Do you own a DSLR camera and are in love with photography? Do you spend tons of money on expensive camera accessories for better pictures? Are you interested in knowing how to make money with photography?
I am pretty sure that your answers are all YES indeed!
You came here, which is evident that you want to take your photography hobby to the next level or considering it as a career. But, do you think of yourself as a professional who takes great picture quality and has required skills level?
Keep reading if you want to know more about how to make money as freelance photographer and rise to the next level. Here, you will find stock sites that can help you earn with photos that you take daily.
These websites are some of the best one or you can also chose to sell locally with selling apps. Before I move further and learn how to make money with photography. There are two things that you must pay attention to. These are two of the most common questions every budding photographer asks.
Make no mistake, these are some important one and need to answer. Here are the questions, which I will answer in short.
Table of content
How do freelance photographers make money?
There are generally two different types of methods adopted by freelance photographers. One is online and second is offline.
Offline photo selling methods are many, here are few of them:
1. Private Photo Sessions
There is no shortage of work when it comes to offline mode. It can be a modeling photo session, product photography, wedding photography, etc.
Also, they are in demand for any type of gathering where the host wants to capture the moments. Yet, they need to be in touch with many peoples who refer them to above-said jobs.
2. Own Studio
Everyone need photographs for one or another work which need a proper photo studio. Our digital camera though can take the same images but printing, editing, and framing is not an easy job. To start earning from this method, one must invest at the beginning.
Few freelance photographers also provide basic training to help peoples learn photography. Though, not best of methods to make money with photography skills. Still helps make some extra cash for them.
Here are a couple of online methods to sell photographs:
When it comes to selling photos online, they are dependent on their website or big websites.
1. Own Website
Tell me the name of the world’s best photographers with no personal website?
Almost all top professional and freelance photographers do own a website. This comes with two benefits, brand building and selling their photos omitting middleman.
2. Stock Websites
Easier of the method but with a lot of competition. Thousands of photographers upload their best work for sale on these websites. Many times, making it to the top of image search becomes difficult.
You have to put some of your time on analyzing and finding a way to make your work recognized.
How do I sell my photographs with no investment?
In the above online methods of making money with photography lies the answers.
When you think of advancement and 24 x 7 connectivity, focus on selling online than offline modes. Registering free with these websites is your best option if you are short of investment.
It’s a simple process to get registered on stock photo websites and create your image portfolio. If you are confused between above methods on how to sell photos you are creating. Go straight to the such websites and get registered, that’s easy for you as a beginner.
How to make money with photography on the stock website?
Focus on trends, tags or keywords, most common demand, pricing and above all the quality of an image. These are some of the key factors of the top-selling photos online.
Once you learn the tricks of the trade, you can start to earn money through photography online. I do not want to go much in details about working of these websites.
But before moving ahead, I would like to suggest you guys make some image royalty free stocks. Go figure out why and how this tip can turn your profile rank higher on such websites.
Back to the main topic of my article…
List of websites to make money with photography skills.
The intention of this list is to make selling stock photos familiar for beginners. Which of course will help them in future when they are ready. This can help them of basic, like where and how to sell photos.
This is, in fact, one of the most popular websites for stock images. Not only for the photographer but lovers of free photo downloads, this is a go-to destination.
Shutterstock traffic is massive which helps image owners make money with their photography skills.
How much can you make from Shutterstock?
New Shutterstock contributors can make $0.25 to $80 per download.
For those who think this is not enough, let me tell you that top earners from Shutterstock websites make up to $100 per download!
In general, download rates are by and large contributed by the picture quality.
A great place to help to sell stock photos for beginners who want to earn with their skills.
2. Getty Images
Getty is the mother of all stock photos websites out there. I will be surprised if you have not seen their watermarked images on some of the biggest news, sports, and entertainment sites.
Generally speaking, their freelance contributors are the one seen at close action positions in major events.
How much can you earn from Getty Images?
I do not have the correct figures with me but the biggest of websites shred $300 to $500 per image on their quality images. Out of the total amount, the picture owner makes around 20%-35% with their photos.
When it’s come to Getty Images, there is no compromise with quality. Their contributor acceptance process is tough and, your application may get rejected.
Nevertheless, if you want to get paid for your photography on this website, please ensure you have top-notch photography skills.
Definitely, not a website for amateurs who do not know how to make money with photography. Still, give it a try, and see if you got the skills to get the approval for contributor.
