How To Sell Images Online For New And Experienced Photographers

If you’re someone who loves taking photos, at one point or another you’ve probably wanted to learn how to sell images online.

Really what’s better than showing off your beautiful pictures to the world, and also get paid at the same time for doing so right?

The problem though is most people don’t even know where to start in order to do this.

Therefore in this post, I want to outline from start to finish on what kind of pictures you should take, where you should sell them online, and how you can try to beat the rest of your competition out there.

So without any further ado, lets jump right into things and first talk what type of photos you should be taking.

First Determine What Your Niche Will Be

Everyone that has successfully sold photos online usually will have a consistent theme with their photos. For example some people may like taking pictures of food, while others might enjoy taking pictures of nature.


Whatever the case may be, find something that interest you and then STICK WITH IT.

The main reason behind this is because people will like and follow artist who have the same interest as they do — but if you start posting photos of anything and everything they will simply become un interested and move on.

Here are a few examples of some very popular niches that people love and need:

  • Photos of people
  • Photos of animals
  • Photos of random items (signs, books, computers, phones, desk, cookware)
  • Photos of cities
  • Photos of traveling (cars, planes, trains, different parts of the world)

Once you have a particular niche you want to do, you may want to go view some stock photo sites and see what the most popular ones look like in your particular category. Don’t worry I’ll give you a list of places you can go later on in this post for you to choose from.

Your next step now will be to simply take great photos and make them look as good as possible.

Learn How To Make Your Photos Look Good

I’ll be honest, if you try to sell photos you just quickly took from your IPhone and hope they will make you money — you’re in for a rude awakening.

You have to remember people are looking for hi res photos that are very pleasing to the eye, and if you haven’t taken the time to make your photos this way — the chances of them selling are slim to none.

So how should you go about making your photos look better? Well here’s a few things you can do to really make your photos look great.

Take different shots of the same thing, instead of just taking one shot. You see many people will take 1 shot of something and be done with it. However if you take different shots at different angles of the same thing — you buyers might not like 1 shot, but will love another.

Also different pics might resonate with different people — so you have a much higher chance of selling say a picture of a tree if you take 30 pictures verses 1 picture of it.

Use proper lighting for all your pics. While this may come as no surprise, but having the right amount of light and at the right spot can make all the difference in the world with pictures. So whether you’re taking a picture outside or inside, make sure you use enough light to get the best possible picture you can — even if this means going out and buying some equipment to do so.

edit your pictures

Learn how to use Photoshop or some picture editing software. While we would all love to take a flawless picture every time, the truth is that most of the time there is always going to be something wrong with it. That’s where the magic of picture editing comes into play.

By learning how to edit your photos with software like Photoshop, you can easily make your pictures brighter, clearer, sharper, and also crop out surrounding things you may not want in it.

Last but not least, find a safe way to back up your photos. Now while this isn’t technically a way to make your photos look better — the last thing you want is to accidentally drop your camera or phone and lose those amazing shots you just took.

Therefore, I would suggest you invest in some type of online storage place like Google Photos — that way if something does happen to your device, you can still access your photos anywhere you go.

Find A Place To Sell Your Photos

Now that you’ve got some really great looking photos, its now time to start selling them.

While there are many great sites you can post your pictures on, I’ll give you a few of the more popular ones I think you’ll enjoy.

  1. Shutterstock
  2. Fotolia
  3. Dreamstime
  4. Istockphoto
  5. Gettyimages
  6. Stocksy

The great thing about all these websites is its completely free to sign up to each one in order for you to start selling pictures. Just make sure though you read each sites rules and regulations, as each one usually has its own rules you need to follow.

Also along with their rules, the pay will also slightly differ between them. On average you will make around 0.25 – 0.75 cent per image and usually have to cash out when you hit $100.00 dollars.

And even though that seems like it would be hard to do, once you have hundreds of high quality photos uploaded, it won’t take too long until you can cash out.

Last But Not Least, Market Your Photos

Many people think that once they’ve uploaded their photos, then all they have to do is sit back and wait for people to buy them.

However with more and more people realizing they can make money by selling photos — the competition has naturally gotten tougher thus making it harder to sell pictures by simply uploading them.

So how can you beat your competition so that someone will download your picture verses theirs?

Besides just taking a better overall picture, here’s a few other tips you will want to try to maximize your earnings:

  • Double check your photos before submitting them
  • Create a blog, Facebook page, YouTube channel, or some alternative way to help drive traffic to your photos
  • Use photo editing software to make your pictures look very good
  • Use keywords to help people find your pictures
  • While an IPhone can work just fine, you may want to invest in a better camera to upload some high quality photos.

