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If you have a number of quality photos that you believe people may want to pay for, there are a selection of renowned websites that can help you turn those shots into hard cash.

For professional photographers 4 Hard Truths About Professional Photography (And Solutions) 4 Hard Truths About Professional Photography (And Solutions) Do you want to start making money with your photography skills? Here are a handful of important considerations to make before taking that leap. Truth is, photography ain't easy. Read More , having a variety of websites on which to sell your top shots can be a great way to diversify your income. For newbies with a bit of skill Master Photography By Studying It: 10 Great Online Photo Courses Master Photography By Studying It: 10 Great Online Photo Courses There's a lot of theory and knowledge behind a beautiful photograph, so much so that it can be overwhelming for the beginner. Fortunately, there are some great online resources that make getting started easier. Read More , it can be an interesting way to start earning some cash on the side 20 Micro Jobs to Help You Make Money in Your Free Time 20 Micro Jobs to Help You Make Money in Your Free Time Online opportunities to earn additional income are everywhere. It can be difficult to sniff out the legit companies from the scams. Below are 20 legit opportunities to easily make some extra income in your free... Read More .

The 12 websites below have been chosen due to their high royalty rates, their popularity, or simply because they offer something different. Each could provide an additional income stream for anyone with enough good shots lying around.

If you would like to add any other websites to this list, please provide a link in the comments at the end of the article.

Alamy

Selling Photos 1

There’s a reason why Alamy has over 60 million images and videos for sale on its website. It’s because it offers photographers a huge 50% royalty payment on each photo sold. The site also allows photographers to sell their photos elsewhere (it doesn’t demand exclusivity).

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This has enabled Alamy to become the world’s largest marketplace for stock photos, and it now has a huge number of monthly visitors – all of whom are potential customers for your photos.

Shutterstock

Selling Photos 3

Since launching, Shutterstock has paid out over $350 million to its contributors. When you upload a photo to the marketplace, you still keep copyright, and can earn up to 30% of the sale price of your photos depending on the size of your image. Currently, the payout is between $0.25 and $28 per sale.

iStock Photo

Selling Photos 4

iStock Photo is a great place for those just starting out selling stock photos. Its popular forums and resources will help you to find your feet, and to understand the world of photo sales.

The standard royalty payout for iStock Photo starts at only 15% per download, but this can increase to 45% depending on the popularity of your photos. If a customer purchases a photo using one of the subscription “credits” however, royalty rates are 15% by default.

If you’re willing to sell your photos exclusively on iStock Photo, the site will thank you by offering 22-45% royalties. This exclusivity contract can be ended if you give the company 30 days notice.

PhotoShelter

Selling Photos 5

If you want to sell your photos, but would rather make those sales through your own site, PhotoShelter is a great tool for this. At its core, it’s a photography-oriented e-commerce platform that you can integrate into almost any website. This includes cloud storage for your photos, an intuitive interface, decent SEO (search engine optimization), and several social media integrations.

The benefits of this option include retaining full control over how your photos are displayed, not having your competitors photos displayed alongside your own, and the ability earn much more of the sale price. A couple of other similar alternatives are Fotomoto and Pixpa.

Fotolia

Selling Photos 6

With over 4 million buyers, Adobe’s Fotolia is a beautiful site that offers royalties of between 20-46%. These royalties are deposited into your account immediately, unlike with many other sites where you have to wait to reach a threshold, or payments are made every 30 days.

The site has been in operation for over 10 years, and now houses over 45 million images. Relatively recently it was integrated into several of Adobe’s software packages, including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. This means that when you upload a photo to Fotolia, it’s also added to Adobe Stock, so people can buy your photos directly from within those applications.

PhotoMoolah

Selling Photos 7

If you want a different way of selling your photos, try PhotoMoolah. This is a site where you can submit relevant photos to different contests. If your photo is picked as one of the winners, you get paid while retaining your rights. The site isn’t yet massively popular, meaning there’s less competition for aspiring photographers.

As a couple of examples, there’s currently a contest looking for photos of “Australian and European kids playing outdoors”, offering a prize of $200. There’s another looking for “Unique selfie shots in Singapore”, where you could also win $200. Prizes have been known to go up to $500, but most are $100-200.

SmugMug

Selling Photos 8

The SmugMug “Pro” package is an alternative to PhotoShelter. The platform enables you to showcase your work on a massively customizable storefront, and to manage your orders.

The main distinguishing feature is the ability to use the SimplyMug labs to offer prints, books, and greetings cards created from your shots. There are additional features such as the ability to create coupons, photo packages, and built-in analytics. You’ll also get to keep up to 85% of your revenue.

