How to start making money with images you already have!
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In this episode of PhotoProfit, my special guest is Leigh Diprose. We’re going to talk about making money out of stock photography. And we are going to focus on one specific stock photography agency called ImageBrief. This podcast is going to tell us why it’s really good to sell your archive images on ImageBrief and then how to actually do it.
Leigh is also going to teach us how to get on to ImageBrief, how to have a look at the briefs that they give you and how to actually win briefs.
I’m very excited about this podcast. I’m sure you are going to get lots of value out of this especially if you’ve got a huge archive and image library. And you can make some money out of these past images that you photographed that are just sitting there and dormant.
In this episode:
(01:01) Why use stock photography as a source of income
(01:40) What is stock photography?
(02:54) Getting Started with ImageBrief
(04:19) What is a Brief?
(05:45) Dollar value or budget on the brief
(07:05) Exclusivity of each brief
(10:38) When signing up for ImageBrief
(11:47) Photographing and Winning for ImageBrief
(12:50) Why Chose ImageBrief as the Stock Agency
(14:04) ImageBrief being so simple
(14:50) Negatives of using ImageBrief
(16:00) In Submitting an image
Photo Profit – business of photography
show notes – photoprofit.net
Leigh’s Imagebrief link
F-stop lounge link
Leigh’s F-stop Lounge link
Getting Started with ImageBrief
- Go to their website
- Simply sign up
- Filling in the form
- Submit 3-4 images
- They will check the images
- Hire you as photographer
- submit one photo per brief
- see what other photographers have submitted
- request for a photo
- request for urgent, wealth, success
- lots of generic titles
- minimum $250
- go up to 10,000 or 30,000
- license for 1-2 years
- lnot exclusive (resell the image)
When signing up:
- choosing the genres
- receive an email
Photographing and Winning for ImageBrief
- submit your images
- buyer will check the images
- images gets shortlisted
- $250 US minimum payout
Why Chose ImageBrief as the Stock Agency
1. The long way around
- another company before
- selling images 40 cents per image
- 115 images total
- about $3,000
2. It’s so simple
- lcreate a folder
- upload the image
- figures out what the image is
- order a keyword the image
- just add a title description
3. Negatives of using ImageBrief
- time it takes to be awarded the brief to see whether the brief
- the time it takes to be paid
- 60 day payment period
- account via PayPal
- it takes time
4. In Submitting an image:
- move on
- don’t linger on it
- don’t worry about checking it
- move on to the next one
Brent: Hey guys, Brent Mail here of Photo Profit, the podcast all about the business of photography and today my special guest Leigh Diprose. We’re going to talk about making money out of stock photography. And we’re going to focus on one specific stock photography agency or website called ImageBrief, this going to tell us why it’s really good to sell your archive images on ImageBrief and then how to actually do it. How to get on to ImageBrief? How to have a look at the briefs that they give you and how to actually win briefs? I’m very excited to jump into this podcast. I’m sure you’re going to get lots of value out of this especially if you’ve got a huge archive and image library. And you want to make some money out of these past images that you photographed that are just sitting there and dormant. Just remember guys that all the show notes are at photoprofit.net. Let’s jump right into it.
Brent: How are you doing Leigh?
Leigh: I’m doing really well, thanks Brent, yeah extremely well.
Brent: Awesome, good. Tell me Leigh why should a photographer think about using stock photography as a source of income?
Leigh: Yeah, that’s a really good question and something that I’m glad to share your audience. So as a photographer and we as photographers it’s really good to get out and take lots of photos. But the thing is we end up having this massive archive of photos and I have that. Is that the same in your case Brent?
Brent: Yeah I’ve got stuff that I haven’t even looked at from Hawaii and all over the place. I haven’t even got to process yet.
Leigh: Exactly, and I’ve got trips from Africa that I’ve never or images that I’ve never seen. So it’s one of these things that we just have this massive library of images. So what’s stock photography office? It’s something really cool. You can basically upload you know archive of images as you go through them to stock sales and make money from those photos that you’ve taken. And you never know what image the buyer is looking for until they post something that they want and we’re going to a little bit more in detail with ImageBrief, a company I worked with. And they’re being fantastic because a lot of my briefs really suit the archive, my images that I’ve got. So yeah that’s why I go down the road with stock photography.
