How to Sell Stock Photos Online - Guide for Photographers (2023)

If you are a photographer with a library of original photographs you can monetize them by selling them as stock photographs! This guide will walk you through the ins and outs of stock photography and how you can license your images as stock photos and ear

Businesses around the world are communicating across mediums and need images to buttress their messages. Not all business can afford to commission a photographer to shoot pictures exclusively for them. That's where selling stock photos online is becoming popular as it enables businesses to access generic stock images at a fraction of the cost.

With stock photography booming and stock photo websites become popular, more and more professional photographers are now considering this question - How to sell stock photos?

As a photographer, you need to sell stock photos to earn a decent stream of passive income. However, becoming successful at selling photos online requires discipline and strategy. That's why we have put together this comprehensive guide that explores all facets of how to sell stock photos online.

How to sell stock photos - Guide for Photographers:

What is Stock Photography?

Stock photos are simply photographs that a photographer has made available for sale for commercial purposes and are subject to usage license. In most cases, stock images are sold through Stock photo websites that are massive databases of images that clients can look through when they need a picture for a blog post, a social media post, a magazine article, a pamphlet, book cover or anything else.

Photographers can set different price points for each image they upload to the site, depending on how it will be used, the medium it will be published in, the commercial purpose of the image and other factors. In most cases, the images aren't technically being sold. Instead, they are being licensed for particular uses, and the photographer retains the copyrights.Here is an example ofphoto gallery example for website you can check.

Stock photo licenses can be worth hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars depending on the photographer, the usage license and where it is sold ( sells expensive stock photo licenses).

On the other hand, there are microstock websites (such, and, where royalty free stock images are sold between $5-$10 and even lesser with image subscriptions.You can avail a discount on image subscriptions with this Shutterstock coupon code.If you want to sell your stock photography images on a subscription basis, do checkout Pabbly Subscriptions Billing.

With stock photo websites taking up to 50-85% commission and photographers getting only 15-50% payouts, making big money by selling stock photos online is indeed a tough proposition.

The brighter side is that since stock images can be licensed multiple times to multiple buyers, so there is indeed great potential for photographers to sell stock photos and earn residual income over time. The more high-quality images you have on stock photo sites, the more potential income you can make as the months and years go by.

Getting started with stock photography:

Since there are millions of different buyers out there around the world who are looking for different types of images, there is a vast variety of subject matter and image styles that buyers are looking for. So there are countless possibilities for the kinds of images that you can create and sell stock photography to these clients.

That being said, you can't expect every image to sell. If you seriously want to sell stock images, then you will want to study specific markets and create images that are likely to be in demand by those particular clients.

There are millions of great photos out there on stock photo websites. The key is to stand out from the crowd in some way so that your images will attract the attention of buyers. You might think that the way to sell stock photos, then, is to have a unique, radical, artistic style that makes your images stand out. While this can help in some cases, the secret to making a lot of sales usually has nothing to do with the images themselves.

There are tons of stock photo sites out there where you can upload your images where you put your stock photos for sale. Some of them charge you a fee to upload your pictures, while others might let you upload for free.

These stock websites then try to help you attract photo buyers. The more photos you have on the site, the better your chances of making sales. Some of these stock photography websites get a lot of traffic and sells stock photos in thousands per day, so the volume of quality work that you produce and upload will be a critical factor in your success.

Don’t just upload a few hundred images and sit back, waiting for the cash to roll in. You will need to be prolific if you expect to make a living at this.

Here are some of the different factors you need to consider when determining how to sell stock photos.

What Are the Different Kinds of Licensing?

Stock photos aren't typically sold in the traditional sense. As intellectual property, they are generally licensed to customers for particular, limited uses. But the photographer keeps the copyrights to themselves. Keeping the copyright allows photographers to reuse the stock images and make multiple sales of the same image, generating recurring income over time.

While there might be some exceptions, this is how it usually works. Generally speaking, the more exclusive the terms of the license, the more money you can charge the customer.

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How to Sell Stock Photos Online - Guide for Photographers (1)

So if a client wants to be the only company on the planet that can use the image, then they will have to pay extra for that. If the client wants to be able to use the image over and over across multiple websites and social platforms and even in print media without any limitations, then they will have to pay extra for that.

