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You may never have thought of your digital photography interest as anymore than a hobby, but you may be able to earn some money for your efforts, as a stock photographer. This would have been unlikely decades ago. Today, however the Internet is not only a huge medium that needs stock photos, but also the prefect place to market your photos. The challenge is two-fold: first, you must be able to take quality photos that the market wants, and then you must know how to use the system to market them. Reading the many how-to articles on PhotographyTalk.com will help you become a better digital photographer; reading this article will teach you some of the tips and methods to sell your photos.
Partnering with Online Photo Databases
Typically, online stock photography is offered by and bought from various Internet-based database companies.
• Start, by researching the stock photography databases. Look at the kind of photos they offer to determine if yours will be competitive.
• It’s best to concentrate your portfolio on one or two sites. You’ll obviously have a better opportunity to be noticed because there are more of your images from which to choose. The databases that accept your photos will usually create a page or pages to display them and incorporate them into their site search engines, which also make them accessible with a standard Internet search.
• In many cases, once buyers find photos they need on a particular site, they will return there again and again. The stock photo companies make it easy to entice them by making sure they always have a few credits in their accounts.
Shoot the Most-Wanted Digital Photos
As with any product or service to be marketed, you must know what kind of images the buyers of stock photos want.
• That requires a bit of research, too, to determine which industries need new stock photos regularly, and then shooting those pictures.
• Obviously, those industries will change, but some that use many stock photos include health and fitness, finance and business.
• Sometimes, they want pictures of smiling people and families who are expressing their satisfaction with those industries.
• They may also need stock photos that are symbolic of what their industries do, in a more graphic or abstract form, such as money and stock trading for finance and the benefits of Internet marketing and technology for those industries.
• Once you’ve identified which industries are active buyers of digital stock photos, you then want to be sure to shoot a series of photos of the same subject or object. Multiple photos from different angles of the same person doing fitness drills are much more likely to grab the interest of a stock photo buyer than just a single fitness photo. Now, you’ve created a reason for the buyer to return to your page and purchase more of your digital photos.
Keywords Are the Key
Taking plenty of great digital photos is not enough. You must also invest plenty of time in developing keyword tags for your photos.
• Again, some research will help you understand this process; but, simply put, you want to create a complete list of keywords for each photo that describes it as thoroughly as possible and in as many categories as possible.
• Keywords could describe the contents of your stock photo: the people, the objects, the place and the action.
• Keywords could also relate to photographic techniques, such as color, black and white, lighting, angle, etc.
• Other keywords may relate to the industries or businesses that are most likely to use your stock photos: a picture of a young couple could represent both engagement rings for the jewelry industry and new homebuyers for real estate.
You probably won’t be able to quit your day job and become a full-time stock photographer (although some do); but the opportunity to earn some extra money is a powerful motivation to continue to improve your digital photography skills.