Selling stock photos can be a great way to begin your career as a photographer or make some extra money with your talents. And, while most photographer’s passions aren’t centered around stock photography it can still be a fun outlet to express your creativity, so why not make some extra bucks while you’re at it?
Anyone can sell mobile stock photos, provided that they’re in demand. So whether you’re a travel photographer, portraitist, or even wedding photographer, there’s likely money to be made by selling your images on a stock photo website.
Some stock photography websites allow anyone to join. Others are a bit more choosey but offer a better royalty rate. Many agencies pay photographers a percentage of the profit from their images, though each option may vary a bit. There’s a lot of different options to navigate through, so we went ahead and did it for you. Turn your creativity into cash, on the go, with these stock photo sites that accept mobile photos. Cover photo by: Sorin Gheorghita
Shutterstock is one of the two most popular stock photo websites. It has 15+ years of experience and 500 million downloads overall, which can be a good and bad thing. There’s more competition, but also higher demand. You can earn money by selling your stock photos, or with their referral program. Shutterstock has an easy-to-use interface with a mobile app that makes uploading images on-the-go a breeze. The staff is great about quick review times, it usually takes only a couple days, and their large, international market means more potential for sales. Shutterstock’s only drawback is pricing. It’s well-known for being an affordable stock photo option, so you may not make as much money here as other sites.
iStock is a wonderful place to get started with stock photo selling. The submission rules are straightforward and it’s one of the most well-known stock photo sites. However, initially, you’ll only be paid 15% of what your images sell for. This percentage increases as you gain popularity so only consider iStock if you plan on sticking around. And, if you commit to selling your photos exclusively on iStock, you can receive 22-35% of the share.
This may come as quite a surprise, but Etsy can actually be a great marketplace for selling stock photos. You’ve likely encountered it before and been impressed by all the handmade gifts and knick-knacks, but never considered it as a photography outlet. Well, we’re here to change that perception. On Etsy, you can set your own pricing and create your own specific niche. Because the middle man is essentially removed, you receive all of your profits. Use the digital download option to feature your stock photo and make them easily available. However, Etsy can be tricky to navigate because it requires self-promotion. So, if you’re new to the game, this might not be the place to start.
It is not the most popular stock photo marketplace, but if you’re just starting out, Alamy is a good place to make a name for yourself. It has fewer contributors than other stock photo selling alternatives, which means that there is less competition. With a higher than average compensation rate (up to 50% of each photo sold), it might be the best stock photo site to make money. And, according to their website, your rights to your photos will be reserved and you will have no copyright issues. However, sellers beware. There are some mixed reviews of delayed payments and copyright claims, so be careful and diligent about your photos.
Envato Market is a large digital marketplace, with millions of items for sale, from video to photos, and more. If you work frequently in the digital world, you’ve likely already encountered it once or twice. With an impressive community of over 6 million active users, there’s a lot of opportunities.
PhotoDune is the photo marketplace on Envato Market. It offers non-exclusive authors an impressive 55% of each sale. If you commit to selling your mobile photos exclusively on Photodune, that percentage increases even more.
A very well-known name in the world of stock photos, Adobe Stock is a great place to sell mobile stock photos. Depending on how popular your photos are and whether or not you decide to sell them exclusively on Adobe Stock, you could earn up to 60% of your photo’s selling price. And, with a large number of active members, chances are you’ll be selling a lot. It’s got a flawless interface and the interconnectedness of Adobe’s digital platforms allows for easy uploading and editing. Because of its reputation however, Adobe has a very strict approval process, which means that even a great photo can sometimes get knocked. If you already own the Adobe Suite, this is a good place to start. However, they have extremely high cancellation fees, so don’t sign up unless you’re committed.
You’ve definitely heard of this one before. Getty Images is the most popular website for buying and selling stock photos. In fact, it’s the largest supplier of stock photos for businesses in the world, hello exposure. As a collection of creative, original images, Getty is the perfect place to demonstrate your talents and build a healthy portfolio. Photographer’s names appear directly below their works and images are copyrighted until downloaded, protecting your creative genius. Plus, the Getty Images app, allows for super-easy mobile stock photo uploads. Getty does have very specific outlines for content that they’re interested in, but follow those regulations and you’ll be pleased with the results.
As their name implies, 123rf is a royalty-free stock image site. So why include them on this list? Royalty-free sites offer a static price per image download regardless of the use. Unlike Adobe Stock or Getty Images, which takes great lengths to control licensing, these sites don’t police image usage at all. However, 123rf can be a wonderful tool for making some extra money. If your collection is large or in a particular niche, you’ll find decent success. Currently, 123rf offers 50% commissions from customers who download with credits and $.36 per download from subscription customers. Weigh the pros and cons of this one. Your ownership rights will not be preserved as well, but the opportunities are much greater.
Can Stock Photo has an exceptionally fast approval process and more than fair payouts. They offer up to 50% on each and every download, accept mobile photos, and advertise your photos on Fotosearch for additional exposure. You can even receive your payments through Paypal or by check. You need to send in an application to start selling, but it’s as easy as signing up and sending in three photos, so any potential roadblocks are non-existent.
With an impressive, constantly expanding collection of 35 million images, Dreamstime is a well-known microstock website. Photographers can expect a 25-50% royalty on each image sold, but you cannot withdraw your money until the balance reaches $100. You must be approved to get started, at which point, you’ll be given access to an FTP to upload your images. Once you’re accepted you can also do it through their mobile app for a more streamlined experience. Images must be at least three megapixels, and can also be rejected for excessive noise and other quality issues. Interestingly, photographers also have an approval rating that increased their royalties. So, if you plan on selling mobile stock images for the foreseeable future, this is a great site.