Remember, as the creator of the image; you get to call the shots. If a stock agency requires that you give up all rights to the client for a price that you think is unfair, then you have the freedom to take your work elsewhere and sell it on terms that you feel are more reasonable.

Stock photo licensing can be extremely complicated, and in some cases, different stock agencies might use the same terminology but with various restrictions. Always read the fine print before agreeing to the terms of use, and be sure to ask questions when you are unsure about what limitations each license is offering.

There are two main categories of photo license: royalty-free and rights-managed. Both of them have limitations and exceptions, but there is no one-size-fits-all description one can give. Check each photo agency for what restrictions they provide on all their licenses.

Here are some simple definitions of these licenses, along with some other common licensing terminology you will come across when you are considering where to sell stock photos.

Royalty-Free Images

This license is prevalent with microstock agencies that connect small-time photographers with small-time clients. The prices are usually meager, making them a popular choice for blogs, magazines with small print runs, indie publishers, and small businesses.

This license allows the clients to use images however they want and as many times as they want with only a few exceptions. Most clients will want to buy this license since it gives them so much freedom at a low price.

However, royalty-free images are not exclusive, meaning that multiple clients can purchase and use the image. The lack of exclusivity explains why you will often see the same pictures showing up all over the place, on various articles, blog posts, and ebooks across multiple websites. Remember these points when you are wondering about how to sell stock photography through royalty free images.

Rights-Managed License

Rights-managed content is usually more expensive and has more limitations in place. Larger commercial clients are more likely to purchase licensing rights that fall into this category, as they will want to have more exclusive use of the images and might want to use them on commercial products and advertising campaigns.

Standard License Vs. Extended License

Most stock websites offer clients a standard license agreement or an extended license agreement. Having an agreement is like when you go to the car wash and can get either the basic wash or the premium service that includes waxing and tire polish and everything else.

As mentioned, the specifics might vary from one agency to another, but most standard agreements allow clients to use the content however they want as long as they aren't using them for pornography, political campaigns, ads for tobacco and alcohol and things like that. They also cannot put the images on products for resale. And they cannot use them for massive distribution campaigns that involve more than 500,000 copies or page views.

When clients want more rights than those offered in the standard agreement, they will have to purchase the extended agreement, which will typically give them nearly unlimited use.

Editorial Use Vs. Commercial Use

When a photographer wants to sell stock photos, there is often a lot of confusion as to what constitutes editorial and commercial use. Images used for informational purposes in newspapers, magazines, books, and blogs are generally considered editorial use. The fact that there are commercial advertisements on the pages of these publications and websites does not mean that the images are being used commercially. That is a huge myth that has been perpetuated for decades and refuses to die. These images do not legally require model releases or property releases.

Commercial use, on the other hand, involves profit-seeking ventures such as advertisements, products, and product packaging. Images used on products and for advertising purposes are commercial and will require releases from models and property owners. And they will have to be sold under licensing agreements that allow for commercial use -- which usually means more profit for you as the photographer.

The confusion arises because many photo agencies and clients require their contributors to provide model and property releases for all images they submit, even those that are being sold for editorial use only. So while the law might not require releases, these businesses choose to have releases anyway merely because they are scared to death of litigation and want to cover themselves as much as possible. It can be frustrating for photographers, but it is what it is.

Exclusive vs. non-exclusive stock images

You can decide to sell stock images through only one stock photo agency exclusively. Exclusive contracts typically will pay you more as the stock photo agency will share a more significant percentage of the revenue with you.

However, using the non-exclusive method lets you sell your stock images through multiple agencies and websites. While you will earn less per image sold, but there would be higher chances of selling more images.

Take Model Releases

So whenever you are shooting images that have faces of an individual(s) or when shooting private property that might be recognizable, you have to get model releases from the concerned individuals and property owners. Most stock photo agencies will not let you distribute images through their platforms without a model release wherever required.

