Photographers, like Youtubers or Instagrammers, can also earn money selling their photos online. But for that, they will need to maintain creativity and quality in their works. There are a number of places online where you can sell your photos, but in this article, we are listing the best places to sell photos online.
Stock Photography websites play a significant role in your photography business. They not only provide space to upload and display your photos but also show you the best practices to sell your photos successfully. However, it is quite normal that you are going to face stiff competition from other photographers as the number of content is growing every minute. Below we are introducing you to the 14 most popular stock sites, the royalties paid by them, and other conditions of uploading to these platforms.
Alamy is a British-originated stock photography website that started in 1999. To date, it stocks over 60 million photos and videos. The main reason behind this huge amount of content is that it provides a 50% royalty for each photography it sells. Besides this, you are not bound to sell your photos exclusively on their site, you can choose other platforms too. So this is another reason why people consider this as one of their first choices to sell photos online.
Since the start, Shutterstock has paid out more than $500 billion to its contributors. The photographer still reserves the copyright when he/she uploads a photo to the marketplace. And depending on the size of the photo, it is possible to earn a commission of up to 30% of the selling price. Currently, the payout starts at $0.25 and can reach up to $120 for custom images.
iStock Photo is a partner site of Getty images. If you are a beginner, it would be a great place for you to start with. The site is already popular and has great forums and resources that will help you understand how to sell photos online.
The royalty payment starts with 15% per download and can increase up to 45% for highly popular images. If customers make purchases with their subscription credits, you will only receive 15%. However, if you sell exclusively on iStock, you can get between 22-45%. This rate works on a contract with a 30 day notice period.
Dreamstime is a reputable name in the world of stock photography. Their success comes from the fact that they check all the uploads manually to ensure high-quality standards.
You will receive royalties of 25-50%, once your photos are approved and being sold. However, if you get into the exclusivity contract, you can get up to 60% on all images. You can also get an additional bonus of $0.20 for your first 100 approved photos under this contract.
Can Stock Photo is a good option if you are planning to sell photos online. You will need to submit three photos to the site’s editor and wait for 24 hours before you get approval to start selling.
Can Stock Photo also posts your photos to one of the largest stock images databases, Fotosearch. You can get royalties as much as 50% from the site and can withdraw your money into Paypal once your balance reaches $50. However, if you want a check to be mailed, you will need to wait until it becomes $100.
Adobe Stock is another microstock photography website. It represents over 57 million photos. It offers a royalty of 33 percent for photos and 35 percent for vector arts. You can withdraw the balance from your account once it reaches $25. Adobe Stock is integrated into Adobe Apps, making the photos more noticeable.
Adobe has made it simple for us to upload photos on their site. You do not need to go through the arduous process of tagging all your photos, Adobe’s smart tagging system does the work for you. The better thing is that you can upload your works directly from Adobe Lightroom CC, and Adobe Bridge CC.
Getty Images is one of the most prestigious stock images sites on the list. Brands and publishers can find high-quality or hard-to-find stock images to license on this site. This platform, along with its microstock site, iStock, has more than 1.5 million customers worldwide.
Photographers need to maintain a high standard to sell their photos on this site as a contributor. However, the royalties for photos sold can vary from 20% to 45% on the higher end.
Whether you are an inexperienced photographer or a seasoned pro, SmugMug provides great tools such as a beautiful portfolio and a sales platform to sell your photos online and grow your business. If you buy a subscription, you will be allowed to keep 85% of your revenues from SmugMug printing services such as books, greeting cards, etc. There are also some additional features such as coupons, photo packages, and built-in analytics.
If you photograph for events such as parties, gigs, festivals, and weddings, you can easily sell these photos on Snapped4U. You can also use the money earned from here for a good cause. Snapped4U takes care of a lot of the tasks, so you do not need to worry about order processing, printing, and postage. For photos that are sold for $5 or less, you will have to pay $0.50 for each. However, if the selling price is more than $5, they charge a commission of 10%.
Stocksy is one of the sites that pay the highest amount of royalties to the contributor. You will need to apply with at least 25 photos and some other information about yourself. Once you get accepted, you will be entitled to royalties ranging from 50 to 75 percent.
Stocksy recruits only the highest standard photographers who take only high-resolution images. So before proceeding further, you should make sure that you have all the necessary photography gear you need to capture amazing photos. Also, keep in mind that Stocksy requires exclusivity for your photos.
EyeEm is a platform where you can upload and sell your photos online while retaining the copyrights for yourself. Even better, you can earn 50% royalties for each photo sold.
They have partnerships with other platforms as well. So you will get more exposure for your photos from the partner sites. The more exposure for your photos, the more is the opportunity for you to earn. EyeEm also has a community page from where you can get inspiration from fellow professional photographers.
123RF has more than 110 million photos to date. And, about 100, 000 files are being added every day. Depending on your level of contribution, you may get royalties of either 30% or 60%.
If you upload less than 999 images on the site, you will earn 30%, which is $0.216 per download. However, if you upload more than 1 million images, you will get 60%, which is $0.416 per download.
Etsy has more than 30 million users. So it is a great platform to sell your photos to their huge audience.
Though Etsy is reputed mainly for selling handmade products, you can also sell your photos as physical prints or digital downloads. Most of the products on Etsy are unique and one-off items.
Etsy charges $0.20 for each product you upload on their site and also a 3.5% commission on the selling price. Selling items here can be tough, but they guide you through a handbook about branding and marketing.
Photoshelter is an excellent option if you do not like to sell your photos through stock sites, rather you like your own site. In general, it is a photography-based eCommerce platform that can be integrated easily into any other website. You also get cloud storage for your photos, a built-in shopping cart, drag-and-drop website templates, an intuitive interface, decent SEO (search engine optimization), and several social media integrations.
The benefits of having your own website can be many. For example, you have full control over how your photos will be displayed, and your competitors’ photos do not appear alongside yours. Also, there is a possibility of earning much more than other sites.
But, to avail of all these facilities, you will need to pay a monthly subscription fee. The minimum monthly fee is 10 dollars with the lowest features.
Stock Photography websites are really helpful as they take off the workload from you. All you need to do is just share your portfolio.
You can try our list of best places to sell photos online. You can use most of them without signing an exclusivity contract. That means you can upload the same image to multiple sites and widen your audience.
The payout from a non-stock website can even be better. But you may need to do more work for that purpose. For example, Etsy requires you to print your photos and ship them yourselves. But this usually takes additional time from your end.