This line of work can be so competitive and photographers are always looking for ways to get their portfolios noticed. I have put together a few tricks that may help you increase your photo profits and attract more customers.
Obviously, the more photos you upload, the higher the likelihood of making money from this gig.
One of the big secrets of this is to build up a very large quantity of good photos so that your potential buyers have a diverse selection of snaps to browse. If you have lots of wares on offer then there is better chance of obtaining a purchase.
Be careful to avoid taking stock photos of people or brands without their permission. In reality, you could easily get in a lot of trouble for this. If you want to submit a photo of a model then you may need that person to sign a consent/release form before you continue.
3. Good Camera
Although, if you want to take this very seriously then it may be worth investing in a high mega pixel (6 or over is usually good enough) DSLR camera. This is so that you can take the highest quality photographs possible.
You could even get a camera like this pre-owned for a fairly cheap price if it comes to it. However, this is desirable but not mandatory. Your rivals will be taking great quality photos so yours need to be better or at least the same level if you want to get a look in.
4. Create a Website
The alternative to using these sites would be to create a website or blog of your own to sell your work. As a result, this would inevitably cut out the middleman, resulting in more profit for you.
You will forfeit a lot of traffic using this route so you will need to build up your site popularity and become more established to counter this.
You can protect your work from theft by adding watermarks/credits somewhere on your pictures. Not to mention, if anyone does try to steal from you then they could face legal ramifications.
Some agencies are fine with you adding watermarks while others will want you to avoid it so that they can do add one instead. Look for details on this before you upload as this can be a deal-breaker.
An interesting trick that you can try is selling your photos in bundles rather than individually. You have likely seen countless retailers use this trick in order to shift their inventory. You can sell a group of photos of a similar theme at a discounted rate which might push up your sales.
Lighting is a vital element of photography so your pictures will need to be easy to view. If you want to take an intentionally dark photo then that’s fine but it’s best not to go too dark. You can sometimes amend this through photo editing or simply waiting for the right time of day or by using a flash for night-time shots.
8. Memorable Name
You may want to put some thought into your username. Instead of just using your birth name, you could think of your very own business/brand name or something relevant to stock photos in order to give yourself more authority. This could entice potential customers to be more likely to buy from you.
If something is meant to be out of focus for artistic reasons then that’s absolutely fine. However, if it looks like or is a mistake then it might turn off your potential customers and they may view it as unprofessional.
10. Right Way Up
Occasionally, through no fault of your own the photo can sometimes rotate accidentally when uploading. If this happens then your photos will usually be instantly rejected so make sure to check that your images aren’t flipped upside down.
If you are going to tweak and mess about with your images on Photoshop then you need to make sure that any changes look natural and organic. If anything looks too ‘plastic’ or obviously out of place then this could be deemed as inappropriate by both the site and clients.
12. File Format
You will have to check the upload rules for the relevant agency. Many sites would prefer or even require you to submit photos in a JPEG format.
Be careful when adjusting sharpness. You don’t want your image to be too sharp or not sharp enough as there can be unfortunate side effects. You don’t really ever know what the customers preference is so it’s best not to interfere too much.
14. File Size
You may need to edit your photos before hand as there is a limit on file size with most sites. Large files obviously take longer to send so you need to combat this. Some companies have differing opinions on compression so always check what they want.
Steady hands are important when capturing images. You don’t want your pictures to come out blurred through shaking. There isn’t much you can do to rectify this other than attempt the shot again.
16. Popular Agencies
The biggest, most popular stock photo sites obviously have more visitors than smaller agencies so it may be a good idea to utilize them more often as you will likely get more attention and sales per photo.
It’s a good idea to check beforehand if your photos have any markings caused by dust or anything else. This can spoil a perfectly good image. If you are lucky then you might be able to fix this through editing.
Try and diversify the particular subjects of your photographs. Some people scour the internet for wildlife pictures while others crave business/corporate photographs.
Try targeting different markets. You need to be aware that potential customers might be interested in completely different things compared to other buyers.
19. Multiple Sites
If you aren’t restricted by exclusive rights then it is good practice to upload the same image to lots of agencies so to increase your income. This is a great way to spread the word and gain notoriety.
20. New Agencies
New stock photo sites crop up all the time. It may be a wise idea to register with new and less popular sites because there won’t be as much competition which is beneficial to you if your one of the very first sellers to sign up.
21. Photo Size
A lot of prices depend on the size of the photo. If you want to make the big bucks then offer large scale prints as these go for a high price. The smaller ones are okay too as you may get more interest as they are often cheaper.
22. Extra Monetization
Having a site or blog is a business in itself. If you sell photos on your own website then you can make an extra streams of income by posting banner advertisements and affiliate links to other stock photo sites.
It’s worth it to spend time working on the titles, captions, tags and descriptions of each of your photos. This will need to contain relevant keywords so that your customers can easily search for your work.
Stock photo sites work in a similar way to search engines for stock photo buyers. You need to be willing to optimize your wording if you want to be rewarded.
24. Master Your Camera
You need a camera that has wide array functions so that you can change settings depending on the type of photo you want to take. It would really be to your benefit if you learned what your camera can actually do inside out and how it’s done. I would also apply this rule to the subject of photography in general.
The cut that you make from the sale of each photo should climb as your reputation increases on a particular site. You can aid this by being a member for a long time and also consistently producing epic quality photographs.
You may earn yourself valuable return customers of they have purchased from you in the past and know that you are reliable.
Implementing the points above into your work should hopefully lead you on the road to boosting your reputation as a stock photographer and improving your income. Please don’t forget to share this with your friends and comment below. Thanks for reading!