Brent: Perfect, so just before we jump in, like how much can you actually make out of your images that you’ve already photographed?
Leigh: It depends on how passionate you are about it so with like anything in business if you pursue it and you do it really well; you’re bound to make some great money. And there are a lot of stock sites out there. $1 stock sites it will pay you 20 cents per image. I can tell you now you’re not going to make a living on those. What you need is basically something like a site like ImageBrief that I have come across with which pays fantastic royalties for your image. And some of those royalties I’ve seen got to $30,000. So you can really make some great money if you’ve got the right image and the right to know how of what the buyer wants.
Getting Started with ImageBrief
Brent: Okay, awesome, so we’re talking about stock photography here which is you know images you’ve photographed in the past or maybe even go out and shoot them for what people are actually looking for. So I know that on ImageBrief I think they put a brief out. But we’ll jump into that. Actually maybe we’ll jump straight into that now. So Leigh, how do you get into it? So what are the steps you needed to take? Say someone’s got a good library of images like me; been traveled a bit. I’ve got all sorts of images or all sorts of things; landscapes and portraits and models and all sorts of things. How do I get into it? I know you’re going to talk about ImageBrief because this is the one that you’ve made money through. What are the steps if someone needs to do if they’re starting off with ImageBrief?
Leigh: Yeah, all you need to do is go to their website. And like any to set up an account online you simply sign up. And the brilliant thing is every image that you submit to ImageBrief is looked by human. It’s actually or the good thing is if you’ve got great images you’ll get in no problems. So once you’re filling in the form, you just need to submit 3-4 images of your work and then those images will be looked by a human and if they like your images and it’ll suits the sort of style of photography that they’re after then they’ll accept you as a photographer. And it’s really simple from that point. As you’re saying before they put out a brief. And these briefs aren’t actually put out by ImageBrief that’s the brilliant thing. So a lot of credit agencies sign up as a client on Image Brief and when they need an image for a certain campaign they will post exactly what they’re after. That’s the case.
Brent: Okay, so that’s called a brief; so if someone is actually or it’s like a request for a photo, right?
Leigh: It could be request for urgent, wealth, success, the good life or a teen couple in beach side of town. You know these lots of generic titles but then you’ll see it’s sort of a breakdown of that title and a little bit more description as well as in supportive images of what they’re looking for. So if you can tally your images on your archive to set that or you can go out and shoot it right then and there then you might just be awarded with that image.
Brent: Alright, so awesome. You have to look at the briefs that are coming up and you jump into your archive and see if you’ve got the images. If not see if maybe you’ve got a day or two free of your schedule you can actually go out and shoot for this brief. So what happens next? So once you’ve submitted these images for the brief, well how many first can you actually put into the brief.
Leigh: Yeah, so as starting photographer you’re only able to I think submit one photo per brief. So it’s not a lot of images and the reason why they do that it actually gives you a few of the types of photos that they’re after. The beauty of this once you’re logged in and submitted your photo to the brief or even before you can actually see what other photographers have submitted. So it gives you a general idea and the feel of the image quality that they are looking for and the style. And that really helps you assess these briefs over a period of time. And it retrains you as a photographer and to shoot for the brief.
Brent: Okay, so do you put like a dollar value or budget on the brief? You know like let’s just say they want an executive or a business woman with a laptop drinking coffee. Let’s just say that’s the brief. I don’t know. It just pulled out of my head; maybe somewhere else. Let’s just say that’s the brief. I mean obviously they’ll show you some other images that are similar or hooking with the briefs. So do they tell you what the dollar value is of that brief?
Leigh: They do, so they actually out that in a budget form. So on the brief you have a couple of different things. So first of all is the budget, so let’s say as a minimum with ImageBrief its $350 US and that budget can go up to 10,000 or 30,000. It all depends on what image is going to be used for. So the other thing is these credit agencies will have a sense of timing that they’ll make the image bar so that’s also advertised. And that can range from anywhere in between 4 days to 2 days to one day or 12 hours. So really it depends on what the client wants essentially.
Brent: What about the usage of the image? I know you said the budget depends on where it’s going to be displayed. But is there like or firstly is it an exclusive usage? So that company that put that brief there, they’re the only one that can use that image or can you use that image again and again and again?
