Do you like taking photos? What do you think about learning how to make money with photography? Stock images can be big sellers if you know how to take a great photo.

You don't have to have an expensive camera to get into this passive income road. People not only use normal cameras, but also their smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices.

We'll show you how to make money with photography and how to turn your hobby into a stream of passive income.

All it takes is a little understanding of what people are looking for and what you need to do as an artist. And the best part is that you can do all of your business from the comfort of your own home!

How To Make Money From A Stock House With Photography

So how come you can potentially make money from your photos? Easy:

There is a whole niche demand in the world that wants to quickly find and license photos for advertising purposes or for their own use.

Just look at the pictures of a brochure, a product, an advertisement or a website. Most likely, none of them have been shot by conventional professional photographers.

Instead, they were probably taken by amateurs or semi-professionals with a photography hobby and then licensed as a photo.

An "archive photo" or "micro photo photo" is an image that is captured and then used for multiple purposes.

While a magazine can commission a photographer to take certain photos of a model or clothing for one of their characteristics, a stock photo works the other way around.

People buy what you've already created

The artist takes the picture (for example of a beautiful sunset). This photo is then uploaded to a photo house that acts as a broker for potential customers to use this photo.

As you can imagine, the photo can be used once, ten times, or possibly thousands of times. And as a photographer of this photo, you can get paid every time your photo is used.

What to do Getting started in photography

The first thing you need to do to make money with stock photography is to take a few pictures!

Most stock photo companies want examples of great pictures of potential contributors. They want to see your work before accepting you as a contributor.

Get out there and take some great shots. Read a great article on beginner photography if you feel you need it.

When determining the technical requirements for photos, read the requirements in the submission guidelines of the websites you want to send to. We'll talk more about that later.

But for now, just focus on taking great pictures.

Tip: You don't necessarily need an expensive camera to take photos. If you already have one, great! But if you have a decent phone camera, that could do the trick too.

For camera requirements, see some of the photo websites listed here.

What kind of pictures should you take?

Typically, photo companies sell most photos of things that happen in real life:

  • The guy who works on his computer
  • Friends have dinner
  • A parent is playing with a child
  • A woman in a doctor's office
  • Great weather and nature shots
  • Home and residential shots
  • Sports shooting

Stock-photo buyers are often people who have websites that talk about real things like people, business, lifestyle, education, etc.

Landscape photos can also work, but usually sell better when people are in the shot. Exception: Fantastic landscape photos can be great sellers.

Note: When you submit photos of people, most photographers want them to sign publications so that those photos can be used. Keep this in mind when submitting photos for review.

If you use your minor children in your photos, you are responsible for signing the lease.

Where to shoot

Where should you take these pictures? Everywhere people go regularly. Picnics, festivals, holiday destinations, parks.

Take photos in the doctor's office while your child judges height and weight. Or have their blood pressure measured.

Take pictures of your child doing sports. Or watch a butterfly. Swim on the beach.

Or anywhere you can get a great picture of nature or weather.

You will get the picture (pun intended). As I mentioned earlier, photographing real people in real places leads to images that tend to generate the most sales.

Where to Submit Your Photos (The Most Popular Stock Photo Companies)

There are some companies that are more popular than others when buying photos. Some companies share their photos for free.

But you want to make money, so you want the companies that you pay for. Here are some of the most popular photo companies.

Make sure to read the terms of use of each website before signing up. This is important so that you know the submission requirements and how you will be paid.

Be sure to compare the payout rates and terms between companies. Do not sign up as an exclusive contributor unless you are absolutely sure that you only want to license photos from one of these websites.

It may be more profitable to sign up for more than one and spread your work across different channels.

How much can you expect to earn?

The amount you earn from selling photography depends on several factors.

  1. How great your shots are
  2. The number of recordings you submitted (the more, the better)
  3. How appealing / identifiable your recordings are.

People who buy photos want photos that their readers can identify with. The more shots you submit, the greater the chance that people will buy your photos. And of course quality is important.

Eventually, people will use these photos on business websites.

You, the photographer and the warehouse, receive revenue every time a customer licenses the image.

Depending on the fees and prices negotiated between all parties involved, you could potentially get very good residual income.

In fact, Shutterstock paid a total of $ 115 million in contributions in 2016 alone.

This is proof that good photographers can generate residual income with stock photography.

Make money while you sleep

The really great thing about this whole strategy is that once the image is uploaded to the warehouse it can be viewed or downloaded by anyone at any time of the day or night.

So if your portfolio was really good and you had a nice selection of images to choose from, You could wake up in the morning with an additional $ 10, $ 100, or even $ 1,000 in your bank account. The possibilities are there!

This is true residual income at its best. You do a little work in advance, and with the right steps, the money comes in.

Think of these tips

Before you go wild and upload your entire digital photo library to a warehouse for the world to use, there are a few things you should know.

Not every photo makes the cut

Warehouses just want the best of the best to be presented to their customers.

Therefore, the images must be of the highest quality and have some useful aspects from the customer's perspective. not necessarily because you think it's "good".

Stock photo companies have control over which photos are accepted and which are not. However, they are usually great at giving contributors feedback.

As a contributor, note the feedback you receive. Use it to take better pictures next time.

Over time, you will find out what types of images you publish are sold – and which ones are not.

In this way, you will learn more and more about which types of photos sell best. With this information, you can publish more tempting photos.

Pay attention to copyright agreements

Not all warehouses offer the same conditions for your photo collection.

Before signing up, make sure you read the fine print and understand what rights you, as an artist, have on the photos.

You don't want to get into a situation where you can't personally use the photo for your own use just because you uploaded it to the website. Make sure you understand the law before you commit.

Some common mistakes are shooting scenes with other companies' logos, such as: B. coke cans etc.

You have no control over the image

It is important to understand that you have no control over how the image is used.

Suppose you are a man who uploads a great shot of his beautiful wife. Nothing prevents an advertiser from licensing the photo for use in an abuse campaign.

This could embarrass you if the neighbor sees your wife's picture on the cover of a domestic violence ad.

The point? Know and expect your photos can be used anywhere. Stock-photo businesses have strict rules about what photos can be used for.

They usually don't allow photos to be used for inappropriate things. However, this does not mean that everyone has to follow these rules.

And just like in the scenario mentioned above, a photo of you can be used appropriately, but still in a way that can be embarrassing for you.


If you have a knack for great pictures, you can earn serious money with stock photography.

And be honest; It doesn't hurt to try. If companies reject your photos, you only have time.

But if they are accepted, you could earn serious residual income.

Have you ever tried to sell photography? If so, what was your experience like? Feel free to share in the comments.


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