How to Make Money From Selling Photos Online

Some people are keen photographers in their spare time. They may try to make some extra cash by selling pictures online. Others seek to turn their hobby into a full-time career. 

When people begin this journey, they often feel overwhelmed by the options available. The internet can bombard us with so much information, we don’t know where to start. This article sets out some key considerations to help make things clearer. 

Create Your Own Website

Some people say, ‘I want to sell my photos directly so I can make the maximum money on each sale’. According to the guys from, it is possible to use a website builder to create online pages custom-designed for photographers. When it comes to choosing the right software, people want to be able to compare the different brands and discover the pros and cons of each one. Beginners will particularly be wanting user-friendly interfaces, and everyone will be needing unlimited online storage. 

Once the website has been created, any photo sales money will go to the seller. The only downside is that the audience will need to be sought. This will involve maximizing the site from a Search Engine Optimisation angle so that people will find the web pages online. The photographer will need to study marketing and advertising, and direct traffic from their social media pages to the website. 

Sell From a Stock Photo Site

The advantage here is that the site may already have a massive audience. The downside is the seller may only receive around one-third of the sales money for each photo. 

Businesses, bloggers, and advertisers looking for professional quality photos will approach these sites and purchase access to specific pictures. They save money by not having to create the photos themselves, with all the photographer costs this entails.

Most people looking for pictures via Google have probably ended up on a stock photo site. There’s 500Prime which pays sellers via PayPal. Adobe Stock requires people to be aged 18 or over. Getty Images is a huge online platform. They require potential sellers to download their app and provide a few photographic examples in order to be considered for their site. Shutterstock widens up the options by allowing people to sell illustrations, photos, and video clips.

Sell From a Personalized Gift Website, Blurb, or Amazon

It is possible to upload digital photos to such sites as Redbubble or Zazzle. They have a huge audience, and people buy shirts, mugs, and the like from there, featuring these pictures. Once again the audience is provided, but the commission on sales will be lower. 

Photo books are very popular these days. Some people upload their best photos from social media into photo book platforms such as Blurb. They can then sell the books from Blurb’s website or from Amazon. Buyers can choose to purchase either ebooks or paper versions. 

Use Quality Equipment and Software

When approaching stock photo sites, it is essential the pictures are of sufficient quality to be considered. This may entail buying a DSLR if one is not already owned. The smartphone revolution continues to gather pace, however, and some phones such as the Huawei P30 are actually able to outperform some DSLR cameras.

Once a picture has been taken, the software may be needed to crop it and adjust the light and color. Most people have heard of Photoshop (or Adobe Lightroom) which are pretty much the top products in this area. They host an array of powerful photo editing options that are almost only limited by the user’s understanding. 

Beginners are advised to start with free software rather than jumping in the deep end with expensive products such as Photoshop. Check out such software as PIXLR and GIMP. Alternatively, look at Snapseed which is a downloadable app. 

Use Social Media

If someone has already racked up a good following on Pinterest or Instagram, they will be well placed to sell their work. Twitter and Facebook allow URLs to be included in their posts, so utilize this to direct traffic to your website sales pages. 

Some people recommend external products to their followers by posting photos and including affiliate links to the company websites. If sales are made, the photographer will receive a small commission. Having said this, be wise with advertising and don’t alienate your followers.

The things we have discussed are enough to whet the appetite of any keen photographer. Some people dream of spending all their time on their hobbies and being paid for it. Many of the sites we have mentioned provide a passive income 24/7. Who knows – this could take off for you! Why not give it a try? There may be nothing to lose.