How to sell photos online for free?

Sell photos online
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Stock images are a great way to make some quick bucks by selling your photos for various purposes.

How to sell photos online for free?

There is a massive demand for stock photos in the world of marketing, advertising, personal blogs, creative websites, and more. Why not make use of this opportunity and sell your images to those in need and make some money for yourself in the meantime?

If you want to learn how to make the most of this useful imagery resource, then keep reading! From the introduction to the best sites where you can sell your images, you will get to know all.

What is stock photography?

Stock photography is making available for license existing photos that have already been created. It is done by charging fees which are distributed among the artist who captured them and the agency who manages and publishes them.

Mostly it is these agencies such as sites like ShutterstockDreamstime, and Adobe, which acquire the right from the author to use their photos legally in different ways, by paying them a commission. The creator does retain the copyright of the work.

How to sell photos online for free

Stock photography is done without any particular assignment in mind as it is done before meeting the agency or client that will eventually buy them. Photographers just take shots that they like and submit them for licensing to the stock houses.

Then any buyer can view them on particular sites and purchased for a fee, which can be a flat price or charge based on usage. The shots are available for all those who wish to pay for them and have a high demand.

The Benefits of Stock Photography

Stock photography has many perks for both the creators and the businesses that use them. But the leading and most evident benefit is earning from previously created images within no time and requiring minimum effort.

Finding a photography project and creating custom images can be both expensive and time-consuming. Businesses require experience photographers and want final images delivered within the set perimeter. But with stock photography, there are no pre-conditions.

You can just click your desired image and upload it. If the business likes it, they will pay the price set by the agency, and you will get the commission.

As you just learned, stock images have already been created and ready to be sold, so they are the quickest way to earn money. It follows a simple model, and there are no complicated rules. You just have to license your images and upload them on a renowned site, which we will help you find. And within days, you will find buyers who will be willing to pay the fee to purchase them from you.

How to sell photos online

Another benefit is that you can control the way your photos are being used by setting out the terms of use before selling them. This ensures that your images are being used properly. You even have the option to sell them as Rights Managed by limiting it to only one use per license.

Let us have a look at some great agencies where you can sign up to start earning money now.

What is Shutterstock?

Many photographers consider Shutterstock as the top stock imagery site today. Not only it offers free registration, but its minimum commission rates are 25%, which is very profitable for beginners. It is one of the main hubs for photographers to showcase their talent and earn from it.

However, to keep it competitive, Shutterstock has made it a must to get ten photographs to be approved before registering as a member. We believe that this makes Shutterstock more reliable, and in our opinion, this is the best platform for you to use.

Shutterstock is the most renowned stock photography site that has been working for the benefits of photographers for many years now. It has been in the market for longer than most of its competitors, and it was the first microstock agency that came up with the innovative stock photo subscription model.

It has now extended all across the globe and is home to the most extensive stock photography library on the internet. It is responsible for managing more than 190 million files, and the number of records submission are increasing day by day as more photographers put their trust in it.

Shutterstock has become famous for two things: first is its strict technical standards, which help it to maintain the buying and selling process. Second is the infinite variety of content which it accepts and publishes, which is beneficial for both sellers and buyers.


Shutterstock account overview


As a Shutterstock contributor, you get to earn through a variety of options. You get the royalties if a customer downloads your approved images. But the amount that you receive on each download varies, and as it depends on a combination of factors, like the subscription that was used for by the customer for the download, the license of the image, and your earnings tier.

You can check the detailed breakdown of earnings in our review. So to learn more about it, visit our Shutterstock review to get more aquatinted with this number one stock photography site and find in detail what it has to offer.

Here you can watch a video by James Wheeler about selling photos online. This is both educative and motivational:



What is Dreamstime?

Dreamstime is famous for the generous commissions it offers, and many photographers consider it the second-best to Shutterstock. It is a stock imagery site that is user-friendly to work with. It is also very reliable as it has high-quality standards. This makes it necessary to check image quality before submission.

The sellers are held in high regard, and all their images are treated with respect. So to begin selling on Dreamstime, all you need to set an account by submitting some sample photos. Once the samples get approved, they will be made available for sale. If they are bought, you will receive a royalty on each transaction based on the terms set.

