How To Earn Money From Your Photos - A Brief Guide To Online Stock Photography Business

Got a digital camera? Now you can earn money selling your pictures on the Internet! If you have a good eye and if you are a creative person you can generate very nice monthly income by selling your pictures on stock photography web sites. Personally, I am receiving checks and PayPal transfers for few hundreds bucks every month. You can do it too. At least, it pays you back for all that nice and expensive photographic gear you have purchased last year .

I truly love online stock photography Internet phenomenon, since it is the first in the world and probably the only business model which allows amateur photographers like you and me to earn some money from they lovely hobby. In fact, if you are a talented photographer and you shoot hundreds of pictures every month you can earn a very significant part of your living shooting high quality pictures for stock photography agencies.

There are many stock photography sites that will be happy to sell your photos and share with you the received revenues. iStockPhoto, ShutterStock, Fotolia, BigStockPhoto and CanStockPhoto are just few stock sites to name. All stock sites allow you to register for free as their submitting photographer and start upload your work to their banks. However, be aware that many sites will ask you to provide detailed personal information such as a scan of you picture ID / passport and will ask you to sign and fax them a signed copy of their 'submitter agreement'. I completely understand them in their effort to limit the image fraud on the Internet and to protect both their buyers and their submitters image copyright owners from the fraudulent behavior.

In addition to proper submitters authentication, many stock photo sites will ask you to pass a professional online test, which should verify that you have all the required photographic skills and that you understand rules of the game on stock photography market. Do not be afraid of that test. If you know the difference between shutter speed and the aperture and can explain what is DOF you will pass it for sure. And the basic stock photography rules are quite simple:

1) Do not submit images that include any copyrighted material Avoid company logos, trademarks, third-party images and brands.

2) Provide a model release for any recognizable person in your image Each site has its own standard model release form that you have to fill in and send along with each image containing a recognizable person. I suggest you to download and print model releases for all the sites you have selected to submit your images and always keep these releases handle. When you shoot a person, do not forget signing her on one or more model releases! Note, that most sites will also ask you for the copy of model's ID and for the witness signature. Some sites will request to send them a copy witness ID too. Keep all this in your mind when you prepare a stock shooting session

3) Editorial content Some stock photo agencies, e.g. ShutterStock has a separate section / category for editorial images. Different rules set apply for editorial content. Editorial content can be used only in news and therefore these images do not require model releases and can include any copyrighted material. So, if you have shoot carnival in Brazil do not throw out all your pictures because you do not have model releases for all these people. You still can submit your images as editorial content at some stock photography sites. However, be aware that there are not too much buyers for this type of content and the submitters' competition is tight.

4) Use appropriate lighting and composition This is common sense, but I will mention it anyway. Your images compete for the buyers attention with images created by highly qualified talented professional photographers which shoot for years, own nice equipment and definitely know how and when use it. You must think creatively in terms of lighting and composition, otherwise your images will never sell.

For instance, if until now you have relied on your built-in flash as a proper source for indoor lighting it is a time to change your mind. Go to the stock sites and take a look how other photographers use light in their work. You will probably need to switch to some more professional sources of lighting for your indoor photography. Again - be creative and you will win the war for the buyers' attention!

5) Images format must be JPG, typically from 2 megapixels and with max file size of 8-10 MB

6) Properly prepare your images before uploading them to stock photo sites First of all it means digital editing. There are many software applications that can help you to edit your image, starting from the industry leading Adobe Photoshop tool, the newest and much cheaper than Photoshop Adobe Lightroom and ending up with Google's Picassa, which is available free of charge. However, making your image look gorgeous is yet not the final destination for a properly prepared stock photograph.

Think about buyers. Buyers still have to find your image among all the similar pictures in the web image database provided by a stock agency. It means you have to user proper descriptive keywords to index your imagery before uploading it to a stock photo site. All the stock photo agencies allow you to upload images and add keywords through their web sites. However, imagine yourself adding the same keyword to each one of your images at every stock site you have decided to work with. It easily multiples the amount of time you are going to spend preparing your images to be sold. Such multiplication of image preparation steps makes all the preparations process completely ineffective.

