It was a gorgeous sunny day in the South of France. I was in bliss, focussing my camera on the herd of Camargue horses as they splashed through the sparkling wetland. Today, a photo from that shoot was licensed for use in a magazine.
Yesterday, someone bought my image of a Canadian beaver for a two-page spread in a book. The day before, a snapshot I took of a statue while walking through a park near my house sold for use in a presentation.
I’ve always loved taking pictures both at home and abroad. When I discovered stock photography, I found a way I could make money from both. I was immediately hooked. It is a simple and fun way to earn from my daily activities, wherever I am in the world.
Selling stock photos is easy. First, I submit photos to an online stock agency, Alamy. After I caption and keyword the images, they are displayed online for potential buyers. Alamy takes care of the sales and invoicing.
Stock agencies have a constant need for new images of almost everything under the sun. I can submit pictures of whatever I happen to be doing on any given day—hiking, cooking, sightseeing, birdwatching, or walking along a beach.
It does not take a huge investment of time to get started. When I worked in an office full-time, I made progress even when I had only a few minutes per day to devote to photography. Even 15 minutes was enough time to edit a few of my vacation photos, select my best images for submissons, or write captions.
Stock photography is one of the most flexible careers that I can think of. I work entirely on my own schedule, I choose my own projects, and spend as much time as I like on them.
Another great feature of the business is that photos can sell over and over again. Images I shot many years ago are still useful to photo buyers. In fact, I often go back to photo albums from past vacations and select and submit the best and most unusual for stock.
Every morning I check my agency’s stock sales report to see how much money my photos made while I was sleeping. It never fails to bring a smile to my face to know that my old photos continue to sell, creating a passive income, years after I took the pictures.
As an enthusiastic lifelong learner, I benefit financially from time spent learning about my subjects. Knowing that I’ll be submitting my photos to an agency encourages me to become more observant during my travels. I jot down any intriguing facts I pick up. This helps me add more detailed captions and keywords to increase sales potential by making it easier for buyers to find exactly what they are looking for.
When I’m not out in the world photographing, I’m enjoying the peace and quiet of my home office. No more meetings for me. Now that I’ve left my “real” job to pursue photography full-time, I can’t imagine anything else I’d rather do.
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