Tutorial on Stock Photography Websites, EMGPhotography
Photography Blog and Resources

Tutorial on Stock Photography Websites

(and How to Preserve Your Copyright!)

Hello again, my followers! Here is Debs with a daily article for pet photographers, this time dealing with a detailed Tutorial on Stock Photography Websites and how to Preserve Your Copyright as photographers.

As you may already know, I’ve been hired by Dreamstime as an official blogger on various matters they need to develop on their platform. I was asked to write some content for this Stock Photography website (and I’ve been rewarded from doing it, obviously!).

Stock Photography websites, sometimes hire a blogger to fill their blog with some themed posts and enrich their customers with quality content.

And, as you also may already know, I use Dreamstime as my favorite Stock Photography Website to sell my shots.

Just because someone of you may want to try this experience too, this post is a Tutorial on Stock Photography Website and How to Preserve Your Copyright while selling your pictures on their databases.

Tutorial on Stock Photography Websites, EMGPhotography
Please note, due to its nature of explaining the power of stock photography websites, this post may contain affiliate links, so please make sure to read my disclosure for more infos on how this is useful to me to maintain this blog.

What is a Stock Photography Website?

Stock image websites are sites that sell stock photographyStock photos are professional photographs that are bought and sold royalty-free to use for design purposes.

People are visual beings that frequently prefer seeing images rather than merely reading words. We can take in far more information in less time by looking at an image or photo than reading a line of text.

Visual images can include photos, images, illustrations, graphics, videos, and more. But, having an in-house repository of original images readily available at your fingertips often isn’t possible for many businesses.

This is where exploring some of the world’s best stock image websites for royalty-free stock images can be beneficial.

With regard to marketing — particularly inbound marketing — we can use this to our advantage.

What is the point of stock images?

Stock images are a great resource to get high quality and cheap photos that you can use in your designs for various purposes. They are perfect for marketing and advertising, for promotional work, for personal or commercial creative projects, for publishing, for websites and blogs, and more.

That’s why many photographers are willing to sell their photos through stock photography agencies.

It’s better than having a niche blog with a shop on it: imagine having 10 sales per item priced $5 versus 10000 images sold at $0.42. Maths do the rest. Stock Photography websites do a big job for you: they give exposure to pictures otherwise lost in the middle of nowhere on the web.

How much money can you earn with Stock Photography?

Well, it really depends: in general, stock photos earn approximately 25-45 cents per image, per month. This obviously depends on many factors, including how many agencies you upload to, your skill in keywording, and the uniqueness of the images.

Plus, if you go exclusive with a stock website, they usually tend to pay you a little bit more than the normal revenue.

Tutorial on Stock Photography Websites, EMGPhotography

How do I sell my pictures on a Stock Photography Website?

Having a website is vital for photographers to advertise their services, showcase their portfolio and harness the power of social media for online marketing. However, it’s surprising how many photographers don’t use their website to its fullest potential.

As the popularity of self-publishing (through blogs and e-books) has increased, the demand for stock photography has grown. A number of new microstock sites have sprung up to provide affordable images to designers, business owners, authors, and bloggers, with the option to choose from different licenses for different uses.

Because the demand for high quality, affordable stock photography is so high, it can generate a decent side income for any photographer with a large portfolio of stock images for sale.

Selling your photos through a stock agency like this is quick and easy. They do all the marketing for you and thousands of people search for images on these sites every day. Click To Tweet

The set price for stock images also varies widely between sites. Some sites sell images for a little as a dollar per image for low-res photographs, leaving you with pennies after the site has taken their commission. Other sites charge more for images but sell at lower volumes so it’s worth experimenting with a few different sites to see what suits you best.

Tutorial on Stock Photography Websites, EMGPhotography
this is my revenue in only 6 months selling my pictures on Dreamstime

See my Portfolio here, to have a general look at prices and credits system available to whoever will want to buy your pictures on Dreamstime.

Then, let’s dig into the matter of the Tutorial on Stock Photography Websites and How to Preserve Your Copyright.

What is Photography Copyright?

Copyright in photography means that you own an image you created. The law says you created that image as soon as the shutter is released. The photographer who pushed the button owns the copyright. A photographer will own that copyright throughout their life and 25 years afterwards.

How do I Copyright my Photos?

Pictures, either created as artwork or taken with a camera, can have their copyrights registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. While they are technically copyrighted the moment they are created in a tangible form, registration enables protection of the work. Motion pictures, such as video recordings, can also be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Registration is necessary in order to sue and receive damages for infringement of your copyright.

We will see in a further article how laws are applied to copyright in photography, but for now, let’s stay general and dig into the Stock Photography matter.

