Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fotolia's Booming Business Generates More Benefits

Fotolia has recently released changes to it's exclusity program.  Along with this announcement came a new way for members to make money off of files that have not been sold.  Here are the detail:


Dear contributor,

As we announced a few days ago, Fotolia is changing the exclusivity definitions and adding a new level of exclusivity called “Total Exclusivity”.

This change will take place as early as March 1, 2009.

Total Exclusivity Status is defined as a contributor who only offers his royalty free files (images, vectors, videos) to Fotolia. It is strictly prohibitive for a Total Exclusive member to supply their creative works on other photo agencies or microstock websites.

As compensation, Total Exclusive contributors will receive many advantages like higher exclusive commissions and the ability to increase their sales prices (see charts below).

However, the Total Exclusive Contributor will retain the rights to:

- to sell their other creative works as Rights-managed files, on their own or through a company dedicated to this activity;

- to sell their works through their personal portfolio website. In such case, the website shall not offer works for free or sell other author’s works;

- to sell their works directly to an end user in accordance with an assignment or work for hire contract;

- to sell their works directly to the end user in accordance with an editorial contract;

- to sell prints of their works;

- to print and sell derivative products, including, without limitation, posters, t-shirts, clothing, decorations and the like, whether on their own or through a dedicated website. In such case, the website must not offer works for free or sell other royalty free creative works.


Starting today Fotolia will allow you to declare your status as a Total Exclusive contributor, and once the website has been updated you will be ready to receive the benefits as a Total Exclusive contributor.

However before updating your account we encourage you to verify that all of your royalty free files have been removed from other agencies and websites as described above to be eligible for Total Exclusivity status on Fotolia. Total exclusivity may be declared in the my profile section of your Fotolia account.

While you are free to choose we do hope you will consider becoming a Total Exclusive contributor to Fotolia and wish you much success.

For more information visit: Fotolia's Website

Posted via email from stockphotograph's posterous

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Free Images

Did you know that most stock photography sites give away free images? Most will have a "free images" section or "free images of the day."

Being the cheapskate that I am, I download all the free images, all the time and save them in a folder in case I should need them one day. Sort of like a virtual pack rat!

Fotolia has a great collection, which they change daily. Check them out. It's on the bottom of the page under Search Index. Click on "Free Images."

The image seen here is taken from Fotolia's free images.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Stock Photography Sites To Get Your Started

This article is take from

I compiled a list of my top stock photography sites.  They all vary in different features.  I recommend checking each one out, however I suggest maximizing your profits by joins more than one if possible.  Good Luck!

ShutterStock is one of the bigger microstock photography sites and has a high sell rate.  They do have a very rigid photo review process however, but once accepted you're photos will be well marketed to a large number of buyer.

iStockphoto is another one of the big sites which has its upside and downside.  Thousands of potential buyers browse big sites like this, however they tend to be more picky than the smaller sites.  The registration process may take slightly longer than other sites, but once you're in and get some photos accepted you'll see the money start rolling in quickly.

Fotolia is a relatively new site that is causing quite a stir in the stock photography community.  They are well organized and have a quick registration process.  Although they have a moderately rigid photo review process, they do not penalize you for submitting photos that don't get approved.  Fotolia is growing and has a good customer base which translates to a high number of sales.

FeaturePics has the least rigid photo review process and is your best bet for getting photos accepted.  The also have a fairly high commission rate.  FeaturePics frequently tried new ways to sell your photos and offer you the option to participate in new projects they have.  I recommend taking advantage of their new ideas, it will just boost your revenue.

123rf is right in the middle when it come to their image review process.  They accept more than most other sites on this list, but do reject a good amount as well.  I'm not too familiar with their sales volume as I just joined this site, but it won't hurt to give it a try.

These are not all of the sits out there.  I will put on a more comprehensive list in the future.  Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Image Piracy and Severe Consequences

Those unfamiliar with stock photography sites may be wondering why anyone would choose to buy an image, when they can just search for one in Google's Image Search and just take one of those.

I recently read an extensive and well written article at Here they explain in great details the reason buying images from stock photography sites will make your life so much easier. Furthermore, you will avoid diminishing the creative work of another artist and you will avoid the stiff penalties that can arise from what basically amounts to stealing another person's work.

Here are some of the main points the article makes:
  • Pictures and images are property of their creator. Therefore, it cannot be taken or used without permission (even if it is so easy to do so in today's computer world).
  • Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights were setup to encourage artist to be creative and continue to do their work knowing that it will be protected. Without these protections, artist would have little incentive to create new works of art.
  • The Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides greater protection to digital images. An important part of the act criminalizes removal of digital elements (such as a digital watermark) added to an image to protect copyright.
  • The maximum penalty for copyright infringement has recently been raised from $100,000 to $150,000 per infringement
They also list what they consider to be "4 Incredibly Painful Mistakes."
  1. "Thinking that the worst thing that can happen to you if you "steal" an image is that you can be forced to pay what you would have had to pay anyway..."
  2. "Thinking, hey, let THEM prove I DIDN'T pay for the picture."
  3. "Thinking to yourself, 'Hey, I'll just use Photoshop to remove all these pesky little copyright identifiers on this picture. Who's gonna know?' "
  4. "Thinking, hey, I'm too "small potatoes" for anyone to care.
Check out the entire article at

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Making Money by Buying Photos

One of the most overlooked aspects of stock photography and it's potential to generate money is the actual use of royalty free images. I think a lot of people concentrate on the benefits of micro stock photography as they relate to photographers. Although that is one important aspect, MSP (micro stock photography, if i may) offers buyers great opportunities to cash in.