Final Thoughts

Whether you enjoy taking pictures for fun, or you want to try and make it a full time career — with more and more people creating websites online each year the demand for pictures will continue to keep rising.

The difference between making a lot of money and making pennies though comes down to how good of a photographer you are, how well you can market your photos, and finding a specific niche you can become great in.

However what if you want to make money online, but you don’t like taking photos?

Well I have good news for you, because besides making money through photography — the internet has opened up thousands of ways for people to start earning an extra income online.

One of my most favorite ways in how I personally make money is through affiliate marketing.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Much like selling photos, it requires very little money to get started, you can build a business around anything your passionate about, and the amount of income is determined by how much work you put into it.

While there are many scams out there claiming you can become rich fast, I have found this to be untrue — and instead have found a legitimate program that teaches beginners with no expertise how to create a profitable website online.

The program I’m referring to is called Wealthy Affiliate. It by far has the best training around, is very affordable to join, and lets you join for free so you can test it out.

If you would like to learn more about this, click the image below. Again this not only will help you build a business online, but also teach you the skills on how to better market your existing photos your also trying to sell.

Learn how to make money through affiliate marketing

So after reading this post, are you ready to get out there and start taking pictures to earn some extra cash? Or maybe you’re doing this right now and would like to share your experience of how’s its going?

If so, leave a comment below and let us know how your doing. Also if you have any other questions or concerns that I may not have covered in this post let me know and I’ll be glad to help you out. 🙂

Want to turn your passion into a thriving online business?
Check out this simple 4 step formula millions of people are using to make money online!

CTA image

6 thoughts on “How To Sell Images Online For New And Experienced Photographers”

  1. Hi, thanks for sharing! I’ve found your blog post really useful because my sister is really great at taking professional photos but she never wanted to sell them maybe because it seems to be hard to make money from it. Thank you for the information. Do you think one need a website for selling photos? Do you think it would be better to have one?

    • You don’t “need” a website to sell photos online, but I think it would greatly help if you did. Like I said in the post, by creating a website or say a YouTube channel — you can drive all that traffic you get form there to your portfolios to help get more sales from your pictures. 

  2. Hey there,

    I really love taking photos of nature but then I would like to be making more money off of this. I was thinking of doing all the niches so that I can diversify my income, but after reading this post, I am confused.

    How can I get to narrow down to one niche and make upto $5,000 per month? Can you please break this down for me?

    • I would say taking pictures of nature is a perfect niche to stay in. Like I’ve said, the main reason you want to pick a niche and stick with it in the beginning, is so that people can get to know, like, and connect with you.

      Since you like taking nature pics, naturally people who need / love pictures of nature will be drawn toward you as you grow your portfolio online. 

      With time though as more and more people are liking your pics, if you want then you can start diversifying and going into other niches like city pictures, food, or animals.

      As far as on how to make $5,000 a month, it basically boils down to taking high quality photos that people need and want. With most stock photo websites, the more you earn over time, they more they will pay you for each photo.

      For example with shutter stock with most pics you’ll earn around $0.25, however as your lifetime earnings increase so will the amount you make per download.

      Also if people buy custom images or have an enhanced image licence, you can make $80-120 dollars per download. With that in mind all you’d have to do is sell 40-60 custom images a month to make $5,000 dollars.

      I hope this has helped answer your questions. 

  3. My wife lots to take pictures with the new Nikon I gave her over the holidays. She took a local college course and now her shots are pretty awesome so I’m thinking of “secretly selling” a few of them and surprise here. 

    But you said you might get only “0.25 – 0.75 cent per image”. Now is that one-time per image or every time one of those sites resells and let’s one of their customers download it. If its literally just a $0.25 per pic, one-time… jeez, doesn’t seem worth the effort.

    Thx for clarifying. Good post.

    • When I say $0.25 – 0.75 cent per photo, I mean that every time someone downloads your pic you’ll be earning that. It’s not like you’ll upload a picture, and only 1 person will be able to buy it. Sorry for the confusion there.

      So if 100 people downloaded your 1 photo at .75 cent, that would then be an extra $7 dollars for you.

      Also with most websites the more you earn in your lifetime, the more you’ll make per download. Also if customers buy special licences or custom images, you could easily make anywhere between $80-150 dollars per image download.

      Here’s a pic of Shutterstocks breakdown in terms on how you can earn:

      Shutter Stock breakdown earnings

      I think surprising her by selling her photos online sounds both awesome and romantic. 🙂 I would love to hear how it goes in the future if you do decide to do this.


Leave a Comment