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Money Shots


Do you ever browse through magazines, books or websites and think, “I could have snapped those pictures!” and actually have the chops to back up your claim?

If so, then you might very well be successful at turning your passion for picture-taking into profit. The key is landing a break that allows you to earn cash for your frame worthy shots.

So how can you profit from money shots?

Some of the most popular places where photographers earn cash for their talent are Internet-based macrostock and microstock agencies. The former typically works exclusively with established professional photographers. If you are just starting out in the business, macrostock agencies are great venues to gain inspiration and to size up the competition. These agencies have a reputation of being extremely selective regarding the people they hire and the type of images they accept. However, that doesn’t mean an exceptional amateur wouldn’t be able to make big bucks with a macrostock agency. It simply boils down to exceptional images. If you have fabulous photos that speak to the agency’s clientele, there’s a good chance you will be able to make solid money from your skills.

For amateurs looking to break into the world of paid picture-taking, it’s better to get your feet wet with microstock photo agencies. These companies also pay for phenomenal pictures, but they are much less restrictive than macrostock agencies. Many amateur shutterbugs get their first paying gigs from microstock agencies whose client’s range from non-profit agencies to individuals who need images to display on their personal websites. Whereas macrostock agencies can charge big bucks for a single photo, most microstock images sell for less than five dollars a shot. If your image is purchased by a client you earn a cut of the profits, which may average to just over 30 cents per photo. While that may not seem like much money to live off of, the key is to showcase a slew of shots. You want to saturate a microstock site; by doing so you will be better able to earn a decent profit from your photos.

Related Articles:

Shooting the Perfect Portrait

Telling A Story With Your Shots

Natural Framing

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About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.