Fortunately, there is a nice alternative to re-inserting the keywords at each stock photo site - put them directly into your JPG file. Modern JPG implementations support so called IPTC protocol. This protocol is used by multiple applications to insert and edit image metadata, including keywords, captures (titles) and descriptions. Some heavy-duty expensive graphical applications, like Photoshop, support this format, allowing you to add keywords and titles to your images. However, since IPTC editing is not a core business for such graphical editing software, typically its IPTC modifications interface is quite limited and ugly.

Editing of IPTC data and selection of proper descriptive keywords can take significant amount of time, especially if English is not exactly your mother tongue or if you just prefer to shoot images rather than index them. Obviously, it would be nice to automate this process. I looked for some help on the Internet but did not find too much choice here. At the moment I can point out only one dedicated stock photography management tool that provides significant aid for a stock photographer, helping her with semi-automated images keywording, proper image preparation and simultaneous images upload to multiple leading stock photography agencies. The tool is called ProStockMaster and it is available for free download from the product web site: http://www.prostockmaster.com. The free version is limited to 5 image uploads daily which certainly could be enough for many beginning stock photo submitters. I am using this tool for a while and I found it to be a very useful stock photography workflow management application saving me many hours of dirty work on my computer.

7) Prices and payments - what income you can expect Most stock photography agencies implement pay-per-download business model, giving their submitters some payment each time their image is downloaded (purchased) by a buyer. This is a micro-payment model and the prices you get paid start as low as $0.20. However, if you were successful to create a highly demanded image you can easy hit few hundreds downloads a month, so your earning arithmetic can be $0.2 x 300 = $60 monthly, just for a single image.

Of course, the rule of the thumb says the more images you have online in each and every stock photography agency, the more images you sell monthly and the higher income you will get. Typically, stock agencies send you a check or a PayPal transfer at the end of every month. However, this is true only if you have earned more than a certain amount of cash, typically $50 - $100. If your earnings still did not reach this pre-defined amount you will be paid at the end of the month when your income reaches that payment barrier.

Well, that's all folks! Just take your digital camera and go for a shooting session. Oh, - wait, wait a second. First, open your web browser and look what other people submit to stock photography agencies. Note the most popular images and read related web articles where agencies suggest their submitters on what they would accept and what is highly demanded by their buyers. Let me also give you a few personal tips, my $0.02 for your stock photography success. Please no close-up flowers, no landscapes, no buildings and snapshots. It is hard to get this stuff accepted by a stock photography agency. Shoot for business, trying to materialize business terms, e.g. 'success', 'failure', 'funding' and 'partnership' and be always creative in your work.
Good luck and happy shooting!

Useful URLs:

Online stock agencies:

http://www.shutterstock.com

http://www.istockphoto.com

http://www.bigstockphoto.com

Free stock photography management tool:
http://www.prostockmaster.com

Mastering The Art Of Sports Photography With Your Digital Camera

For sports enthusiasts, there's nothing more exciting than sports people playing their favourite game. The sight of the field, rink or golf course initiates the thrill and anticipation. This, combined with digital photography, can provide some amazing photographic opportunities. However it's not a matter of point the camera at the person diving for the ball or puck and snapping away. It's a lot more complicated than that.

In digital photography sports can be quite challenging. The sports people do not present an easy task of being photographed because of the amount of high movement. However, you can indeed achieve great sports digital photography. Most excellent sports digital photography requires good planning and execution.

Here are some exclusive tips for gaining fantastic sports shots in your digital photography.

First things first; know your digital camera. I recommend taking note and practicing first all the settings that sports photography needed. You may find yourself going for the faster shutter speed, increased ISO and burst mode. Let's take a look at all these things on your digital camera and see how they can be applied to give you sensational sports photos.

