Where To Sell your Photos Online
If you are a photography student or keen photographer, there are ways to make a little money out of your work if you would like to. Like many things, the internet provides a useful avenue for making money if you know what you’re doing and choose your outlets carefully. That’s what this post is all about, giving you the information to sell your photos online.
There are two main types of photographs that make money. Those that you can sell as art or stock photographs or those capturing incidents or situations that make the news. For the beginner or hobbyist, stock photography is probably the best way to go. The latter type involves a lot of hard work and unpopularity!
What kind of images sell?
The good thing about selling photos for stock images is that the subjects can literally be anything. The bad thing about selling photos as stock images is that there are already millions of them out there and they don’t pay that much. You’re not going to get rich at first, but then nobody does when they first start out on any venture.
The specific types of images that sell include cityscapes, landscapes, nature, animals, people, everyday situations, work situations, emergencies and objects. Anything that could be used on a website or in a brochure, leaflet, flyer or whatever will make good stock images as that is where your main audience lies.
Where to sell your photos
The best places to sell your photos, at least in the beginning, are stock image websites. They don’t pay much and there is a lot of competition but it is passive income once you get a decent amount of material on the sites. Here are a few stock image websites worth checking out.
Fotolia is one of the largest stock image websites on the internet. Pay isn’t exactly generous, from around 20 percent up to around 60 percent. How much you earn depends on how many images you sell. Payment is made by Moneybookers or PayPal, which is straightforward enough.
Shutterstock is another massive stock image website that you can leverage to make a little cash. Payment is only around 20-30 percent made monthly with a $75 minimum amount before you get paid. Despite the miserly fee, there is no exclusivity commitment so you can also sell the same images on other stock sites.
Dreamstime is a very popular website to sell your photos online. It pays between 20 and 60 percent. All images are manually checked for quality and consistency, so expect to have to jump through a few hoops to become featured. Once you do, expect quite a few sales as buyers also know images are curated which is why the site remains popular.
Alamy is a very popular stock image website that pays up to 50 percent per image. It is another site that does not demand exclusivity so allows you to sell the same images elsewhere to spread your net wide. The signup and selling process is relatively straightforward and the site counts its visitors by the million so there is definitely an audience for your work.
iStock Photo is another massive repository of stock images often used by graphic and web designers. The site doesn’t pay particularly well though, with fees starting at a paltry 15 percent. That can increase to up to 40 percent for more popular images but you certainly won’t get rich by using this site alone. Sell exclusively and they increase payments to 22 – 45 percent.
FreeDigitalPhotos.net has a smaller market share but pays better. Royalties are around 70 percent of each sale, paid by PayPal. The downside is that the audience isn’t as large as some of the other sites in this list. That said, it is definitely somewhere to list your non-exclusive images.
PhotoShelter is slightly different in that it is more an ecommerce store than stock image website. It acts as a marketplace that helps you create a website, set up a cart and sell your images independently like a mini photography studio. The upside is that you get all money raised, less a small fee and you don’t see competitor images next to your listing to lure potential buyers away.
CafePress lets you take things a step further. Rather than just selling images, why not have them printed onto tangible items such as mugs, mouse mats, t-shirts or whatever? CafePress will do all the hard work and will give you a percentage in return. Alone, it won’t make you a millionaire, but is an innovative way of using some of your best work.
Redbubble is a variant of CafePress that takes your images and utilizes them in print. The same kinds of items and the same kinds of percentage. The difference is that you set your own prices and anything earned over and above the cost price is yours to keep.
Etsy is well known for being a marketplace to allow the creative person to make a little money. You can have your images printed onto items, posters or sell them as digital downloads. The Etsy platform is quite flexible in that regard. The fee is a mere 3 percent and you keep the profits. Again, it won’t make you rich overnight, but as part of your empire could provide valuable revenue.
FineArtAmerica is for when you are creating real works of art. When you are an accomplished photographer and have worked your way through stock photos and are producing good work, this is the place to come. Set up your storefront and have your images printed on canvas, framed or whatever. The site takes a fee depending on whether they do the fulfillment or you do it yourself.
There are just a few of the many places to sell your photos online. None of these alone will make you wealthy but generate a good number of images and spread them far and wide and you could generate some valuable extra income. Used alongside your own website, they are also a good way to get your name and your work out into the world. Good luck with it!