How to Sell Stock Photography Online

Stock photography is basically providing licensed photos for a specific purpose. Instead of hiring a professional, one can sell photos to a royalty free stock photography agency, which pays the person a certain fee for his/her service, in this case – images. Royalty free refers to the fact that the image can be obtained by paying a one-time fee for multiple usage. However, there could be a limit to how many times a buyer can use it.


  • 1

    You first need to understand the concept of selling your images online. Once you decide to market your image, the photography agency basically has the first right to use that photo. The contract could vary but in most cases, websites tend to get exclusive rights, meaning they will be the sole owner of that photo. Therefore, you cannot sell it to multiple buyers.

  • 2

    Enhance your knowledge on how these paid sites work. Basically you are signing up as a contributor. Therefore read all the necessary guidelines before narrowing down on a few. Most of the well-known websites will first ask you to submit a couple of your sample photos. Pick your best but make sure that you have more in store. Some of the big names include gettyimages, dreamstime, istockphoto, shutterstock, fotolia, stockXpert.

  • 3

    Read your contract carefully. In some cases, you will be paid a flat fee for each image but make certain that you understand all other possibilities. Sometimes, a particular image will have more demand and will be used multiple times so make sure you earn accordingly. Also know what sizes do people usually prefer and how can that help you make more money. Don’t get disheartened if some of your images are not that popular with the public. Also every photography agency will have its own requirement, so be certain to upload images after fully reviewing it yourself, taking into account quality and content.

  • 4

    Take rejection positively. As nothing comes easy, most websites will want the best photos and therefore a few rejections down the road won’t make any difference. However, make sure you learn from your mistakes and try to improve as you become comfortable with it. Competitiveness may get the best out of you.

  • 5

    Don’t ignore keywords. It is an essential part when it comes to selling your work. Causal user will carry out the most simplest of searches so make sure that you have appropriate keywords installed. Here think from a customer’s perspective.  As time passes, you will be efficient enough to create your own portfolio, which in turn will help you earn some serious bucks.

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