Featured Publication: iStockphoto.com

Photographer Rich Wagner here, again, filling in for Lori while she’s out this week.

For your featured publication this week, I’m going to let you in on where I’m expanding my photo business this year. Maybe it will fit the bill for you too.

As I said on Tuesday, a recession is like moving to a new town. It’s a chance to start something new, or fix an old problem. So this year, I’m going to try branching out from selling simple fine art shots in my hometown, to taking portraits and also selling my photos online as microstock.

With photography, you don’t have to restrict yourself to one sales avenue. Scroll down to read about my plan for microstock…

-- Rich

Rich Wagner
Professional Photographer and Guest Editor, The Right Way to Travel

Featured Publication: iStockphoto
Website: http://www.iStockphoto.com


Two of my brothers in law are avid hunters. Every year, they bring home wild duck for Christmas dinner. And every year, my mother-in-law makes Cornish game hen for me. (I’m not wild about wild duck and I care even less for the taste of buckshot.)

This year, though, as we ate I thought, “These guys will always be able to put food on the table.”

It also occurred to me that I can do the same, even though I have a different understanding of what “shooting something” means. They use guns but I can look at my trusty Nikon and think of how I use it to put food on my table. It also got me thinking if there are other ways I can use my camera to turn a profit.

As you may know if you’ve been reading this newsletter for any amount of time, I’ve done well selling fine art to a local audience over the years. But this year I’m looking to expand my photographic earnings, and I realize there is whole world of possibilities I haven’t explored.

That’s why this spring, I plan to begin developing two categories I have so far ignored -- portrait photography and stock photography.

My goal for February is to submit to a microstock agency. Since I’ve been a customer of iStockphoto.com for a few years, (I often buy stock photos for signage or brochures for my businesses), I thought I’d start there. Some other stock agencies you might consider include Dreamstime.com, Shutterstock.com, Bigstock.com, and us.Fololia.com.

Getting your photos into iStockphoto.com is fairly straightforward. Here’s how:

** First, you sign up for free.
** Then, you have to read the "photographer's training manual" and pass the test. iStockphoto's training manual is also full of tips on composition, image quality, copyrighting, etc.
** Once you pass, you have to upload a photo of your government-issued ID.
** Then, on iStockphoto.com, your first uploads are part of the acceptance process. You can start by uploading three photos that fit their criteria and wait to see if they're accepted.
** If they're rejected they'll tell you why and give you another chance.
** If they’re accepted, then you’re “in,” and you can start submitting photos for sale. These, too, will go through an approval process.

It seems like a lot, but really, it’s something you can do in an afternoon… and once you start building your library of shots, you can add to it little by little while the ones you’ve already added start selling.

In my case, as may be the case with you if you sell or want to sell fine art, I want to be sure I don’t use the same fine art images I sell one at a time for hundreds of dollars each, to a stock agency which will sell them hundreds of times for a few dollars a pop. But, as the saying goes “I’ll make it up in volume.”

I’ll still have to go to the store in the snow to get the food. Trust me, it’s a lot easier than shooting ducks in the winter. The biggest benefits are: I will be doing something I love to do; and the meat counter at Stop ‘n Shop has a strict no buckshot policy.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]