Can You Make a Living from Selling Your Photographs Through Getty Images?

If you have the photography skills and want to use them to earn some extra money, then you will be glad to know that it is possible and there are several ways to do so. One of them is stock photography. Getty Images is a huge market that buys photos and resells them under certain contracts to various clients. You can sell your photographs through this platform and make a living. However, surviving on stock photography alone can be a challenge. So, you will need to follow certain guidelines to ensure your success.


The following are some tips to successfully sell your photographs through Getty Images and make a living:

Understand the Requirements

Getty defines its creative collection as a conceptual, stylized, and innovative stock photography and you will need to submit photos that meet its requirements. Photos should be filled with strong concepts, well-lit, commercially viable, and highly conceptual. They need to be concise, clear, and credible.

Getty recommends using digital SLR using uncompressed TIFF or RAW format and advises that photos from most consumer-level and point-and-shoot cameras are not high enough quality to submit. So, keep these requirements in mind and make sure you meet and exceed them.


Focus on Keywords

Keywords are one of the primary ways prospective buyers find your photos. So, it is very important to get them right. It is recommended that you make sure that your keywords are descriptive. You should list them in order of importance. For instance, you will want to place the more specific keywords “dog” in front of the more generic “pet”. The more specific you are with the keywords, the better. Apart from this, it would also be a good idea to indicate whether there are one or more of the subjects in the photo (e.g. “dog” vs. “dogs”). Don’t forget to list actions such as “jumping” or “running”. If your photo illustrates a concept such as “hope” or “teamwork”, be sure to include those too.


Always Keep the End User in Mind

If you want to sell your images on Getty, then you should make sure that you have something end users want. Magazines, businesses, marketing agencies, or bloggers, the end users determine what sells and what doesn’t. So, do your research and learn what they are looking for. It is also recommended that you review the Getty Images archives to determine what kind of photos are popular.


Upload Regularly

There are several reasons to upload regularly. First, the more photos you have on the platform, the better your chances of selling. Second, regular uploading helps keep your photos up front and center in the search results. Third, trends change and many photos that are popular now probably won’t be in the future. Not to mention if you don't upload new content on a regular basis, the amount of your sales will consistently drop. So, keep uploading new high-quality content if you want to avoid time decay.

Making a living from selling photos through Getty Images is possible. However, you can’t just upload the images lying around on your hard drive and expect them to sell. Making the stock photography business work is an art and the competition is stiff – but it can be done. Hopefully, the above-listed tips will help you ensure success.

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