Sell my photography online
18 Websites for Selling Your Photography (2022)
The ability to make money online as a photographer by selling your photos online is all about harnessing the creativity at the heart of your work and applying it to the monetization of your talents.
It can seem hard to make it when anyone with the newest iPhone and access to free photo editing software can call themselves a photographer, but success for most creators who turn to entrepreneurship comes down to three things:
- Finding your niche
- Building an audience
- Creating several streams of passive income
This guide will explore some of the things you should know about how to sell your photography online, with resources to help you find the best way to sell photos online, such as online selling sites where you can list your photos.
How to sell photos online
- Best places to sell photos online
- Two essential steps to sell photos online
- How to sell photography prints and products
- How to sell your photography as a service
- Legal primer for selling photos online
- How to sell photos online FAQ
18 places to sell photos online
- SmugMug Pro
- iStock Photo
- Getty Images
- Can Stock Photo
- Adobe Stock
Licensing is one of the most popular ways to “sell” your photos online to brands, publishers, or anyone who might have an interest in using your photos for their own purposes.
And that’s the key here. You need to work backward and think about how your photos can be used by a brand or publisher. Versatile photos that express ideas tend to be popular, especially when they feature human subjects.
There are a lot of stock photo sites to choose from. Let’s look at the top places to sell photos online:
Alamy sports the world’s most diverse stock photo collection, with over 215 million stock images, vectors, videos, and 360-degree panoramic images. You can sell anything from everyday images to specific niches. The platform has more than 60,000 contributors worldwide and over 110,000 buyers. It also offers an app, Stockimo, where you can sell iPhone photos and earn extra cash from your selfies.
Alamy pays contributors monthly and has a straightforward, user-friendly payment structure. If your images are exclusive with Alamy, you receive 50% of direct sales. Images not exclusive to Alamy receive 40% of all direct sales. There are also no long-term contracts with Alamy.
500px Licensing (formerly 500px Prime) hosts millions of photographers selling photos online through its stock photography site, 500px. Its distribution partners serve over one million customers around the world and are the go-to choice for creative content. All content submitted to the site is royalty free, meaning it’s licensed for unlimited, perpetual use, and pricing is based on file size.
500px is also a community-based platform for amateur and professional photographers. You can follow other photographers, list your photos in their online marketplace, and participate in Photo Quest competitions for prizes. You can earn up to 60% royalties on exclusive pictures and a 30% commission payout for non-exclusive photos.
Getting started is simple. All you have to do is create an account, submit your photos, authorize your store, and fill out the forms for each image, including model and liability releases—then start selling!
3. SmugMug Pro
Whether you’re a new photographer or an established pro, SmugMug can help sell your photos online with a beautiful portfolio, sales platform, and tools to help you grow. SmugMug lets you keep 85% of the profit between the price you set and SmugMug’s default print prices.
Say you sell a 5x7 print for $10.79. If the SmugMug default price is $0.79, the markup for that print is $10. In this case, you keep $8.50 as profit. However, you’ll need to sign up for a monthly membership, which costs, at minimum, $200 per year on the Portfolio plan, though the plan gives you access to tons of ecommerce tools to help sell photos online.
Considered the easiest way to sell photos online for some, Shutterstock is a leading stock photography website for selling photos online. The platform has paid out over a billion dollars to its community in the past 15 years, and it can get your photos seen by millions of customers.
Shutterstock is considered a micro-stock site, where photos are cheaper and non-exclusive, and the main way to increase downloads is by contributing a large quantity of images that can be used as visual metaphors. Don’t expect to earn as much here, but it’s a good place if you’re just learning how to sell stock photos.
Payouts are based on your earnings over time and range from 20% to 30%. There’s also an affiliate program where you can earn additional money if you refer new photographers or customers.
5. iStock Photo
iStock Photo is the micro-stock offshoot of by Getty Images. The major difference between the two is your photos on iStock are non-exclusive, which means you can sell your photography with other agencies as well. However, this means you earn a much lower commission than exclusive photos. Commission ranges from 15% to 45%, depending on whether the photos are exclusive or non-exclusive.
The current exclusivity rates, according to parent company Getty, are as follows:
If you want to sell photos online, opening up an Etsy photography shop may be a great option for you. It’s easy to get started: you can sell prints quickly, and the fee structure benefits both professional and beginner photographers. Etsy takes only 5% of the transaction price, which includes the shipping cost you set. If you take payments through Etsy Payments, it also collects a 3% + $0.25 payment-processing fee after a print is sold.
The difference between Etsy and other places to sell photos online is that most people won’t come searching for stock images. You’ll want to invest in designs and in marketing your Etsy store to get the most out of the platform. However, with a small cut from each sale, it may be worth your energy.
If you want to learn more about how to sell photos on Etsy, read this guide.
7. Getty Images
Getty Images is on the higher end of stock photography sites. It attracts brands and publishers looking for high-quality or hard-to-find exclusive images to license. The platform, along with its microstock site, iStock, reaches over 1.5 million customers around the world.
The standards for how to sell your photography online here as a contributor are predictably higher than many other stock photo sites. However, the rates for submissions of high-quality photos licensed through Getty Images start at 20% and can reach as high as 45%.
