Searching for the best Places to Sell Photos Online? or How to Sell Photos Online? You can make money as an Instagrammer or YouTuber by leveraging your creativity and applying it towards the monetisation your talents.
When everyone has an iPhone and can call themselves a photographer, it can be difficult to make it work. Everyone uses some kind of photo editing software then searching for Top Places to Sell Photos Online. For most entrepreneurs who choose to venture into entrepreneurship, success comes down to three simple things:
- Finding your niche
- Building an audience
- Multiple streams of income
This guide will cover some of the basics you need to know about selling photos online. It also includes resources and business ideas that can help you create a photography-based business.
Two Steps to Sell Photos Online
1. Define your niche
Each successful photographer has a consistent style. Consistency is important, regardless of your passion for fashion, travel, cityscapes or nature.
To see more of what interests them, people follow others online. When these expectations are not met, people unfollow others.
If you are looking to sell photos online, you will need to find your niche. This is usually something you discover as you explore which styles and photos appeal to your target audience. You can also use keyword research to assess the demand for specific topics.
Whatsmyserp, a browser extension, shows you the search volume below your Google search. This makes it easy to search for and experiment with popular subjects and angles so you can see what your photos can do.
Just like YouTubers and bloggers, photographers should invest in their audience because it’s what ultimately helps them grow their business and sell their photography online.
You will need to grow your network, regardless of whether you are freelancing or selling prints online.
You can reach a large audience using visual social media platforms such as Instagram and Tumblr that have built-in audiences. There are photo-sharing websites that allow you to connect with other photographers and sell licenses to your photos.
It’s easier to link your accounts across multiple platforms. This is especially useful when you are trying to sell your photos online.
On Instagram, for instance, you can go into
Options > Settings > Linked Accounts to connect Tumblr and Facebook to publish multiple posts in different places.
Hashtagify is a tool that allows you to find relevant hashtags on Instagram to improve the visibility of your photos and increase engagement.
2. Integrate ecommerce into your portfolio
Many photographers have a portfolio site that showcases their work. Clients can then hire them. You can also add ecommerce to your portfolio site, which allows you to accept payments. This will open up many more avenues for monetisation such as selling physical products or services.
You can also offer your services on directories for freelancers like Fiverr and Upwork or apply to become the Shopify expert offering your photography with a decent price usually requires connecting locally as you’ll have to travel for meetings with clients in person.
Top 20 Best Places to Sell Photos Online
Here are 20 websites that offer stock photography and license your images online. Read the best places to sell your photos online.
- Adobe Stock
- Getty Images
- Image Vortex
Licensing is a popular way to sell photos online to publishers, brands and anyone else who may be interested in your photos.
This is the key. It is important to think backwards about how your photos could be used by a publisher or brand. Versatile photos that convey ideas are more popular than photos featuring human subjects.
There are many stock photo websites to choose from:
1. Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock is a great place to sell photos online. Photos you list here can also be found on Fotolia. The 33% commission you earn from the sales of photos through Adobe Stock is yours.
Canva has over 65 million users in 179 countries who use its design tools. This gives contributors a chance to make a living by selling photos, videos, and designs worldwide. It allows you to build your portfolio and make money each time your work is used by others.
Crestock pays contributors 20-40% commission rates depending on how many downloads they receive. You can also earn money through their affiliate programs.
Depositphotos bases its commissions on contributors’ experience on the platform and their status, as well the resolution and type of licence. The commission range is 34-42%.
Dreamstime is an online stock photo site that offers generous payouts to contributors. They do require more commitment. You have to maintain a minimum 70% portfolio on the site for at most six months. Non-exclusive contributors make 25-50% and exclusive photos earn 27.5-55%. Referrals can also be made on both the buyer and contributor sides.
Adobe Stock purchased Fotolia. It offers two pricing options for customers: Subscription and Pay-As You-Go. Pay-As You-Go customers receive 20-63% commission on photos, while Subscription users earn 33% commission with a minimum guarantee.
Freepik’s home page and its affiliate site Flaticon have more than 32,000,000 users each month. It is an excellent site to make money. Payouts are based on the number of content downloaded or whether you use the pay-per download method. Freepik receives around 50% of the total amount for your content downloads.
8. Getty Images
Getty Images is at the top of stock photography websites and attracts publishers and brands looking for exclusive images or high-quality images. Contributors are expected to have higher standards than other stock photo sites. GettyImages.com rates begin at 20% for photos licensed.
9. Image Vortex
Image Vortex does not require exclusivity. You can also sell your photos to other sites. Commission rates are 70% and you can set your own prices.
Getty Images owns iStock, a micro-stock website. Depending on whether the photos were exclusive or not, the commission ranges between 25% and 45%.
PhotosofIndia can help you sell stock photos including images, videos, or graphics. It has its own photographers and partners with international photographers to help you sell stock photos. It also has a lot foreign buyers who are looking for images of India’s art and culture.
Picxy is another platform that allows you to sell photos online. You must publish at least 20 photos before you can earn. You can earn 20% from the platform by submitting photos.
What’s more? You can even earn INR 10 for every contributor who joins through your referral link and uploads photos.
Shutterstock is a microstock site that allows you to upload photos at a lower price and are not exclusive. The best way to increase your downloads is to contribute large quantities of images that can be used in visual metaphors. Although you won’t make as much, it is a great place to start if your goal is to make a living. The payouts are determined by your earnings over time, and can range from 20% to 30%. Affiliate programs are also available. Referring new customers or photographers can help you earn extra money.