High shutter speeds:
As with all moving objects, in order to capture the "frozen in time" look in digital photography a fast shutter speed is required. The faster the movement the fast the shutter speed will need to be. In digital photography the general consensus is that the shutter speed needs to be faster than that of the subject. For example if you have a sliding puck across ice and there is a someone about to take a dive for it then its necessary to quickly mentally assess how fast that person might be traveling at. If they are traveling at approximately 50 kilometers (approx 32 miles) per hour then you may find a very fast shutter speed is needed for this digital photo.

A very fast shutter speed in digital photography may be anything from 500th of a second or higher. For high speed movement you may want to consider an even faster shutter speed of 1000th of a second or something in that range.

Keep in mind that in digital photography a fast shutter speed works to reduce some of the light which is why a higher ISO is often necessary. (I'll talk about that in a minute.) Usually a if a ball, such as a baseball going at around 145 kilometers an hour (90.09 miles per hour) a shutter speed of around 1/4000 will get you that "suspended ball in mid air" type of photo. For physical movement, such as someone leaping to catch a football, a shutter speed of 1/500 or over is a good place to start.

Now this is all very well if your scene if well lit. But what if you are taking your digital photography shots indoors at night and the light is not quite enough to provide enough light? In most instances, an indoor stadium at night time will be well lit, but that doesn't always ensure good digital photos. In sports photography we need to understand that we can only control the artistic value and input of our digital photo and the control of the camera. We can't control the lighting on the scene being such a public event. In digital photography sports photos we must realize that it's going to be a challenge to begin with. So here are something's you can in your digital sports photography to increase the amount of light.

If you have a light tool on your digital camera such as a histogram you can get a good idea of what the light levels are like on your sensor. With this handy tool you can adjust the ISO at the time of your pictures taking.

Increase your ISO: A high ISO in digital photography simply means the sensitivity to light that your digital camera has. In a nutshell the more ISO you have increased the image to, the less light the sensor needs. In sports photography an ISO of 400 or higher can work really well. The downside to this is that it does increase noise. To combat this you can use noise reduction software in the post editing process such as Noise Ninja or increase the LAB mode in the post editing process. Don't be afraid to try a few shots at 400, 800 and even as high as 1600.

Burst mode:
In most sports digital photography this will be one of the settings you will turn to. Burst mode is also known as 'continuous shooting'. This 'continuous' shooting mode allows you to get a sequence of shoots in succession. You can increase your chances of getting that ideal "split second perfect shot" that you might not be able to get by pre-emption or in normal shooting. This also works so beautifully if your digital camera has a painfully long lag time. I've used this so many times to get around the high lag my Sony Cyber shot has got. Some cameras have 3 frames per second and some go up to 12 frames per second. You simply select this mode and hold your finger on the shutter button and it will fire off as many shots in 1 second as it can.

Okay so I've been talking about your digital camera and the setting's used for ideal sports digital photography, so what about any external equipment? If you have been thinking about this you're spot on. You can take as much time with your settings but there's not much point if you can't get close to the action. There's no point having a picture with perfect lighting and perfect action if the players are like dots on a sheet of paper. You need a good telephoto lens if you can't get close up. A telephoto lens brings you closer because of its long distance capability. It will get you closer to the action but will need a faster shutter speed.

Many fantastic sports digital photos are taken with an emphasis on a very fast shutter speed, an f stop of around the 2.8 mark to blur the background and focus in on the subject. You may find that if your sportsperson is visually separated from the background and you take the digital photograph with a telephoto lens you'll have a more shallow depth of field which can give you a more powerful feeling in your digital photo. You can get away with a good optical zoom lens, but you'll get far better digital sports shots with a proper telephoto.

So what about the artistic side of sports photography with your digital camera? Plenty!

Pre-emption and Emotion is the key to good art.
When taking sports photography you probably won't find a more public display of human emotion. The emotions of a sports person range from intense anticipation to extreme disappointment or extreme exhilaration. Pre-empting when these emotions take place is they key to getting artistic and impressive sports photos. This comes with practicing your digital photography.

