Are you naturally gifted at taking photos? Do you enjoy snapping pictures of the world around you? Then you can start earning money by selling photos online.
The great thing about selling photos online is you don’t need any specialized training, the opportunities are plentiful, and most of the time you don’t need a website to get started.
As long as you can provide high-quality images that have good lighting and color, a captivating moment, and good composition — you can make a decent amount of money.
Like anything else, the better equipment you have, and the more experience and knowledge you have – the better your images will be, and the more lucrative this opportunity will be.
Ways to Make Money Selling Photos
If you’d like to make money selling photos, here are 40 types of gigs, where to find them, and how much they pay.
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Sell Your Photos to Stock Photo Sites
Companies, businesses, and bloggers use stock photos for advertisements, brochures, editorial content, instruction manuals, and more. Using stock photos saves them the hassle of having to stage a photo shoot and hire a photographer.
If you'd like to make money by selling your photos to stock photo sites, check out these companies.
With 123RF, simply sign-up for a contributor account, upload your original photos, and then earn up to 60% commission when someone downloads your image.
Is one of the following disciplines your specialty? Travel, nature, food, or lifestyle shots? If so, apply to work with 4Corners Images. See their website for full submission guidelines. 4Corners Images currently offers a 50/50 split.
Make money by uploading and selling your photos on 500Prime. Payments are made via PayPal.
4) Adobe Stock
If you take amazing photos or videos, or you create top-notch vectors, and you're at least 18 years old, you can earn money using Adobe Stock. Create your account and upload your content; every time a customer purchases one of your images, you'll earn 33% commission on photos and vector art, and 35% commission on videos. Payments are issued via PayPal and Skrill.
With Alamy, you earn 50% of each sale when the image is exclusive to the site. With non-exclusive images, you earn 40% of each sale. Payments are made on the first working day of the month; once your account balance has reached $50. Payments are made via PayPal, Skrill, or fund transfer.
Make 50% commission off your high-quality animal and nature photos. All images should be taken with a 10MP camera or greater and should be edited for quality.
To get started selling on Bigstock, you'll need to sign up as a contributor and views their online tutorial. Once those tasks are completed, you can start uploading your images to the site. Your earnings are per download and based on the customer’s type of payment plan, and image size purchased. Rates range from $0.25 – $3.00 per image.
Royalty rates are calculated on a progressive scale, based on the total number of images sold since joining, ranging from 20% – 40% commission.
Earn 40% – 65% for each credit spent downloading the contributors’ file. Payments are issued via PayPal and check.
With DepositPhotos, you'll first need to create a user account and pass their examination test before being able to upload your images. The commission depends on the license type under which the image is uploaded and the resolution in which it has been purchased. Your author level and overall status also influence payment.
With Dreamstime, you can upload your photos online or via their smartphone app. For each sale, contributors will earn 25% – 50% in revenue share. Additional revenue is available for exclusive photos and extended licenses.
Create an account, upload your high-quality food photos, and earn up to 50% commission on each sale.
13) Getty Images
To get started with Getty Images, download their contributor app (available for iPhones and Android systems) and share 3 – 6 of your best images. They will review your work, and they'll let you know if you get accepted into the program. Must be at least 18 years old to apply.
14) GL Stock Images
GL Stock images has some of the most flexible terms that I've seen. Contributors can earn up to 40% commission on sales, name your own price terms, no exclusivity terms, and payments made via PayPal or Skrill.
15) Image Vortex
With Image Vortex, you can earn 25% – 75% of the license fees received from sub-licensees for your content.
16) Ingram Group
The Ingram Group consists of three stock libraries, Ingimage, SignElements, and VectorState. With this group, you upload your content once, and it gets distributed to all three sites. Every time one of your images is downloaded, you'll earn up to 40% commission. Payments are made via PayPal, Skrill, or direct deposit once your account reaches $50 in earnings.
Part of the Getty family, iStock has the same terms and conditions as Getty Images above.
18) Living 4 Media
Do you like taking photos of homes, interiors, and gardens? If so, you may be able to sell your images to Living 4 Media. Just send your contact information and website portfolio to Deborah at [email protected]
If you're into taking images of the outdoors and travel destinations, check out Lookphotos. If you're interested, email Klaus Wandner at [email protected] with a link to your website and contact information.
20) Photo Cuisine
If you're a food photographer, you can email [email protected] to submit your work. They do not have any information on rates and terms.
Sell photos, videos, music clips, and more. Set your own prices, and you earn 50% of each sale. And you don’t have to sign any exclusivity agreements.
21) Seasons Agency
If you're into snapping beauty and lifestyle pictures, check out the Seasons Agency. To apply, send your contact information and portfolio to [email protected]
To get started on Scopio, upload at least 20 of your best photos and build out your profile page. If models are used in your photos, you'll need to have them submit their model release forms. Once these components are complete, they'll review your work to let you know if you've made the cut. Payments are made via PayPal.
