About making money on photography on the net. What are photo stocks?

The question of making money from photography is very common today. This is not surprising given the widespread use of photography as a hobby. The problem is that in the modern photography market in Ukraine, the line between amateur photography as a hobby and professional photography is very strong. We can even say that this is not a line, but a barrier. There are many factors involved. Almost the first of them is the highest level of competition... I conducted a detailed research on this topic in this stuff.

what is a photo stock?

Indeed, many people now want to make money on the provision of photography services. It turns out, of course, not for everyone. But you don't have to bang your head against the wall, investing in a website, advertising, building up a portfolio and facing permanent dumping in this market. There is a way out - this is making money on photography on the Internet. Namely on photo stocks.

What is a photo stock?

Photo stock literally translated from English as photo archive... In practice, these are sites that store a huge amount of photographs from various photographers. Photos on these sites can be purchased by any interested person. In fact, these are photo trading exchanges.

In order to register on the photo stock, you must pass an exam. The exam is that the photographer has to submit usually 10 of his best photographs in various genres. If the photos are moderated, you will have access to the exchange. You upload your photos there, assign them keywords (which is very important) and wait for them to be bought from you.

Pros of photo stocks:

  • A huge plus of working with photo stocks is access to the international, global market. Your photos can be bought anywhere in the world.
  • The cost of selling one photo there is quite low (although it is in dollars, which is very pleasing :). The bill goes to tens of cents. But the same photo can be bought from you an unlimited number of times.
  • Photo stocks force the photographer to improve. Browse through the catalog of photos on shutterstock and you will understand what I mean.
  • Working with photo stocks generates the so-called residual income... This means that you get money just over time, without working constantly. That is, relatively speaking, having uploaded 500 high-quality photos, you do nothing and just wait until they are gradually sold out. Time is working for you.
  • Photo stocks do not depend on the local market conditions. Whatever happens in Ukraine, your sales on photo stocks will not depend on it.
  • You can practice your favorite genre of photography. Do you like to shoot macro / nature / landscapes? All these photos can be sold (if they are really good).
  • You do not need to create your own website and advertise, the photo stock does it for you.

After reading about the pros, it might seem like making money off your photos by selling them through online exchanges is easy. But this is not the case. As in any field, there are difficulties and pitfalls here.

Cons of photo stocks:

  • Photo stocks place high demands on the quality of photographic materials. Passing an exam on high-paying photo stocks is unlikely to come out the first time. While the waiting time for the next moderation can be 1-2 months.
  • You need to upload only high quality photos to photo stocks and of commercial value... This means that your photos should be themed and interesting for potential buyers. You can read more about this on the website of the photo stocks themselves.
  • In order for the earnings from the sale of photographs to be substantial, you need to do it regularly and persistently.
  • At first, the return on work will not be felt at all, you need to be ready for this.
  • Some photo stocks require knowledge of English.

A few tips for working with photo stocks

  • Working with photobanks means being methodical and stubborn. Relatively speaking, you need to set yourself standards for the number of uploaded photos. A large amount of downloaded content is essential for tangible income.
  • You also need to think about what will be bought from you and what will not. I must say right away that there is no universal recipe here. We must try and look at the situation. As I wrote above, at least take pictures of beetles. Every product has its own buyer.
  • You need to be prepared for a lack of profit for a long time.

In other words, making money from photography on the Internet is a matter for persistent people. This is not the case when money comes quickly and immediately. But at a certain stage, you can go to the above residual income... That is, a situation when your accumulated photo capital will already work for you. It will be enough just to follow the sales and enjoy life.

By the way, on photo stocks you can sell not only photographs, but also drawings, illustrations and videos.

How to start?

In order to try yourself in this business, you need to register on one or more exchanges. The most profitable and popular:

To work on stocks, you really need decent camera... I also highly recommend the lightweight carbon tripod. AOKA CMP284C.

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My portfolio on Shutterstock

Can you make money from photography?

Given the popularity of photography and the volume of sales of cameras, the question of making money from photography is very common today. On the Internet, people often ask questions such as: how much can you earn from photography? how to make money from photography? where to get orders for a photographer? How to start earning for a photographer ?, photographer vacancies Kiev, etc.... In this article, I will first answer the question: is it possible to make money from photography at all?... In order not to beat around the bush, I will start from statistics. After all, as they say, statistics is a science that abhors approximation. So in this article there will be a maximum of specifics.

So you are a photographer. You bought a camera chose a lens, learned to photograph and you think it's time to take money from someone.

