Guide

How to make money selling your photos

Stock photography is a way of selling photos through the building of a library of images rather than a photographer being commissioned to take a particular subject. The stock photography industry has been transformed by the internet. Today it is easier than ever to buy and sell images online. Learn more. Dozens of stock websites have started up in recent years. They all offer non-exclusive contracts so you can upload the same photo to every site. You always keep the copyright to the image and there is no limit to the number of times one image can be sold. Below are reviews to the best four stock websites.

Sell at Shutterstock newShutterstock was the first large scale subscription based stock website. Subscriptions encourage large numbers of sales. It does not take long before you start getting daily sales and it soon adds up. About half the images I upload get accepted. Good reasons are given if a photo is rejected. I found the feedback useful for improving my photography. Sell at Dreamstime newDreamstime began by selling with a “pay as you go” model. Photographers receive more per download, plus an extra 20% if you give them exclusivity. These days all websites offer both means of buying images as they try to increase their market share. All websites also offer some form enhanced license so photographers can earn more money.
BlankSell at Big Stock newBig Stock is the smallest of the four websites. It is also the easiest to get images accepted at, so it could be a good place to start if you are having difficulty getting your foot in the door. In 2009 Big Stock merged with Shutterstock. The move was designed to allow Shutterstock to hit the ground running with a “pay as you go” based stock model to rival iStock and Dreamstime.
BlankSell at iStockphoto newiStockphoto is owned by Getty. Corbis and Getty are the two largest traditional stock photography companies. Between them they dominate the old industry. istockphoto has the highest rank of any micro stock website I have encountered. It also demands the highest standards from contributing photographers. So high in fact that it took me a few attempts to get photos accepted.