What is Stock Photography?
Stock photography is the business of licensing pictures and granting someone else the right to use it for a defined and delimited purpose. The most important point is that the photographer does not sell the property rights and remains the only owner of the image – which means he can still use or sell the same pictures for other purposes.
Stock Image Agencies
There are many well-established agencies on the market, with various focuses and positioning on the Market. We have now been working almost 5 years with ImageBroker in Münich, a new and fast growing player on this market.
How much do you get?
Depending on the Agency (and your contract), you will get between 30 and 60% of the Sales. What does that mean ion reality? There is a quite reliable “rule of thumb”: you will earn approx. 1€ per year and picture that the agency has listed. So with 100 pictures, you will make 100 € a year. We have now 675, and let you do the count…
How does it work?
First, you have to be listed as a potential photographer, and this is a quite challenging part, as agencies prefer to focus on professional photographers… For this, you must send a selection of your best pictures. First check the requirements, as those vary from one agency to the other. But most probably you will need to send pictures with Adobe RGB (1998) as Color Space. You will also need to describe the picture (ready to look for the Latin name of the animals you have photographed?)…
Once you are listed as a photographer (and signed a contract), you have to submit selections of your pictures. This is when it turns downright frustrating, as in the beginning they will probably take less than 10% of what you already consider as being a sharp selection.
You might also experience very direct feedback about the quality of your selection or about your skills as a photographer… With years going, you will better understand what can be sold and what not, and reach approx. 30 to 40% of the pictures submitted actually listed.
Is it worth it?
Probably the biggest advantage is that we learned a lot about which picture has some potential and which not… even though we keep on having very big (and nasty) surprises! During the last 4 years, we made enough money to buy a brand new Canon EOS 6D with a 24-105 f/4L IS USM Lens. Not much considering the amount of work evolved.
So this is surely a nice addition, but will never be a significant source of income…