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5 Sites Where You Can Sell Your Photos

5 Sites Where You Can Sell Your Photos

Photography is a hard business to break into, especially the upper brackets. But the internet does make it possible to earn a few dollars off of your photos — especially if you’ve found some great shots. More and more people have what amount to high-quality digital cameras these days and, if you’re one of them, at least a few of your photos may be able to make you a little money as stock photos. There are many sites that will allow you to upload your photos and sell them as stock photography.

I wouldn’t suggest stock photography as a ‘get rich quick scheme,’ of course. Most sites are looking for a certain level of work, which isn’t out of reach for amateur photographers but does require a little extra effort. If you do want to make more than a few dollars through selling stock photography, it’s a good idea to practice beyond your family snapshots. A quick head’s up: most sites have been inundated with everyone’s travel and family photos for the past ten years. You’re more likely to sell if you’ve got something a little different.

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5 Stock Photography Sites

  1. iStockphoto
    As far as stock photography sites go, iStockphoto is pretty well known. They’ve been in business since 2001 and have an extensive collection of stock photography to sell. In order to contribute you’re work, you’ll need to sign up for a free iStockphoto account. You’ll also be asked to read a manual on the site’s quality standards and answer a short quiz. Lastly, iStockphoto wants to see three samples of your best photography. It may sound like a lot of work, but if your photos pass iStockphoto’s standards, it’s one of the best options for selling stock photography. iStockphoto has much higher traffic than many other stock photography site and sells more photos. You’ll get 20 to 40 percent of all downloads of your photos.
  2. Stockxpert
    Stockxpert offers a respectable reach: it’s paired with stock.xchng, a site where a huge number of people look for free photos. Stockxpert offers low-priced stock photos to both stock.xchng’s members as well as the rest of the internet. Just like iStockphoto, Stockxpert requires that you sign up for a free account and then apply to be a seller and requires a few sample photos. You’ll receive 50 percent of the price of each photo you sell.
  3. Fotolia
    If you’re more concerned about the percentage of royalties than anything else, Fotolia might be a good option. This site offers photographers 64 percent of sales and has a record of accepting far more photos than most other stock photography sites. It isn’t necessarily my first pick: Fotolia doesn’t have as much traffic as other sites. But for the right photographer, Fotolia is a good fit.
  4. Crestock
    Crestock does require you to register for a free account before you really get to look at the site’s terms, but the terms aren’t really unusual. You’ll receive 30 percent of the price of every image you sell through Crestock. Sign up is simple — that registration takes care of most of the site’s requirements. As soon as you’re registered, you can start uploading photos immediately. Crestock staff then review them and make them available for purchase.
  5. Dreamstime
    Dreamstime offers a sliding scale of compensation for photographs, based on the number of downloads. Better selling photos have a higher price tag, and photographers can get from 50 to 60 percent of the sale price. Dreamstime also offers bonuses in certain situations. To get started with this site, you’ll need to set up an account and submit sample files. Dreamstime then reviews your samples; if they’re approved, those photos will be made available for sale immediately.

Other Options

There are plenty of sites like CafePress and Photrade that offer you the opportunity to put your photographs on t-shirts, mugs and other items up for sale. While some people can have a lot of success selling products through such sites, that route requires a lot of marketing, as well as some pretty great photos. In contrast, the sites above pretty much require users to upload photos and walk away. Actually taking the photographs is the main area you’ll need to work on; sites like iStockphoto and Stockxpert take care of marketing your work to all the designers looking for stock photography. You might find yourself doing some photo editing, of course, but you won’t be expected to pay for an ad for your own work.

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You’ll also find that there are many other stock selling options out there, like Shutterpoint, that require a fee from photographers before they start selling photos. Shutterpoint’s range from $19.00 to $49.00 for a year’s worth of access.There are also sites with other requirements, often meant to limit the site to professional photographers. Some sites do offer higher payouts in exchange for photographers meeting more strenuous requirements.

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Like I said before, stock photography isn’t a fast way to get rich. With a little work, you can post images that keep bringing in a little money long after you’ve submitted the file.

If there’s a particular stock photography site that you’ve sold through successfully, please add it in the comments. I know there are many more options out there, and I’d like to hear about your experiences with those other sites. If you have any resources for photographers looking to start selling stock photography, feel free to include those as well.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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