Saturday, October 23, 2010

What Is the Best Stock Photo Site for Beginners?

If you are trying to get into stock photography you probably have some hard time getting accepted as a contributor by stock sites or getting your photos not rejected and listed for sale. The bigger sites already have a large base of contributors with even larger selection of pictures. Most of them have implemented entry tests requiring new members to send a certain number of photos for preview and approval before accepting them as contributors. This approach has its merits but can be frustrating for the aspiring stock photographer who can't boast a big enough pre-existing portfolio.

Visit The3dStudio.comThe3dStudio has initially begun in the world of microstock as a marketplace for 3d models. It has consequently expanded into images as well. So here are a few reasons why The3dStudio might be one of the best options for starting up. Of course, this doesn't mean experienced stock photographers and artists won't benefit form listing their stuff there:
  • First, there is no initial approval required. New members can upload pictures immediately after registration.
  • In a somewhat unique fashion amongst stock sites, newly uploaded images are instantly listed for sale with a limited editorial license. The license is extended to full commercial use once the image has been previewed for conformity with rules, etc. by the site staff, which happens quite fast.
  • The relatively smaller database of the site as compared to the bigger players suggests less crowded categories and easier approval of individual images. This obviously doesn't mean that a disastrous image will be accepted and striving for quality never hurts. But a lot more images will be accepted even if other sites refuse them.
  • A major plus is the flat royalty rate. Most sites pay higher percentage after you get to a certain amount of sales. Or if you grant them exclusive rights over your images; that is, not sell them on other stock sites. It's different at The3dStudio. You not only get 60% royalty no matter how much you sell. But you can also instantly enter the loyalty program and increase that to 70%. The loyalty program only requires you to leave your images uploaded there for 5 years with no exclusivity required whatsoever. As far as I am aware, this is probably the highest royalty rate on a stock photography site.
  • The site allows you to set your own prices (above a predefined minimum), so you can list a higher price for a work you consider outstanding.
  • There is a clean, straightforward and no-nonsense user interface. No endless forms and whatnot.
  • As an added bonus, if you happen to shoot or draw textures, they will be immediately exposed to lots of potential buyers, considering the site is used by modellers to sell their 3d models.
Going exclusive makes zero sense when you are starting up, and besides, The3dStudio does not require or encourage exclusivity, so you should try to get your images listed on other sites as well. Two other beginner friendly sites with no entry test are Dreamstime (it does require submitting some sort of id scan/picture in order to be able to list your files, though) and Fotolia. Note that it will be harder to get individual images approved at these two, and especially at Fotolia, but one should nevertheless try them out and work towards expanding to even more sites after building a decent portfolio of stock images. Stock photography is a long term investment and not a way to make some fast cash. Be patient and keep adding images. Good luck.

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corachaos said...

Hi! is also beginner friendly!


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