How to Make Money with Photography: Guide with Tips and Best Sites

Do you see your dreams through the lens of a camera? If your passion is photography, you may have wondered how to make a profit on the stunning and unique photos that you take. If you want to make an extra income, selling your photographs online is a great way to get paid for doing something you enjoy.

Are you a college student looking to make a few pennies for your interesting photographs? Are you a busy parent, hoping to earn extra cash to help support your children?

Capturing interesting or special moments and immortalizing them in captivating pictures can produce inspiring reactions. Many people will readily spend money to use those pictures.

By uploading and distributing your images on a trusted website, you can touch a wide range of people all over the world. This will give you a chance to make consistent and easy money. Whether you’re selling your pictures on products or receiving royalties from stock images – it’s easier than ever to go online and get paid to take photos!

Tips to get started as a photographer

Establish your copyrights

Every photo you take legally belongs to you. However, it’s possible that someone could steal your photography on the web. A great way to ensure no one steals your pictures is to create a watermark.

This is an emblem or logo that goes on top of the photo. You can do this yourself, by creating your own logo. You can also have this done for you depending on which website you choose to sell your images on.

Choose a photography niche

You can take pictures of almost anything you want, use your skills and talents to capture compelling photos. Money-making images include colorful and memorable photographs that hook people’s attention.

Examples of money-making pictures

  • People (doing familiar or interesting activities)
  • Pets or wild animals
  • Landscapes
  • Traveling experiences
  • Abstract items
  • Whimsical and out-of-the-box pictures
  • Pictures with a character or educational value

Set up a portfolio

Building a portfolio of photography can reflect your passion and seriousness for your business. The larger the photography portfolio you have, the wider range of people can attract to your images.

If you’d like to showcase your talent, consider creating a blog so that people will begin to recognize your name in association with your excellent work.

Ways you can make money selling photos online

In order to start making money with your photography, you will first need to consider your method of business. Would you like to sell your images by having them printed on products, such as clothing and phone cases? Are you hoping to sell your photography to private clients or and receive royalty?

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You can take many different routes, a good starting point is to decide which website will help you have the most success at selling and making a profit. Two of the most popular ways that people make money with photos is to sell stock images or physical products.

Stock photos

Stock photos are high-quality, professional photographs of common or well-known places, scenes, images from nature, popular events, or living subjects.

These images usually sell for commercial purposes, such as designing websites. Selling your pictures as stock photos is one of the easiest ways to make money with your photography on the web.

Physical products

You can sell your pictures as physical prints that people can put in their homes or offices to enjoy. You can have your images become engrained or photocopied on products such as sweatshirts or handbags. If someone feels a strong connection with your photography, they might want to spend money to own or use your pictures.

Uploading your photos to trustworthy websites

If you don’t have an online presence already, it may be advantageous to choose a third-party website to help you build a reputation.

These sites can give you a boost, as opposed to trying to sell on your own website. You’ll need to think carefully when choosing a website to upload your photos in order to figure out your strategy and target audience.

If you’re looking to sell your images online, you’ll want to use a website that reflects your level of professionalism.

You should feel comfortable entrusting this website with your valuable photography. Ultimately, you’ll want to find a website that works with you as a partner by taking the time to help your business grow and flourish.

Need a guide for photography?

For many years, the Photography Jobs guide helped thousands of people just like you making a real income. What you need is your camera and let your imagination complete the rest.

The great thing about this guide is that it tells you exactly the right strategies you need to follow. And even better, they have the largest list of photography marketplaces with partnerships.

And of course, that’s just a simple calculator example that may or may not apply to everyone. So, keep in mind that the price per photo depends on the niche and its quality.

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Things to consider before choosing a website

Photo quality: Depending on the website’s policies, your images may have to have a certain degree of quality. This is usually in the form of megapixels, which are measures of resolution. In order for you to monetize your photos, they need to be high quality. Digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) cameras are preferable for producing excellent pictures.

Even if you have a camera that can shoot sharp images, you will need to know how to control the settings. Light, size, scale, and position of the images that you take are all important features to consider.

Price and royalties: In order to have access to valuable features such as editing, you may have to pay a monthly service fee. However, you also have the opportunity to receive royalties every time someone purchases your images. This can be a great source of long-term income that requires minimal effort.

User and viewer base: Choose a website that can help you connect and distribute your pictures with clients and customers across the globe. This means selecting a website that is popular and reputable. A website with interactive forums can be especially beneficial.

Top 5 sites to upload and sell photography

1. SmugMug

SmugMug Pro allows you to keep 85% of the markup for your photos. You can choose your own rates and even sell physical products and digital downloads. This is a great site for showcasing your photos, getting help designing your webpage, and finding clients.

For full benefits and services, SmugMug starts at $25 a month. This can be somewhat pricey if you’re just starting out. However, SmugMug also offers cheaper plans for safely storing your photos on their database and building a portfolio.

2. iStock Photo

iStock Photo provides an easy-to-navigate database that efficiently connects users with businesses looking for valuable images. To sell with iStock, you have to apply to become a contributor and meet their premium standards for image quality.

Cons: The amount of royalty you receive with iStock photos can vary. You may only receive 15% if you’re non-exclusive, or receive up to 45% if you become an exclusive contributor.

3. Shutterstock

Like the above site, Shutterstock presents a large-scale database of images that target professionals looking to license a variety of images. Shutterstock offers a useful and free Contributor Success Guide, which is helpful for beginners.

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Shutterstock will only allow you to earn up to 30% of the sales price for your pictures. This will also depend on their size and popularity. You’ll need to work your way up the lifetime earnings ladder to receive more money per download.

4. Alamy

Alamy will pay you up to 50% of every sale, which is higher than some competitors. Alamy is fairly user-friendly and they won’t tie you down with a contract.

Alamy is a very large-scale stock photo website (with collections of over 60 million photos), so you may face a lot more competition from other photographers.

5. Fotolia

Fotolia offers fast-paying royalties of up to 46%. People looking to buy photos on Fotolia can access potential purchases from within a variety of Adobe applications, which helps draw in more buyers.

You’ll have to work your way up the Fotolia ranking system if you want to increase the number of royalties you receive.

Pursue your passion while enjoying the benefits

To get started on turning your pictures into profit, you’ll first need to ensure you have a great quality camera to take photos with. You also need a plan of action for safely protecting, uploading, and selling your photos.

You can achieve this with the help of an affordable and dependable website. Choosing a third-party website to help you sell your photos is a great and easy way to start an extra income.

How can a photography website help you?

  • Make contact with businesses and individuals that may not have given you a second glance otherwise.
  • Safely store and add watermarks to your images.
  • Provide you with a fast medium of sale and royalties for your photography.

Why do people love pictures?

A picture truly does tell a story, and one single photograph can hold an ocean of memories and emotions. Pictures and photographs can be powerful tools to inspire and motivate people. They can also be very useful for designing and advertising. Because of this, you can easily turn your beautiful photos into profit. Now get out there and start earning an extra income with your amazing pictures!

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