Stocksy is a popular mid-range stock photography site, the best way to sell photos online for many publishers and creatives. Becoming a Stocksy contributor offers high payouts—photographers can earn a 50% royalty on standard licenses and a 75% royalty on extended licenses—but all photos are 100% exclusive, which means you can’t reuse them on other stock photo websites.
Stocksy is also an artist-owned cooperative, which means you get part ownership of the business and can help control it’s direction. Contributors can also receive profit-sharing in the form of patronage returns when the co-op has a surplus. Amounts are determined based on your contributions to the co-op through the sale of your photos and/or footage.
If you’re interested in selling photos on Stocksy, check out its contributor application FAQ.
9. Can Stock Photo
More than 92,000+ photographers have learned how to sell your photos online with Can Stock Photo. There are various payout structures ranging from percentages to fixed amounts, and Can Stock gives you $5 for every 50 photos your referral sells. When you sell photos on Can Stock Photo, it also lists your photos for sale on Fotosearch, a stock photography agency.
10. Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock is one of the best places to sell photos online for free because, when you list photos for sale here, they’re also available on stock site Fotolia. If you already use the Adobe suite for other creative projects, you can add your images, videos, vectors, or illustrations to Adobe Stock directly from Adobe Lightroom CC and Adobe Bridge CC,and through the web.
Selling photos on Adobe Stock, you can reach millions of buyers and gain exposure to the world’s largest creative community inside their favorite apps. And you can earn 33% commission on the photos you sell through it.
Twenty20 started as a tool for Instagram photographers to sell their images to brands. Now it’s a robust stock photography site where you can sell photos online and connect with potential clients. You can earn money three ways:
- Earning $2 per photo licensed
- Earning cash prizes from photo challenges
- Receiving 100% commission from whatever brands hire you for scheduled shoots
With Twenty20, you can sell photos on its app or upload photos to your own website page on the brand’s domain. Either way, it’s a great place to sell pictures online and make money online doing what you love.
Depositphotos is a global, online marketplace for visual content with a library of over 150-million files and clients from more than 200 countries. Depositphotos has over 100,000 contributors from all over the world, and is trusted by leading international companies including Warner Bros., TripAdvisor, Subaru, and more. Commissions are based on a contributor’s experience and status on the platform, as well as the resolution and license type, and range between 34% and 42%.
For nearly 20 years, Dreamstime has provided high-quality images to clients in the creative market—from independent customers in the private sector to Fortune 500 companies. The stock agency sports over:
- 31 million registered members
- 600,000 contributing photographers
- 144 million photos, illustrations, cliparts, and vectors
- 20 million monthly unique monthly website visitors
Dreamstime offers a generous payout to contributors. However, it requires more commitment, so it’s not exactly the easiest way to sell photos online. You must have at least 70% of your portfolio on the site for at least six months. But non-exclusive contributors can earn 25%–50%, and exclusive photos generate a 27.5%–55% commission. You can also earn extra money for referrals, both on the contributor and the purchaser side.
EyeEm focuses more on advertising stock photography, making it one of the best places to sell photos online if you’re looking to be in the commercial photography space. You can also get booked for shoots by brands like Airbnb, Spotify, and other big brands.
It supports a community of more than 25 million photographers and videographers from over 150 countries and offers a 50% commission for each photo sold.
123RF is a big player in the stock photography industry. All content on the platform is non-exclusive, so you can sell on other websites as well. Plus, 123RF will market your photos to over five million buyers across 44 countries and in 17 different languages. Once you become a contributor, you can earn between 30% and 60% for each license sold.
Foap is defined by its community of over three million creatives. Whether you want to upload a professional shoot (or try and make money selling photos of yourself!), you can use Foap’s app to sell your photos.
Foap offers contributors a few different ways for how to sell your photography online:
- $5 for every photo sold
- $100–$2,500 for Missions, where brands submit a photo brief and set a cash prize for winning entries
- Selling photos online via partner platforms, such as Adobe and Alamy
If you want to know the best way to sell photos online to brands like KraftHeinz, Nivea, Heineken, and more, Foap is a great option for you.
Zenfolio makes selling photos online for beginners and professionals easy. You can build a website to showcase your work, attract new customers, and sell your photos online. Plus, it offers photography print and digital product options, with a commission fee of 7%. However, you have to have a monthly subscription with Zenfolio, which starts at $5 per month.
Pixieset offers photographers the complete package to share, deliver, and sell photos online. With Pixieset, you can easily create a beautiful online store to sell photography prints, products, and more with automatic fulfillment.
Pixieset gives you full control over your store. All you need to do is set the sale price for your products and market your photos. It takes a 15% commission for free plans, but 0% on paid plans, which start at only $8 per month.
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How to sell photos online: two essential steps
Now that you know where to sell photos online, let’s talk about how to sell your photos online as a successful and legitimate business.
1. Define your niche
The easiest way to sell photos online at high prices is to specialize in a niche. Every successful photographer has a consistent style or theme that runs through their work. Whether your thing is travel, fashion, cityscapes, nature, food, etc., consistency is key.
People follow other people online to see more of whatever it is that interested them in the first place. People unfollow other people when those expectations aren’t met.
