Beginner’s Guide to Earning Money in Stock Photography
Photo by Pepe Quilez

Beginner’s Guide to Earning Money in Stock Photography

Published on June 21, 2021

Firstly let’s talk about the term stock photography; it is a business that makes opportunities to sell images, illustrations, and videos customers buy legally to incorporate them into the marketing and personal projects.

Types of Stock Photography 

Macrostock: it is the traditional stock photography which implies for the agencies that sell high priced images. They license individual images directly to the client and sell those photos in the range between 30$ to 3000$.

Microstock: it sells images for much less; the photographer gets paid per image downloaded instead, usually at the end of each month 

Why use stock photography 

  • Anyone who can upload good-quality pictures can do it. 

  • You don’t need to have experience for an extended time to do it.

  • It is your decision to be a full-time job or a part-time job. You are your boss.

  •  The portfolio you’ll build up will help you in future employment.

  • Your photography skills will get better; it’ll force you to aim to make the quality of your photos, and you’ll make money doing so 

  • Obviously, it’ll take a lot of time to make good money selling images to stock to earn income. 


But it’s not a piece of cake as it sounds. You’ll need dedication even if it doesn't turn out to be a full-time job because of the change throughout the years; it’ll take a while, but you’ll get there. All it takes is hard work and patience. To gain money and make stock photography a full-time job, you should regularly upload for an extended period. For example, a user uploaded to a stock agency 30 photos; only ten were sold in 6 months and gained a tiny amount; on the other hand, a user uploaded 2000 images to several agencies and by uploading regularly earned a lot more per month.

Therefore hard work and dedication, creativity, and consistency will let you have a good income. 

Photo by Ramiz Dedakovic

What you’ll face when being a stock photographer 

There are a lot of elements that make or break you being a stock photographer. Some quit because they don’t see enough progress. Sometimes it’s the image quality. But, as said before, it takes hard work and dedication to upload 100 images per month. With years of stock images already existing more than a decade ago, you also need to catch the market’s eye if your works are buyable for them. So always get creative, use your imagination; that’s what will make you unique. Using stock images in the marketing campaigns can save time and money instead of planning an entire shoot and waste days when you can keep all that time by using stock images and videos. 

Photo by Ramiz Dedakovic

Tips for stock photography 

Keywording: The buyers will search for words related to the pictures that make them descriptive until it is easier for them to find them. 

Keep the end-users in your mind and look at what’s needed because it’s the bloggers, businesses, or magazines that run the stock photography.  

Ask questions such as what are they going to use for who would buy these photographs. 

Upload regularly more photos on the market; the better outcome you’ll have, your photos will be on the front in the search results.

Photo by Stefan Bremer

In conclusion, take your time to keyword your photos and supply to the demand; know the market very well, understand what’s needed and work accordingly. Also, look out for logos and brands. Create your style and stick to it but be open to new ideas because photos nowadays get real outdated quickly. Be creative;  let your imagination reach the sky and go out, shoot more learn new techniques. And as always, enjoy the journey.