Web Page Pzazz
Need that perfect photo to add some pzazz to your blog post? The most common use of MSP is for online websites. Professional looking images can translate to very professional looking web pages. Believe me, readers will notice high quality images, especially images where staging appears to look very complex. Because the library of royalty-free images continues to grow, the chance of you not finding what you're looking for is very slim. With images going for just a few bucks, stock photography is a great investment for any website.

Creative Merchandise
Most sites offer an Extended Use License (EUL) or some equivalent. These licenses lets you use the image more than once, like printed on a product or in a book. Of course reselling the digital image itself would be a violation of the terms of the EUL. Greetings cards, mugs, t-shirts, stickers, these are just some of the things you can create using images. Spice up a good picture up with the right solgan and you've got a great product. Add some original poetry to a related picture and create your very own greeting cards. The possibilities are endless.

Have any idea of your own that I didn't share here? I'd love to add to this list. Use the comments sections or email me with your ideas please.

Need to get started? Check out my list of Stock Photography sites on the right side of this page.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Officially My Favorite

If you google "stock photography" you will find there are roughly 28 million results. Although, the majority of that is fluff, the fact still remains there are an exorbitant amount of stock photography sites to choose from. I have tried out a good many of them. Most of them are good, quality sites. However, one site in particular stands out in my book, Fotolia.

Fotolia is fairly new in comparison to other big sites like ShutterStock and iStockPhoto, but they are quickly making a name for themselves. Launched in 2005, their website offers a great, user-friendly interface with a pleasant, simple layout for strikingly easy navigation. Like any smart company, they are continually changing with the times. They have recently begun accepting video footage to be offered for sale through their website.

The one thing I think makes Fotolia exceptional is the time and effort they put into evaluating your images. Unlike some of the other large sites, Fotolia lets you submit all the images you want and does not penalize you for submitting photos that eventually get rejected. Some sites suspend your account if you have some photos that don't make the cut, or expect you to submit your best photos and if they don't like them, you're done! Fotolia takes the time to look at all your photos and if they choose to decline your photo, they provide a specific reason for each and every rejection.

Fotolia is also a great place for buyers. With a subscription (like a monthly or annual plan) you can download images for just 30 cents! Regular downloads are very reasonable as well, starting at $1. Fotolia is constantly growing and the quality of images is great, but the selection is even better. Their library is full of so many great, creative images, that there is no way you can't find what your looking for.

How I can use stock photography? Stay tuned for our next post on how to cash in as a buyer.

This is a personal favorite of mine and not a representation of any kind of analytical comparison. I was neither paid, nor asked by Fotolia to write this post.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Stock Photography: The Basics

I don't claim to know everything there is to know about stock photography or photography for that matter, but I hope I can be of some help. This post is to introduce stock photography to anyone unfamiliar with the industry.

Stock photography has existed for some decades now, however the concept of micro-stock photography (low priced, royalty free images) is a relatively new industry. These companies run websites that let users interface directly over the internet to upload and download images. Therefore, in order to submit images they will have to in digital form.

With the explosion of high quality digital cameras, companies have realized the potential in the amateur photographer. This means that anyone with a good quality digital camera (usually a digital SLR is necessary to achieve the quality of photographs these sites are looking for) and some basic knowledge of the camera can take advantage of these sites and make a little money.

Here is the basic process for contributing to these websites:
  • Sign-up to become a contributor/ photographer. The sign-up process ranges from a simple form to length verification and qualification checks. I will explain the specifics of this process as I introduce you to the individual sites in a future post.
  • Upload your images. Your images will have to be already on your computer and should have been edited. I should note that most sites also take illustrations and vector art.
  • Describe your images. Once uploaded you will need to add details to help identify your image. This will normally included an image title and descriptors that will be used as search terms when customers search for images. "Tagging" as it is call, is a crucial step. Without the proper "tags" your image will be difficult to find, resulting in low sales.
  • Image evaluation. Most website have a review process in which your images are evaluated for quality (both aesthetically and technically) and for customer demand. One of the biggest challenges is to submit photos that are unique and whose category has not already been exhausted. For example if you were to upload a picture of a flower, more than likely the website already has thousands of images of flowers. Your image will probably get rejected, regardless of quality.
  • Image Indexing. If you image is approved it will be added to the sites collection. Most site let you track how many times your images has been view. Once a customer finds an image they like, they select a size and purchase your image. Your image is then immediately available for the buyer to download. Then you get your cut of the sale! The more images your upload, the greater your potential for increased revenue.
Of course purchasing images are a bit less involved, nevertheless here are the steps:
  • Sign-up to become a buyer. This usually involves entering payment information such as a credit card.
  • Image search. Remember, just like with a search engine, the more specific you get with your search terms the fewer and more relevant your results will be.
  • Size and license selection. Almost all sites offer their images in varying sizes. As expected the larger image will translate to a larger price. Although sites call it different things, most offer an Extended Use License. These licenses are specifically for people who are going to use the images over and over again like on a greeting card or print it in a book. Although the price may seem outrageous, keep in mind that you would pay hundreds if not thousands of more dollars to get the same use out of a professionally designed/photographed image.
  • Payment and download. Once you have checked out and paid for your image, it's time to download the image to your computer. Sites offer different options, some let you email the image to yourself, some only allow direct download to your computer from the site. If you prefer a certain method be sure to read their FAQs or Terms section to make sure that method is available.
There are list of sites in the sidebar of this site to get you started. Good luck!