Snapwire lets you make money by selling photos via its mobile app. Snapwire offers two options: earn through contests or build your portfolio. You can create your portfolio online and sell your photos directly to clients or users. When someone purchases your images, they credit your account immediately.
Contests are another way to make money on the platform. Clients place requests via the app with details about the type of image they want and the deadline for the contest.
Stocksy is a popular stock photography site for publishers. Stocksy has higher standards and requires exclusive images. However, it pays a generous 50-75% Commission.
Getty Images has Thinkstock, a portal that caters to Indian photographers and graphic designers. High-quality photos can be sold and photographers can also benefit from the customised packages.
Unsplash does not pay for clicks. However, it allows you to network with other members of the community and helps you connect with people who are interested in your portfolio.
Enable the Messaging feature to allow interested parties to connect with you via email. You can also integrate your UPI ID into your profile’s website field.
Vecteezy lets you submit photos under a Free license. This program pays for every download. Submitting resources under their Pro license can help you earn even more.
Another stock photo platform pays contributors based upon the number of downloaded photos and purchases. The commissions can range from 30% up to 60%.
500px is more than a stock photography site. It’s also a community-based platform that supports photographers. Follow other photographers and list your photos on their marketplace. You can also participate in Photo Quest competitions to win prizes. There are many creative and stunning shots in the community. Exclusive photos receive a 30% commission, while exclusive photos get 60%.
How to sell photo prints, products and photo books
Your work is not only desired by brands and publishers. Individuals often like wildlife photos that are nature-centric, so getting a digital copy is not an option.
You can sell these souvenirs by printing your photos on products like wall-arts and stationery. They can also own your photos in other ways, such as a pillow or simple framed print.
You might now be curious about how you will print your photos on physical products.
Selling your physical products can be a lot easier than you might think.
How to sell photographic prints and other products
Many sites offer the ability to upload photos and make them available for sale as prints on paper, or as physical products such as calendars, mugs, and T-shirts.
- The Real Print
- The 3D Printing Store
- Instaproofs (pulls photos from your Instagram feed into an instaproof)
Printful or a local lab can ship prints. Printful also offers dropshipping of a variety of products, including phone cases, pillows and other accessories, featuring your photos.
To ensure that your photos are of the same quality as the product, order samples.
You can print photos or sell products using many other websites and tools.
How to make photo books from your pictures
Also, you can learn how to sell photos by creating photo books from your photos and then selling them online.
Another product that is based on photography, photo books, can be used to complement any coffee table. A photo book that is based on a compelling theme will be more successful if it’s more niche-oriented and consistent.
To create, print and ship your items on demand, you can use services like Photovatika or ProLab, Kultureshop or Photojaanic.
Print-on-demand is not the most profitable way to generate demand for your products. However, it’s an excellent risk-free method to determine whether you want to invest upfront.
Glossary of legal terms to help you sell photos online
- Use editorially:- Permission to be published in newspapers, magazines, blogs and other publications
- Commercial use:- Permission for use in advertising and marketing to promote a product/service.
- Retail use:- Permission to use the photo in a physical product for retail use. Prints, posters, and any products featuring the photo (pillows or mugs etc.) are all examples. Although it is sometimes discussed in the same context of commercial use, it should be treated separately.
- Exclusive:- This means that only you can purchase the license for the photo.
- Non-exclusive:- Photo licences that are not exclusive can be bought and used by anyone. They usually cost less than exclusive licenses.
- Public domain:- Does not contain any restrictions or copyright claims. It can be used commercially, editorially, and personally.
- Creative Commons:- You can use your work as long as you comply with the restrictions. Sometimes, credit must be given to the creator. To get a free badge, visit Creative Commons.
- Royalty-free:- Anyone can purchase a license and the photo can be used for an unlimited amount of time and for a lifetime. These photos are non-exclusive and therefore the most popular type of license.
- Rights-managed:- You can purchase a one-time license to use the photo, but there are restrictions on distribution. Additional licenses are required for further use.
- Right of publicity:- Subjects in your photos have certain rights regarding their inclusion in your photography. This is especially true when it involves commercial use, such as when you sell online photos. This is an entirely separate issue from copyright concerns. To be sure, you will need to seek the permission of the subject.
How to respond if your photos are stolen
Content theft is common and often done unknowingly.
Photographers watermark images online to protect them from theft. You can either use a Watermark Generator or Photoshop to create your own identifying mark for your photos when you sell them or share them.
A smaller watermark in the corner lets others still enjoy your photo. However, a larger tiled watermark with less opacity provides the best protection against theft.
What do you do if they decide to use your photos anyway?
You can choose to take legal action against the perpetrator or send an invoice to the culprit for the use of your photo. Combining both of these options will be most effective in persuading perpetrators. They can choose to ignore legal complications and pay you or take down the photo.
You should at the very minimum try to get other people to credit you when they borrow your work, especially if it is for editorial purposes. Links back to your portfolio website are great for driving traffic to other works, as well as for search engine optimization and improving your ranking in Google search results.
Turning your passion into profit
You have many options when it comes selling photos online, whether you are a hobbyist, a side hustle or a full-time entrepreneur.
Your ability to work hard and your talent will determine your earning potential. However, the income you earn from doing what you love is the most rewarding and lucrative.