SO much pressure is placed on our athletes, expecting them to perform so we can enjoy the show and the investors can enjoy their returns. This is another reason why I say to get a telephoto lens so you can capture the emotions on their faces and their body language. It makes for superb photography. For ideas on ice hockey, have a look at some ice hockey images that are great study tools.

Don't just look at these digital photos, you must study them. Take on the attitude that studying sports photography will improve your digital sports photos ten fold. You will have a style to emulate and copy to start with then eventually, when you become confident, you'll start to adopt your own style.

Happy shooting,
Amy Renfrey

To study digital sports photography check these sites out: http://www.espn.com and http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Traditional Vs Modern Wedding Photography

Traditional photography, also called classic photography involves posing for a photograph in a sit-still manner. It has been used in weddings for many years. To most people, traditional photography is an old-fashioned method of photography because the wedding pictures are not spontaneous. On the other hand, a modern photographer concentrates on producing artistic pictures where a person can freely relax. Traditional photography requires a person to set up the camera each time one wants to take a picture, which is quite tiresome and monotonous. A person should make wedding photos look artistic while covering the different wedding sessions. A traditional wedding photographer may produce pictures, which are organized photo shoots. Traditional photography bases its quality on sharpness and lighting. This makes it of poorer quality than the modern wedding photography. Modern cameras capture clearer pictures due to the improved screens. A wedding photographer who uses the traditional cameras has to focus on a still image before taking the picture.

If the image is moving, the wedding photos may produce blurred images because the cameras cannot capture moving images. Wedding pictures taken by the use of a modern camera are much clearer and the wedding camera operator does not have to wait for the couple to stand still. The modern wedding photography should appear candid because modern cameras can produce clear wedding pictures, even of a moving object. The styles expected with each type of wedding photography is quite different; traditional photography concentrates on portrait production while modern photography concentrates on producing candid images.

Mississauga wedding photographers tend to be creative based on their visual perceptions. The results usually are emotional and astounding pictures, which depict the essence of a wedding. When a person views the albums, one may feel as if they are reading a storybook as opposed to looking at pictures taken the traditional way. Graphic designs work well with modern photography due to their compatibility in terms of technological development. Mississauga wedding photographers take wedding pictures in unique venues such as beside a river or a lake to diversify the backgrounds.

A modern wedding photographer does not have any strict rules to follow because the photography solely depends on their ability to take outstanding pictorials during wedding ceremonies. The only things they have to observe include lighting, framing and the angle at which they take the pictures. Wedding photos taken in a traditional setting are suitable for instances where a person wants to pose with the bride of when a person wants the photographer to direct the entire wedding. A Mississauga wedding photographer may advise a person to have a traditional wedding photography done in cases where one intends to pose with family and friends.

One may also contact a Mississauga wedding photographer to take modern wedding pictures in cases where the bride and groom want to obtain candid pictures. Production of wedding photos, either way should portray a memorable event. Wedding pictures that are not clear may disappoint the bride and groom. Overall, the couple should decide whether they want traditional or modern photography. A good wedding photographer will be able to turn the event into a memorable occasion either way.

How To Take Perfect "People Pictures" In Digital Photography

One of the things people ask me most about digital photography is how to take perfect "people pictures." Digital photography is great for people because you can simply delete the ones you don't like, and show them, on the spot, what the digital photo looks like.
In any digital photography session, whether it be portrait photography or photography at a birthday party it takes prior knowledge to getting "perfect people" digital photos.
So here are the digital photography secrets to this type of photography.
People Photography Secret number 1:

Horizontal vs. vertical

Most people who do digital photography of people hold the digital camera horizontal. Not sure why this is; most likely because the digital camera is built that way, but really you can do well with holding the camera vertical as well. Horizontal digital photos of people are ok, but work best when taking a group photo rather than a single photo of someone. A vertical angle for your digital people photo can give you a great composition for close up and it tells you a lot more about that person that a horizontal will. Horizontal angles in digital photography of single people tends to increase the amount of potential clutter and irrelevant objects in the frame.