Can Stock Photo

Selling Photos 9

If you’re looking for an easy option for selling your photos, Can Stock Photo is a great choice. You will need to be approved first, which is a simple process where you have to submit three images to the site’s editors. You’ll usually have a response within 24 hours.

When uploading photos (you can upload several hundred at once) onto the site, the metadata and keyword data is read automatically, saving you the pain of needing to categorize each photo. You can earn up to 50% in royalties on the site, and can withdraw your money into PayPal once your balance reaches $50. If you want a mailed check, you’ll have to wait until you have $100.

123RF

Selling Photos 10

This site has over 45 million files on offer, with almost half a million being added each week. The royalties payable vary between 30% and 60% depending on your level of contribution. This means that the more photos you upload, the higher your payout. If you upload less than 250 images to the site, you’ll earn 30%, which equates to $0.216 per download. If you upload over 1 million images, you’ll receive 60%, which equates to $0.432 per download.

Dreamstime

Selling Photos 11

In the stock photography world, Dreamstock is a reputable player. It achieved this status by ensuring that all uploads are reviewed to check they meet their standards “technically, aesthetically and commercially”, thereby guaranteeing quality.

Once your photos are approved, you’ll receive royalties of 25-50%, though this could increase to 60% on all images if you sign an exclusivity contract. If you do sign that exclusivity deal, you’ll also receive an additional bonus of $0.20 for each approved submission. The sale price of each photo is based on the number of times it has been downloaded.

FineArtAmerica

Selling Photos 12

FineArtAmerica is the perfect place to set up an alluring portfolio The Best Website Builders to Create a Clean Online Portfolio The Best Website Builders to Create a Clean Online Portfolio Having an online portfolio is critical for today's digital worker. Which free website builder is best for your portfolio? We help you pick out the suitable one from the ten contenders. Read More , and to sell physical prints of your shots. You can sell each photo as a canvas print, poster, framed print, metal print, acrylic print, or greetings card.

When you make a sale, the order (including the printing) can be fulfilled by the company’s own Print-On-Demand service.  If you would rather take care of the printing yourself, however, you won’t have to have to pay FineArtAmerica a dime – though once your sales are over a certain number, you will have to sign up for a premium account.

If you’re able to produce your own prints 5 Affordable Websites for Printing Digital Photos Online 5 Affordable Websites for Printing Digital Photos Online Some pictures are so valuable that you want to carry them around in your wallet or hang them over your fireplace. Where are you going to go now that one-hour photo shops are endangered? Read More , there are also a number of craft websites 6 Ways to Sell Your Crafts Online and Make Money 6 Ways to Sell Your Crafts Online and Make Money Want to sell your handmade crafts online? Etsy should not be your first choice and here's why, along with several alternative sites that might suit you better. Read More which you may be interested in using as a selling platform.

Snapped4U

Selling Photos 14

If you’re a photographer who takes photos at events — parties, gigs, festivals, weddings etc. — Snapped4U is a website that makes the sale of those photos extremely simple. It’s also a great way to use the sales of photos to raise money for good causes. By uploading and selling your photos here, you don’t need to deal with the nightmare of order processing, printing, and postage. Snapped4U deals with all of that on your behalf.

The cost to you for each photo sold is just $0.50 on photos that are priced $5 or less. If the photo is sold at more than $5, Snapped4U will charge a 10% commission.

Where Else Do You Sell Photos?

There are plenty of other websites out there where you can sell your photos. The ones included here are those that either offer something different, are highly reputable, or who offer fantastic royalties to contributing photographers.

As you improve your photography skills Learning Photography: 5 YouTube Channels to Become a Pro Learning Photography: 5 YouTube Channels to Become a Pro There are hundreds of channels dedicated to photography lessons. The good ones are buried in the noise. We picked five of the best for you. Read More , and learn to understand the photos that sell well (and those that don’t), your forays into this territory should, in time, become more lucrative.

Which other sites would you recommend? Out of those above, which has been the most lucrative for you? And do you have any advice for people looking to start selling their own photos?

  1. Abigail
    November 15, 2016 at 1:11 am

    Great article! Any recommendations for sites that specialize in travel shots? Specifically, street life and other photos capturing ancient India in juxtaposition with modern India.

  2. Shannon McKenna
    October 26, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Hello,
    I'm curious if anyone makes a decent amount if money using any of these sites? In my experience, they are time-consuming and do not produce many results. If you do make money, would you mind sharing with me an amount? I'm very curious to know if it's worth the effort!

