Do you love doing themed photo sessions for your friends and family? Do you have many files saved on your computer of photos that easily all fall into a common category like “children bicycling” or “a day at the beach?” Do you want to see your images gracing the covers of various corporations’ advertisements? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you just might find stock-image supplying to be the perfect little side-job project for you. For anyone who is new to this industry, here are some useful dashes of advice for compiling your initial stock-image submissions to any graphic design corporation.


  1. Keep it unedited: While Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Gimp, and Picasso may be an artist’s best friend when working out fun, creative lighting effects for their images, these programs should not be heavily used for any stock image submissions. Most stock images providers are seeking natural-looking photographs; an intense editing job with a blue-green sky and purple grass isn’t going to sell very well. If you do feel the need to edit some of your photographs before submitted then for consideration, then stick to more subtle lighting changes, such as increasing the black intensity, decreasing facial shadows, or altering the exposure of a photograph.

  3. Keep it crisp: Blurred or softened photo effects are great for creating romantic sentiments in a photograph, but it is best to stay away from this trend when first applying to be a stock image provider. If you do wish to submit a few photographs with blurred portions, make sure that at least the foreground object is sharply focused; this allows a company to recognize that the blurriness is intentional– and not just the result of potentially poor photography skills.

  5. Keep it relevant: Graphic design resource companies such as Veer are looking to provide their customer base with images that are applicable to their needs. This typically means photographs of real, every day events—working in an office, playing in a park, jumping on a trampoline, running a race, or frolicking around city streets. Seasonally specific content also tends to be successful throughout the year, as corporations often need to update their brochures on a seasonal basis.

  7. Keep it legal: Most graphic design suppliers require their contributing photographers to submit model release forms with their work. If a company does not specifically require a form for each photo session, then they usually require contributors to sign an all-encompassing agreement stating that they have the models’ permission to release and sell the photographs to the company. Before you submit any of your photographs, be sure to obtain release forms from any people in the photos; this essential step can save you a lot of legal headache in the future.

  9. Keep it quality: Ok, while this last point should go without saying, it still is a legitimate point to remind people. Your initial trial upload to most graphic design inspiration companies is a mere 10 photographs; based upon their acceptance or rejection of those images they will choose whether or not they will allow you to submit more photographs. Give them your best on your first try so that you won’t have to keep redoing your trial submissions.

While the initial payout of most stock photography isn’t too overwhelmingly high, it is an industry that truly doesn’t hurt to try out. Even though a small sized print of a photograph may only entitle you to about a $0.35 royalty fee, these small amounts can add up over time. After all, if you’ve already taken the photographs, you may as well have them do a little bit of work for you instead of just taking up memory space on your computer. Check out Veer or ReflexStock for more information on royalty payments or how to submit your photos .