Sell stock photos: How Online Photobanks Work?
The thousands of great photos you've taken over the years can directly translate into a great income stream by selling the licensing rights to publishers. While making these individual connections is difficult, re-selling your photos as stock images through a variety of photo banks is certainly possible. There are a variety of stock photo sites that share revenue based upon user licensing, and working with the largest, most reputable sites will maximize your chances of success.
To start, it's important to understand that you are selling licenses to the intellectual property of your photos. By working with a stock photo site, you no longer will own the exclusive license to their use, although you will retain the copyright to the particular images. If you're willing to share licenses for commercial or non-commercial use, then selling your photos to a stock image site can be a great, lucrative way to benefit from your hobby.
If you have high quality photos that are of high enough quality for newspapers and traditional publications, then you'll want to work with a photo agent. There are three major photo agent sites which resell and license images to corporations and medical publications. The largest is Getty, which offers digital and print images, followed by Jupiter Images and Corbin. With premium prices, publications and media firms generally buy the rights to various stock photos for publication or use in promotional materials.
There are also royalty free stock photo sites which are designed for independent publishers. There stock photos are available at lower price points and can be a great way to sell high volume, standard quality photos to a large community. By selling a large number of photos at a low price point, you can start earning a solid revenue stream from your art work. Some of the largest sites in this area are iStockPhoto, which is operated by the Getty Image agency, as well as Fotolia, an independent community site, Jupiter Media's Stock Xpert as well as Shutterstock. These sites make selling your photos easy since they interface with potential buyers, collection the fees and distribute the proceeds.
There are two major ways to license your intellectual property. One of the primary ways is known as rights managed technology, which has a per use charge for high end photography. This is a good way to ensure that you have control over distribution. Internet sites and independent publications generally rely upon royalty free licenses which restrict the resale and specific use but allow any unlimited number of uses for a particular picture. For beginning photo sellers, royalty free venues have much higher volume and are likely to be the best source of income. Once you build up your profile as a top photographer, you can begin selling and licensing on rights managed basis, and may even be able to land exclusive deals for particular photos. You can make hundreds or even thousands by selling the rights to the top quality photos that you already use.
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