In a previous post, I told you about ways to make money online with your photographs. Many of the sites listed are known as microstock agencies–which are companies that sell stock photography for a variety of purposes for very low prices.
Many professional photographers are opposed to the existence of microstock agencies because of their extremely low prices. They feel that the prices–and the equivalently low commissions–are unfair to the photographers, and make it almost impossibly difficult to make a living. But there are others, such as ProBlogger.net and Digital-Photography-School.com owner Darren Rouse, who make made substantial money each year from microstock sites. (Darren says he’s made nearly $40,000 on microstock sites in 2010.)
Whether you choose to work with microstock sites, or more “legitimate” sites such as PhotographersDirect.com or GettyImages.com, you will probably want to get a website of your own set up to display your photography. Ultimately, you’ll probably want to get your own domain and host your own site, assuming you don’t already have one. But to get up and running quickly, you can take advantage of the free online photo site called Flikr at www.Flikr.com.
Flikr allows you to upload a maximum of 300 megs of photos during any calendar month for free. It’s possible to upload more than this if you elect to upgrade your Flikr account to a pro account. I think a pro account would be well worth it, considering the low fee of only $24.95 per year–but if you’re just starting out and are looking for a photo host that’s free, just remember that free Flikr accounts have a couple of other restrictions you’ll want to keep in mind. For one, your photo stream–the photos others can view–is limited to your most recent 200 photo uploads. This is important to remember when uploading photos for reference by potential buyers, because any photos uploaded beyond your first 200 will no longer be accessible.
Another benefit to the pro account is that you get unlimited uploads and storage. Which means that if your home computer ever experiences some sort of problem like a total freeze-up from a virus, your photos will still be safe and sound on the Flikr site.
With either the free or pro Flikr accounts, you can opt to allow Getty Images to examine your photos for commercial viability. If Getty representatives believe that any of your photos may be valuable for commercial use, they may offer them as part of their collection. From there, businesses and individuals will be able to make monetary offers to license your photos–which means you make money!
Feel free to visit my photostream at Flikr. As usual, comments are welcome!