Beginner’s guide of How to Sell Photos Online and Make Money

Are you looking to know how to sell photos online and make money with your photography without any cost or paid method? In this article, I’d like to discuss with you to make money online with photography.

How to Sell Photos Online

If you like to capture everything around you, it’s a very good habit and can be a profession for you. You can turn your hobby into your profession and make a large amount of money. Because you can earn money by selling your photos online as a stock photographer. You have to join some best stock photo websites to contribute your photos and make money.

However, if you are a new photographer and want to start photography to make money, this article will also help you a lot. So, stay with us and enjoy this episode about, how to sell photographs online.

Photography Instruments

If you are already working with photography, then I think you have an idea about the equipment needed for photography. But, I’m telling it again for new people, who want to take stock photography as a small business to make money online at home.

Camera and Lens

To take good quality photos and work professionally, you have to buy a professional full-frame sensor camera. If you not enough budget to buy a professional camera, you can try a second-hand camera from Amazon. I will recommend you to buy Canon EOS 6D and Canon EF 24–105mm f/4L IS II USM lens. If the budget is not short, don’t miss to buy Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera with 24-105mm f/4L II Lens. This lens is may call all in one lens, you can use this lens to capture approximately all category pictures only except telephoto and macro photography.


You might require a light setup to take portrait or food photography. In this case, I like the MOUNTDOG Photography Studio Softbox very much. So, you can use this light set up for your indoor photography plan. Several times you may need a light setup to take close-up pictures, for example, if your wont to capture a photo of a flower from the outside of your house. In this case, you can use Neewer NW-670 TTL Flash Speedlite.

Also, Some more things are needed to improve the quality of the image, such as Tripod, Lens filters, Shutter remote, etc.

It’s not that you can’t take good pictures which able to sell, without a DSLR camera. You can also sell phone photos as stock photos. However, most of the pictures taken on the phone are of somewhat artificial type, whose real scene is lost.

However, iPhone and different models of some other phones such as Samsung, Google Pixel, and Sony those are capable of taking quite good pictures.

What’s a Stock Photo Site?

Stock photography site is a media platform where photographers can upload their photos as a contributor and they get the right to sell those pictures for money.

So, stock photo sites are a media within the photographer and buyer. Those who provide security of the transaction, right management, the license of all with fidelity. Basically, they have got a fixed commission for this work. Each time your photo is downloaded, they will pay you a commission as per their plan.

For example, if stock photo sites offer you to pay 0.25-1.00 dollar for every download, so you’ll get $250 to $1000 for every 1000 image download. Actually, its price depends on the buyer subscription plan. Also, if the buyer accepts an extended license, then you can get $200 to $300 per sale.

Stock Photography License Type

However, if a buyer wants to buy an extended license, then you can earn more than 300 per picture. An image can be sold multiple times, because, that buyer will only get the license as a right of use. You can also upload your image with the non-exclusive agreement to multiple sites for sale.

Generally, stock photo websites provide three kinds of license for buyer, like Royalty free License, Right manage license, and market freeze license. There is a difference in the price of the picture based on the license.

Payment Methods of Stock Photos Websites

Most stock photography websites allow you to windthrow your income via PayPal, Payoneer, skrill, and bank check. So you can easily and safely accept your payment in your bank. You should sign up for a Payoneer account to get a Global MasterCard service for purses online or get payment. REGISTRATION NOW

Who Buys Your Photos?

With the advancement of technology, we have become online dependent on everything and are entering the digital world.

Therefore, creating good content in a competitive market is an important task. The role of the image cannot be denied in terms of good content. We need pictures in all fields, such as blog content, news, magazine, documentary screenings, or reports on observations.

Not only in the case of digital marketing but also in the case of all businesses providing online or offline services, the need for images is observed. Because, every business has need photos for logos, brochures, banners, flyers, or advertisements to promote their product of branding.

In addition, no organization will use the image without buying a license, because it is illegal to work, which can cause great damage to the organization.

This can be explained with a real example. For example, when a blog writer gives a picture on the subject of his writing, he buys it from a stock photo website. And the photographer can earn some money from that picture.

If you can search for some pictures on Google, then the matter will be clear to understand.

Below I am discussing some photography buyers.

1. Bloggers

Generally, bloggers use many photos to create their niche specified content. So, they have to buy stock photos to create high quality and trusted content.

For example, if a blogger writes a blog about a tourist destination, he has to give a picture of that place, which collects stock photos from the website.

2. News Media Site and Magazines

When news and medias covering various events, then they need pictures of this subject. So, if you focus photojournalism, then you can take some advantage to sell photos to those media.

3. Businesses Firms

Any type of business firm needs a lot of pictures for many tasks such as banner design, brochure, flyer, letterhead, etc. Photos are also required in all cases including business promotion.

So you can earn a huge amount of money by selling different types of business type photos. Usually, Business photos are maybe portraits or official structures photos.

4. Digital Marketing Firms

Digital marketing agencies require different types of photos to creating content for ads on various platforms.

From creating client’s web pages, sales pages to creating their own platform, images are needed. So, they are a big buyer of stock photography.

How to choose a photography niche for Stock Photos?

Generally, any buyer buys pictures based on need. So, all kinds of pictures are sold, but the question of which picture is more in demand can be questioned. Okay, let me explained it properly.

If a buyer wants to download a photo from a stock photo site, of course, there is a reason behind this download. Surely he is downloading photos with money to use in any work. Also, if everyone takes a picture of the same niche, the picture is less likely to sell.

So you have to work with a niche where it is easy to sell photos. Below are some of the niches that are in great demand right now and you can easily make money by selling photos with those niches.

