If you want to sell photos online then there are myriad ways to do so. Also, it will be a blessing in disguise if you are in the line of photography, like a Youtuber or an Instagrammer and in that case you can make money selling photos, and that too a pretty good amount.
Also, if you are involved in any of the above professions (the social media channels) and are fond of selling photos online, your own photos also, then you actually have a chance to showcase your creativity and bank on every opportunity to monetize your skills by selling photos online and in this way you can also make good money.
Of course, in the beginning, it might just seem to be a daunting task but any of these factors must not rattle you as these days most people, even amateurs sell pictures, either using stock images or the ones that they click, setting their own prices and finally putting it up for sale at the stock photo marketplace.
Now, let’s discuss the major factors that you must keep in mind while you use stock photography, upload photos, photo prints and how you must operate in the photography business.
Table of Contents
Choose your niche
Being a photographer means that you are definitely a pro at what you do but it is equally important to choose and narrow down the niche that you are the most comfortable with, this can be travel, beauty, fashion, food, or whatever brings value to you.
Build you network
You would obviously want to build your own community of people who would understand your work and would value it too. It is always good to be connected with like-minded folks.
Building multiple streams of income
It goes without saying that in today’s day and age everyone must have more than one stream of income, there are countless ways to make money online, using the same or similar images, stock photo websites, and using them for selling pictures – basically, anything that works well for you.
The bottom line is that you must develop one or more sources of income for yourself.
Now, let’s get to understand how a professional photographer like yourself, one who uses a professional camera gets to click beautiful photos and make good money selling pictures.
Selling Photos Online
Identify your core strengths
This is kind of similar to identifying your niche, as we commonly say sometimes in business that “carving out your own niche” is very important. Now, you will see that almost every successful photographer has made money selling photos using a style which is consistent and has a particular theme that depicts their work.
You must be absolutely convinced by the idea that consistency is the king. You will see that you will gain more followers online if people find your work genuine and this only happens if your niche aligns with their areas of interest.
If you want to fetch money selling photos then it is important to identify your niche as early as possible. In the process, you can also identify what kind of styles and photos your audience likes. One of the most important ways of doing this is by using Keywords Everywhere, which is a browser extension that helps you in searching the volume below your Google search, and this also kind of makes it easy to discover and also experiment with subjects that are in demand and lets you know how you can plan ahead.
Let’s say that your niche is clicking pet pictures, now if you put the keyword “dog pictures” and if you see that it has a high click per rate, which typically must be above 1000 on a monthly basis, must be a good volume to bank on, and you must start making your strategies around that.
Of course, just like bloggers photographers too must put in a lot of time and effort in building their community so that you can leverage your skills properly. Also, it is always advised to link your social media accounts so that you can put up your content across all social channels. While you are using Instagram photos, and posting on a channel make sure to use relevant hashtags that will help in increasing the visibility of your images and in this way you can reach more masses.
Try making use of e-commerce
Whether it is stock photos or stock photo sites or a portfolio site, majorly all photographers have a lot to showcase that will help them gain business. Once you add e-commerce to your sites, and add features like payments, selling courses and other products, you are making your services more accessible.
You can of course begin by choosing a free theme to start off with, and a little later when you get successful in this venture, you can try adding “Shopify” to add functions like “Digital downloads” and “Instagram gallery.”
Where Can You Sell Photos Online
You are almost covered in various steps that you need to undertake in order to sell photos online. But for selling these photos online you will need access to the best places where you can showcase your talent and these will also help you make money.
So, how should you go about it? Well to begin with, here are a few websites where you can sell your photos and also license your photos online. The websites are as follows:
- Adobe Stock
- Getty Images
- Image Vortex
Now, let’s get to know about each one in a little more detail.
1. Adobe Stock
One of the best places for you to sell your photos, Adobe stock is one of the best places which you can ever think of. This is because when you list your photos for sale here, they can also be available on the stock site Fotolia. Using Adobe stock you can easily earn a commission of 33% on the photos that you sell through Adobe.
Canva has a wide user base with over 65 million users across 179 countries that use Canva. Apart from this, Canva also provides an opportunity for many contributors who can earn money selling photos without any kind of listing charges. Basically, as a contributor, you can create your portfolio and earn money each time users get to use your work.
Any contributor on Crestock can earn up to 20-40% commission and this is based on the total number of downloads. Crestock also has different kinds of affiliate programs that let one earn money.
