At the moment I am stuck in the daily grind and have a standard 9 – 5 job, however one day I would love to follow my dream and make a living as a professional photographer. Whilst I am practising and improving my photography skills I am building up an extensive portfolio of images and rather than letting them sit on my hard drive doing nothing I thought I would try and make a bit of cash with them.
I had read that making money selling photographs wasn’t easy and I was prepared to put in the hard work, however I was not expecting it to be so difficult. Okay, I have managed to sell a few of my photographs, but not many, and the amount I received for them is laughable. I wasn’t expecting to get super rich, I am not that naïve, but I thought I would generate enough spare cash to buy some new photography equipment, such as a lens or two. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out this way.
Many people argue the best way to make money with photos is to sell them on stock photography sites, however based on my experience I am struggling to see how this is so. Stock photography websites are saturated with many excellent images and with so many budding photographers out there the stock photography companies can charge little for the stock images and give the photographers a pittance in commissions. Yep, the stock photography websites have tightened the thumbscrews on the photographers and give them virtually nothing for top quality and highly commercial photos.
It’s basically day light robbery, but the photographers are powerless to do anything about it, and it is either a case of put up and shut up, or not submit photographs to stock photography sites and make money with photos using some other means. The stock photography companies know that for every photographer who pulls their images from the site there are several more photographers only too willing to keep adding content.
Even though I have managed to sell a few of my photographs on some stock photography sites I haven’t actually managed to get any cash from them. My collective sales are sufficient to request some cash be deposited to my bank account for my photos, but my sales are spread around several stock photography sites and the individual earnings from each site isn’t enough for me to get my hands on the cold, hard cash. It’s very frustrating because these stock photography sites have actually got some money from selling my photos and have their cut, but won’t give me my share of the spoils.
As it is I have stopped submitting any new photos to the stock photography websites. I am tempted to pull all my photos, however I do want to get paid for my work therefore I am leaving it in the hope that one day I will reach the minimum amount for redemption so I can cash out. As it stands I don’t hold out much hope although I am going to wait and see what happens.
I haven’t given up on my photos and I still intend to make some money with them, so I am exploring other avenues, which I hope will be more lucrative.
Do you make money with your photos? If you do, do you care to divulge the ways in which you go about it? I look forward to your comments.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.