What Can You Expect To Earn Selling Stock Photos?
This is the part you really want to know about, how much will your stock photography commissions be? Getting paid for your efforts!
Stock photography commissions vary from agency to agency as you saw on the previous page, that is why you should vet them closely or follow recommendations before submitting all of your hard work. Do not just join an agency based on impulse or their promises or even what you read on forums and blogs, do some homework first.
There are many agencies out there, but it’s the ones with large corporate clients, a lot of traffic and a large database of quality photographs that you need. Even if it takes a while to get your work selling, you at least want to know that you are dealing with honest, reliable companies.
Oh yes. As I mentioned before, you may just get lucky and get that big sale ($54,000 for 4 photographs!), but my advice is to just keep shooting and submitting, and in a few years you may want to put your thousands of photos onto your own stock library.
Have a look at Alamy Images’ web site below to see what their photographs are selling for. As a guide to what you can earn, some agencies pay, on average, between 60% and 80% of the sale value. Click on the money symbol to calculate the price, and you start to get an idea.
Could it be any easier? You do what you love doing (taking photos), and then you just do a bit of work getting them up to the required standard and simply send them off. Your mindset should be that it doesn’t matter if I don’t sell any, but the extra money will come in handy.
60%-80% for doing what you enjoy, and letting someone else do the hard work is a breeze right? But don’t get too despondent, I say it again, it may take a while to get your first sale. I know of people now that earn between £2000-£5000 per month from stock, but it took a long time and a lot of hard work. The most popular stock photographer now earns commissions of over One Million Dollars a year selling stock through the microstock agencies alone!
What you can do in the meantime, once you have a good amount of stock, is to market them yourself locally. Set up a website with all of your high quality pictures on, and target the businesses in and around your area via ads, emails or flyers by “snail mail”. You never know, you could end up with a long term contract with one of the companies you target.
I have a couple of accounts where I get a phone call now and again asking for a specific image and I simply go out and do it. If you can get a few of these, it can be a nice way to make a living.
One such request went like this…
“Hi Nick! We have hired 2 speedboats, 2 drivers and 4 models for tomorrow morning for some lifestyle shots, can you be there at 9am?”
I was there at 8.30!
The point is, just keep taking photos, get yourself known, and it doesn’t matter how many photographers there are out there, you will earn money. Just stay focused, enjoy what you do, be nice and the stock photography commissions will come! Simple!