I decided to dip my toe into the Stock photography waters recently and got accepted as a contributor. I figured that, as I have ~7 years of photos that are not doing much for me sitting on a hard drive, I could upload some of these onto various stock websites in an attempt to generate some pocket money for myself.
I thought I'd share my progress, learnings and failures in this thread so that they might help someone else looking to have a go or provide a different viewpoint to some already involved in the stock photo communities.
Why did I decide to have a look into Stock?
It basically boiled down the fact that I have hundreds of images that (I believe) are either worthy of sharing to a wider audience or could be of value to someone that were sitting on my hard drive not really doing anything for me. I post some onto Flickr, Facebook and forums, and do the occasional print run for personal use, but that's all they do.
What expectations do I have for this endeavour?
I'm certainly not expecting to make my fortune, that's for sure . I have a stable job and semi-regular paid photography events that allow me to keep my house so I'd be ecstatic if I earned enough to buy a new lens in a couple of years though, but that will be a biiiiig stretch. Again, this just comes back to making my 'idle' photos do something for me.
What is my Approach?
So far, I haven't really defined my approach too much. I will likely sign up to a few different stock websites (where the T&Cs allow or aren't too draconian) but in the very short term, I will be uploading all of my suitable images to the site. I will also be spending a bit of time having a look at photographic trends, reading advice on stock photography and doing some research around promotion of photos having not delved too far into these topics previously.
Will I tailor my Photography to include more stock photos?
Possibly, but probably not. It seems that a lot of stock photographers take multiple shots of the same subject and upload all of the variations to the stock websites, i.e. taking a photo of the same sea shell from multiple angles or against different backgrounds and uploading them all. My current workflow, like many other peoples, involves taking many variations of the same subject and picking the best one/two to then edit.
Will I go out of my way to photograph subjects that hold commercial value but are of limited interest to me?
Again, probably not. Photography for me, first and foremost, is still a hobby and I don't want the personal value of that to diminish by taking photos of subjects that don't interest me.
So, with all that in mind, I hope that you find the future posts in this thread informative and please feel free to add your own experiences/thoughts/learnings to this thread as well. I find that it's a difficult thing to have too much information
I'm hoping to upload my backlog of images to the site over the next few weeks or so, and will keep this thread up to date on anything of potential interest.