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You don't need to be a pro to sell your photos online – Popular Science

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Earn a little cash from stock photography websites.
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If you have a passion for photography, you don’t have to wait for your big break. While you work on your craft, you can earn money by selling your pictures on stock photo sites.
This is a great way to get cash from a hobby you already enjoy, but don’t quit your day job just yet—you probably won’t make big bucks through this method. Instead, think of it as a way to practice your photo skills, and perhaps earn a little extra change as you do so.
The basics of stock photography are simple: You offer your pictures to stock sites, they license them on to anyone who needs imagery, and you receive a cut of the sale price. Through this arrangement, stock sites get huge libraries of photos, photographers put their work in front of massive online audiences, and everyone walks away happy. It’s also ideal for amateurs or hobbyists, as it’s an extremely easy way to turn your images into cash—you needn’t handle commissions and sales yourself.
In fact, numerous stock photography sites will compete for your business, giving you lots of potential customers. Take time to weigh each one’s terms and conditions: They offer different royalties, and some will lock you into exclusivity agreements, where they pay you more if you promise not to sell your pictures anywhere else. If you avoid those contracts, then you’ll earn less money, but you can submit pictures to several sites at once. In addition, check to see who gets to retain a photo’s copyright. On most sites, you still own your photo—buyers purchase a license to use it under set parameters, rather than buying the copyright itself.
Once you’ve selected a site or several, you can submit your imagery, then upload it through a straightforward process. Some sites have stricter application procedures, but in general, your images will have to meet a certain quality threshold, which will vary from site to site. Similarly, payment arrangements can differ on each site, depending on how much a service charges for photos, how well your photos are selling, and whether you’ve agreed to an exclusive deal or not.
For more information on specific stock photography websites, read on.
The biggest and most well-known stock photography websites include Shutterstock, iStock, and Dreamstime, all of which we’ll cover in this section. We recommend that beginners start working with one or more of these big three. Once you start feeling comfortable with the world of stock photography, you can check out more of these services, such as Adobe Stock, 123RF, and 500px.
Shutterstock, one of the oldest players in the stock-photo game, has amassed an audience of a million users in 150 countries. The site itself is responsive and easy to navigate. To upload your images, you must first complete a contributor application form. If the site accepts you, which it should do within 24 hours, you can earn a flat fee of $0.25 to $2.85 each time someone buys one of your photos. That price depends on the buyer’s subscription plan, the size of the photo, and the number of photos you’ve already sold—as your total Shutterstock earnings go up, so does the cash you receive per image.
The other major name you’ll encounter is iStock, run by Getty Images. Its reach is even bigger than Shutterstock, with 1.5 million users in 200 countries. However, it can take longer to approve new applications, processing them within 30 days. In another difference, payments are a percentage rather than a flat fee. Royalty rates start at 15 percent, and they can go up to a maximum of 45 percent, based on the existence of an exclusivity agreement and the number of people who have bought the picture (to reach that coveted 45 percent, you’ll need at least 330,000 purchases). Your earnings will also depend on the price of the photo: Because iStock offers its buyers different subscription packages (purchasing multiple photos over a long-term period versus buying just one image), a picture can cost anywhere from $0.44 to $12, so your take-home fee will be somewhere between $0.07 and $5.40.
The reach of another well-known stock photo portal, Dreamstime, dwarfs the other options we’ve mentioned: It claims 20 million registered users. However, it’s unclear how many of those users are actually active on the site. The service doesn’t screen new contributors, so you can get started right away, but individual photos must undergo a review, so they will take a couple of days to show up after you upload them. Like iStock, Dreamstime pays in percentages: It will give you between 25 percent and 60 percent of everything you sell, depending on many factors, including whether your photos are exclusive, how much the buyer pays, how long you’ve been with Dreamstime, the size of the picture, and so on. To clear things up, you earn $0.34 to $12.24 for each shot you sell.
