304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

Work Hours
Monday to Friday: 7AM - 7PM
Weekend: 10AM - 5PM

How to Sell Stock Photos and make Money


Visuals are vital in attracting and engaging website visitors in today’s digital world. This is where stock photos may help. Stock photography is a collection of already existing photos that have been licensed for commercial usage. The advantages of using stock images are numerous, and in this post, we will look at how you can utilize them to better your website and online presence.

Saves Time and Effort 

Stock photos can be a lifesaver when it comes to saving time and energy. Generating new and unique visuals for your website can be daunting, especially without the necessary resources and expertise. This is where stock photography comes in handy, providing a quick and easy solution with a vast collection of high-quality images at your disposal.


Instead of spending a lot of money on a professional photographer, you can save money by using stock photos. Images can be purchased from most stock photography websites for a nominal fee, and some sites even provide users with free, royalty-free photos. Using stock images allows you to redirect funds from your photography budget to other areas of your company.

How to Sell Stock Photos and make Money

Wide Selection

Stock photography websites provide a broad array of photographs covering a wide range of topics and themes. Whether you’re seeking photographs of nature, people, animals, or abstract notions, you’ll find what you’re looking for. With so many options, you may choose images that complement your brand’s style and message.

Professional Quality 

Professionalism is a trademark of stock photography, with the vast majority of photographs having been shot by seasoned pros. You may trust in the photos’ high quality to improve your site’s appearance and build consumer trust in your business. You may make your website look more professional and credible by adding these images.

Enhances User Engagement

To increase user engagement, it is essential to have images on your website. You can improve your website’s overall appeal, encourage visitors to remain longer, and eventually raise the possibility of conversions by using high-quality photographs. More user satisfaction decreased bounce rates and increased engagement result from this.

How to Sell Stock Photos and make Money

SEO Benefits

Along with the advantages previously mentioned, utilizing stock photos may also have a positive impact on your website’s search engine ranking. Including relevant images with your content can help to enhance your website’s image search rating. This may lead to higher positions in search results and an increase in organic traffic.

Creating and selling your stock photos

For photographers who want to increase their income, stock photography is an excellent option. Whether you are a skilled or novice photographer, you can create and sell photographs to clients or through stock photography websites. This manual will help you through the steps of producing top-notch stock photography, subject selection, setting prices, and selling your images.

Creating high-quality stock photos

You need to make a solid equipment investment, understand composition and lighting skills, and select in-demand subject matter if you want to produce high-quality stock images. Let’s investigate these elements in greater depth.

How to Sell Stock Photos and make Money

Equipment you need

A competent camera, lens, and editing software are required to make high-quality stock images. Invest in a high-resolution camera that shoots in RAW format. A decent lens can make a significant difference in the quality of your images, so consider investing in one as well. Editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom can help you improve and professionalize your images.

Composition and lighting

Composition and lighting are critical components in producing high-quality stock photography. To make visually appealing images, learn the rule of thirds, leading lines, and other composition principles. Lighting is also vital, so understand how to use both natural and artificial light effectively.

How to Sell Stock Photos and make Money

Choosing subjects

Consider what is in demand when selecting subjects for your stock photography. Nature, travel, business, leisure, and technology are all popular topics. To learn what customers are seeking, look at what is currently selling on stock photography websites.

How to price your photos

Selling your images might be challenging, but there are several things to take into account. On stock photography websites, take a look at the prices that other photographers are asking for comparable images. Take into account the time and effort you put into taking the shot and the terms of the licensing you provide.

Where to sell your photos

Photographs can be sold in several different ways; you could, for example, sell them directly to clients or post them on stock photography websites.

Stock photography websites

Selling your photos on a stock photography website is a common practice. Popular stock photo sources include Shutterstock, iStock, and Adobe Stock, among others. You can post your photos to these sites and get paid a cut if someone buys a license to use one of them.

Directly to clients

Selling your images to customers one-on-one is still another choice. People or companies seeking particular photographic content fall into this category. Prospective customers can be contacted via email, social media, or a website featuring your work.

