iStock Editorial: Sell More Travel Photos as Stock

Exciting news if you want to sell your travel photos as stock… 

iStock is soon to accept “editorial use only” submissions… which means you’ll be able to submit photos with no model release and very little editing -- a very good thing if you take photos while you travel.

Just think -- those photos that you couldn’t submit because there’s a crowd of recognizable people in the background… or too many logos or signs… may now be acceptable as editorial at iStock.

In fact, iStock is specifically looking for good travel editorial images. According to the site:

“We are interested in unreleased travel images and pictures that tell stories about the world around you. These images must be interesting, specific, and well-shot.”

If you’re an iStock contributor, it might be time to look through the photos on your hard drive for some travel images you can sell as editorial stock. You'll find their Editorial Use Only guidelines here.

Other stock sites that already accept editorial submissions include: Shutterstock, Dreamstime, and Bigstock, among others.

If you haven’t applied to be a contributor anywhere, or you’re getting rejections, get some help here.

So what’s this “editorial use only” stock thing all about?

As it is right now, anyone can buy any images on iStock and use them in ads, in greeting cards, on websites, in designs… almost anywhere. The reason for this is that iStock (and same goes for other online stock agencies) takes pains to make sure that the people in its photos either gave permission or are not recognizable, that there are no trademarks. The photos are completely “clean” and ready for commercial use.

A Nike designer can’t accidentally use a photo of someone wearing Addidas shoes… because there are no logos to be found anywhere.

Those “clean” photos are for commercial use. And they will still be accepted and available on the site.

But now, alongside them, iStock will start offering “editorial use only” images, as well.

Editorial use only images can NOT be used commercially in ads… or in any situation where they sell something. They CAN be used in magazines alongside a story, in newspapers, in text books, in school presentations, and other non-commercial places.

Since these images are used in an editorial sense, they must tell the truth. So you don’t need to remove logos, power lines or other things that are present in the image. And, in most cases, you don’t need a model release for the people in your photos. Again, see the guidelines for more details.

iStock hasn’t released details on when, exactly, it plans to start accepting editorial, but it did mention in a newsletter last week that it’s “getting closer to accepting editorial images,” and that contributors should “be ready when the doors open.”

In the meantime, what are you doing to make more money with your stock photos this weekend?

Since our pros tell us that it’s a good idea to upload seasonal photos two to four months in advance, this weekend I plan to take some St. Patrick’s Day shots -- starring my boyfriend as the leprechaun.

So I’ll be in my basement this Saturday with a leprechaun, a pot of gold, a set of flashes, and a white sheet for a background. Should be fun -- I’ll let you know how it goes next week!

-- Bonnie

Bonnie Caton
Great Escape Publishing
Breakfast Stock Club

P.S. Last week, I mentioned I’d be starting up a side-group that’ll help its members make more money in stock this year with motivation, guidance, critiques, and more. Well, I got a really big response… so I’ve been working on something HUGE that you’ll hear more about early next week. I can’t wait!!

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Do you have stock photos for sale online in an agency? I might like to buy them…

I’m calling for links to your iStock, Shutterstock, Bigstock, Dreamstime, Fotolia, or other online stock agency portfolios on the Breakfast StockClub Facebook page. Since I buy stock photos for issues, guides, and our website, I could look through your portfolios first whenever I need something new.

On the Breakfast StockClub Facebook page, add a link to your portfolio and I’ll bookmark it as a place to look for new photos to buy.

[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.]