As a general rule, anyway:

Under U.S. law, copyright in a photograph is the property of the person who presses the shutter on the camera — not the person who owns the camera, and not even the person in the photo.

But, what happens when we decide to “sell” our pictures through Stock Photography?

Want to know more about starting your own photography blog and earning from your photography?

Read my article on how to start a photography blog and make sure to subscribe to my newsletter to stay updated on super tips about pet photography business!

About our Royalty-Free images and Extended Licenses

So, you’re now willing to start selling your pictures on a Stock Photography website

But, what about your rights?

Tutorial on Stock Photography Websites, EMGPhotography

I am using Dreamstime‘s policy to explain to you what licenses mean, due I’m exclusive with them, and I do believe they have the best policy on the market about licenses.

Dreamstime is the world’s largest community in stock photography and a reliable supplier of high-quality digital images at affordable prices. We include only the best images in our database and we cover an extensive range of subjects.

As a pet photographer, I found it very useful to sell images that, otherwise, would be difficult to rank in the top views of search engines, due to their particular niche.

You can sell your own images under different licenses:

Royalty-Free Images

Their standard license agreement is the Royalty-Free license which means you pay for the image only once and then you can use the image as many times as you like, with just a few restrictions. This is a one-person license and can be used only by the account owner or his employee, for the company`s own projects or clients and cannot be transmitted to another party. Royalty-Free licensed images can be used on websites, TV-programmes, for educational projects, in magazines, newspapers, books or booklets, covers for books, flyers, games and any advertising and promotional materials, in either printed or electronic media.

What  Royalty-Free means is that you pay for the Media only once and then you can use it as many times as you like, with just a few restrictions.  In other words,  there are no license fees except the initial fee and no other royalties to be paid except those included in the initial cost. You are allowed to use the image for an unlimited number of copies, printed and/or electronic. This license is granted in perpetuity and it is worldwide valid.

This is the best option you may want to choose to be sure to continuously hold the rights of your images in a convenient way.


For better understanding the other types of licenses available on Dreamstime‘s website, you can visit this link and fully understand their terms.

What about Copyright?

Today the search of images on the internet and especially through the most common search platforms is affecting photographers’ copyright… many people download and use illegally pictures found on the net. But it’s a real problem? Yes, it is because it is copyright infringement.

I want to tell you more about Copyright and its technical notes.

Each photographer invests a lot of energy, money and time to shoot professionally a good photo. Processes it and shares his work.

Copyright is the right of the creator of an original work. The word copyright (a right to copy) indicates what this right is all about. Copyright gives the creator of a work for a certain time period an exclusive right with some limitations to decide on the work. Others must respect this right.

There’s a lot of thinking, working and choosing the right effect, and many many coffees and cigarettes before posting and sharing good work.

Copyright is granted to the creator automatically. When the time period expires the work is said to enter the public domain. It is available for anyone to use for any purpose. But note: ONLY WHEN TIME PERIOD EXPIRES!

Each work needs to have some creative nature in order to have copyright protection. Creative work can be a written work or an artistic work. Copyright is given for example to a poem, an article, a book, a composition, a painting or a photograph.

The exclusive right of the creator means that the copyright holder has the right to decide on the work exclusively. He/she can decide for example of the publication, distribution, and adaptation of the work. He/she can also have some moral rights for his/her work, e.g. the right to be granted for it. This exclusive right has some limitations (e.g. private use). The copyright holder has the right to sell or assign his/her right to someone else. This means that a copyright or aspects of it may be assigned or transferred from one party to another.

Who has the copyright of a photograph?

The copyright of a photograph belongs to the photographer. The time of expiring of the copyright can vary but, in some cases, the copyright expires only 70 years after the death of the photographer.

The photographer can sell his/her copyright or parts of it to someone else. In many cases, the photographer only sells a photograph without selling the copyright. In these cases, the photographer has still the copyright but he/she sells the photograph for private use or some other agreed use. The photographer can also grant a license to use the photograph. In some countries, personality rights can restrict the use of photographs. These concerns e.g. photographs of individuals.

And here take place each Dreamstime license when choosing to use an agency to sell your own shoots.

What if my photo has been used without permission?

The best thing to do, if you use an agency as an exclusive retailer of your work, is to contact them to take part in the matter. If not, well, you have a big deal with it. What channel has been used to download your picture? You should contact the final user to exhibit your Copyright and defend your rights, which is equal to find a needle in a haystack.

So, when choosing to sell your rights, be selective towards your selling channels.


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Tutorial on Stock Photography Websites, EMGPhotography

Veterinary Surgeon, Labrador Breeder and passionate pet photographer. Blogger for hobby in spare time. I like everything regarding nature and its shapes.

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