Tip: Use Releases, a photography app that includes nearly every industry standard template that you may need, including Snapwire, ASMP, Getty Images, and Shutterstock. Releases makes creating, saving and organizing model releases simple on-the-go.

(Video) How to Make Stock Images that Consistently Sell | Adobe Creative Cloud

Check out more helpful photo apps for photographers.

What kinds of stock photos should you shoot?

What kinds of stock photos should you shoot?

There is an old argument that has been going on for centuries -- long before the advent of photography. Some artists insist that you should only create art for yourself and let the right clients come to you.

Others, however, believe that you can create art specifically for paying clients and maintain your artistic integrity at the same time.

How to Sell Stock Photos Online - Guide for Photographers (2)

With a focus to sell stock photos, you need to study the demand of the various genres of stock photography and then create images like those that clients will want to purchase for their commercial projects.

To sell stock photos with high commercial value, you might want to start with your end client in mind. Pick up some magazines at the bookstore or spend the day looking at popular blogs online. What kind of photos do you see on every page or every blog post? Those are the kinds of pictures that sell. So those are the types of images you want to create when producing new stock photos to sell online.

Look for the overlap between your interests as a photographer and your clients' needs as photo buyers. That common ground is your sweet spot. That is where you want to focus your efforts. That is where you will make your money.

Use a good camera and lens

Quality matters in stock photography. Make sure that you use a good DSLR camera and lens that gives you high-quality, sharp results. Since you get paid for the size of images that get sold, it pays to shoot high-resolution photos.

A Quick Word About Image Edits

You generally shouldn't use a lot of post-processing techniques on your stock photos, because most clients don't want over-saturated images, cropped to weird proportions or photoshopped to death.

They want bright, clean, full-color images that are well-lit, in sharp focus, and that has mass appeal. If they're going to crop or edit the image in some way, they can do that themselves. So keep your pictures neutral so that you don't turn away buyers who don't share your particular artistic quirks.

Using keywords to make your stock photos searchable

There are a bunch of strategies you will need to use to get more sales on stock agency sites before you plan to sell stock photos. You should create images with high commercial value. You should upload tons of pictures in general. And you should focus on a specific niche or niches in terms of the subject matter.

But even with those elements in place, none of it will matter if you don't optimize those images to make them highly searchable.

To get your images in front of more buyers at photo agencies, you need to know how to describe the photos using keywords, titles, and tags that represent your pictures in such a way that your target buyers will be able to find them. Using keywords is the primary way that your photos will be seen. This is similar to search engine optimization (SEO) strategies that bloggers and content marketers use to make their website content rise to the top of the search rankings in Google and Bing. Learn to apply these same techniques to your photo uploads, and your sales can improve significantly.

What Are Keywords?

Keywords are words and phrases that people search for to find what they are looking for online.

When an affiliate marketing client searches a stock photo site for a specific image for her business blog, she might use keywords like "executives, men in suits, grey suit, and red tie, negotiation, manager, handshake, interview, ambition" etc. The site will then display photos that are tagged with these keywords for the buyer to look through.

Use conceptual tags as well

For example, for an image of a kid playing, you can add tags such as happiness, joy, childhood, playtime and similar tags that describe the character, emotions, and activity being depicted in the photo.

So you might have the perfect image for this client -- one that is better than everything else that comes up in that search. But if your photo doesn't have any of those keyword tags on it, then that client will never see it. Keyword research and effective tagging are significant for making your stock images highly searchable.

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Do Not Spam

You need to avoid being spammy when it comes to keywords and tags on these photo sites. Do not use tags unnecessarily, if your photo does not fit in well with them. Stock photo agencies are very particular about showing only the relevant images in the searches, and our account might be penalized if you abuse the tag feature when uploading images.

What does that mean?

Here is an example of tag spamming. Let's say you upload an image of two business executives shaking hands at a desk in an office, but then you use a bunch of tags that have nothing at all to do with that image - such as "manufacturing, warehouse, weight loss, online dating, love, hate, money" etc. Adding unnecessary tags is annoying, it's not honest, and it is considered spam. Abusing the system like this will likely get you kicked out and banned permanently.

Where Can You Sell Stock Photos?