Depositphotos has commissions that range from 34%-42%, but this kind of commission depends on the experience of the contributor and what his status is on the platform.
This website pays quite generously to its contributors, but they need to be really committed to what they are doing. They need contributors to have at least 70% of their portfolio on the site and this should be a minimum for a period of six months.
However, there is a provision for non-exclusive contributors too, and they earn somewhat between 25-50% and those photos which are exclusive get somewhat around 27.5-55% commission. And, there is another way of earning money too, and that is by using referrals, and this can be both as a contributor and acting as a purchaser.
Fotolia is another popular website that has been purchased by Adobe Stock photos and it has two pricing models for users currently. One of them is Pay-As-You-Go and the other one is a Subscription model.
The photos which are sold to Pay-As-You-Go customers let one earn around 20-63% commission, and the Subscription model on the other hand generates about 33% commission, and it also has a minimum guarantee.
With a base of around 32 million users, Freepik is an immensely popular site among photographers and even writers who download a lot of images from Freepik. As a photographer, you get paid on the basis of your content downloads, or alternatively the pay-per-download method.
You must know that Freepik pays around 50% share of the total amount from your content downloads.
8. Getty Images
Getty images mostly work with brands and publishers who are looking for high-quality and exclusive images for licensing. Here, the rates start at 20% for getting the photos licensed via GettyImages.com.
9. Image Vortex
This particular website doesn’t require any kind of exclusivity, and as a photographer, you are actually quite free to sell it to other sites. The commission rates here are 70%, and you get to establish your own prices.
This website lets you sell your own stock photos, and that includes pictures, videos, and graphics. They have their own photographers, and they also partner with Indian and international photographers in order to sell stock photos.
One more platform for earning by selling photos, Picxy has earned quite a name for itself. But, please note here that as a photographer you are required to publish at least 20 pictures before you can start earning.
On this platform, there is a 20% contributor share, and this will increase with your submissions. There is a referral program here too, where you can earn a certain amount every time there is a contributor who has joined using your referral code.
A micro stock photo site Shutterstock is a website where the photos are quite cheaper and non-exclusive, and one of the ways to increase downloads is by contributing a large number of images which may be used as visual metaphors. It’s really a good place to start off, but don’t really expect to earn a lot here.
As a photographer on this website, you can earn by selling photos using its mobile app in two ways, which are either by building your portfolio or earning through contests. You can also try building your portfolio and selling your photographs online by approaching your users and clients directly.
Secondly, there are several contests on this platform and you can earn money significantly there. The usual process is that the clients place their requests on the app and then put a deadline to it, now you can design accordingly.
Stocksy is quite a popular stock photo marketplace and is favored highly by publishers. They have high standards and require exclusive images, but pay out a generous commission of around 50-75%.
Unsplash is a name that needs no formal introduction. Even though it does not directly pay a photographer when he uploads his clicks but lets him connect with other members of the community, and network.
Using Vecteezy a photographer can submit photos under a free license that is offered under their Free account, and it pays for each download.
Another stock photo site 123RF pays contributors on the basis of the number of downloads and purchases, and the commissions here range from 30% to 60%.
This isn’t just a photo site, but also a platform which is community-based for photographers. Using this platform, you can follow other photographers, list your photos in the marketplace, and also participate in Photo Quest competitions in order to fetch rewards.
In this community, you will discover people who are full of amazing creativity and here click could get you a solid 30% commission payout for those photos which are non-exclusive and you can fetch 60% for those photos which are exclusive.
In a Nutshell
If you are a photographer and one who is very skilled at your art, you must know that you can make a good amount of money by covering events, doing fashion shoots, taking product photos, and there are myriad other options. In this article, we tried acquainting you with all the platforms that will be very helpful to you in your photographic exposition.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can you sell photos online and make money?
The short answer for this is yes, and there are various sites like Unsplash, Shutterstock, Freepik, and a plethora of other websites that can help achieve this goal of yours.
2. What sites can I use to sell my pictures online?
There are various websites that are specially designed for photographers and these are the ones that will not only help you monetarily but also help you create a community of like-minded people, from where you can get more money and work.
Some of the websites that you can consider are Adobe Stock, Canva, Crestock, Depositphotos, Dreamstime, Fotolia, Freepik, Getty Images, Image Vortex, Stock, PhotosIndia, Picxy, Shutterstock, Snapwire, Stocksy, Unsplash, Vecteezy, 123RF, and 500px.