How to Make Money With Photography

How to Make Money With Photography

The opportunities to earn money as a photographer are endless. There are many ways to make a living through Photography, including freelance work, contract work, and photography services. 

Whichever route you choose, there is always room for improvement. Keep your eyes open for new opportunities, and never be afraid to ask for recommendations from other photographers. With hard work and a bit of luck, you too can become a successful photographer!


Take a step back with me two hundred years ago when photography was yet to be discovered. How was the world like back then? What constituted their media? What was the best way to capture a moment?

Well, step back into Today only without the invention of cameras and photography; absurd huh? Imagine our world today without photography? Billions and billions of images are non-existent; even scarier huh?

Photography, from the minute it was invented, has had an immense impact on the world we live in. Not only has it made it possible for us to record and document images forever but it has also changed our perception of the world, the creatures in it, and the events that come and go with life. When it was invented in the 1830s, it made capturing the moment possible. Before, this time the only way to see an event after it had happened was by looking at a painting or drawing.

 Although the first photograph took 8 hours to take, progress and developments in this field took the world by storm. Now it is uncommon for anyone not to own a mobile phone with an in-built camera or a digital camera. I bet everyone in this century has taken a picture or two. The internet today is flooded with innumerable amount of images; of people, objects, animals and nature itself.

The most noticeable difference if photography had not been invented on the world today if you ask me, would be the lack of immediacy that modern technology gives us. We simply pull out our cameras or phones and can snap away, meaning that the images we record could be on the internet in a matter of seconds. Without this, many communication networks would not exist. The craze of ‘selfies’ by our generation has taken the internet by storm. Social Media platforms owe their success to the millions of pictures and videos people post online every day. From parties to weddings, events to riots, and special moments to simple ones, photography has made it possible to capture all.

Today, photography is the largest growing hobby in the world with the hardware alone creating a multi-billion dollar industry. Thanks to this invention the TV and filmmaking industries are blooming, and with new tech coming up every day, we haven’t seen anything yet. Think of all the great movies and informative documentaries that have impacted your life one way or the other and helped shape your childhood. For every major moment in modern history, photographs have illustrated and astounded news that we could not possibly believe. When man walked on the moon, a camera was there. These photos can speak a million words and hit home, both emotionally and physically more so than any other form of communication. Photographs have a way of taking our breaths away, an ability to play tricks with our senses, and the power to change our beliefs. Photography allows people to see things that are indescribable. Telling someone that a war is devastating does not get that person to understand exactly how it is devastating.

“Photographs cannot lie,” this phrase was coined when photography was first invented because photographs were seen as honest representations of a scene, unlike paintings which were subjective to memory and attitude to a situation. Painters could lie, a camera, they said, could not. They were wrong. Photographs at the very beginning were infallible records of the happenings that the camera was pointing at. This quickly changed, of course. Photography had given people a way to lie through imagery, something that before was so unrealistic and unbelievable. Today, finding a photograph in the media that has not been altered with software such as Photoshop is like finding a needle in a haystack. In a matter of minutes, people can easily alter images to suit the story they want to tell. Photography has aided people to manipulate public opinion by lying through the photographs they use. But, had photography not been invented, the media as we know it now, our high streets, and our social make-up would be drastically different. On television, we have 20 minutes of advertising commercials in every one-hour length programme. Without photography, neither of these would exist.

It’s hard to think of any activity in our lives that does not in some way benefit or capitalize from the use of photography. This is especially true in the arts. If photography had not been invented today we would be lacking a beautiful form of art and creativity. In the click of a button, a masterpiece can be created. For many artists, photography has become central to their art. It allows for experimentation without destroying the beauty you had spent hours creating. You can alter a photo while still keeping the original. Photography creates jobs, broadcasts culture and events and more importantly it has aided us in almost every aspect of our lives either directly or indirectly.

Photographs have the power to create, condemn, celebrate, or reveal and to catalyze. How that power has been used and abused is subject to many debates but no one can disagree that the world would be a dramatically different place had photography never been invented.