There are dozens of stock photo sites out there where you can upload your images for sale. Some of them are the best sites to sell photos, and some of them are not. Some get tons of traffic, and others don't. All of them have pros and cons -- all of them. So do your due diligence when deciding where to sell your photos.

Here are the top 6 most popular stock websites for photographers:

1. Freepik

Freepik is a search engine where you can find more than 5 million high-quality graphic resources, such as stock photos, vector images, illustrations, and PSD files that will provide graphic resources for any creative project.

Freepik has more than 2 million daily downloads worldwide and it is visited by 50 million people per month, making it one of the best websites to sell your photos, designs, and PSD files.

If you are a photographer, Freepik will guide you throughout the process so you can easily sell your images and designs. In addition, you will receive feedback on your photos before publishing them. Freepik will also provide tools so you will be up to date with trends and technical needs to better monetize your work. Freepik offers other types of benefits such as multiple file uploads, a referral program, or even the possibility of becoming a brand ambassador. Sign up and become a contributor at Freepik.

2. Shutterstock

Shutterstock is one of the most popular stock photo agencies today. You will see their images all over the place. They offer a lot of exposure and sales potential for photographers due to the massive traffic they receive online. Sign up is free. New contributors earn anywhere from $0.25 to $80 per download, depending on the client type and license type. The top earners there can make up to $120 per download.


YayImages stands out from the other stock photo agencies offering a 50% commission since their founding in 2008. Photographers have more opportunity to stand out with a smaller collection than the bigger agencies. The average sale is $0.5 per image and $8.00 per video, in most cases you will start to see sales within 30 days after your files are approved and the sales volume at YayImages more than makes up for the moderate price per image. Sales are reported on a monthly basis and not in real time, so some patience is required.

Signup as a contributor for free and start making money from your photos, vectors, and videos.

4. iStock

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Owned by Getty, iStock is a great start for many new photographers. You still need to apply and submit high-quality images to get accepted, though. Commissions range from 15 percent to 45 percent, and iStock is arguably the most well-known agency on this list. So getting accepted here is a big deal. Here is their sign-up page for new contributors.


ElephantStock.comhelps photographers sell their artworks online.

Thanks to their unique technology, can turn any photograph into a stunning canvas wall art in countless layouts, shapes, and sizes, making it easier for interior designers and individual customers to discover photography artwork that matches their home decor.'s professional-looking canvas prints rely on their top quality high-res Giclee printing that is processed on poly-cotton blend canvas material. Each artwork is carefully stretched over crafted North-American pine frames and protected with a UV resistant, waterproof, and scratch-proof laminates ensuring long-lasting durability.

ElephantStock photographers community enjoys:

(Video) Can you EARN MONEY selling PHONE PHOTOS? | Stock photography tips and tricks

• Free of charge account setup

• High conversion rates and sale commissions

• Shipping and handling is taken care of by

To Join the artist communityclick here >>

6. Dreamstime

How to Sell Stock Photos Online - Guide for Photographers (4)

You can choose to submit images to Dreamstime either as a non-exclusive contributor or as an exclusive contributor. You can also mix-and-match the two depending on images that you have submitted. For non-exclusive images, Dreamstime pays 25-50% of the net sales of an image's downloads. However, for exclusive photos, your share is much higher at 60% of the net sales of an image's downloads, plus a $0.20 commission per accepted image.

7. Pixabay

If you are starting out and are having a hard time getting accepted at the other photography sites, you might want to give Pixabay a try. Now technically, Pixabay is different because all of the images there are available for free download and unlimited use without attribution -- even for commercial use! So why would a working photographer consider uploading images there? And can you also make money on Pixabay?

Yes, you actually can make some money on Pixabay through the donate -- or "coffee money" -- button on your account. Visitors or users who download your images can donate a tip to you through the site, so there is some potential for income and exposure.

One thing is for sure -- those images won't make a single penny if they're sitting on your hard drive. So if you have a lot of good photos that are being rejected at the other sites, then you might consider placing them on Pixabay for a chance at some extra income and find a solution to your question on how to sell photos.

