How To Create A Sellable Photography Collection

By | 29/12/2022

This guide will explore some of the things you should know well-nigh how to sell your photography online, with resource and business ideas to help you observe the best way to sell photos online. We besides listing some online selling sites where you tin can list your photos.

The ability to make coin online as a photographer by selling your photos online, like a YouTuber or an Instagrammer, is all nigh harnessing the inventiveness at the centre of your work and applying it to the monetization of your talents.

It tin can seem hard to make it when anyone with the newest iPhone can call themselves a photographer and everyone is using some sort of free photo editing software. Just success for most creators who plough to entrepreneurship comes downwards to 3 things:

  1. Finding your niche
  2. Edifice an audience
  3. Creating several streams of passive income

All-time places to sell photos online

To showtime, hither are 18 best places to sell or license images and photos online:

  1. Alamy
  2. 500px
  3. SmugMug Pro
  4. Shutterstock
  5. iStock Photo
  6. Etsy
  7. Getty Images
  8. Stocksy
  9. Tin can Stock Photograph
  10. Adobe Stock
  11. Twenty20
  12. Depositphotos
  13. Dreamstime
  14. EyeEm
  15. 123RF
  16. Foap
  17. Zenfolio
  18. Pixieset

Licensing is one of the nearly popular ways to “sell” your photos online to brands, publishers, or anyone who might have an interest in using your photos for their ain purposes.

And that’s the key here. Y’all need to piece of work backward and call up about how your photos can be used by a brand or publisher. Versatile photos that express ideas tend to be popular, peculiarly when they feature human subjects.

There are a lot of stock photo sites to cull from. Let’south look at the top places to sell photos online:

1. Alamy

Alamy website

Alamy sports the world’s most diverse stock photograph drove, with over 215 million stock images, vectors, videos, and 360-degree panoramic images. You can sell annihilation from everyday images to specific niches. The platform has more than threescore,000 contributors worldwide and over 110,000 buyers. It besides offers an app, Stockimo, where you can sell iPhone photos and earn extra cash from your selfies.

Alamy pays contributors monthly and has a straightforward payment structure. If your images are exclusive with Alamy, you receive 50% of direct sales. Images not exclusive to Alamy receive 40% of all direct sales. In that location are besides no long-term contracts with Alamy.

2. 500px

500px website

500px Licensing (formerly 500px Prime) hosts millions of photographers selling photos online through its stock photography site, 500px. Its distribution partners serve over one 1000000 customers around the earth and are the go-to pick for creative content. All content submitted to the site is royalty free, meaning it’s licensed for unlimited, perpetual use, and pricing is based on file size.

500px is also a community-based platform for amateur and professional photographers. You tin follow other photographers, list your photos in their marketplace, and participate in Photo Quest competitions for prizes. You can earn up to sixty% royalties on exclusive pictures and a 30% commission payout for non-exclusive photos.

Getting started is simple. All you have to do is create an account, submit your photos, authorize your store, and make full out the forms for each paradigm, including model and liability releases—and so starting time selling!

3. SmugMug Pro

SmugMug Pro

Whether you lot’re a new photographer or an established pro, SmugMug can aid sell your photos online with a beautiful portfolio, sales platform, and tools to assist y’all grow. SmugMug lets y’all keep 85% of the profit between the price you set and SmugMug’southward default print prices.

Say you sell a 5×7 impress for $ten.79. If the SmugMug default price is $0.79, the markup for that print is $10. In this case, you lot keep $8.l as profit. However, yous’ll need to sign upward for a monthly membership, which costs, at minimum, $200 per year on the Portfolio plan, though the program gives you access to tons of ecommerce tools to help sell photos online.

iv. Shutterstock


Considered the easiest way to sell photos online for some, Shutterstock is a leading stock photography website for selling photos online. The platform has paid out over a billion dollars to its community in the past 15 years, and information technology can get your photos seen by millions of customers.

Shutterstock is considered a micro-stock site, where photos are cheaper and not-exclusive, and the principal way to increase downloads is by contributing a large quantity of images that can exist used as visual metaphors. Don’t expect to earn as much here, only it’s a expert place if you’re just learning how to sell stock photos.