Now, back to the topic. Why Would Someone Want to Make Money as a Photographer?

There are many reasons, but perhaps the most fundamental reason is that people love Photography. It's a craft that can be used to capture memories and moments, and it can also be used to tell stories.

Top 10 Places to Sell Photos Online and Make Money

Are you looking to make money online by selling your photos? Are you curious about which sites allow stock photos to be sold?

You can make a lot of money as a photographer or even start your own business! If you are familiar with the best places to sell photos online, it is possible to make a lot of money as a photographer. There is a high demand for photographers of all skill levels. Everybody, from big corporations to small and medium-sized businesses to bloggers, graphic artists, marketers, and publishers, buys and uses photos online regularly.

This guide will show you the 10 best places online to sell your photos and make money doing what is most important to you.

Who buys stock photos? What type of photos sells best?

Bloggers and owners of small- to medium-sized websites are the largest buyers of stock photos.

Which images do they buy the most?

  • People from all cultures and countries, including children and adults!
  • Businesses love these images of people working. People work on their laptops, writing, or speaking in a meeting. You shouldn’t make them too generic that they become a common meme.
  • Food — There are many delicious food options, even if you don’t have any plates.
  • Tools — Potential buyers may be interested in tools such as hammers, nuts bolts, and wrenches.
  • Cities — Cityscapes, buildings, people commuting.
  • Nature — This is an easy one to remember and never gets old to sell or shoot.
  • Travel — Photos from all over the globe are in great demand

Pro-tip: Take a look at some of the image marketplaces that we will discuss to see more popular images.

The Best Places to Sell Photos Online

1. Create Your Own Website

Your website is the best place to sell your photos online.

That’s because:

  • You can determine your prices.
  • Nobody else takes a cut.
  • You can choose how you want to display your photos.
  • You are free to set your terms and conditions.
  • You are in complete control.

Are you not yet a webmaster? It’s easy to get started. This is a quick guide to creating a WordPress website for photography. WordPress is the most popular platform for professional photography websites.

To attract people to your site and convince them to purchase your photos, it is important to show off your photos after you have created them. To create photo galleries, we recommend Envira Gallery, a highly-rated WordPress plugin.

Envira Gallery

Photo albums can be created with customizable Lightboxes that allow you to display and categorize images in a way that is unique from others.

The Envira Gallery plugin includes a WooCommerce extension that lets you sell photos quickly. If you decide to sell images on your site, you should learn how to sell photos in WordPress.

If you don’t want to use WordPress, this guide will show you how to make a Squarespace or Wix website.

2. Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock, formerly Fotolia, is a stock photography marketplace from the maker of popular photo editing software such as Lightroom and Photoshop. This online marketplace has been in existence for more than 10 years. It is well-known as the first to allow you to sell photos.

Adobe Stock’s royalty share is what you will love most. It is much higher than other online shops.

Fotolia photos become part of Adobe Stock Library, meaning they can be used in other Adobe applications. This means that millions of Adobe users and potential buyers have access to them.

Adobe Stock offers a range of 20% to 60% for contributors. Adobe Stock is not like other marketplaces that require you to grant them exclusive rights to your images. You can also sell on Adobe Stock and other platforms simultaneously.

Adobe Stock is a giant in stock photography and will likely continue to be a top destination for both buyers and sellers.

3. Shutterstock

Shutterstock is a well-known site that allows you to purchase stock photos online for more than 15 years. You can purchase royalty-free images, videos, and music tracks from Shutterstock. This also means that they have millions of customers.

This marketplace can make you a lot of money as a photographer. Shutterstock claims that sellers have earned over $500 million globally.

Shutterstock lets you keep copyrights protected. You can set the rights to your photos through Shutterstock. Shutterstock gives credit to the owners of the images, which is an important plus for protecting your ownership rights and marketing your brand.

You can start earning money when someone downloads or purchases your content once you have become a contributor to the site. Contributors can earn anywhere from 20% to 30% depending on the price your image sells, which Shutterstock pays monthly.

