Stock Footage Websites For Paid Content (Part 1)

Maura N.

The Last Black Unicorn
Staff member
In the past years, you have probably heard that some photographers and video makers have managed to create a source of passive income. Stock footage websites are popular these days because it provides a free or affordable alternative to getting the content you need for your project. If you have a professional video camera or a photo camera, here are a few websites that you might want to upload your content to:

1. Shutterstock

Shutterstock is one of the most popular websites for earning passive income from uploading stock footage. The website accepts high-quality images, videos and vectors that meet their required specs. If you are photographing people, you will need a Model Release in order to sell those images. After you upload your content, it will have to go through an approval phase. Once approved, you are eligible to start earning money from Shutterstock.

2. Alamy

On Alamy, you can sell your photos, vectors, illustrations, 360 images and videos. You will also need to fill in model or property releases forms for your stock images. Once you have uploaded your content to Alamy, it will need to pass Quality Control (QC) before appearing on the website. In order to pass the QC, your image needs to be of high quality. You can also upload “Live News” photos, which are photos that were captured within 24 hours of the event.

Have you tried any of these websites yet? What other websites have you tried selling your stock content on?
 

Robert Miller

Active member
I had my share of experiences with Shutterstock and some of them just do not make sense. I am talking from a contributor's point of view. A friend of mine uploaded a random photo containing his back garden. Not so HD. More likely the type of photo you take with your iPhone in the autumn to share on Facebook with your friends. Well, it turns out that his photo not only got approved, but also earned him $15. Seeing his success, I went on a short trip to make autumn photos with my DSLR camera. Took me a while. I really did my best and I uploaded them to shutterstock. Some of them got denied for "not meeting quality standards". Except, they did. Some got approved. After a few weeks, I reuploaded the photos that got initially rejected and they got approved. I have made $0.10 from those photos. And yes, I did pay attention to the tags and categories and such. Blew my mind, really. I guess it takes luck more than good quality to make money from these websites.
I later read online that more people encountered the same issue with the approval system like I did.
 

Oskar Kuusk

Active member
Many artists are excited about stock footage these days and they upload it on these websites in hopes of making money. The problem is that since everyone is doing the same thing, it is a bit difficult to have your work found by others. There are a few videos and images that are popular and that are recommended which were probably uploaded years ago and the new content rarely gets found. For example, if everyone is making content with a Snowman, in the winter, everyone who will look for content with a snowman will see the popular one, which was probably not uploaded in that year or the previous year.
 
Many artists are excited about stock footage these days and they upload it on these websites in hopes of making money. The problem is that since everyone is doing the same thing, it is a bit difficult to have your work found by others. There are a few videos and images that are popular and that are recommended which were probably uploaded years ago and the new content rarely gets found. For example, if everyone is making content with a Snowman, in the winter, everyone who will look for content with a snowman will see the popular one, which was probably not uploaded in that year or the previous year.
Oskar, you are right! I saw this happening each time I searched for stock footage for my Uni projects. I always got the same results. It is a bit unfair that newcomers rarely have a chance, maybe they will change this in the future.
 
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