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5 Sites Where You Can Sell Your Photos

5 Sites Where You Can Sell Your Photos

Photography is a hard business to break into, especially the upper brackets. But the internet does make it possible to earn a few dollars off of your photos — especially if you’ve found some great shots. More and more people have what amount to high-quality digital cameras these days and, if you’re one of them, at least a few of your photos may be able to make you a little money as stock photos. There are many sites that will allow you to upload your photos and sell them as stock photography.

I wouldn’t suggest stock photography as a ‘get rich quick scheme,’ of course. Most sites are looking for a certain level of work, which isn’t out of reach for amateur photographers but does require a little extra effort. If you do want to make more than a few dollars through selling stock photography, it’s a good idea to practice beyond your family snapshots. A quick head’s up: most sites have been inundated with everyone’s travel and family photos for the past ten years. You’re more likely to sell if you’ve got something a little different.

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5 Stock Photography Sites

  1. iStockphoto
    As far as stock photography sites go, iStockphoto is pretty well known. They’ve been in business since 2001 and have an extensive collection of stock photography to sell. In order to contribute you’re work, you’ll need to sign up for a free iStockphoto account. You’ll also be asked to read a manual on the site’s quality standards and answer a short quiz. Lastly, iStockphoto wants to see three samples of your best photography. It may sound like a lot of work, but if your photos pass iStockphoto’s standards, it’s one of the best options for selling stock photography. iStockphoto has much higher traffic than many other stock photography site and sells more photos. You’ll get 20 to 40 percent of all downloads of your photos.
  2. Stockxpert
    Stockxpert offers a respectable reach: it’s paired with stock.xchng, a site where a huge number of people look for free photos. Stockxpert offers low-priced stock photos to both stock.xchng’s members as well as the rest of the internet. Just like iStockphoto, Stockxpert requires that you sign up for a free account and then apply to be a seller and requires a few sample photos. You’ll receive 50 percent of the price of each photo you sell.
  3. Fotolia
    If you’re more concerned about the percentage of royalties than anything else, Fotolia might be a good option. This site offers photographers 64 percent of sales and has a record of accepting far more photos than most other stock photography sites. It isn’t necessarily my first pick: Fotolia doesn’t have as much traffic as other sites. But for the right photographer, Fotolia is a good fit.
  4. Crestock
    Crestock does require you to register for a free account before you really get to look at the site’s terms, but the terms aren’t really unusual. You’ll receive 30 percent of the price of every image you sell through Crestock. Sign up is simple — that registration takes care of most of the site’s requirements. As soon as you’re registered, you can start uploading photos immediately. Crestock staff then review them and make them available for purchase.
  5. Dreamstime
    Dreamstime offers a sliding scale of compensation for photographs, based on the number of downloads. Better selling photos have a higher price tag, and photographers can get from 50 to 60 percent of the sale price. Dreamstime also offers bonuses in certain situations. To get started with this site, you’ll need to set up an account and submit sample files. Dreamstime then reviews your samples; if they’re approved, those photos will be made available for sale immediately.

Other Options

There are plenty of sites like CafePress and Photrade that offer you the opportunity to put your photographs on t-shirts, mugs and other items up for sale. While some people can have a lot of success selling products through such sites, that route requires a lot of marketing, as well as some pretty great photos. In contrast, the sites above pretty much require users to upload photos and walk away. Actually taking the photographs is the main area you’ll need to work on; sites like iStockphoto and Stockxpert take care of marketing your work to all the designers looking for stock photography. You might find yourself doing some photo editing, of course, but you won’t be expected to pay for an ad for your own work.

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You’ll also find that there are many other stock selling options out there, like Shutterpoint, that require a fee from photographers before they start selling photos. Shutterpoint’s range from $19.00 to $49.00 for a year’s worth of access.There are also sites with other requirements, often meant to limit the site to professional photographers. Some sites do offer higher payouts in exchange for photographers meeting more strenuous requirements.

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Like I said before, stock photography isn’t a fast way to get rich. With a little work, you can post images that keep bringing in a little money long after you’ve submitted the file.

If there’s a particular stock photography site that you’ve sold through successfully, please add it in the comments. I know there are many more options out there, and I’d like to hear about your experiences with those other sites. If you have any resources for photographers looking to start selling stock photography, feel free to include those as well.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

How to Take Notes Effectively: Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

How to Take Notes Effectively: Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

Note-taking is one of those skills that rarely gets taught. Almost everyone assumes either that taking good notes comes naturally or, that someone else must have already taught about how to take notes. Then, we sit around and complain that our colleagues don’t know how to take notes.

I figure it’s about time to do something about that. Whether you’re a student or a mid-level professional, the ability to take effective, meaningful notes is a crucial skill. Not only do good notes help us recall facts and ideas we may have forgotten, the act of writing things down helps many of us to remember them better in the first place.

One of the reasons people have trouble taking effective notes is that they’re not really sure what notes are for. I think a lot of people, students and professionals alike, attempt to capture a complete record of a lecture, book, or meeting in their notes — to create, in effect, minutes. This is a recipe for failure.

Trying to get every last fact and figure down like that leaves no room for thinking about what you’re writing and how it fits together. If you have a personal assistant, by all means, ask him or her to write minutes; if you’re on your own, though, your notes have a different purpose to fulfill.

The purpose of note-taking is simple: to help you work better and more quickly. This means your notes don’t have to contain everything, they have to contain the most important things.

And if you’re focused on capturing everything, you won’t have the spare mental “cycles” to recognize what’s truly important. Which means that later, when you’re studying for a big test or preparing a term paper, you’ll have to wade through all that extra garbage to uncover the few nuggets of important information?

