Who wouldn’t want to earn money by selling their photos online? Let’s take a look at how and where you can start selling your photos online in 2019.
Over 33% of the world’s population owns a smartphone, which means that essentially the same number of people now have access to the internet.
The internet has made communication easier than ever before, united the whole world, and created the archetype of the information exchange.
The internet has also made it easier than ever for photographers all over the world to not only share but also monetize their work.
But, where do you start? Let’s take a look at the best websites you can use to start selling your photos…
Table of Contents
Selling photos on your own website
I think it’s best to start with our personal favorite – WordPress.
WordPress is a great option for photographers that are confident that they want to retain control over their own images and brand. With the repository housing around 30,000 plugins, it’s easier than ever to set up a store to sell your own work without sacrificing the prestige of your brand by selling on other stock photography websites.
Although some might argue that it takes far too long to set a website up a WordPress website, most will find that it is really easy and quick to get started, and even for those who do find it difficult, it’s definitely worth it in the end.
Selling your photos on your own website might be more difficult unless you are already fairly well-known and have built up a community around your work.
Most big businesses and individuals will prefer to purchase images on stock photography websites which they know is 100% reliable and secure.
But the advantages of selling your work on your own website are:
You can set your own competitive prices.
Nobody else takes a cut from the sale of your work.
You have full control over how your work is displayed.
You can define your own terms and conditions.
And, once again – you’re in full, total control.
Whether your equipment consists of a top of the line DSLR camera or the latest smartphone, 500px is worth checking out. Even if you only sign up for the free subscription, you will be able to license and monetize your photos in their community with over 13 million members and growing.
The paid membership plans include such perks as advertising your services so you can find more opportunities to make money and an Adobe CC plan. For smartphone users, 500px has an Android and iPhone app so you can snap pictures and upload them on the go.
You’ll be pleased to hear that getting started with 500px is as easy as logging into Gmail. Once you’ve created an account with them you’ll immediately be able to start uploading and sharing your work to make some money!
Foap has been featured in ABC News as being a profitable app for photo selling. Users make 50% of the profits from Foap even when big brands, such as Sony and MasterCard buy their photos.
The way that Foap works is particularly interesting when compared to the other regular stock photography websites in the rest of this post. Foap defines themselves as a customized visual-content platform powered by creatives for creative professionals. But what does that actually mean?
Like mentioned above, Foap really isn’t a regular stock photography website. The process looks like outlined below:
A brand looking for the perfect photo would turn to Foap and send them their brief which details the tone, aesthetics and target audience.
Photographers can then compete in what Foap interestingly calls Missions.
Submitting a photo or video to one of Foap’s missions is the easiest way to make the most money out of selling your creative work. All you need to do is produce a photo that matches that of the described Mission brief to satisfy the requirements and the kind of imagery that the brand is looking for. With Missions, just one photo has the potential to make hundreds of dollars.
Whether you are a photographer or a company looking for photo or video content, Foap customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day, all year round.
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Adobe Stock has been around for about 10 years. It not only has credibility of being the makers of the most popular photo editing software on the market, but any photos that are uploaded to the marketplace are easily accessible in other Adobe products. This increases the visibility of your work as it can become easily accessible from within their Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop or Illustrator software.
The freedom you are given when you choose to sell your creative work on Adobe Stock is incredible.
You can even sell your photos elsewhere since Adobe Stock does not require that you give them exclusive selling rights. And above all, profits are usually between 20% and 60%.
If you think what you have as it takes as a photographer, don’t hold back. It’s time to turn your passion into profit.
Just as you’d hope, setting up an account as an Adobe Stock contributor is just as easy as logging in with your existing Adobe ID or creating a new one.
The only disadvantage of joining the Adobe Stock network as a contributor is that you will be competing with some of the world’s most talented photographers. This means it’s going to require a lot of hard work to get people to pay attention to your creative work.
Shutterstock is the most popular stock photography website and has been for over 15 years. They not only have millions of images but also have videos, music tracks that and most importantly millions of purchasing customers.
According to their website over $500 million in payouts to their contributors have been fulfilled. Which means, as a creator, you can earn a significant amount of money by selling your work on the Shutterstock marketplace in the long run.
On top of that, Shutterstock allows you to retain the copyright of your images which means you do still get some control. Furthermore, they also provide credit to the image’s owners, which is a huge benefit if you’re trying to build a brand around your creative work.
Contributors can earn anywhere between 20-30% based on how many times your content has been downloaded by their customers at the end of each month.
The fact that Shutterstock is quite well known in the industry might not necessarily be a good thing. Stock photography sites that are quite popular are notorious for making it more difficult for new, aspiring photographers to actually make some money.
Publishing and selling your work on the Shutterstock marketplace does not limit you to exclusively selling through their network – so it’s definitely still worth giving it a try…
Alamy is another great place to start selling your stock photos online right away without subjecting yourself to any complicated rules. Although the Alamy network may not be as popular as Shutterstock and Adobe Stock which means it won’t have as many customers – it is certainly still worth considering.
At the time of writing, Alamy has made up to $180 million in payouts to their contributing photographers which is absolutely incredible. Alamy is one of the most well-known places for photographers to sell their images because you actually make a surprising 50% on each sale…
Selling your photos online – conclusion.
It’s important to keep in mind that the customers that you’re targeting when selling your stock photography or creative work are bloggers and small to medium-sized business owners.
Here are the types of most commonly purchased images:
- People working (on computers etc.)
- Food (i.e. people are trying to make others hungry)
- Tools (i.e. hammers, gears, and screws)
- Cities (i.e. cityscapes, buildings, and people)
- Nature photography (i.e. landscapes, animals etc)
- Travel (i.e. photos from interesting places around the world are always in-demand)
One great way to see whether the stock photography website you’re thinking of selling your work on is right for you is to browse through their most popular categories to check whether it aligns with your work or work that you think you’re able to produce.We hope that this guide has made it easier for you to decide where to start selling your photos online to make money!