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Sell Stock Photos of Animals

It’s often difficult for newsletter authors, website designers and pet product promoters to find quality royalty-free photos of pets that can be licensed for use offline and online.

What a Business Selling Stock Pet Photography Involves:
You’d be using your knowledge of photography to take photos – usually of recognized dog or cat breeds – and then selling them individually (doing custom work) or packaging them to sell as a collection.

Knowledge or Skills Required:
The biggies are some skill as a photographer and a decent digital camera.  You’ll also need a source of pets for models (contact local kennel clubs); if your photos are to be purchased by those knowledgeable about the breed, you’ll have to make sure that the pets conform to the breed standard.

Advantages:

  • Not a lot of competition, particularly in this niche.
    It’s not that there aren’t people selling cheap photo collections (especially online)… it’s that not a lot of people/companies offer photos that are LEGAL.  Businesses don’t want problems with copyright infringements.

  • There’s no geographic limitation on where you can sell your photos.

Disadvantages:

  • Access to pets, especially those that meet breed standard, may be difficult.  You may need to travel to pet shows or make special arrangements.

  • You’ll also need to determine some good photo locations and/or backdrops, as least as a “just in case” event; you can’t assume that the pet owner’s home is a suitable location for taking high-quality photos.

Resources for More Information on Starting a Photography Business:
photography book - sell stock photos of animals
Income from Photography

This excellent guide is not exclusively about selling stock photos (although there IS a chapter devoted to that), but it’s focused on photography as a BUSINESS.  (Not many books cover that angle.)  It covers advertising your services, marketing your photographs, legal considerations… and what you should charge!
http://www.petbusinesscentral.com/PhotoIncome.htm

Comments/Ideas:

As mentioned previously, assuring buyers that your photos are original and legal to use will be important.  And be sure to specify some sort of license agreement – probably, by paying the one-time fee, the buyer has no further payments or restrictions other than not being able to re-sell or distribute your photographs.