Can You Sell your Photos Online to Create Passive Income?
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Can You Sell your Photos Online to Create Passive Income?

The simple answer is YES!

You can create passive income by selling your photos online as a photographer. To get started, you will need to select a platform that fits your needs and has a good reputation within the photography community.

Here are the steps you can take to sell your photos online and create passive income:

  1. Choose a platform: There are numerous online platforms where you can sell your photos, such as Shutterstock, iStock, and Adobe Stock. Choose a platform that suits your needs and has a good reputation in the photography community.
  2. Sign up: Create an account on the platform of your choice and provide any necessary information, such as your name and contact information.
  3. Upload your photos: Upload your best photos to the platform. Please ensure they are high-quality and meet any requirements for size and format.
  4. Add keywords and descriptions: Add relevant keywords and descriptions to your photos so that potential buyers can find them easily.
  5. Set prices: Determine the price for each photo. Consider the platform’s pricing guidelines and the quality and rarity of your photos when setting prices.
  6. Market your photos: Promote your pictures on social media, your website, or email newsletters to attract potential buyers.
  7. Collect payments: When someone purchases one of your photos, you’ll receive a percentage of the sale. The platform will handle the payment processing and distribution of funds to your account.

How to Choose A Platform

Each platform has its unique features and pricing structure, so it’s essential to research and select the one that best fits your needs and photography style. Some platforms also offer exclusive contracts, which may limit your ability to sell your images elsewhere, so be sure to read and understand the terms and conditions before signing up.

Here are five popular online platforms that buy stock photos and a brief description of each:

  1. Shutterstock – Shutterstock is one of the largest and most well-known stock photo websites, with over 350 million images and videos available for sale. Photographers can earn up to 30% of the sale price of their images.
  2. Getty Images – Getty Images is a leading provider of digital media worldwide. Photographers can earn up to 20% of the sale price of their images, depending on the type of license the buyer selects.
  3. iStock – iStock is a subsidiary of Getty Images and offers a wide variety of royalty-free images, graphics, and videos. Photographers can earn up to 45% of the sale price of their photos.
  4. Adobe Stock – Adobe Stock is an online platform that offers high-quality stock photos, graphics, and videos. Photographers can earn up to 33% of the sale price of their images.
  5. Alamy – Alamy is a UK-based platform that offers a wide range of stock photos from photographers around the world. Photographers can earn up to 50% of the sale price of their images.

My Personal Recommendation and Unsplash are great platforms for photographers seeking exposure for their work and for users needing high-quality, royalty-free images. They are both easy to use, offer a wide range of photos, and have a supportive community of photographers. I often use them for the images here and my clients’ work. These two platforms will be the best to kickstart your project and test if your pictures are well-received,

  1. Wide Range of Photos: Both and Unsplash offer a wide range of high-quality, royalty-free images that users can access for free. This means that photographers can get their work seen by a larger audience while users can find various photos for personal or commercial projects.
  2. Easy to Use: Both platforms are user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it easy for photographers to upload their work and for users to find and download the images they need.
  3. Crediting is Optional: Unlike other stock photo websites, and Unsplash do not require users to credit the photographer when they use their images. While crediting is still appreciated, this feature makes it more convenient for users who may not have the time or resources to credit the photographer appropriately.
  4. Exposure: Since both and Unsplash have a large following, photographers can gain additional exposure for their work. This can lead to more opportunities for paid work, increased traffic to their website or social media pages, and overall recognition within the photography community.
  5. Community: and Unsplash both have a supportive and engaged community of photographers who share their work and provide feedback to one another. This can benefit photographers looking to improve their skills and get feedback on their work.

When can you start seeing regular income?

The number of photos you need on a platform to start making a regular income can vary depending on several factors, such as the quality of your photos, the niche you are targeting, the demand for your photos, and the pricing of your photos. However, the more high-quality images you have available for sale, the better your chances are of making a regular income.

Some stock photo platforms require a minimum number of photos to be uploaded before you can start earning money. For example, Shutterstock requires at least 10 photos to be approved before you can start making money. However, it’s important to note that having many images available for sale does not guarantee a regular income.

In addition to the number of photos, the quality of your pictures is also an important factor. Buyers are looking for high-quality images that meet their specific needs, so it’s essential to focus on creating technically sound, visually appealing photos with a clear subject.

Ultimately, the key to making a regular income from selling photos online is consistently creating and uploading high-quality images that meet buyers’ needs. This may require a significant investment of time and effort upfront, but over time, as you build up your portfolio and reputation as a photographer, you may start to see more consistent sales and a steady stream of passive income.


Selling your photos online can be a great way to earn passive income, but it does require some work upfront. You must take high-quality photos, choose the right platform, upload and describe your photos accurately, and market your work to potential buyers. However, once you’ve done the initial work, you can sit back and collect passive income from the sales of your photos. Keep in mind that the more photos you have on the platform and the more you market your work, the greater your potential for earning passive income will be.

Looking at earning side hustle or passive income? Here are some suggested ways to do it:
7 Ways To Supplement Your Freelancing Income Regularly
The ABCs Of Increasing Your Income
Top Blogging Niches That Will Make Money

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