Many amateur and even professional photographers would love to make some extra cash selling their work on a national level but don't know where to begin. Many national companies are looking to pay photographers for images taken locally in a variety of formats and subject matter.
Virtual Tours/Real Estate Marketing
Virtual tours have grown in popularity, especially in the area of real estate photography. Real estate agents often use this type of technology to give their prospective clients a good view of the properties they have listed. Additionally, hotels and conference centers, shopping centers, private party venues, and tourism boards are all likely to make use of virtual tour companies. The following companies offer local photographers the opportunity to work with them to sell local photos. Pay rates are not stated on any of the websites, so be sure to find out what your rate will be before signing a contract.
Tour Factory hires local photographers to take photos for real estate agents nationwide. Their online application asks the expected questions about access to reliable transportation, the type of equipment used, and experience. It also asks for more in-depth information including a link to your personal Facebook account and examples of previous work in real estate photography.
Contractors with Tour Factory undergo a background check for "seller security" and are screened for quality work.
Circle Pix provides real estate photography for clients across the country. Check out their employment page to see where they have open positions for photographers.
The ideal candidate is 18 years old or older and has proven knowledge in digital photography and related software. There are other criteria and equipment requirements necessary for a position with Circle Pix, and you can find all the details by clicking on the open position closest to your hometown.
With more and more people carrying smart phones and digital cameras with them, the chances of catching an image of a newsworthy event is greatly increased. If you do capture an amazing photo that might be of interest to a news agency, consider the following companies.
Alamy Live News
Freelance photographers can sell their photos through Alamy Live News. First you must sign-up to be a news photography contributor, and then request FTP privileges.
Alamy is looking for high-quality photos that are unique, better than competitors' photos, or that are available before others. Check the website and all contract materials for more details on image requirements.
Alamy provides photos for a variety of news agencies around the world. The amount of money made per photograph sold varies, but it ends up being a percentage of the total purchase price. Unless you have a large portfolio, you likely won't end up making a lot of money with this service, but it's a good way to get some of your news photos published in a variety of outlets.
No fancy or expensive equipment is required to be considered for acceptance at Getty Images. Even a camera phone photo will be considered, and this site also accepts video content. Some of the companies who have purchased photos from this company include ABC, the BBC, and Newsweek.
As a photographer, you retain the copyright for your work so you can use for other purposes even if it is sold. The value of each photo varies, but you pocket 50 percent of the proceeds for every one of your images sold.
Sell Your Story
Submit news photos to Sell Your Story and if they are interested, they will reply with a purchase price. The photographer keeps 100 percent of the money generated from the photograph, with Sell Your Story making their profit by providing text to go with the images they purchase. This setup is a little different than the others, but it's a great way to sell a single image that captures a newsworthy event quickly or a candid photo of a celebrity.
Many national portrait companies hire local photographers as representatives.
Life Touch is known for their school photos, but they also take sports team photos and portraits for church directories. Job openings pop up frequently, so if you don't see your preferred location listed, be sure to check back regularly. Ideally, they are looking for candidates who are experienced in the art of portrait photography and have a background in sales.
Preparing for Work
Having a working camera is an obvious necessity prior to job hunting as a photographer, but some sites have specific camera requirements that you should be ready to fulfill. Also consider practicing with the camera to compile a portfolio and to develop references for prospective employers. Investing in quality photo editing software and learning how to use it is a good way to get yourself job-ready. Many remote jobs also require a reliable car and a working cell phone. Always check all of the available details for each job before deciding to apply.