8. Scopio

How to Sell Stock Photos Online - Guide for Photographers (5)

Scopio is building the most extensive library of high quality, fresh and relevant photos. Scopio is powering the four billion photo creators on social media to sell their authentic photos to creatives looking to use them. Today, creatives are having a hard time finding authentic photos they can use, and when they do find them on social media and don't have the legal permission to use them outside of social. Scopio pays content creators and sells them to creatives looking to use fresh and real photos across their storytelling.


Making a full time living as a stock photographer isn't easy as its a very crowded, competitive market. To be successful as a stock photographer, you need both quality and quantity.

However, you can build up a steady stream of extra income over time. You can also look at stock photography as an outlet for images that you have shot without any specific purpose, or images shot for client assignments that were not used and you have the rights for. In some cases, you might even gain a direct client through your stock photography work.

To get your start in this business and make some money, sign up at some of these stock agencies and start submitting your best work - and only your best work. Follow the tips above which have given you information on how to sell stock photos. Work on improving your skills, always be patient, and never give up on your dreams!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much can you make selling stock photos?
According to ziprecruiter stock photographers can earn an income of around $36,991 per year, on average.

Is selling stock photos profitable?
Stock photographers make money through commissions each time someone downloads their image from a stock photo site. This means that profits in stock photography depend largely on how popular your images are and how often they get downloaded. Commissions can vary from site to site. Shutterstock, for example, pays around $0.25 to $80 per download. Other sites will give you a percentage of net sales, around 25% to 60%.

How do I sell stock photos?
You can sign up as a photographer on a stock photography website and upload your photos to it. You will get commissions based on how many times your photos get downloaded. Keep in mind that stock photography sites have certain rules for submissions and they are stricter on some sites than on others.

What is the best stock photo selling site?
Getty Images and Shutterstock are the two most popular stock photo websites and they command the lion’s share of the market when it comes to stock photography. Getty is also the most popular site for photojournalism and celebrity photographs.


How much can you realistically make selling stock photos? ›

On average, stock photographers make $0.02 per image per month with stock photos, while professionals make $0.05–$0.25 per image per month. Royalty-free sales earn between $0.10 and $99.50, while extended licenses bring up to $500.

How do I know if my photos are good enough to sell? ›

At the most basic level, your photos need to look technically sharp and polished. Take them with a professional camera (or at least a very good smartphone camera), and make sure the shots are in focus, correctly exposed, and properly framed. Unappealing or amateurish shots won't sell.

Which website pays the most for stock photos? ›

1. Alamy. With over 60 million images, Alamy is the largest stock photo website, but they also pay well too. Photographers earn 50% of every sale, and aren't restricted to selling exclusively with Alamy.

What type of stock photos sell best? ›

Landscapes that were inaccessible before are now at the top of the stock photography trend. Images that have strong leading lines will continue to be in demand for stock photography. Photos that capture relaxing scenes like beaches, snow-capped trees and fields of flowers will be the most popular.

What type of photos sell best? ›

Candid Photos Sell Better than Posed Shots

They want candid. The difference here wasn't as vast, but definitely noticeable: 62% of best-sellers are shot in a candid style, while only 38% are obviously posed. Lesson Learned: Take candid photos.

Can you make a living selling stock photos? ›

Although there are plenty of ways to earn a living from photography, selling stock photography is one that's often overlooked. It's unlikely to provide you with a full-time income. But it could be a great way to earn some extra cash to cover the cost of your gear without taking up too much of your time.

Are stock photos worth it 2022? ›

Here you get 33% royalties for every image you sell, and considering how well-known and favored Adobe Stock is in the creative community, there is a good chance you will make some money.

Is it worth selling photos online? ›

Photos are one of the most profitable digital products that you can sell online. Choosing what you'll specialize in is the first step to find the right audience and attract potential customers. If you haven't decided on a niche, take time to experiment with different photography styles.

How much should a photographer charge for digital images? ›

“How much should photographers charge?” Questions about photography pricing can be both reasonable and complicated to answer. A good answer might be $100-300 per hour or $75-350 per image for professional photographers in the United States.