1. Portrait Photography

Currently, the demand for portrait photography is quite good. It is also quite popular as model photography starting from officer photo.

For example, an instructor in an office discussing a topic with 5 officers, it can be a business type picture. You have to make the room as an office with some equipment such as a projector, laptop, office desk, etc. then the picture will be better quality. Also, you can do a model photoshoot for advertising.

2. Food Photography

Recently, food photography is so popular for food blogs health blogs. Food photography is used on many health-related and lifestyle websites.

It is possible to earn money from food photography in a short time and at low cost.

3. Event Photography

Basically, the photographer does wedding photography or event photography directly. Because of lots of job opportunities and earning instant cash. However, it can be sold online. I will recommend you to take the order of wedding or event photography online and to work directly.

In this case, your portfolio website can play a great role to sell your services and receive orders.

4. Product Photography

Many companies now hire photographers to photograph their products. By displaying your portfolio, you can work with those companies to make money.

5. Photojournalism

News media is the popular buyer for Photojournalism photos. If you want to work as a photojournalist, you can do photography with recent events, natural disasters, epidemics, human life diversity, etc.

Also, there is quite a demand for landscape, close-up, and travel photography. You can work with one or more niches, which I have mentioned before.

Quality Required to Sell You Photos

To get approval for selling photos on any stock photo website, you have to maintain some quality.

They will manually check the quality of your photos and then approve the photos. So, there must be good quality photos to get approval for sale. You should remember the following steps to sell stock photos with those media.

  • For most stock photo sites, your images must be at least 4MP and file sites must be less than 40MB.
  • Your photo cannot contain any logos, watermarks, or company symbols. However, to protect your photos from free downloads; watermarks will be displayed automatically from stock photography sites.
  • Images must be of high quality, there can be no noise or grain. Also, images with vibration, over-expose, or under-exposure will not be approved.
  • The photos you upload must be taken by you.
  • Your age must be at least 18 years old to work with stock photo sites.
  • You must have a national identity card or driving license or passport or bank account.

N.B: The stock photo sites may ask you to upload some of you best photos, when you’ll create an account to sell you photos. So, separate some of your good photos in advance, keep them for uploading.

Some Best Stock Photo Sites to Sell Photos

The above discussion has revealed a number of important issues related to photography. Finally, now you need to know where to upload images to make some money.

Now I’ll introduce with you some best stock photo sites for photographers to sell photos online.

1. Shutterstock

First of all, I want to introduce you to Shutterstock. It’s so much popular and the best website to sell photographs as a contributor.

They have been doing business with popularity and fame for 15 years. If you want to work with stock photography, you can select the Satterstock on your first choice list.

This site has the most buyers and photographers. Many contributors are currently focusing on this site to work.

From Shutterstock, you can get anything from $0.15 cents to $128 per download.

2. GettyImages and Istock

It’s another best website to sell photography for a contributor. Basically, Getty images, Istock Photo, and are part of the same company known as Gettyimages. The of GettyImages is one of the best website to sell photo prints. So, if you just upload your pictures to GetImages, you can earn money from many branches.

They usually pay a commission of 15-45 percent to the contributor. Market freeze license of GettyImages is a new feature for the buyer; as a result, the contributor has the opportunity to earn a large amount by a single photo.

3. Adobe Stock

The famous Adobe Company has a stock photo service system, which is known as Adobe Stock. It is a very popular stock photo selling site for photographers who pay a good commission.

You can sell various categories of photos to adobe stock. Many organization is using many services of Adobe such as Adobe Photoshop, LightRoom, PrimerPro, adobe Indesign, etc, so they well know about adobe stock photo service as well. As a result, the contributor gets many buyers.

If you have $25 income in your account, you can take payment through Skrill or PayPal. These payment methods are available to everyone.

4. DepositPhotos

You can also work with the DepositPhotos contributor program. It’s another great place to sell photos online. And, it also allows you to upload your photos non-exclusively.

A huge number of buyers buy a royalty-free subscription plan from Depositphotos. So, you can easily increase your earning opportunity with this stock photo site.

5. Alamy

Alamy is most popular as the highest commission payer website. They will pay you a 50% commission for an exclusive license and 40% for a non-exclusive license.

Also, this site has the facility for student photographers to contribute their photos, where they pay 100% commission. However, this facility is effective for some special countries.

The right Manage license of Alamy is a great advantage for photographers to earn a large amount of money.

6. Dreamstime

Dreamstime is also a good place to sell your photography online. They work with many small businesses and some of the biggest brands to sell photos.

They have the opportunity to earn a large amount of money through their extended license.

How to Sell Photos Online from Your Own Website

Finally, I’m going to discuss a unique way to sell you stock photos and print from your own website. Yes, dear readers, it’s one of bet best methods to sell your photos online. To do it properly, you have to create a good base on social media and photo contributing website.

Here it is possible to find some buyers based on your reputation. By selling photos from your own website, you will get all the money that you earn. That is, no stock photo sales media can take photo sales commissions.

However, you need to create your own website, where you will have to spend some money annually for domain hosting. You can use PhotoShelter to create your photo selling website.

If you try to avoid the third party media, create a WordPress website.  In this case, you can buy a hosting plan from HostGator, where you will get a domain free. How to make a photo selling website, I will write an article on it later.


I hope from the above discussion you have been able to understand that how to make money from with photos.

However, try to upload as much as photos you can which will ensure your passive income for lifetime. If you have uploaded many pictures, for example, more than 5000, then some of your pictures will be downloaded every day. Therefore, the possibility of income is also higher.

So, keep taking your pictures, and work to earn some money from your best pictures. If you have any questions about how to sell photos online and make money from your own photos, then feel free to comment and ask me.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *