Selling Stock Photography Tips

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Is the site that wants to sell your stock photos legitimate?

Research Before You Join a Stock Photography Website

You may be anxious to get your photos online and to start generating income from a hobby or business you love. But you should investigate thoroughly before you sign on with a stock photography website. As with other types of sites, some are legitimate and others are not. It's best to first research the online stock photography market and then investigate each individual site on which you list your photos. Here are some things to ask:

*Who will own the rights to the photo you list for sale?

*How does the site attract the right buyers, i.e. individuals and agencies who are creating advertising material and need stock photos?

*What policies are in place on the site? Do they clearly spell out the responsibilities of the stock photo owner, buyer and representative?

*What fees will you likely generate from each photo? How are they paid? What type of sales history does the site have?

*How long has the site been in business? Do they answer your questions in a timely and efficient manner.

By spending a few minutes investigating a site before you sign on to sell your photos, you could save time later on trying to untangle agreements that do not serve you.

As a stock photographer, can I deduct the expenses of working from home?

Stock Photographers Work From Home

In recent years, many home-based businesses have sprouted up. The Internet has allowed people to work successfully from a remote location. Even though you travel outside of your home to obtain new photos and images, much of the work of a stock photographer is done at home. As a stock photographer listing your photos for sale, you may be able to claim tax advantages as a home-based business. You should check with a qualified accountant to determine which expenses may be deductible. Taking advantage of these home-based deductions can make you more profitable, even if selling stock photography is a part-time job for you.

Should I have someone else represent me as a stock photographer?

Getting Started Selling Stock Photography

There are a number of ways you can get into the stock photography market as a seller. Some photographers decide to represent themselves, which means they handle all the aspects of marketing their own stock photos. This may take more time, but it will allow you more artistic control as well as put more money into your pocket.

Other stock photographers choose to market with only one representative as as an exclusive agreement. Those who pursue this option have the capability of creating a "brand image" from their name and a regular client list who likes to buy their work.

Still, other photographers allow some other entity to represent them. This means they will make less money per photo, but they will have more time to shoot photos and will spend less time with administrative work.

There are advantages and disadvantages to these choices. The most important thing is to make a conscious choice that is right for you so you don't regret your decision later on.

What type of stock shots sell?

Be Critical of Your Stock Photography Shots

A successful stock photographer isn't afraid to edit his or her own work. Some experts even suggest being highly critical of one's work. Just collecting a huge number of interesting shots won't help you sell your photos as stock. For example, have you taken a landscape shot at a time of day that no one else has? Do you have a unique angle of a building or bird? If not, edit those photos out of your portfolio and keep trying. It's best to edit photos right after a shot when your intentions and goals for each shot are still fresh in your mind. Don't be afraid to edit your own work before you submit it.

What is a stock photography portfolio

Generating a Stock Photography Portfolio

Before attempting to sell photos through a stock photography company, you should gather together as many different images as you can. Nearly any type of image -- a person, an animal, a landscape or a building -- may have some stock photography potential. Some stock photography companies only deal with photographers when they have a large amount and variety of images. Stock photos most often come from a photographer's personal collection, previous assignments or photography taken with stock photography in mind. It pays to take some time to generate a lot of images before entering the stock photography market.

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Jerry Mayo