So around October of last year I made the leap into the unknown and started to upload my images to micro stock sites on the internet to sell for use in books, magazines, websites, journals etc. The main idea behind this was not to become a full time profession but to hopefully earn a little extra cash to reinvest into some better camera gear.

Initially I had to completly change the way that I manage my images in post processing and using Adobe Lightroom, all my photos I take are catalogued and filed away correctly so that sorting through files I wish to keep, edit and publish becomes a lot smoother and simpler. That is no mean feat when I currently have 19,089 photos in my Lightroom catalog and with each image averaging 30mb that is a lot of photos and a lot of data!

I found that attaching “keywords” to images was the main time consuming task when starting to sell to micro stock sites. This is how potential customers find your images, so for example if I had taken a photo of Ernie I would add the keyword “Dog” but also include words such as “Pet”, “Animal” & “Canine”. I am now relatively proficient at this and luckily once these are attached to the metadata of that image it is carried into whichever site I am selling on.

Luckily from the off a high percentage (+95%) of my images were accepted (every image is reviewed by a human to ensure it is in focus, contains no noise etc.) however sales were a little slow to come by to start with, this however has improved and I am now on a 8 week streak of selling at least 1 image a week! So I must be making good money I hear you say?! Well….. Since October I have made $80 (£63) but considering I earn on average $0.25 royalties on most images I sell I’ve sold a fair few…. My images have been purchased by users as far away as the USA, Germany & Russia. 

The nice thing about it is that once the images are uploaded and are for sale I can earn money in my sleep…. or at least thats what I keep telling myself!

So whats my best selling image? Well it’s the one of Ernie above of course….!

4 thoughts on “Making the leap and selling my images….

  1. Of your images I’ve seen Ian, I have no doubt you will be a big success once you upload more of your catalogue. It’s obvious how passionate you are about it and your skills have come on leaps and bounds since you started sharing images amongst friends. And let’s be honest… Ernie should be on the catwalk. What a star!

  2. Well done Ian. I’m really pleased to hear that your amazing work is now going global. Good luck for the future.

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