How to Succeed in Selling Photos Online

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If you ask a handful of photographers, if they have ever tried to sell photos online, most probably you get two types of answers. There are those that simply do not know that they can actually sell photos online and then there are those, that they have given it a try, but gave up because they did not succeed to submit and sell any photos.

In managing to be a more successful stock photographer there are a few basic rules that one must follow. I would like to share with you some golden rules, which in my opinion can boost; both the number of photos accepted by stock houses, as well the number of sales.

Keep it simple

Avoid excessive unwanted 'noise' in your photos. If you are photographing a man reading a news paper, on a bench, in a park, make sure that there are no other distractions. People walking in the background, children playing on the grass or pets running around, are a sure way to divert the attention and focus away from your subject.

Composition and technical aspects should be perfect

With so many photographers submitting photos on a regular daily basis, it is imperative that from a technical point of view, the photo is flawless. Photo should be well exposed, sharp, aberrations kept to a minimum and digital noise controlled.

Think Outside the Box

A sure way that will guarantee that your work is accepted is to be creative and come up with original work. In order to avoid painful rejections do not bother to shoot photos of things that are immediate to you surroundings. By this I mean shooting your garden, your pet, and other very easy to shoot subjects. Remember that stock houses are inundated by such photos. You will simply get a feedback saying that they are not looking for these particular types of photos.

Consider buying some extra filters, I suggest that you start by buying a polarizing filter. This will help in adding that little extra to your photos in particular circumstances.

Start by working with what sells best

If you take the time to browse around, you will notice that themes related to people doing business or interacting with each other, green technology and medicine are quite popular. If you are shooting a model or any person that is recognisable in the photo, it is essential that you get permission to use your photos. Ask the model to sign a model release form. Avoid your work being rejected simply because you do not possess a model release to publish such work.

Inform yourself what is covered by copyright

Logos, paintings, sculptures or any other trademarks that are covered by a copyright should never be included in your photo. Many photographers get their work rejected simply because they do not assess the area when shooting the photo or examine the photo when editing it. It is of the outmost importance to check your subject's background for any trademarks. Needless to say, subjects that are directly covered by copyright such as cars, boats and buildings should never be your subjects. If you really have to shoot a subject with a trademark in the background, make sure that you edit this later on, on your computer.

Keywords must be relevant

You can have the best photos and yet you won't manage to sell any for the simple fact that you are not tagging your photos properly. Keywords are a very important aspect that will determine the faith of your photos. If we refer back to our previous example of the man sitting on the bench, make sure you the keywords are relevant. Keywords such as 'red', because he is wearing a red shirt or 'shoes' for the simple reason that he is wearing a pair of shoes, are definitely not reflecting the subject in your photo.

My last advice is that you should never give up. If you are committed and keep producing good quality photos, you can rest assured, that you are on the right path to be successful in selling photos online and turn your photos into cash. I invite you to browse my site at for more guidelines and sources on how to become a better photographer and be successful in selling photos online and make money.
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