Finding your niche if you want to sell pictures online is typically something you feel your way into as you see which styles and photos resonate with your audience. But you can also evaluate the demand for certain topics using keyword research to analyze the search volume for terms related to your photographs.
Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension that shows you the search volume right below your Google search, making it easy to find and experiment with in-demand subjects and angles to see what you can cater to with your photographs.
As a suggestion, anything above 1,000 average monthly searches is significant volume to consider capitalizing on.
Photographers learning how to sell your photography online—just like bloggers, YouTubers, and artists of any kind—should also invest in building their audiences. That’s ultimately what helps them build their photography business and sell photos online.
Whether you’re freelancing or selling photography online as prints, the best way to sell photos online is to build and leverage your network to expand your reach and credibility.
Visual social platforms with built-in audiences like Instagram and Tumblr can help you reach a wide audience. But there are also photo-sharing sites that can connect you with other photographers, help you can build a following and, depending on the platform, sell licenses to use your digital photos (more on that later).
Linking your various accounts makes it easier to manage your photo-sharing across several platforms, which is good for visibility of your photographs—especially important when you’re trying to figure out how to sell your photography. On Instagram, for example, you can go to Options > Settings > Linked Accounts to connect Tumblr, Facebook, and more to publish in more than one place with a single post.
IFTTT is a free tool that can help you create other useful integrations between apps that don’t usually integrate, like Instagram and Dropbox.
On Instagram, you can also use Hashtagify to discover relevant, active hashtags for increasing the visibility of your photographs on the platform and get more likes, comments, and engagement.
2. Integrate ecommerce into your portfolio
Most photographers have their own site to showcase their work to potential clients. But by adding ecommerce to your site, including the ability to accept payments from PayPal or Shop Pay, you can open several more doors for how to sell your photos online, like selling courses, physical products, and services.
Dave Sanford, for example, has a store that showcases his wildlife photography, while letting people purchase prints and calendars.Photography print product page example from Dave Sanford Photos
The easiest way to sell photos online is to build your portfolio or store on Shopify, install the relevant apps to customize it to your needs and monetization strategies, and start sharing and selling your photography in different forms, like social media, ads, or even offline through Shopify POS.
Check out some of the Art and Photography themes, or choose a free theme to start (you can always switch later). You might also want to consider adding more functionality by installing Shopify apps like Digital Downloads (free), an Instagram gallery, and more.
There are a lot of reasons your own ecommerce site can be the best place to sell photos online, many of which we’ll explore below.
How to sell your photography online as prints, products, and photo books
It’s not just brands and publishers who might want your work. Your fans might too.
There are plenty of things to make and sell that your fans can potentially own, whether it’s as a simple framed print or a pillow. Luckily, selling your own physical products is a lot simpler than you think.
There are many sites and tools where you can upload your photographs and sell your pictures as photo prints on paper or physical products, such as mugs, t-shirts, and calendars. Let’s look at some platforms for how to sell your photography online this way:
- Fine Art America
- Instaproofs (pulls in photos from your Instagram feed)
The best way to sell photos online as physical prints or products is to work with a local photo lab that ships prints or use a print-on-demand service like Printful to dropship a wide range of products (prints, phone cases, pillows, and more) featuring your photos.
Be sure to order samples first to ensure the quality of the products match the quality of your photos.
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How to sell photography online as photo books
You can also learn how to sell your photos online by creating photo books with your photographs and selling those online.
Photo books are another physical photography-based product that can complement any coffee table. The more niche and consistent your photography is, the more likely you’ll be able to put together a stellar photo book based around a compelling theme and sell your art online.
The easiest way to sell photos online via this method is by using a service like Blurb, Lulu xPress, or Shutterfly to create, print, and ship them on demand.
While you won’t get the best margins with print-on-demand services, it’s a great risk-free way to test demand for your products before you decide to invest upfront.
How to sell your photography online as a service
Whether you’re covering events, doing fashion shoots, or getting into product photography, there are plenty of business opportunities to take advantage of the demand for professional photography. Here’s how to sell your photography online as a service:
While you can list your services in freelance directories like Fiverr and Upwork, or apply to be a Shopify Expert, selling your photography as a service for decent pay usually involves networking locally, since you need to be able to travel to meet clients in person.
Here are some tips to use networking as the best way to sell photos online this way:
- Always have business cards handy—you never know when you might meet a potential client (use our free business card generator to create your own).
- Tidy up your LinkedIn profile, showcase your work, and optimize it for the main photography service you provide (“Event Photographer,” for example).
- Attend networking events where entrepreneurs and event organizers go—these folks will inevitably have the need for a professional photographer in the future.
- Build a personal brand as a photographer so you’re top of mind when anyone in your network needs your DSLR camera and skills.
Since photographers, unlike other freelancers, must operate in strict time slots, it’s good to have a booking platform you can use to let prospective clients see your schedule and book you when you’re available.
Both Setmore and SimplyBook have free plans and features that work well for photographers. Or, if you’re using Shopify, you can install BookThatApp to schedule appointments directly from your site.
Now, let’s talk about usage rights and protecting your work—the next step of how to sell your photos online.
