Sell photos online

How to sell photos online for free?

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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 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 helpful 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 distributed among the artist who captured them and the agency that manages and publishes them.

Mostly, these agencies such as ShutterstockDreamstime, and Adobe 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 take shots that they like and submit them for licensing to the stock houses.

Any buyer can then view them on particular sites and purchase 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 click your desired image and upload it. If the business likes it, they will pay the agency’s price, and you will get the commission.

As you just learned, stock images have already been created and are 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 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 how your photos are 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 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. It offers free registration, <-Affiliate link 🙂 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, Shutterstock has made it a must to get ten photographs to be approved before registering as a member to keep it competitive. 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 working for the benefit 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 worldwide 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 maintain the buying and selling process. Second is the infinite variety of content that it accepts and publishes, which is beneficial for 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 it depends on a combination of factors, like the subscription used 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. 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 its generous commissions, 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 up an account <-Affiliate link 🙂 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 commissions ranging from 25% to 60%. Your earnings depend on factors such as license and subscription and 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. Could you read our complete review to learn more?

What is Adobe Stock?

This site is indeed a Graphic Designer’s Best Friend. 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’ acquired by Adobe.

It is regarded as one of the best stock photography websites, which has many 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 nowNot an affiliate link  😛

Adobe Stock is ideal for beginners who want to streamline the selling process and save time and effort. You can upload using both applications 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

Adobe’s coolest thing 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, the overall price of an image is higher to give you a better payout ratio. To meet the very user-friendly submission requirements, 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 earns you 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 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 the 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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8 thoughts on “How to sell photos online for free?”

  1. Avatar of Jeffrey Teo

    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.

  2. Avatar of Ahearst

    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. Avatar of condruzmf

      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 …

  3. Avatar of Josephine Jennifer Crawford
    Josephine Jennifer Crawford

    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?

  4. Avatar of Effie

    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!!

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