How To Sell Photos Online To Make Money

Sell photos online and make some cash without the worry of being a professional photographer because anyone with a cell phone can make money using a simple app that can be downloaded.

These apps are provided by companies that are in the business of selling pictures to bloggers and other website owners.

I use many of the images myself here on this blog that I get from some of these companies.

You do have to be realistic though because many of these sites receive thousands and thousands of pictures per day so just taking a few pictures and hoping to make money probably isn’t going to work.

But if you make a consistent effort taking a wide variety of photos then eventually you will start to earn some income.

How To Get Started & Sell Photos Online

The first step is to download the app to your cell phone.

Each company will have their own app that you can use specifically designed to make it easy for you to take pictures and upload them to the company’s website.

I personally use an Android phone so I would go to my Google Play Store to get the app from whichever company I chose to work with.

I will be listing the companies below shortly.

What Type Of Photos Will Sell Best

This is really a difficult question to answer and it will come down to testing by uploading a range of different photos to see which have the most demand.

To get some ideas of just what might be popular check out blogs in different categories.

For example here are a few of the more popular categories:

    • Travel
    • Food
    • Holidays
    • Financial
    • Parenting
  • Nature

Another important aspect is to keep in mind specific keywords that a buyer would be looking for when searching for photos.

For example you could take a picture of New York City.

Although there might be specific landmarks in the background of your picture identifying it is New York City any bloggers or web designer could still use the photo if they needed a picture of a city in general.

Other ideas for taking pictures would be to include authentic photos such as a person playing with their dog or cat. Family gatherings or parties might be another good situation to have pictures of.

You should try to sell photos online that would appeal to a large audience for the best chance at making money with this opportunity.

Where To Sell Photos Online


The company got its start back in 2012 and allows you to make money uploading and selling your photos to their marketplace.

Sell Photos Online Using Foap

The company charges $10 for any photo that sells.

You as the photographer that uploaded the picture will receive 50% in other words $5 for each photo that sells.

The app is available for both Android phones and Apple phone.


When you sign up to sell your photos to Shutterstock you are considered a contributor.

Sell Photos Online With Shutterstock

Making money with Shutterstock depends on which tier you are on. For example there are four tiers as shown below:

$0 to $500

$500 to $3,000

$3,000 to $10,000

$10,000 +

These levels are based on your lifetime earnings and the higher the level that you’re on the more you would get for your photos.

Unlike some of the other services that pay a flat fee for photos sold Shutterstock pays based on the level your on as well as the license the buyer has subscribed to.

They have an app available for both iPhone and Android phones.


IStock is a Getty Images company and by signing up you become a contributor.

Sell Photos Online Using IStock

The sign up process includes submitting examples of your photos for approval which could take up to 30 days to find out if you’ve been accepted.

As a contributor you would start out by earning 15% for any of your photos that are sold. There is also the option to become a exclusive contributor where you can earn  25% to 45%.

Being an exclusive contributor means that you would only be submitting your photos two IStock and no one else.

The IStock app is available for both Android phones and iPhone.


Fotolia was one of the first companies to offer a way to make money selling your photos online and has been recently acquired by Adobe.

Sell Photos Online With Fotolia

Being part of adobe means that there is a possibility that your photos can be purchased and used in Adobe products such as Photoshop and Illustrator.

One of the unique features about selling your pictures through Fotolia is that they offer three different levels of exclusivity options.

    • Non exclusivity
    • Partial exclusivity
  • Total exclusivity

As a contributor you have the possibility to earn 20% to 63% on any of your photos that are sold.

The companies app is available for both Android phones and iPhones.


Etsy is a Marketplace where millions of people come to buy handmade items but it can also be a place to sell your photos.

Sell Photos Online With The Etsy Marketplace

The advantage of selling your photos on Etsy is that you will get to set what price you want for the photo.

Plus the transaction fees are very small compared to what you would pay to list your pictures on some of the other sites.

The disadvantage of trying to sell photos on Etsy is that they are really not known as a place where people would go looking to buy photos.

There is a app available for both Android phones and iPhones.


This company has been around since the beginning and offers more than just a place to host your photos.

Sell Photos Online With SmugMug

Basically you will have a store front of your photos that you will be able to sell that can include your own domain name.

They also offer the ability to make more money because you will get to keep 85% of what your photos sell for.

There are also some great features that include templates, setting your own price and unlimited storage just to name a few.

The downside of getting all these features is that there is a monthly cost of $23.99 or $14.99 per month if you pay by the year.

This would be a great option for those people looking to start selling their photos online as a business instead of just a side hustle due to the cost.