Choosing a stock photo site and registering to sell photos is just the first step. If you want to make money, you need to take pictures that people actually want to buy. It’s not a question of throwing up some hastily-snapped shots and then waiting for cash to roll in. Instead, consider what potential buyers are looking for.
At the most basic level, your photos need to look technically sharp and polished. Take them with a professional camera (or at least a very good smartphone camera), and make sure the shots are in focus, correctly exposed, and properly framed. Unappealing or amateurish shots won’t sell. In fact, they may not make it past a stock photography site’s screening process.
These high-quality shots also need to have commercial or editorial value. Start by asking yourself whether someone could use them as illustrations for an article, advertisement, poster, or brochure? If you’re unsure, then pay attention to the images that pop up as you read news stories or scroll through social media. This article, for example, opens with a picture of a camera and a laptop sitting on a table. When sites like Popular Science post articles about technology, we need to include an image of the gear being discussed—and we often turn to stock photo sites to find it. Similarly, cooking sites need images of food and kitchen utensils, lifestyle sites show off smiling models participating in healthy activities, and so on.
In addition to emulating the type of photos you see online, follow some of the guidelines that Shutterstock has put together for its contributors: producing honest images that have broad appeal, different layers of meaning, and an aspirational look. The formatting can also help draw in potential purchasers—the service recommends that your pictures include room for text, in case a website wants to format an article by placing the headline on top of the image. In another tip, Shutterstock suggests that you take several variations of the same shot in order to appeal to as many buyers as possible. For example, you might have a model pose smiling in one image and, with the rest of the scene the same, looking serious in another. Speaking of models, images that show cultural diversity and local culture tend to do well on this particular stock photo site.
Before you fully commit to stock photography, look into the potential pitfalls. You don’t want to set your expectations too high or waste your time on a hobby that ends up disappointing you.
First, be aware that creating piles of photos for stock sites can require a lot of hard work—for an uncertain, and perhaps tiny, reward. If your pictures don’t find buyers, you simply won’t make money, no matter how much time you spend on them. You may also have to invest in expensive gear, like a quality camera, lenses, lights, or tripods, to get your work up to the required standard. So don’t treat this as a full time job or a get-rich-quick scheme, because you don’t have any guarantee that you’ll make enough money to support yourself. In the end, you should be practicing a hobby you enjoy and having fun, with the money as a secondary concern.
In addition, a lot of contributors will be submitting their own photos to these sites. Just search any stock service to see how many flowers and rivers and trees pop up. To stand out, avoid generic images and instead brainstorm compositions that are unique to where you live or what you’re interested in. Selecting a niche can prevent you from disappearing into the crowd.
You also need to make sure your work follows the law. People featured in your shots need model release forms (more information here). Non-human items can’t feature labels, logos, or any other trademarks. In general, check the guidelines of any stock site you plan to work with, and follow their advice on what to avoid.
If you succeed in earning a little money, congratulations! Now you get to do a little more admin work when you’re filling out your taxes: You’ll have to declare any income that you make through stock photography sales. To prepare, track your earnings as they roll in and resign yourself to doing extra paperwork when tax season rolls around.
David Nield is a tech journalist from the UK who has been writing about gadgets and apps since way before the iPhone and Twitter were invented. When he’s not busy doing that, he usually takes breaks from all things tech with long walks in the countryside.

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YouTube Shorts Fund offers $10,000/month for creators – The Verge

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YouTube’s $100 million Shorts Fund launches this month
YouTube will pay creators up to $10,000 per month for making popular videos on its TikTok competitor, YouTube Shorts. The company plans to pay $100 million throughout the next year, with the first payments going out this month.
The fund could mean a whole lot of cash for creators, but payouts aren’t guaranteed. The popularity needed to earn money will depend on just how many people are making and watching Shorts each month, and payouts will also depend on where each creator’s audience is located.
