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Have you ever wondered where you can sell photos online?
You’re taking photos all day long anyway, isn’t there some way you can get paid for it?
Whether you’re a beginner or a professional photographer, you have a few options when it comes to selling your photos online.
You can choose to create your own portfolio website, market it and gather clients.
You can leverage the many stock photography websites on the internet to earn money for your photography!
There are many advantages to using a stock photography website to sell your content. The main advantages are:
- They already have tens of thousands to millions of customers
- They do all the marketing
- They’re very well-known
You can do additional promotion of your content on your Social Media, but it’s not a requirement when selling with stock websites. This is a huge advantage, especially for beginners!
Selling your photos online isn’t limited to professional photographers with expensive cameras, these days almost anyone can be a photographer with their cell phone! Cell phone cameras just keep getting better and pretty much everyone has one, which means you can start selling your photos online today.
Table of Contents
Become a contributor and sell photography and videos on Shutterstock. Shutterstock is arguably one of the largest stock photo platforms in the world! You can sell high resolution photos, vectors, illustrations and videos. Earnings from Shutterstock depend on the type of download that takes place. Shutterstock is non-exclusive, meaning you can sell your content that you upload to Shutterstock in other places as well. You can earn up to 20% commissions, or different dollar amounts depending on the subscriber. Apply to become a contributor here. Read their earnings breakdown here.
Fotolia, which is now Adobe Stock, is a very large platform with millions of buyers. Fotolia also offers resources to help you have success when selling on their platform. When you upload and sell content through Fotolia, users of Adobe products such as Photoshop, Illustrator and more will be able to browse and purchase your photography. Fotolia lets you choose your level of exclusivity. Your earnings will depend on your level of exclusivity to Fotolia, read more about that here. You will earn around 33% on every sale of your content. Read their earnings breakdown here. Apply to become a contributor here.
Alamy is another large stock photography site that you can sell images, vectors, illustrations and more. When you sell your content on Alamy, you will receive 50% commissions on all sales. That’s much more than Shutterstock and Fotolia! Alamy is non-exclusive, meaning that you can sell your images on other sites as well as Alamy. Sign up to become a contributor here. Read about their earnings breakdown here.
4. iStock Photo
iStock Photo by Getty Images has over 1.5 million customers in over 200 countries worldwide – which they boast is more reach than any other stock photo site. When you apply to either iStock or Getty Images, you will have the potential to have your content shown across both platforms. The commission percentage ranges depending on platform and exclusivity rate, which you can read more about here. Apply to become a contributor here.
EyeEm is a free app for brands and creators to buy and sell photography and high quality content. Large brands like Apple, Converse and Canon use EyeEm to source photography, so the opportunities with EyeEm look good! You earn 50% commission on sales of your photography made through EyeEm. To download the app and learn more about EyeEm, click here.
6. Big Stock Photo
Big Stock Photo is another stock photo platform. You can sign up as a contributor, take a quick contributor tutorial and start uploading photos to the platform. Your earnings will differ, but you can expect to earn around 30% per sale. Read the Earnings Breakdown here. Sign up to be a contributor here.
7. Can Stock Photo
On Can Stock Photo, you complete an application to become a contributor and submit your 3 best images for review. Once approved, you will be able to upload your images and start earning a commission. Payouts range greatly depending on size and type of image, as well as subscriber type. Read the payout breakdown here. Apply to become a contributor here.
Snapwire is a photography platform where images are sold to many brands and publications. Publications can make photo requests and creators can submit shots that match the requests, or creators can upload their work to the marketplace. It’s a fun and unique way to explore your talents and creativity! Creators earn 70% on requests and 50% on the marketplace. Read more about their payouts here. Apply to become a contributor here.
9. Snap Market
On Snap Market, you can apply to become a contributor and earn $0.30 – $10.00 per download. You can sell photographs, illustrations and vector downloads on Snap Market. Read more about their payouts here. Sign up to become a contributor here.
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Bonus: Tips for Selling Your Own Photos Online
There are many different things you can do to help boost your success with selling your photography on stock websites. This subject deserves an entire article all of it’s own, but here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Look at the highest downloaded images from different stock sites. You need to get an idea of what types of images are in higher demand, so you can create more of those. Popular types of images include generic landscapes, business images and desktop flatlay photos.
- Upload. Everything. Upload all your photography, even though you might not think it’s great. Someone else might love it and want to purchase it!
- Always be shooting. Always have your camera handy so if the moment arises unexpectedly, you’ll be prepared! Always be practicing your craft and generating new content.
- Offer some of your photography for free. You will have the option on several stock websites to contribute some of your photography for free, and this is a great idea! Offer up 1 or 2 of your best images for free to encourage users to come and check out your paid options.
- Stick with the larger and more well-known stock photography sites. You may initially think they will be more competitve, but you are actually likely to have more success with them. This is due to the fact that they are so well-known and have millions of customers, maximizing your exposure.
- Promote your photography on your own website as well as stock photography sites. Blogging can also be a very effective way of getting more exposure to your photography for sale.
- Promote your photography on Social Media! This includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Instagram and Pinterest are both highly visual platforms, and both are excellent at getting more eyes on your photos and driving traffic to wherever you want it to go – your website or your stock portfolios. Consider making pins for each image that you have for sale and for each blog post (if you have one) – Pinterest is a search engine as well as a Social Media site.
Start Selling Your Photos Online
Selling photos on stock platforms won’t make you rich overnight, but it is a great way to start making a passive income with something you’d be doing already anyway! This can actually turn into a full-time income over time.
Whether you’ve been a photographer for a long time or you’re just getting started and testing the waters, selling photos online with stock websites is a good place to start. It saves you the time and money – you don’t have to learn to set up your own website and you don’t have to learn marketing because they do it for you.
Selling photos online is a wonderful way to build up a passive income stream to fuel your location-independent life!
For more ideas about how to make money while traveling, join our free Facebook community here!