A photographer’s legal primer to selling photos online
Figuring out how to sell your photography online can be overwhelming enough. And while rights and licenses related to selling photography may seem a foreign language, there are some terms and concepts you should know to help protect yourself from theft and infringing upon others’ rights when selling photos.
This is by no means a comprehensive list or a substitute for actual legal advice (I’m not a lawyer), but it should offer you broad definitions that will help you navigate the world of usage rights.
Glossary of legal terms for selling photos online
To make the legal stuff easier, we’ve highlighted some terms you’ll want to know when selling photos online.
Editorial use. Permission to use in blogs, newspapers, magazines, and other publications.
Commercial use. Permission to use in marketing and advertising to promote a product or service.
Retail use. Permission to use in the creation of a physical product to be sold. This includes prints, posters, and products that feature the photo (pillows, mugs, etc.). Sometimes talked about in the same context as commercial use, but it should be considered separately.
Exclusive. Exclusive use means that the one who purchases the license from you is the only one who can use the photo.
Non-exclusive. Non-exclusive photo licenses can be purchased and used by anyone and usually cost less than exclusive ones.
Public domain. Holds no restrictions or copyright claim and can be used for commercial, editorial, and personal purposes. Works created by US federal government agencies (such as NASA) generally fall into this category unless otherwise stated.
Creative Commons. Conditional usage of your work is allowed as long as it’s in compliance with the stated restrictions. Attribution to credit the creator is sometimes required. Visit Creative Commons to generate a badge for this license for free.
Royalty free. Others can buy a license and use the photo for an unlimited duration and unlimited number of times. This is the most common type of license purchased and on the cheaper end of the spectrum, since these photos are usually non-exclusive.
Rights managed. A one-time license can be purchased to use the photo with restrictions regarding distribution. Additional licenses must be purchased for additional use.
Right of publicity. The subjects in your photos are entitled to certain rights when it comes to their inclusion in your photography, especially when it comes to commercial use when you sell photos online. This is a separate concern from the copyright considerations above and you should seek a subject’s explicit permission first in order to be safe.
What to do if someone steals your photos
Theft is common when it comes to content, and many people do it unknowingly.
It’s common practice for photographers to watermark their digital images before selling them online to offer them at least some layer of protection against theft. If you’re going to sell or share your own photos, you can apply identifying mark in Photoshop or use a watermark generator.
A smaller watermark, often in the corner, still lets others enjoy your photo, while a larger tiled watermark with reduced opacity offers the most protection against theft.
But what do you do if someone decides to steal and use your photos anyway? A cease and desist request will usually work. Or you can send the culprit an invoice for using your photo. A combination of the two will likely be the most effective at persuading the perpetrator by offering them the choice to either pay you or take the photo down.
At the very least, you should always try to get others to credit you whenever they borrow your work, even if it’s just for editorial purposes. Remember that links back to your portfolio site are not only good for driving traffic back to your other work, but also good for search engine optimization and helping your standing in Google search results.
Turning your photos into profit
As you can see, selling photos is a great online business idea. Whether photography is your hobby, your side gig, or your full-time side hustle, there are more avenues than ever before when it comes to selling photos online—it just takes a little extra know-how.
Your talent and your determination ultimately decide your earning potential, but the income you get from doing what you love and what you’re good at is some of the best cash you’ll ever earn.
Illustration by Eugenia Mello
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FAQ: Selling photos online FAQ
What is the best way to sell photographs?
The best way to sell photographs online is by selling them as stock images for sale on third-party websites like iStockPhoto, Dreamstime, Shutterstock, or 123RF. Selling your photos through stock sites is quick, easy, and affordable.
Where can I sell my photos online for money?
Some of the most popular place for selling photos online include:
- On your own website
- SmugMug Pro
- Getty Images
- Can Stock Photo
- Adobe Stock
Check the links above for more info about each platform.
How do you make money from stock photography?
A stock photography website, or stock agency, sells high-priced and exclusive images that you upload. The agency licenses individual images to the client and sells them for a set price. Then you, the photographer, get a royalty payment.
Sell Photos Online - Learn How to Sell Stock Photos Online with Shopify
Everything you need to go from shooting to selling
Start, run, and grow your photography business with free resources, intuitive tools, and dedicated support.
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How to sell photography online in just 5 steps
Create optimized product pages so customers can buy prints or digital copies of your photos in the size(s) of their choosing.
Check out the Shopify App Store for tools that help you run your online photography store. Here are 24 free tools to start.
Choose from multiple payment gateways to get paid reliably through Shopify’s secure checkout.
Market your photography through social media, email, and other marketing channels.
Get the exposure you deserve
Access free video tutorials on how to start your business at Shopify Compass. Network with other photography business owners on the discussion forums to learn from experienced sellers.
Customize your photography store without any coding or design skills using over 70 responsive themes. Accept payments, enable mobile shopping, and process orders all from one unified dashboard.
Ensure shoppers can find you by driving traffic to your photography store. Use built-in SEO tools and blogging platforms to create meaningful content and integrate with social media to increase visibility.
Get answers to your questions by connecting with Shopify Support online, on the phone, or over email. From setup to checkout, Shopify Support can help with almost any challenges your business faces.
Learn more about selling photos
- Cull the photos you want to sell.