YouTube is also requiring these to be original videos. Reuploads and videos tagged with watermarks from other platforms — aka TikTok, Snapchat, or Reels — will disqualify a channel for payments. The payments are only available in 10 regions for now, including the US, UK, India, and Brazil, among others, and YouTube says it plans on expanding that list “in the future.”
Creators have traditionally gotten paid on YouTube based on the ads that run in front of their videos, with there being a direct relationship between the number of ad views and the amount of money they receive. But with Shorts, YouTube doesn’t want to run an ad in front of every quick clip, so it’s building out this alternate form of payment to reward creators.
The Shorts Fund will eventually be replaced with a “long-term, scalable monetization program,” Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer, said on today’s episode of Decoder. The fund is “a way to get going and to actually really start to figure out” how monetization should work for creators making these videos. “You’re essentially consuming a feed of shorts, and so the model has to work differently,” Mohan said.
Payment schemes like this have become increasingly common. TikTok and Snapchat both pay out to creators based on the popularity of their videos, rather than based on ads. The result is potentially lucrative for creators, though there’s less transparency on how much creators may earn any given month.
For YouTube, the fund offers a way to kickstart its late-in-the-game effort at a short-form video service. Though TikTok has a huge head start, YouTube is, at the end of the day, YouTube — an enormous and hugely popular video platform — which could give it an edge as it tries to spin up Shorts.
Mohan indicated that YouTube wouldn’t require creators to use Shorts in order to boost their overall engagement on the platform. “Our goal there is to give every creator a voice,” Mohan said on Decoder. “If the creator wants to do that through a two-hour documentary about a particular topic they’re passionate about, then YouTube should be the place for that. If they want to do that through a 15-second Short, that mixes in their favorite hit from their favorite music artists, they should be able to do that.”
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Malaysia's mangrove-planting fishermen stumble at nature finance hurdle – BusinessWorld Online

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SUNGAI ACHEH, Malaysia —  Walking across a swamp, retired fisherman Ilias Shafie and a small group of villagers plant mangrove saplings on Malaysia’s west coast, one tree at a time. 
They have put in some 400,000 mangrove trees since a restoration initiative started two decades ago, in what was initially a bid to increase the catch of local fishermen. 
Now their work has taken on extra significance as alarm grows over global warming and nature loss, with mangroves regarded as a key weapon in the fight against climate change. 
But the surge of international concern has yet to help this community win the global finance required to expand its project, highlighting the barriers often faced by groups on the ground seeking to tap into growing funding flows for nature protection. 
“Mangroves are important to us fishermen — we need them because this is the breeding ground of fish,” said Ilias, 70, recalling how dwindling mangrove forests affected his catch and livelihood, which prompted him to launch the initiative. 
Mangroves make up less than 1% of tropical forests worldwide but are crucial in the fight against climate change because they are more effective than most other forests at absorbing and storing planet-heating carbon. 
Mangrove ecosystems also protect coastal communities from storm surges, reduce flooding and help shore up food security. 
Despite their benefits, they are in decline, with the world’s mangrove area decreasing by just over 1 million hectares between 1990 and 2020, although the rate of loss has slowed in recent years, says the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. 
CHALLENGES
In Malaysia, mangroves are often cleared to make way for infrastructure development and farming, while they are also under threat from industrial pollution and over-harvesting — including in northern Penang state, where Ilias lives. 
As fish catches dwindled for him and other fishermen in the late 1990s, Ilias mobilized his peers to join him in restoring the fast-vanishing mangrove forests through the Penang Inshore Fishermen Welfare Association (PIFWA), which he leads. 
Their small initiative has won recognition — to date about 30 local companies have sponsored their tree-planting as part of corporate social responsibility projects. 
PIFWA charges the companies a small fee of 8 ringgit ($2) per tree planted, while participating fishermen are compensated with allowances for their time and labor. 
Now, Ilias is hoping to access larger sums of global funding to plant more trees, but he is struggling with challenges — from ways to access available money and scale up the project to other issues like language barriers and a lack of technical expertise. 
