Stock Photography: How do I sell my photos on Shutterstock?
Welcome to the world of stock photography! Have you ever imagined seeing your photographs in an international image bank and also being able to sell them?
Stock photos are a great way to earn extra income. The time has come to take the big leap and go from being an Instagrammer to becoming a digital photographer.
In this note, we tell you what you need to know to get started. What is stock photography, what photographic equipment do you need to produce stock photos, where to sell photos online, and how to make money from stock photography.
Let us begin!
What is stock photography?
We’ll explain this to you in simple words. The first thing to be aware of is stock photography. It is a business that creates and sells images or illustrations which you can purchase and utilize via digital channels using a variety of licensing models.
Customers interested in purchasing your images must pay a fee that includes the legal rights to use your photos or videos. They can integrate these images into any online marketing strategy, personal projects websites, blogs, as well as other purposes.
When these websites are used to sell photographs the cost is typically divided between the photographer that shot the image and the platform the artist is using to post and manage sales of their photos, which is usually referred to as an image bank.
Anyone who purchases stock images can download and use them immediately. Photographers usually keep their copyrights on photographic content.
Basic equipment for stock photography
If you want to enter the world of stock photography, it is important that you know what kind of photography equipment is the most suitable.
The first thing to bear in mind is that there exist various photography genres which require different types of equipment.
For instance, if you intend to focus on photography of travel, there would be no need to purchase lighting since you will be able to benefit from natural lighting. Also, if you’re committed to photography of nature then there is no reason to have a studio, either.
It is important to develop a long-term strategy of action. This will allow you to determine what your needs really are you need to take into consideration prior to starting your career as a photographer in stock.
Consider what you are planning to capture and then make a list of the standard equipment for photography you’ll need. Also, where are you planning to perform the photography? Is it in the outdoors or in a studio?
For most stock photography (portrait, fashion, lifestyle, etc. ) A regular DSLR or mirrorless model is adequate.
However, this does not necessarily mean that you need to purchase a DSLR or other mirrorless model. It is recommended to purchase a camera with at least 12 megapixels in order to achieve higher quality results from the stock images you have.
However, you can figure out what are the primary kinds of cameras so that you can get more information.
Which camera to choose for stock photography?
First of all, you should bear in mind that this will be a great investment for your business . If you plan to sell stock photos through an agency, make sure your camera meets the requirements, as it could mean you get a more expensive camera.
If you plan to sell stock photos for share on social networks it is possible to purchase a less expensive camera that is mirrorless.
There are also agencies for stock photography accepting smartphone images including stockimo. It’s important to find out and purchase the best camera.
Another factor to take into consideration is the brand name: which do you prefer: Canon and Nikon? We suggest that you do thorough research on these and other brands on the market to determine which one is best for you best.
What lenses to use to take stock photos?
Like buying the right camera, choosing different types of lenses for your camera is also a vital choice. Although it may seem hard to believe, a high-quality lens can be even more important than the camera itself.
Is seriously. If you think about it, there is no point in having a 36 megapixel camera that takes photos that are not very sharp because of the lens.
When you’re selling landscape or interior stock photos, you’re likely to require a wide-angle camera. If you’re shooting wildlife or sports in the natural then you’ll require the zoom lens.
If you are taking food-related stock photos you might require macro lenses. Also, if you’re shooting photographs of architecture, you may require an angle-shift lens.
As time passes, once you begin earning profits from stock photography, you’ll require a number of lenses. You’ll also want to expand your collection. To begin it is enough to purchase the lens that you’ll be using to capture all of your stock images.
Lighting type for stock photography
If your stock photos are going to be shot in a studio, then you will need lights. Product photography or food photography is usually done in a studio.
The same applies to portrait photography and fashion photography can also be taken in the studio. Why?
This is due to the fact that you are not dependent on weather conditions for your work. In studios, you will be able to set lighting, regulate how much and the angle of lighting for your images. However, you need how to master the lighting techniques.
There are numerous lighting options available for stock photography. The lighting you pick will be determined by the type of photography you’re taking and your budget.
Strobes, continuous lights, as well as flashes, are a few alternatives. However, you must be aware of the distinct functions of each to ensure you can invest your money into equipment you’re most likely to make use of.
In addition, if you are looking to master different methods of lighting and effect that can be applied to any production of stock photography we suggest an online class on Product Photography and Lighting Techniques.
Stock Photography Accessories
Once you enter the world of stock photography, the list of accessories can be endless.
Most of the time, you’ll find you have something you’re lacking or have to get. From tripods to filters to reflectors and even light boxes.
The best way to purchase the stock photography equipment, as well as accessories, is to buy small amounts and then when you really require something.
As we’ve mentioned that, based on the type of genre you specialize in, your selection of equipment will vary.
For photography of landscapes For example you’ll need a tripod. Also, you will require neutral density filters to limit how much light that reaches the camera.
If you are looking for lifestyle or portrait photography, a flash may be more beneficial than filters.
If you want to take pictures of your travels you might require a compass in order to understand the direction of sunrises as well as sunsets.
