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If you are a beginning hobby “just for the fun of it” photographer or full-time professional photographer and everything in between, have you ever considered increasing your photography skills and earnings by making money selling your photos online?
What are we talking about? Well, there are several sites that sell what is called “stock” photos. Stock photo sites provide a database of photos that magazines, websites, marketing agencies and many, many more companies and individuals use to create ads, webpages, and so much more!
In fact, the images you see all over our site we have purchased for a few dollars each (like the ones on the top or on the right hand side displaying the main themes of our site…of course the one of Alex and me is our own and most all of the pictures in our posts are our own too :)) but the rest were purchased on a site called iStockphoto.com.
iStockphoto.com is just one of the sites out there. I think it is possibly one of the more popular sites out there because we have many fellow bloggers as well as web page designers that use iStockphoto.com for their stock photos.
Neither Alex or I are are professional photographers, but we have even taken a few amazing, themed and fun photos that we could probably sell too. So honestly, it really doesn’t matter your skill level…if someone wants to buy the rights to your photo, then they can…and multiple people can buy the same photo too…so your income on one photo is limitless.
But the question really does become “how much can I make selling my photos online?” Well, we can’t say for sure as we just don’t know. This isn’t a business or money making opp that we have personally tried, but it is a fabulous idea!
At a place like iStockphoto.com, you can make 15%. So if a photo sells for $3, you make .45 on that one customer on that one photo. You can hold your photos on many stock photo sites to increase your photo visibility, but at some sites like iStockphoto.com, you will make more if you only exclusively use them – meaning your royalty rate increases to 22-45% each photo.
Now whether it is best to have your photos on many stock photo sites or exclusively on one for rate increases to determine which will make you the most…. we don’t have an answer for that! If it were us, we would probably test both. For a time, try holding them on a handful of sites and see which is the most popular. If one comes out to be the highest earner – perhaps become an exclusive seller through them for larger royalty.
Quite honestly, neither of us really has a clue about photography, but this sounds like a super fun way for anyone to capitalize on any pictures. Just think, you go to Paris on vacation. Sure, you have a number of photos with your family/friends you traveled with, but what if you snapped some amazing pictures of the Eiffel tower at Sunset or of a French countryside, etc. You offer those few up and make a few dollars per month!
Another idea is to head to your backyard, have fun snapping close-ups of grass, pets, flowers ….. anything! It is amazing the subjects, themes, things and ideas that people need a photo for. iStockphoto.com has probably hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of photos. BUT, there have been a few times when we were looking for something specific and we still couldn’t find a photo. Pictures of ANYTHING is what you can sell! A close-up of a pencil, a clean desk, a messy desk, a car seat, a waving hand…seriously, anything!
So we gave a brief summary of what you could make per photo above, but what can that equate to? Well, we found a photographer who shared his earnings from posting on iStockPhoto.com. He makes several hundred dollars per month, but he also has about 800 photos for sale right now. He has figured that he averages .73 per month per photo. That is not a lot, but he goes on to explain that if you had 100 photos that will translate into $73; 1,000 photos equals $730, and so on! Now this is just an average because the prices vary, but this can give you an idea. Obviously, the more pictures you have up, the better chances you have of making more money. You can read about his photo stock selling experience on iStockphoto HERE.
There are several sites out there that sell stock photos. We found another great article that helps to give a summary of 7 photo selling sites HERE that are out there.
Now the title of our idea here says that you can make about $100 per month – we said this as we think this is very possible. Take a few hundred pictures and upload them to one or many stock selling sites and watch the money roll in…it can very quickly and easily add up to $100+ per month. $100+ per month more would be a nice blessing for many homes and budgets!
This kinda makes me want to just pull out our camera and have fun taking pictures of things around my house and upload and see what happens. And don’t forget – practice makes perfect, so the more you take, the more you earn, and the better a photographer you become! 🙂
Have any of you made money doing this? We would love to hear!
This may or may not be your thing, but we share well over 100 ideas and counting on extra ways to make extra income for every person, interest and skill! See our Over 100 Ways To Make Extra Income HERE.
I absolutely LOVED this idea when i read it here earlier this month. I had just gotten my first DSLR camera for Christmas and this seemed like the perfect motivator to find the time to really learn to use it.
I went on iStockPhoto.com and went through the application process, which includes a tutorial that takes some real time to read through and absorb, then a test/quiz and finally submitting samples of your work. WOW they are are picky!! They have rules on what subjects they need and which ones they don’t as well. My application was rejected because they said my shots were not creative or original enough…and they really were great shots! So, my advice is if you are interested in pursuing this idea, you need to be ready to do much more than simply walk around your neighboorhood, shooting snapshots of random items.
I still plan to pursue this further but I guess I need to learn a little more first 🙂
Thank buddy! I am selling stock photo in several sites and earning extra money. I really love to explore my photo sell.
This is a great idea! I have been thinking about doing this myself.