Sell or buy images

We are the magicians of the images!

Everybody can make now an impressive photo album with a cheap digital photo camera for pleasure, but can be for profit as well. Your photographs could be interesting for other people and salable.

Do you want to increase your income using your hobby for photography? As a job or as a passion, you can learn how to make salable photos.

There are two types of management of the Stock Photography images and photos: royalty free and rights managed.

What is a royalty free image?

A royalty free image means that the price you pay for the image is the same whatever the time of use and the number of prints. An image bought under a royalty free license, can be used without limit of time and without limit of number of uses.

Some of the stock vendors allow their customers to purchase royalty free rights in order to use one photo for as many copies of one product as they like. For the second project they have to buy the same image again and so on. The vendor can limit the maximum number of copies for printed materials.

The royalty free license grants a non-exclusive use of the image in as many projects as you like, for a one-time flat fee. The purchaser may not claim ownership of a royalty free image or its derivative purchased.

Your photographs could be bought for multiple utilizations. Once you purchase a royalty free image, you can use it in advertisements, posters, wallpapers, signs, printed pictures, stickers, brochures, multimedia, web pages, magazines, newspapers, reports, books, newsletters, presentations, product packaging, films, documentaries, television productions, commercials, training, or for the creation of derivative works and other projects. There are very few restrictions on how you can use royalty free images.

The royalty free license allows you to alter an image and create your own unique work. The purchaser may not reproduce an image for display in a public or private art gallery or photography gallery or collection.

As a photographer, when you sell your photos as royalty free stock, you keep the full rights to your photos, and you are also free to sell them through other channels at the same time. If you want to offer exclusivity the commission will be bigger or you can set your own price.

You have to make photos for the market trend. If your photos have an interesting content into the commercial trend you can earn more.

You can learn how to buy or sell top quality photographs.

As a passioned or professional photographer you can learn how and what you can sell.
As a designer you can find information about photo specialized websites where could be found what you need.

There are many websites which seek for contributors. A lot of beautiful images are posted by photographers into the stock photo websites. Stock photos can be downloaded by subscribers of the websites.

Many Royalty-Free Stock Photo websites sell high quality photos for about $ 1 or so each.

As a photographer who wants to sell, you have to visit websites which offer high quality royalty free stock photos in order to be able to have an opinion on what kind of images could be marketed. A lot of photographers sell their work and earn big money.

Besides Stock Photo there is another business: Stock Footage. Footage market has grown into a thriving industry.

Stock footage (archive footage) is a film or video footage that is not shot for use in a specific film or program. This kind of video has no story, no beginning or end and can be used in diverse ways in order to compose a thematic project.

Stock footage is largely used by advertisement producers, news organizations, documentary filmmakers and movie studios.

In stock footage trading are two types of management: royalty free and rights managed. In rights managed, the owner of the content reserves the rights for selling licences. In royalty free, you pay a fee or a subscription and use the content how do you want without paying royalties.

Non-exclusive contributor – Exclusive images – Exclusive contributor

If you sell your photos on a specialized website you are considered a contributor. A non-exclusive contributor is an artist who uploads images which are available for sale with many other agencies not only with one.

A contributor may work with many photo stock agencies but the images provided to an agency and marked as being exclusive, have to be sold only with that agency.

An exclusive image is represented by a certain composition which include concept, subject, model, wardrobe, and other distinctive elements. One image has a creative message which must be unique and may include small variations as camera angle, model posture or gesture, which not enable the author to sell the image to or by other agency as being different.

An exclusive contributor will sell certain images of his work solely with a certain agency. Exclusive contributors may sell their work under an agreement of exclusiveness or a hire contract with an agency.

The photographs could be very well achieved or it will need to be edited. The light, the brightness / contrast, shadows and the color temperature adjustment are the basic elements. The appearance of your pictures could be improved by applying to the function of a photo editor. You can improve the images with: select, crop, red eye removal, straighten, blur / sharpen, resize. You can use paint, frames, effects and text in order to enhance your pictures.

Other editing tools used in the paint section are: color picker, clone, brush tools, fill tools, eraser, smudge, line, sharpen, darken, lighten. Effects: sepia, black & white, warmify, film grain, tint, graduated tint, saturation, focus, glow.

In order to sell your photographs or just share your pictures online you have to Sign Up on a specialized website and you can get the benefits of a professional approach.

Description and keywords for your photos

Before to submit your photos you have to do some important things. Each digital photo has a descriptive attachment. There could be found important information as photo properties. Each property has a descriptive value on image: width, height, horizontal resolution, vertical resolution, bit depth, frame count, equipment make, camera model, copyright, creation software, color representation, shutter speed, lens aperture, flash mode, focal length, F-Number, exposure time, ISO speed, metering mode, light source, exposure program, exposure compensation, date picture taken.

These values are automatic recorded by digital camera, but there are some descriptions that have to do write yourself. You have to write into the properties section: the origin – author name, description – title, subject, keywords, comments. You have to write accurate descriptions for your pics and use adequate keywords. Description and keywords are important parts of your photo submissions because the search engine searches your descriptions.

Make sure your keywords really describe your image. The keywords must reflect the specific items that are there in the image and the category to whom the image’s message belong. The description must be both concise and detailed. It has to reflect what you see in the image. Be sure that you have described and keyworded very well your pictures in order to be found by search engines.

Your images and keyword list should never have brands, trademarked words, labels with names of companies, copyrighted logos. 

An other important aspect is to give the name of the geographic location of the photograph content only if it is something representative for that location in the image.

Beside the technical fixes, very important to a photograph is the composition. The composition means what comprise the image and the position of elements into the image. In the image can be an object or more, isolated or arranged in diverse positions. The arrangement needs a concept. You need to have in mind a subject that the image have to reflect.

A clear and well framed, easy-to-see subject, will improve the chances of having the photos approved by agency and sold well.

As designer you’ll want to download more stock photos. With a flat fee you can download a big number of pics. You can get royalty free or exclusive right to use the pictures.

Technical and legal problems

You have to pay attention to the technical problems that may occur to a photograph. The main problems are with the following aspects: unsuitable exposure, blurry, lens glare, out of focus, over or under exposure, framing, over or under saturated colors, contrast, compression noise or pixel distortion, discoloration, grainy, quality of routing, interpolation.
This kind of problems could be caused by lens problems, cheap sensor, poor lighting conditions, excessive post-processing, slide scan etc.

If you do not use correctly the artificial lighting and reflectors, you introduce noise to your photographs. You can check the histogram on the camera to control the over or under exposure.

Over sharpening an image can produce grain. The contrast should not be boosted too much, in order to keep the details in the shadows, midtones and highlights.

The matter of Copyright is very important when you take pictures in order to sell them.

Every photograph content must be lawful. Attention to the copyright issues! The image can not contain visible trademarks, logos or company names, trademarked and patented designs, images with recognisable faces, images of properties, without a model release for each.

It’s forbidden to upload photos with content as following: art work (architectural works, toys, sculptures and other such), a photograph of a photograph, a photograph not taken by you, images obtained from the Internet or from printed materials (books, magazines etc.), computer desktop patterns, photographs taken from other agencies, photographs derived from the work of another.

You must be the photographer of the image you are submitting, or the artist if the image is an illustration, painting or drawing, etc. You must be the legal owner of copyright to the uploaded files.

If you take a picture (in public or in private place) of some people whose faces are clearly recognizable, you need a model release for each.

The passion of photography, a good photo equipment, together with a successful monetization can give you the chance to work what you like and to be paid for this.