You probably have dozens of travel photographs that are collecting virtual dust on your hard drives. Some of your best images are hidden from the rest of the world, in hopes that one day they’ll get a chance to be published. In reality, those exact photographs can become your source of a side income. What’s more is that the more unusual and unique they are, the more chances you have at monetizing them.
Maybe you remember an interview with the successful stock photographer Logan Bannatyne. Initially hoping it would be a side hobby, Logan made his microstock business his main source of income. I’m here to tell you that you can do the same. Although microstocks are a tough business to break into, you can still try your hand at it and potentially make significant profits from your travel photographs. Lets dive into what microstocks are and how you can contribute.
Not a contributor yet? Here are the basics
The stock market is a large pool of quality photography that attracts both photographers and clients from all over the world. There are two types of stock photography platforms, stocks and microstocks.
Stock photographs sell with different profit margins. Whereas stock photography is much more expensive, microstock agencies sell images for a smaller price. The benefits of microstocks is that your images have more chances of being sold and can be sold multiple times making you profits in the long run.
Microstocks welcome photographers from all areas of expertise. You can be a beginner or a professional and have the same chances at selling your work.
How much can you expect to make on microstocks?
This question has no definitive answer. Stock agencies make large payouts every week to their contributors. You can be sure that photographs are selling. Your sales will depend on how much time you invest into keywording and making your images discoverable. Another important factors is how versatile and large your stock photography portfolio is.
Hard work pays off with microstocks. Your subjects and your general style will have a significant impact on sales. The knowledge in this article will help you set your foot in the door. As long as you’re committed and want to see returns on your efforts, you’re setting yourself up for success.
What kind of images sell best?
At Depositphotos, we’ve put together an infographic to show you the travel images that have sold well this year. Understanding the type of bar that is set for you can help you grasp the market and start photographing according to trends.
Here are the top search inquiries for travel photography over the past year. You can see the types of photographs clients are looking for to give you more ideas for photo shoots. Doing a little bit of research into the current trends (as covered in this article) will give you a better understanding of the types of photographs and themes that sell well.
Other resources to help you
Our blog is a little bundle of inspiration if you’re starting out working with microstocks. Check out our ‘What’s in demand’ series to find out which photographs sell best from different categories. We also have frequent interviews with our successful contributors to give you a sense of direction and expert tips on stock photography.
If you’re looking for something a little more specific, we had a chat with 3 travel photographers that share their insights into their business and share secrets on how to succeed as a photographer.
How to become a contributor for microstocks
Create a Depositphotos account. You can find out more about becoming a contributor to this microstock agency by following this link. You will find detailed instructions on how to proceed and how to get started.
You’ve already organized your photographs, if you go through with the stages of creating an account, you can start uploading your images. Be sure to read the specifications. If your images have people in them, you do need to have model release forms which you can find here.
Another way to make a profit from travel photography is to sell your mobile images with Clashot. It’s an easy to use app that works for your convenience if you’d like to upload images on the go while you’re traveling. You don’t always have your DSLR at hand and mobile photography can be equally impressive. The gems you have on your phone deserve a chance at a second life.
Follow trends and keep your portfolio updated
The stock photography market is constantly changing and evolving. Current trends linger for a while and morph into something completely different within a short time frame. Follow our blog for the latest information on images that sell, trends and general tips on photography.
You’ve been given all the resources to grow your side business and flourish as a professional photographer. Keep your portfolio updated and remember that your income will be proportional to the effort you put in, the time you spend perfecting your shots and the little technicalities that make your photos discoverable.