Leigh: Well, it’s a general set of blanket. They used a couple of words like exclusivity. So if it is exclusive there are certain terms around that where the image could be license for 1-2 years and you will be paid accordingly for that. The other thing is they might say no exclusivity which means resell the image thru ImageBrief or another stock agency site if you wish. So it’s not exclusive to that brief itself. Typically you’ll find though most of them are licensed images. And they are the ones that sort of people are after.
Brent: Okay, so license meaning it’s non exclusive. And they’re going to use it for some kind of advertising. They might tell you like it’s going to be a magazine cover or on a brochure or something like that.
Leigh: Yeah, that’s right. I’ll tell you exactly what the usage is. So this one for instance it was…
Brent: Any chance you can take a screen capture of that Leigh while you’re there?
Brent: And then I can pop that into the show notes so that people can see.
Leigh: Yeah, certainly.
Brent: That’ll be awesome, perfect.
Leigh: So the actual it says teen couple in beach side town. And down the bottom it says usage. The permitted use is just for a book cover. Okay so it’s obviously it’s only a vertical shot image that they’re looking for because you can tell that from the book cover. The duration is up to 5 years. So this book is going to be circulated for 5 years. The territory is specific in this brief. It’s actually just for the United States so it means if a company in Australia was after it or a company in Europe you could sell it to them. And in this case its exclusivity is non-exclusive so it means that again you can use in the UK or Australia. And the description that I’ve given is a Caucasian teenage couple having fun. The location is in an East Coast or town during summer. The specific setting can be beach, pool, quiet beachy town fair etc. So it’s quite I suppose a brief “brief”.
Brent: Yeah, or maybe that’s why it’s called brief.
Leigh: Yeah, that’s right. But then actually it got 3 supporting images that show you a general style and you can see that in the show notes a swell if Brent’s going to include. And you can see there on the left hand side you’ve got this couple instead of holding hands under some balloons outdoors. And then another one which is sort of a therapeutic image with instead of lying on a jetty with the arms folded in tunes with the arms looking down at the water. And the last one is sort of outdoor setting sitting on a bench together.
Brent: Can you share the screen with me Leigh please?
Brent: So I could see it. So I think you need to put on your video and share it. So what’s the budget on this brief?
Leigh: So the budget on this brief is $1,500 US. Just bear with me Brent. I’m actually going to have to send to…
Brent: Okay, alright. That’s fine. I’ll just check my email.
Leigh: That’s actually on Facebook.
Brent: Alright, here we go; logged in to Facebook just so we can see it. I actually got it. Cool, I’ve got it. Awesome, alright so I’m looking at it now, really interesting. So book cover, yes it’s got the budget on the left, the timing, the status, so the accepting images. So I guess it closes on a certain amount of time. Looks like 2 days or something.
Leigh: That’s right, yup.
Brent: So you can actually click on images and announcements and all that good stuff there. Okay so they a couple of images which are similar to what they are looking for. Well this is really cool. I like this. So if you’re a photographer and you’ve got a little bit of time, you’ll probably browse thru these briefs and find something that suits on what you’re good at, right?
Leigh: That’s exactly right. And when you sign up you’re actually given the opportunity of choosing the genres that you’re most excited about or you have a sort of photography experience with. So you know the genres would include travel. It could include food, it could include people or sports or wildlife. Those are the things so when an appropriate brief with that genre comes out you’ll actually receive an email from ImageBrief and thru the email you may put a quick through and see what that brief is all about and submit an image; so email does form a key or a pathway to actually get notified of these briefs. So that’s a cool thing.
Brent: Awesome, how many briefs are there? Is it like one a day? I mean how many do you get hit with normally?
Leigh: Well I like to find out about every single brief that comes out. So I tend to get a lot of emails and some of those or a lot of those briefs are actually going to be suitable for me. So they could be like a sunset in Cuba or something like that. I know I’ve just been there but you can’t expect to see at least 4 a day from ImageBrief. And you just don’t know which one is going to come through which is why I selected all of them.
Photographing and Winning for ImageBrief
Brent: Okay, perfect, awesome. So you’ve actually done this right? You photographed for Image
Brief? Submitted images right?
Leigh: That’s’ right.
Brent: Okay and how did that go?