Payouts are based on your earnings over time and range from 20% to 30%. There’s besides an affiliate program where yous can earn additional money if y’all refer new photographers or customers.

five. iStock Photo

iStock Photo

iStock Photograph is the micro-stock offshoot of by Getty Images. The major difference betwixt the ii is your photos on iStock are non-exclusive, which means you can sell your photography with other agencies likewise. However, this means you earn a much lower committee than sectional photos. Commission ranges from xv% to 45%, depending on whether the photos are sectional or not-sectional.

The current exclusivity rates, according to parent company Getty, are as follows:

Royalty payments for iStockPhotos

half-dozen. Etsy


If you want to sell photos online, opening upwardly an Etsy photography store may be a great selection for y’all. It’s easy to get started: you tin sell prints rapidly, and the fee structure benefits both professional and beginner photographers. Etsy takes only 5% of the transaction price, which includes the shipping cost yous set. If y’all take payments through Etsy Payments, it too collects a 3% + $0.25 payment-processing fee after a impress is sold.

The difference between Etsy and other places to sell photos online is that most people won’t come searching for stock images. You’ll want to invest in designs and in marketing your Etsy shop to get the almost out of the platform. However, with a small-scale cut from each sale, it may be worth your free energy.

If you desire to learn more than most how to sell photos on Etsy, read this guide.

7. Getty Images

Getty Images

Getty Images is on the higher finish of stock photography sites. It attracts brands and publishers looking for high-quality or hard-to-find sectional images to license. The platform, forth with its microstock site, iStock, reaches over one.5 million customers around the world.

The standards for how to sell your photography online here every bit a contributor are predictably higher than many other stock photograph sites. All the same, the rates for photos licensed through Getty Images start at 20% and can reach every bit high as 45%.

8. Stocksy


Stocksy is a popular mid-range stock photography site, the best manner to sell photos online for many publishers and creatives. Becoming a Stocksy correspondent offers loftier payouts—photographers tin earn a 50% royalty on standard licenses and a 75% royalty on extended licenses—only all photos are 100% exclusive, which ways you can’t reuse them on other stock photo websites.

Stocksy is also an artist-endemic cooperative, which means you get part ownership of the business concern and tin help command information technology’s direction. Contributors can too receive turn a profit-sharing in the course of patronage returns when the co-op has a surplus. Amounts are adamant based on your contributions to the co-op through the sale of your photos and/or footage.

If you lot’re interested in selling photos on Stocksy, bank check out its correspondent awarding FAQ.

nine. Can Stock Photo


More than 92,000+ photographers have learned how to sell your photos online with Tin Stock Photo. At that place are diverse payout structures ranging from percentages to fixed amounts, and Can Stock gives you $five for every 50 photos your referral sells. When you sell photos on Can Stock Photo, it also lists your photos for auction on Fotosearch, a stock photography bureau.

10. Adobe Stock


Adobe Stock is i of the all-time places to sell photos online for costless because, when you lot list photos for sale here, they’re besides available on stock site Fotolia. If you already employ the Adobe suite for other creative projects, you tin can add your images, videos, vectors, or illustrations to Adobe Stock straight from Adobe Lightroom CC and Adobe Bridge CC,and through the web.

Selling photos on Adobe Stock, you can reach millions of buyers and proceeds exposure to the earth’south largest creative community within their favorite apps. And you can earn 33% commission on the photos you sell through it.

11. Twenty20


Twenty20 started every bit a tool for Instagram photographers to sell their images to brands. Now it’south a robust stock photography site where you can sell photos online and connect with potential clients. You tin can earn coin three ways:

  • Earning $2 per photo licensed
  • Earning cash prizes from photo challenges
  • Receiving 100% commission from whatever brands hire you for scheduled shoots

With Twenty20, yous tin sell photos on its app or upload to your own website page on the brand’s domain. Either way, it’s a great place to sell pictures online and make money doing what you love.

12. Depositphotos


Depositphotos is a global marketplace for visual content with a library of over 150-million files and clients from more than 200 countries. Depositphotos has over 100,000 contributors from all over the world, and is trusted by leading international companies including Warner Bros., TripAdvisor, Subaru, and more than. Commissions are based on a correspondent’s experience and status on the platform, besides as the resolution and license type, and range between 34% and 42%.

