Data Doctors: The easiest way to sell photos online

Q: Is there an easy way for me to sell my travel photos online?

A: The quality of photos that today’s smartphones are capable of capturing is spectacular and anyone can try selling them online via various stock photo websites.

What Are Stock Photos?

Your travel photos can potentially be licensed for creative use by others, generally referred to as ‘stock photos,’ because you’ve already taken them as opposed to having to hire a photographer to capture a specific image.

Anyone can attempt to sell their images online, but it’s not like just any photograph is suitable for this type of use. There are quality and technical standards that you’ll have to learn to have your photos accepted by any of the stock photo sites.

Getting Started

Professional photographers often submit their images to popular marketplaces such as Shutterstock, Adobe, Getty or iStock but for casual photographers there’s a much easier way to see if you can sell your photos.

A website called Wirestock does all the heavy lifting for you, by giving you a single place to upload your images and videos to see if they can be placed on numerous marketplaces.

It currently work with Shutterstock, Adobe, Alamy, Getty Images, iStock, Dreamstime, Pond5, Depositphotos, 123RF, and Freepik. It also licenses content to businesses such as brands, marketing agencies, and creative studios directly as part of their ‘Extra Channels’ program.

It charges a 15% commission whenever any of your items are purchased on any of the marketplaces and a range of higher fees for items sold through its extra channels.

Wirestock allows you to skip the process of filling out descriptions, keywords, titles, and other items that are required by the various marketplaces via its ‘Easy Submission’ tool that uses AI to help fill in the details.

I wouldn’t rely solely on the AI, as the text associated with your images will have a huge bearing on whether it’s found by potential buyers. Once your images have been approved for use, you can track everything from a single dashboard to see what images have sold and where.

Do I Give Up Ownership?

Since you are offering your images to others through a royalty-free nonexclusive license, you maintain ownership of your images and can get paid more than once for each photo or video that gets accepted.

Technical Requirements

Photos are accepted only in the JPG format and can be no larger than 45MB and a minimum resolution of 4 Megapixels.

Most cameras take pictures at a much higher resolution than 4 Megapixels, but if you process/crop the image or upload it to a site like Facebook that compresses it, it may not be good enough. It’s always best to use the original image for the best results.

Videos can be in either in the MOV or MP4 format, be no larger than 2GB and be between 5 and 60 seconds in length.

Model/Property Releases

If you upload a photo with people in them or have company logos or other recognizable trademarks, you’ll need to get a signed release from every person or company in the image.

It’s best to stick to images without people’s faces in them, such as landscapes, to avoid the need for releases to get your image approved.

Don’t expect to get rich using Wirestock, but it is the easiest way for anyone to sell their photos online.

Ken Colburn is founder and CEO of Data Doctors Computer Services. Ask any tech question on Facebook or Twitter.

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