Stock Tips: Choosing an Agency for Your Stock Photography

Dave Crowther OMP Member #78597 has contributed a series of helpful articles on how members can get in on the lucrative business of stock photography. The articles are being published on the OMP Weekly Newsletter as well as here on the OMP Blog.

There are hundreds of micro-stock agencies available that you can sign up to shoot for.

Some of the big names in the Micro-stock industry are:

• iStockphoto
• Dreamstime
• Shutterstock
• 123RF
• Fotolia

Each agency has their own pricing structure (although they may change over time) and benefits for their photographers. You should review those benefit charts and determine which agency will work best for you.

You could even sign up for multiple agencies and submit your images across multiple vendors. This could greatly increase your earnings as good images become popular across multiple agencies. However, you do need to consider the workload associated with uploading your images across multiple agencies. There are tools available (“upload managers”) that can help facilitate uploading your images across multiple agencies, managing the keywords and meta information associated with those images, and managing the corresponding model releases for all recognizable faces in the images.

Some agencies offer “exclusivity,” which says that you as a photographer will only shoot for that specific agency. By agreeing to exclusivity, you earn an extra percentage on each image that you sell along with other benefits. Carefully read the Exclusivity contract as it does limit your ability to display and sell your images elsewhere. It may not be worth the extra percentage that you earn if you are not allowed to sell your images on other sites.

NEXT TIME: What types of images sell as stock photos?

See more images by Dave Crowther on his OMP Portfolio.

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