Technology Advice in Plain English

Putting Your Photos to Work for You


I posted a short article on my personal blog yesterday about how one of my photos had been discovered on Flickr and chosen for inclusion in an online travel guide on Amsterdam. It was a nice surprise for me, and, since the online guide will include a link to my photos on Flickr, it will likely increase the number of people who see my photos.

The experience led me to think more about what I do with my photos and what I could be doing with them. I typically shoot photos, upload them to Flickr and other photo sites, make albums of them for my husband and I, and share them with family and friends. But then I just let them sit. Periodically, people will find some of my Flickr photos through searches they’ve done, but otherwise the photos remain on my computer and hard disks, taking up space.

Of course, I love having these photos, and I certainly wasn’t thinking of deleting them. But I started to wonder if there was anything else I could do with them. I now have more than 4,000 photos in my digital photo library, and many of them are travel photos that feature cities and other destinations—and a few of them even resemble photos I’ve seen in guide books and on websites.

By doing a little research online, I discovered that many professional and amateur photographers authorize their photos to be used as stock photographs. Stock photographs are photos that people have already taken that can be licensed to others for free or for a fee. The fees vary, based on the quality, size and relative popularity of your photos, but it appears that a good amateur photographer can earn a decent amount of extra spending money by making their photographs available. And good photos are in demand, as many guide book publishers, website designers, advertisers and others are choosing to use stock photography rather than hiring photographers to save money.

There are a number of stock photography sites online—Flickr is actually one. If you’re a member of Flickr and interested in allowing others to use your photos for free, you can learn more about it by reading Flickr’s Creative Commons page. If you’re a member of Flickr and interested in allowing others to use your photos for a fee, Flickr has partnered with Getty Images, one of the largest suppliers of stock photography in the world. For more information on that, you can read Flickr’s FAQ on Getty Images.

I found a few other good stock photography site recommendations through an article on Freelance Switch and a podcast by the Digital Marketer. Many stock photography sites are picky about what they will accept from photographers, so I do recommend that you read a site’s instructions to photographers, their terms of service, their payment schemes and their FAQ’s before you join. But once you get through the initial hurdles of setting up your account(s) and uploading your photos, you can sit back and hopefully start making a nice passive income!

As always, thanks for reading my blog, and good luck putting your photos to work for you!

Copyright © 2009, Kathy Keating and All rights reserved.

posted under Photography
One Comment to

“Putting Your Photos to Work for You”

  1. On February 25th, 2009 at 8:35 am Source of Making Money Tips » Blog Archive » Putting Your Photos to Work for You Says:

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