There is an app available for both Android phones and iPhones.


This company prides itself on being easy to work with and they offer 50% split when any of your photos are sold.

Selling Photos Online Using Alamy

Just take a picture and within 24 hours your image will be available for those two purchase.

Instead of being corporate-owned they are an independent agency so they pride themselves on doing things differently such as giving bigger percentage of sales back to their contributors as well as making donations put profits to different charities.

Unfortunately the only app available is for the iPhone so if you are an Android user you’re out of luck.

Clashot ( No Longer In Business)

This is only an app that can be used on an Android phone or an iPhone to take pictures and store them on the Clashot server.

Use Clashot To Sell Photos Online

They basically call themselves a photobank.

The way that you make money selling photos using Clashot is by having your photos uploaded to Depositphotos which is a site that sells photos.

The one advantage that you have of using Clashot is that they will alert you two offers from their partners and advertisers when they need a particular theme or subject which can amount to making more money on your photos.


This company has been around for awhile and they offer subscription services as well as download packages for buyers with over 60 million images available.

Sell Photos Online With Depositphoto

When you sign up as a contributor you will be in level 1 which means that your photos have been downloaded less than 500 times.

There are a total of five levels which you can be in depending on how many times your photos have been downloaded.

The levels are:

    • Level 1 Green –  up to 499 downloads you receive 34%
    • Level 2 Bronze –  500 to 4,999 downloads you receive 36%
    • Level 3 Silver –  5,000 to 24,999 downloads you receive 38%
    • Level 4 Gold –   25,000 to 149,999 downloads you receive 40%
  • Level 5 Platinum –  150,000 + downloads you receive 42%

So looking at the levels above you can see how much you would receive depending on how many photos or how many times a photo has been downloaded.


This Marketplace claims to have over 20 million contributors and it is a community for passionate photographers.

Use EyeEm To Sell Photos Online

Either up load from your phone or you can batch upload from your desktop computer.

You can earn between $20 and $250 selling your photos on the EyeEm Marketplace depending on which license.

Your photos can also be listed under their partners as well and how much you earn per photo will depend on their partners terms.

There is both an Android phone app as well as an iPhone at for uploading photos.


The company has been around since 2010 and they are known for being a little stringent when it comes to approving photos.

Use Dreamstime To Sell Photos Online

You will have the opportunity to earn between 25% and 60% for your photos.

There are five levels that will determine how much money you can make selling your photos on Dreamstime.

In order to get the most amount of money per photo you would have to be exclusive.

There is both an app for Android phones and iPhones.


The company is a subsidiary of Masterfile Corporation which has been providing licensed images since 1981.

Sell Photos Online With Crestock

Signing up as a new contributor you will only be able to upload 10 photos per week maximum.

How much money you can make selling your photos will depend on what level you are on as far as downloads go.

There are five levels as shown below:

    • Level 1 –  1 to 249 downloads you receive 20%
    • Level 2 –  250 to 999 downloads you receive 25%
    • Level 3 –  1,000 to 4,999 downloads you receive 30%
    • Level 4 –  5,000 to 10,000 downloads you receive 35%
  • Level 5 –  10,000 + downloads you receive 40%

Minimum payout is $50 then you will need a PayPal account or Skrill.

Unfortunately it looks like they don’t have an app that you can upload your photos with from your phone so that will have to be done by way of their website or FTP.

How Much Money Can You Make Selling Photos Online

I did a little research to see what I could come up with and if I could actually find anyone that was making a full-time income selling photos online with any of these services.

From what I could tell most people didn’t have much luck making much money unless they were uploading hundreds to thousands of photos.

Along with having a lot of photos being shown they also had to wait months to see any income at all. So if you only plan to upload a few photos weekly and hope to make some decent cash you’re probably going to be disappointed.

That is why I consider this more of a side hustle than a real way to make money.

Considering the ease of taking pictures with your phone along with millions of people looking to earn an income it’s no wonder it’s difficult to make money this way.


If you plan to sell photos online then just keep in mind that it’s not going to be something that generates a lot of income.

The easier something is the more competition there will be.

If you’re going to spend months to years waiting to see if the photos that you’re trying to sell will start generating income you might as well look into other ways to make money.

If you’re really into photography then you could build a website where you could display your pictures for sale as well as sell camera related equipment and supplies.

There is even a way to do it without stocking inventory called the affiliate marketing.

A community that I belong to teaches how to build a website and make money from it using affiliate marketing.

So if you’re really looking to make money online then I encourage you to have a look at my #1 pick.

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