He cited an example from an international donor that wanted the group to innovate with new ideas and expand the tree-planting project after an initial round of funding. 
“We did not have the capacity to deliver other things, like turning this into an eco-tourism site or getting more youths involved,” he said, adding they did not receive further support as a result. 
“We are nervous — we are fishermen and we can’t commit to something we’re not confident in delivering,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on a break from planting mangrove saplings. 
His frustration shows the practical difficulties of channeling financing to rehabilitate nature where it is needed, even as more countries and donors invest in so-called “nature-based solutions,” from reforestation to wetland expansion. 
NEW PLEDGES
Over the last decade, less than 1% of international climate finance has gone to indigenous and local communities to manage forests that absorb planet-heating carbon emissions and are rich in biodiversity, according to a recent report from green groups
Nature protection remains underfunded worldwide, with the UN urging a four-fold increase in annual investment to $536 billion by 2050, to tackle the triple threat of climate change, biodiversity, and land degradation. 
Lately, there has been a rise in pledges, including at November’s UN COP26 climate summit, where about $19 billion was promised in public and private funding to protect and restore forests. 
This month, a new global fund was launched by the Rights and Resources Initiative and Campaign for Nature to help indigenous and local groups conserving forests and other ecosystems on the ground access international finance more easily. 
Environmentalist Meena Raman said making more small grants available to communities and partnering with local non-profits to overcome language and knowledge barriers would channel money to places that have missed out in the past. 
“Nature provides them with jobs, and they protect the ecosystem… It’s about sustainable livelihoods and sustaining nature [at the same time],” said Ms. Raman, president of Friends of the Earth Malaysia, a conservation group. 
BOOST FOR WOMEN
Back in Sungai Acheh, a sleepy village with wooden fishing boats along the river, women said they had also gained from the mangrove-planting initiative. 
A group of them has learned from mangrove-dwelling communities in Indonesia how to turn some of the tree species into tea, juice and jam, selling the products for 6–8 ringgit each to boost their household income. 
“It has not only helped my husband to increase his fishing catch, but I have benefited from it too,” said Siti Hajar Abdul Aziz, 36, a mother of five. 
More coastal communities like hers would gain from protecting nature and improving their livelihoods, if they get financial support to champion similar initiatives, she added. 
Siti Hajar hopes one day to find ways to expand sales of her mangrove products by selling them in places like supermarkets. 
“Before this I was just sitting at home — I have learned so much since I started doing this,” she said. — Beh Lih Yi/Thomson Reuters Foundation

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Australian Open live: Ash Barty, Rafael Nadal push for semifinals berth – ABC News

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Australian Open: Denis Shapovalov takes aim at Rafael Nadal as Ash Barty cruises into semifinals — as it happened
Follow all the action at the Australian Open throughout the day in our live blog
Keep across all the live scores and results from the Australian Open
Canadian tennis player Denis Shapovalov says he misspoke when he called chair umpire Carlos Bernardes "corrupt", but has taken aim at umpires for what he says is the "preferential treatment" Rafael Nadal receives. 
Ash Barty booked a place in the Australian Open semifinals on Tuesday night with a brilliant victory over Jessica Pegula.
Look back at the day's play as it happened in the blog below.
By Paul Johnson
If you thought Canadian star Denis Shapovalov was going to back down over comments he made during his quarterfinal loss to Rafael Nadal and the Spaniard's pace of play, you'd be wrong.
During the match Shapovalov complained about Nadal stretching time limits and told chair umpire Carlos Bernardes "you guys are all corrupt" after Bernardes did not give Nadal a time violation.
In his press conference Shapovalov somewhat backed down on the "corrupt" claim and said he chose his words poorly.
"I think I misspoke when I said he's corrupt or whatever," he said before he turned his attention to the legendary Spaniard and a continued attack on Bernades.