Vacancies for photographers in Kiev

To see vacancies for photographers, just go to the first job site that comes across. What we see:

work for a photographer
work for a photographer
work for a photographer

On the site work.ua I found 6 vacancies in 30 days. Average salary 3000-4000 UAH for full-time work. It is worth noting that this money requires a photographer to have experience, a good portfolio and various skills: color correction, retouching, design, drawing, video filming, dancing with a tambourine, etc. Preferred by male non-students.

Freelance photography

The photographer is a free bird, does not want to sit in an office cage. Therefore, remote work on freelance on the principle of "taking orders for photo sessions" is the most common. And here we come to the most interesting. To the same statistics. I will consider the statistics of supply and demand for photography services in the wonderful city of Kiev.

Here's what Yandex tells us about it (Google statistics are similar):

demand for photographers in kiev

We have about 1450 requests per month for a multi-million dollar city on the topic photographer in Kiev... Inquiries include, but are not limited to: photography courses, photography jobs and vacancies. Here is the request history for the year:

history of requests for photography

Here we see disappointing trend to reduce demand for services of a photographer in Kiev... But that's not the point. At historic highs, the popularity of this group of keywords did not exceed 2800 queries per month - we are talking about the period from July to August 2014, that is, the wedding season.

Now let's look at the volume предложения services of photographers on the Internet.

offer of photographers services

Google gives us about 690 results search by query «photographer Kiev". If you start scrolling deeper than the first page, you can be convinced of the extremely high relevance of the search results. That is, no matter how much you flip through the search pages, there will be photographers' sites everywhere. Now let's divide 690 by 000. We get the number 470... What does it mean? This is an assessment of the ratio of supply and demand. Roughly speaking, this means that there are 470 people who want to provide their services per month for one timid request for a photographer. The big picture is clear.

In addition to the volume of the offer, the above screenshot also shows prices for photo services. So, for the day of wedding photography they want as much as 900 UAH - even last year I have not seen such figures. Of course, this is not a normal price to pay for such work. But such numbers are looming before the eyes of customers - and they get used to it. No matter how high-quality services you would offer, people will remember in their memory “and I saw the same thing somewhere for 900 UAH”. This is a partial answer to the question: how much can you earn from wedding photography?

By the way, directly services of a photographer in Kiev over the past month they have requested 31 times!

services of a photographer in kiev

Photographer free

photographer free

Here we see that most often people in Kiev do not want to pay a photographer at all. Then they want to know the cost of the work. And then, naturally, it is necessary that he took inexpensively. And what, in practice, under the word not expensive implied for food or taxi - sometimes literally, I'm not exaggerating.

TFP Photographer

In our reality, TFP means for free. Initially, this term had a slightly different meaning. But in fact, on TFP conditions, people want you to shoot them for subject photography for catalogs, weddings, photos of pregnant women, love stories, all kinds of reports - and in general, everything. if only for free.

And even for TFP, there is serious competition. Let's look at VKontakte:
tfp kiev
We see 111 groupswhere they offer free photography. It is fair to say that most TFP photographers wants to shoot exactly naked young girls (creative nude). But here the situation is the same as with a wedding for 900 UAH - people get used to seeing the word "TFP" as well as the phrase "free photographer".

Since we're talking about VKontakte, let's look at number of photographers in Kiev and Ukraine... Here I also take the number of photographers in Ukraine, because the market is essentially one. A photographer from any other region will be happy to attend a normal wedding in Kiev (not for 900 UAH).

number of photographers in Ukraine
how many photographers are there in Kiev
The vast majority of these groups are personal and dedicated to wedding photography. We have approximately 19000 photographers in Ukraine and 1450 in Kiev... This is only a count of groups of photographers, and there is still a huge number of people with the statusI accept applications for photo sessions«.

Where do photographers come from?

Finally, some statistics on the sales of cameras in Ukraine:

  • In 2011, about 800 thousand cameras were sold, with an increase in demand for DSLRs by 40% (source)
  • in 2012, almost a million (!) cameras were sold in Ukraine, of which 140 DSLRs (source)
  • In 2013, photographic equipment was sold for 1.2 billion UAH - I did not find the amount (source)
  • In 2014, the volume of sales of photographic equipment fell by 37%, which is expected due to the situation in the country. However, interchangeable-lens system cameras are showing growth.

I would like to add that the used photographic equipment market, despite the crisis, is very lively.

Finally, a couple of common portraits of commercial photographers.

typical commercial photographertypical commercial photographer

The answer to the question is it possible to make money from photography today? I'll leave it to the reader.

March 2015

PS This article provides a purely quantitative assessment of the photography market. It is clear that there is such a thing as quality... But the numbers above speak for themselves.

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