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Given the talent and the resources required to take good photos, photography is not everyone’s cup of tea, so why not earn from it? Contradicting a popular belief that photography is just a hobby and cannot earn you a living, it is a good way to fuel your passion and keep you engaged in the financial world.
In the olden times, photographers used to sell their pictures in the local market to earn money in the form of portraits but with the development of technology over the decade the biggest hub is the online marketplace.
Now that we live in a virtual world, selling your artistic snaps online can be a better idea because as a photographer you can connect to buyers globally.
It makes easy for the customer to browse through all your photos and buy them and obviously in this world it is considered professional to have your photos online. Selling photos online have shown to increase sales remarkably.
In my view selling photos online is the best way to portray one’s talent to the world and to turn your passion into earning.
Everyone in the professional world from part-time bloggers to web designers is buying photos online as using any photo can be subject to copyright issues and nowadays with technology you can match photos with the original and these people would not like to be put into legal affairs as this can affect their image negatively.
What Types Of Photos do People Buy?
A delicacy is usually a rare and expensive food item that is considered highly desirable and sophisticated within a given culture, well no one can stop themselves from indulging even in virtual form.
One thing is for sure, people can never get enough of our planet earth and its beautiful appearance.
Photos of different cultures, people are highly sought after, which is why this is one of the best categories for photographers.
Ever wondered what people do in Iceland with all the snow, how about I show you?
Beautiful skylines of great cities are one of the best photos anyone can ask for.
Best Places to sell your photos online
1. Adobe stock
This is a great platform to gain exposure and sell content on one of the world’s largest creative communities. You can easily upload images and auto-tagging saves hours of adding keywords. Every time someone buys your content you can get approximately 33 percent commissions based on the price of the image.
There are no deadlines no bosses telling you what to do, you can upload the photos of your choice anytime.
Alamy has the largest collection of images online, and it also sells images to over 100,000 customers worldwide. You can send any type of pictures and the best part is Alamy does not edit the content, the photos just need to pass through certain quality checks.
It is good for those people who would like to upload photos of many different categories without any risk of their pictures being morphed or edited in any manner possible.
If the image is exclusive to Alamy they give 50% of the direct sales, otherwise, they give you 40% of the total sales contributor.
3. 123 RF
If you are a full-time photographer this is the place for you. 123RF has over 5 million ready buyers, your content will be marketed across 44 countries and in 17 local languages.
Their royalty structure is based on your contribution level, the amount you receive could range from 30% to 6%.
It is easy to upload your content and can connect to a lot of buyers online. The only drawback being required to submit a number of photos before you earn a decent buck.
Smugmug is suitable for new age sellers who want more features. They provide modern design templates optimized for selling, you can use custom themes using your own font, color and many more.
Smugmug Pro is for professional photographers who want to control the way their content is portrayed.
You can set your own price and keep 85% of the makeup. They can make your work look awesome and sell your photos. Well at 15 percent commission they certainly provide a lot.
It is easy and a hassles free way to become a contributor and sell photos on Snaped4U. It is an amazing place for photographers who cover events like wedding, parties, social gatherings, etc.
I would recommend this Snaped4U to those photographers who are beginners and don’t want to spend money from their pocket to get their work online, as there are no registration fees.
Snaped4U retains a sale commission on the photos that sell. 10% or less is charged as commission
Which is lower than many other sites and is beneficial for the photographer.
6. Can Stock Photo
Can Stock Photo is one of the most established microstock agencies. It is simple, fast and easy to become a contributor to Can Stock Photo.
It does not accept editorial images but they offer 50% royalty which is great if you are just starting out, right?
Can Stock Photo is very popular amongst contributors but, one should not expect immediate sales in the start.
Shutterstock is one of the most famous stock imagery sites. They also pay more than other stock imagery sites to the photographers.
Shutterstock has paid over $500 million to their contributors worldwide. It boasts easy to use tools, you can easily submit your content and track your earnings.
You can earn up to 30% of the sale price of your content, with Shutterstock your content can reach each and everyone corner of the world.
8. iStock photos
iStock is one of the biggest sites to sell photos online so if you are interested in selling photos online for a living iStock can be a great platform for you.
It provides a wide market, you can earn up to 45% on each sale.
