How to Sell Your Photos Online and Make Money

In this guide, we’ll be showing you how to successfully sell your photos online and make money. Maybe you’ve been wondering which website allows you to sell stock photos, well, we’ll show you where and how to sell your stock photos online with maximum profit.

If you are into the photography business, you can easily make some extra cash if you know the right platform to sell your photos. There is a lot of demand for stock images online, so with your skill, you can fill in the gap. Large corporations, small and medium scale business, bloggers, graphic designers, marketers, publishers, all buy and use photos regularly online.

How to Sell Your Photos Online

Nowadays, there are tools which help prevent picture theft which easily matches pictures and their originators. This even makes the photography business more productive, that’s if you’re selling online.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll be sharing with you, the best ways of selling photos online and make money. Not only that, but we’ll also show you the best platforms to sell your pictures online.


What Type of Photos Are Selling Best and Who is Paying For It

Now, before we show you how to sell photos online, you need to understand what people are actually buying online. You also need to understand who is buying what. That’s understanding your market.

The largest buyers of stock photos are the bloggers and small to medium-sized website business owners. Below is the type of images that they’re likely going to buy.

  • Food: various types of foods, cuisines, delicacies, even empty unwashed plates.
  • Nature: open space, landscapes, rivers, the sky, animals, even the local setting.
  • Cities: buildings, cityscapes, people commuting etc.
  • People: Kids, adults, pregnant women, nursing mothers, workers, various cultures etc.
  • Travel: Shots from cities and resorts around the world are always in high demand.

You can take a look at some of the categories in these photo marketplaces to see some of the most popular and in demand images.

How to Sell Your Photos Online and Make Money

They are so many marketplaces where you can sell your photos online. If you have a website, you can sell it on your own website. But we recommend you sell on websites that have a large audience already. The price is fixed by the website while you get a percentage of every photo you sell. Below are some of the websites where you can sell your photos online.

1. Shutterstock

Shutterstock is a very popular stock image marketplace. They have over 200 million images, videos, and music tracks for folks to purchase royalty free which also means they have millions of purchasing customers.

Since launching, Shutterstock has paid out over $500 million to its contributors worldwide. Not only that but when you upload a photo on Shutterstock, you still keep copyright. You are also given a credit by Shutterstock which is a major plus to protect ownership and market your brand.

How to Earn Money With Shutterstock: Once you become a contributor, you start earning every time your content is downloaded by one of their customers. As a contributor, you earn up to 30% the price of your photo.

2. Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock also known as Fotolia is a stock photo marketplace by the maker of the most popular photo editing software solutions like Photoshop and Lightroom. This platform has been around for over 10 years and known to be the first online platform to sell stock photos.

Adobe also offers royalties of between 20% – 60%. Once you upload your photos to Fotolia, it’s also added to Adobe library, so that people can buy directly from other Adobe applications like Photoshop, Illustrator and more.

How to Earn Money With Adobe Stock: Once you become a contributor, you start earning every time your content is downloaded by one of their customers. Adobe doesn’t require exclusivity meaning you can sell your photos on another platform as well.

To get started as a contributor with Adobe, you need to sign up here.

3. Alamy

Alarmy is another great platform where you can sell your stock photos. As a photographer, you can upload your photos without licensing or any other copyright issues. The website has over 60 million images and videos for sale.

How to Earn Money With Alamy: You stand a chance of earning 50% the price of your photo once it is being downloaded. The website doesn’t demand exclusivity meaning, you can also sell your photos on another platform.

To get started as a contributor, you need to sign up here.

4. Etsy

Etsy is not just known for selling and buying handmade goods. The platform also boasts of over 30 million users and several other ways of selling photos. For every sale you make, Esty keeps 20 cents as well as 3.5% of the selling price.

What’s more, you can also set the price for your photos and design. Etsy also gives you full control on how you want to display your photos to buyers.

To get started, check out the Esty seller handbook.

5. Crestock

Crestock is another marketplace to sell photos and earn money easily. You can get started by setting up a free account on the website and upload your photos. However, they’ll have to assess and approve the images to add them to your Crestock portfolio.

You can also add keywords and description for each image so that it becomes easier for editors at Crestock to review and accept your photos.

6. iStock Photo

iStock Photo is another great marketplace for selling stock photos. A contributor is guaranteed a standard royalty payout starting at only 15% per download. However, this can increase to 45% depending on the popularity of your photos.

Now, if you are willing to give iStock Photo an exclusive right to your photo, they will thank you by offering 22-45% royalties. You can end the exclusivity contract by giving the company a 30 days notice.

7. Snapped4u

Snapped4u is a marketplace for photographers who cover events like weddings, parties and more. The platform is simple to use. Just upload your photos and not worry about anything else.

For every sale you make on the website, Snapped4u will charge their commission.

8. Dreamstime

Dreamstime is a reputable place for stock photos. For every photo you upload, it has to be reviewed to meet their standard “technically, aesthetically and commercially”, thereby guaranteeing quality.

Once you get approval for your photos, you get royalties of 25-50%, though this could increase to 60% on all images if you sign an exclusivity contract. You’ll also receive an additional bonus of $0.20 for each approved submission if you sign an exclusivity deal. The sale price of each photo is based on the number of time it has been downloaded.

9. 123RF

123RF is a large website with over 45 million files on offer, with almost half a million being added each week. As a contributor, you earn between 30-60% on royalties depending on your level of contribution. This simply means that the more photos you upload, the higher your payout. If you upload less than 250 mages to the site, you’ll earn 30% per download. On the other hand, if you upload over 1 million images, you’ll receive 60% per download.

10. PhotoShelter

PhotoShelter is an online shop to sell and deliver prints to the clients. They allow you to set up your template for sharing the photos.

However, you need to buy the space on their platform to upload the photos. There are multiple plans for monthly and yearly options with different features. The benefits of this platform is that you retain full control over how your photos are displayed, not having your competitors photos displayed alongside your own, and also able to earn more.

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