There are many opportunities to earn cash from your photos and videos. You won't get rich. But you can supplement your income nicely. There's one obvious caveat: You must have talent. Your work will be competing with that of many others.
Stock photos appear on the Internet and in print publications. Publishers license the photos for a specific use. They use stock photos instead of hiring a photographer.
Before you start seeing dollar signs, there are some considerations. Your photos must be impeccable. The composition, lighting and technical quality must be outstanding. The photos should be high resolution and free of noise.
You can photograph any subject, but some subjects are in higher demand. For example, travel photos and photos of people sell well.
You can list your photos on sites like iStockphoto, Dreamstime and BigStockPhoto. They'll take a cut of sales.
Upload as many photos as you can. Post on multiple sites, provided there is no exclusivity clause in the sites' terms. This increases your ability to sell.
Some photo contests award cash prizes. Others offer other prizes. Read the rules carefully before you enter.
Some contests have separate categories for amateurs and professionals. Others are limited to amateurs. Selling stock photos may disqualify you as an amateur.
You'll find many different types of contests. National Geographic and other publications of the National Geographic Society sponsor photo contests. The Everyman contest awards cash prizes. So does Smithsonian magazine.
You'll find more contests online or in your favorite photography magazines. Make sure they're reputable. Some charge entry fees. Some of those are probably legitimate. But others may not be. I would not pay for the privilege of entering a contest.
News organizations are beginning to accept individuals' photos and videos. This is true of local, national and international news outlets.
This trend is still in its infancy. Many publishers do not pay. However, Reuters pays for photos it distributes for publication. Reuters has partnered with Yahoo! for user-submitted video.
The photos and video can be shot with your camera phone. Quality isn't as important as with stock photos or contest submissions.
However, the work must be newsworthy. You must catch an event at the right moment. This could prove difficult.
If you're going to a sporting event or concert, visit SpyMedia first. It is similar to stock photography sites. However, buyers can request photos of particular events. The event you're attending could be included. You can also post photos in your collection.
YouTube is one of the hottest Internet sensations. Visitors upload and share their videos for free. But that could soon change.
YouTube plans to start sharing advertising revenue with its members. Revenue would be generated by an advertisement at the beginning or end of a video. It could happen as early as this year.
Other sites have beaten YouTube to the punch. Revver is a video-sharing site that splits advertising revenue evenly with the video's creator. Brightcove also shares 50 percent of ad revenue. In addition, you can sell your videos for syndication on other sites.