Nadal has long been known for being meticulous. The drink bottle regimen, the pre serve set up and despite the introduction of a shot clock for serving, the time he takes to play.
Shapovalov took aim at the latter and what he perceives to be the special treatment Nadal gets.
"I think it's unfair, you know, how much Rafa is getting away with," Shapovalov said.
"I'm completely ready to play and the clock is ticking 3, 2, 1, clicking towards zero, and I'm looking at the ump, and obviously I'm going to speak up and say something.
"I've been ready to play for a minute and a half, and he tells me he's not going to give him a code violation because I'm not ready to play.
"To me, it's a big joke if somebody says that."
"Then after the fourth set … he was getting medically evaluated — that's what the ump said after the fourth set — getting medically evaluated, and after the evaluation the guy goes and takes a toilet break.
"Where is the line? 
"I respect everything that Rafa has done and I think he's an unbelievable player but there's got to be some boundaries, some rules set.
"You feel like you're not just playing against the player; you're playing against the umpires, you're playing against so much more."
Asked if he thought Nadal gets preferential treatment, the Canadian 14th seed did not mince his words.
"100 per cent he does," Shapovalov said.
"Every other match that I have played, the pace has been so quick because the refs have been on the clock after every single point.
"This one, I mean, after the first two sets it was like an hour and a half just because he's dragged out so much after every single point.
"He's given so much time in between sets and all this."
By Paul Johnson
Could you ask for more tennis fans on an amazing day of action — Here are the key moments.
I'll be back tomorrow to bring you all the action from Melbourne Park. Please join us then.
By Paul Johnson
It took him longer than he would have liked but Matteo Berrettini has advanced to the semifinals of the Australian Open with a 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Frenchman Gael Monfils.
Awaiting him there is Spanish legend Rafael Nadal, who also took 5 sets to make the semifinals earlier on Tuesday when he defeated Canada's Denis Shapovalov.
Berrettini had been cruising at two sets to love up but Monfils upped his game in the third and fourth sets as he ratcheted up the power, clocking winners all over the place.
Berrettini seemed beaten.
But as he did a handful of days ago against Spain's Carlos Alcaraz, Berrettini rallied in the 5th set and broke Monfils twice early in the set to take control before serving out the match.
By Paul Johnson
The crowds at this Australian Open have been something else… and definitely poorly behaved at times.
They're getting rowdy now and with Monfils down two double break points they are admonished by the chair.
"If you don't want to watch, please leave."
The offending fans were seen to by security but stayed and Berrettini got the double break as Monfils netted a forehand.
Berrettini leads 3-0 in the final set.
By Paul Johnson
I did not see that coming.
Monfils too seems shocked as Berrettini takes a 1-0 lead in the 5th and final set.
By Paul Johnson
Gael Monfils has broken to send this match into a 5th set.
The Frenchman has some serious momentum now with wife Elina Svitolina cheering him on from the stands.
Berrettini on the other hand looks bereft of ideas and his shots are lacking their previous zip.
Scoreline 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 3-6.
By Paul Johnson
Get ready for a 5th set people.
Berrettini is flagging and Gael Monfils is well…. doing Gael Monfils things.
He just broke the Italian with a massive forehand that kissed the back edge of the baseline.
And if you were wondering is it was close, as Berrettini was….
By Paul Johnson
Here's one he prepared earlier tonight.
By Paul Johnson
A sudden barrage of unforced errors from Berrettini and this match has flipped on tis head.
Early on it was Monfils screaming at himself in frustration but now he looks in control.
Conversely Berrettini, while stoic has gone a little bit defensive and Monfils is making him pay.
Whether that's just a slight dip for Berrettini or his legs getting to him after a tough third round examination from Carlos Alcaraz and a physical three-setter against Pablo Carreno Busta remains to be seen.
Monfils though is flying and this crowd is cheering him on.
By Paul Johnson
The Monfils momentum has been building for a while now and he finally has the break after squandering a few chances.
