How to Sell Stock Photos Online and Make Passive Income

If you are pursuing photography as your profession, you need a lot of skills. Skills are needed to stand apart from the crowd and capture something unique. But all those skills and efforts are worthless if you fail to sell your stock photos.

We have written a series of articles on stock photography, and this article is going to help you in completing the process of stock photography. This time we are intended to help our readers to sell stock photos online.

The demand for stock photos has increased very much. In most of the cases, the businessmen, or any other person who needs stock photos to some website where they can find the photo that they need at the right price. And that is where you should sell your photo so that it has the maximum chance of getting selected by someone else.

If you have a good collection of photos and want to earn some passive income from them, you should try to sell the photos on appropriate online platforms. This article will help you understand the online market

The online platforms have brought all the buyers in the world to one place. And that is the main reason behind the great chances of your photos being sold online because a variety of buyers are out there looking for different kinds of photos.

But this doesn’t mean that any photo can be sold online in a short amount of time. If you want a quick outcome, you should sell photos only after studying the market trends. Following the market trend is the most important thing required to sell stock photos online.

Four key elements of successful stock photos

There are some things that you should consider if you want to earn money from your photos. Take a look at these important factors:

Also read  Unique Methods to Selling Stock Photos Online

Use proper keywords

This is the most important thing in online marketing. Whenever someone searched something on the internet, he types some words like photos of professional programmers, etc. And then only those photos will appear on the screen that is tagged with the most relevant keyword. This is the point where most of the photographers make mistakes.

No matter how relevant the photo you have shot but if you don’t give it a proper tag then, it is less likely to appear in the search results. You should always keep in mind that Google’s algorithm matches the keywords with search results using words, not photos. For best outcomes, you should always study the search trends about the stock photos. It will give you a proper idea about the demand for stock photos in the online market.

Maintain continuity

If you upload hundreds of photos one day and then start to relax, you are not going to get anything. For maintaining your presence, you should upload your photos regularly.

Use tags to express the feelings

People are also looking for photos where some activities are going on. Like if you have shot a photo of two birds playing together, you may give it a tag like Affection, etc. Such keywords are often searched by a lot of users online.

Don’t use fake tags

You should never opt for this practice. If you are using the tags that are irrelevant to the photos, your account may be blocked by the platform where you have uploaded these photos.

Also read  Finding Best-Selling Popular Stock Photography Subjects

4 great places to sell stock photos online

Now that you are aware of the ways that might help you grow as a photographer. It is time to know about the platforms where you can sell stock photos online. This section of the article will list some of the most popular websites for selling your photos. Take a look at it and see which one belongs to your niche.


This is the most popular agency for stock photos at present. Due to its vast audience base, Shutterstock is preferred by a lot of photographers from all around the world. If you take a look at the images at different places on the internet or any place else, most probably that image might be from Shutterstock. The traffic that they receive is huge.

If you start your journey from here, you should know that new people may earn between $0.25 – $80 for each download. Taking a look at the top earners, you will find that they can make up to $120 for one download. One thing that should be kept in mind that the price you get for a download is based on the type of your client and the license on your photo.


The library, iStock, is owned by Getty Images. It is often regarded as the best platform for starters. After you have applied for it, you have to upload high-res photos to get approval.

You are going to get a lot of benefits once you are approved on this platform so you should stick to the regulations for getting accepted. The commission that is available here ranges from 15%-45%.

Also read  Six Killer Tips to Increase Your Stock Photo Sales

Getty Images

This is one of the oldest online websites for stock photos. Getty Images was launched at the very beginning of the era of the internet i.e. 1995. This is like a heaven for the photojournalists. If you are a photographer with overloaded passion, get to Getty Images and how you can transform your business.

There are three categories of contributors on this platform and they are:

  • Archival/Historical.
  • Sports, News, and Entertainment.
  • Advertising/Creative.

Getting accepted here is not an easy task. If you are rejected in your first attempt, you should come back later with enhanced materials.


Those who are amateurs and are being rejected from all the popular platforms, should try Pixabay once. You will have fewer problems in getting approval from here as compared to other platforms. Many photographers think that they won’t get any money here because all the photos on Pixabay are free to download.

But they are wrong because they haven’t seen the Donate button on the user accounts page. Though you are not going to make money as other platforms, some profits can be earned from the donations.

Time to sell stock photos online

At this point in time, you need to learn about tricks that are useful to sell stock photos online. Even if you are not earning enough money in the beginning, that’s fine because all these efforts are going to pay you in the future.

This article must have made you familiar with the way stock photos are sold online. You can opt for these suggestions if they seem fine and see the results.

Photo by Kyle Loftus from Pexels