Anyone who takes good quality photographs and can supply images to fit a stock photography agency’s file size requirements can make money working from home.
The caveat is that this is a long-term game, and a photographer usually needs to build a collection of at least several hundred images before the financial returns become substantial.
Nevertheless, uploading good, saleable images week by week will eventually bring in a gradually rising level of income, and it’s a great way to work online from home. The most sensible way to play the game is to be patient, build slowly, and tie in the photography submissions with other working from home opportunities.
Between the top stock agencies to microstock outlets, there is bound to be a niche for someone with a good eye for an image and the digital skills to make them saleable. The trick is to think about the images seen in everyday advertising on products, billboards, in leaflets and in brochures. Advertisements are absolutely everywhere and they all need images sourced from stock photography agencies.
There is little success in selling arty images unless an agency is particularly looking for these or is willing to accept them, but it is surprising how photographs of ordinary everyday articles will sell. Think of creative shots of the central heating thermostat, bubbles on soap, jars of lentils, or hands playing a piano.
After all, if the plan is to make money working from home, then why not source photographic ideas from home? Browsing through the files on the agency websites will give a good idea of the kind of images that are accepted.
Remember that if people or buildings are in the images, a photographer will usually need to obtain a model release or a property release to supply with the images when submitted. This is a legal permission form signed by the person being photographed or the owner of a building, and free templates can be found online or sometimes on an agency’s website.
Bearing that in mind, some photographers might like to build up a stock of people pictures, in ordinary everyday situations. Hanging out the washing, two people holding hands, or children playing in a sandpit, for instance. Again, if the plan is to work online from home then use the home to build up a collection of images. As long as those images have model releases and they’re well composed and of good quality, they will usually find buyers. Make them interesting and different so that they stand out in the thumbnails.
When uploading photographs to stock agencies, a PC or laptop ideally needs to have high speed broadband, otherwise the upload process will last for hours when submitting large files. This might suit someone who is making money online selling articles and doesn’t need to be constantly online while they’re writing, but otherwise a slow upload will tie up the connection.
Any stock photography agency will have submission guidelines and criteria for the standards expected, although these will differ from agency to agency. There is a range too, of prices being paid for photography: microstock photography pays far less than the big guns such as Alamy or Corbis, and there is a wide range of agencies in between.
How to Start Making Money Online Selling Photographs
1. Find stock photography agencies online or check through a freelance photographer directory.
2. Access their contributor guidelines via the site and check the level of quality they’re expecting.
3. Look through the images online to see what they sell and for how much.
4. Browse the sites to see which feels the most appealing and comfortable, and pick one.
5. Spend time working on the photographs to be uploaded. Make sure they fit the quality guidelines exactly to minimise rejections, and have release forms attached if necessary.
6. Submit. Celebrate acceptances, learn from any rejections, and persevere.