With his first break of the Berrettini serve for the match Monfils has a 4-2 lead in the 3rd set but is down 2 sets to love.
By Paul Johnson
For the entirety of this Australian Open, no men's player has come back from two sets to love down to win.
Usually at least one player does and the Herculean effort is trumpeted.
Gael Monfils would be hoping to change that here but as Denis Shapovalov learned earlier today, achieving that is not easy.
He was 2 sets down to Rafael Nadal before his run faltered in the fifth set.
Facundo Bagnis got into a 5th against Chilean seed Cristian Garin from 2-0 down but fell short in Rd 1
John Isner fell short at the same stage against eventual 4th rounder Maxime Cressy.
And in the third round teenage gunslinger Carlos Alcaraz almost came from two sets down to beat Berrettini, falling just short in a final set match tiebreak.
By Paul Johnson
If you're Matteo Berrettini you can almost taste a semifinal showdown with Rafael Nadal.
The Italian held his serve to love to take a 6-4, 6-4 lead over Gael Monfils.
The reality now is the Italian is looking strong and Monfils a little sloppy.
The unforced errors are piling up form the Frenchman, while Berrettini has just been a little too strong in all facets of the game so far.
By Paul Johnson
Tough to be Gael Monfils right now.
Berrettini has broken him again for a 4-3 lead and with his serve firing a break back doesn't exactly seem likely for the flashy Frenchman, who is also down a set.
By Paul Johnson
Well that was insane.
Matteo Berrettini just held serve in a mammoth 19-minute game … more than half the time of the opening set.
The Italian faced three break points from Monfils early in the game only to save them but could not put the Frenchman away.
The game went for 10 Deuces as well as 26 points as the Italian sent the scoreline to 6-4, 2-2.
Monfils then held his serve in quick fashion for a 3-2 lead in the second set.
By Paul Johnson
Matteo Berrettini has taken the first set against Gael Monfils as he tries to make his maiden Australian Open semifinal.
The 2021 Wimbledon finalist belted down 5 aces in an impressive first set display against the Frenchman.
Berrettini broke Monfils in the fifth game before serving out the set 6-4.
By Paul Johnson
For those wondering the Barty v Keys semi-final will take place on Thursday night.
Should Barty advance from that match the women's final will be played on Saturday night.
By Paul Johnson
Which is par for the course after saying how well they were both serving.
He leads 3-2 in the first set.
By Paul Johnson
There wasn't much of a break between the end of the Barty match and this men's quarterfinal but so far it's been a case of serving dominance.
That's no surprise for a Berrettini match. The Italian possesses a huge serve and plays a lot of tiebreaks, while Monfils is in some of his best form.
He was a dominant title winner in Adelaide and has been charging through the Australian Open draw so far.
By Paul Johnson
By Paul Johnson
Ash Barty may have decimated Jessica Pegula at the Australian Open but she believes the challenge presented by Pegula may have helped her up her game in the quarterfinals.
Barty won the match 6-2, 6-0 in fast time but said she knew she had to up her level.
"I was able to serve well and take a lot of forehands in the centre of the court," Barty said before she paid tribute to Pegula.
"Jess is an incredible person she is a brilliant girl and made me play my best tennis this week.
"She definitely is a top 20 players and deserves to be in this end of the slams and has a few more to come as well."
Earlier in the day Melbourne's hot weather nearly ended Rafael Nadal's run but for Barty it felt just like being home in Queensland.
"This is Brisbane weather," Barty said.
"There has been plenty of heat throughout the day and to have a bit of heat in the court helps my game.
"But I love playing at the Australian Open, it doesn't matter what time."
On her match with Keys Barty said she respects her opponent and the best player will win.
"I know she had a really rough trot last year but it is so nice to see her back here," Barty said.
"It's amazing to see her do what she does best and loving it.
"I can't wait I know it will be a good one and whoever can execute better will be in a final. How good."
We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work.
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