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How to Earn Money Through Selling Photos

How to Earn Money Through Selling Photos
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Photography is one of the most wonderful artistic activities in existence. Taking the right angle, at the right time, with the right contrast, will result in an image which will be burned in our mind for the rest of our lives.

If you’re going to take this photo and publish it anyway, why not make some money while you’re at it? It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional photographer or an amateur.

Everyone who has the right equipment, knowledge, and abilities, can make money through photography. Let’s learn how.

The Right Way to Take Photos

Before moving on the guide, there are certain criteria which your photos have to meet before being published for sale. These are:

  1. Quality
  2. Legal matters


Most websites that sell photos require a minimum picture resolution. If your pictures don’t meet that requirement, then chances are that they won’t accept them.

That resolution barrier differs from website to website. Some of them ask for 8MP, others 12, 16, etc.

And it doesn’t have to be about 3rd party websites. If you want to earn money through what you’re doing, then you’ll have to make sure that you can deliver high-quality content.

Of course, quality is not all about resolution, there are other things to take in mind such as color balance, color warmth, aspect ratio, contrast, etc.

A small important note: many photographers overlook the color balance and warmth. Each monitor/screen in general displays colors in a rather different way.

A picture which looks colorful for you might look dull for someone else and the exact opposite applies too.

The easiest way to achieve the most consistent color presentation is to use color picker programs.

Legal Matters

People, properties, brands, etc. Try to avoid these in your photos. You can easily get sued for something like that.

Yes, you can include someone in a picture or anything that a person owns if he gives you permission to do so, but that’s often not enough to sell that photo.

Many websites will ask for a signed release form before accepting a photo. Getting every single person in your photos to sign it is tedious and sometimes impossible.

All in all, if you want to absolutely photograph things like these and sell them, then be prepared to deal with paperwork.

Other than that, I don’t have to mention that the photos must be your own right? Which means that you’ll have to be the one taking them.

Getting photographs from other people and selling them is considered illegal.

Earn Money by Selling Photos

There various ways to make money with photography, but I’ll only mention 3 of the most common ones.

  1. Host your own website
  2. Sell your photos on other websites
  3. Become a freelance photographer

Host your Own Website

Creating a website is now easier than ever. Companies such as Godaddy can guide you through the whole process of creating and maintaining a website for a relatively small price.

Even still, at the end of the day, managing your own website can be quite a tedious process. However, it allows you to be the boss of your own business if you’re serious about it.

Apart from selling photos, you can use a website to host advertisements which can also give you a small revenue.

Sell your Photos on Other Websites

Not all of us have the time and patience which is required to host a website. Thankfully, we also have the option to host our pictures on other websites as well.

The drawback is that these websites have certain requirements and rules which you must follow.

Other than that, most of them will also keep a small part of your revenue as a service fee. And you can’t blame them. As mentioned above, creating and maintaining a website takes time and effort.

It is possible to register on multiple websites and offer your photos to all of them. But if you do that, after selling one photo, you’ll have to remove it from all of the other websites that you have posted it for sale.

Some sites to get started could be:

  1. Shutterstock
  2. Alamy
  3. Freepik
  4.  istockphoto.com
  5.  shutterstock.com
  6.  123rf.com
  7.  bigstockphoto.com
  8. crestock.com
  9.  dreamstime.com
  10. fotolia.com
  11. photostockplus.com
  12. shutterpoint.com
  13. stockexpert.com
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That’s because after selling that photo, you no longer own the copyrights to it. At least that’s the case with most of the websites which I have seen.

Become a Freelance Photographer

Earning money through photography doesn’t always have to be about listing your photos on websites. You can also become a freelancer, get a client to work with, and get to work.

Of course, the type of work will highly depend on each individual client and the same goes for demands and requirements.

You can easily get started on freelancing by using Upwork, one of the most widely used platforms by both freelancers and clients.

You can still find local clients if that your thing. But, in general, it’s a much harder thing to do and it usually won’t pay as well.