- Determine how you will deliver the photos, be it physical prints, digital files, or something else.
- List your photos online, either on your own website or on a third-party platform.
- Set up backend processes for payments, inventory, and orders.
- Promote your photos.
- Manage and fulfill orders when they come in.
Yes, you can sell photos on Facebook. You can sell them on a Facebook Shop or on Facebook Marketplace. You can connect your Facebook Shop to your Shopify store for seamless multi-channel selling.
Yes, you can sell photos on Shopify. The Canvas Shop is one example of a Shopify merchant that sells photos online.
- Landscape and nature photography
- Candid shots
- Custom product photos
- Stock photos
- Destination shots
- Abstract backgrounds
Scale your sales
Add more functionality to your photography business with over 6,000 Shopify apps. Grow your business with email marketing, and build a loyal customer base by encouraging product reviews.
Expand your horizons by selling online, in-person, and everywhere in between. Keep track of your orders, sales, and customer accounts all with the Shopify POS app.
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how to make money on photo and microstocks
Photography is a fairly common hobby. If you know how to take pictures and are looking for additional sources of income, then you probably thought about selling pictures or creating illustrations.
A logical question arises: where to look for clients? Yes, and those that they consistently needed new images ...
What is a photo stock
Like any other content "exchanges", such platforms make it easier to find unique material for your projects. In our case, these are pictures, as well as illustrations and even vector images or videos.
Services where buyers and creators of visual content find each other can be conditionally divided into two groups:
- public sites with a simplified license form: "mass market", where you can buy inexpensive amateur-level images;
- websites of companies selling high quality photographs taken by famous and experienced photographers.
In other words, photo stocks are one of the main "suppliers" of content used everywhere: from primitive articles about cooking to school textbooks. The company itself, which is part-time owner of the site, receives a certain percentage from each photo sold.
Of course, most of the photobanks are aimed at specific buyers: manufacturers of advertising printing or journalists and authors of articles in periodicals.
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Target audience for selling photos
The main feature of images purchased from freelance photographers is their realism and "liveness". Unlike a professional, an amateur can capture everyday life "in the moment". And who needs emotions and naturalness? Of course, brands and advertising companies.
And almost on every stock you are guaranteed to meet with:
- Internet art lovers who collect unusual pictures “for the soul”;
- design professionals;
- advertisers interested in a "beautiful picture" that can captivate the target audience and motivate them to buy;
- by publishers, book authors and media professionals (considered the most demanding and "difficult" clients, as they are especially interested in the quality and uniqueness of images).
Not only the type of license for copyright transfer will depend on the type of buyer, but also the content itself: each of the listed clients needs different photos or illustrations.
For example, an author of a children's book is looking for images with animalistic themes, and an employee of a city newspaper is looking for photos of the city or its inhabitants. Very often, summaries, interviews and media reports use pictures taken not by the journalists themselves, but by freelance microstockers.
Brands that use illustrations for commercial purposes also frequently scour photobanks for attractive and colorful photos that are suitable for advertising products and services.
How to start selling photos
Our "starting point" is to find a platform to post our work.
When choosing a photo bank, special attention should be paid to the requirements for pictures and images. After registration, you will be able to start uploading photos - the stock will automatically check whether your photos meet the quality requirements.
Microstocks for beginners offer transparent conditions and a guarantee that the buyer will receive a picture only after full payment. On the other hand, the price of your work will be determined by the platform itself - usually one image costs several dollars. The final cost set by the stock depends on:
- license type;
- photo size;
- difficulty and themes.
Again, do not be too lazy to read the user agreement and check the reviews on the selected resource in advance - each photo bank has its own rules, conditions and evaluation criteria.
Copyright and license
The main requirement of any stock is that the author must have the rights to sell files.
You will only need to obtain filming permits if you plan to sell images for commercial use. And for photos that will end up in a popular science magazine or news, it is not necessary to “mess around” with documents.
The two most common types are:
- Property Release. This is the name of the form filled out by the owner of the territory where the pictures were taken (if it is private). For example, if you want to take a picture in a museum and post an image with a recognizable statue, you need to enter information about its owner, address, and a description of the property itself into the document.
- Model Release. On most photo stocks, you won't be able to post photos of other people without this important agreement. Even if the picture shows a group of several people, the consent of each of those present is required. Enough information about the model, the author and the signature of the witness. For candid shots, a copy of the passport of a naked person is additionally provided - this is the only way the stock can make sure that he has reached the age of majority.
There are also several types of licenses, and you can choose the one that suits you. For example:
- Editorial is actively used on Shutterstock and is used for editorial photos: photos from events, photos of politicians or actors. This type of license does not require additional consent from the model itself.
- Extended Royalty-Free is a good choice for commercial images, and the buyer can share (print) the image countless times. At the same time, the author does not receive royalties from each sale of clothes, a magazine or a book, but he can continue to publish an already sold picture and receive more profit.
- Royalty-Free is a standard license that doesn't cost you a huge fee, but you can easily offer your work to several people at the same time. They, in turn, do not receive rights to the image, but they can also use it in several projects at once, except for commercial ones. For a logo or trademark, such an illustration will not work.