How to Sell Stock Photos and make Money

Marketing and promoting your stock photos

The production and distribution of better stock photographs are only the beginning. To make a living as a stock photographer, you need to actively advertise your work. In this post, we’ll discuss several methods for building your brand, publicizing your work samples, fostering professional relationships, and expanding your clientele through the use of social media.

Branding and marketing yourself

Marketing and branding yourself effectively is crucial in today’s competitive job market. To get started as a professional photographer, you need to develop a personal brand that is associated with your vision and values. Making a logo, website, and social media accounts that all tie together to form a unified brand identity is one option. Integrating your brand’s identity across all of your promotional efforts will help you stand out from the competition.

Promoting your portfolio

Marketing your portfolio helps bring in new clients and spreads the word about your business. Make sure your website and social media pages feature some of your finest work. Making a portfolio book or booklet to show to prospective customers is another option. To get your photographs out there, you may attend competitions or send submissions to publications.

Networking and building relationships

Networking and relationship development are essential for growing your stock photography business. Meet other photographers and possible clients by attending photography events, workshops, and conferences. Join photography groups on social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to meet other photographers. Relationships with prospective clients and partners might lead to future opportunities.

How to Sell Stock Photos and make Money

Utilizing social media

Social networking is an effective marketing and promotion tool for stock photographs. Utilize social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to promote your work and interact with possible purchasers. Employ relevant hashtags for your photos and interact with your fans by reacting to comments and direct messages. Consider collaborating with social media influencers to market your work to their audiences.

Legal considerations

  • Model releases

A model release is a legal document that permits you to use someone’s likeness in your photos. If you plan to sell your photos commercially, you’ll need to obtain a model release from anyone who appears in your photos. This includes not only professional models but also everyday people who may be recognizable in your photos.

  • Property releases

If your photographs contain recognizable properties such as landmarks, buildings, or artwork, you may need a property release for commercial use. A property release is a legal document that grants you the right to use the property in your photograph for financial gain. It’s crucial to conduct appropriate research and comply with all applicable local, national, and international laws.

  • Copyright and licensing

You inherently own the copyright to your images because you took them. But, you must grant customers a license to sell your photos on a commercial basis. Either directly to clients or through stock photos websites, is possible. Make sure to spell out your license’s terms, including how the photos can be used, how often they can be used, and any usage limitations.

  • Trademark issues

Trademark considerations should be taken into account while producing stock photography. Using brand names, logos, and other trademarks in your images falls under this category. You shouldn’t use these elements in your photographs unless you have the owner’s consent to do so. Consult a legal professional if you’re unsure whether a specific trademark can be utilized to avoid any potential legal problems.

How to Sell Stock Photos and make Money

Maximizing your earnings

It’s critical to comprehend how to optimize your earnings if you want to grow your stock photography firm. Developing passive income streams, diversifying your portfolio, understanding licensing, and keeping up with industry changes are the four main tactics we’ll explore for increasing your earnings.

  • Understanding licensing

It is essential to comprehend licensing to maximize earnings. The process of allowing others permission to use your photographs in exchange for payment is known as licensing. Licenses might be exclusive, non-exclusive, royalty-free, or any combination of these.

  • Developing passive income streams

Developing passive income streams is another effective way to maximize your earnings. One way to do this is by creating digital products such as e-books, calendars, or other products featuring your photos. You can also consider selling prints of your images or offering them as stock footage or stock audio.

  • Diversifying your portfolio

Increasing your earning potential by diversifying your portfolio is a wonderful approach to do it. You may attract a larger audience and boost your chances of earning sales by displaying a diverse choice of images. While developing a portfolio, it’s critical to demonstrate your range, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro.

  • Staying up to date on industry trends

It is essential to keep up with the changes in, and standards set by, your industry. You may separate yourself from competitors and emerge as a market leader if you do this. Attending business events, making connections with other experts, and reading relevant publications are all great ways to stay aware of what’s happening in your field.

