Stock Photography Guidelines

The better the content you have, the better your chances of bringing it to market and earning money from it. Experiment and be creative with your photography to help you create outstanding photographs that catch the eye of the stock photography agencies.

Most stock photographers send their photographs to publishers in digital format and because of this, certain requirements must be met. Many stock photographers also tend to enhance their digital images before sending them to publishers by sharpening for better quality and color.

If you edit you're digital photographs using photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop the try to keep your alterations to a minimum as you don't want to end up destroying the quality. A good idea may be to hire a qualified graphic designer to take care of these jobs.

Before you submit any of your digital images to suppliers you will first need to ensure that you follow any rules and guidelines set out by them. For example, if the publisher asks you to upload images in .JPG format, then ensure that you do so and don't upload the likes of a .PNG or .TIFF file as it will most likely be rejected.

If the publisher has some form of text field that you can put your photograph caption on then ensure that you do so. Go with every single term that the publisher outlines when uploading your photograph(s), even if you think that they are wrong.

Agencies for Stock Photography

One of the best agencies that I would recommend you to use for your stock photography is Alamy. The offer a really good deal and give 60% of the money to the photographer will they only keep a mere 40%. Some agencies work in favor of themselves and don't pay out much so do your research before going ahead with a company.

The first step to choosing an agency is to check whether they specialize in your area of photography first. Secondly, make sure you read their terms for uploading your photographs, and lastly, make sure they are decent and aren't out just to rip you off.

If you fail to follow guidelines, your request may simply be ignored and your image(s) removed so be very careful. If there is a problem with your submission, most agencies should contact you via email or telephone to tell you where you've went wrong and how you can rectify the problem.

The Lingo of Stock Photography

  • Licensing - There are two types of licensing and they are Rights Managed and Royalty Free.
  • Micro Agencies - The likes of iStock and Dreamstimes license images cheaply and rely on sales volumes which are high.
  • Tear Sheet - This is simply a sheet torn out of a magazine or book that you can use to show other people the images that you've successfully had published.
  • Print-Run - This is how many copies of a magazine or book will be printed out.
  • One Time Usage - This means that the publisher can only use your image once.