    Thanks in advance,
    Shannon

  3. Audrius
    August 22, 2016 at 11:07 am

    I am selling on those sites:
    Shutterstock:
    http://submit.shutterstock.com/?ref=1865198
    Fotolia:
    http://www.fotolia.com/partner/204297204
    123RF:
    http://www.123rf.com/#audriusmerfeldas
    Deposit photos:
    http://depositphotos.com?ref=1756291
    Dreamstime:
    http://www.dreamstime.com/register#res6959677

    Shutterstock is no.1 for me. They keep very stable sales. Registration could be a bit tricky due to reading through their requirements and having small exam. A bit later you upload some photos for them to check. I have tried 2 times and the second one was lucky, they approved me photos and now i think it definitely worth it. Now it sells around few hundred licenses every month from my portfolio.

    • Rob Nightingale
      October 30, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Thanks Audrius! Out of interest, do you make many sales on these sites?

  4. Stephen Theodorakopoulos
    July 16, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Am currently havong trouble with iStockPhoto, where I am still (after 4 days) waiting for a reply to the simple question (phrased in a nice way) 'how on earth can I add more photos to iStockPhoto'.

    A simeple comment: All professional sites take a long time to get used to, accept it will drive you crazy for the first weeks. Also, you never know (because no site I know guarantees it) how long it will take to get a reply. Some sites have a phone number, but those numbers may be blocked in some countries - this happened to me with iStockPhoto, so for them only the 'reply by email' works in the country where I am.

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 20, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      You should use a VPN, then you will be able to phone the number from any country...

  5. Alma
    June 25, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    l am a home stay mom that loves to take pictures on my cell. Some of friends tell me to sell them but l am not sure which company to join. Any recommendation? thank you!!

    • WIlliam Green
      July 8, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      Hi Alma. There was another article not long ago about smartphone photography and selling your pictures through apps.

      http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/make-money-smartphone-photography/

      Personally I've tried several that are on the list in that article and my favorites are Foap and Eyem. The user experience is simple on both. Upload your pics, caption them, add some tags, answer a couple quick questions about the pictures (Are there people in your pictures? If No, great you're done! If Yes, is it ok to use this person in a commercial photo? Yes. Done!) To be honest Foap is easier than Eyem, but it's pretty easy to.

      In about 2 weeks I've uploaded 40+ pictures to each. I've gotten tons of high ratings! But what I'm really excited about is in Eyem 6 of my pictures are now in They Eyem Collection, which as far as I understand, means Getty Images and Alamy (mentioned in this article) now have the opportunity to see and purchase them.

    • William Green
      July 8, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      Hi Alma. Check out this article about smartphone photography.

      http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/make-money-smartphone-photography/

      I've checked out several of the apps mentioned and my favorites are Foap and Eyem, because the user experience is simple.

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 13, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      I think the article covers many of the best... try some of them out :)

  6. kasun
    June 21, 2016 at 1:02 am

    wow

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 13, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      ...thanks ;)

  7. Zel
    May 24, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Can I upload and sell same photo on several of these websites, or all of them? Do they have an exclusivity clause?

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 13, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      Some have exclusivity options (which often means you'll get higher royalty)... many also have the option for non-exclusivity so you can post your photos to more than one site.

  8. Ovidiu
    May 18, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Photodune only looks for photos with bussines people, corporate mixed raced employees, call center women, family etc. No travel photos or landscapes. Thats is why I think it should't Be in the list.

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 13, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      There's still a decent range of photos over there. Between everything in the list, I hope there's a good variety to choose from...

  9. Cassandra
    May 13, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    How about 500px?

    • Rob Nightingale
      May 18, 2016 at 10:16 am

      Great suggestion that I should have really included on the list!

  10. Aaron
    May 9, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Avoid shutterstock like the plague!!! DO NOT EVEN BOTHER! Impossible to navigate, terribly setup website, insanely annoying and lengthy application process and customer service worse than anything I have encountered. Zero support, zero acknowledgement, colossal waste of time. Just take a look at their social media platforms, about 95% of comments are deleted! (This tells you just how many unhappy people there are)

    • Rob Nightingale
      May 18, 2016 at 10:15 am

      Sorry you've had such a bad experience with them, Aaron!

  11. Stephanie
    March 20, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Zenfolio is a notch up from Smugmug, in my opinion. Simply having MPix print the images made it worth my migrating over several years ago.

    That said, this article is very useful. Thank you!

    • Rob Nightingale
      March 23, 2016 at 4:01 pm

      Thanks Stephanie! I'll have to check out your recommendation!

  12. OgbaOghene Ozoro
    March 12, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Surprised not to find Getty Images on your list. Any particular reason why?

    • Rob Nightingale
      March 17, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      I'll look into Gerry images more- thanks for pointing this out!

  13. Engin Erayd?n
    October 15, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Photodune (sub market of Envato) is a good alternative with low prices=high sell amounts.

    • Rob Nightingale
      October 17, 2015 at 5:18 am

      Thanks Engin. I'll take a look at ths!

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