13. Dreamstime


For near 20 years, Dreamstime has provided high-quality images to clients in the creative market place—from independent customers in the private sector to Fortune 500 companies. The stock bureau sports over:

  • 31 million registered members
  • 600,000 contributing photographers
  • 144 1000000 photos, illustrations, cliparts, and vectors
  • 20 million monthly unique monthly website visitors

Dreamstime offers a generous payout to contributors. However, it requires more commitment, so it’s not exactly the easiest way to sell photos online. Y’all must have at to the lowest degree 70% of your portfolio on the site for at to the lowest degree 6 months. Simply non-sectional contributors tin earn 25%–fifty%, and exclusive photos generate a 27.5%–55% commission. You can also earn money for referrals, both on the correspondent and the purchaser side.

14. EyeEm


EyeEm focuses more on advertising stock photography, making information technology one of the best places to sell photos online if you lot’re looking to be in the commercial photography space. You can too get booked for shoots by brands similar Airbnb, Spotify, and other big brands.

Information technology supports a community of more than than 25 meg photographers and videographers from over 150 countries and offers a 50% commission for each photo sold.

15. 123RF


123RF is a big player in the stock photography industry. All content on the platform is non-sectional, so y’all can sell on other websites every bit well. Plus, 123RF will marketplace your photos to over v million buyers across 44 countries and in 17 different languages. Once you get a contributor, you can earn betwixt 30% and threescore% for each license sold.

16. Foap


Foap is divers by its community of over three meg creatives. Whether you want to upload a professional shoot (or try and make money selling photos of yourself!), y’all can apply Foap’s app to sell your photos.

Foap offers contributors a few different ways for how to sell your photography online:

  • $5 for every photo sold
  • $100–$ii,500 for Missions, where brands submit a photo brief and set up a cash prize for winning entries
  • Selling photos online via partner platforms, such every bit Adobe and Alamy

If you want to know the all-time way to sell photos online to brands like KraftHeinz, Nivea, Heineken, and more, Foap is a keen pick for you.

17. Zenfolio


Zenfolio makes selling photos online for beginners and professionals piece of cake. You tin build a website to showcase your work, attract new customers, and sell your photos online. Plus, it offers photography print and digital product options, with a commission fee of seven%. However, you lot accept to have a monthly subscription with Zenfolio, which starts at $5 per month.

xviii. Pixieset


Pixieset offers photographers the consummate package to share, deliver, and sell photos online. With Pixieset, yous tin easily create a beautiful online store to sell photography prints, products, and more with automatic fulfillment.

Pixieset gives y’all full control over your store. All you demand to exercise is set the sale toll for your products and market your photos. It takes a 15% commission for free plans, but 0% on paid plans, which offset at simply $8 per month.

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How to sell photos online: two essential steps

Now that you know where to sell photos online, allow’s talk about how to sell your photos online as a successful and legitimate business.

1. Ascertain your niche

The easiest way to sell photos online at high prices is to specialize in a niche. Every successful photographer has a consistent mode or theme that runs through their work. Whether your thing is travel, fashion, cityscapes, nature, food, etc., consistency is cardinal.

People follow other people online to come across more of whatever it is that interested them in the first place. People unfollow other people when those expectations aren’t met.

Finding your niche if you desire to sell pictures online is typically something you feel your way into as you see which styles and photos resonate with your audience. Just yous can also evaluate the demand for certain topics using keyword research to clarify the search volume for terms related to your photographs.

Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension that shows yous the search volume correct below your Google search, making it easy to find and experiment with in-demand subjects and angles to run into what you can cater to with your photographs.

Keywords Every Pug Pictures search

As a suggestion, anything in a higher place 1,000 average monthly searches is meaning volume to consider capitalizing on.

Photographers learning how to sell your photography online—simply similar bloggers, YouTubers, and artists of any kind—should also invest in building their audiences. That’s ultimately what helps them build their photography business and sell photos online.

Whether yous’re freelancing or selling photography online as prints, the all-time way to sell photos online is to build and leverage your network to expand your reach and brownie.

Visual social platforms with congenital-in audiences like Instagram and Tumblr can assist you reach a wide audience. Simply there are likewise photograph-sharing sites that tin can connect you lot with other photographers, help you tin can build a following and, depending on the platform, sell licenses to use your digital photos (more on that after).

Linking your various accounts makes it easier to manage your photo-sharing beyond several platforms, which is good for visibility of your photographs—especially important when you’re trying to figure out how to sell your photography. On Instagram, for example, you can go to Options > Settings > Linked Accounts to connect Tumblr, Facebook, and more to publish in more than one identify with a single post.

IFTTT is a free tool that can help you create other useful integrations between apps that don’t unremarkably integrate, like Instagram and Dropbox.

