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Making Money From Your Photographs: Qoop - And Flickr!

A popular discussion on many photography forums is about how we can make money from our photography. I'm not talking about enough cash to give up the day job, but some extra income to pay for new lenses, bodies, accessories, etc. Stock photography sites are too difficult to get large numbers of submissions passed, and the chances of getting picked up as a photographer for National Geographic are pretty low...

Another common subject is image theft and the Internet - if you upload your photographs and share them, people will steal them and use them without permission. The answer could be to use watermarks, low resolution (or size) images, or just not share your photographs at all.

What we need to do is think about these two subjects, the strengths and weaknesses of both, and maybe come up with a solution that could earn us a few extra bucks.

Stock Photography, through sites like Istockphoto and Bigstockphoto, is very appealing - lots of photographs are sold through these sites, but it's very difficult to get lots of images in. People like to buy from these sites because it's simple and easy. Choose the photo you want, the size, pay your money and download the shot. Very, very convenient.

Image theft, where people grab your photo's from Flickr, your Blog, or any other digital source, is a fact. Most people who do this aren't aware that they're breaking any copyright laws. They don't think they're doing anything wrong, if the photo is on the 'net, it's ok to use it. Let's put the moral (and legal) question of that to one side, and ask ourselves about what opportunities and avenues do we give the people who look at our photographs to actually buy and use them?

When someone is doing an image search on Google or Flickr, maybe for a photo to use on their website, and they come across your photograph, how can they legally buy it? The answer at the moment is probably that they can't. Even if they wanted to pay you, there's no easy way, so they'll either "borrow it" and use it illegally, or head on over to a microstock agency to spend their money with someone else.

The answer? Quoop.

Many sites allow you to upload your photographs and sell them as prints or stock licenses. The difference with Qoop is how easy it is to import your Photographs, along with descriptions and tags, from Flickr. Spend half an hour opening an account and importing some photographs, then you'll be able to start adding links to the descriptions below your photographs on Flickr, or next to the images on your website or blog. Then, when someone comes across one of your photographs, if they want to use it they can click on the Qoop link and go straight to a page where they can buy a print, or a stock license for a download. Simple and easy, just like the stock photography sites, but without the moderators to reject all your favourite shots.

I can hear you asking, "Won't they just steal the image anyways?"

The answer to that, is yes. The people who were never going to pay you to use your Photo, never will. You haven't lost anything, because they were never going to give you any money anyway. What you have done is given the people who are willing to pay for your work, a simple way to do so.

Now, head on over to Qoop, open an account and import a few of your photographs from Flickr. Don't do too many at first, say around 10. You'll be amazed at how easy it is. Now we need to add some links that will take viewers from our Flickr pages to the Qoop page for that specific image.

Open up a simple text editor, Notepad will do on Windows. Paste the following text into the document:

<a href="URL" target="_blank">Purchase a print, or a stock license to use this photograph.</a>

You should have something like this:

What we're going to do is navigate to the specific page on our Qoop store where the image is, copy the URL of that page, then paste it into the text document where it says URL in the code.

Click on "Store":

Click on the photograph you want to link to:

Now copy the URL (from your browser address bar), by highlighting it, right-click "copy":

Now paste it over the "URL" bit in our text document, between the quotation marks:

Now highlight all of the text in the document, and right-click "copy".

Almost done! Go to flickr, log in if you have to, find the photograph you want the Qoop link to appear in, click in the description, and paste the link into place:

We're done! Now, if anyone is looking at that photo, and fancy using it legally, they've got a simple and quick way of buying a print or a stock license to use it!

The hard part is now to repeat this process for the rest of your photographs imported to Qoop from Flickr, but hey, no pain no gain, no guts no glory!


Cheers, Rob.

Reader Comments (8)

This is fantastic Rob!

I take it you have checked this is all above board with Flickr...seeing they have partnered with QOOP one would think so. However I am puzzled with Flickr's statement about "Flickr for personal use" and "selling of products, services or oneself" results in termination of ones account! How is linking with QOOP to sell ones photos not affected by this rule?

Probably can't see the wood for the trees...once again a great article!


September 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMozuk

Hi Mozuk!

There is quite a lot of debate about this. I asked for clarification, but haven't recieved any reply back from Flickr as yet. They do say that you're not meant to use your Flickr photostream for commercial purposes - but I think that's more about people posting pictures of products and then selling the product, not the actual photo itself.

See this link:

Cheers, Rob.

September 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

Hey, Rob. Great article!
How much does it cost to open an account on QOOP?

September 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Rosalia

Qoop is free John.

September 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

Great post Rob !
Think i will have a look into this , coincidentally i am putting up a simalar post this evening regarding selling your work , but via a slightly different method .......with any luck we should all be raking the cash in soon !!!!!!!


September 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Clark

Ha! We'll see Matt!

September 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn

thanks for the write-up. You can also find above each image on qoop in "share" a link to share each image back to flickr with titles, tags, descriptions, etc....that will have a "posted from QOOP" label when you go this.

Two other great ways to share are the "widgets" and the "iframes" each make it easy to share your store to blogs and other sites. You shoudl try pasting one one of the widgets from your qoop store into this's look great in the verticle format...

Cheers, Phil

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

Here's Rob's Widget:

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

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