January 06, 2021

Being able to make money off your work is a good feeling. Whether it is just for fun or professionally, there are different ways to make money online but selling your photos for money is one of the best. Why?
  1. It allows you to work with big brands.
  2. You get recognized for your talent.
  3. You are doing what you love.
  4. You get to share through your photos; your views on things.

Selling your photos for money can be easy if you know what you are doing. That is why I will be taking you through the process of how to sell your photos for money.

Before you can experience success, you need to consider three important things;

  1. Your Niche
  2. Target Audience
  3. Means of sales

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1.YOUR NICHE; Almost like every content creator, you need to have your style and theme. To be successful in selling your photos for money, you need to be acknowledged for a style. Finding the perfect niche for your photos is very important. You need to pick a niche you relate with and at the same time something high in demand. There are keyword tools to research what niche is in high demand. Researching a niche helps you know how profitable the niche is. A niche with thousands of monthly searches is a very good niche.

2.TARGET AUDIENCE; Just like content creators, photographers need to know who they make their photos for. You need to narrow down your photos to a particular set of people, a particular age group, or a particular sector or industry. Having a precise and concise target audience helps to share your photos easier. These are your customers. You need to know what they want and be able to give exactly that. Whether you are selling your photos or freelancing, you will need to build your audience and extend your popularity and credibility. Online sharing platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr, will help you reach a large range of your target audience.

3. MEANS OF SALES; This is the main part. How do you plan on selling your photos? There are different means of selling your photos for money;

  • Start your website; You can start an E-commerce website just for selling your photos and maybe blog about them once in a while. Starting your website can be seen as a long time investment which will take a lot of effort, time, and a little bit of money. Most of the well-known photographers have a site showcasing their works. They also include the ability to accept payments from PayPal or any other popular credit cards like Mastercard, Visa... This method can open a wide door and means of monetizing your content. You can also create a storefront with Shopify to avoid most of the hassle of building a website.

  • Online Store; several online stores accept the sales of digital prints. eBay, Etsy amongst others allows you to create an online shop on their platform to sell your digital prints.

What do you need to set up your Esty online store;

  1. Create an Esty account
  2. Set up your shop preferences.
  3. Choose your shop name
  4. Upload your photographs
  5. Set up billing
  6. Customize your shop
  7. Start selling.

  • Online website; These are sites created specifically to outsource quality photos whether for your projects, websites, or campaigns. The great thing about these sites is you can upload your photos and sell for money. But before signing up for any of these sites you need to read their terms of use properly. Do you want your purchased photos to be used for commercial use like on merchandise? You need to make sure your photos are well protected and you are in no way entering an agreement you do not understand. I will be sharing some of the legal terms associated with the sales of photos. Do make sure to read to the end.


These are the 10 best websites to sell or license your photos for money;

  1.  Snapwire; 

Snapwire is a platform that allows users (photographers) to take creative photos and videos at the request of whether a brand, small business, or even individuals. Snapwire is a new platform founded in 2014 so they are not well-grounded like the others but it is a great platform to join.  Snapwire is a professional platform.


It encourages, users, to skill up and do better. it is also a competitive platform. if you don't like a little competition then you should scroll. The amount earned is not fixed, it all depends on how many gigs you get. You can also download the app to make money.


2. Foap; 

Compared to Snapwire, Foap is a more friendly platform for casual photographers. Foap has a community of 3 million creatives. Foap has an application for android and ios phones, that you can use to sell your photos.


For every project carried out with  Foap, you have a 50/50 agreement. Meaning Foap gets half of every money you make with the app. Foap also works with big brands like Nivea, Heineken, Mandel & so much more.

3. Alamy; 

Alamy is another great platform with over 215 million stock photos and over 60,000 buyers. with Alamy, you earn up to 50% of each sale made. The great part about Alamy is if you register as a student you get to earn 100% of each sale made for two years. Alamy is a great and straightforward site.


4. Twenty20; 

Twenty20 is a great platform to sell your photos for money. It has about 300,000 photographers in the real world and about 50 million crowdsourced photos.


In Twenty20 you earn 100% of the commissioned amount from winning Editor's pick in photo challenges and a commission on sales from subscription plans calculated with subscriber share. They're also great photo challenges you can join to earn extra cash. In Twenty20 you receive payment through Paypal.  


 5. Can Stock Photos;

This is another popular site to sell your photos for money. Can stock photos pay a good commission for every of your photo sold and they also have a good payout schedule. You will also not be charged for uploading photos and it also free to signup.


You can make extra cash by referring to similar photographers like yourself and make extra 5$ dollar for every fifty images sold. another added bonus is your photos automatically get added to Fotosearch giving you maximum exposure and a wide door to make extra money. Join their community of over 95,000 photographers!


 6. i Stock;

i Stock is a subsidiary photography company under Getty images. It is a great place to sell your photos as it is trusted and popular. i Stock has about 200,000 contributors serving up to 1.5 million customers.


If you plan on applying for i Stock by Getty images you need to be 18 and above and follow their detailed guideline on how to apply. With i Stock you can earn up to 45% of your commission which depends whether your photos are exclusive or not. Another great way to earn money is by referring other photographers. 


7. Getty Images; 

Getty Images is a high earned photography site to find exclusive images. Getty Images have been in existence for over 25 years. This website is used mostly by bing brands looking for high-quality images. 


Getting accepted by Getty images is extremely difficult compared to other sites and you get to earn up to 45% of each commission made. You get to earn extra cash by referring to similar photographers like yourself through affiliate links.


 8. Stocksy;


Stocksy is a popular photography site. It offers contributors high payouts and you can also earn up to 75% of a commission photo. Stocksy is an all exclusive site which means your uploaded images can not be reused in other sites.

9. Adobe Stock;

Adobe Stock is one of the best places to sell your photos. For every photo, you upload it also gets exposure through sites like Fotolia. You can upload your images through your Adobe id or connect to your adobe lightroom to upload your photos faster and save time. You earn up to 33% royalties for every photo you sell.

10. Dreamstime;

Dreamstime has been in existence for over 20 years and has been providing quality photos to over 31 million registered members. Dreamstime works with well-known brands like Samsung, hp, Walmart and others. With Dreamstime, you earn up to 55% which depends on your agreement with them. You can also earn money by referring to photographers. Dreamstime has an app you can install and upload pictures on the go!



 List of commonly used legal terms in selling your photos;

  1. Editorial use only; this means the photo cannot be used for commercial advertising purposes.
  2. Commercial use; This means the photos can be used on merchandise, branding, advertisement and other profit-making ventures.
  3. Non-exclusive; Non-exclusive photo licenses can be purchased and used by anyone and usually cost less than exclusive ones.
  4. Public domain;  This means the photo holds no restrictions or copyright claim and can be used for commercial, editorial, and personal purposes. 
  5. Royalty-free; This means a photo can be used without having to pay royalties.
  6. Right of publicity; The right of publicity is an intellectual property right that protects against the misappropriation of a person's name, likeness, or other indication of personal identity such as nickname, pseudonym, voice, signature, likeness, or photograph for commercial benefit.

I hope this article was helpful enough. If you have other great sites to sell photos, leave a comment.

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  1. Very interesting I have travel photos I want to use for this

  2. I am happy to hear you enjoyed this article. Good luck selling your travel photos and do read their conditions properly. Enjoy your day.

  3. Awesome guide, I would start with Fine Art America or Etsy.
    Thanks for the ideas..


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