This is another place to sell photographs online for money. Though this is a Getty Image owned website but still, one of the best places to sell pictures.
Joining is simple, you have to fill their standard form and wait for the approval. Once done, you are good to go as iStockphoto contributor.
Whenever a user downloads your image, you get 15% of the image price, which is for the starter. As your profile get more hits and with higher downloads of your images, your commission will increase.
How to make money with photography on iStockphoto, simply,become eligible for exclusive status and earn 45% commission of the total price.
This is a big stock website in term of total contributors. You won’t believe but, a total of 5 million freelancers to professional photographers are using this website to sell stock images.
Like many other websites, they too have the simple registration and screening process. You can start registering with them for free and apply for becoming a contributor.
500PX paying rates are up to 70% per image download price. That is one of the top percentage commission among photo selling sites.
Ok, this one is a bit opposite to 500PX but a piece of great news for stock photographers. Their active buyer base is above five million, that increases your chances to make money with photography.
The reason for these much of buyer base is their affordable prices for photo downloads.
You can earn a commission between 20% to 63% of the downloaded image price. Payment against your stock royalties is through PayPal or Wire transfer.
If you want to lure peoples to buy your online pictures, this is the right stock website for you. SmugMug provides offers, coupons and good discounts for contributor’s promotion. This helps freelancers to increase their sales on their platform.
Another good feature is its store builder. Which stock photo creators can create for themselves. By this, contributors can build a showcase for their work on SmugMug domain.
Upon approval as a contributor, you are eligible for up to 85% commission and make money with photography.
7. Snapped 4U
This site made it to my list due to the unique feature to sell photos online and earn. How about unlimited upload option with no cap on the number of photos. If you can upload many pictures, along with it, your chances to sell pictures online increases.
Even the average quality of images have the potential to convert to cash picture. Cost of download is as low as $5 for customers who buy pictures.
With a standard commission of 10% applicable on all downloads of up to $5.
This is a uniquely built platform for photographers who are looking for how to make money with photography online? Maybe, this is the right place for you to start with.
What makes CrowdFoto a bit different is the opposite approach compared to other websites.
Peoples post their need to buy photos online on CrowdFoto which anyone can see. As a freelancer, you can offer them your fresh image as per allocated assignment.
Though this is not of the best way to sell photography online but have a uniqueness to it. For those who are looking for a challenging and creative job for photographers, apply for their membership.
PayPal payments are done if client like, accept and download your photograph.
Here is another website to get paid for your photography online. Their application method is easy to become a stock contributor. But few of further steps consume quite some time.
Individual review and approval is the policy, each time upload on their platform.
Anyway, you get paid based on the number per downloaded image, with royalty prices of 20% to 50%.
10. Own a Photography Website
Yes, I briefed this a while ago.
Where to sell photographs online without a middleman?
Build your website or take the help of freelance professionals. This is somewhat a to be professional photographer must consider while shortlisting the ways to sell their photos.
Why freelance photographers had better own a website?
- Freedom of posting images, e.g. maybe photos that sell well, might not get approved with stock websites.
- Professional look.
- Branding and marketing through advertisements.
- It’s become easy to share your work on social media.
- Easy to get assignments.
- Linking their stock image website portfolio links.
- Operating a blog, which helps bring organic traffic to your website.
- Website traffic helps generate revenue from advertisement or affiliation.
- Sharing photography selling tips or recommend a camera and other equipment.
- You can continue using the services of other stock websites.
Above are a few benefits that I can think of right now, but they are not limited.
If, you are considering to make a realistic income from stock photography, give it a go. Think about the benefits I shared above on owning a website.
Owning a website together with photography skills and marketing can build a brand.
There are plenty of prospects on how to make money with photography. Provided that, one must see things with an open mind.
If you are considering the option to go with big brands in online image market. Please do analyze and study the following things:
- Invest in the best equipment required to take attractive images
- Have a look at best selling photographs on all platforms
- What are the top selling photos that earn
- How to take the best selling pictures that encourage more downloads.
- Keep studying until you start making money with your photography hobby.
All things considered, do not dream to make millions in photography. On the positive side, take it to step by step to reach your destination.
I am sure you will like my shortlist of the best place to sell stock photos that helps make money with photography as a freelancer.
Please let me know other websites that I can add to make this list bigger. In case, you have other methods on how to make money with photography, just let me know for the inclusion on this article.