A Fun Photo Project That Led to Sales

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With stock, as with most things in life, the tricky part is getting started.

But if you can get past submitting your first ten photos to a stock agency or two, it gets easier.

And before you know it, you’ll start gaining momentum. And that’s when stock photography gets fun. Like really fun.

As Breakfast Stock Club member Angelle Holmes has experienced, stock photography can become downright addicting. She loves uploading new photos and watching the sales add up.

Read her story below to see how a personal photo project lead to success with stock photography and other paid photo gigs as well.

She’s a great example of what can happen if you push through the beginning learning curve and get to the fun part.

Breakfast Stock Club Member Spotlight:

Interview with stock photographer, Angelle Holmes

Bonnie: What attracted you to stock photography?

Angelle: As a lover of photography, I used to do a project called “365” to document my life every day. After four years of taking photos for fun daily, I realized I had a huge backlog of photos that would be great as stock images. I did a little research online and learned that stock photography needed very few extra steps to take the photos I had already shot and make a little money from them. As the sales started coming in, I was bitten by the bug and couldn’t stop. I’m addicted to checking my stats and seeing my earnings grow!

Bonnie: How long have you been submitting photos as stock?

Angelle: I started with iStock in October 2015. Wow, that’s over four years now! Adobe Stock and Shutterstock came a little over a year later.

Bonnie: What’s the story behind your best-selling image?

Angelle: To my surprise, this image (shown below) has been downloaded 99 times  since uploading in June of 2016 on iStock and Shutterstock combined. I was going for a walk and snapping pictures of everything that caught my interest. There were no clues at the time that this picture would make me about $70 over the next couple of years and it’s still going strong, making multiple sales a month. With stock photography in mind, I kept the title of the community center out of the frame to keep it generic.

Bonnie: Great idea! About how much income have you made with stock so far?

Angelle: Stock has made me a little over $3,000 through the years. Additionally, keeping a working portfolio has helped me get other shoots where I have been paid up to $200 for gigs I never would have been able to do without the knowledge I learned from getting started with stock photography.

Bonnie: What’s your favorite thing about shooting photos for stock?

Angelle: I love that I can shoot pretty much anything I want, in my style, and others find it interesting enough to pay me money for it. Seeing which pictures sell has driven me to make more content like that and I sometimes feel like I can’t stop. It’s addicting. Another thing is that it’s so easy to do in my spare time. I’m already shooting the photos, so adding keywords and uploading them is a small step for a large reward.

Bonnie: Any tips for folks who are just starting out?

Angelle: A few tips that I have are to keep it up and to have good keywords as well as handling rejection. Set a goal for yourself – whether it’s uploading 10, 100, or 300 pictures a month, and stick to it. The more you can upload, the more money you can make but it’s all pointless without great keywords. Accurate keywords are the “key” to buyers finding your images. You could have the perfect photo for the client but they will never find it without accurate keywords.

The last tip is to treat rejections as a learning moment. Agencies often give a detailed reason a picture would be rejected. Take that new knowledge and don’t make the same mistakes over and over, improving your photography over time.

Bonnie: Great tips. Thank you for sharing Angelle! Wishing you much continued success with stock photography in the years ahead.

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