People Photography Secret Number 2

Where to put your people in the frame

In digital photography, pictures of people work best by creating some interesting composition. Don't put your person in the center of the frame just because everyone else does their digital photography that way; be unique and creative and you'll get a much be result. And good digital photography is all about capturing that special moment of someone to last and reflect something positive about that person, right?

People Photography Secret Number 3

Go Candid. Personally, in my experience as someone who does digital photography for a living, I can tell you that candid digital photographs work so much better then staid photos. It's so much better to capture someone just as they laugh at a funny joke, or see their friend for the first time in a while, or even talking quietly to others, it so much more interesting and creates a positive photo of someone than a shot of them looking into the camera with a posed shot; hey anyone can do that. But do take that digital photo with them laughing and not knowing they're being photographed captures a side of them that not everyone sees. It'll show them in good spirits and create a positive image for all those who see that digital photo from now on. Get creative with people photography; try black and white and sepia. And even try taking the digital photo of them doing something they love, like playing an instrument for example.

Good luck!

Digital Landscape Photography - The Sky Is The Limit

With digital landscape photography, one of the most satisfying aspects is that you can evaluate your pictures right there in the field. With emotion playing such a big part of digital landscape photography, you can now get a good idea right there of how much of the moment you were able to capture...

However, making the transition from film to digital landscape photography it is important to get past the technological hurdles, in order to pursue your particular vision of the landscape around you.

The first step in digital landscape photography is to ensure that you have a good theoretical grip on the technology and functions of the camera you will be using. For that purpose you should take time - before packing your tent and setting of into the countryside! - to study all you can about your camera's specifications, as well as visiting a couple of the many excellent online guides and tutorials on digital photography.

One of the best ideas would then be to go on a field workshop. Many expert and experienced digital landscape photographers offer such field tutorial trips where you will be able to learn the ropes right from the horse's mouth. These digital landscape photography workshops are popular. To be sure that you can be accommodated, you have to plan ahead and make your booking in good time.

One such opportunity is presented by digital landscape photography pioneer Stephen Johnson. You can spend a week with him exploring the Maine coast, where you can take part in digital image capture, exposure, and composition. You will also get the benefit of critiques and lab work in image processing, printing, and presentation.

Another way to improve your skills in digital landscape photography, is to join a seminar or workshop by landscape photographers such as Michael Reichmann, Alain Briot, Craig Samuel, Daniel Bergmann, and others. These events are usually booked up far in advance!

With digital photography now being pursued in many speciality spheres, it is even possible to attend specialized workshops on, for instance, digital landscape photography in black and white.

These events will offer you a better opportunity to get to grips with what you want to achieve in digital landscape photography. To use Michael Reichmann's distinction, you will learn how to shoot an image that is different from a mere snapshot or just another pretty postcard picture...

A few digital landscape photography tips:

1. Point your digital camera lens upwards, and capture more of the sky. This can signify openness, freedom, and wide expanses - the effect you are striving to achieve in digital landscape photography.

2. The best time to shoot landscape pictures is during the first 2 hours and last 2 hours of daylight.

3. For panoramas: Meter all scenes beforehand and use the one with the least exposure. Then take all scenes with that constant setting.

4. Shooting in below zero degrees? You should keep your batteries warm by alternating sets between the camera and your inner pocket. Below zero temperatures shorten battery life.

5. Setting White Balance: For nature photography set WB to daylight.

More tips and advice can be found in 'Digital Landscape Photography Step By Step', by Michelle Perkins. This book may be compact, but it is packed with good advice about composition, the technique behind photographing sunsets, night work, and creating black and white images. This book will give any beginner a good start.

