New to stock photography? Start here.

Portrait of young woman photographer checking previews on camera in the studio.

If you want to get started with stock photography, you need two things: photos and a place to sell them.

Check out this article for guidance on choosing your best images to submit as stock.

Next, all you need is a place to send them. But… where to start?

Today’s best agency for beginners:

After all these years, I still recommend starting with Bigstock, and here’s why…

As a new contributor, Bigstock tends to be a little easier to get into than some of the other agencies. This makes it a great place to begin getting used to the “system” of stock without getting too discouraged.

It’s easy to start, too. All you need to do is create a free account, complete their new contributor tutorial, and submit some images for consideration. If your photos pass inspection, they’ll automatically be added to Bigstock’s collection – and ready to collect income!

(If you don’t want to go it alone, try out Snap & Sell Photo Club membership and I’ll walk you through each step in my “Up and Running with Stock” three-part video guide – free to all members on their members-only page.)

Next Steps…

Once you’ve gained a bit of confidence at Bigstock, you’ll want to add a couple more agencies to your list.

My favorite agency is Shutterstock, as I make the most of my income there. My next-favorites are Adobe Stock and Dreamstime, followed by iStock (part of Getty Images). These agencies all rank highest for earnings among Snap & Sell Photo Club readers. They’re all similar, with slightly different pay scales and processes for getting in.

Last year, Shutterstock was the lead income earner for readers, with Adobe Stock and Dreamstime tying for second place. Bigstock came in third and iStock came in fourth.

Remember, stock is a numbers game and you can (and should!) sell the same photos at more than one site, so you might as well increase your earning potential by contributing to multiple sites. For beginners, I think three agencies is a good number to shoot for.

The more you get your photos out there, the more chances you have to turn your photography hobby into income. So, get started and let the fun begin! 

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