Getting started with stock photography

Getting started with stock photography

I was recently browsing through my Lightroom catalog, looking at a few of my 5000 photographs. True, my catalog isn’t massive, but then again it is 5000 photographs - that’s a photo a day for 13 years. I personally believe that some of them are actually quite good - at the very least not bad - if I might say so myself. So the question arose what to do with all of my material. Obviously I’m still an amateur so I’m under no illusion that I’m going to make any significant amount of money with my photos. But I owed myself at least an attempt at recouping some of the cash I spent on all of my gear. And that’s when the idea of stock photography came to be.

According to wikipedia stock photography is “the supply of photographs, which are often licensed for specific uses.” Today there are many sites that offer to sell your stock photos and I’ve picked out five services that I’m going to supply with my images: Adobe Stock, Bigstock, iStock, Shutterstock and Alamy. At the time of writing I haven’t been able to upload anything to Shutterstock or iStock but the rest have have so far worked a treat. I went into this adventure with some tips I gathered on the internet:

  • Keywords: Have them.

  • Upload in batches. If the person in quality control is having a bad day he might reject all of them. Like this the chance is greater that different people will be looking at your batches.

  • Figure out what people want.

I haven’t been able to do anything about that last point so far as I’m still working through my back catalog, I’m cuttently just hoping someone is looking for Swiss landscapes. But I’ve tried to adhere to the first two. I’ve also made my own first experiences on the subject:

  • Use FTP to upload images. Some websites just crash when you upload too many pictures. It also makes it easier to upload images when I’m at my workstation and then tag them later.

  • Create sets of images with a similar theme: This will allow you to batch edit them online.

  • Keep track of what’s been uploaded and where.

I’m planning on keeping my “Stock-Photography-Adventure” updated with my experiences and tips, but I believe this is all I can say in the first post.


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