Those Stock Photo Clearinghouses Don’t Stock Themselves

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When I started constructing web sites for other people, I could no longer rely on a ‘free’ stream of graphics and photos (either from my own library or ‘borrowed’ from Googleland). If more people are going to see your page than your three best friends in high school and your own mom, then you need to respect copyright law and make sure you only use graphics and images that you have a legal right to share with the world.

So, I did some quick searches and found some fantastic photos that were a perfect fit for each site — and I never did have to ask for anything custom-made because there are just so many out there to choose from. For instance, for a site that provided access, recommendations, and advice for people buying hold music and voiceovers for their business phone system, I found and edited the photo used in the background of this banner graphic:


…which I now have a legal right to use as many times as I want, because I bought with it a ‘royalty-free’ usage license. What this means is that I don’t have to make an accounting of how often it is used, how many people see it, or how many times I need to cut a check to the seller — I paid a one-time fee and the photographer has (through a vendor that manages the transaction for a small fee) made a one-time sale.

So this week, we’re talking to a friend who has the equipment and the chops to crank out beautiful images, but thus far hasn’t shopped them around to potential buyers.

Below are a few articles with favorite lists and descriptions, from the perspective of content providers (photographers) — but I think more important is the more general advice some of these articles include regarding ownership, payments, sole-use licenses, ease-of-use, and how professionally your photos might be presented. It’s also important to note that most of these vendors do not charge for the privilege of selling your photos — but some do, so be aware that this is NOT a necessary or expected expense for most photographers.

LINK: “5 Sites Where You Can Sell Your Photos” (
LINK: “The Top 8 Websites To Sell Your Stock Pictures” (
LINK: “Places to Sell Your Photography” (
LINK: “How To Sell Stock Photos – Part 1”, “Part 2” (

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