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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 July 8, 2020

3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively

3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively

It is easy, in the onrush of life, to become a reactor – to respond to everything that comes up, the moment it comes up, and give it your undivided attention until the next thing comes up.

This is, of course, a recipe for madness. The feeling of loss of control over what you do and when is enough to drive you over the edge, and if that doesn’t get you, the wreckage of unfinished projects you leave in your wake will surely catch up with you.

Having an inbox and processing it in a systematic way can help you gain back some of that control. But once you’ve processed out your inbox and listed all the tasks you need to get cracking on, you still have to figure out what to do the very next instant. On which of those tasks will your time best be spent, and which ones can wait?

When we don’t set priorities, we tend to follow the path of least resistance. (And following the path of least resistance, as the late, great Utah Phillips reminded us, is what makes the river crooked!) That is, we’ll pick and sort through the things we need to do and work on the easiest ones – leaving the more difficult and less fun tasks for a “later” that, in many cases, never comes – or, worse, comes just before the action needs to be finished, throwing us into a whirlwind of activity, stress, and regret.

This is why setting priorities is so important.

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3 Effective Approaches to Set Priorities

There are three basic approaches to setting priorities, each of which probably suits different kinds of personalities. The first is for procrastinators, people who put off unpleasant tasks. The second is for people who thrive on accomplishment, who need a stream of small victories to get through the day. And the third is for the more analytic types, who need to know that they’re working on the objectively most important thing possible at this moment. In order, then, they are:

1. Eat a Frog

There’s an old saying to the effect that if you wake up in the morning and eat a live frog, you can go through the day knowing that the worst thing that can possibly happen to you that day has already passed. In other words, the day can only get better!

Popularized in Brian Tracy’s book Eat That Frog!, the idea here is that you tackle the biggest, hardest, and least appealing task first thing every day, so you can move through the rest of the day knowing that the worst has already passed.

When you’ve got a fat old frog on your plate, you’ve really got to knuckle down. Another old saying says that when you’ve got to eat a frog, don’t spend too much time looking at it! It pays to keep this in mind if you’re the kind of person that procrastinates by “planning your attack” and “psyching yourself up” for half the day. Just open wide and chomp that frog, buddy! Otherwise, you’ll almost surely talk yourself out of doing anything at all.

2. Move Big Rocks

Maybe you’re not a procrastinator so much as a fiddler, someone who fills her or his time fussing over little tasks. You’re busy busy busy all the time, but somehow, nothing important ever seems to get done.

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You need the wisdom of the pickle jar. Take a pickle jar and fill it up with sand. Now try to put a handful of rocks in there. You can’t, right? There’s no room.

If it’s important to put the rocks in the jar, you’ve got to put the rocks in first. Fill the jar with rocks, now try pouring in some pebbles. See how they roll in and fill up the available space? Now throw in a couple handfuls of gravel. Again, it slides right into the cracks. Finally, pour in some sand.

For the metaphorically impaired, the pickle jar is all the time you have in a day. You can fill it up with meaningless little busy-work tasks, leaving no room for the big stuff, or you can do the big stuff first, then the smaller stuff, and finally fill in the spare moments with the useless stuff.

To put it into practice, sit down tonight before you go to bed and write down the three most important tasks you have to get done tomorrow. Don’t try to fit everything you need, or think you need, to do, just the three most important ones.

In the morning, take out your list and attack the first “Big Rock”. Work on it until it’s done or you can’t make any further progress. Then move on to the second, and then the third. Once you’ve finished them all, you can start in with the little stuff, knowing you’ve made good progress on all the big stuff. And if you don’t get to the little stuff? You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you accomplished three big things. At the end of the day, nobody’s ever wished they’d spent more time arranging their pencil drawer instead of writing their novel, or printing mailing labels instead of landing a big client.

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3. Covey Quadrants

If you just can’t relax unless you absolutely know you’re working on the most important thing you could be working on at every instant, Stephen Covey’s quadrant system as written in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change might be for you.

Covey suggests you divide a piece of paper into four sections, drawing a line across and a line from top to bottom. Into each of those quadrants, you put your tasks according to whether they are:

  1. Important and Urgent
  2. Important and Not Urgent
  3. Not Important but Urgent
  4. Not Important and Not Urgent

    The quadrant III and IV stuff is where we get bogged down in the trivial: phone calls, interruptions, meetings (QIII) and busy work, shooting the breeze, and other time wasters (QIV). Although some of this stuff might have some social value, if it interferes with your ability to do the things that are important to you, they need to go.

    Quadrant I and II are the tasks that are important to us. QI are crises, impending deadlines, and other work that needs to be done right now or terrible things will happen. If you’re really on top of your time management, you can minimize Q1 tasks, but you can never eliminate them – a car accident, someone getting ill, a natural disaster, these things all demand immediate action and are rarely planned for.

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    You’d like to spend as much time as possible in Quadrant II, plugging away at tasks that are important with plenty of time to really get into them and do the best possible job. This is the stuff that the QIII and QIV stuff takes time away from, so after you’ve plotted out your tasks on the Covey quadrant grid, according to your own sense of what’s important and what isn’t, work as much as possible on items in Quadrant II (and Quadrant I tasks when they arise).

    Getting to Know You

    Spend some time trying each of these approaches on for size. It’s hard to say what might work best for any given person – what fits one like a glove will be too binding and restrictive for another, and too loose and unstructured for a third. You’ll find you also need to spend some time figuring out what makes something important to you – what goals are your actions intended to move you towards.

    In the end, setting priorities is an exercise in self-knowledge. You need to know what tasks you’ll treat as a pleasure and which ones like torture, what tasks lead to your objectives and which ones lead you astray or, at best, have you spinning your wheels and going nowhere.

    These three are the best-known and most time-tested strategies out there, but maybe you’ve got a different idea you’d like to share? Tell us how you set your priorities in the comments.

    More Tips for Effective Prioritization

    Featured photo credit: Mille Sanders via unsplash.com

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