Turn your passion into pay

image005These days, anyone can add a filter to an image and think they’re a photographer. The truth is they are – no filter necessary. Even without professional training, an increasing number of people are finding they can cash-in on their love for the lens. Leading local visual solutions provider, Greatstock, is offering members of the public the chance to license and sell their images to publishers around the world.

“It’s not only high-end, art-directed content that publishers and agencies are after,” explains Greatstock’s News and Features Editor, Daniel Born. “When even the most basic phones have camera functionality, anyone can capture newsworthy, sought-after imagery and have it picked up by global media.”

Real life, real return

According to Born, Greatstock has seen a steady increase in pick-up of timeous images captured by amateur photographers. Through their well-established relationships with many local and global publications, Greatstock licenses and disseminates its contributors’ content far and wide, negotiating fair compensation on their behalf.

“The most coveted content in our library includes chance encounters caught on camera – fleeting moments and unusual occurrences, captured in a split-second, simply by being in the right place at the right time,” says Born. “These unique visuals always find incredible reach.”

Born warns against simply sharing images through social networks, stating that this can be a wasted opportunity. “Content can go viral on social media, without the photographer ever receiving any remuneration, let alone any credit,” says Born. “Being unfamiliar with image licensing, they end up losing out on potential income from their visual content.”

Snap for cash

Greatstock is always on the lookout for exceptional content of all types and subject matter. “Going beyond traditional content streams doesn’t take anything away from the professionals, but it significantly increases the range of imagery available – which is great for the publications, their readers and content producers alike,” says Born.

“The complexities of image licensing often leave photographers intimidated when, in reality, we do all the hard work for them,” says Born. “From the platforms we select to showcase particular material, right through to the agencies we appoint to syndicate the content across different regions – every aspect is considered.”

Alexius van der Westhuizen is one such photographer, having gained considerable return on his striking photographs of lightning over Johannesburg through his collaboration with Greatstock.

Valuable collaboration

“Daniel [Born] came across my photographs on Facebook and offered me the opportunity to be in a Greatstock feature, highlighting my work,” says Van der Westhuizen. “The whole process was fantastic – he shared my excitement and took the time to carefully explain the licensing model to me.”

“Working with Greatstock has put me on the map,” adds van der Westhuizen. “I’ve licensed my images internationally, and even landed a radio interview on 94.7 to discuss my work. This partnership has increased my fan base exponentially and given me more exposure than I ever thought possible.”

To find out if your content has the potential to generate revenue, all it takes is one email with your photos and videos. It could start a conversation that turns your passion into some serious pay.