Submitting to photo stock sites

I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent researching stock photography sites, reading articles, reading about photo submissions, submitting, creating keywords and choosing categories, getting rejected and waiting for the ‘wait time’ before starting all over again.  But I would say the time spent would add up to some weeks of ‘working or awake’ time.  So, I thought I’d put together a list of tips for submitting to stock sites so you can learn from my mistakes and share the joy – I hope. I’ll be reporting back periodically to let you know of my progess on this new venture. I’m hoping I’ll be able to report some success although probably not on the scale of some I’ve read about.  But who knows? You won’t know unless you try, will you?

  • Be prepared to spend a lot of hours doing this – I have begun posting/uploading photos every morning and spend easily 2-3 hours a day at the moment. But in the long-term, if I make sufficient money from it, the time investment will be worth it and once the photos are submitted, the work is done.
  • Be smart – sort your photos first into categories and then load them, a category at a time. You will save yourself so much time when it comes to doing descriptions, keywords and category listings on the various sites.
  • Flowers – use botanical names where possible.  Lots of flower and plant photos are uploaded all over the world.  You’re more likely to get your photos accepted if you include the botanical name, rather than ‘pink rose’ for example.
  • Use a keyword tool to help you work out keywords for your photos.  I’m using Yuri Arcurs free keyword tool which is really cool. You put in a word or phrase, and it will produce a number of photos that use that keyword or phrase. Then you tick a small number of photos that are similar to your own and submit and you get a list of keywords that these photos use and have been searched on.  However, that’s just the start of it, some stock photo sites will prompt you for categories that are called ‘concept’ or ‘conceptual’ and this will also give you some ideas for keywords.  For example, a cruise ship will also conjour up thoughts of holidays, luxury and lifestyle so make sure you include those relevant keywords too for your photos.
  • If, like me, you register with more than one stock site (and why shouldn’t you) it can get pretty tedious uploading the same photos over and over again and then re-entering descriptions, titles and keywords. Enter iSyndica which is designed by a photographer to help cut down the time involved.  You will still need to login to the individual sites to ‘finish’ submissions but at least the titles, descriptions and keywords will already be uploaded, along with the photos, then you just choose the categories and complete the submissions, ready for the approval process.
  • Read as much as you can about the stock photo submission process – make sure you read the requirements for each site, that is very important.  Rejections are both disappointing and time wasting – believe me I know.
  • Keep a copy of all your rejections and approvals if you have a ‘wait’ time before being able to resubmit. For example a couple of sites I’m registered with needed 7 out of 10 approved before they accepted me. I’d get as far as 5 accepted and then had to wait 30 days before trying again. By the 3rd month I realised I should have taken note of which ones were accepted so I could resubmit them and just add new ones – instead of all new photos.
  • Proof that photos do sell – if you want that proof, then read the DPhotoJournal.  Mind you, this guy has over 1,000 photos uploaded and so he should be making some money, especially if his photos are good.

Sites I’ve been submitting to so far are as follows.  They might all show a different number of images in the portfolios, depending on how long their approval process takes – and some have different acceptance requirements so not all photos might be accepted at all sites.

Fotolia – I like the way they set up their categories and the adwords section but they don’t have a facility for me to link to my portfolio it would seem.

Bigstockphoto – Some are still pending for approval

Canstockphoto – Some are still pending for approval

Dreamstime – newly registered and awaiting approval of images uploaded

Stockfuel – again, newly registered and awaiting approval of images uploaded

Of course, if you’d like to buy one of my images, now you have some choices.   And if you’re searching for me on those I can’t link to a portfolio, my username is kathiemt.

I’ll report back periodically and let you know my progress. And if you want to help me at all, please let others know about my photos by sending them a link from any of the sites above.

Comments

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kathie Thomas, Kathie Thomas. Kathie Thomas said: Want to submit photos to photo stock sites? Read about my experience http://kathiesphotos.com/2010/05/29/submitting-to-photo-stock-sites/ […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kathie Thomas, Kathie Thomas. Kathie Thomas said: Want to submit photos to photo stock sites? Read about my experience http://kathiesphotos.com/2010/05/29/submitting-to-photo-stock-sites/ […]

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