Updated: May 10, 2021
The second wave of the pandemic has caused unprecedented changes in all our lives in ways we never even imagined. Many have lost their near and dear, many their livelihoods, and almost all of us our carefully planned routines. For photographers like you, opportunities to get out there and capturing those candid moments may have been altogether lost or would have been drastically reduced with travel and tourism almost grinding to a halt, events being canceled, and days together of lockdown. So if you are looking for a way to get some work done while being indoors or seriously thinking about alternate ways to earn a living, online stock photo sites could well be that option.
Why Stock Photos Sell?
Many organizations rely on stock images or photos and videos for building and promoting their brands. You may ask why they don’t personalize it more by using photos or videos of their own people or facilities. Well, people may not stick around in the same organization for the length of the time the footage will be used. There are quite a few other aspects such as getting footage of diverse people around the world and other legalities like GDPR involved in leveraging images of people living in Europe, getting people to sign model release agreements, etc,. If brands to show the type of services they provide, for abstract services they may struggle for visuals and fall back on stock photos. Also capturing various kinds of occupations across industries and global cities are all tasks that cause logistics nightmare to businesses and cost a lot of time, effort and money as well. The easiest and quickest way to get hold of various images without any of these complications is to license images from stock photo websites.
What Kind of Photos Sell?
All brands have people as their employees and people as their customers. Especially in the current pandemic times, organizations are positioning their brands with a human-centric messaging such as compassionate purpose looking to connect emotionally with their customers. So what better than visuals with people in them to tell their brand stories!
Diverse people visuals: Brands have gone global and have customers across the world. So there is demand for people from various geographies and races. These customers could span varied age groups and so people of all genders and ages need to be represented in the visuals as well.
Candid vs posed visuals: It is hard to connect with customers if the shots are posed and look artificial. Instead, brands need to represent normal people going about their routine lives. So the visuals need to be realistic and natural.
Holistic vs parts: Holistic images against showing only specific body parts like the limbs or eyes help in better storytelling and connect with consumers.
Experience Related Photos
With options for outdoor life and entertainment becoming limited and travel getting restricted, people are by now bored of watching their favorite movies or shows on their favorite gadgets. With a lot of online options opening up borders, people are looking for more holistic experiences than just passive watching or listening. So quite a few new business models have come to the fore offering such different experiences for people. Most of these experiences are activity-oriented and visuals related to such activities help these new small businesses to promote their brands. For example, experiencing the art of making a craft specific to a particular part of the country. When visuals are able to tell such a story beautifully, they spike the interest of people inspiring them to take up such experiences.
With homes once again becoming the center of our existence, there is this urge to beautify living spaces. So lifestyle-related businesses look for aesthetic visuals capturing beautiful homes, their interiors, furniture, décor, to mention a few.
Given that people have to eat three times a day, food has been always a favorite theme for photos. Presenting the food to make people drool is an art and such elaborate presentations when captured beautifully make one place an order immediately or run to the kitchen to experiment it on their own. An egg has never tasted or looked better in real life than in a beautiful photo.
Now that we have seen what kind of photos sell, here are the top five sites that marketers go to look for images to promote their brands.
Top Five Photos to Sell Your Photos Online
Shutterstock: One of the top sites leveraged by marketers, Shutterstock offers 15% to 40% of the earnings received by licensing your photos. There are various levels based on the number of images licensed for each contributor and the more the number of licenses the more the earnings are.
Adobestock: Adobestock offers 33% of royalties for photos and 35% for videos and earnings based on subscription and download of your photos.
Getty Images and iStock: For content licensed through iStock, royalty rates start at 15% and royalty-free images on Getty images can earn 20%.
Picxy: For those of us looking to sell our native photos closer home, there is Picxy, South East Asia’s largest stock photo site offering the potential to earn as much as 20%.
Foap: And for those of us who love to aim our phones and click, there is Foap, where each of your photos can earn $10 or you can participate in contests where rewards range from $100-$500.
So if you haven’t explored selling stock photography read up the terms and conditions of these stock photo sites and go for it.