Making Money in Thailand | Shoot Stock Photography

King Cobra venomous snake stock photo from Thailand.
Specialized subjects, like venomous snakes, for instance, are great stock photography subjects you can shoot in Thailand because they are not found all over the world, just certain places. I took this photo for my ThailandSnakes.com website.

Overview and How to Get Started Shooting Stock Photography in Thailand

Stock agencies are a middle-link between photographers or great graphics designers, and buyers. We use Dreamstime.com to manage our stock photography portfolio, but there may be others that fit you better.  

Start browsing some online stock agencies. Have a look at Dreamstime.com, it has an easy to understand website. Look at the quality of photos you must take. Look at themes photographers are shooting. Look at the models they choose. You can search on a keyword and sort by “most downloads”. That will help you see which photos are selling the most.

Keep in mind that most people buy stock photographs for one of two reasons – to stand alone and convey a message, or to provide a background to some text – some article they’ve written that can go over the top of the photo.

You will need to become pretty good at photography. You need not be an expert, a decent camera takes much of the guesswork out of the technical aspects of photography. You will need to study what makes stock photographs sell. Themes sell well. Which themes? You’ll have to comb through the online stock agencies and see what is selling well lately.

See more ways to Make Money in Thailand here >

Positives of a Career in Thailand Shooting Stock Photography

1. Work is according to your own schedule, you set the hours and the subjects to photograph.

2. While difficult to shoot perfect photos, once you learn you will have a skill that enables you to make money in many different ways.

3. Once the photos are accepted at the stock agency, you do nothing but collect a check. Residual income – is the best kind of income.

4. Thailand is absolutely full of amazing destinations, attractions, models, and things to do that will serve as subjects for your stock photography.

Negatives of Shooting Stock Photography for a Career

1. I think there are some people with a photographic eye and some that don’t have it. To a certain degree, it can be learned. Best to get involved in this if you are fanatical about photography, and choose something else if you’re not that enthused to learn the art to a high degree.

2. Time. It may take some time to build up a portfolio of accepted images at online stock agencies. Meaning, your income will be slim to none for a while.

3. It is frustrating and time consuming to upload hundreds of images to your account, only to find out that only a fraction have been accepted. This is something you need to be motivated to succeed at in order to do well enough to make it a career.

I’m into snake photography, but you can shoot birds, frogs, lizards, skinks, insects, butterflies, mammals, or flowers and other flora in Thailand for your stock photo subjects.

Stock Photography Resources

Darren Rowse, the internet’s “Pro Blogger,” has a digital photography school online, visit it and sign up for courses, read his books. He has a good handle on photography, along with some excellent guest posters. Click here.

Dreamstime.com – sign up and check out their rules for uploading images.

I looked for good books on shooting stock at Amazon (Kindle) and didn’t find anything I even wanted to purchase. There may be an opportunity for you to write your own book on the topic once you get going and are successful at it.

Other well-known stock agencies – Shutterstock.com, Thinkstock.com, iStock.com.

Comments About Shooting Stock Photography in Thailand

All the stock photo agencies are strict on what they will accept – and many photos you choose to submit will be rejected. Success comes with the learning the process – figuring out what a technically perfect photo is – and how to keep reshooting those that will be accepted to the stock agencies you’re using.

Specialize in a niche. I shoot Thailand snakes, lizards, and other animals – usually from a ‘macro’ perspective. This is what I like to shoot. You can shoot macro of something that interests you. Shoot for print, shoot for possible ebook covers. Shoot abstracts and patterns.

We have about 400 images at Dreamstime.com and made over $1,000 over the past four years. It isn’t much, but then we didn’t put anything into it beyond our initial upload of 600 images, of which about 400 were accepted. To really begin getting a decent income from stock sales, you should have a couple of thousand images in your account and be constantly adding to your portfolio. Some photographers and graphic designers make over $100,000 per year just with their stock sales.

See more ways to Make Money in Thailand here >