Dreamstime is a microstock agency based on traditional rules and regulations. It is a legit site and offers commission ranging from 25% to 60%. Your earnings not only depend on factors such as license and subscription but also on how recently the image was uploaded and how many people downloaded it.


Dreamstime account


But as it is a microstock agency, the earnings it offers are low. So, don’t expect big payouts. Thus the maximum you can earn from an image is $15.50 based on the topmost earning tier. Read our complete review to learn more.

What is Adobe Stock?

This site is indeed a Graphic Designer’s Best Friend as it is a stock photo service provided by the software giant Adobe and is built on the photo library of a well-known stock photo agency ‘Fotolia’ which was acquired by Adobe.

It is regarded as one of the best stock photography websites, which has a large number of customers as they are given access to more than 80 million stock photos, which is a massive collection. You can add more to this collection easily by signing up now.

Adobe Stock is ideal for beginners who want to streamline the selling process and save both time and effort. You can upload using both the application or work independently from the website. You can sell the photos for both commercial purposes, as well as non-commercial use.


Adobe stock account overview


The coolest thing about Adobe is that it is excellent for Creative Cloud users as it is integrated with this software. So it has more users than others; thus, the demand base is expanded. Even though the rate is less but the overall price of an image is set higher to give you a better payout ratio. So just meet the submission requirements, which are very user-friendly and start earning now.

Adobe Stock sells photos via subscription only so that customers can buy your pictures at a different rate. The commission you are paid depends upon the package the buyer opts for. But the commission is comparatively higher than other sites none of your images are sold cheap, and you can earn a commission of 33 to 35 percent on it.

Shoot with your smart phone

It is easy to upload pictures and videos on Adobe through the Lightroom CC and Bridge CC integrations, and the buyers can quickly view them through the Creative Cloud platform, so it brings ease for both photographers and buyers. It bridges the gap between them so that more purchases can occur, and you can earn a steady stream of income. To get more info, visit our Adobe Stock review.

So we have sorted for you the cream in the stock photography industry. Now, what are you waiting for? Join these agencies and begin selling your images now!

Just ensure they are high-resolution and have a little extra something so that buyers come running to you. We hope this article helps you in your photography adventures and enables you to earn some good cash.

Update for Shutterstock earning rate from June 1st, 2020

Shutterstock earnings rate

I am here again with a quick update about Shutterstock Earning Rate, which started being active on June 1st, 2020.

The earnings rate will reset for everyone at the beginning of each year and will grow as more as your content got licensed.

What does this mean?

Everyone will start with level 1, which is 15% per download (license). As you sell more, your earning rate can grow up to 40%. There are differences in the number of licenses between images and videos needed to get a higher level.

Shutterstock earnings rate for images June 2020

For example, to reach level two for images, you need 100 sales. But for videos, only ten. Please see the tables with earnings breakdown for images and videos.

Shutterstock earnings rate for videos June 2020

They made this change to make a difference between active hard workers and the less active ones.

As long as you care about your work and get seriously involved in this industry, you’ll reach 40% (level six) in no time.

Good luck in your photography journey and happy earning!


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Author: condruzmf

In love with photography!

8 thoughts on “How to sell photos online for free?

  1. A very informative article, indeed. I had no idea that it’s possible to earn money by selling photos -even those taken with a cellphone! I’m not a professional photographer but I like snapping at things around me-especially, nature. I’ll give it a try! Thank you so much!!

  2. In the past, I took a lot of pictures. I am not sure when and why I stopped, but this article is tempting me to dig up some of those photos and to see if I can really make that a success. Thanks for sharing this valuable information. Can you make money from creating and selling infographics?

  3. This is an interesting article. Many of us are casual photographers, snapping at everything we see from our cell phone. One can turn this casual/hobby into a profitable venture.
    I like to know Any of the above companies accept images taken from cell-phones or must they be taken with real cameras.

    1. It is absolutely fine to upload photos taken with your cell phone. In this days smart phones provides the required quality with no problem. It is all about creativity …

  4. Great post. I didn’t know that even photos or images created can be sold for profits. Thanks for sharing the 3 sites that offer such service. You’ve given an excellent introduction on these sites and you are helping many people who read your post to generate some extra income. Well done.

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