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stock photo business tips
© Tawatchai Prakobkit |

How to start a stock photography business

Ready to start your own stock photography business? It’s surprisingly simple. You already have a passion for taking photos. But what’s next?

Take your best pictures and upload them to your Dreamstime account. Next, enter a title, description and keywords metadata. Then sit back and watch the money roll in. 

Sound too good to be true? Not necessarily. Like any business, you’ll only get back what you put into it. Here are a few ways to excel in the stock photography business.

1. Get to work

Don’t rely on Dreamstime to do all the marketing for you. Promote your photos on social media, blogs, online portfolios, newsletters and more. If you can post your digital portfolio link somewhere, do it.

Promoting your business takes time and effort, but it’s the best way to help your images gain attention. Create accounts on photography websites and post everywhere when you have new uploads, sales, blog posts and more.

Ask for referrals from friends, family and clients. Embed a referral ID across your social media pages and blog posts. Don’t forget to post regularly to build up a following.

These marketing methods are free, so take advantage of them. If you don’t have accounts, make them. If you don’t have a blog or online portfolio, it’s time to create one. Remember: No one will fight to get your work out as hard as you will. So do it.

Looking for pro photography shots or inspiration, tips and advice to drive your own photography goals? Check out Dreamstime for all the pro images and inspiration you need.

2. Take a closer look

Stock photography buying trends are constantly evolving. Growing a successful business means you need to know your audience. The Dreamstime database allows you to sort images by Best Selling, Newest and Latest Uploads to see what everyone is flocking to these days. 

Find a niche that isn’t oversaturated, then look for related terms. Check out the top sellers to see how many times those images have been sold, and start taking photos to fill the gaps. 

The bottom line: Unique and fresh images can go a long way to grow sales.

3. Level up

Get outside your comfort zone. Try new shooting and post-processing techniques. Tap or click here to see if you should shoot in JPEG, TIFF or RAW. Experimentation is the mother of all teachers when learning new skills, so this is your official call to shake things up.

Success comes from growth, so expand your skills. Once you get comfortable with one technique, move on to the next. This is among the best ways to invest in your stock image business. 

4. Spend wisely

If you hire professional models, remember they can be expensive. But high-quality images featuring people who sign model release forms are always worth the investment. 

The good news is you don’t always need professionals from modeling agencies. You can ask friends and family or put out ads for more affordable subjects. 

Another excellent money-saving tip is to know that a camera does not make the photographer. Specialty lenses and lighting can improve image quality, which boosts sales potential. Invest in quality tech, but don’t buy anything you don’t need. Tap or click here for photography myths you should stop believing.

A booming photo business is more than uploading pictures to a stock image website. It takes time, hard work, research and a humble approach. You may not earn much at first, but keep following your dream, put in the time and watch as your efforts pay off in the long run.

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