How to succeed in stock photography

How do you rate success when it comes to stock photography?

Having your files accepted online in the first place is success!

After weeks or maybe months eagerly waiting and constantly checking your portfolio, you finally manage your first ever sale...that is a wonderful feeling and is certain success!

Reaching certain milestones in sales such as 10, 20, 50, 75, 100, 1000 files sold is definitely success!

Having your files accepted for the Dreamstime competition...success!

Coming in 1st 2nd or 3rd place in the Dreamstime competition...magic!

Having your photos printed on the front covers of books and novels, on web pages etc gives you a feeling of self-satisfaction and successful achievement!

And of course, when it is time to turn those sold files into hard earned cash...success!

When all is considered, selling stock photography is a never ending journey of personal successes, goals being set and milestones reached!

Every photographer will have their own way of rating their own successes and achievements on this journey, and pushing your boundaries and skills onward to the next level keeps you on a forward momentum!

One thing I have learnt over the almost ten years of supplying stock photography is NEVER leave your camera at home....that is certain failure!

My camera NEVER leaves my side! There will always be something to shoot during the day.

You can guarantee that the once-in-a-lifetime shot will present itself when you have left your camera at home...and you will be kicking yourself around for years to come!

With video production files in big demand, I always carry a spare battery with me, and I make sure both are fully charged before the next shoot, especially for video shoots as these 'eat up' your battery power more than taking regular shots. It's the worst feeling to be caught out half-way through a video shoot when the camera shuts down through a lack of battery power!

View your camera as your tool. Any proficient craftsman like a plumber, carpenter, bricklayer etc will always have their tools with them wherever or whenever they go to work, and they pay much attention to keeping their tools in prime condition for excellent why should you view your photography with any less seriousness?

Persistence certainly pays off! NEVER ignore those certain 'feelings' you get inside to take just one more might just be the one that lands you success!

The photo below is of a romantic couple walking hand-in-hand along a seaside pier...something inside me was telling me to take the shot, there was a certain feeling about it! I'm so glad I never ignored that 'feeling' as it ended up on the front page of a family advice book!

Romantic couple on holiday walk

I have had my photography on the front covers and inside pages of many books and I call myself a professional photographer?....a successful photographer?

One thing is sure, stock photography has been a journey of self discipline, endurance, persistence and every now and then a reassuring pat on the back for successes and milestones reached, ever looking forward to the next challenge!

So how do you rate success in stock photography?

Only you can be the judge and jury of that one!

Photo credits: Photodynamx.

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July 06, 2019


Thank you very much for your valuable advice.

July 06, 2019


with so much competition out there it can be easy to give up and forget about your successes and achievements...keeping positive and loving the work you do keeps the DRIVE ALIVE!!

July 05, 2019


Nice ! I like your enthusiasm !

July 05, 2019


I always try to obtain a hard copy of my work if I can, it's a good way of opening other doors when looking for private work/commissions etc...thanks for comments!

July 05, 2019


It is a lot of rewarding fun to find where your stock photos have been used. Though it doesn't net huge amounts of money, selling stock has been a rewarding hobby, as you point out so well. Thanks for writing! William

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