How to sell photos online
How to make money out of amateur photography.
Taking pictures is a great hobby, as a matter of fact, photography is a great way to earn incomes. Moreover, since cell phones have grown to produce high-quality images, some persons have become amateur photographers: landscapes, animals, faces, or urban scenes are the protagonists on this tendency.
Of course, what is a mere hobby, thanks to the Internet, can become a source of incomes. We are not talking about earning a living (but chances are given). Thus, the extra money can be useful, besides doing something that you love.
How? Very simple: selling your photos on the Internet.
Who needs to buy photos on the web?
- Marketing agencies.
- Content producers.
- Ebook writers.
- Other photographers.
- Graphic designers.
How does the sale of photos online work?
The sale of photographs through the Internet is a reasonably simple process: build your online catalog and start selling your pictures on the best platforms.
To have a successful portfolio, can be harder than you can imagine. If you are prepared to give it a try, go ahead.
The sale of photographs online is the so-called “micro-stock” or through banks of images. This online mode is the focus because once you build your catalog, you have only to wait until the hundreds of people, companies, and agencies that visit these archives on a daily basis, are interested in your photographs and want to buy them.
Some years ago, when a company or organization needed an individual picture to place, they had to hire a photographer to produce the images. If not, to pay a bribe to specialized companies to look for in their catalogs a photograph that complies with the requirements. Today, thanks to microstock agencies, it is possible for a photographer like you to sell images to a large company for its advertisements, a web page, or promotion campaigns.
You register pieces your catalog and these agencies, which act as intermediaries, sell them directly to those interested in acquiring them. It is that simple.
Just do not expect to become a millionaire overnight, none of that. The business is not to sell few photos at a very high price but rather the opposite: sell many of your pictures at a very low price (and in many of the agencies) and create incomes.
Selling your photos on the Internet is easier than you think at first. The platforms that act as intermediaries, in general, work similarly: create a contributor account, upload your photos (in some cases, with prior examination to check their quality) and wait for customers. The platform charges a percentage for its services, which varies from one to another.
In some cases, you can also accept special requests from clients (like “I need photos of a couple having a romantic dinner”) or the platform itself organizes theme contests.
Do you think you could make money with your photos? Take a look at these options, and find the one that best suits you.
Twenty20 is the new name of Instacanvas, and sell them in different formats allowing various hosting services in the cloud. The photos you submit, are reviewed by a group of editors to ensure a minimum level of quality.
Twenty20 also organizes photographic challenges, sometimes sponsored by companies, related to the subjects that most customers are trying to find. The most chosen ones appear in notable listings, while the winner takes a cash prize.
You get 40 % of the price of the photo if a customer has a signature plan, and 32 % if it is an individual photo sale. They pay on PayPal.
Shutterstock is not just a photo download service.
You can upload your visual material as pictures, video clips, and vector drawings and earn some money.
The blog on Shutterstock is plenty of great advice, dedicating tips to make better photos, optimize procedures or find inspiration. You also have a forum, where you share experiences with other photographers.
The payment relies on how much you have won, the type of user who took the photo and the license. You can make a maximum of $120 dollars per image.
DepositPhotos is another stock image service like the one above, which also allows you to create a particular user account to contribute. The material is submitted to check quality. The payment scale is set on the downloads and your level. The margin is between 34% and 42%, and in the photos purchased by subscription, or a fixed price between 30 and 35 cents.
IStockPhoto is a platform where photographers around the world, sell their images to companies and media that need them. If you look forward to generating incomes, be free to join Istock Photo!
You can contribute as much with photos, as with videos or illustrations, passing they make a quality test and check their training manuals. Your benefits are calculated with the downloads of your photos. Exclusive work on Istock Photo makes the incomes increase.
Connects worldwide photographers who want to sell their material, away from the cliches of typical stock photos. Photographic challenges and special requests from customers, make this service unique.
This is a great showcase of your work, allowing users to check your material and choose the ones they like.
The benefits, depending on your use of the platform. Challenges and requests pay 70 %, and for photos in your profile, the incomes are of 50 % of the price. The exact rate relies on the size of the picture, and the way the customer found it: directly on your profile or searching. The copyright of the material is yours.
This is a mobile platform to be used directly from your iPhone, iPad or Android phone. Once Upload the photo from your device, it goes on sale, directly, in the Scoopshot Store.
If a customer uses the image, in an online advertisement as part of the Scoopshot advertising network, you will receive benefits.
Daily photography contests, special requests, and the possibility to respond to available tasks are some of the features Scoopshot present to keep you going. The payments are through PayPal.
Claiming to be the best paying platforms (50-50 out of 90 dollars per image depending on its use), this is another service, in which you can earn money with your photos. They accept any photo on a technical, not editorial quality.
Check the unique program for students (you will get the total price of your images), the mobile version, designed for you to upload the pictures from your iPhone.
More than simply being a platform for selling photos, SmugMug is also offered as a showcase for your photos, to share personal images with your family and friends, or as a copy of Online security of your photos.
Focusing on its application as a sales platform, SmugMug offers the real highest commission (85 %). The platform has a monthly fee of $ 12, but you can try it for free for two weeks to see if it convinces you.
As an original point, SmugMug allows you to sell not only digital downloads of your photos, but also printed copies in various formats: poster, canvas, or framed photograph.
As another service for sell pictures, the standard operation implies a validation before going on sale.
You can also send vector images, video and even audio. Your level as a contributor determines your earnings on credits provided by the purchases. Very similar to Scoopshot. Check the apps.
The platform that encourages the capture and sale of photos directly from your mobile device and the web. The earnings split on 50-50, and the copyright of the image belongs to you.
In EyeEM you will also find the so-called “missions”: distinctive marks to increase your profits, and make your work more outstanding within the community of users of the platform.
Finally, Clashot comes to be a bit like the mobile version of DepositPhotos, the service we mentioned before. It allows you to sell your photos, straight from your phone. It works on iPhone and Android, on reasonable standards of quality.
The percentages of profits, as explained on their website, vary between 50 cents and 80 dollars.
The contributor level and the number of downloads generated create the base of your earnings.
Now, taking pictures could be profitable if you are willing to take a chance: an image worth much more than a thousand words, so, go for the million-dollar picture!