How do you price photos? ›

  1. Hobbyists: less than $50 per hour / $10 to $25 per image. ...
  2. Amateur: $25 to $100 per hour / $25 to $50 per image. ...
  3. Student: $50 to $100 per hour / $25 to $100 per image. ...
  4. Semi-Pro: $75 to $150 per hour / $50 to $150 per image. ...
  5. Professional: $100 to $300 per hour / $75 to $350 per image.

How do I know if I'm a good photographer? ›

9 signs you're a good photographer
  • You know it's the photographer that makes the image, not the camera. ...
  • You have your photos backed up in 2 places, one offsite. ...
  • You always have a personal project on the go. ...
  • You know that all digital images need editing.
28 Nov 2017

Is Shutterstock better than Alamy? ›

Reviewers felt that Shutterstock meets the needs of their business better than Alamy. When comparing quality of ongoing product support, reviewers felt that Shutterstock is the preferred option. For feature updates and roadmaps, our reviewers preferred the direction of Shutterstock over Alamy.

How much does Alamy pay per photo? ›

Alamy offers 50% on all direct sales for images that are exclusive to Alamy. For non-exclusive images, you'll get 40% on all direct sales. If you're a student photographer, you can get 100% commission as the platform is dedicated to helping budding photographers succeed.

How much should I sell my photos for? ›

The cost of selling image rights should depend on your level of work, labor, resources, photography experience, marketing, and terms of use. In general, you can get anywhere between $20 to $50. However, you can ask for more, even thousands of dollars, if you want a complete copyright buyout.

What's trending in stock photography? ›

Rustic backgrounds and outdoor photography

For photographers who concentrate on creating stock imagery, rustic backgrounds for still life photos are predicted to remain popular. Using earthy tones, items from nature, and focusing on creating an organic, natural feel will stand out.

What sells most on Shutterstock? ›

Most Downloaded Images FAQ

The best-selling style of images varies from one year to the next, but overall, images of people (or lifestyle photography) are an all-time best-selling genre in stock photography. Other concepts like landscapes, flowers, and beaches are also consistently popular.

How do I succeed in Shutterstock? ›

How to Make the Most of Being on Shutterstock
  1. Take Photos that Resonate with Sellable Keywords. ...
  2. Travel to Find Inspiration. ...
  3. Get Inspiration from Other Photographers. ...
  4. Stay Loyal to Your Style. ...
  5. Follow Your Niche. ...
  6. Remember Your Passion for Photography. ...
  7. Research on Content Marketing Trends. ...
  8. Uploading High-quality Content.
23 Jul 2022

How do Beginners sell stock photos? ›

6 Best Sites to Sell Your Photos Online
  1. Dreamstime. Dreamstime is one of the best Photo Agencies you can subscribe to as a beginner. This is because it is much easier to fulfill their conditions of quality and general requirements. ...
  2. Shutterstock. Shutterstock is another great place to digitally sell your photographs.
11 Nov 2019

What is the best camera for stock photography? ›

Some good examples of suitable cameras for stock photography in 2021 are:
  • Nikon Z6ii / Z7ii.
  • Sony A7 III.
  • Fujifilm X-T4.
  • Canon EOS R6.
  • Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III.

Is it worth selling on Shutterstock? ›

For most stock photographers and illustrators, Shutterstock consistently outperforms all other agencies. If you are thinking of getting started as a microstock photographer, make sure Shutterstock is at the top of your list to join. For many contributors, Shutterstock represents around 40% of their monthly earnings.

How much money can you make selling photos of your feet? ›

Most people charge anywhere from $5 to over $100 per foot picture. However, the average foot photo is usually around $15-$25 per photo. Feel free to get creative and set a price based on the work you put in and how creative you are!

Can I sell photos taken on my phone? ›

Foap is one of the simplest places to sell your mobile photos. The iPhone and Android photography marketplace is one of the many corners of the web you can turn to for micro-jobs in your free time. Some of the world's largest brands like MasterCard, Hyatt, Volvo Group, Absolut Vodka can buy your photos.

