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Getting started with stock photography might seem like a big, daunting project. But it doesn’t have to be!

For the next three weeks, I’m going to walk you through it, breaking everything down into small, doable steps.

Even if you can only devote 20 minutes to an hour each week, follow along with these steps and you’ll be well on your way.

Let’s do this!

STEP 1: Fire up your computer and go to these three websites:

  1. Adobe Stock (Fotolia)
  2. Dreamstime
  3. Bigstock

STEP 2: Sign up as a contributor at each site. This will be a slightly different process for each agency:

  1. At Adobe Stock, you’ll need to create an Adobe ID if you don’t already have one. After that, simply agree to their terms, read over their submission guidelines, and you’re all set!
  2. At Dreamstime, click on the words Register Page on the right hand side of the screen. Enter your email address and create a password. That’s it– you’re good to go!
  3. At Bigstock, create a login and then on the next screen click on “become a contributor. You’ll need to agree to the terms, read over their contributor tutorial, take a short test (don’t worry, it’s no big deal), and then you’re in!

STEP 3: Do something nice for yourself (I’m thinking chocolate or ice cream), because you just signed up to become a contributor with three stock agencies! You might as well shoot a quick photo while you’re celebrating.

bowl of ice cream with cherries

A couple quick notes:

  • I always recommend that people starting out in stock photography stay non-exclusive. This means that you can submit the same photos to multiple agencies. So if you see that question pop up while you’re signing up, don’t check any boxes saying you’ll be “exclusive.”
  • The photos you submit for stock have to be your original work.
  • I chose the three agencies above because they are the simplest to get into and consistently do well for our members. There are a lot of stock agencies out there, but I recommend starting out with no more than three. You can always add more as you get used to the process.

Next week we get to the fun partchoosing images to submit.

In the meantime, I challenge you to start carrying your camera around with you in the week ahead. If you get in the habit of keeping your camera close, you’re way more likely to take photos and start filling your stock portfolios.

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