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15 Ways On How To Make Money Selling Photos

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Are you a photographer or a photo enthusiast looking for ways to make money selling photos?

You can easily earn some extra money if you know the right places to sell your photos.

Photography is in high demand and professionals and companies are looking for photos to use, on a daily basis.

Keep reading to learn about these 15 top places to make money selling photos.

Who Is Buying Photos?

Stock photos are being bought from people in various industries, from bloggers to large companies.

In a world with a heavy Internet influence, photos create a connection between the user and the brand.

So, stunning, eye-catching photos are super important and for professionals that don’t want to invest in their own paid photography, stock photos are the next best option!

Here are some examples of people who are buying photos:

  • Bloggers
  • Small, mid-sized, and large companies
  • Magazines
  • Radio stations
  • Restaurants
  • Hair salons
  • Plumbers,HVAC, and other service professionals
  • Real estate agents
  • Interior designers

Just about every profession that has a web presence, has the need for professional stock photography.

When you land on a stock photo site, you’ll notice that photos are usually broken up into categories.

These categories help users sift and sort through the thousands of photos on the site and you’ll find photos of just about everything:

  • Food and drink
  • Real estate
  • Tech
  • Education
  • People
  • Gardening
  • School
  • And, more!

What Kinds of Photos Sell Best?

The photos that sell best are those that are clear, bright and eye-catching.

Lifestyle photography is in high demand along with a rising demand for stock videography.

Stock videos can be used for all kinds of different purposes from:

  • Branding
  • Commercials
  • Social media content
  • And, more!

Lifestyle photos and lifestyle videos are filled with people in the images and video, doing things like camping, hiking, swimming, shopping, eating, talking, etc.

Here are 15 places that will pay you to sell photos:

1. Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock is home to millions of high-quality images and stock photography, available at your fingertips.

You’ll be able to sell your content, turning your passion into money.

  • Reach millions of buyers
  • Gain exposure and sell content
  • Upload your images with ease
  • Receive royalties and track sales in real time

You can add your images direct from Adobe Lightroom CC, Adobe Bridge CC, and online.

Requirements to Become a Contributor

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Have great photos, vectors, and videos
  • Must be the sole owner of the files you upload for sale
  • A signed release for any photos that contain recognizable people or private property

What Kind of Content Can Be Sold?

Customers are looking for material in all subjects including: food, fashion, tech, cultural diversity, lifestyle, beauty, architecture, and more.

  • Photographs
  • Videos
  • Vector content
  • Illustrations

How Do You Get Paid?

When your content is bought, you’ll earn a 33% commission for photos and videos, and 35% commission for videos.

You can request a payment via Paypal or Skrill, once you’ve reached a minimum balance of $25 in commission royalties.

2. Shutterstock

Shutterstock offers stock assets in the form of images, editorial, footage, and music to consumers. You can share your work and get paid!

You can become a contributor in 4 easy steps:

  • Create high-quality images and videos
  • Submit your content
  • Make money every time your content is downloaded
  • Earn even more by referring new contributors and customers

Shutterstock has paid out more than $500 Million to their worldwide community of contributors over the last 15 years!

You will love their easy to use tools:

  • Quickly upload and submit content
  • Create and share your personalized portfolio page
  • Easily track your earnings

The Shutterstock mobile app can help you track earnings, performance, and insights.

View daily and/or monthly sales, along with seeing which photos are being downloaded.

Another neat feature is an alert system built into the app that notifies you any time your photo is added to a collection 5 or more times.

The app also allows you to upload content on the go, working on your images straight from your mobile phone and get notifications letting you know what customers are looking for.

With all these features, you’ll want to sign up to Shutterstock as a contributor.

3. Alamy

Alamy calls themselves the world’s most diverse stock photo collection, with 165 million stock images, vectors, videos, and more.

To sell your images and become a contributor, you can sign up on their easy, one-page form.

With your contributor sign up, you’ll get:

  • 50% commission split for Exclusive images
  • 40% commission split for Non-exclusive images
  • Quick and easy submission process
  • An easy, hassle free contract

And, the ability to get your images seen by 110,000 worldwide buyers.

Why Sell Your Stock Images on Alamy?

  • They are fair and easy to work with
  • Their process is transparent
  • They accept anything, from simple images to bigger, broader, unique work
  • They are ethical and philanthropic
  • They’ve paid over $200 Million to their contributors

What Kind of Stock Images Can You Sell on Alamy?

Alamy sells stock photos, footage, vectors, illustrations and reportage and archival imagery, along with news and entertainment images.

They are well known for their huge collection and they even have an iPhone app called Stockimo which allows you to sell your iPhone images.

Lastly, Alamy has a well laid out resource center for contributors including, their blog, photographer interviews, and much more.

