Published on 28 May 2017 | Updated on 7 November 2020
If you have come across Stock Photo Adviser website and started reading this you are probably looking for an advice on how to sell stock photos online. It is possible that you already have some experience and would like to learn more about stock photography. Or maybe you are a beginner or hobbyist photographer and need some basic information to start with.
How To Sell Stock Photos Online
No matter whether you are an amateur, semi or pro, at some stage most photographers get an idea of selling their work. In order to be successful and receive any financial benefit you need to learn how to do it properly. You should be aware of some very important issues, rules and details to help you in selling your photos.
What is stock photography?
There is a number of reliable resources and all definitions can be found on the Internet so we can make it simple. Stock photos (stock photography) is the business of licensing your artwork (it can also be vector, illustration, video, footage, audio, etc.). You grant someone else the right to use it (multiple times) for the purposes of either advertising, designing, printing or selling, and many other. Remember that you do not sell the property rights and you continue to be the only owner of the image.
How much you can earn?
You may have thousands of pictures sitting on your computer and doing nothing else but taking up all that precious disk space. Especially today, when all new cameras (whether professional DSLR or point-and-shot ones) have millions of pixels packed in their sensors, one image can take up from several up to a couple of hundred megabytes. So why not to try to upload these images to one or more stock photography agencies and let your images earn some extra money for you?
Let’s say one dollar per each image submitted during a year? Now multiply it per 2-3 hundreds (or even thousands) of photos you might have. Don’t you think it is worth trying? This may seem to be a very general rule but it should give you a rough idea of what it is about. There is always a chance that some of your images will become real stock photos. As a result they will sell more than once and for much more than $1.
To see how much you can earn for selling stock photos check our Contributors Royalty Comparison.
Before you start selling stock photos
If you want to sell photos and be successful, you need to learn how this business works. You have to find out what stock agencies are on the market and what technical requirements you must meet to upload images and have them approved. Check what images sell best, what subjects you should avoid and what kinds of pictures are sought for. Analyze many stock to see what quality and aesthetic level you have to meet to become stock photo contributor. Visit stock photography websites, check their categories to see which ones suit your photographic style. Also, see photos of other contributors, especially of those who succeeded in stock photography business.
At this stage you most likely have an idea of what you want to achieve but if not, we hope the following pages will highlight the most important issues of what to do and what to avoid and how to sell photos to the biggest stock agencies.
And you can also check out Pixpa’s latest article on how to sell your photography and, websites where pro photographers are selling their images.
Why you should read our guides and reviews?
Stock Photo Adviser provides comprehensive information on stock photo websites that you should check. We have no experience in selling footage, videos and music tracks thus we focus mainly on stock photography. Keep in mind that one agency may offer reasonable compensation to one stock photographer, while it might not be the best place for another. It depends on your style and favourite subjects, number of images you have in your portfolio or number of stock photos you can produce on regular basis. The quality of your photographic work will also matter.
From reading our guides and articles you will learn:
- What stock photography sites are best and recommended;
- How to become a contributor and how to pass any required tests;
- Technical requirements for submitting stock photos;
- What stock photos sell best;
- Pros and cons of becoming an exclusive contributor;
- Where free stock photos come from;
- What are referral (affiliate) programs;
- How you can benefit from taking part in partner programs.