If you are in any way a serious photographer you will, at some time or other, have asked yourself "how can I make my photography pay?"
Well, one way is to submit your images to a stock library, of which there are many. Personally, I have images all over the place and to be honest, it's a bit of a mess. Trying to keep track of what images were submitted where is a real nightmare at times. However, of late, I have decided to submit images to just two places, Adobe Stock and EyeEm.
When I say 'images' I am referring to stock images. I still enter images in contests and also to sites like Zazzle and Redbubble. These last two are sites where can upload your images and add them to various products (mugs, postcards, prints, garments, clothing, phone cases... the combinations seem endless. Check out the link to see what I mean).
Stock libraries offer a great way to get your images seen by thousands of possible clients. Everyday millions of images are used in blogs, corporate websites, magazines, books, leaflets and these images have to come from somewhere. Also, these potential clients want fresh images so there is a constant demand for new images. This means that potentially you can earn some good money if your images are good enough. The stock library does all the hard work of promoting your images to potential clients around the world. They also manage the website where your images are hosted, deal with royalty issues and at the end of the day, hopefully, sending you your share (usually 50% of what clients are charged).
So, looking at EyeEm, what is on offer. Well, before we get into money, let's look at some other benefits of submitting your images to EyeEm.
1. You are joining an online community of 20 million photographers from 150 countries;
2. You will not only connect with some of these photographers but you will receive (and hopefully give) encouragement;
3. You will find endless inspiration for the craft of photography and I guarantee it will make you a better photographer;
4. Finally, you may even make some money!
Taking each of these points in turn, let's look at them in more depth. Twenty million photographers from 150 countries - I know, it's somewhat mind-blowing! Just think for a moment.... it's better than the UN in some ways and I bet more folk actively engage in the online community that is EyeEm than do with the UN. I am not, in any way, saying let's abolish the UN. No, all I am saying is that when you join EyeEm (no joining fee by the way, just to be clear) you are part of something bigger, much bigger, than your self. Think of all the good that can be done by interacting with folk from another country, who may be of a different gender, hold different political views and follow a totally different religion (or none at all).
This leads me onto my second point, that you will receive encouragement from other community members, and hopefully, give it in return. This will be through likes and comments on photos as well as following other photographers. Now of course, I am not saying that this interaction will be on a deeply personal and meaningful level. But it can be. There is nothing to stop you, through the use of the comments facility, building deeper relationships with other photographers. You could, for example, make links with others who live near you and even meet up to work on a project (say street photography in the nearest city) or start a friendship up outside of the community. It's up to you.
Thirdly, you will find plenty to inspire your photography on the site, simply by being able to view the work of other photographers. Also, EyeEm run regular 'missions' on a theme, often with prizes. For example, as of this moment, they are running one on the theme of 'Yellow', supported by Nikon (who have a yellow logo - hence the link) who are offering actual camera gear. By participating in these 'missions' you will improve your photography as they provide not only encouragement but an incentive to get that shot for the mission and claim the glory!
Finally, we come to money. Now to be absolutely clear, you will not become a millionaire through submitting your images to EyeEm. But you can, if you work at it, increase your chances significantly of making some money from your craft. By hard work I mean taking lots of diverse images and uploading them on a regular basis. Just remember that and accept you are unlikely to be an overnight success.
So, how much money are we talking? Well, EyeEm's fee structure for use of your images is as follows:
When you sell a photo through EyeEm Market, you will always receive 50% of the revenue.
The amount the photo sells for depends on the license purchased:
• Social Licenses sell for $20 per photo.
• Web Licenses sell for $50 per photo.
• Full Commercial Licenses sell for $250 per photo.
If you want to know more about licensing and copyright issues, please refer to the Terms of Service page.
The Difference between EyeEm Market pricing and partner pricing
EyeEm Market Pricing offers a set price. More details about these licenses can be found on the Subscriptions FAQ. Photos sold through Partner Pricing can vary in price according to the partner’s own set pricing systems.
The Difference between Commercial and Editorial License
Photos with a Commercial License are more likely to sell because buyers can use them for a wider range of purposes. Photos that either require no releases or have had all the releases signed qualify for a Commercial License. Photos that haven’t had their releases completed are made available only with an Editorial License.
So, its possible to earn up to $125 (£93 approx) from an image. The thing about stock photography though is you can earn repeat fees as each image could be licensed more than once. In fact, some popular images may be licensed several times.
Just remember that you need to upload images on a regular basis and that they have to be images that not only technically good but also relevant. By that I mean that market for images is just that, a marketplace and like all marketplaces, what the customer wants, the customer gets in theory!). People want different things at different times. There are trends in the stock photography market as in any other. So, it's worth checking out what images you see on TV, in magazines and more importantly, online.
EyeEm help with this in a very clever way. They look at trends and then post on their blog articles about the latest trends and what actually sells. If you want to be a very successful stock photographer you will need to upload images that buyers are looking for. For example, as of this moment, the Four Top-Selling Photo Themes in September were:
1. Millennial Pink
2. Sources of light
3. Winter is coming (I blame Game of Thrones!)
For more details check the article on their blog. It's full of useful and inspirational stuff that is sure to get your creative juices flowing. If you do join EyeEm, let me know your username in the comments and I will check out your images. Alternatively, check out my profile and follow me and I will follow you back.