Join Alamy as a contributor here.

4. Etsy

Etsy is a handmade marketplace that caters to buyers and sellers worldwide. You can open a shop on Etsy and use it as a channel to sell your photos.

There are tons of benefits to opening an Etsy shop:

  • Access to their millions of buyers
  • Easy store up
  • The ability to add all your photos to your shop
  • Low seller fees

You’ll have access to seller resources like the Seller handbook, forums, and Etsy community.

There are a ton of different photo categories available on the marketplace like:

  • Abstract
  • Animal
  • Landscape
  • Military
  • Pet
  • Religious
  • Science fictin
  • Fashion
  • TV
  • Zodiac
  • Flowers
  • Food & drink
  • Humorous
  • Beach
  • Anime
  • And, more!

I joined Etsy earlier this year as a means to earn some passive income from my digital art passion.

I created entrepreneur-based digital artwork that can be downloaded, printed and framed by buyers.

The process was a breeze.

I opened my shop, customized it, added products, and then promoted it, and, it’s making sales!

I added around 50 products and one of my favorite features is the ability to promote specific photos at the touch of a button.

This allows creators to promote specific items that are on promotion or sale, driving traffic to key products they want more eyes on.

Check out these 7 simple tips & tricks for starting a profitable Etsy store.

Learn more about selling on Etsy.

5. Creative Market

Creative Market is an online marketplace that caters to the design community, offering ready-to-use design elements, images, fonts, graphics, and more.

For creators and small business owners that are looking for some design flare, Creative Market is the place to go to bring your creative projects to life.

Opening a shop is similar to Etsy.

The perks include:

  • Access to 6 million members (possible buyers)
  • Earn 70% on each sale
  • Set your own prices
  • The ability to provide instant delivery
  • No exclusivity lock-in
  • No per-product approval required

They provide you with all the tools you need to track your stats, stay on top of products, keep up with customers, manage support, and more.

This recent success story shares how this mom made $5,000 in five months selling lightroom presets. Read her story here.

Read more on starting a shop on Creative Market.

6. Fotomoto

Fotomoto makes it easy for you to sell your own photos through your own website.

Their e-commerce widget turns your existing website into a fully functional e-commerce store.

If you don’t have a website, you can learn how to set one up seamlessly with our free 7-step guide to starting a website.

To make it work, all you do is add a simple line of javascript code to your site then, all your images get Buy Buttons.

This allows your website visitors to purchase right on your site.

How it Works?

First, link your accounts and setup your store.

Sign up with Fotomoto then, go through the Fotomoto Wizard to set up your store in seconds!

At this step you will pick the products you want to sell and set your prices.

Next, receive orders.

After the Wizard completes, you’ll get Buy buttons added to your site.

When an order comes in, you’ll receive an email notification and you’ll be prompted to fulfill, or you can setup auto-pickup, where Fotomoto will retrieve the photo from online storage and fulfill for you!

That’s it!

Fotomoto also has a printing network, available to help you print, package, and ship your orders, helping you to outsource the fulfillment to them, if you so choose.

Why Use Fotomoto?

  • You have photography you want to sell
  • You don’t want to do the legwork yourself
  • You are obsessed with quality
  • You want to keep your visitors on your site
  • You don’t have to pay subscription fees
  • You don’t want to sell at a big photo market

What Products Can You Sell?

You can sell a huge variety of products including, premium prints, canvas prints, metal prints, fine art prints, acrylic prints, greeting cards, digital downloads, wall peels, and more.

Learn more about selling on Fotomoto.

7. SmugMug Pro

Showcase, share and sell your photography with Smugmug.

They offer:

  • Modern design templates optimized for selling
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop site editor
  • The ability to create custom themes
  • Optional HTML and CSS customization

You can sell your photography and digital products with ease, setting your own prices, keeping 85% of the markup, fulfilling client orders, and using their fully integrated shopping cart.

This is the perfect site for the entrepreneurial-minded, since you have full control over pricing.

Sound interesting?

Learn more and give SmugMug a try!

8. Istockphoto

Once you land on Istockphoto you will be immediately drawn in by their stunning and captivating images.

Head to the “Sell” page where you can learn about selling your stock content, through their partnership with Getty Images.

The company serves over 1.5 million customers in over 200 countries, as an industry leader and the largest global distribution network.

It’s easier than ever to join as a contributor.

How to Join?

You must be at least 18 years old to apply.

First, download the Contributor by Getty Images app.

Then, share 3 to 6 photo, video, or illustration samples.

Wait for your samples to be reviewed and you will be notified if you made the cut or not and gained acceptance into Getty Images or iStock by Getty Images.

Once You Become a Contributor

As a contributor, you can submit your images any time you’d like.

