Stock photography is an industry that enables many photographers to make a good living. Though some photographers focus their entire career around creating stock imagery, almost every photographer has the ability to supplement their income with images they've already taken.
Don’t leave money on the table
Like me, the vast majority of photographers have images they've never used just sitting on their hard drives. Use the images you have and load them up for stock. There's a good chance to make money, which won’t happen if you let them continue to sit unused. You basically have a store with a global reach in your photo library, and now you can flip the sign to “open”.
The first submission I made to Adobe Stock was just a toss of the die. I decided to upload a set of images that were just sitting on a hard drive collecting dust in my cupboard. The images were mostly taken and edited on my iPhone and I hadn't shot them with the intention of using them for stock but I figured it was worth the attempt. To my surprise, I started making sales. In fact, an iPhone image from that set has now sold more than 30 times.
My profile isn't anything complex. Most of the images consist of times I was riding a scooter around Cape Town, South Africa. I have photos of flowers in Holland and architecture in Paris. There really isn’t any specific niche I am focusing on. When I come across an image I think looks good, has complementary colors, and could work in advertising or online articles, I upload it.
Why Adobe Stock?
Adobe Stock is the only stock library natively integrated into the software I already use to edit my photos, and the same software that stock buyers are using to create their projects. Whether it’s designers using InDesign or video editors in Premiere Pro, they have Adobe Stock built into the application so it's a convenient and efficient source for them to search for images, videos, vectors, and more.
How do I do it?
It's free to sign up to become an Adobe Stock contributor – you don't need a Creative Cloud subscription, just an Adobe ID (which you can create for free). Adobe Stock has a couple of videos and a comprehensive Contributor Guide for you to get a better understanding of how to start contributing and what they’re looking for when it comes to quality, permissions, and intellectual property.
It’s important to follow the legal guidelines when selling your content in a marketplace. As a rule of thumb, avoid or scrub any logos or trademarks, and get a model or property release for any recognizable person or property. Following these rules will ensure that your submission will be accepted so you can start selling right away.
How do I keyword?
Keywording is one of the most important steps in stock submissions, because this is how the millions of Creative Cloud customers are going to find your images or videos on Adobe Stock. Think about what a buyer would search for when looking for your image. One good tip is to start with the central subject of your image, and then work outwards. If you’re lost on where to start, Adobe Stock’s Contributor Portal has an automated tool that will generate the top keywords for you. Another tip is to drag and drop your image onto the Stock website and run a visual search to find similar images. Then take a look at which keywords have been applied to those submissions, and copy them in your submission. Just remember that for Adobe Stock, keywords need to be in order of importance.
Becoming an Adobe Stock contributor is really simple and in my opinion, it's a great opportunity to get something back for the years you’ve been shooting and editing images for the purpose of developing your style.
What are you waiting for? Get your work uploaded and noticed!