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When it comes to selling photos, pursuing every possible avenue is a smart idea.

Breakfast Stock Club member Amy Muschik recently found this out when she submitted a photo to a company called ImageBrief.

ImageBrief is sort of a hybrid stock agency. Photo buyers can post “briefs” that describe exactly what photos they need for a specific project. 

If you have a photo that matches their needs, you can submit it and compete for the brief.

Once the brief closes – usually in a couple of days – if the buyer chooses to license your photo, you’ll get anywhere from 50% to 100% of the sale (depending on your membership level).

The average price of a sale on ImageBrief is $250, but some photos go for a lot more.

ImageBrief also has a “marketplace” where you can post your photos for immediate sale, bypassing a brief. You can also make yourself available to be hired directly for projects.

It takes a while to learn the ins and outs of the site, but royalties at ImageBrief tend to be a lot higher than most stock sites – and it’s paid off for a few of our members.

I’ll let Amy tell you about her recent success there, below…

Finding Success on ImageBrief
By Breakfast Stock Club Member, Amy Muschik

There is no thrill like seeing one of your images on the glossy pages of an iconic international magazine. This was a milestone I reached recently when this photo below appeared in GQ Style after I submitted it to a request on ImageBrief.

Photo of a man reading the paper licensed by ImageBrief

After contributing to stock photo agencies for a couple of years, I heard about ImageBrief and decided to give it try. The application was easy, requiring just some basic information along with a link to an online portfolio, and it was approved the next day.

ImageBrief is a bit different than microstock sites…

While stock sites provide a nice steady stream of income, at ImageBrief you can get your work in front of major clients like GQ who are willing to pay a higher price for the photos they need. I also like the commission structure, which starts at 50%, the variety of interesting projects, and direct insight into what actual buyers are looking for.  

Here are a few things to know if you’d like to give it a try:

  • The agencies will “shortlist” photos they see as a good fit, indicating that you’re on the right track, but that doesn’t mean they will choose one of those photos. They often choose something different or nothing at all.
  • Some photos are awarded long after the brief has closed. However, many of the briefs never get awarded since projects can change.  I have been shortlisted for many projects that never ultimately got awarded… and I was awarded on one that was closed.
  • When submitting to briefs, stick as closely to the requested details as possible.  Sending photos that don’t match the buyer’s request only wastes your time, and could impact your chances for getting approved to submit more photos.
  • For the most part, these companies are coming to ImageBrief for unique images. They only want material that is not available on stock sites, so don’t submit any photos that you’ve already uploaded for stock.
  • A free account allows you to submit a single photo to any brief. If you get shortlisted, you may be invited to enter up to 10 photos per brief. The commission split at this level is 50%. The next level costs $19/month allowing you submit 10 photos per brief and receive a 70% commission split, while the top tier costs $59 monthly and allows you to keep 100% of the commission.

I did try the premium plan during a promotion, but decided to drop to the plan that allows me to keep 70% of the commission for a lower fee. 

With no guarantees that any individual brief will be awarded, I don’t spend much time shooting for specific briefs, unless it really piques my interest. I just stick to briefs for which I already have existing photos.

I definitely intend to continue to submit to ImageBrief and since they have regular briefs for Conde Nast and Travel and Leisure magazines, I have my sights set on one of those next.

For anyone interested in giving it a try, you can apply to be a contributor at ImageBrief.com. It could be a great way to make use of photos just sitting on your hard drives and also motivate you to get out and shoot for briefs that interest you. And if your images don’t make the cut on ImageBrief, you can always move them over to your stock sites to help grow your portfolios there.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about getting started selling your photos online in stock agencies – no matter how much or little photography experience you have – in the Breakfast Stock Club e-newsletter. It’s once a week, and it’s free to join, here.]

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