There are two options: mobile and desktop (video and illustration is only available for submission via desktop).

Once your content is accepted, it will be available online for customers to view and license.

Customers will search and fine the content they want, then purchase a license that will allow them to download for personal or commercial use.

How Much Can You Make?

You will earn a royalty on each license a customer purchases.

The more content you have available, the greater the opportunity that you can earn more.

For more on the types of photography you should shoot, model and property releases, copyright and more, check out this page.

9. Snapped4U

You can use Snapped4U to sell photos the easy way!

  • No order processing
  • No printing
  • No deliveries
  • No hassle

Registering to sell takes 2 minutes and involves you completing a one page signup form and paying a $10 registration fee.

Here are some of the terms and requirements you’ll want to review to determine if Snapped4U is a good fit for your photo reselling efforts:

  • One-time nonrefundable $10 fee
  • Only Event Photography and Portrait Shoots may be posted
  • No Prohibited Content may be posted
  • Non-compliant accounts will be closed
  • Maximum file size per photo is 8MB
  • Maximum photo price is $20
  • Snapped4U collects a sales commission on all photos that sell. Details here
  • Non-US accounts may be subject to a 1% payment fee

To learn more, check out Snapped4U.

10. BlueMelon

Blue Melon is an online portal that allows users to backup, share, present, and/or sell photos and video.

Enjoy their fee-less selling structure that lets you sell your photos or videos.

You can set download prices per photo or per photo album, offer discount coupons, and more.

They call themselves the complete solution for photographers.

  • Approve orders
  • Sell digital downloads
  • Feature products
  • Create coupon offers
  • Save money, while relaxing and profiting

Learn more about selling with BlueMelon.

11. Photo Shelter

You can explore more ways to sell your photography with Photo Shelter.

Make money selling your photos with this e-commerce platform that offers a flexible sales solution for your business.

You can sell:

  • Prints
  • Personal use downloads
  • Products
  • Royalty free stock
  • Rights-managed stock
  • Your own services

They offer a built-in shopping cart for a streamlined, seamless experience that can connect directly with PayPal, Stripe,, or Netbilling.

Flexible printing options let you print and ship your orders using one or their four photo lab locations or find a specialty print vendor worldwide.

You’ll get the choice of deciding on royalty-free or rights-managed licensing and you can use FotoQuote to help determine a good price for your work.

Plus, exclusive features for photographers that include:

  • Storage
  • Ability to use your own domain name
  • No setup fees
  • Unlimited site traffic
  • Unlimited file size
  • Lightboxes
  • Friendly phone and email support
  • Plus, more!

Check out Photo Shelter and learn more here.

12. TourPhotos

TourPhotos is platform dedicated to helping you with your photo needs.

As a seller, you get access to a free plan, where you can list for free and TourPhotos gets a 19% commission on your sales.

The features include:

  • Ability to create employee logins
  • Unlimited cloud space
  • Ability to create free galleries
  • Create discount codes
  • Manage prices, and more!

Check out all the information about TourPhotos.

13. Foap

Foap is a visual platform by creatives for creatives.

For creators, you can get paid to sell your content on Foap.

How it works?

Download the app on Android or iOS. Then, upload videos and photos to make money.

When someone finds your content and wants to buy, you’ll split the proceeds 50/50 with the platform.

That’s all there is to it!

Interested in Foap? Check them out here.

14. 500px

A place for some of the world’s best photos.

The ins and outs of 500px:

  • License photos for stock usage
  • Quick setup
  • Tons of resources and helpful guides to get you started

This site has more strenuous requirements compared to other sites.

You can check out the technical requirements, tips on keywords and more, on several pages of the site, dedicated to helping creators sell their photos.

Take a look at selling on 500px.

15. Crestock

At Crestock, they call creators who submit their images, artists.

And, there are no formal restrictions on what artists may submit their work.

To sign up, you just register and then receive instant activation.

From there, you can submit images to the site, for sale.

Common Questions:

Q. I have photos on other sites. Can they be uploaded to Crestock too?

A. Yes, they can, as long as the stock agencies you are currently contributing to do not put any restrictions on your images that would prevent you from doing so.

Q. What about editorial images?

Crestock does not accept images for editorial use only.  Images should be free of any recognizable logos, trademarks, vehicle license plates, copyrighted products or other intellectual property.

Q. How many images can be submitted at a time?

A. New artists can upload a max of 10 images per week.

Q. I have my own website. Can I use the Crestock logo on my site?

A. Yes, as long as you provide a link to Crestock from your website. You can link directly to your image collection on Crestock.

There is tons of information about selling on Crestock to get you started.

Final Thoughts

There you go, 15 top places to make money selling photos.

What do you think?

Share your thoughts down below in comments!

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