Several readers have been asking where I get the photos that appear on this blog. Well, some are my own work, and some are bought.
The picture of the storm on the header is one that I took. It’s actually three pictures that have been fused together to create one big panoramic. I got it when I was a student at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and living downtown. You can actually see the apartment where I used to live in the photo.
I’m proud to say that I get the ones I buy from a place where creative types can submit their photos and make them available to people like me for a possible passive income stream.
My regular readers know that my thing is finding passive income streams as a way to get the time freedom needed to pursue low-paying creative endeavors. (These two articles might help explain: Five Ways to Create Passive Income with Little or no Money and Three Steps to Success for Creative Geniuses)
This place is a win-win because I get professional looking photos for my site for way less than I would have to pay a professional, and the photographers get a little income that they wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise.
The name of the website is iStockPhoto.com and it is one of the many sites that have been popping up (like Revver.com) that give creative content producers a chance to make money for their creative work. While Revver is for video producers, iStockPhoto is for photographers.
In a nutshell, photographers can upload their work and make it available for sale if approved. Prospective buyers have a choice of several different sizes ranging from about $1 to $20, and iStockPhoto shares the revenue with the photographer.
I think this is a great idea because it gives photographers who aren’t lucky enough to work professionally a chance to put their work to use. So much great talent goes to waste because it’s very difficult to make a living as a photographer. Now, you might have a chance to make a little money from that dusty box of slides in the garage.
Although I don’t have a lot of experience on the selling end, my impression is that it won’t get you rich; so don’t quit your day job just yet. On the other hand, the beauty of passive income is that you do the work once and get paid over time.
It doesn’t take much work to upload a photo. Once it’s up on the site, it has the potential to send a trickle of income your way for as long as the site is around.
Even if it’s a dollar a month, that’s a lot better than a sharp stick in the eye. What if you had a hundred photos available? Maybe you’d make a hundred bucks. What if you had a thousand?
As a web publisher, I love the fact that all of these really great photos are at my disposal for a modest price. I like the idea that I might be supporting some starving artist who’s just trying to make it.
Just to clarify, iStockPhoto won’t just take just any old photo you throw at them. It has to meet some pretty strict guidelines for resolution, clarity, composition, etc. I had a few pictures denied that I thought were pretty good because the scans weren’t good enough.
I used to take a lot of photography several years ago before digital cameras. Since most of my work is on slides and I don’t have a professional scanner, I will have to decide if the potential income stream is enough to cover the cost of professional scans.
The good news is that if you have a really great digital camera, you shouldn’t have this problem. Today’s high end cameras can deliver the clarity and resolution that iStockPhoto demands. You just have to add some talent.
If you are interested in seeing some of my other photography, here’s an old portfolio from my college days.