How Much Can You Earn from Stock Photography?

Selling photos online is a good way to earn extra cash for a living. One can either create his or her own website or partner with one of the many microstock sites out there in promoting and selling photos.

While the first option will let you get all of the proceeds of the photo, it may be a more difficult option to pursue. Starting your own website would mean that you must start from scratch and build your own followers.

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This can take some time and can be frustrating at times. The 2nd option, working with microstock sites, is easier in terms of stability as these sites already enjoy a wide audience. Unfortunately, this option will not let you get the profit of your photos fully as it will be cut between you and the site. Becoming a contributor on microstock sites can be difficult as there are several qualifications to meet.

Regardless of what option you will take, stock photography can surely give you the extra cash that you need by marketing your photos online. When it comes to how much a photographer can earn from stock photography, it will depend on how great your photos are and how long you have been in the field of stock photography. Below are some of the information related to how much a person can earn from selling his or her photos online.

  1. The simple logical answer to use as a response to the question “how much can you earn from stock photography?” is that it greatly depends on how amazing your photos are. It will all depend on your talent and skills. If more photos get approved and posted online, then you can expect to earn more.
  1. But in relation to the item above, keep in mind that it is not all about your photos getting posted online. That is only the first step. What is more important in the game is how many times your photos will capture a potential buyer’s interest, so that they can look at it and eventually download and purchase it.
  1. In some cases, payment per photo download can earn an individual a few cents, especially if it is done via a subscription. But this should not frustrate you at all. Every cent that you earn is a good start. Your fee will eventually increase as you get more downloads and if you can supply more quality photos. There are some companies or sites that will pay per the number of downloads. Hence, it is important here to have a lot of followers and to have great photos that can capture their interests.
  1. Another key information to consider that will affect your potential income from stock photography is the exclusivity of your photos. Allowing a company or site to use your photos exclusively or to agree to be under their exclusive policy, may allow you to earn more from it. You will get paid for exclusive photos that you can provide. As an example, iStockphoto pays commission that is 3x higher to their photographers who give them exclusive photos. Dreamstime also gives higher commission to their exclusive contributors. Their photos are priced more as well.
  1. What is great about stock photography sites is that they grow continuously over the years. Your portfolio, for example, can earn a wider audience over the years. This rapid growth is equivalent to making more money. Moreover, if your photos are out there, it can earn you money even if you are not doing anything.
  1. What you can earn is limitless. The downloads your photos will get will earn you a certain commission and it will consciously rise over the years. If you have more photos that get downloaded, then it means more commission for you.
  1. You can also promote your photos in other microstock sites which widen the audience of your photos, thus increasing the possibility of them getting noticed and purchased. You must assess though if you want to take this strategy or work as an exclusive photographer. Both can give you extra cash, but not one is more profitable than the other for sure — this will depend on how great your photos are and what people are looking for out there.

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