On Instagram, you can also use Hashtagify to discover relevant, active hashtags for increasing the visibility of your photographs on the platform and get more likes, comments, and engagement.

2. Integrate ecommerce into your portfolio

Most photographers have a master portfolio site to showcase their work to potential clients. But by adding ecommerce to your site, including the ability to accept payments from PayPal or Shop Pay, you can open up several more than doors for how to sell your photos online, like selling courses, physical products, and services.

Dave Sanford, for instance, has a store that showcases his wild fauna photography, while letting people buy prints and calendars.

Photo product page example
Photography print product page example from

Dave Sanford Photos

The easiest style to sell photos online is to build your portfolio or store on Shopify, install the relevant apps to customize it to your needs and monetization strategies, and outset sharing and selling your photography in different forms, similar social media, ads, or fifty-fifty offline through Shopify POS.

Bank check out some of the Fine art and Photography themes, or choose a free theme to start (you lot tin can always switch later). You lot might as well want to consider calculation more than functionality by installing Shopify apps like Digital Downloads (free), an Instagram gallery, and more.

There are a lot of reasons your own ecommerce site can be the all-time identify to sell photos online, many of which we’ll explore below.

How to sell your photography online equally prints, products, and photo books

It’s not simply brands and publishers who might want your work. Your fans might too.

There are plenty of things to make and sell that your fans tin can potentially ain, whether it’southward equally a uncomplicated framed impress or a pillow. Luckily, selling your ain physical products is a lot simpler than you think.

At that place are many sites and tools where you can upload your photographs and sell your pictures as photo prints on newspaper or physical products, such as mugs, t-shirts, and calendars. Permit’due south wait at some platforms for how to sell your photography online this mode:

  • Fotomoto
  • CafePress
  • Fine Art America
  • Instaproofs (pulls in photos from your Instagram feed)

The best way to sell photos online as physical prints or products is to work with a local photograph lab that ships prints or use a print-on-demand service similar Printful to dropship a wide range of products (prints, phone cases, pillows, and more) featuring your photos.

Pug on a Pillow

Be sure to guild samples outset to ensure the quality of the products match the quality of your photos.

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How to sell photography online every bit photo books

You tin also learn how to sell your photos online by creating photo books with your photographs and selling those online.

Photo books are another physical photography-based product that can complement any java table. The more than niche and consistent your photography is, the more likely you’ll be able to put together a stellar photo volume based around a compelling theme and sell your art online.

The ​​easiest way to sell photos online via this method is by using a service similar Blurb, Lulu xPress, or Shutterfly to create, impress, and ship them on need.

While you won’t go the best margins with print-on-demand services, information technology’south a cracking risk-free manner to test demand for your products earlier you make up one’s mind to invest upfront.

How to sell your photography online as a service

Whether you’re covering events, doing fashion shoots, or getting into production photography, at that place are plenty of concern opportunities to take advantage of the demand for professional photography. Here’due south how to sell your photography online as a service:

While you lot can list your services in freelance directories like Fiverr and Upwork, or apply to exist a Shopify Expert, selling your photography as a service for decent pay usually involves networking locally, since you need to be able to travel to meet clients in person.

Hither are some tips to utilize networking as the best style to sell photos online this mode:

  • E’er have business cards handy—you never know when you might run into a potential client (use our free business card generator to create your own).
  • Tidy up your LinkedIn contour, showcase your piece of work, and optimize it for the main photography service you lot provide (“Event Photographer,” for example).
  • Attend networking events where entrepreneurs and event organizers go—these folks will inevitably have the need for a professional person photographer in the future.
  • Build a personal make as a lensman then y’all’re tiptop of mind when anyone in your network needs your DSLR camera and skills.

Since photographers, different other freelancers, must operate in strict time slots, it’south good to accept a booking platform you lot can employ to let prospective clients meet your schedule and book y’all when you’re available.

Both Setmore and SimplyBook have free plans and features that work well for photographers. Or, if y’all’re using Shopify, y’all tin can install BookThatApp to schedule appointments direct from your site.

Now, permit’s talk about usage rights and protecting your work—the adjacent pace of how to sell your photos online.

A photographer’s legal primer to selling photos online

Figuring out how to sell your photography online can be overwhelming enough. And while rights and licenses related to selling photography may seem a foreign linguistic communication, at that place are some terms and concepts you should know to aid protect yourself from theft and infringing upon others’ rights when selling photos.

