My newest hobby is to send out photos to different stock photography websites. The data plan on my iPhone has reached its limit, and I figured perhaps this would be a different way of keeping my photos in the cloud.
The blog article that I consulted came from e-commerce giant Shopify, another place where you can sell photos if you desire to sell them directly to consumers. The 3-4 sites/apps that I currently use and will be discussing are:
- Alamy.com via the Stockimo app
- Shutterstock.com via the Shutterstock Contributor app
- Twenty20.com via the Twenty20 app
One site that probably comes to everyone’s mind that I have not tried is Getty Images. For Getty Images, there is a screening process that a potential photographer has to go through before they can become a Getty Images stock photographer. The sites I have listed are more inclusive as they allow all users to sign up and create an account with their companies. The amount of money you make still depends on the quality of photos you take if you are serious about this side hustle!
Since most of my pictures are on my phone, I use apps to upload content…
Alamy.com via Stockimo
Alamy is the #1 site to sell/license your images with, according to Shopify in 2020. However, they use a third-party app called Stockimo, which will upload your “approved” photos to Alamy’s website.
Credibility: I recently saw a movie which included Alamy.com productions in the credit scenes. That means viewers saw either stock imagery uploaded by an Alamy-seller OR the studio scouted some of their cinematographers through Alamy.
Approval Process: Photos get rated on a 4.0-point scale. 3 judges rate your image before it can be considered for purchase. Stockimo estimates judgement will take around 1 week. Your average rating needs to be higher than 2.0 points.
Shutterstock.com via Contributor (Shutterstock)
From this list of three, Shutterstock is the most well-known and established stock photo website. Shutterstock has its own contributors’ app, allowing you to add up to 50 keywords for searchability.
Credibility: You’ve seen Shutterstock photos and Shutterstock ads everywhere. If you are a PC user, you’ve seen dozens of wallpapers that are found via Shutterstock. If you are a Bing user, then many of the amazing home screens are photos taken by Shutterstock contributors.
Approval Process: Photos, videos and vectors (a certain type of graphic file; more info) can be rejected for all sorts of reasons. My most common rejection is “Focus.” I also find that photos that have been accepted are often the complete focus of shots I’ve sent in.
Twenty20 via Twenty20
I use Twenty20 the most out of all 3 websites/apps. It is the only mentioned site that allows photographers and digital creators to interact with each other. Like social media, you are able to interact with other users through likes and commenting. Uniquely, nominating (important to Twenty20’s Signature collection process) and voting (important to Twenty20’s competition process) are two additional abilities photographers have while perusing the app.
Credibility: Unknown. I have sold a photo apparently, but I have received $0.00 from Twenty20 as of this writing. The competitions seem legit but they can be irksome when an “Editor’s Pick” doesn’t actually fit the theme presented. I know this makes me seem extremely small-minded, but in a world where people and companies are called out for being “racially insensitive”, winners that are representing “Latino Lifestyle” probably shouldn’t include Diwali celebrations. While both are festivals filled with candle light celebrations, the meaning is … different.
Approval Process: Twenty20 does NOT approve/disprove photos. Instead, staff inspect photos for “Commercial Clearance”. Photographers receive approval for their work by competing in Twenty20 competitions. Staff select unique and/or high-quality photos from the top 20%. Photo entries are based on your votes, and there is a unique competition every day. Other photographers can also nominate your photos for Twenty20’s Signature collection. You are, of course, expected to do the same and have 3 nominations available every 24 hours.