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At Destination(s) Europe, we know too well that stays on the continent can be very expensive. Transport, hotels, restaurants, excursions, souvenirs: there are many expenses and, very often, the final budget has completely outgrown your initial forecasts. But, if you are a photographer at heart, there is a solution to make your trip a little profitable: simply selling your photos! Today, we are going to take a look at stocks (or microstocks) on the internet, which allow you to sell your travel photos to a large number of media groups and companies around the world.
What are stocks?
If you love photography and on the Internet since the mid-2000s, you will have watched them appear: Shutterstock, iStock, Adobe Stock , Alamy… There are now several dozen to choose from.
Their object? Mass sell the photos that professionals or individuals submit to on commission. Depending on the company, the types of subscriptions sold to businesses and media, and the volume, prices can vary widely.
Their strength? Their customer databases, which include companies in all fields from all over the world.
Why should I look at selling my travel photos?
Do you know people who go on a trip without taking a single photo? It is a safe bet that you do not. As soon as a beautiful sunset appears, or we enter a historic building, we pull out our smartphones to immortalize the moment. Then, for some of us, we go to Facebook or Instagram, to share our snapshot, not without some small touch-ups.
For others with a compact camera, SLR or mirrorless, they may spend even longer taking photos. But whatever the case, the result is the same: we return from our trip with dozens, or even hundreds, of photos, which end up on our social accounts at best, and at worst stored in our computer in the hope that, one day, we will be pleased to find them there.
Putting them on stock sites is therefore just common sense: even if it means that they remain stored somewhere, as long as your photos bring you a little profit, right? In addition, some may end up in prestigious journals. So that’s another reason for satisfaction and pride.
How much can I make selling my travel photos?
Well, it depends on the number of photos you are going to submit and, of course, the quality of the photos. Please note, the commissions per photo can be very low. At the lowest threshold, you will receive 0.10 euro per download. A scam? Not necessarily, because the calculation must be done on the volume of downloads, because this is the strength of microstocks sites: your photo, if it is appreciated, could generate tens, hundreds, even thousands of sales, without you having to do anything.
Even at a few tens of cents per download, this can be very profitable, especially since 0.10 euros is the lowest threshold you will find. Generally, you will find more attractive commissions. It also depends on the format: if the customer downloads your photo in large format – for a print, for example – your commission could be much higher.
Can I take my photos with my smartphone, or do I have to invest in professional equipment?
With the technological advances in the telephone industry, you no longer need to invest in an overpriced SLR or hybrid to sell your travel photos on major stock sites – although it is a safe bet that you would do better with higher-quality material.
Your smartphone camera must nevertheless have a good resolution (at least 12 megapixels), especially since you will no doubt have to rework them, for example, by zooming in on the scene. Again, no fear, free online software like Pixlr will do the job very well.
Also think about videos!
It’s not all just about photos. When you are traveling, taking pictures of a beautiful place, consider taking a video or two in 4K or Ultra HD, if possible. A fixed shot for at least 15 seconds, or a static 180-degree panorama, will also find takers on the stock sites, especially Sutterstock and Pond5 .
This is our little guide for helping you sell your travel photos on stock sites. Remember to consult our Pro Traveler section, where we give you advice on how to make the most of your getaways.