There are a lot of forums and group discussions on their site which can help photographers figure out what kind of pictures are demanded.
9. 500 PX prime
It is one of the best places to sell photos online. On 500PX Prime the contributor gets approx. 30% of the sale.
You can add tags to make your work get noticed and it is also easy for a buyer to search for the types of photos they need, the only requirement being tags should be relevant to the photo uploaded. The images submitted for sale may not be visible to buyers until they have been reviewed and approved for licensing.
Uploading your work on 500XP Prime can help you gain exposure and achieve your goals.
Esty is a market place to buy unique goods and has proved itself as one of the best platforms for selling all kinds of arts and not just photographs.
It gives exposure to photographers as they provide a lot of printing option such as you can sell your photos on a printed paper or innovate, give customers option to buy t-shirts, mugs, etc. with a printed picture on them.
It is always a good idea to make your art known to the world and with Etsy providing support with different art consumers from around the world, your world just got a whole lot bigger.
Bigstock is fast and easy to use online market place. There are approx. 79 million royalty-free photographs put up by a large number of contributors.
You can attach description and keywords to the content and can change them anytime, it can take up to 72 hours for the changes to be seen.
Contributors receive 30% of the total amount received by Bigstock.
Fotolia i.e acquired by Adobe is famous for their royalty on photos and the share of money given to the contributors.
High ranked contributors can charge more than the base price but if the file is not sold in 180 days its price automatically comes back to the normal price. This feature can help you sell your work easily but like any other investment, their policy needs some tinkering over from the artist’s side.
If you can provide good quality images Crestock just might be the place for you. They are known for their quality control, You can sell all categories of images and uploading your work is simple. They give you a 30% royalty. Uploaded images are not directly added to the collection they go through a process which can take time. Hopefully, they are checking for plagiarism in that time.
14. Tour Photos
If you are a travel photographer this is the place for you. Tour Photos will help you to sell your work to likeminded people.
Ex. If you own a travel company you can upload photos of trips for the public to buy them.
Tour Photos charges 19% to 25% commission on each sale.
You can easily upload photos of your travel hear it provides many features and tools to make your experience as a contributor more comfortable.
It is very easy to work with DepositPhotos one can register as a contributor for free.
This is a good platform for those photographers who believe in themselves. Before uploading images start they need to pass an exam or more likely give a presentation of their skill by showcasing some of their best work. Only after passing this test the contributor can upload their file for sale. Feels like just a good way to level yourself at a global stage.
Clashot is one of the youngest and fastest growing online photobanks on this list.
The contributors can easily upload their files online. This platform is good for people who do not want their work to get polymorphed or plagiarised. All the images uploaded are immediately made available for people to buy. Clashot provides you with the safety of instant market place availability and this, in short, gives you a sense of security about your financial condition.
17. Paid Pictures
Paid Pictures is very different from the sites mentioned in the list. They basically give assignments to registered photographers. They mention what kind of pictures they need, resolution, format, etc. all you have to do is take pictures according to their requirements and email it to them and get paid for it.
If you don’t want to upload images and wait for someone to buy them just register on Paid Photos, it is just like a job without the fixed income.
On Foap it is simple to register and easy to upload images. Foap’s app is where you need to be for uploading images.
The price you get for selling one image is dividing into the two equal halves, well that means Foap takes 50 percent commission.
Plus the price of each photo is $10.
This platform may not be for full-time photographers as they only pay $5 for 1 image and it is not enough to pay the bills but enough to justify for a secondary or a non-primary income.
19. Sell Photos On Your Own Website
Selling photos online on your own website is a good idea as you have total control over the content and price and you don’t have to give a share from the sale to anyone. As you are the owner you can decide how the photos should be displayed.
Plus, it is very easy and cheap to create your own website and you can start your website at just $3.95/month with Bluehost.
And as soon as the website is created you can get started. If you are a photographer you should explore the online market as you can gain exposure, earn money and your content can reach out to people worldwide.
The Bottom Line
Like every other profession in this world, you need patience and perseverance in order to make it. As the internet generation, we do have a huge advantage of global customers but this also comes with its own downsides, for example, more competition. Our only advice to you is to believe in yourself and your art will do the rest.