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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 August 12, 2019

How To Start a Conversation with Anyone

How To Start a Conversation with Anyone

The hardest part of socializing, for many people, is how to start a conversation. However, it is a big mistake to go about life not making the first move and waiting for someone else to do it [in conversation or anything].

This isn’t to say you must always be the first in everything or initiate a conversation with everyone you see. What should be said, though, is once you get good at starting conversations, a lot of other things will progress in the way you want; such as networking and your love life.

Benefits of Initiating a Conversation

First thing is you should acknowledge why it is a good thing to be able to initiate conversations with strangers or people who you don’t know well:

  • You’re not a loner with nothing to do.
  • You look more approachable if you are comfortable approaching others.
  • Meeting new people means developing a network of friends or peers which leads to more knowledge and experiences.

You can only learn so much alone, and I’m sure you’re aware of the benefits of learning from others. Being able to distinguish the ‘good from bad’ amongst a group of people will help in building a suitable network, or making a fun night.

All people are good in their own way. Being able to have a good time with anybody is a worthy trait and something to discuss another time. However, if you have a specific purpose while in social situations, you may want to stick with people who are suitable.

This means distinguishing between people who might suit you and your ‘purpose’ from those who probably won’t. This can require some people-judging, which I am generally very opposed to. However, this does make approaching people all the more easier.

It helps to motivate the conversation if you really want to know this person. Also, you’ll find your circle of friends and peers grows to something you really like and enjoy.

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The Rules

I don’t have many rules in this life, for conversation or anything; but when it comes to approaching strangers, there are a few I’d like used.

  1. Be polite. Within context, don’t be a creepy, arrogant loudmouth or anything. Acknowledge that you are in the company of strangers and don’t make anyone feel uncomfortable. First impressions mean something.
  2. Keep it light. Don’t launch into a heartfelt rant or a story of tragedy. We’re out to have fun.
  3. Don’t be a prude. This just means relax. This isn’t a science and conversation isn’t a fine art. Talk to people like you’re already friends.
  4. Be honest. Be yourself. People can tell.

Who To Talk To?

I’m of the ilk that likes to talk to everyone and anyone. Everyone has a story and good personalities. Some are harder to get to than others, but if you’re on a people-finding excursion, like I usually am, then everyone is pretty much fair game.

That said, if you’re out at a function and you want to build a network of people in your niche, you will want to distinguish those people from the others. Find the ‘leaders’ in a group of people or ask around for what you’re looking for.

In a more general environment, like at a bar, you will want to do the same sort of thing. Acknowledge what you actually want and try to distinguish suitable people. Once you find someone, or a group of people, that you want to meet and talk to, hop to it.

Think of a few things you might have in common. What did you notice about their dress sense?

Building Confidence

The most important part of initiating conversation is, arguably, having confidence. It should be obvious that without any amount of self-esteem you will struggle. Having confidence in yourself and who you are makes this job very easy.

If you find yourself doubting your worth, or how interesting you are, make a few mental notes of why you are interesting and worth talking to. There is no question you are. You just have to realize that.

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What do I do? What is interesting about it? What are my strong points and what are my weak ones? Confident people succeed because they play on their strengths.

Across the Room Rapport

This is rapport building without talking. It’s as simple as reciprocated eye contact and smiles etc. Acknowledging someone else’s presence before approaching them goes a long way to making introductions easier. You are instantly no longer just a random person.

In my other article How Not To Suck At Socializing, there are things you can do to make yourself appear approachable. This doesn’t necessarily mean people are going to flock to you. You’ll still probably need to initiate conversations.

People notice other people who are having a blast. If you’re that person, someone will acknowledge it and will make the ‘across the room rapport’ building a breeze. If you’re that person that is getting along great with their present company, others will want to talk to you. This will make your approach more comfortable for both parties.

The Approach

When it comes to being social, the less analytical and formulaic you are the better. Try not to map out your every move and plan too much. Although we are talking about how to initiate conversation, these are really only tips. When it comes to the approach, though, there are some things you should keep in mind.

Different situations call for different approaches. Formal situations call for something more formal and relaxed ones should be relaxed.

At a work function, for instance, be a little formal and introduce yourself. People will want to know who you are and what you do right away. This isn’t to say you should only talk about work, but an introduction and handshake is appropriate.

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If you’re at a bar, then things are very different and you should be much more open to unstructured introductions. Personally, I don’t like the idea of walking directly to someone to talk to them. It’s too direct. I like the sense of randomness that comes with meeting new people.

However, if there is rapport already established, go for it. If not, take a wander, buy a drink and be aware of where people are. If there is someone you would like to talk to, make yourself available and not sit all night etc.

When someone is alone and looks bored, do them a favor and approach them. No matter how bad the conversation might get, they should at least appreciate the company and friendliness.

Briefly, Approaching Groups

When integrating with an established group conversation, there is really one thing to know. That is to establish the ‘leader’ and introduce yourself to them. I mentioned that before, but here is how and why.

The why is the leader of a group conversation is probably the more social and outgoing. They will more readily accept your introduction and then introduce you to the rest of the group. This hierarchy in a group conversation is much more prevalent in formal situations where one person is leading the conversation.

A group of friends out for the night is much more difficult to crack. This may even be another topic for discussion, but one thing I know that works is initiating conversation with a ‘stray’. It sounds predatorial, but it works.

More often than not, this occurs without intention. But if you do really want to get into a group of friends, your best bet is approaching one of them while they are away from the group and being invited into the group.

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It is possible, like everything, to approach a group outright and join them. However, this is almost an art and requires another specific post.

Topics Of Conversation

Other than confidence, the next thing people who have trouble initiating conversations lack is conversation! So here are a few tips to get the ball rolling:

  • Small talk sucks. It’s boring and a lot of people already begin to zone out when questions like, “What do you do?” or “What’s with this weather?” come up. Just skip it.
  • Everything is fair game. If you are in the company of someone and a thought strikes you, share it. “This drink is garbage! What are you drinking?” “Where did you get that outfit?”
  • Opinions matter. This is any easy way to hit the ground running in conversation. Everyone has one, and when you share yours, another will reveal itself. The great thing about this line of thought is that you are instantly learning about the other person and what they like, dislike etc.
  • Environment. The place you’re in is full of things to comment on. The DJ, band, fashions; start talking about what you see.
  • Current events. Unless it’s something accessible or light-hearted, forget it. Don’t launch into your opinion on the war or politics. If your town has recently hosted a festival, ask what they think about it.

Exiting Conversation

Although I’d like to write a full post on exiting strategies for conversations you don’t want to be in, here are some tips:

  • The first thing is don’t stay in a conversation you’re not interested in. It’ll show and will be no fun for anyone.
  • Be polite and excuse yourself. You’re probably out with friends, go back to them.  Or buy a drink. Most people will probably want to finish the conversation as much as you.

Likewise, you could start another conversation.

If you’d like to learn more tips about starting a conversation, this guide maybe useful for you: How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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