First, it’s important to have the right equipment. Stock images often will have an even higher demand for quality than standard gallery images, and clearly, this is no place for your smartphone photos! You’ll want to have invested in a good quality camera and lens, including a/some macro lenses for super sharp detail shots.
You’ll want to take time getting to know all of the settings of your equipment as when you submit your images to a stock site, they are meticulously reviewed by a person or persons to ensure they not only look good, but were also taken technically correct! The submission and application process can be daunting, so don’t feel dejected if you and / or some images don’t get in. Take your time and build a LARGE portfolio of stock images and apply to multiple sites!
From a poll taken of many successful stock photographers, they say they upload 50-100 images a month once they’ve been approved and rolling for a while. That’s a LOT of shooting...and most say that when they start, they average over 200 a month to ensure their accounts are loaded and in good standing.
Consider every possible commercial use for your images and take advantage of every connection you have. Know someone who owns a restaurant? Taking some “behind-the-scenes” photos of the kitchen/bar area can be an excellent opportunity to fill an empty niche!
Generic is Best
With stock images, you can’t have recognizable brands or logos in your photos. Photos of people and locations will also require proper model/property releases signed before you can legally sell them!
Be sure to also keyword and apply the right metadata to your images to get the best results. Treat your images like setting up a brand new business every time on Google. The right keywords will attract more people to find your image.
It’s also in your best interest to research what images sell best on the sites with which you want to work. This will help you identify what subjects and kinds of images are sought after and what areas or styles to avoid.
Some Stock Site Options