In this post, I will explain how you can sell YOUR photos online and make money from it.
If you like taking photos wherever you go or whatever you see around, you have an excellent opportunity to sell those photos online and earn money.
If you are interested, keep reading!
There are many stock websites where people upload their pictures. Different companies/websites often require new images for their websites, articles or other reasons. Whenever someone buys these pics from such stock websites, a commission is given to the pic owner.
All you need is excellent photography skill and a good camera. While it is true that most professional photographers use high-resolution DSLR cameras to take stunning photos, nowadays, many smartphones are equally equipped with high-quality cameras which do the same job. You don't even have to be a professional photographer to start selling photos online and make money.
So if you are looking for ways to make recurring passive income, selling photos is undoubtedly a great way to do that.
Let's take a look at some renowned platforms where you can start selling photos and make money online.
Disclaimer: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means when you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please read the affiliate disclaimer for more details.
Best Platforms to Sell Your Photos Online
Shutterstock is one of the leading websites to sell your stock photo online. Apart from just photos, the site also hosts music, videos and vectors as well. Shutterstock users pay monthly fees to download limited numbers of stock photos every month.
Over the years, Shutterstock has paid over $1 billion to its contributors as a sales commission.
As a contributor, you can earn up to up to 30% of the sale price of your photos. To get started, you need to sign up as a contributor and submit your photos online. Shutterstock also has a mobile app that you can use to upload pics.
Currently, they pay $0.25 per photo, and this can go up to $120 per image based on your lifetime earnings. When your lifetime earning is below $500, you will make $80 per photo for every custom image. The rate will go up as your lifetime earnings increase.
Apart from this, Shutterstock also has a Referral Program where you can earn by referring both customers and contributors. All the payments are made via the end of every month via PayPal, Skrill Payoneer, and Bank check.
#2. iStock/Getty Images
iStock and Getty Images are two different websites. Still, they both belong to one company -Getty Images Inc. These two are huge websites where you can sell your photos, videos, illustrations, and audios to make money online.
Every time someone buys a license of your photos, you earn a royalty from that. Apart from this, they also give you ideas on the best selling photos and how you can sell your photos through different forums and websites.
To join these websites, you need to fill up their online application along with a few of your images. Then, the editorial team will review their application and invite you to sign the applicable legal agreement if you get accepted.
The royalty rates are different for Getty Images and iStock. iStock pays 15% for Photos and 20% for Videos and Illustrations. If you are an Exclusive contributor, you can earn from 25% to 45%.Whereas Getty Images pay 20% for Royalty Free still images and 25% for Royalty-Free videos.
All the payments are done via Payoneer or PayPal.
#3. 500PX Prime
500px Prime is a Canada-based company that have More than 13 million photographers from 190 countries. To sell photos on 500px, you need first to create your account and license your photos. The signup process is completely free.
500Px offers up to 70% royalty for share for every sale. However, the royalty rate depends on the Licensing Rights (Exclusive or Non-Exclusive). If you go for the Exclusive rights, you can not sell the photos on any other website. But the royalty rate will be higher.
On the other hand, non Exclusive rights will give you the flexibility to sell your images on other websites.
Pixpa is another excellent platform where photographers can market their photography skills. Pixpa lets you create your very own portfolio website to upload photos. It has over 65000 satisfied customers from all around the world.
Pixpa works great for both professional and part-time photographers to increase visibility for their business. If you are serious about setting up your professional photography website, you can consider Pixpa for sure.
#5. SmugMug Pro
The SmugMug Pro package lets you showcase your work on a storefront using their online platform. You can even set up a yearly subscription plan and manage all the orders. Apart from this, you can also offer discounts, coupons to further increase your sales.
As a partner, you can earn a 15% commission on all their Annual plans and 85% of the revenue for selling photos. Apart from this, they also have a referral program to make an additional 20% commission.
SmugMug Pro also offers services like printing books, greeting cards, etc, to generate additional sales.
#6. Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock is another beautiful and well-reputed site where you can upload and sell your photos. The site currently offers 33 percent royalty for photos and 35 per cent for vector art.
One benefit of Adobe Stock is its high visibility. So if you use this platform to showcase your photos, there is a high chance it will be noticed by potential customers. This is because of Adobe’s integration through different apps like Adobe Lightroom CC, Adobe Bridge CC etc.
