5 Reasons Stock Photography is a great option for Amateur Photographers

Photographer taking selfie

I hadn’t given much thought to stock photography or micro-stock photography because as a photography enthusiast I thought it was an area where only the Pros got to hang out and get paid a lot.

I’ve since changed my tune. When I received a few inquiries on my Instagram ( @thisgirlwithcamera) asking whether I sold my images. My initial reaction was, “What? Really? Someone is willing to pay for my images?” That’s when I decided that it might be worth looking into stock photography and signed up with Dreamstime.

I want to share five reasons stock photography is great for beginner photographers, hobbyists, and amateurs alike:

1. It can help you develop your photography skills. You will never run out of ideas of subjects to photograph. Do you enjoy photographing nature, people, children, lifestyle, pets, architecture, urban, travel, food, or events? You’ll likely find there is a place for you in the world of stock photography.

License Free Photo - Creative Commons by gnuckx

2. You can start with what you got. If you’re like me and got the photography bug, you will have already taken loads of photos over time, like, while on vacation, photos of your kids, your dog, of friends or family, at various events, or even previous client work, etc.?

Why not go through your catalogue of images and see what you already have that might work well for stock photography and that meet the requirements for selling, such as having the necessary model and property releases required to post certain images?

3. You can develop skills in marketing you didn’t know you had. Selling your images as stock photography can force you to start paying closer attention to trends, start analyzing the work of others and start getting a better feel for what sells.

You can then begin to understand what types of content seem to do well (e.g., color, composition, style, subject etc.) or how to tag and describe your images.You can then use this information to be more strategic in the images you capture and submit for sale.

4. You can do it on your own time and potentially earn passive income. It’s up to you how much time and effort you want to invest in it and that flexibility is what’s so great.

Ok, so let’s be real, for some of us the money we might earn from our photos may not be able to pay the bills, heck it may not even get us a fancy caffeinated beverage, so if you think this might be a very lucrative side hustle you might be disappointed. Some might even say the time it takes to photograph, prep and post images and the return on investment is not worth it.I think it really depends on your perspective and what your intentions are and how much you want to invest in this endeavour.

If you already have great high-quality images from your travels or say, some unused images from client work (with permission to use them of course), and it’s the type of work that is on trend, then it may be a great side hustle that may require initial time and effort upfront to get set up but that may provide you a passive income stream. You might be able to use your earnings towards new or used camera gear or toward your next vacation, where you will no doubt take loads more photos!

Refer to #1 and #3 for valuable benefits of joining a stock photography community like Dreamstime.

And last, but not least,

5. It’s a great way to build your portfolio, gain exposure, connect with other photographers and find inspiration. Whoa, that’s about three more solid reasons right there! You’re welcome.

If you’re like me and you are always looking for ways to stay inspired and continue to develop your skills, then stock photography might be a great way to do just that.

I believe that the stock photography arena can be a place for us non-pros to grow, stay inspired and even get paid while doing so. I plan to participate in this community more as part of my photography goals for the new year.

So what are you waiting for? Check out some of the photos on Dreamstime to get inspiration and to see what’s trending and then check out your catalogue and see if you’ve got some existing images. If you don’t, then pick up that camera and get out there and shoot!

Nadine Mcdermott
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  • Cassandramcd
  • Toronto, Canada
A photography enthusiast and accidental content creator. Loves portrait photography because it is a chance to get to know the subjects more personally. Lover of croissants and coffee. When not taking photos can be spotted on weekends having brunch, probably involving french toast!

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December 04, 2017

Good Points, Great blog !


December 04, 2017

Good points, Nice blog !