Shutterstock, like Adobe Stock, doesn’t require you to use their marketplace exclusively. It is possible to sell on both Adobe Stock and Shutterstock simultaneously!

4. Alamy

Alamy is another great platform for selling stock photos. It doesn’t have any rigid rules.

Although it doesn’t have the same number of buyers as Adobe Stock and Shutterstock, it is still a strong contender and another source of revenue. Alamy allows photographers to upload photos without any licensing fees or other copyright issues. Alamy has paid $180 million to photographers so far.

Alamy’s rates can be competitive too. Alamy pays 50% to photographers if they exceed $25,000 per year. 40% for those with annual sales less than $25,000, but greater than $250. 20% for contributors whose annual revenues are below $250. This is more than other platforms.

5. Etsy

Etsy is best known for being a place to purchase and sell handmade goods. This makes it a great choice when you are looking to sell stock photos. Etsy has over 30 million registered users, and many different ways you can sell your photos through the platform.

Etsy has a wider audience than other stock photo sites and is ready to buy your images. You can sell digital images on Etsy but you can also sell printed images. Etsy is a great way to grow your photography business!

Remember to include shipping costs when selling prints.

Etsy allows you to price photos and gives you complete control over how your photos are displayed to buyers. Etsy may be the right choice for you if you are looking to have complete control over your photo sales but do not want to create your own website.

6. Fotomoto

Fotomoto isn’t an online marketplace. It is a widget that you can integrate with your site to sell photos online. Fotomoto will manage all your photo selling processes after you have added them to your website.

Fotomoto is similar to Etsy. You can offer digital photos, photo prints, and even canvases to your visitors. Fotomoto takes care of the packaging for your material photos so that you don’t have to. If you want to sell photo prints or canvas, it’s even easier!

Fotomoto’s widget is completely customizable. To display your branding information and logo, you can modify the widget’s settings. Customers will learn about your brand and associate it with your images.

Fotomoto is a great tool for professional photographers, hobbyists, and graphic designers. It integrates seamlessly with any WordPress site. To learn more about the monthly plans, tiered pricing, and transaction fees, visit the widget website.

7. Crestock

Crestock is a passive way to make money with your photography. Create a Crestock account and upload your photos. After evaluating your photos, the Crestock team will add them to your Crestock portfolio for customers to purchase.

Crestock editors will approve images that have keywords and descriptions. These keywords and descriptions can help you find your photos amongst the sea of stock images available on this site.

8. 500px

500px allows you to create a portfolio and make money online. This is the best place to sell your photos online.

This site is free and features a Pulse algorithm that allows you to increase your exposure by uploading your new uploads on a Discovery page. The Discovery page is viewed daily by thousands.

You can also track your images and see analytics on the site. Have you ever wondered how many clicks each image gets? How do you compare to your peers? 500px can help answer your most pressing questions.

It is easy to get started with 500px. You can create a free account to upload your images. Wait and watch what you find! You should also be on the lookout for contests that can help you get more exposure and earn more money.

9. Snapped4u

Snapped4u makes it easy to sell your event photos. Snapped4u is the perfect tool for photographers who shoot weddings, parties, and engagements.

Snapped4u allows you to create a gallery and upload images you have taken from the gallery. You can then set the price for the photos, and that’s it!

Snapped4u then converts your images to jpeg and sends them directly to the buyers. Snapped4u then sends you the funds via PayPal each month.

Each Snapped4u seller can have her own gallery page so that customers who book you for multiple events will always be able to find your images at the same location. You can also give your personal URL to anyone who might be interested in purchasing your photos.

Snapped4u offers the highest profit share for each sale. Snapped4u may charge a commission if the photos are purchased at good prices.

10. PhotoShelter

PhotoShelter allows you to sell and ship prints online to your clients. You can create your own template to share the photos.

To upload photos, however, you will need to purchase the space on their platform. You can choose from a variety of plans with different features, including monthly or yearly.


We hope you found this guide helpful in finding the best online places to sell your photos and make money. Comment below to let us know which stock photo strategy or site you are most excited about.

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