How To Sell Photos Online And Make Money As A Photographer

How To Sell Photos Online And Make Money As A Photographer

Wondering how to sell photos online?


Most photographers keep advertising their photography services online by showcasing the beautiful pictures they click.

However, why just use them for advertising when you can sell them directly as products as well?

Whether you want to sell physical prints of your artistic images, digital images, or sell licenses for commercial images as stock photography, it’s quite easy to do so online.

In this article, we will tell you how to sell photos online and make a second stream of income from your very skill.

Ways To Sell Photos Online

Here are some of the ways for selling photos online.

1. Stock Photography

Since the growth in the popularity of self-publishing of blogs and ebooks, the demand for stock photography has grown as well.

There are various microstock sites that provide affordable images to authors, bloggers, designers, entrepreneurs, etc. for their usage.

Stock photographs are used in website designs, posters, flyers, blog articles, book jackets, newsletters, company reports, and so on.

Since getting custom pictures clicked could turn out to be expensive, people prefer getting them for a lower price from a microstock site, generating a side income for photographers who clicked and uploaded those pictures.

Generic images of different kinds usually work well as stock photos. You can also scroll through existing stock images and even look at the most downloaded images from stock sites to get a fair idea of the kind of pictures that are popular.

You don’t have to worry about how to sell photos online when you do it through a stock agency.

They take care of the marketing and selling part, and since thousands of people are searching for such images every day, you can simply keep earning whenever your pictures get downloaded.


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The only shortcoming of this approach is that it involves a commission, which is usually high. Most sites offer royalty from the range of 20% to 60% to the photographer per sale.

Besides, this doesn’t help you build your individual brand. Your photos would be a part of the huge pool of photos from various photographers, and you would earn only when your pictures sell.

Here are a few stock photography sites where you can upload your photos:

  1. Getty Images
  2. Shutterstock
  3. iStock
  4. 500px
  5. Stocksy
  6. Can Stock Photo
  8. Adobe Stock
  9. Fotolia
  10. PhotoDune

2. WordPress Website

Many photographers don’t sell photos from their own website, as they are under the impression that it’s highly expensive and involves a complicated payment gateway. Even though this was true earlier, it’s quite easy nowadays.

WordPress allows you to build your site with themes and plugins that are specifically designed for selling stock photos. Sell Media is one such pluggin that can be easily installed and allows you to earn from your photo.

You can protect your photos with a watermark and password, take online payments, and sell them with different license options.

Price your pictures lower on your own site to compete with the huge stock photography sites. But remember that here you will be earning 100% of whatever you sell.

You can maximize your earnings by selling the photos as a bundle based on a particular theme. You can also upload a few pictures on stock photography sites with a backlink to your own website for driving traffic.

3. Visual Society

Visual Society is another way of selling stock photos where you get to keep 100% of the earnings from your sales. It’s comparatively a better option than giving away half or even more of your earnings to the microstock site.

You can set your own price and even build a niche photography business easily. Additionally, Visual Society allows you to sell prints on photo books, canvas, or even merchandise like mugs and phone cases.

4. Selling Prints

If you’re still wondering how to sell photos online, there’s one more way. You can also take orders and sell them as prints.

You can do that from your own site or Visual Society both and it’s a great way to generate a great source of income.

On one hand, you can sell the printed versions of the images you clicked for your clients, and on the other, random visitors can order prints for pictures they like on your site to decorate their homes, offices, studios, etc.

How To Sell Photos Online Efficiently

Now that we have covered the ways to sell photos online, let’s understand how to do it effectively. Here are a few steps that will help you with it:

1. Define Your Niche

Every photographer has a style or forte of their own that can be easily seen through their work like fashion, travel, food, nature, and so on.

People follow them online only when they’re interested in their content, and if it comes across as too vague, they will tend to lose interest.

Let’s say you’re a wildlife photographer and post great pictures from wildlife. Gradually people will start following you as they come across your work and you will build a genuine audience.

Now say, you start posting random food or fashion photography pictures, but your audience isn’t really interested in them. They will lose that connection with you and you will end up with a much smaller audience to sell to.


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2. Integrate eCommerce Into Your Portfolio

Many photographers just have a portfolio site where they showcase their work and their clients hire them on the basis of that only.

However, by integrating eCommerce into it, you can add the ability to accept payments and start selling physical products, services, and even photography courses.

Most website builders provide you with the option of integrating eCommerce into your website easily.

With just a few plugins and installations, you can turn your photography site into an eCommerce store and start selling photos online in multiple ways.

3. Build An Audience

The biggest challenge when selling photos online is to find and build an audience of your own. One of the best ways for building an audience for your photography store is by blogging.

Just like any other eCommerce store, blogging could help you drive traffic and build an audience for your photography site as well. With a blog you can create content regularly that is optimized for SEO.

When people are searching for such keywords, your site starts showing up on their search results and if they like your photos, they end up buying from you.

You can blog about various things such as your daily life as a photographer, your particular experience on a trip and how you ended up clicking the pictures there, the business of photography, tips for beginner photographers, reviews on different cameras, lenses, etc.

Besides, you can also create your handles on social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest. Their total interface revolves around pictures and you can get a huge audience from there if your content is good.

Do a lot of cross-promotion by adding social share buttons on your blog and blog and website links on your social media handles. You never know where you could be driving traffic from.


In this article not only did we tell you how to sell photos online but also how to make the most of them. Every mode has its own pros and cons.

We would suggest that you try to explore all of them little by little and see which one is working out the best for you along the way.

It might seem a complicated process in the beginning, but once you get into it, you will wonder why you weren’t doing it all this while.

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