Last Updated on 10/03/2019 by Mark Beckenbach
Stock image services are a dime a dozen these days, and they promise the world, but you need to be careful out there.
Before everyone had a phone in their pocket, stock imagery was a lucrative platform for photographers to sink their claws into. Now that stock images have completely flooded the numerous services out there, the money that can be made has dwindled to a pittance. In the case of Unsplash, you make nothing. We recently came across another site that specializes in stock images, and it doesn’t seem too bad. With that said, we urge caution out there in the wild world of copyrights. Let’s talk about this after the break.
If you have been following us for any amount of time, you’ll know that we believe there is a special place downstairs for those who run Unsplash. Unsplash gets photographers to upload their images to their website under the guise of photo contests and then takes the copyrights for every picture uploaded. Unsplash then allows companies royalty-free use of these images. This is great for the multi-million dollar companies but incredibly bad for photographers who could have sold those images and made money.
We know that all websites specializing in stock images aren’t the same. After coming across a post on Engadget promoting a service called Scopio, we decided to take a closer look at this service. It turns out that Scopio is a little better than most services offering stock images. You can sign up as a contributor and upload your pictures. As long as the pictures meet the requirements, and all models in your photos have signed releases, you can make up to $500 per image sold. That’s not too shabby. Of course, making that much may be incredibly difficult. It’s more than likely that you will make pennies on the dollar for your images, but that is still better than nothing.
We still can’t help but tell you that there are ways in which you can make much more money yourselves. If you’re in the business of creating stock images, stop giving up all royalties for them, and sell them on a per license agreement. It’s not as hard as you think. Pay to get your images copyrighted so that you are protected. You can register 750 of your pictures with the US Copyright office for just $55. If you have your own website, you can host your own images. In this day and age, it’s easy to network with companies and organizations who might be interested in your work too. Services like Facebook, Linkedin, and even Instagram can be used to reach out to companies, and you can also employ targeted email campaigns. You simply don’t need to sell yourself or your work short anymore. Just be careful with your work and make the money you deserve.