A VACATION CAMERA BECOMES A MONEY-MAKING VENTURE
When getting ready for a month-long trip to Ecuador, I decided to splurge and upgrade to a digital SLR (single-lens reflex) camera. My purpose in doing this was to have increased resolution for our travel photos, which would allow their enlargement and framing as unique art pieces in our home.
As it turns out, this splurge was actually a business investment my husband and I now use to increase our income each month, which will greatly supplement our retirement budget. How?
We discovered stock photography sales.
Numerous Websites such as Dreamstime, Shutterstock and others allow you to submit images for sale. Photographers of all experience levels are welcome, provided they provide pictures of a minimum file size that meet certain basic quality standards. After a few weeks of online research into income levels and professional digital asset management tools, we’ve learned that even people new to the scene are easily earning anywhere from fun money to a full-time living, depending on the size of their online image portfolio and how many brokerage sites they use.
We calculate that after our initial image selection, tagging and upload efforts, combined with regular fresh image contributions, we’ll have earned back the cost of our spendy camera in less than three months. That’s a minimum based on moderate efforts we feel we can comfortably maintain. Everything after that will be bonus money we can use for whatever we deem appropriate.
Another way our Nikon D60 has increased my marketability is through the additional value syndicated news content has when combined with author-owned images. Newspapers and publications are more likely to pick up an article or column when images come with the package. As with stock photography sales, however, images need to be of a certain clarity and file size to make the grade with traditional print media outlets.
While I’m thrilled with the quality of our South American vacation photos, I’m even more thrilled that this particular equipment splurge has turned into such a money-making opportunity and career path.