Adobe Stock has also taken over a leading stock image platform Fotolia also.
You can transfer your royalty payments to your bank account once you reach the threshold of $25.
As I mentioned earlier, Fotolia is a stock photography marketplace, now owned by Adobe Stock to buy and sell photos, videos and illustrations.
Their standard price for a picture is $5. Fotolia website works on a Credit system. They charge five credits for a pic, where one credit = $1.
Fotolia has two different pay rates. You will get s 20-63% of the sale price if a customer goes for a pay-as-you-go system. On a subscription model, your earnings will be 30-33% of the sales price.
You can withdraw your payments via PayPal and Skrill once you reach the threshold of 50 credits.
Dreamstime is a popular online royalty-free microstock provider to sell your photos online. The site is very popular because they follow a strict quality check before accepting any photos on their website.
They pay 20-25 percent royalty from the sale of every approved photo. And if you contribute as an exclusive contributor, you get an additional 10% (total 60%) along with an additional bonus of $0.20 for each approved submission.
Payment requests are processed once your earning is $100.
123RF is a vast website to sell your photos online and get instant visibility of your photography skills. They over 110 million files listed on their website, and 100,000 new pics are added every day.
Their royalty rates start from 30 per cent and can go higher based on your contribution level. They have eight different contributor level, and each level has a different royalty rate. The contribution level changes based on the number of photos you upload. If your number of upload is less than 999, you get a 30 per cent royalty rate. The highest level will give you 60 per cent once your number of uploads is over a million.
#10. Animals Animals
Animals Animals is a stock photography site that accepts only high-quality photos of animals and nature. They have a massive collection of animal kingdom photos as well as travel, landscapes, and others.
The site only accepts contractual photographers with a fixed 50%commission agreement.
#11. BigStock Photo
BigStock Photo is an international micro-stock photography website where you can earn 30% for every download. The rate can go up to $0.38 royalty on subscriber sales.
Your earnings can go higher based on the number of downloads your photos made last year.
Payments are processed weekly upon request, once on Mondays once your earnings reach a minimum of $30 via PayPal, U.S. Check, Skrill, or MoneyBookers.
Stockfresh is a small stock photo agency website that pays contributors for uploading photos. As a contributor, you will earn 50% for selling your photos online, and the rate can go up to 62.5%.
The payments are processed through PayPal and Skrill every Monday once your earnings have reached $50.
Update: The original Stockfresh website has been closed on October 18, 2020 and acquired by Idenio GmbH on December 1, 2020. The website is currently being operated as a Shutterstock affiliate.
Foap is an online marketplace to sell your photos to brands like Nivea, Pepsi, Bank of America, Air Aisa Absolut Vodka and Volvo Group. The app is completely free.
Foap has also partnered with websites like Getty Images to get help in distributing to a bigger audience and maximize your earning potentials.
For every photo you sell, you will earn 50% of the commission. All the payments are processed via PayPal.
Alamy is known to be one of the world’s biggest stock photo collections website, with over 175 million stock images. Their website also includes vectors, videos, and cool 360-degree panoramic images.
This website offers 50 percent royalty to its contributors for each photo sold on their own platform And 40 percent for photos sold on other websites.
The sign-up process is pretty simple and quick, and once you join, you will have the opportunity to reach millions of potential customers to sell your photos online.
SnapWire is a creative Android & iOS app that offers two different ways to make money by selling photos-‘Portfolio Marketplace’ and ‘Requests and Challenges’.
Requests and Challenges are pretty unique, considering you will an opportunity to showcase your creative skills in front of big brands.
You can earn up to 70% for Exclusive licence on Custom Requests & Challenges whereas the regular subscription will pay you 50%.
Markedshot is another popular Andriod and iOS app for uploading stock photography. As a contributor you will get different prizes and exciting giveaways from multiple brands for uploading your photos.
CrowdFoto is not a typical stock photo website, instead it is a photo selling platform where you can post photos based on requirements.
Here the customers post their specific photo requirements as an assignment. You can accept the job you are most comfortable with and take photos for that.
Once you upload your photos, it will be reviewed by your client. If your work gets accepted, you will get paid up to €20 via PayPal.