Best practices and tips

Developing good habits and utilizing effective methods are critical for achieving success in stock photography. We will cover five tried-and-true techniques that have worked for many photographers: staying organized, being consistent, learning from mistakes, keeping up with market trends, experimenting with new approaches, and taking calculated risks.

How to Sell Stock Photos and make Money
  • Staying organized

The key to successful stock photography is organization. It is crucial to make your images, data, and releases accessible and shareable. This will make recognizing and maintaining your photographs much simpler, and it will also help you avoid legal and administrative issues.

  • Consistency is key

Consistency is another important factor in stock photography success. Aim to produce high-quality images consistently over time. This will help you build a strong portfolio and establish yourself as a reliable source of quality images.

  • Learning from your failures

No one is perfect, and it’s important to learn from your failures. Analyze your unsuccessful images to identify areas for improvement. This will help you refine your skills and produce better images in the future.

  • Adapting to market trends

Adapting to market trends is crucial for success in stock photography. Stay up to date with the latest trends in the industry, and adapt your portfolio accordingly. This will help you stay relevant and appealing to clients.

  • Experimenting with new techniques

You need to try new things if you want your stock photography portfolio to remain interesting and relevant. You can increase the variety of your work and the people who hire you if you experiment with different methods and areas of expertise.

How to Sell Stock Photos and make Money

Top 4 Photo Selling Websites


Popular stock photography website Shutterstock provides access to more than 350 million images and videos. The website provides a simple interface where users may look for and buy high-quality photos and videos for individual or commercial usage.

From scenic and animals to corporate and technological assets, Shutterstock has it all. The website also offers a selection of membership plans and pricing tiers to cater to different budgets and use scenarios. Shutterstock is a marketplace where photographers and filmmakers may post their work for sale.

All photographs and videos on the site are properly licensed and free of copyright violations, as the site adheres to strict content quality guidelines.

When it comes to finding affordable, high-quality stock photos and videos, many people turn to Shutterstock. Shutterstock’s huge library and straightforward UI make it a great option for anyone seeking visual assets.

Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock is another popular stock photography website that offers access to over 90 million images, graphics, and videos for download. Adobe Stock is integrated with the Adobe Creative Cloud, making it easy for designers and creative professionals to search for and purchase high-quality images and videos directly from within their favorite Adobe applications.

Similar to Shutterstock, photographers, and videographers can upload their content to Adobe Stock and earn money when customers purchase their work. To sell photos on Adobe Stock, photographers must apply to become a contributor and meet certain content quality guidelines.

Once approved, contributors can upload their photos to the Adobe Stock website and set their prices for licensing. Adobe Stock provides contributors with detailed analytics and performance metrics to help them track the success of their work and optimize their sales.

With its massive library of visual content and integration with Adobe’s Creative Cloud, Adobe Stock is a popular choice for designers and creative professionals looking for high-quality, customizable images and videos for their projects.

Getty Images

Getty Images has been around for more than 25 years, making it a veteran in the stock picture industry. It is one of the largest and most reliable sources of visual information, with over 200 million high-quality photos, graphics, and videos available for download.

Access to Getty Images‘ large library of unique content, which includes celebrity shots, editorial images, and creative content, is available to paying clients.

Rights Managed, Royalty-Free, and Editorial licenses are just some of the alternatives available from Getty Images to meet the needs and budgets of their customers.

Photographers can join Getty Images‘ roster of contributors by submitting their work for consideration by the company’s art department. If a photographer’s work is accepted by Getty Images, such images, and videos will be made accessible for licensing to clients all over the world.

Getty Images provides its contributors with a generous royalty rate based on sales, in addition to promotional and publicity options. Contributors can monitor the impact of their effort and increase revenue by using the agency’s robust analytics and performance indicators.

Getty Images is a popular choice for businesses, media outlets, and creative professionals in search of high-quality, licensed visual content due to its stellar reputation and huge collection of exclusive content.

