This is some of my thoughts working with photography agents, stocks photography sites and maybe a little more. When I started trying to sell my photos online I started with Shutterstock and Adobe. I think this was a good first step and I think every photographer should submit some photos to either of these sites if for nothing else just to get the feedback. They both of these sites use a somewhat automated system to evaluate your photos. This was great for me because it is brutally honest, it will tell you the photos is not sharp enough or has to much noise or the colour is off or... I found this to be helpful feedback. Something that I though was good or ok weren't. One thing note is that they don't work well with very creative photography, over all I found this helpful, but don't plan to sell your photos with them. Adobe sell photos for about a $3 (for standard assesses) and shutterstock around $0.3 so you would have to sell thousands of photos to make it worth it. Just out of principle I wouldn't sell your photos with them. Use them and learn from the but don't work with them, learn from my mistakes.
There are a few "stock" sites that are different Tandemstock (not accepting contributes right now (I wish they were)), Superstock, offset by shutterstock, Getty, shutterstock custom and others. These are different because they sell the photos for a lot more and they have other benefits to the photographer, like an agent and other services to help sell your photos. Custom sites can be good but I haven't had much work with them yet, its something that I would like to do more, so I think I will be looking into it again. I have an account with shutterstock custom but I have only had the opportunity to work on a couple of assignment. I think they might be worth looking into slow to start might get better over time.
In the last couple of months I have started working with Superstock, so far I like working with them they have good rates for selling the photos and I have an agent that I can call and ask questions. The agent also lets me know what kind of photos they are looking for so I have some ideas of photos that I can try to get. So far I have just about 50 photos on their site. The agent I'm working is very good at curating photos, in the last batch of photos I send in he pick out 5 photos from the 28 that I sent in. He only choose photos that he thinks he can sell, which is good. Photos that they accept I have some limitations on what I can do with the photos after. This means its better that they don't choose everything. The main limitation that I have on the photos that they accept is that I can't sell digital copies on my own, however printers are ok. This does mean that there are photos that I don't send them even if I think they could sell. These are mostly photos that I want to use them for my own projects. There are also photos on Sperstock that I haven't posted anywhere before, not that I can't I can still use these photos for promotion and in my portfolio.
If you would like to see my Superstock portfolio and see some photos you haven't seen before you can check them out here
I will keep you all updated on how things are going with Superstock
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