Many Ways to Make Money Selling Photos Online

In these insane times, a significant number of us are searching for ways of making extra payments. Launching a side hustle or online job can be easy – especially when you’re starting with no experience in your chosen field. Selling photos online is a good way to make extra cash.

Read more: Easy ways to make money playing card games

This article will give you the rundown on how to:

  1. Sell your photos online
  2. What websites to sell your photos too
  3. How to make the most money selling your photos

I never dreamed that my future would involve a tool like a cell phone with a camera. When this gadget first came out, in 2005, I was the only one who had it! The dollar charge for each photo message you sent was worth the convenience and the excitement.

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Thanks to things like cloud storage, smartphones, and cell phone cameras, it is estimated that there are some 14 trillion photos in the world today. Without even considering the potential investments that could be recovered.

Photo-taking is on the rise as people and businesses embrace digital technology. With this in mind, one can do a great deal of business selling photos online for different purposes.

You can make money off your photos if you know how to take good ones. Here’s how:

How To Start Selling Photos Online

Preferring either selling on the other website or your website – first, remind yourself of the selling options available. Once you decide which one is best for you, decide which option would be most feasible.

Before you sell your photos online, speak with a professional photo editor to ensure the quality of your photos and to help you decide which direction to take them in. It’s also important that you consider the uniqueness/desire for your photos before attempting to sell them.

To start selling photos online, make sure you first invest in:

  1. A fair camera with different focal points
  2. The right photo editing software
  3. Yourself, i.e., perusing up and exploring photography courses, recordings, and articles
  4. Know why you really want to sell (Save cash, dispose of your work, and so on)

Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, selling your work online can be a really lucrative option. You might want to do your research before diving in.

Popular sites to get started are listed below!

9 Sites Where You Can Sell Your Photos Online

Here is a quick list of 9 places where you can sell your photos online, followed by a quick review of each:

  1. SmugMug Pro
  2. Shutterstock
  3. Etsy
  4. iStockphoto
  5. Adobe
  6. Alamy Stock
  7. 500px Prime
  8. PhotoShelter
  9. Bonus: Fotomoto

SmugMug Pro

SmugMug is one of the best options for selling your photos online. Unlike other platforms, you can set the price of your product and keep 85% of the profit!

You can add your own price to any photo, or create a custom listing for those who don’t have the starting amount in mind. Every photo has a 0% markup and is fully customizable, so you can set the exact price for your product.

SmugMug is one of the best options available, letting you keep a lot of the profit from your image sales. However, they charge $12.50 in monthly fees for using their service for a limited number of pictures each month. That’s not too much if you can sell three photos a month.


If you’ve never heard of Shutterstock, you’re not alone. Though the company has a large user base, it’s relatively unknown and remains under the radar.

Shutterstock is one of the largest online photo dealers out there. It offers payouts exceeding half a billion dollars to sellers. They have also developed an innovative licensing system that allows even content owners to determine copyright rules and photo privileges at their own leisure.

Alamy pays you for your photos and contributions. There are many other ways to profit from their content including print sales and licensing. You should take a look because they’ve been around since the start and maintain high quality like no other stock site.

Etsy Photo

I had no idea Etsy allowed photographers to sell their photos on their platform. But it makes sense if you think about it – you can find all sorts of interesting things on Etsy, from wood sunglasses to soap.

That being said, it’s also not the ideal platform for selling your photography due to my first statement — most people don’t think of Etsy as a top online platform for photography sales. However, they do support Etsy business owners with their photography selling guide.

The positive with selling photos on Etsy is you set your price and keep 96.5% of the profit (they keep 3.5% of all sales).


IStockphoto is one of the oldest platforms for photographers. They have a solid reputation, but do you know what makes them different?

Don’t worry, it may seem like getting your images on iStockphoto is super difficult, but don’t be daunted. They have more than 200,000 contributors and our designers will help you take the best steps to make your images easy to license for iStockphoto. Start off fresh by applying to our contributor platform and work your way up to the exclusive VIP club to earn the most.


Adobe is a company that has made a variety of photo editing software and has long been the go-to destination for those looking to sell or share their photos online. They are also likely the origin of your first photo editing software, Photoshop.

I’ve made enough money and time selling my photos through the popular Adobe royalty program. They make it really easy to earn money!

Alamy Stock

If you want to make the most out of your photos, selling them on Alamy Stock is an excellent option as they let you keep 50% of your sales on each sale. While Alamy is not as popular as some of the other platforms we’ve already discussed, like Adobe, it’s still a good option for photographers who want to put their skills to work.

500px Prime

Prime is a platform that combines together the three best aspects of any website – offering quality, promoting smart discovery, and using a free model to grow your business.


You are subsequently making more openness for your photographs! More openness implies more deals.

Note that there was a rumor of an incident from 2017 where 500px sold some user photos to Fotolia. On the plus side, it seems this issue has largely been resolved by 2020 – but be mindful of how much trust you put into outside platforms.

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