How to Sell Stock Photos and make Money


Getty Images iStock is the go-to place for affordable stock photos and videos for any purpose. Because of its large collection of high-quality, royalty-free photos, drawings, and videos, the iStock library is frequently used by designers, marketers, and entrepreneurs on a budget.

Clients can pick the iStock price structure that best suits their needs by choosing from many credit packs and subscription programs. To be considered as an iStock contributor, photographers and filmmakers can submit their work for review.

After having their work reviewed, contributors are then able to upload photos and videos to the iStock website, where they can be licensed by purchasers all around the world.

iStock provides contributors with attractive royalty rates and marketing options in exchange for their contributions. To help authors improve their writing and earn more money, the website offers a wide range of services and resources.

iStock is a great resource for businesses and people in need of high-quality, royalty-free pictures and videos due to its affordable price, extensive collection, and user-friendly design.

How to Sell Stock Photos and make Money


Stock photography is a challenging but rewarding field, with the potential for significant financial gain. By following the best practices and tips outlined in this article, you can increase your chances of success and build a profitable career in the industry.

From creating high-quality images and promoting your portfolio to understanding legal considerations and maximizing your earnings, there are many factors to consider when getting started in stock photography. However, with dedication and hard work, anyone can achieve success in this exciting industry.

Take action and start selling

Getting out there and selling your stock photos is essential for your achievement. Don’t be scared to try new things, and if you make a mistake, take it as an opportunity to improve. If you put in the time and effort, stock photography can be a profitable career option.

How to Sell Stock Photos and make Money


What type of equipment do I need to create stock photos?

To create high-quality stock photos, you will need a decent camera, a tripod, and lighting equipment. A DSLR camera is recommended, but you can also use a high-end smartphone with a good camera. Additionally, you may need props and backgrounds, depending on the type of photos you plan to take.

How much should I price my photos for?

The price of your stock photos can vary depending on the platform you use and the demand for your photos. It’s a good idea to research the prices of similar photos on the platform you plan to use and set your prices accordingly. You can also experiment with different prices to see what works best for you.

How do I market my stock photos?

There are several ways to market your stock photos, including promoting them on social media, creating a website or blog to showcase your work, and using keywords and descriptions to make your photos more discoverable on stock photo platforms. Networking with other photographers and potential clients can also help you build your brand and attract more buyers.

What legal considerations do I need to be aware of when selling stock photos?

When selling stock photos, it’s important to ensure that you have the appropriate model and property releases for any recognizable people or locations in your photos. You should also avoid using copyrighted material or trademarks in your photos without permission.

Can I sell the same photo on multiple platforms?

Yes, you can sell the same photo on multiple stock photo platforms. However, it’s important to read the terms and conditions of each platform to ensure that you’re not violating any exclusivity agreements.

How do I get paid for my stock photos?

Payment methods vary depending on the platform you use. Some platforms pay photographers a percentage of each sale, while others pay a flat fee per photo. Payment can be made via PayPal, direct deposit, or other methods, depending on the platform.

What types of photos are in high demand?

Photos of people, landscapes, and everyday objects are always in demand, as are photos related to current events and popular trends. It’s a good idea to research the types of photos that are currently popular on stock photo platforms to get an idea of what buyers are looking for.

How often should I add new photos to my portfolio?

It’s a good idea to add new photos to your portfolio regularly to keep your work fresh and increase your chances of making sales. However, quality is more important than quantity, so make sure to focus on creating high-quality photos rather than rushing to add new photos.

Can I sell photos that include people without their permission?

It’s generally recommended to obtain a signed model release from anyone recognizable in your photos to avoid any legal issues. However, there are some exceptions, such as photos taken in a public place where people do not expect privacy.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when selling stock photos?

Some common mistakes to avoid include over-editing your photos, neglecting to use proper keywords and descriptions, and failing to keep up with current trends and events. It’s also important to avoid violating copyright laws and exclusivity agreements.