Now that you know that you can make some extra change as a photographer, it’s also good to know that there is a way to do it without having to take on clients. Not to say that you can’t pursue clients if that’s what you want to do, but you may be interested in other avenues where photography could supply you with extra income; especially if you have a hard time finding clients, or you just want to supplement client work.
For instance, you can become a contributor at Shutterstock. They also accept vectors and illustrations or videos, if you feel more comfortable providing media in those areas.
I decided to take a quick look at Shutterstock’s Contributor Success Guide and I found that it provides a lot of great information. It gives insights into creative inspiration and what types of photos buyers are actually looking for. They also walk you through the submission process so you know what to expect when you’re ready to get in the game. All in all, it’s a really great guide that’s easy to read.
As I was looking deeper into this matter, I found out that there are a variety of other sites with similar programs. Dreamstime, Corbis, Getty Images, Fotolia, Bigstock, iStock, Veer are just a few examples of sites you can contribute to. If there are any other photo sites that you frequent, you may discover that they have some kind of royalty program as well.
One of the cool things about Shutterstock is that it does not claim exclusive rights over your photos, meaning you could submit them to other sites as well. It would be wise to look over the agreements and terms of service if you are considering submitting to other sites, however.
As far as committing to quality and dedicating yourself to your craft is concerned, contributing to photo sites will likely look very similar to becoming a freelancing or professional photographer. Users that are browsing for photos on the aforementioned sites are often looking for some very specific things, so while there is always the opportunity to find a niche of your own, you’ll have to deliver quality photos if you want to be paid for your work.
For some, contributing to a site like Shutterstock will likely seem less intimidating than trying to get clients. For others, it could be a gateway into more paid work. And, established photographers might be able to earn a little extra through one of the aforementioned sites.