How do I become a side hustle photographer? ›

  1. Sell prints and digital copies. ...
  2. Develop photo editing presets. ...
  3. Offer personalized merch. ...
  4. Join a stock agency. ...
  5. Collaborate with brands. ...
  6. Find freelance photography jobs. ...
  7. Participate in photo contests. ...
  8. Write a photography blog.
6 May 2021

What can I sell to make money fast? ›

What Can You Sell to Make Money Fast?
  • Old clothes. If you're looking for things to sell to make quick cash, your clothes just might top the list. ...
  • Sneakers. Have some cool sneakers you want to get rid of? ...
  • Jewelry. ...
  • Watches. ...
  • Your wedding dress. ...
  • Baby items. ...
  • Home décor items. ...
  • Holiday decorations.
8 Sept 2022

How can I make money online as a photographer? ›

Here are 28 ways to earn money as a photographer online.
  1. Sell Stock Photos. ...
  2. Sell an eBook. ...
  3. Create a travel guide. ...
  4. Sell a printed coffee table style book. ...
  5. Sell prints. ...
  6. Take pictures at local events and sell them online. ...
  7. Sell photojournalism prints to news publications. ...
  8. Edit photos.

How can I start making money as a photographer? ›

Here are 15 proven ways to make money as a photographer – and step up your business' game.
  1. Photograph small businesses.
  2. Teach photography.
  3. Sell digital or printed copies of your work.
  4. Sell your photos on stock websites.
  5. Write a photography blog.
  6. Invest in your art.
  7. Conduct photography tours and workshops.
  8. Become a social guru.
16 Dec 2021

How much should I charge as a beginner photographer? ›

Entry-Level Photographers - The entry-level or semi-professional photographers charge $50-$150 per hour or $25-$125 per image. They're not as committed and often have other lines of work that they rely on.

How many pictures should be expected from a 1 hour shoot? ›

In a 30-minute photography session, you could get around 20 photos to choose between, whereas from a 1-hour shoot you should expect 40-50 pictures to look through.

How many photos should a photographer give? ›

How many photos should a wedding photographer give? The short and simple answer is ~100 per hour of shooting or roughly 800 photos for 8-hour wedding day coverage.

What should be included in a photography package? ›

In your package, you should include the number of fine art prints included, and whether the package includes photo editing. In addition, many photographers provide an online gallery of wedding photos that are password protected as part of their photo packages (an alternative to prints).

Why do photographers charge so much? ›

Under US copyright law, photographers own every image that they take. They have the choice to sign over full rights to the client, or to license them for specific uses. The more uses that the images have, and the more eyes that will see them, the higher the cost of licensing because they have more value.

How many photos should I send to a client? ›

For portrait sessions, I find that clients expect more images the more they pay for the session. Therefore, if it's an expensive session they'll likely expect 70-100 images whereas if it's a shorter session they might expect 20-40. Factor #2. Delivering a strong gallery.

Is photography a talent or skill? ›

Photography is both skill and talent

In other words, what distinguishes the two from each other is the placement of where this so called “ability” resonates from — from practice or from natural disposition. A proficient photographer might have accrued their ability by having a natural eye for composition or light.

What makes a photo bad? ›

The main way is that the whole photo is out of focus. A shaky hand, an automatic focus struggling with the subject matter, a manual focus that is a bit off. Regardless of why the image is out of focus, if it is blurry, it is no good.

What makes a photograph great? ›

There are many elements in photography that come together to make an image be considered “good”. Some of these elements include, but are not limited to lighting, the rule of thirds, lines, shapes, texture, patterns, and color. All of these things play an important role when it comes to photography.

Can you make money from stock photography? ›

If you already travel a lot and you take high-quality photos of places that aren't overly captured already, odds are you'll make a sale. I know a few different people who've been able to get their stock photo income up to $200-$300 a year without too much of a headache.

Is it worth selling photos on Shutterstock? ›

Selling your photos can be an excellent way to make extra money with your photography business. While you can certainly sell photos on your site, don't forget that you can sell your photos on third-party websites, too.

