How To Make Cash From Images Inventory Photographs (Be aware: You Do not Want A Used Digital camera)

Do you like taking photos? What do you think of learning how to make money in photography? Stock images can be big best sellers if you know how to take a great photo.

You don’t have to have an expensive camera to get on this passive income street. As well as using regular cameras, people also use their smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices.

We’ll show you how you can make money with photography and turn your hobby into a stream of passive income.

All it takes is a little understanding of what people are looking for and what you need to do as an artist. And best of all, you can do all of your business from the comfort of your home!

How To Make Money With Photography On A Stock House

So how is it that your photos can potentially make you money? Easy:

There is a whole niche demand in the world that wants to quickly find and license photos for promotional purposes or for their own use.

Just look at the pictures of a brochure, product, advertisement or website. Most likely, almost none of them were captured by conventional professional photographers.

Instead, they were likely taken by amateurs or semi-professionals with a photography hobby and then licensed as a photograph.

An “archival photo” or “micro photo” is an image that is captured and then used for multiple purposes.

While a magazine can hire a photographer to take specific photos of a model or clothing for one of its characteristics, a stock photo works the other way around.

People buy what you’ve already created

The artist takes the photo (for example of a beautiful sunset). This photo is then uploaded to a photo house, which acts as a broker for potential customers for the use of this photo.

As you can imagine, the photo can be used once, ten times, or possibly thousands of times. And as the photographer of this photo, you can get paid every time your photo is used.

What To Do Getting Started In Photography

The first thing you have to do in order to make money on stock photography is to take some pictures!

Most stock photo companies want samples of great images from potential contributors. They want to see your work before they accept you as a contributor.

Get out there and take some great shots. Read a great article on beginner photography if you feel you need it.

When determining the technical requirements for photos, see the requirements in the submission guidelines of the websites you plan to send to. We’ll talk more about this later.

But for now, just focus on getting great pictures.

Tip: You don’t necessarily need an expensive camera to take photos. If you already have one, great! But if you have a decent phone camera, that might do the trick too.

You can find information about camera requirements on some of the photo websites listed here.

What kind of pictures should you take?

Typically, photo companies sell most of the photos of things that happen in real life:

  • The guy who works on his computer
  • Friends have dinner
  • One parent is playing with a child
  • A woman in a doctor’s office
  • Great weather and nature shots
  • Home and residential shots
  • Sports recordings

Stock photo buyers are often people who own websites that talk about real life things like people, business, lifestyle, education, etc.

Landscape photos can work as well, but usually sell better with people in the shot. Exception: Fantastic landscape shots can be great sellers.

Note: When submitting photos of people, most stock photography companies want those people to sign up for publications that use those photos. Keep this in mind when submitting photos for review.

If you use your underage children in your photos, you are responsible for signing the rental agreement.

Where to shoot

Where should you take these pictures? Everywhere people go regularly. Picnics, festivals, vacation destinations, parks.

Snap photos in the doctor’s office while your child is assessing height and weight. Or have your blood pressure measured.

Take pictures of your child playing sports. Or watch a butterfly. Swim on the beach.

Or anywhere you can get a great picture of nature or weather.

You get the picture (pun intended). As I mentioned earlier, photographing real people in real places results in images that tend to generate the most sales.

Where to Submit Your Photos (Most Popular Stock Photo Companies)

There are some companies that are more popular than others when it comes to purchasing photos. Some companies share your photos for free.

But you want to make money, so you want the companies that pay you for it. Here are some of the most popular photo companies.

Make sure you read each website’s terms of use before signing up. This is important so you know what the filing requirements are and how you will be paid.

Be sure to compare payout rates and terms between companies. Do not sign up as an exclusive contributor unless you are absolutely sure that you only want to license photos from one of these websites.

It may be more profitable to sign up with more than one and spread your work across different channels.

How Much Can You Expect to Earn?

How much money you make selling photography depends on several factors.

  1. How great your recordings are
  2. The number of shots you’ve submitted (the more the better)
  3. How appealing / identifiable your recordings are.

People who buy photos want photos that their readers can identify with. The more shots you submit, the greater the chance that people will buy your photos. And of course quality is important.

Eventually, people will use these photos on business websites.

You, the photographer and the warehouse, get revenue every time a customer licenses the image.

Depending on the fees and prices negotiated between everyone involved, you could potentially make a very good residual income.

In fact, Shutterstock paid a total of $ 115 million in contributions in 2016 alone.

This is proof that good photographers can make residual income from stock photography.

Make money while you sleep

The really great thing about this whole strategy is that once the image is uploaded to the warehouse, it can be viewed or downloaded by anyone at any time of the day or night.

So if your portfolio was really good and you had a nice selection of images to choose from, You could wake up one morning with an extra $ 10, $ 100, or even $ 1,000 in your bank account. The possibilities are there!

This is true residual income at its best. You do a little work ahead of time, and with the right steps, the money comes in.

Keep these tips in mind

Before you go wild and upload your entire digital photo library to a warehouse for the world to use, there are a few things you should know.

Not every photo makes the cut

Warehouses just want the best of the best to be presented to their customers.

Therefore, the images must be of the highest quality and have some useful aspects from the customer’s point of view. not necessarily because you think it’s “good”.

Stock photo companies have control over which photos are accepted and which are not. However, they are usually great at providing feedback to contributors.

As a contributor, be aware of the feedback you receive. Use it to take even better pictures next time.

Over time, you will find out what types of images you post are selling – and which are not.

That way, you’ll learn more and more about what types of photos are best selling. You can use this information to post more alluring photos.

Pay attention to copyright agreements

Not all warehouses offer the same conditions for your photo collection.

Before signing up, make sure you read the fine print and understand what your rights as an artist are in the photos.

You don’t want to get into a situation where you can’t personally use the photo for your own use just because you’ve uploaded it to the website. Make sure you understand the laws before you commit.

Some common mistakes are taking photos of scenes with other company’s logos, like cans of coke, etc.

You have no control over the image

And it’s important to understand that you have no control over how the image is used.

Suppose you are a man uploading a great shot of his beautiful wife. Nothing prevents an advertiser from licensing the photo for use in a domestic abuse advertising campaign.

You could be embarrassed if the neighbor sees your wife’s picture on the cover of a domestic violence ad.

The point? Know and expect your photos can be used anywhere. Stock photo companies have strict rules about what photos can be used for.

They usually don’t allow photos to be used for inappropriate purposes. However, this does not mean that everyone has to strictly follow these rules.

And just like in the scenario mentioned above, a photo of you can be used appropriately, but still in a way that can cause you embarrassment.


If you have a knack for great images, stock photography can be some serious money making business.

And be honest; it won’t hurt to try. If companies reject your photos, all you have is time.

But if they are accepted, you could make serious passive income.

Have you ever tried selling photography? If so, how was your experience? Feel free to share in the comments.

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