How many times have you put something off for fear that you’re “not ready, yet?” I do it all the time. Whether it’s seeking out new headshot clients… shooting my first wedding… or the time I waited an entire year before submitting photos to stock agencies. The funny thing about being such a slow starter is that it feels SO HARD to take that first step… but once you do, it’s easy. You wonder what all the fuss was about. So, to help you with that first BIG step, I called my friend Sarah Ehlen. Sarah is a fantastic photographer. She prints her images on fine art cards and sells them to shop owners. That’s gutsy. And yet, like many of us, she has been hesitating for YEARS to start submitting her photos to stock agencies. Since Sarah’s in the same boat as many Breakfast Stock Club readers, I asked her to submit photos to agencies and document her experience for you here over the next three issues. My hope is that you’ll find the encouragement, inspiration, and DRIVE you need to finally get going. Plus, since it’s been a few years since I first started out, Sarah will let us in on any tips for the first time you apply to agencies. Not much has changed in the last few years, but a few things have, and she’ll find those for us. Take it away, Sarah! — Bonnie Bonnie Caton Creator, Breakfast Stock Club P.S. You never have to go it alone. With Breakfast Stock Club Premium membership, you’ll have professional stock photographers there by your side, giving you new, stock-worthy topics to shoot each month and showing you how to improve your photos each time. Stop waiting. Just do it now, already, here!
Quick Rewards for Starting in Stock
By Fine Art Photographer and Lightroom Instructor, Sarah Ehlen
I’ve always been intrigued by the general idea of stock photography — of being able to sit back and let your images sell. But like many people, I procrastinated for a long time. Submitting images to stock agencies was that one item on my “to-do” list that I just never quite got around to actually… doing. For years. Until now. And you know what happened once I finally signed up with some agencies and submitted a small handful of photos? I made my first dollar in stock sales within a couple of days. Turns out that getting started really isn’t that hard. Here’s how I did it: STEP 1: A Little Research First, I went to a few agency websites, acting as a buyer, and ran some “test searches” to get a feel for the quality of content already available. I also read over their contributor guidelines and terms. STEP 2: Image SelectionNext, I combed through my image catalog and pick out 10 photos that I thought would do well for stock. Using Breakfast Stock Club articles and stock agency blogs as a guide, I tried to pick images that would have a general appeal and a wide variety of uses. STEP 3: Signing Up I thought I would start by mostly focusing on the bigger, well-known agencies, and signed up with Shutterstock, iStock, BigStock, and Dreamstime. However, I also signed up with one smaller, newer agency — Pond5. I was intrigued by the fact that you can set your own price and they pay 50%, which is a higher rate than most others. Each of these agencies has their own process for becoming a contributor, and I’ll share some of the best tips I found along the way… plus an update on how much I’ve made so far next week! — Sarah
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A big congratulations to BSC member Theresa St John, for getting her writing and photos from a trip to Ireland published in this month’s issue of Vacation Rental Travels magazine! (Including a cover photo!!) Great work Theresa!