobby.
JH2007 wrote:
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I just dabble with my digital photos now and again,...
Making any money requires much more than dabbling. First you have to figure out what sells - no point in producing images that no one will buy. What you are interested in doesn't matter at all. Then get model releases from everyone and everything in the photo or the market is much smaller. And of course you have to produce a large number of saleable images on a continuing basis or the agency will drop you. Unless you are dealing with an agency that doesn't pay anything.

If you are looking for another job, it can work. If you want to dabble, it won't.
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Old May 11, 2008, 10:43 PM   #4
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I'd like to say thanks for your replies. I thought the concept was just way too good to be true. Plus I did previously read a few discussions that often started as a subject about something else, but I felt that they didn't square up and really try to hit the important question dead on.

Also I figured that the photographers didn't make the money when I came across a site today that only took a very small percentage per picture but required a membership worth several hundreds of dollars. And that site reminded me of some "job placement agencies" I've heard about and how if you pay them hundreds, they'll let you apply for the job...

And I know BillDrew is right about how easy it would be, to turn a hobby into a dull job.

So I'll just dabble with the photos, & thanks again.

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Old May 14, 2008, 4:00 AM   #5
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The advice you've been given is mostly spot on. I wouldn't call the concept "too good to be true", as money can be made. However, you must be willing to work at it and you must be very good at it. Several years ago things were much easier....fewer pictures, fewer agencies, and fewer photographers were involved. Suddenly, people heard about how "easy" it was, and as DSLR prices have gone down, more and more folks got on the bandwagon. Now each agency (and there are at least 15) has millions of pictures, and thousands (in some cases over 100,000) of photographers. This market is extremely competitive and though there are many that make a living at it, there are many more that aren't making anything. THose that are, are using the very best equipment, mostly beyond the means of the average photographer, and have a staff of models, and people who do editing, keywording and submitting. I think the days of a part-timer making any money are over. I used to do pretty well on a part time basis. I've all but stopped contributing as the amount of work I was putting in wasn't matching what I was getting out of it. In addition, what I like to shoot really doesn't sell all that well. If you like to shoot landscapes, or sports, or flowers and sunsets, forget about making any money. Vector artists are doing much better than most photographers now, and the photographers that still do well mostly have access to lots of models and good studio equipment.
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Old May 14, 2008, 8:47 PM   #6
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To paraphrase whatsomeone said about the stock market, "There is one surefire method to make a small fortune in Photography - start with a large one."

Hard work, perfect timing, and luck will get you there as well.You will also need a real knack for self promotion. I'm just too quiet and shy - ask anybody.

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Old May 14, 2008, 9:01 PM   #7
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Thanks rjseeney for the indepth.
You filled in some of the blanks.

Thanks all, for the directions.

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Old May 15, 2008, 6:40 AM   #8
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I tried this with a company called Shutterstock. So far mydownloads for the last 2 years has been a whopping $35.75., and they don't even send you that until you amass $300. I'm sure I will be shopping for that new Mercedes any daynow. Thereare people on that site that have submittedthousands of photos and only manage to make a few dollars.In my opinion it's a ripoff.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"
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Old May 15, 2008, 12:17 PM   #9
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BEECEE

nice to have some actual input from a user of a stock site :-)

i have one image that sells repeatedly, and so far it as earned mein excess of$1000, at one art exhibition it sold in firts few mins and then had repeat orders for another 4. i have sold copies before that too and quite a few since.

most of my stuff is panoramic and i self promote and show in a few places that are local

this is the image



or click here for bigger view.

its a popular local place for walks and picnics and i cant believe how popular its been



Gary

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Old May 15, 2008, 2:30 PM   #10
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BEECEE wrote:
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I tried this with a company called Shutterstock. So far mydownloads for the last 2 years has been a whopping $35.75., and they don't even send you that until you amass $300. I'm sure I will be shopping for that new Mercedes any daynow. Thereare people on that site that have submittedthousands of photos and only manage to make a few dollars.In my opinion it's a ripoff.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"
If I had to choose one, Shutterstock would be it. They are consistently everbody's biggest earner, and aren't terribly ridiculous in reviewing. The minimum payout is $75, not $300 (the $300 is only if you choose to be paid by check over Paypal), and is reachable with a portfolio of 400-500 good images. I get paid nearly every month, but, that is slowing down. To get consistent downloads, you need to constantly upload, and stay on top of what sells. Unfortunately, more and more, its vectors that sell. And forget landscapes or sunsets or flowers. Most on Shutterstock though are reporting lower earnings (even some of the big dogs) as competition and the sheer number of images available increase. I think the bubble has burst on the microstock industry, and the days of "making money with pictures on your harddrive" are over.
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