Where can I sell pictures of my body for money? ›

Best Places to Sell Your Photos Online
WebsiteCommission %Review
Shutterstock15-40%Read review
Foap50%Read review
Alamy40-50%Read review
iStock Photo15-45%Read review
6 more rows

How do I start a stock image business? ›

If you are looking to start a stock photography business, there are five key steps that you should take first:
  1. Write a Business Plan.
  2. Be clear about your costs.
  3. Get some good photography gear and learn how to take stock photos.
  4. Build an online presence shooting stock photos.
  5. Create an Online Portfolio.

How do Beginners sell stock photos? ›

6 Best Sites to Sell Your Photos Online
  1. Dreamstime. Dreamstime is one of the best Photo Agencies you can subscribe to as a beginner. This is because it is much easier to fulfill their conditions of quality and general requirements. ...
  2. Shutterstock. Shutterstock is another great place to digitally sell your photographs.
11 Nov 2019

How can I make $100 a day online? ›

Genuine and Creative Ways to Make $100 Dollars a Day Online
  1. Paid Surveys. ...
  2. Freelance Writing. ...
  3. Write Sponsored Posts. ...
  4. Coaching and Consultation. ...
  5. Write an Ebook or Sell Another Type of Digital Product. ...
  6. Google AdSense (You'll need a website – but you can make $100 dollars a day) ...
  7. Create Online Courses.
23 Oct 2022

Are stock photos worth it 2022? ›

Here you get 33% royalties for every image you sell, and considering how well-known and favored Adobe Stock is in the creative community, there is a good chance you will make some money.

What type of photos sell best on Shutterstock? ›

The best-selling style of images varies from one year to the next, but overall, images of people (or lifestyle photography) are an all-time best-selling genre in stock photography. Other concepts like landscapes, flowers, and beaches are also consistently popular.

How much will Shutterstock pay? ›

Shutterstock Contributor Earnings

You earn between 15% and 40% commission when one of your images or videos is downloaded at Shutterstock. This means you get paid $0.10 to $5.80 for images, $10.20 to $39.80 for extended licenses, and $1.25 to $47.92 for each video.

What is minimum payout in Shutterstock? ›

Minimum payout: Enter the amount of earnings that must accrue in your account before a payment can be made. The minimum payout amount is $35 and the maximum is $2000.

Is it worth selling photos online? ›

Photos are one of the most profitable digital products that you can sell online. Choosing what you'll specialize in is the first step to find the right audience and attract potential customers. If you haven't decided on a niche, take time to experiment with different photography styles.

What can I sell to make money fast? ›

What Can You Sell to Make Money Fast?
  • Old clothes. If you're looking for things to sell to make quick cash, your clothes just might top the list. ...
  • Sneakers. Have some cool sneakers you want to get rid of? ...
  • Jewelry. ...
  • Watches. ...
  • Your wedding dress. ...
  • Baby items. ...
  • Home décor items. ...
  • Holiday decorations.
8 Sept 2022

What's trending in stock photography? ›

Rustic backgrounds and outdoor photography

For photographers who concentrate on creating stock imagery, rustic backgrounds for still life photos are predicted to remain popular. Using earthy tones, items from nature, and focusing on creating an organic, natural feel will stand out.

Can a photographer make a living? ›

Full-time photographers can typically make anywhere between $30,000 and $75,000 per year, and some make even more than that. Many photographers prefer to transition into photography part-time so they can get an idea of if it will be financially sustainable as a career.

How much do stock photographers make a year? ›

Stock Photographer Salary: What to Expect

As a general benchmark, however, ZipRecruiter reports that stock photographers make an average of almost $37,000 per year, although top earnings bring in about $81,000 per year.


1. Best selling STOCK photography websites to MAKE MONEY in 2020 | Beginners Guide
(Jacek Sopotnicki)
2. What Sells in Stock Photography? My Best-Selling Stock Photos!
(Laura BC)
3. How to make a living, Selling Stock photography in 2022
(Shaheryar Shahid)
4. $3K/month PASSIVE INCOME—full strategy for Shutterstock, Pond5 (how to make money as a photographer)
(Call me lil)
5. My Top 10 Best Selling Stock Photos and Tips to Improve your Sales
(Raul Rodriguez)
6. How We Sold $47,000 in Stock Photos
(Mango Street)
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