However, if your goal is to acquire the skills you need in your professional work as a stock photographer you’ll see that it’s not going to be an enormous financial loss.
Once you’ve learned all about the essential equipment you’ll need to utilize to create your stock photographs we can move on to some ideas to keep in mind when getting going.
How to start doing stock photography?
We share several ideas on how to start doing stock photography and some key points to create photos that sell. The best thing about taking original photos is that your digital image gallery gets more visits and this means more potential clients!
Best Selling Photos: Real People Telling Real Stories
Start by observing people in different settings, perhaps your friends or strangers in a meeting, in a coffee shop, etc.
Be aware of the interaction between them or their behavior with the objects surrounding them. Once you have this information, you can begin to plan the perfect time to capture it.
You can pick from a variety of natural photographs or make similar scenes using models.
Keep in mind that you’ll require the permission of these people to use your photos, so you should utilize an image authorization template so that you are able to sell your photos without difficulty.
How to earn money with my photos? Look for niches
Think about the images that would be more difficult to obtain and that could be in high demand by companies; explore the different image banks and see what photographic themes you could include. Then, plan your creativity and content sessions to fill that market gap.
Stock Photography Trends
It is very important that you know how to tell a story through stock images, what kind of narrative can you use to convey the concept you want to work on?
There are a variety of trends that are becoming increasingly widespread, like healthful food, mindfulness and fitness, veganism, and many more. The top-selling stock images are, with time, unable from being accepted banks of images because of the huge photography offer they receive for a specific topic. Stocks are full.
Check out other trends in stock photography when artistic or commercial advertising requires.
Websites such as Shutterstock can keep users informed about the latest trends in photography 2021 and give you an idea of what photos are most popular in the marketplace.
Real events for stock photos
Any type of event is a great opportunity to fill your stock of photos with some energy and authentic moments.
It is essential that prior to attending these events, you prepare your list of images you want to take and share with the world in each picture.
Try taking photos from a “behind the scenes” perspective for a more intimate photo. Always ensure you are using a high-quality light source. lighting techniques you need to learn and master.
Sell images of times of the year
You can plan to hold a photo session of important events or celebrations within your country, remember to share and find the essence in each photo, it is important that you manage to convey the real meaning of these events.
Find the moments or emotions of each of them, close shots of faces can help you capture the feeling that your art wants to convey.
Stock images: Dos and Don’ts
Before starting to ‘shoot’ keep these data in mind so that you can take highly profitable stock images:
- Always have a concept – make sure you know why you are photographing and what you want to capture.
- The stock thumbnail photo: it has to look good, be clear and easy to understand in the image bank.
- Always carry your camera or phone: planning is important but amazing and unexpected moments can happen, these could be your next best-selling photos! It is important that you know the types of lenses for your camera and only carries the lenses that you really need, depending on where you go.
What not to do
- Put watermark or logo: Stock photos are very commercial, which means that they should not have logos.
- Take the same photos: Don’t recreate the same image over and over again. Always try something new.
- Upload a photo just because: It is important that you continue to ‘photograph’ even when you are not very inspired, but that does not mean that you should upload everything.
How to sell photos on Shutterstock?
Have you ever wondered: how to sell my photos and make money on Shutterstock?
One of the greatest advantages of stock images is that it gives you an excellent opportunity to earn extra money.
Once you’ve taken your photographs and add them into the image bank set up the data for your photos then your job is complete!
How does stock photography work on Shutterstock?
Shutterstock is considered by many photographers as one of the top stock photo sites. It is one of the best options if what you are looking for is how to make money from stock photography by selling images online.
The platform is free to sign up and commission rates begin at 25%.
With Shutterstock being among the most popular sites for this kind of photograph, photographers have lots of competition. It’s not just you who is the only one trying to determine where to market stock images.
To begin selling pictures on Shutterstock You first need to upload the images you’d like in Shutterstock’s image bank. Shutterstock image bank, and wait until they are rated. In order to complete this process, you need to upload 10 photos, 7 of which need to be approved before becoming an official seller.
Steps to sell on Shutterstock
1. Upload content: Create your contributor account here.
2. Tagging and metadata: After uploading your photos, you must enter the title, description, keywords and categories.
3. Submit your content: When your content is ready, click “submit” to submit it for review.
What happens next?
You will receive an automatic email confirming that they received the shipment. Then your content will appear in the “pending approval” section.
Once Shutterstock has reviewed your photos, and they have loved it, you will receive another email notifying you that the images have been approved.
Technical requirements on Shutterstock
- File format: JPEG and TIFF images are accepted.
- Color Profile: Images are displayed in sRGB.
- File size: All images must be at least 4 MP.
What are the best-selling photos on Shutterstock?
So far we already understand what stock photography is and what is the process to follow to sell photos on Shutterstock and make money selling photos on the internet. Although we have explained how to start taking photos for image banks, it may help you to know which photos are the most sold in the universe of stock photography.
Let’s see, then, what are the types of photos that are the most sold on Shutterstock, which are also those that the company prefers to accept within its stock images.
