When you first get start you might not be comfortable with accessing your photography information, so you’ll probably upload your jpeg photo through the website’s photo loader and then enter the description, title, key words, etc. through the stock photo website itself – at least that’s how I started.
As I got more comfortable I started using a photo editor to include all the photo information within the photo file itself. Wish I’d done it sooner! It saved me loads of time because I don’t have to add all that information myself for each site, it’s part of the photo file and magically shows up when I upload the photo.
I also used to upload using the stock website’s uploaders, which sometimes can be somewhat tedious. Then I started getting more comfortable using FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to upload my photos in batches rather than individually, as you still have to do in some sites. I have found cyberduck to be a very easy to use FTP client that allows me to bookmark my sites’ FTP upload pages, including username and sometimes password, so uploading batches of photos is as easy as opening the bookmarked page and dragging the photos to the uploader.
Again, one step at a time, but trying to stay ahead of you to make your path a bit easier.
When you shoot a non-editorial stock photo you have to be very careful to not have any copyrighted or trademarked objects in your photos. That means no logos on clothes, no easily identifiable copyrighted buildings.
I was going to write more about copyright but I noticed this great entry at Media Bakery Design that does a great job and includes a list of copyrighted work as well.
What this means in stock photography is that if there are any logos or other trademarked material in your photos you must edit them out before submission.
Note that if you plan to sell your photos for art (so NOT stock photography) that includes trademarked material that’s another story. To quote the World Intellectual Property Organization:
“Unlike copyright law, trademark law as such does not restrict the use of a trademark in a photograph. What it does forbid is the use of a trademark in a way that can cause confusion regarding the affiliation of the trademark owner to the image. If consumers are likely to mistakenly believe that the trademark owner sponsored a photograph, then there may be trademark infringement.”
Notice that this is just my understanding of it, and this is not intended to be legal advice, please do your own homework, laws do change…
It took me years of trying before I finally got into iStockphoto, but it was definitely worth it! They currently make up 28 % of my monthly sales.
Read their training manual very carefully and heed it. Then get inspired by their most downloaded photos. I wrote “inspired” on purpose, don’t be intimidated, everyone started out not knowing how to do this, and take one step at a time…
Be very careful about the photos you submit. If you don’t get in at first they might make you wait a month to try again, and if that doesn’t work, the wait to try again could be a year! I got two year-long waits before I got in! After that just about all the photos that got into Shutterstock got into iStockphoto. iStockphoto also generates lots of sales from their partner pages, which just boosts your income, awesome.
When you are ready to submit your photos, head over to their sales page to submit your best three photos – be sure to have a good mix of photo types, and the best quality.
I was all excited when I got into ImageCollect, a website of celebrity photos, but I haven’t had much luck with them, probably because my celebrity list isn’t all that… Someday I’ll get a real biggie and maybe then things will turnaround for me. You can check out their most popular photos and you’ll see that nice close up photos are best.
Their FAQ page tells you a bit more about what they are looking for, including detailed guidelines as to how to caption your celebrity photos.
If you have that celebrity photo you can head over to their registration page to get started.
Alamy is the eleventh stock photo website I got into, in 2013, and I have yet to make a payout, but when a photo sells the commission is significant, plus they’re very easy to add to so I keep at it.
Read their excellent Resources page, with submission guidelines and even Photoshop tutorials! Then check out some of their featured photographers.
Once you are ready to submit your photos, head over to their How to Sell Your Images page and you’re ready to go!
Veer is the tenth stock photo website I got into, as part of that spurt in 2012. It has been a bit of a dud and they take forever to get back to you on acceptances, or maybe just me because I’m not a big moneymaker for them… It’s interesting to see what my most popular images are in each of the sites, there are big differences from site to site…
Read their Photographer Guidelines, with good philosophies for good stock photography.
Once you are ready to submit your photos, head over to their contributor page and you’re ready to go!
Panthermedia is the ninth stock photo website I got into, also in 2012. I had nothing for a while, then an exciting sale of $12 that I thought was the start of something big, but since then not much. Their top photos page seem to include a lot of landscapes, so you nature lovers, give this one a shot.
Read their Quality Standards page, with many details as to what makes for a good stock photo
When you are ready to submit your photos, head over to their sales page and you’re ready to go! If you use this link I get a referral bonus and the pleasure of watching your progress! Thanks.