- Rights-Ready - less common. This type of license allows you to post photos only on a specific site / print only in a specific publication and immediately provide information about this to the seller. Reuse is acceptable, but only when the purpose and the project itself do not change.
- Rights-Managed - not found on microstocks, the cost of such images is much higher than the market. The author himself can set restrictions: for example, that the image cannot be used in England or that he does not want the photo to appear in a PepsiCo advertisement. What then is the benefit to the buyer? First, it is highly likely that the picture will be exclusive. Secondly, he always knows where the image has already been placed before. For us, as for microstockers, an obvious plus will be an increased fee and attribution.
Some photo banks may slightly change the conditions, which is why we always carefully read all agreements.
Average salary of an author
The ability to sell one's work takes years to develop, so this type of freelancing cannot be called "easy". The more you put in the effort, the harder you try on the final result and increase the volumes, the higher the chance to reach a stable income in foreign currency.
Microstocks for illustrators can bring in up to 3-4 thousand dollars a month if you work "on a stream". Simple math: the average cost of one picture is about a dollar, post 4000 high-quality works - you can get 2000-4000 dollars per month.
Earnings will be affected by:
- your photography skills and experience;
- the ability to adapt to the tastes of the target audience;
- continuous improvement of the quality of work and analysis.
Again, no one will refuse to receive 500-1000 dollars in addition to income from their main job. This amount can be earned in a "semi-passive form", if you take a lot of pictures on popular topics, publish them, and then from time to time just replenish your portfolio.
Earnings are directly proportional to your desire to earn. The only true way is to try, study and improve yourself.
So, you have a camera in your hands (or an already assembled portfolio of several tens or hundreds of works), and you are completely ready to start developing a new niche. Then feel free to start: choose the stock you like and register on it. If you still have not decided on a platform, then I will help you and consider 10 popular sites from which you can start the “path” of a microstocker.
Photos posted for sale must meet 8 minimum requirements. They are:
- Commercial value. The most important point: we create stock images for advertising campaigns and commercial use. That is why photobanks often skip exactly those pictures that are suitable for illustrating online publications, magazines and advertising.
- "Hygienic cleanliness". All items in the frame (whether dishes, fruits or clothing in front of people) must be neat and clean. No scratches, dust, stains or other damage is allowed.
- Do not overdo it with processing. You can slightly correct the color or tone, but the result of the processing must remain natural and natural, so that later the image can be easily used as a source.
- Chromatic aberration. A popular technical error that is easily fixed using standard software from Adobe. Optics tend to slightly distort the image, and it is better to get rid of aberrations before selling.
- Correct accent. With the help of depth of field and focus, you can achieve the effect of "highlighting" important objects in a photo. The depth of field, in turn, will depend on the purpose of the image - whether you create a collage from it or leave it as a background for text or other images.
- Correct exposure. Underexposure and overexposure are a sign of improperly configured equipment. Although the stocks themselves “love” pictures in white, pastel and light shades, this effect should be achieved through the right exposure level and “studio” background.
- Digital noise. An important parameter that must be checked when publishing. To avoid noise, set the correct ISO (up to 400-800) and refrain from shooting indoors with difficult lighting conditions. You can use a flash or additional light sources. And don't "play" with sharpness when converting photos from RAW format if you use a camera.
- The right size. The image must have a size of 1200-1600 pixels on its smaller side. Usually this requirement is easily met even in the case of working with the most budget cameras, but when cropping the resulting photos, you should be especially careful.
I'll mention artifacts separately: they appear when photos are repeatedly saved in the same JPEG format. Another common reason is that the author of the pictures tried to artificially increase their size by stretching them in a photo editor.
The recommended settings are quite simple, and even a novice photographer can handle them - choose the RAW format for the source files, then export them to PSD or TIFF formats. Optimal resolution: 240-300 dpi. And ready-made works should have the maximum quality available for JPEG - 12.
So that the pictures do not "stale" publish series after series and do not deny yourself anything.
Wait a minute! Despite the fact that the photos have successfully passed moderation, there are no views, and new customers are in no hurry to transfer money to you. Why so?
Aesthetic sense in the art of working with wastewater is practically useless, and sometimes even gets in the way. To reach a stable income, you will have to neglect your “sense of beauty”, focusing on demand.
But that doesn't mean that art shots don't sell at all! It's just that the interest of customers in them is much lower. Therefore, even with the stable publication of a large number of albums with "aesthetic" photos, many of the works will be looking for their client for weeks, months and even years.
Above, we have already talked about our audience and made a portrait of it. Now you need to understand what queries potential buyers most often enter into the stock search bar.
As you can see, images related to everyday life sell best - they illustrate articles, books and magazines. Everyday scenes, recently released gadget models, sporting events and beautiful food shots will definitely not go unnoticed. Consider seasonality: take a series of pictures for Christmas or Black Friday.
The task of any content maker is to be able to make "live" works that inspire confidence and positive emotions.
Professional equipment is not a must
But what if you don't have a good SLR or even an ordinary soap dish at hand? After all, the quality of images will suffer greatly, you will have to make more efforts to process them, and constantly renting equipment at first can be too expensive.