Another renowned photographer, Tim Gartside, gives detailed information about this subject in his book, 'Digital Landscape Photography'. This volume includes topics such as software manipulation of images, but also guides the novice through composition and the basic techniques of digital landscape photography.

For more information visit Best-Digital-Photography.com

Digital Photography Vs Traditional Photography

Digital photography may be one of the late 20th century's most innovative technologies. It is about half the cost of traditional photography, with the results being of equal or better quality. You waste nothing; there's no film required, and since you only print the pictures you need, digital photography is both cost effective and environmentally friendly. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of digital photography is the idea of showing pictures to people wherever they are, as long as they have a computer and an internet connection.

Photography

Photography is a popular hobby, pastime, or even a career for many people. Photography has come a long way since its early days and its popularity has not waned. In fact, digital photography is becoming even more popular and it is slowly replacing film photography, especially in professional environments. Even for experienced photographers, the move to digital capture brings with it a significant learning curve.

The Digital Camera

A digital camera is, in effect, a little computer. Picture quality varies from camera to camera. The quality of digital cameras has increased over the years, yet many people feel it isn't quite as good as a regular camera yet. When you're shopping for a digital camera keep in mind that it doesn't matter how much your camera costs, or how big it is. You're looking for the camera you're happy with, and that is what's most important. One of the things I like about digital cameras is that, unlike film, you can reuse the storage media over and over again with no extra cost. If you've ever used a film camera, you will remember how annoying it was that you could only store a few pictures on the film, without the ability to delete them once they were made.

The Digital Age

In a sense, digital photography adds a whole new step to photography. It is no longer just photography, it is digitally post-processed photography. The digital age has brought about the greatest transformation in photography since photography was invented.

Conclusion

Digital and traditional photography are complimentary arts. They each have their respective places in the lives of amateur and professional photographers. The skills acquired in traditional photography will definitely be passed on to the digital world. We can easily see that the world of photography has room for both digital photography and traditional photography. Let's just hope that digital and traditional photographers can make the best of both worlds and continue to produce great work. After all, digital photography is just another tool of modernization in an ever-changing world.

Choose Your Online Photography School Wisely As a Function of Your Level

Online schools are becoming extremely popular today, because they are offering more flexibility and convenience. You can take online courses anywhere and anytime, even in the comforts of your home. The online photography school is no different and there are many options available. With many photography courses online right now, there are certain factors that you should consider to ensure that you are making the right choice.

Before going further, it's important to point out that you should choose a school that is offering easy access to the photography instructor and the learning community if you are beginner. On the other hand, advanced photographers would place more value on learning advanced concepts because they are more autonomous.

Read on to understand why you should choose your online photography school wisely as a function of your level.

The first to consider is the kind of photography training that you want. There are many online photography schools and they offer different certification levels, range of classes and course materials. Some provide exclusive training for digital photography and imaging, while some others will include traditional film photography training.

Moreover, some training programs are designed for a specific form of photography. As an example, courses for aspiring professional photographers include course materials which cover artistic lessons as well as the business component of the photography industry. These professional schools are ideal for photographers who want to offer freelance service or establish their own studios.

With efficiency combines with the latest resources and tools, online photography schools are comprehensive and interactive. Some persons will not consider online learning because they believe that they will have problems or get lost while taking the classes on their own. But, you should know that you can get one-on-one teaching and support while learning in an online classroom. Keep this mind when choosing an online school if this type of training is important to you.

Ensure that you choosing one of the online photography schools with courses which cover many features. These features should include things like film development, color and lighting; retouching; taking enhanced photographs; editing; camera technology; photography software and more. If you want to know how to find work after completing your course, you can also choose courses which cover this subject area.

Always remember that not all the photography courses are the same. When searching for an online photography school, you need to take some to do a bit of research. During your research, it's important to examine other things that the costs to ensure that you are choosing a course that is worthy of your money and time. Whether you are looking courses to improve your skills for the love of photography and personal development or simply to become a better photographer to earn more money, choosing the right online photography course can make a huge difference.