A while back I got a notice from Getty Images, one of the old, established stock photo houses, that they were interested in putting several of my images into their inventory for sale and license. It turns out, they have an active group soliciting images from the Flickr photo sharing service. So, I went through the steps of signing a contract to give them basically unlimited rights for two years, uploading high res image files and filling out details about the images. They picked five to start with. Then a few months ago I got a notice that one of the images would be published in a magazine and I receive $110. Hooray! Then nothing happened until I noticed recently that they had requested that I submit four more images, which I did.
Some background. I do this photography thing for my own satisfaction. I have had a number of images sell over the years to different folks. One group of gorilla images from Rwanda was licensed to a coffee company in California for labels on "Mountain Gorilla Coffee". Two different fellows from England have licensed images to paint. Many have been donated and sold at charity auctions, and for a year or so I had images at a gallery in Stillwater, Mn. If I add up all the revenue it probably doesn't cover a new telephoto lens, so I'm surely not it it for the money.
But, it is fun to have others like your images. I get a kick out of seeing prints on the walls of friends and family. And, every situation has created a story that has been fun to live and retell.
The point of this post is to let you know that, unless you are a pro with a specific product and following, you never know where an interest in your work may come from. So, I make a point of periodically posting to Flickr, 500px, google+, and to photo forums I follow for feedback.
So, who knows, if you get enough stuff out there, maybe someone will discover it.
Here are the images at Getty for sale: