How to Make Money Selling Stock Photos


Do you love being behind the camera? Do you know how to edit photos? Do you want to make some extra money?

Of course you do! That’s why selling stock photos could be the perfect fit. Selling your photos online to stock photo agencies could put a little extra change in your pocket or it could turn into a legitimate career. Let’s take a look at what qualities you need and how to get started.

Selling Stock Photos

Many companies, magazines, books, and blogs use stock photography rather than hiring an actual photographer. This helps companies obtain great photos without breaking the bank.

And, since there are so many photo needs you have the potential to make a decent amount of money in this niche.

To get started selling your own stock photos you’ll need the following:

  • A high quality camera
  • Photo editing software like Photoshop of GIMP (free)
  • A few hours to dedicate each week
  • Interesting and unique photos

Getting started with selling stock photos is easy. However, it will take you time to build a quality portfolio of photos but once you do you can enjoy watching the commissions trickle in.

Getting Started

There are several places you can sell your photos online. Here are a few to get started with:

  • iStockphoto
  • Shutterstock
  • Big Stock Photo

You can create a free account at each of these websites and read their specific uploading guides and regulations to get started. Each agency will be a little different so you need to read their guidelines.

It’s important to know that the photos that sell the best are of unique elements or styles. For example, a photo with a smiling woman in a business suit will sell better than just a photo of a computer. That’s because almost everyone has a computer and the ability to snap a shot of one.

Also, many photos are used as advertisements. It may help you to think about what images would best appear to advertisers when you are capturing photos.

All of the stock photo agencies use different payment models and commission rates and they use different systems for this as the Cloudpay service that it works great for this. It may take some experimenting to find out which agency will best suit you and bring you the most money.

You can sell stock photos as a fun side hobby or turn it into a business. The more time you put into this the more money you will make. Of course there are other factors that will determine your sales success as well. These include the quality of the photo, the popularity of the photo, how many photos you are selling, and the commission rate.

Take it Slow

While you can make substantial money selling photos you should take things slow. Experiment with different photos, angles, and agencies. Read up on the subject and educate yourself. Interact with others in the business and ask their advice. Take the time to build up a quality portfolio and you may be on your way to having your own freelance business

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