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Starting a Stock Photography Website

Tina Gionis , Feb 18, 2006; 01:08 a.m.

I want to start a stock photography website. Do I have to register it with the government? Are there any suggested ways I can optimize my site? Or can someone refer me to a site that can give me suggestions on how to start a stock photography website?

Have you started a stock photography website with only your photos? Do you think it's worth doing? Have you made any money from it?

I guess if I don't make cash from it, at least I'll have a website up.

I'm just starting out with this, and am pretty clueless.

Thanks in advance for your comments!


Art Haykin , Feb 18, 2006; 02:19 a.m.

The government has nothing to do with the internet, and no business "registers" with them unless they are selling hazardous chemicals, pistols, drugs, and similarily regulated products. Of course, once in business, you must file your income taxes with the IRS. Starting up a stock is an ambitious project, as 1) good stock houses have tens of thousands of images to offer, and are adding to them all the time. 2) A commercial website needs some serious promoting so that potential buyers will know it's out there. 3) You'll need to consult a lawyer to help you cover a variety of legal problems. 4) You'll find that a successful dot.com stock house is very labor intensive.

Stephen Bay , Feb 18, 2006; 06:52 p.m.

I started my own stock website with my work. I didn't get any significant traffic/sales until I had probably well over 1000 pictures up. It doesn't help that most of my stuff is travel photography which is one of the hardest areas to do well in. If you have a specialty (even within a common area such as travel or nature), you can probably succeed with fewer pictures.

There are lots of ways you can optimize your site. But you need to know what you want to optimize for. Traffic is not the same as sales.

In my experience, the easiest part was the actual software/code that went into the site. The hardest and most time consuming part is marketing and getting enough content to be viable.

J. W. Wall , Feb 19, 2006; 05:39 p.m.

One place to look for a discussion of the business of photography, including online selling, is the site of one of the larger online photo sellers, Dan Heller: www.danheller.com.

Edward Vargas , Feb 19, 2006; 06:36 p.m.

Visit Photo Source International: http//www.photosource.com They have a lot of information that you help you out.

Good luck

Edward Vargas , Feb 19, 2006; 06:37 p.m.

Forget the: will help you out.


Good luck

Quang-Tuan Luong , Feb 19, 2006; 11:26 p.m.

It can generate a decent income, however, the amount of work that you need to put into it is incredibly high. I think other marketing methods might be more profitable. However, like you seem to hint (I guess if I don't make cash from it, at least I'll have a website up), there are other satisfactions than money to be gained from having a top site. Terra Galleria Photography.

Rick Carlie , Jul 29, 2010; 05:30 p.m.

Hi Tina and others,
I really, really hope this doesn't come across as spam.

I really think this can help out a lot of aspiring photo site owners, and current photo sites out there. We recently launched AllFamo.com - an instant search and targeting solution - that provides a long list of high end search features that only top tier sites have currently to everyone.

You can decide if you want to use it or not - as it has a free trial. If you have a smaller collection (fewer than 100,000 items, we have a "mini" package. Just send us a note.

Good luck with your site.


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