If photography is your favorite hobby, you might want to learn how to make money with stock images and turn your hobby into a side gig. The first thing you need to know is that learning how to make money with stock images isn’t going to make you rich. It will take time and experience until you can earn decent money from your photography, but even a few bucks can be great since you would take those pictures anyway. You’ll just need to upload them to one of the stock photography sites and wait for people to download them.
The most common way of making money with stock images is microstock. Microstock photos get sold for a price from a few cents to $10. You get paid for each download of your image, and this is the easiest answer to how to make money with stock images. Sell your photography on one of the many apps or websites, such as Shutterstock and Adobe Stock. The best part is that you don’t have to choose only one website. You can submit your photos to multiple websites and therefore maximize your earnings. The only situation when you can’t do this is when you agree to give exclusive rights for your photos. Otherwise, feel free to post them on any of the platforms and follow these tips to learn how to make money from stock images:
1. Attach the right keywords
People are going to find your photos by searching for the terms related to what the picture is showing. You need to attach the right keywords so that your buyers would find your images. Make specific, descriptive keywords and list them from the most important ones to the least important ones. For instance, if you take a picture of a chicken crossing the road, your keywords would be “chicken, crossing, road, why”. You will improve at finding the right keywords as your experience grows. There are also tools that you can use for this, and a lot of websites offer them. Attaching the right keywords is the most important part of learning how to make money with stock images because it makes it easier for people to find your images. The more people find your photos the more photos you will sell.
2. Take a picture from multiple angles
You should always take a picture from multiple angles because different buyers focus on different things. For instance, maybe you took a photo of a cat eating. A company that sells cat food will be interested in a picture that shows the food, while a cat grooming service needs the picture where the focus is on the cat. You’ll increase your earnings simply by taking a picture from different angles.
3. Take the most sellable type of photos
Try to focus on taking pictures of things that are likely to sell. Businesses need pictures of people working on their laptops, doing a presentation, talking on the smartphone, and similar. There’s a better selling type of photo though, and it’s pictures of food. Whether is photos of various meals, empty plates, or people cooking, this is the type of photo that really sells. Of course, the same can be said for travel and nature photography. Photos of flowers, birds, and animals are in demand at all times. When you travel somewhere, make sure to take a lot of pictures too. Take photos of the beach or the local area, pictures of local people, and the hotel. Don’t forget to also take pictures of commuters, buildings, and cityscapes because this type of picture sells.
4. Regularly upload new photos
Many platforms promote stock images of users that are the most active. To learn how to make money with stock images you have to learn how to be consistent in your attempts. Regularly uploading new photos will keep your photos relevant, and it will bring you more sales.
5. Invest in equipment
Of course, you can sell stock images that you took with your smartphone, but it’s very likely that those with better equipment will sell much more than you do. You don’t need the latest, best camera in the world to take good photos though. However, investing in equipment doesn’t just mean buying the camera. Depending on the type of photos you’ll be taking, you’ll probably need to invest in lenses and other photography equipment too.
6. Invest in software
Making good pictures doesn’t end with taking a good shoot. You’ll also need to edit the images to increase their quality, and for this, you’ll probably need Photoshop. Even if you choose different picture editing software, it’s still going to cost you. Regardless of how great photography is, it’s an expensive hobby, and you’ll need to invest in equipment and software to make the photos that really sell. Don’t give up though, because the most important part of learning how to make money with stock images is patience and persistence. As you gain experience, your earnings will increase, so don’t give up.
You might want to read about how to pick the right stock images as well because this is how buyers decide which photos to purchase!