Commercial Photography: Photos of People and Actions
Among the most searched on Shutterstock, and on any page to sell stock photos, are, without a doubt, people. But beware, the best-selling photos in image banks are not just people standing around doing nothing.
Which photos are the top-selling? Images that have a commercial or advertising objective and which show people performing a particular activity. To help you achieve the idea of photography, we provide an example of a business context.
Imagine a workplace and the activities that occur there. Choose a specific place like finance or marketing and think of the scenarios that might occur in that area such as business meetings and two people who are close on a deal, an entire team celebrating the accomplishment of the objective.
Enrique Serrano, professor of the Food Photography course in Crehana, tells us that this is a type of photography with a purely commercial objective, designed to motivate people to acquire the food in the image.
We’ve mentioned before that the most popular photos on Shutterstock can be useful to companies, and food photography is an excellent opportunity to earn money through stock photography.
What if I took a picture of my meal? It’s more complicated than this.
When it comes to stock photography that is focused on food it is recommended to pay attention to the food’s styling. Enrique Serrano indicates that there are two essential elements to consider when shooting food photos that are important: good lighting and excellent style. In the absence of these regardless of how delicious the food appears, you won’t have it in the photograph.
Have you noticed that when looking at images of ice cream, it’s not actually a frozen ice cream you can see? If you’re interested in finding out more about it and other tricks are hidden behind a photo of gastronomy go through the Food Photography course with very informative tips for your next stock photo.
Stock photos of travel, places and festivities
This kind of photography, and also one of the top-selling stock images commercially is well-received by publishing companies.
for Arturo Bullard, professional photographer and instructor of the Photography course from scratch Take a trip and capture the moment prior to taking pictures of specific locations, trips or people, the natural world, or social gatherings Prior planning is essential.
What criteria do you use to decide on a location or an event an area for photography?
Arturo Bullard recommends investigating different styles of life, distinct natural landscapes, natural parks, or social customs, and observing what is distinctive. Seek inspiration from photographs that are already in use and then look for new images that you can create.
Fact for flower lovers:
Shutterstock has more than 600,000 photos of flowers of all kinds, in all photographic angles and taken with different types of lenses. If your desire is to sell images on Shutterstock with a floral theme, exploit your creativity with the camera to the fullest!
What are the most popular images on Shutterstock? Photography of flowers in large quantities so be sure to plant your geraniums flowers, and Astro-marigolds to take part in an intense event.
How to sell photos to image banks?
We leave you a checklist of everything your stock photography should have in terms of visual attributes to be part of the best-selling photographs in image banks in 2021.
- Before you get creative and technical, define a goal. What you want to photograph is commercial? Continue Is it esoteric or conceptual art? Think twice.
- Check if your stock photos are communicating something. When you see the image, do you understand any message?
- Top-selling stock images in image banks are sharp, not out of focus. Most agencies that buy stock photos review and discard photos that look blurry when opened in full size.
- Reduce noise in your image. Remove graininess from your photo with the blur tool in Photoshop or try using a lower ISO sensitivity when taking the photo.
Check out this short video on how to reduce noise in Lightroom by Mario Malka, teacher of the Adobe Photoshop Essentials for Photographers online course .
Free resources to get the best images to sell
You found a gold mine! You already learned how to make money selling photos, now it only remains to achieve the best images so that you can grow your profits.
We are here to help you! We leave you a pack of free resources to download and put all your effort into selling images.
Build your home photo studio
Setting up a home photo studio will allow you to get a good deal of quality stock photography. But how to put it together? In this free guide we show you how to adapt an environment in your home to do so.
In this download file, there are 12 essential elements that will assist you in reaching your objective of selling your photos without having to purchase expensive equipment.
Additionally, you will discover some suggestions to help you start making payments as quickly as it is possible for professional photographs made by you from your home!
In order to transform your house into a photo studio, the first thing to do is look around. It doesn’t matter the size, or how well you are aware of it. Look in every part of the room and consider the places where you can build your collection of photos with no issues.
Home Product Photography Guide
You already have your own home photo studio. Let’s look at what photography for products is and what elements you need to consider before you press the shutter on your camera. For instance, the background lighting, the background, and all of the elements that compose the images.
When it comes to product photography, the most important thing to making good images that sell is to draw the attention of consumers. This is the reason why every photo must be as true to the content as possible and should be distinct from other material.
Pose guide for photography
We’ve previously explained that among the kinds of stock photos that are most sought-after is one that is inclusive of individuals.
It is, therefore, crucial to ensure that your models express the correct emotions in your photographs to help sell. It can be natural or artistic however, they must be able to serve a particular goal.
Body language is crucial to take higher-quality photographs. The model’s performance is vital to the final product of your work. This determines whether you’re able to sell your images online (and at what cost).
Let’s get down to the business. How do you get your photos popular with those who request them on the websites that sell your photos? Download the pose guide to photography!
Finally, producing stock photography is a smart way to create an international brand within the digital environment.
We hope that you can use these tools and that, after reading this note, you feel motivated to start capturing unforgettable moments that will make you gain popularity and money.
We wish you good shots!