Again, don't worry about it. A novice microstocker is not obliged to immediately buy expensive cameras - the activity in mobile photobanks is much higher now. Moreover, modern gadgets are capable of producing a picture that is as close as possible to a “professional” one. To get high quality original shots from a simple smartphone, try:
- Notice something unusual in the frame. Long details or sharp lines (such as a road) make a nice accent to almost any landscape photo. If you shoot architecture or still life - "listen" to the symmetry. Perhaps it is precisely the symmetrically arranged elements that will successfully complete the composition.
- Take multiple photos at once. Especially when shooting moving subjects: for example, a cyclist, animals, children. A good shot spoiled by a blurred face or figure will be unsellable. Try to change the shooting point, angles, angles, approach the object and move away from it. You can delete extra pictures with a clear conscience when you start watching the material.
- Correctly configure the device itself. Such a basic thing as a "camera grid" can help in the work - this way you will definitely make sure that you do not fill up the horizon and correctly center the frame. Set the optimal ISO and exposure settings depending on the place where you are working (life hack: the more light and movement in the frame, the lower the ISO). If you are not at all familiar with the settings, just select the HDR mode - it will independently determine the optimal exposure level.
We have prepared the images, there is one more important part left: their processing. I have already said above that you should not impose a bunch of effects on pictures. But this does not mean that you need to abandon the use of Photoshop and similar programs once and for all - improve your pictures, crop them and “paint” so that the finished work looks organic.
The main advantage of using a smartphone is the mobility of its owner. A photographer can quickly capture an interesting breed of dog on the way to the store, or an unusual natural phenomenon. Perhaps you will notice an old building, a beautiful girl or a cozy green square and you can immediately capture them without worrying about the heavy camera left at home.
Promoting our works
Everything seems to be going well: the topic is up-to-date and the quality is high. But there's another barrier between you and your (still potential) clients: Users simply can't find jobs.
Tags! Here are the very "helpers" that make it easier to search for images on a specific topic. And an incorrectly compiled tag cloud will only lead to one thing - users who are not interested in such pictures will stumble upon you. And the target audience, driving in the requests they are interested in, will not see your photos, which they would most likely like.
There are only two solutions:
- Improve English. Search and memorize more synonyms, adjectives and names that are used on sites. For example, you took a photo of a model in a Halloween costume and added only "evil" to your list of tags. But this word has many more synonyms - the same "inferior", "tainted", "immoral" or "nefarious".
- Use helper apps. There are several sites that collect the tag cloud for you - just enter the main keywords, and artificial intelligence will automatically form a larger database of words.
Usually users don't search for key phrases of more than 2-3 words: break long phrases into components. Instead of "little kitten playing with a ball", it's better to say "little kitten, kitten playing, ball, kitten with a ball" or any other variations. It is not necessary to indicate articles for words: instead of “a ball”, it is enough to leave a concise “ball”.
Most photo stocks allow you to specify 50-70 tags: use this feature in moderation. It is better to choose fewer words, but suitable for your work, than to indicate tags that are absolutely not associated with it. For example, when at the next photo stock I meet some kind of “rush” (in direct translation: hurrying, haste) under the picture where the character is basking on a sun lounger in the rays of the setting sun, it looks strange and pointless.
10 applications for selling photos
Microstock photobanks increase the chance of finding regular customers who will purchase your photos for their websites once a week, a month, or several months. Thanks to a smart pricing policy, there is always an audience there - who came to the site with different goals and wishes.
It has become even more convenient to use drains since the widespread use of smartphones. Hundreds of apps are available 24/7: on the road, in the office, or even while travelling. Additional features that appear every now and then on different platforms help you quickly build a personal brand and gain experience.
Publishing photos on the go
- One of the most popular iOS and Android apps is Agora . Pleasant, minimalistic design and the absence of a commission for the withdrawal of earned funds allowed him to quickly "become famous" in the circles of microstockers. For additional promotion, you can share your profile on social networks and level up within the site. To do this, you should upload a lot of high-quality images, share your experience with others, and participate in contests (they are also called “requests” - contests resemble a tender system for choosing an artist).
- Another place where, in addition to additional income, you can get new knowledge on photography is EyeEm . The application has a great community of authors who share useful contacts, life hacks and the latest news. As with the previous platform, the number of sales of the same photo is not limited. But here you will receive less - exactly half of what you earn. After registration, you will have to wait a little while the moderators carefully review your work. The service offers three types of licenses - $250 for full commercial, $50 for virtual, and $20 for social. Funds are withdrawn to PayPal.
- Another free app, Snapwire, is aimed at large companies and bloggers. After registration, pictures can be uploaded not only from a smartphone, but also through the desktop version. Here there is a ranking system - in proportion to the level, earnings grow. An interesting feature of the service: there is a category of “challenge”, each of which has a specific prize pool (if successful, you will receive 70% from it) and conditions. Any authors can try to complete a task from a large firm or an opinion leader: thereby not only get money, but also get a couple of new clients.
- And if you own an iPhone and want your creativity to "go to the masses" - be sure to check out miPic . The application gives an interesting opportunity: to sell finished products with your photographs. miPic visitors are looking for quality images to put on T-shirts, wallpapers, cases, and even flip flops! After viewing your image, they can instantly pay for it and use it for commercial purposes.
