How To Earn Money as a Stock Photographer

Stock photography is a different type of photography, it requires a commercial orientated eye.  It’s about knowing what a client wants and being able to deliver it by using various photography techniques. Over the years this genre of photography has changed the most. Agencies are becoming more mindful by supplying their clients a look that’s appealing and has a real world feel. A great portfolio example would be F Stop Lounge contributor, Suzanne Clements‘s own portfolio over at Stocksy.

Now as you are probably be aware there are many different stock agencies out there so it’s important to do you research when finding one to join. There’s a couple of things you should consider before joining an agency. The first is you’re not going to make a lot of money overnight (unless you are talented)  and secondly look into how much you are going to be paid as a photographer, i.e. what’s your share of the sale?

Some agencies I would recommend signing up to are:




and my personal favourite to sign up to is ImageBrief

I like ImageBrief for the number one reason you deal directly with a massive pool of global clients. The client submits their brief online and all you have to do is upload a photo which matches their brief.  The benefit of this is you only shoot for the client and you don’t waste time shooting photos that might not sell. Oh and the other thing they pay you 70% of the clients assigned budget! Last month they were reported to pay out the top ten photographers just under 75K so if I was you I would be signing up straight away!

Below are a few tips to consider when signing up to become part of a stock agency. If you follow there few tips then you will be on your way to earning the big dollars!

– Only upload your best 10 photos to start off with, these are the pictures you might see in a magazine or on its cover.

– Develop a style of shooting which is bright, clean and simple. Too much distraction in an image will turn potential buyers away.

– If you’re a landscape photographer (or indeed any other type of photographer) be sure to photograph subjects both vertically and horizontally. This gives clients the option to choose a format based on their own designs.

– Never compare yourself to another stock photographer. Everyone is different and we all have unique tastes. Develop your own style and stick with it.

– When researching agencies to join be sure to browse through photographers portfolios to see what the agency generally likes. Will it fit your style?

– When photographing people make sure you obtain a model release so you can use the image commercially. Tip: You can find sample contracts in various photography contract apps.

– If you’re photographing buildings or famous landmarks seek a commercial or building licence in order to use the images commercially.

– Add keywords to your images so potential buyers can locate your images with a single search. If you don’t understand the importance of keywords check out our previously published video “How To Use Keywords in Lightroom 5”


Disclosure: If you sign up to ImageBrief with this link: there may be a $5K win in photography vouchers for me.

So please support me if you are a professional photographer by signing up to ImageBrief if you enjoy visiting F Stop Lounge :)

Social Media Specialist > Blogger > Entrepreneur > Photographer > Marketer > Views and opinions are my own.

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