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If your friends have ever looked at your photos and said, “you should sell these!” … then I have just the place to start – online stock agencies.

I gave you a few of my favorite agencies for beginners yesterday – see those here.

Now that you know where to sell… let’s talk about how to choose photos that sell well as stock.

Just about any photo subject can sell as stock. Here’s what to look for when you’re selecting which of your photos to sell first:


Clean, strong composition. Here’s a trick: look at your photos as small thumbnails. If you can immediately tell what’s going on, you likely have a strong photo. And if you’re still not sure if it’s a good photo, ask a friend to weigh in.

Tips on how to choose photos that sell

Hot topics. Things like smiling healthy people, “green” conservation themes, weather, healthcare, food, holidays, and travel are all very strong-selling themes.

Tips on how to choose photos that sell

No clutter. Check around the edges and in the foreground of your photo to make sure nothing distracting is taking attention away from your main subject.

Photos with no logos in them. Stock agencies need photos that are “clean” and free of logos and trademarks. Landscapes, plants, food, and objects can all be great options.

People – with model releases. Any time you have a recognizable person in your photo, you will need a model release. But when you hang out with friends, they’re usually happy to sign! Just download the “Easy Release – Model Releases” app to your phone, and they can sign with their finger.

Stock photography is fun, because you can incorporate it into your daily life. I love taking photos of meals, friends, and my favorite activities, like skiing, hiking, and travel.

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