Selling Stock Photography: New PhotoShelter Guide

Selling Stock Photography: New PhotoShelter Guide

Photo by Visuals Unlimited

Times have changed significantly in the stock photo industry – even more so in just the last 5 years. And unfortunately for the producers of stock photography, it’s been a pretty rocky road. But, like all paradigm shifts, the most flexible members of a species figure out a way to evolve and survive. We set out to find photographers who fit this description and learn what they’re doing to generate income from stock photography today.

What resulted was a comprehensive 48-page guide, Selling Stock Photography, featuring insights from stock buyers and stock photographers themselves. In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • The pros and cons of agency vs. independent stock licensing
  • 15 things photo buyers love to see in an email
  • Photography website do’s and don’ts for selling stock photos
  • How to keyword your stock photos
  • Top ways for photographers to get noticed by photo buyers

Included in the guide are interviews from top stock photo buyers from advertising agencies, magazines, and publishing houses including Conde Nast Traveller, Random House,, and independent ad agency T3 .

And what better way to gather new ideas for photographers to generate stock photo revenue today than to hear from a group of smart photographers themselves? So we also interviewed 9 photographers — seasoned veterans of stock photography, newcomers, and small agency owners — to hear how they’re adapting their business models, sales and marketing approaches in the wake of a significantly changed industry.  Included are photographers like David Sanger, David Coleman, Randy Santos, Robert Folz from Visuals Unlimited, and many more. You’ll enjoy the insights each photographer shares on how they’re attracting buyers and maintaining client relationships to profit from licensing their photos.

Selling Stock Photography is intended to be an educational resource for photographers just getting started with stock photo licensing as well as seasoned professionals looking for new ideas and ways to approach the market. Check it out here – and as always, it’s 100% free.

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There are 3 comments for this article
  1. Gordon Wood at 9:20 am

    I found this guide very informative. There was a lot of info about email campaigns, and a common thread seemed to be that personalized emails are preferred by photo buyers over receiving emails that were obviously part of a “blast”. I get that.

    What I’m still confused about is what constitutes spam. If I send an unsolicited but personalized email to a buyer whose name I found in a magazine or directory (but doesn’t know me), is that the same as sending out a blast to a list of potential buyers who haven’t subscribed to my newsletter on my web site?

    • Lauren Margolis at 10:23 am

      The general definition of electronic “spam” is sending unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately. So sending a targeted and personalized email to a buyer, after you’ve done the work of figuring out who that person is and what they’re looking for, should not be considered spam. If you have any concerns, most mail clients like MailChimp or Exact Target have an “unsubscribe” feature that you can include at the end of any email.

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