Do’s and Don’ts of Stock Photography
DO read the rules
All libraries have different submission requirements, so read these carefully – you don’t want your images rejected just because they’re the wrong file size, for example. Get it right the first time and avoid headaches later.
DON’T pay up front
If a library asks for an up-front fee for submitting your work or for keeping your images on file, just walk away. The library is going to get a cut of any sale, so why give them two bites of your photographic cherry?
DO keep the work coming!
It’s no good sending a handful of images to a library and expecting the payments to start rolling in. Submitting hundreds, if not thousands, of images will give you a much better chance of sales in this highly competitive market.
DO choose your rights
Some libraries allow you to choose whether you want to sell your images on a royalty-free or rights-managed basis. What’s the difference? Well, in a nutshell, royalty-free images command a lower price, but because of this they can consequently sell in higher quantities. Rights-managed images, meanwhile, cost more to the end-user (thus limiting the number of buyers), but will give you a higher return as a result.
DO check the exit
Before signing any agreement with a library, make sure you find out how long you’re tying your images in with them for, whether they have exclusive distribution rights and what sort of notice period you have to give them if you want to move your images to another library, or simply reclaim them.
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