Is Stock Photography Still Worth It?
If you’re a photographer, you’ve probably considered selling your photos as stock at some point. After all, what could be easier than uploading a few images and passively earning money from them?
Unfortunately, things are not quite that simple. The stock photography market is saturated, and commission rates are low.
That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to make money from stock photography, but it does require a bit of work.
In this blog post, I’ll take a look at the current state of the stock photography market and give you some tips on how to make money from it.
The Current State of the Stock Photography Market
The stock photography market has changed a lot in recent years.
In the past, stock photography was a niche market and photographers could charge high prices for their photos. Today, many online sites sell stock photos, and the competition has driven down prices.
In addition, many of these sites allow customers to download images for free or for a very low price. This has made it difficult for photographers to make a profit from stock photography.
There are a few reasons for the change in the stock photography market. First, the internet has made it easy for anyone to sell their photos as stock. Also, when everyone has a high-quality camera in their pocket, photographers and photos are available everywhere.
As a result, the market is saturated. There are hundreds of millions of images available for purchase, so it can be hard to stand out from the crowd.
This increased competition has driven down prices. In addition, customers can now easily find and download high-quality images for free or for a very low price.
This has made it difficult for photographers to make a profit from stock photography.
Is Stock Photography Worth It?
So, does it make any sense to sell stock photography in today’s market? Is stock photography worth your time?
Yes, it can be worth it, BUT it depends on a number of factors such as the quality of your images, how cost-effective you can produce images, and how much you can produce them.
Stock photography requires quite a lot of work in order to be successful. You need to spend time creating a portfolio of thousands of high-quality professional-level images, you need to keyword and caption your images properly, and you need to plan and execute the photo shoots.
To do all of those things well takes a lot of time and can easily be a full-time job.
However, if we compare stock photography to some other passive income source for example blogging, personally I’ve found that stock photography is an easier way to generate income than blogging.
I’ve been doing both for years now and while blogging makes me only a few hundred in a year, stock photography makes about $7000-$8000 this year. I mainly built my portfolios as a side gig when I was still doing a full-time job as an engineer.
So, despite the challenges, there is still money to be made in stock photography.
Below are some tips on how to do that.
Tips for Making Money from Stock Photography
- Study the Market: The first step is to familiarize yourself with the current state of the stock photography market. What types of photos are in demand? Which agencies to work with? Who is your competition? Answering these questions will help you identify opportunities to sell your photos.
- Find Gaps: Once you understand the market, look for gaps that you can fill with your photos. Perhaps there is a particular type of photo that is in demand but not well represented. Or maybe you have a unique style that sets you apart from other photographers. Find ways to make your photos stand out and fill those gaps in the market.
- Follow Trends: A good way to stay ahead of the competition is to keep an eye on trends. What topics are people searching for? What styles are popular? Identifying trends early will give you a leg up on other photographers who are trying to sell similar photos.
- Find Your niche: One way to stand out in the stock photography market is to focus on a specific niche. When businesses are looking for someone to fill a specific need, they’re more likely to choose someone who specializes in that area. So if you can find a niche that you’re passionate about and that businesses are willing to pay for, you’ll be in a good position to succeed.
- Be patient and upload consistently: Stock photography is a long-term game. It can take months or even years to start seeing any real income from it. So it’s important to be patient and consistent in your efforts. Keep uploading new photos on a regular basis, and eventually, there will be results.
Check out these posts for more tips on how to find success in stock photography:
So, is stock photography worth it? The answer is yes BUT… only if you’re willing to put in the effort necessary to succeed. By studying the market, finding your niche, and following the trends you can still make money from selling your photos.
Overall, selling stock photography can be a great way to make some extra income — but it’s not for everyone. With a little hard work and dedication, you can find success in the stock photo market.