Leigh: It went really well actually. I’ve won quite a few briefs. So the way that you win a brief is you submit your images. And those images are then seen by the actual buyer of those images, so the client. If they like your images it gets shortlisted and from the shortlist selection and images awarded the brief. So I’ve had about 6 images or successful sales thru ImageBrief which is fantastic. And pretty much all of these images have been African images were taken on not all Canon. So they’re all from the archives. The latest one was actually Worldwide Wildlife Fund. You know the one with the little Panda.
Leigh: Yeah they’ve used it for one of their campaigns.
Leigh: That’s a shot of their line in the Creek National Park.
Brent: Okay, what did you get paid for that?
Leigh: So that one is a charity organization. It wasn’t huge and they’re only using it for online media. So the payout on that one was $250 US.
Brent: So that’s the minimum right?
Leigh: That is the minimum, yeah.
Why Chose ImageBrief as the Stock Agency
Brent: Okay, and this to me this is something like I definitely needed to jump in to and check it out because 250 bucks you know you don’t sneeze in that. That’s worth your time to actually jump in and submit a few images to see if you can make money. I noticed there have been some stock agencies where it was like $5 or $15 or something and it doesn’t seem worth your time to actually add images and set up a profile and go through the initial steps to do it. Is that kind of why you chose Image as the stock agency that you prefer to work with?
Leigh: Yeah, let me give you 2 stories Brent.
Leigh: The first one is the long way around. Before I knew about ImageBrief I was with another company and they’re selling my images for 40 cents. So it’s not a lot of money that I was making from the images. This was since 2009. Okay so fast forward 5 years and from that account I’ve made about $3,000 US.
Brent: That was awesome.
Leigh: So at 40 cents an image. So that’s quite a whole lot of images that I’ve sold. So with that money, so with that money I was thinking it over and I think I made that money I think it was about 115 images. So it wasn’t a huge selection of images. It was sort of a set and forgets. But what I like about Imagebrief is the time it takes. It’s so simple. So Brent, do you organize your images?
Brent: Yeah, through Lightroom.
Leigh: Yeah, I’m doing exactly the same. And the good thing is I don’t have to keyword anymore. You know I used to keyword quite a lot but nowadays I exported it into a folder. Let’s say it’s Africa, it will be my African folder. If it’s a line I’ll put in my line folder. And then if a line brief comes up for a wildlife brief, I would simply go into my line folder and upload the image. It is that simple. And what Imagebrief does is far remarkable. Just recently in the last month, what they’ve done is the uploaded image it automatically figures out what the image is it will order a keyword the image for you. So you don’t have to worry about every keyword. All you do is just add a title description. It’s so simple.
Brent: That sounds good man. So what are the negatives of using ImageBrief that you’ve found?
Leigh: Okay, the negatives are the time it takes to be awarded the brief to see whether the brief is successful and also I would say for some people the time it takes to be paid. So their term states that it’s a 60 day payment period. And for a lot of people that may be a long time but you have to understand that they probably put out an invoice out for the client which is 30 days and once they receive about it then they have 30 days to pay the photographer. So typically 60 days and actually just before this interview I got an email saying that they’ve made a payment. So it’s on my account via PayPal. So that’s pretty cool.
Brent: Awesome, so it’s normally via PayPal that they pay right?
Leigh: That’s right, yeah. The other negative thing is probably the time it takes because not every brief is successful. Clients do change their minds. They might find an image elsewhere or they might not just have the funding for the brief. So at a point they will have account executives that will actually look at the briefs and contact the client to see if it’s open or closed. There will be a point in time that the brief will close. The best advice I could give to anyone in stock photography, if you have submitted an image or brief, move on. Don’t linger on it, don’t worry and check it, whatever just move on to the next one and if a brief is successful then “yey”. Whereas a lot of people joining on this site and a lot of foreign and things people are actually bad enough and actually they go “You know they never selected my image and it’s taking 2 months and they closed it and no one contact me”. Well if you have that mentality you’re not going to win anything. You’ve got to be in it to win it. So constantly applying for briefs is recommended.
Brent: Okay, so I’m making notes here to some action steps we can give any listeners today. So what I’ve made notes is firstly join ImageBrief, submit a few images so you can get accepted, then look for some briefs that you like. Submit an image to them, if you got to go out and shoot them if you got the time. And then don’t watch it, move on.
Brent: Do a couple more and then chill out, forget about it and see if your images actually get taken or not.