Get paid for photos, illustrations, and video clips. Rates vary on the subscription plan, exclusivity, and type of vector. The site says you can earn up to $120 per image download and 30% royalty on every clip purchased.
StockFood accepts images from outstanding food photographers and videographers. See the site for the application process and submission details.
Earn a minimum royalty rate of 50%, which can go up to 62.5%. Apply for consideration.
With Stocksy, you earn 50% – 75% in royalties, but all images must be exclusive. Must apply for consideration.
Stockvault's program is a little different in that it's a revenue sharing program where you can earn money via Google AdSense and donations. Just create an account, upload at least 25 of your best photos, and add your Adsense and PayPal information. The more traffic your photos receive the more money you'll earn.
Storyblocks allows you to sell your photos and videos with no exclusivity clauses, and you'll earn 50% commission on sales.
30) Tetra Images
To join Tetra Images, you'll need to email them at [email protected] with a link to your online portfolio. After they review your images, they will contact you with the next steps to get started.
31) Yay Micro
Yay Micro pays photographers and illustrators 50% commission on images. Payments are made via PayPal.
Are you wondering if people really make money selling stock photos? See how Evgeny Tchebotarev made $1,602.50 using 500Prime in just a few weeks.
Want to find out more about making money with stock photos? Check out Sell & Re-Sell Your Photos.
Make Money Taking Photos Using Smartphone Apps
With the Agora app, upload your best photos, and when someone purchases one of your images you'll earn cash. Users can also vote on your images. This app is available for iPhone and Android users and receives a 4.5-star rating in the app store.
EyeEm is a smartphone app available for both iOS and Android operating systems. Create an account, upload your photos, and when one is purchased, you’ll earn 50% commission.
Download the Foap application (available for both iPhone and Android operating systems) to your smartphone and upload your photos. Once your image receives five positive ratings from other Foap users – your photo will be published for sale. You will earn $5 each time someone purchases your photo. Payments are made via PayPal when the user requests a cashout.
Photosesh is an on-demand app just like Uber, but for photographers. Download the iPhone app, choose the types of projects you'd like to work on, the dates and times you're available to work, and then sync your calendar with the app. Must have an iPhone 5 or better to use. According to their website, photographers can earn $15-$20 per hour, sometimes more. This app receives a 3.2-star rating in the app store.
Earn money by completing photo and video assignments via Scoopshot. This moneymaking app is available for both iPhone and Android systems. Money is made from direct photo and video purchases and also via revenue sharing options. Payments are made via PayPal when you request a cashout.
Another on-demand app, Snappr connects individuals needing photographers in the US, Canada, Australia, or Singapore. Photographers that would like to work with Snappr will need to submit an online application for consideration. They hire freelance help, but you must have past paid experience, a DSLR camera, and experience with Adobe Lightroom.
Earn 80% commission on single photo licenses. Earn 20% commission on subscription plan licenses. Available for both iPhone and Android operating systems.
Take Pics For Money on Instagram
Simply upload your Instagram photos to InstaPrints and determine your prices. When a customer purchases one of your prints, InstaPrint will finalize all the details. Payments are made on the 15th of each month via PayPal (global) and check (US residents only).
A couple of other ways you can make money on Instagram are by selling your own Instagram images, like Daniel Arnold has done (he has made over $15K in one day)! Or if you have a LARGE Instagram following – you can work with brands just like Danielle Bernstein, who makes $5,000 – $10,000 per Instagram post.
Be sure to check out this interview with two Instagram influencers — it has a lot of great tips!
Bonus: Make Money Selling Your Photography Services on Craiglist
Recently, my friend Aimee bought a $5 ad on Craigslist advertising her photography services. With some good copy, images, and keywords, she landed $2,700 in photography work – with no website, business cards, networking, or marketing. If you'd like to learn more how she did it — you can read her story here.
If you have a passion for photography, there are many ways to sell your photos and services for cash. Try out a few different options and see which ones work best for your skills, lifestyle, and schedule.
Do you take pictures for money? If so, what platforms and sites are you using? Drop us a note; we'd love to hear from you!
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Holly Reisem Hanna is the publisher and founder of The Work at Home Woman, which has been helping individuals find remote careers and businesses that feed their souls since 2009. Through her unconventional career path of holding over 30 jobs and obtaining two college degrees, she’s been able to figure out how to find a career path that you’re truly passionate about. Holly’s had the pleasure of sharing her expertise on sites like CNN, MSN Money, Huffington Post, Woman’s Day Magazine, as well as being recognized by Forbes as one of the “Top 100 Websites for Your Career.” Holly resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband and daughter and enjoys reading, traveling, and yoga.
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