This is by no ways a comprehensive listing or a substitute for actual legal advice (I’yard not a lawyer), but it should offer yous broad definitions that volition aid you lot navigate the world of usage rights.

Glossary of legal terms for selling photos online

To brand the legal stuff easier, nosotros’ve highlighted some terms you’ll want to know when selling photos online.

Editorial use.
Permission to use in blogs, newspapers, magazines, and other publications.

Commercial use.
Permission to use in marketing and advertising to promote a product or service.

Retail use.
Permission to utilise in the creation of a physical production to exist sold. This includes prints, posters, and products that feature the photo (pillows, mugs, etc.). Sometimes talked near in the same context as commercial use, but it should be considered separately.

Sectional use means that the one who purchases the license from you is the simply ane who can use the photo.

Non-exclusive photograph licenses tin exist purchased and used past anyone and usually cost less than exclusive ones.

Public domain.
Holds no restrictions or copyright claim and can exist used for commercial, editorial, and personal purposes. Works created by U.s. federal government agencies (such as NASA) more often than not autumn into this category unless otherwise stated.

Creative Commons.
Provisional usage of your work is allowed as long every bit it’s in compliance with the stated restrictions. Attribution to credit the creator is sometimes required. Visit Creative Commons to generate a badge for this license for free.

Royalty free.
Others can purchase a license and use the photo for an unlimited elapsing and unlimited number of times. This is the well-nigh mutual type of license purchased and on the cheaper cease of the spectrum, since these photos are usually non-exclusive.

Rights managed.
A erstwhile license can be purchased to employ the photograph with restrictions regarding distribution. Additional licenses must exist purchased for additional employ.

Right of publicity.
The subjects in your photos are entitled to certain rights when information technology comes to their inclusion in your photography, peculiarly when it comes to commercial apply when you sell photos online. This is a separate business from the copyright considerations higher up and you should seek a subject field’s explicit permission first in order to be safe.

For more in-depth information nigh copyright laws and licensing in the Usa, check out this FAQ to understand the copyright laws that protect your work or expect at any major stock photo site to run across how they define different types of licenses.

What to do if someone steals your photos

Theft is common when it comes to content, and many people do it unknowingly.

It’s common practice for photographers to watermark their images earlier selling them online to offer them at to the lowest degree some layer of protection against theft. If you lot’re going to sell or share your own photos, yous tin can apply identifying mark in Photoshop or apply a watermark generator.

A smaller watermark, often in the corner, all the same lets others enjoy your photo, while a larger tiled watermark with reduced opacity offers the nearly protection against theft.

But what do you lot do if someone decides to steal and utilise your photos anyway? A cease and desist request will commonly work. Or you tin send the culprit an invoice for using your photograph. A combination of the two will likely exist the almost effective at persuading the perpetrator by offering them the pick to either pay you or take the photo downwards.

At the very least, you should always try to get others to credit you whenever they borrow your work, even if it’southward only for editorial purposes. Retrieve that links back to your portfolio site are not only expert for driving traffic back to your other work, but as well practiced for search engine optimization and helping your standing in Google search results.

Turning your photos into profit

Equally you can meet, selling photos is a dandy online business idea. Whether photography is your hobby, your side gig, or your full-time side hustle, at that place are more than avenues than ever before when it comes to selling photos online—information technology just takes a little extra know-how.

Your talent and your determination ultimately decide your earning potential, but the income y’all get from doing what you dear and what you’re good at is some of the best cash you lot’ll ever earn.

Analogy by Eugenia Mello

FAQ: Selling photos online FAQ

What is the best mode to sell photographs?

The best mode to sell photographs online is by selling them every bit stock images for sale on third-political party websites similar iStockPhoto, Dreamstime, Shutterstock, or 123RF. Selling your photos through stock sites is quick, like shooting fish in a barrel, and affordable.

Where tin I sell my photos online for money?

  1. On your ain website
  2. Alamy
  3. 500px
  4. Shutterstock
  5. iStockPhoto
  6. Dreamstime
  7. 123RF
  8. Etsy
  9. Adobe Stock
  10. Depositphotos
  11. EyeEm

How do you make money from stock photography?

A stock photography website, or stock agency, sells high-priced and exclusive images that you lot upload. The bureau licenses individual images to the client and sells them for a set price. So y’all, the photographer, get a royalty payment.


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Originally posted 2022-02-13 02:13:21.