Do you love taking photographs? Do you know you can actually make money by selling these photos online. Now you must be thinking, I am crazy. How can someone make money by selling photos online? There are millions of free images & photos are available online then why people will buy my photos.
You can find software, eBooks, music & even movies free online but still millions of people buy them online because that is not legal.
In the similar way, there are millions of news sites, online businesses, blogs, advertising agencies, media etc. who need high quality digital images for the updates on their website. They don’t look for free images, instead they buy it from popular online photo agencies.
What you can do is signup with these online photo agencies & upload your digital photographs on these website. You can fix the buying price of your photos. When someone buys your photo, you will get some good commission depending on the photo agency.
You don’t need to be an expert photographer. And you don’t even need any expensive camera to take photographs. If you love photography & want to get paid for this hobby, then you can start selling these photos online & earn good commission.
How to sell your photos online?
So if you want to make money by selling your digital photographs, here is the way how can you start this.
Where can you sell photos?
Although there are many places you can sell your photos. Here are some of the popular online photo agencies where you can sell your photos.
iStockphoto was started in 2000 by Bruce Livingstone. Initially downloading images from iStockphoto was free but after the website became huge, they started charging the buyer for downloading royalty free images.
You can earn commission from 22% to 45%. Read more on how can you become a contributor.
One of the leading photo stock website with international presence. You will get paid either by PayPal or Moneybookers. Visit Stockxpert for details.
Fotolia is a low-priced stock photography site, offering over 16 million images for publishing and advertising, at prices as low as $0.75 per photo. Fotolia’s images are mostly from semi-pro and amateur photographers, though the photos are of similar quality. Fotolia photographers earn 30%-60% of the sales revenue from their images.
Crestock is a growing player in micropayment royalty-free stock photography, helping clients with small budgets find creative images for their projects. With a fast and reliable image upload system, Crestock also gives photographers and illustrators a great platform for licensing their creative work. Check this commission table to know how much you will earn by uploading your images.
Dreamstime is one of the big player in stock photography who provide high resolution images at very reasonable price. By Jan. 2012, they have got 4.5 million registered customers, 0.13 million contributing photographers & 13 millions images online. With unique visitors exceeding 11 millions monthly, the agency occupies the third place in stock photography audience and image licensing worldwide. Find more about Dreamstime.
One of the best company who believes in giving more to the photographers for their hard work. They pay almost 60% commission to the contributing photographers & till date they have paid more than $110 million to them. Start selling images on Alamy.
You can reach over 500,000 ShutterStock customers from 150 countries if you submit your photos & even short footages. You can check this earnings schedule if you want to know how much you can earn by selling photos on ShutterStock.
123RF.com is a royalty-free microstock image library, that is also a targeted subscriber and community-based website. The 123RF.com platform gives photographers, illustrators and designers a chance to showcase their photographs, vectors, illustrations and designs, allowing them the space to promote and sell their creations to an international audience. Visit this link to know more about earnings.
Corbis Corporation is a company based in Seattle, Washington that licenses the rights to photographs, footage and other visual media. It has a collection of more than 100 million images and 500,000 video clips.
Corbis offers a single, unified online agreement for all new contributors with a very competitive royalty rates. They don’t charge a “foreign office fee” and provide a simple and transparent royalty calculation for all online agreement holders.
Contributors have 3 options to sell their images. You can choose between Exclusive, Co-Exclusive, and Non-Exclusive representation rights. You can make the highest royalty if you go for exclusive rights but you can’t upload those images anywhere. Find out more FAQs as a contributor on Corbis here.
Gettyimages is different stock photo agency than many of the sites provided above. You will find it tougher to signup & submit photos than other royalty free photo sites. The royalty is much better for the contributing photographers. Check this Getty Images contributor community before signup.
criteria to upload the photos
Once you are on the online photo agency site, you can read their FAQs about the requirement of the photos you upload. Your uploads will get rejected if you don’t follow their criteria & T&C.
Here are some general rules –
- Some websites ask minimum size of photo as 1 MB but some may ask even 4 MB.
- You must take all the photographs at best quality with maximum focus.
- JPEG is the standard format. You may also use other formats like PNG, GIF etc.
- RGB color format
- Some sites accept any type of photos but some have restrictions to some specific topics.
- Aspect ratio must set to normal.
- You must use good quality camera (Some site suggest some specific camera too).
How much can you earn by selling photos?
Your earnings depend on many factors. Some of the factors that can influence your earnings for selling photos are here-
Stock Photography site
Different website pay different commission. Some websites pay as low as 20% of the selling amount & some websites pay as high as 80% of the commission. More is your commission, more mill be your earnings.
But there are chances that you will get more sales on low commission sites as compared to the one with higher commission because of high popularity.
Niche of your photography
Some photos may be high in demand & some in low. Some photos may sell at high price but some photos can sell at low prices only. So you have to find out the trend which is unsaturated, has low competition & which can sell at high price.
Promotion of your seller page
Just by creating a seller account & uploading your photos will not earn you much. You need to promote your seller page so that more people visit your store & buy your photos. There are number of ways you can promote it
- Share your store page on social network sites like Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest etc.
- Social Bookmark the link of your page on famous SB sites like Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon etc.
- Read photography blogs & leave good quality comments.
- Write guest articles on such photography blogs.
- Join photography forums & be active by asking question & replying to questions.
Find out extra 49 tips to promote this.
Quality of photos
High quality photos sell at high price. In order to achieve the highest quality, you must learn the art of photography. If required, you must be able to use Photoshop to give sharpness & other finishing to your photos.
Some of the resources where you can learn photography & Photoshop are-
- Top 100 Photography blogs
- YouTube Channels on Photography
- Photoshop Tutorial
- Another website to learn Photoshop tricks