"Combat classics" - the most popular photobanks
Now let's get back to the photobanks, the ads of which are guaranteed to come across when you surf the Internet.
- The first place that comes to mind when you hear the word “stock” is Shutterstock . The photo bank allows you to sell vector illustrations, 3D renderings, and regular photographs. He also promotes the work of novice authors - if you successfully passed the exam, then for some time you will “hang” in the top. Even if the photos are far from perfect, a loyal website audience is likely to increase your sales. Microstock photobank has its regular customers - at least because it is considered one of the largest and oldest services of this kind. On the other hand, residents of the CIS without a passport will face difficulties during registration: the site requires a scan of an international passport.
- Speaking of "classic" microstocks, one cannot ignore Getty Images. iStock is a marketplace created by the founders of Getty. By the way, this is the first microstock that appeared on the Internet. iStock invites new users to take a theory test and upload three different types of photos. It is possible to modify and improve their quality in case of deviation several times. On the other hand, this particular platform is considered one of the most difficult to work with - the requirements are too high.
Exchange of experience and a fresh interface
Many freelancers are already tired of the monotonous design "a la zero". And I also want to communicate with colleagues, become part of a real community and gain new knowledge.
- Ultra stylish photo hosting 500px is aimed at professional photographers - here they get feedback and improve their skills. By the way, on 500px you will not find caricature staged images: the service is focused on art and aesthetics. The format of the "social network" does not bother, being on the site (or in the application) and working with it is as comfortable as possible. But the free features are very limited: you won't be able to upload more than 10 photos per week if you don't activate a paid subscription.
- Another Instagram-like stock is Twenty20 . But it has a slightly different direction: if 500px is a "haven" for professionals, then authentic and "real" shots are valued at Twenty20. Users posting their work on the service are required to use a minimum of filters and refuse staged photos - it is better not to post pictures where the model is posing or looking at the camera. Most of the published images are portraits. Also, there is no entrance exam on the platform and you can participate in contests.
- Let's turn again to the overly popular photobanks that were "pioneers" in the field of microstocks. You probably know the Depositphotos service that has been operating for more than 10 years, the level of sales is consistently high, and registering and successfully passing exams is much easier here than on the same Shutterstock. In addition to vector illustrations and raster images, the platform accepts videos for sale. Here, too, a system of "levels" is provided - the status is assigned depending on the number of sales.
- Does the word "exam" scare you? Take a look at Dreamstime - you don't need a passport or portfolio to create an account. The only requirement: the uniqueness of each of your work. The more downloads, the higher the rating of a particular picture. But the image rating already affects the royalties for its sale: if your image becomes popular, you will receive up to 80% of its original cost. But with large series, you will have to slow down - firstly, the site zealously cleans even similar photos, and secondly, there is a limit on the number of downloads per week.
Ways to withdraw funds from photobanks
Finally! You've received your first payout: it's time to cash it out.
Photo banks always provide several ways to earn money. I have collected the three most common ones - you are guaranteed to meet one of them on the site with which you will cooperate.
- Payoneer . To quickly withdraw money, simply order a card through one of the partners of the payment system (for example, through the Dreamstime photostock). Now you can pay with it in any currency, withdraw funds from one of the ATMs and transfer them to your WebMoney wallet.
- PayPal . A quick and easy way that most freelancers use. After registering and linking a bank card, you will be able to receive transfers directly. For a very long time, this withdrawal method was not available to residents of the CIS countries.
- Skrill . An English payment system, from whose account earnings can be directly transferred to your bank card or foreign currency account. After creating an account, we link a card to it and verify it, create a dollar account and withdraw funds to it.
After the receipt of funds, it is advisable to transfer information about them to the Federal Tax Service (if you have the status of a self-employed or individual entrepreneur) - it is better to pay tax on time than to stumble upon sudden sanctions.
Now you are thoroughly immersed in the basics of microstocking and you can try to make money on your hobby - do not put it off for a long time.
Edit photos and videos in Windows 10
Windows 10 More...Less
Whether you're a do-it-yourselfer or prefer to trust the magic of automatic features, the Photos app in Windows 10 offers a variety of ways to enhance your photos and videos.
With the Photos application, you can easily crop, rotate, auto-enhance, and apply filters to your photos.
Enter photos in the search box on the taskbar. Select 9 from the list0357 Pictures . Then select the photo you want to change.
Start by selecting & "Create" at the top of the screen.
Select Edit and then Crop and Rotate , Filters or Adjust .
Use these functions to change lighting, color, sharpness, and red-eye removal.
Tip: To make minor changes or touch the options window, click the "Edit & create > edit > fixes" button. Then select patch "Red Eye " or "Spot" .
For more creative options, select the Modify & New command, and then select "Add 3D Effects" or "Edit with Paint 3D" .
Get creative with your photos and videos
In some cases, there is more to photos and videos you can add something special. Make them more personal by painting something new on them.
First, open the photo or video you want to enhance.
At the top & click "Edit & create" button.
Select Draw , and then select one of the three drawing tools from the toolbar.
Select the selected tool again to view color and size options.
Draw something directly on the image. If you do something wrong, don't worry - you can always erase the drawn elements that you don't like using the Eraser tool .