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Selling Photos As Stock

7 Building Blocks of Photography 2


How to make money from photography? There are many ways and one of them is to sell your images through a library or agency. I’m asked how to go about selling stock images a lot, what to shoot and how it all works.

Unfortunately it’s not an area of the photography business I’m familiar with, however my friend, colleague and partner on the travel photography workshop we run is an expert.

Simon is based in Singapore and has been a world class stock photographer for many years so he knows the business inside out. He’s a commissioned photographer with both Corbis and Getty images and has a client list including the likes of Singapore Airelines, Mastercard and Nokia. So I asked him on your behalf.

Stock photography is a business venture and whilst it’s relatively easy to sign on with an agency, you also have to know what you’re doing and what the market is wanting. Just like with any business.

The way to start selling your images is to begin small. Treat it as a hobby that earns you some money and gives you a buzz when you see something you created in print somewhere. I still love that feeling. I was waiting in a train station not long ago enjoying a non seeing vacant stare when I suddenly realised I was looking at five foot poster of one of my images. It wasn’t stock though, it was commissioned by a hotel and spa but I still got a buzz thinking, “I took that”.

Anyway, lets pop over to Singapore and have a chat with stock photographer extraordinaire Simon Taplin, because he really knows the business and has made most of his income from it.

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commasopencommascloseThanks to The 7 Building Blocks of Photography, Instead of just shooting - I now know how to check the lighting, composition, focal length options, subject sharpness, exposure and white balance, and don’t feel guilty that I am taking the extra time. I now look forward to seeing my images and know that more of them will be images that I am proud of, instead of just being “images”.
- Gaby Shaw -