Henrik Lehnerer
Stock Photography Info

Welcome to my Stock Photography Information website. You can find lots of stock photography information here about stock agencies, tips & tricks, photography help, my stock images, and my stock photography statistics.

What is stock photography?

last update November 04, 2009

The short answer: You shoot a photo without a request from a buyer, and then you add it to the stock of images of one or more companies for future sale.

Commercial stock images:
These give buyers broad usage rights, including the right to advertise products and services. Pornographic and defamatory usage are prohibited. For an additional charge, extended rights are often available, if a buyer wants to use an image on items for sale.

Commercial images that include one or more recognizable people require a model release. Also, they cannot contain any recognizable brands or trademarks.

Editorial stock images: These may include recognizable people without model releases, and trademarked places and items without property releases. However, their use is strictly limited to editorial use - news and educational purposes. 

What is microstock photography?

last update November, 04 2009

The biggest difference to traditional stock photography is the price. Microstock usually has prices that start less then one dollar. Microstock is mostly sold through the internet, and anyone can appy to be a contributor. You do not have to be a professional photographer to contribute you images to the agencies.

What is RM (Right Managed)?

last update October 30, 2009

The use and price of the image is controlled by duration, time, quantity and region.

What is RF (Royalty Free)?

last update October 27, 2009

Images sold with a RF license are conditioned by the Terms of Use from the Vendor. There is no need for the buyers to report how or where they are using the images nor do they have to print a credit line.

How much can you make selling images online with microstock?

last update November 04, 2009

There are a few factors that will determine how much you will make. Most important are quality, quantity, and diversity. It depends on the time and effort you are investing in shooting, creating and editing images. The income from microstock can range from very little to making a descent living to extremely well, thought only a small percent of dedicated, talented stock photographer achieve that.

How can it be worth my time to sell an image for so little money?

last update October 30, 2009

Don't focus on the single sale. In traditional stock photography you sell an image maybe only on or two times, but with microstock you might sell it 100 times. So you have to look at all the sells of an image over a longer period of time.

Which are the agencies I should start with?

last update August 21, 2011

This list constantly changes, in small or large ways. Take a look at my stock agency list, which I sort based on the revenue agencies generate for me.

My suggestion for the moment would be to start with Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Fotolia, Depositphotos, iStockphoto, Big Stock Photo, 123RF, Can Stock Photo, and The 3D Studio.

You have to go through an approval process with some of the agencies, such as Shutterstock and iStockphoto. For some it will take several tries to pass this process. Don't be discouraged if you receive a rejection the first time around. Just keep trying.

Do I keep the copy right to my images?

last update October 30, 2009

Yes! Because you only sell a license to use your images. But some agencies give you also the option to sell the copy right to an image.

Do you need feedback or help with the images you are considering using for approval?

last update November 04, 2009

Post them in the forum The Looney Bin - Critique Request or Talkmicro - Critique. The other photographers and/or I will be happy to offer constructive comments and critiques of these images.

Where to upload textures?

last update February 18, 2010

Textures is a popular subject for creating stock images. But what type of agencies are the best for uploading textures? Textures are most popular with subscription agencies. Because they are mostly used as background for a project, and the designer / editors don't want to spend to much money for backgrounds. They are in need of many background and textures. My suggestions for textures would be Shutterstock, Fotolia, Depositphotos, 123RF. I will upload them to the other agencies too, but you probably will have the most sales with those four.

Photography Hashtags (Twitter)

last update February 23, 2010

You can tag your tweets with hastags at twitter. They are the same as keyword, tag, labels, and categories that you use on other sites, blogs, ... It is possible to follow a specific discussion that is tagged with a specific hastag.

#365project taking a photo a day for entire year
#camera information about cameras
#canon all about Canon
#dslr information about DSLR Cameras
#hdr HDR Photography
#lens information about camera lenses
#lightroom Adobe Lightroom discussions
#microstock micro stock photography
#nikon all about Nikon
#photobiz information about photography business
#photog general tag for photography
#photography tweets concerning photograpy
#photogs information / discussion about a specific photographer
#photoshop Adobe Photoshop discussions
#photoworkshop photography workshops
#photo talk about a photo
#potd photo of the day
#stockphoto specific discussions about stock photography
#togs postings relevant to photographers
#togtip photography tips
#twittographers general discussion about photographers

Microstock Glossary

last update February 18, 2010

There are many terms that are unnowny for people that are new to stock photograph. Here is a list that may help you with your journey through the microstock term jungle.

API Application Programming Interface - It is a way for programs and webpages to interact with some agencies databeses
Editorial Mostly news worthy images that do not require releases. These images are sold with a editorial license and have different conditions then RF licenses.
EL Extended License
IPTC International Press Telecommunications Council - It is header information in jpeg files, like: Title, descriptions, keywords, photographer, copyright, credit, location information, date
License Fee The fee the buyer has to pay
Macrostock Also know as traditional stock photography, and it is high priced and mostly exclusive stock photography
Microstock Low priced stock photography. Often with subscription sales.
Midstock Somewhere between microstock and macrostock. Usually non exclusive.
MR Model Release - a legal document that the models have to sign to give the photographer the right to use and sell images including their image.
PR Property Release -  a legal document that the property owner signs to give the photographer the right to use and sell images including the image of there property.
RF Royalty Free
RM Royalty Management
Royalty the fee paid to the photographer for the usage of their images
RPM Revenue Per Download
STR Sell Through Rate - a measure for the qunatity of photos in a portfolio that have sold.
Vector A file format for illustrations that can be infinitely resized. You need software like Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, or Corel Draw to create these type of images.
Watermark a transparent branding of images to protect the images from thefs



The photographer Ann Parry and Patricia Philips helped me with the FAQ page.