Photography is easier and more affordable to get into than ever before. With a digital camera, some experience, and editing software, it’s possible to actually make extra money with your pics! Here are some of the top ways to make money selling your photos to a stock photography service. You can make between $.50 and $25 per photo!
What You’ll Need to Sell Stock Photos
To get started, It’s essential that you have the right equipment. A DSLR camera is the most used photography tool. Along with that, you should have a few lenses, a lighting kit, and a way to view, store, and edit your photos. Photoshop or another top editing software is most recommended.
Other accessories that can help include a few high capacity camera cards to store photos, a dedicated computer or laptop for storage and editing, backgrounds, and props. It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money on these extras. As you grow your business, however, you may find them useful to offer unique photos for your clients.
4 Places to Learn How to Take Photos to Sell Online
You should also have some training, if taking photos is a new hobby for you. While it’s possible to have a great eye and take great photos from the start, a few hours of training can go far to improve your photo quality. Sites that currently offer photography sessions that can be taken online and that are specific to stock photography include the following:
This site is one of the top marketplaces for trainers, teachers, and coaches online. 13 million students and 40,000 total courses make it a great place to explore. Courses range in price from $20 to $200 and cover basic to very specialized photo techniques. Use the reviews for each course to find the best one for you, and take advantage of site-wide promotions that regularly offer discounted courses in photographer for around $10 each.
2. Food Blogger Pro
This membership site was created by two very successful food bloggers. While there are many other topics covered in relation to building a popular blog, the photographer tips and tricks may be the most valuable. Use the videos, forums, and lessons plans to take better still and close-up shots. This site is open for a limited time each year.
As the name suggests, this site started out as a collection of learning videos and tutorials for all things handmade. Photography has since been added as a core skill training. 70+ professional photographer courses, taught by actual photographers, make this site a must-visit. They range in price from $40 – $400, but they often offer discounts of 50% of more throughout the year.
Finally, Lynda.com, powered by LinkedIN, has moved its focus from mostly business professional skills, to an open forum for learning any trade or task that you could use in a small business or career. This includes photography. The site boasts an impressive 1700+ photography course catalog.
Where to Make Extra Money Selling Stock Photos
There are so many sites out there offering to buy your stock photos. The requirements will vary for each one, but most have some minimum quality standards for any photos that they buy. Most of the following companies will accept photos in RGB JPEG format with a minimum size of 1600 x 1200 pixels. (Visit each link for exact details, however. Some specialty stock photo providers may have their own unique formatting requests.)
Owned by Getty images, this site is one of the most trusted in the media industry. Photographers must register for free, then read a number of tutorials for each type of file that they hope to sell. After educating yourself, you can take a few simple quizzes to test your knowledge before submitting samples for review. Once accepted you have the choice to make your photos exclusive to iStockphoto (and not sell them anywhere else) for the highest royalty-free pricing.
You can start submitting photos for review at CreStock right away. New photographers are limited to 1o uploads per week, and it many take many months for your photos to be approved for sale. Note that CreStock does not accept editorial photos, so be sure you have model releases for each of your photos and that your pics do not include any brand names or company logos. CreStock does allow you to sell photos you have listed with other sites, including your own.
Signing up to sell photos for Dreamstime takes but a few minutes, and you can start submitting photos for review right away. Their standards are pretty basic; they don’t allow offensive photos and require releases for all models. All photos must have a minimum 3MP resolution and meet community standards for aesthetics.
4. Fotolia (Adobe Stock)
This site is one of the most popular sources of stock photography in Europe, but they are growing in the U.S. They currently accept photos from artists worldwide, and simply require you to register on the site before getting started. Accepted photos from photographers aged 18 and up will be sold through their stock photography marketplace and could be made available for Adobe product users of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
5. CanStock Photo
This site might have one of the easiest submission processes for photographers. After registering on the site, simply submit 3 photos samples. Your submissions will be reviewed within 1 day or so, and then you can continue submitting photos for sale. Upload and submission can take place within minutes, giving you the opportunity to sell more photos in less time!
See also: How to Make Extra Money Captioning Video
This site requires you to register before ever getting much info on the submission and approval process. Once signed up, however, you can start uploading your photos and even video footage for review. Payouts start at just $50 for this site, so you could possible start making money your first month.
7. BigStock by Shutterstock
Signing up for BigStock is free, and you can start learning through their tutorials right away. After completing the modules, you can start submitting your photos for approval! Photos for sale will be added on a case by case basis, and the review process will include verification of model releases, among other quality safeguards.
8. Deposit Photos
Submitting photos for review at Deposit Photos takes place by filling out one form with five sample photos. You’ll also need to upload proof of your identification. If you have portfolios at other stock photo sites, you’ll want to include them on the application form. The more approed stock photos you have listed on other sites, the higher your rating will be on the Deposit Photos site. (Higher rating means your photos will be featured more prominently in Deposit’s search ranking, which means better sales for you!)
Sell Your Own Stock Photos
If none of the sites listed above meet your needs, it’s also possible to open your own online store to sell stock photos. You can make extra money by putting your pics up for sale at the following online marketplaces:
This online marketplace is notable for all things handmade. It has recently seen an explosion in the digital goods market, however. In addition to selling your stock photography, many photographers use their work to create customized web templates, stationary designs, and printed photo products. Open an Etsy seller shop here.
Another online marketplace for creators, this is a digital goods superstore designed to help creative types make extra money. Stock photos may be combined as a themed set or combined with other seller goods for their large, discounted promotional bundles. Sellers can get a commission on what they create, currently 70%. You can also sign up for the partner program and get 10% on purchases they refer to other creators. Open your CreativeMarket store here.
What You’ll Earn Selling Stock Photos
Stock photo sales range widely from one marketplace to another. For many of those on the list, you will only get a commission of photos actually sold. For the others, your photos may be bought up outright and you’ll get paid a fee only or a fee plus royalties. Here are some sample contracts that you may be presented with for your stock photos:
Percentage Commission (Low)
Percentage Commission (High)
Alternate Per Photo Fee (Low)
Alternate Per Photo Fee (High)
|*Wages Lyft drivers are gross and do not include expenses or commission fees.|
Earning extra money selling stock photos takes hard work and practice. Over time, however, it’s a legitimate way to earn cash in your very part time, from anywhere in the world! Thousands of photographers supplement their income with this job.