Leigh: That’s right. It’s like going fishing with 20 fishing rods. You have to excuse the noise in the background, that’s a thunder.
Leigh: There’s a big storm. But it’s like going fishing in a boat with 20 fishing rods. Just leaving the boat and going for a sandwich and come back and catching one fish.
Brent: It’s great. So that’s great Leigh. Thank you so much for being on the show. If people want to find out more about you and what you do, is this the place where they can go to?
Leigh: Yes, certainly. I’m actually a senior contributor to F-stop Lounge. So you can see a lot of my work there. Otherwise you can go on ImageBrief and you can click on the photographers at the top and you can type in my name Leigh Diprose and just check me there as well.
Brent: Awesome, so that’s great. So let me just summarize Leigh what we’ve talked about today. So we’re looking at a stock photography income generating business. So if you are a photographer and you’ve got a lot of stock images and you’ve photographed a lot of things in the past. You can actually make money out of those images instead of just being on your hard drives or archives somewhere. We’ve gone through why it’s a great idea to join ImageBrief or use stick photography when some people can make up to $30,000 per image which is just crazy. The minimum you can make is $250 which is I really like. You know we’ve gone through the process of how you do it, how you actually add images to the brief, how you find brief sets you like. What are the criteria in the briefs you know the licensing, the exclusivity, and timing, and the budget and the style, and the duration. We’ve also gone through that they can actually sign up for the email alerts so you get a few briefs a day. And then how you actually win a brief. And then we’ve gone through all the action steps of what to actually do now. And the thing that really stood out to me was how simple it is and how it automatically keywords and everything. And I love your knowledge of the fishing with 20 fishing rods and then going for a sandwich and come back and one of them actually caught a fish. So that’s awesome Leigh. This has been a really interesting Podcast or me especially because I think it’s time for me to actually jump in and start using some of my photos that I’ve you know just sitting there and not actually making me any money.
Leigh: Absolutely, and lots of brilliant things you know. Just get out there and give it a go because at the end of the day you never know you like it. And your image just might be the image that the buyer is looking for. There is one other thing I will mention Brent.
Leigh: The payment system, note that they have a minimum of $250 but actually the way ImageBrief make this money is they will split that payment. So you actually get 70% of the actual payment and ImageBrief will keep 30%.
Brent: Okay, perfect. So 70/30 split I mean normally like a 50/50 or the agency takes a little bit more than you as the photographer.
Leigh: Yeah, a little bit different to a lot of photographers out there because I actually got a 100% of the award. I’m one of what you call a founding photographer where they actually pay per month to be premium photographer. I’m not a separate service that they have on.
Brent: Okay, so if you are winning a lot of briefs, it’s made a good option to sign up to that where you actually paying them monthly and keep the 100% of the brief.
Leigh: Yeah, the advantage of that Brent is if I touch on it briefly is when people submitted a brief or client, you can actually click a button that says buy me. And that submits your portfolio directly to the buyer which is in line with their terms that they can get in contact with you directly. And liaise directly with you and pay you to go and shoot that image that they’re after.
Brent: Wow, that’s pretty cool. So you can actually get commercial photography work from the site too.
Leigh: And more importantly commercial contact because that contact will then liaise with you in future jobs and things as well. So that’s a common thing with a lot of premium photographers that they get that contact and catch that with ImageBrief so to speak.
Brent: Yeah so say like you weren’t paying for the 100% then you wouldn’t have the chance and get hired?
Leigh: That’s correct.
Brent: Okay, I understand that. That’s pretty smart move and another benefit of joining ImageBrief. You can actually get commercial photography work thru these agencies which is awesome.
Leigh: Yes, that’s right. And typically the bog dollar ones are the ones that photographers that get hired for. So like Facebook you can have a profile and you upload your images to your gallery and that’s the showcase that you would present to the client.
Brent: Wow, well this has been a really interesting conversation Leigh. Thank you so much for being on Photo Profit. And guys if you do want to check out on Leigh show notes go to photoprofiti.net.
Leigh: Yup, thank you very much Brent and I’m really looking forward to checking out the product of Photo Profit. And I need to learn so much more in this area. So thanks very much Brent.
Brent: I’ve interviewed so many interesting people. So far I’m loving it.
Leigh: Thanks so much.
Brent: Thanks Leigh, catch you later, bye.
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