How to Sell Photos Online for Cash

5 Perfect Sites to Sell Photos Online


On these days who does not take many pictures with his phones? Many, right? And this is because the quality of the photos that can be taken with our phones is almost equal to that of a professional camera. This is the reason we have all become fans of photography, and we have taken out the photographer that we all have inside.

If you are one of those people who have thousands of photos on their phones and some of them are so good that it seems they were taken by a professional, maybe you should consider putting them on sale on the internet, someone might be interested in buying.

How to sell photos online


How is this?
Well, there are some websites where you can upload your photos for sale to different companies, or bloggers who are looking for original pics for their blogs.
Those sites may work in two different ways, they might work on a commission per sale or by buying you the photo in a specific price, but you lose the pic rights, this is the reason you have to read their terms carefully before uploading any photo.

How to make Money selling photos online



Where and How to sell photos Online

1. 500px 

500px is a perfect site to grow as a photographer if you are already one but if you are not but you are passioned about it, you could be soon an expert since it offers new technical and aesthetics skills to take better photos resulting in the opportunity of selling more photos, which mean more money!

All you need to do is signing up as a Market contributor and start uploading your photos and fill out some forms depending on the type of photo (e.g. model release, liability release). Once you upload your photos you have two type of license to sell your images; One is The exclusive license and The non-exclusive license.
The exclusive license means that only 500px market can license the image and you cannot license the same photo to any other market. The photographer will earn 60% of net sales.

Non-exclusive license. You must choose this license if your image has been authorized in the past, or if you want it to be available for commercial licenses through other providers or agencies. Submitting these photos, you will earn 30% net of any non-exclusive license purchase.

See the different photo prices.


2. Shutterstock

Contributing images to Shutterstock is free, and you will retain the copyright to your work. Here at Shutterstock you not only sell photos, but you can also sell footage, vectors, and illustrations. So if you have other creative skills besides photography, like creating music or graphic design, you may want to visit this page. 

About the prices per photo is a little difficult to explain because as this varies according to the membership that the buyer has with Shutterstock. But here I mention some examples of how much you can make:

Monthly basis subscription. Shutterstock will initially pay you 25 cents every time one of your images is downloaded, increasing to 33 cents, 36 cents and 38 cents per download as you reach $500, $3,000 and $10,000 respectively.

On Demand Plan: On Demand starts at $1.88 per image download, while a “Small & Medium JPG Sizes Only” plan starts at 81 cents per image download. Both increase once you reach the earnings mentioned before.

Single & Other: For single images, test products, and new products involving per-image sales, you can earn up to 30% of the sale price.

But selling your photos is not the only way you can make money with Shutterstock since they have a referral earnings program. When you refer a customer to Shutterstock, you will earn 20% of the first payment.  



3. iStockphoto

iStockphoto is a popular site to sell photos, illustration, and video clips. iStockphoto is a company with 1.5 million customers in more than 200 countries, so you have more opportunity that your pics are seen.

On the other hand, this means that the opportunity for your photos to be purchased is much greater as the site offers good quality photos to their customers.

There are two royalty rates which depend on the type of license of your files made through credits or subscription on Non-exclusive license 15% flat rate and for the exclusive license start at 25% up to 45%.

Not sure that your photos are good enough? Give yourself the opportunity to apply and wait to see what the iStockphoto team says.


4. Snapwire

It is a cool platform that connects the photographers with big brands, small business or to anyone who is looking for original photos. This site gives you more opportunities to sell your photos than other sites. This is because you can sell your images by downloading them to your profile, after that Snapwire may add any of your photos to their marketplace where many buyers come every day looking for a perfect pic!

Another way you may make money with your pictures is by taking some of the challenges they have. These challenges are requested by buyers looking for a specific photo, choosing at the end the most original and creative picture to buy it. The winner could make a lot of money for that picture. It sounds fun, right? One more thing, if you do not win, your photo may go to the marketplace where can be bought it anytime for other marketers.

The earning of a photo purchased by winning a challenge is the 70% of the purchase, but if your photo is purchased from your profile or marketplace, you will earn 50% of that sale.


5. Alamy

Alamy describes herself as one of the fairest, transparent and easy sites to work with them selling your photos. They are non-exclusive and don’t tie you to a long term contract. They offer 50% of the sale price. They have paid more than 165 million dollars to their taxpayers, which means that they are popular among the buyers of images. For me, it seems like a great option to sell pictures. Another reason to sign to Alamy is that you do not have to do anything else than filling out a form with your personal information and start uploading your photos to earn money.


Do you find this article helpful? Let me know what you think or any other comment, all your comments are well received and very grateful as always :).


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4 thoughts on “How to Sell Photos Online for Cash”

  1. Paula Allevato

    Hello, Darmendra! I´ve really liked your website and this article! I love taking pictures and I always thought about selling my pictures, in order to get some revenue from them (actually I really like my pictures too, so I think it would make sucess).

    Have you ever tried one of these plataforms? Do you have more specific tips, like the kind of picture they use to prefer (if it´s a landscape picture, or people´s pictures). I´d like to know more about it.

    Thanks and congrats for your website!

    1. Hi Paula, thanks for your comments, it make me happy to know you like my website and the article 🙂

      If I have tried some of these platforms the answer is yes, I am already using 500px, and I like it so far. I am a member since a few weeks ago, but I have learned a lot about pictures from other photographers and for Free!

      About your question of what kind of pictures they prefer the answer is any kind, there are different categories where you can upload photos. But something I learned recently is that people’s pics are the most looking these days by bloggers.

      I hope I’ve answered your questions and you decide to try one of these sites, you will enjoy it if you love the photography like me.

      Have a great day!

  2. Hi, and thank you for a very interesting and informative website.
    I love taking photographs and was thrilled to see that there are so many sites I might visit where I could possibly sell my photies.
    Was there a reason that you chose 500px ? Have you sold any pics yet, Pedia ? Suppose like everything, it takes time to get recognized ?
    Thank you for sharing your site, I’m going to investigate further.

    1. Darmendra Singh

      Hi Roy, 

      Thanks for your comments and glad you like my post 🙂 I do not have a particular reason why I chose 500px, guess it was so easy when I navigated on the site and easy to upload photos that I decided to stay on this site. And about if I have sold any of my pics the answer is no, but the reason is that right now I am not really trying to sell my photos. What I am doing is learning more about photography from others photographers here at 500px. I enjoy watching others job. You can find beautiful pics and more ideas for your pics. 

      Good luck with your pics if you decide to try some of these websites for selling them 😉

      Cheers,                                                                                                                                                        Darmendra.

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