What to Write Down

Your focus while taking notes should be two-fold. First, what’s new to you? There’s no point in writing down facts you already know. If you already know the Declaration of Independence was written and signed in 1776, there’s no reason to write that down. Anything you know you know, you can leave out of your notes.

Second, what’s relevant? What information is most likely to be of use later, whether on a test, in an essay, or in completing a project? Focus on points that directly relate to or illustrate your reading (which means you’ll have to have actually done the reading…). The kinds of information to pay special attention to are:

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Dates of Events

Dates allow you to create a chronology, putting things in order according to when they happened, and understand the context of an event.

For instance, knowing Isaac Newton was born in 1643 allows you to situate his work in relation to that of other physicists who came before and after him, as well as in relation to other trends of the 17th century.

Names of People

Being able to associate names with key ideas also helps remember ideas better and, when names come up again, to recognize ties between different ideas whether proposed by the same individuals or by people related in some way.

Theories or Frameworks

Any statement of a theory or frameworks should be recorded — they are the main points most of the time.

Definitions

Like theories, these are the main points and, unless you are positive you already know the definition of a term, should be written down.

Keep in mind that many fields use everyday words in ways that are unfamiliar to us.

Arguments and Debates

Any list of pros and cons, any critique of a key idea, both sides of any debate or your reading should be recorded.

This is the stuff that advancement in every discipline emerges from, and will help you understand both how ideas have changed (and why) but also the process of thought and development of the matter of subject.

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Images

Whenever an image is used to illustrate a point, a few words are in order to record the experience.

Obviously it’s overkill to describe every tiny detail, but a short description of a painting or a short statement about what the class, session or meeting did should be enough to remind you and help reconstruct the experience.

Other Stuff

Just about anything a professor writes on a board should probably be written down, unless it’s either self-evident or something you already know. Titles of books, movies, TV series, and other media are usually useful, though they may be irrelevant to the topic at hand.

I usually put this sort of stuff in the margin to look up later (it’s often useful for research papers, for example). Pay attention to other’s comments, too — try to capture at least the gist of comments that add to your understanding.

Your Own Questions

Make sure to record your own questions about the material as they occur to you. This will help you remember to ask the professor or look something up later, as well as prompt you to think through the gaps in your understanding.

3 Powerful Note-Taking Techniques

You don’t have to be super-fancy in your note-taking to be effective, but there are a few techniques that seem to work best for most people.

1. Outlining

Whether you use Roman numerals or bullet points, outlining is an effective way to capture the hierarchical relationships between ideas and data. For example, in a history class, you might write the name of an important leader, and under it the key events that he or she was involved in. Under each of them, a short description. And so on.

Outlining is a great way to take notes from books, because the author has usually organized the material in a fairly effective way, and you can go from start to end of a chapter and simply reproduce that structure in your notes.

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For lectures, however, outlining has limitations. The relationship between ideas isn’t always hierarchical, and the instructor might jump around a lot. A point later in the lecture might relate better to information earlier in the lecture, leaving you to either flip back and forth to find where the information goes best (and hope there’s still room to write it in), or risk losing the relationship between what the professor just said and what she said before.

2. Mind-Mapping

For lectures, a mind-map might be a more appropriate way of keeping track of the relationships between ideas. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of mind-mapping, but it might just fit the bill.

Here’s the idea:

In the center of a blank sheet of paper, you write the lecture’s main topic. As new sub-topics are introduced (the kind of thing you’d create a new heading for in an outline), you draw a branch outward from the center and write the sub-topic along the branch. Then each point under that heading gets its own, smaller branch off the main one. When another new sub-topic is mentioned, you draw a new main branch from the center. And so on.

The thing is, if a point should go under the first heading but you’re on the fourth heading, you can easily just draw it in on the first branch. Likewise, if a point connects to two different ideas, you can connect it to two different branches.

If you want to neaten things up later, you can re-draw the map or type it up using a program like FreeMind, a free mind-mapping program (some wikis even have plug-ins for FreeMind mind-maps, in case you’re using a wiki to keep track of your notes).

You can learn more about mind-mapping here: How to Mind Map: Visualize Your Cluttered Thoughts in 3 Simple Steps

3. The Cornell System

The Cornell System is a simple but powerful system for increasing your recall and the usefulness of your notes.

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About a quarter of the way from the bottom of a sheet of paper, draw a line across the width of the page. Draw another line from that line to the top, about 2 inches (5 cm) from the right-hand edge of the sheet.

You’ve divided your page into three sections. In the largest section, you take notes normally — you can outline or mind-map or whatever. After the lecture, write a series of “cues” into the skinny column on the right, questions about the material you’ve just taken notes on. This will help you process the information from the lecture or reading, as well as providing a handy study tool when exams come along: simply cover the main section and try to answer the questions.

In the bottom section, you write a short, 2-3 line summary in your own words of the material you’ve covered. Again, this helps you process the information by forcing you to use it in a new way; it also provides a useful reference when you’re trying to find something in your notes later.

You can download instructions and templates from American Digest, though the beauty of the system is you can dash off a template “on the fly”.

The Bottom Line

I’m sure I’m only scratching the surface of the variety of techniques and strategies people have come up with to take good notes. Some people use highlighters or colored pens; others a baroque system of post-it notes.

I’ve tried to keep it simple and general, but the bottom line is that your system has to reflect the way you think. The problem is, most haven’t given much thought to the way they think, leaving them scattered and at loose ends — and their notes reflect this.

More About Note-Taking

Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

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