Noupe Editorial Team February 17th, 2020

How to Sell Stock Photos

how to sell stock photos

If you are interested in photography, and you think you are good at it, you can earn a passive income by selling stock photos. How to sell stock photos is the first question that comes to mind, but don’t worry, we got you covered.

First impressions have always been important, and usually, the first impression you get for your product and work is through a visual. So businesses all around the world put so much time and effort into having the best visual to get attention. Without the imagery, people are likely to ignore your product or content.

Not every business out there can afford to commission a professional photographer yet alone having an in-house photographer to shoot photographs for them exclusively.  So more and more businesses are turning to stock photography, so there’s a huge market.

Think you can leverage this market opportunity, but don't know where to start? Check out this guide on How to Become a Photographer to learn more!

What is Stock Photography?

Stock photographs are photographs that the photographers make available for sale to be used for commercial or personal purposes. Most stock photos are sold through Stock Photography websites, like Shutterstock and Getty Images

Customers pay a fee to buy the rights to a certain stock photograph they want, and they incorporate it into their projects. The fee is split between the artist that took the photo and the agency or the stock photography service the artist uses. Photographers usually retain their copyright on the photograph.

How to Sell Stock Photos on the Web

There are many platforms that you can use to sell your stock photos online. Here are some of the most popular ones:

Getty Images

how to sell stock photos

Getty Images is probably the most popular imagery website. It’s known for having the best quality and highest standards for its imagery. You have the potential to make a lot of money since a high res image costs around $500. And through the most popular contract option between the artist and Getty Images, the artist gets %20. It’s probably the most you can earn through a single stock photo on the web. 

Also, Getty is known for having the best quality, so if your work gets accepted and even gets sold on there, it could motivate you to keep shooting and boost your ego.

There is one downside though, the work you put on Getty Images can’t be sold elsewhere. That’s where iStock comes into play.


Pikwizard is one of the best free stock photo sites around! It's best known for its image editor, Design Wizard, where you can edit each image. The website currently boasts over 100,000 high-quality images and videos. Another cool selling point is the images of people, which really stand out as you browse the images.

There are Adobe and Shutterstock sponsored images on the website, meaning that images can be sold through Pikwizard! However, the vast majority of images and videos are completely free to use.


how to sell stock photos

iStock is a part of Getty Images. Almost everything is the same with Getty Images since they are associated. The great thing about iStock is though, the photographs you sell on it are not exclusive. That means you can sell them anywhere. But don’t expect to receive much, it’s a microstock platform. You can opt in to make your photo exclusive, on iStock which will increase the percentage you get from the sale. For the base sale, you get around %15. And for the exclusive photo sale, you get around %40

Everyone can’t afford to spend $500 on a stock photo, and the photos on iStock go for much lower prices. Hence, there is a bigger customer network that you can sell your art to. If you don’t make your photo exclusive, expect to earn around 20¢ – 50¢ per sale, because most of the sales come from the “premium” accounts and you earn much less.


how to sell stock photos

Shutter stock is extremely popular. When you search the web for an image, chances of stumbling upon a Shutterstock photo is quite high. They offer high-quality photographs for cheap prices, so they have a massive customer base and traffic. There are no exclusivity options, so you can sell your photos on other non-exclusive platforms. Don’t expect to earn a lot though, you are likely to earn around $0.25 for a download.

Adobe Stock

how to sell stock photos

Adobe Stock is one of the news stock photography platforms, it got launched back in 2015. It is fully integrated with Adobe CC software, so it really speeds up your workflow. If you want to add your photo to the Adobe Stock, all you need to do is drag and drop the photo in the Adobe Stock publishing field and it’ll be automatically uploaded. You’ll just enter a title and a couple of keywords for the customers to find your work easily. 

It speeds up the whole process for the customers as well. They can test the content within Adobe software like Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. If you want to learn more about how to use Adobe Stock both as a creator and a customer, make sure to check out Adobe Stock: The Best Stock Photo Provider

Adobe Stock is a microstock platform as well, but the earnings you get for a photo is not that bad. It’s almost certain that you’ll earn much more on Adobe Stock for a single photo than on Shutterstock. 

There are many other platforms that you can try. If you end up creating cool stuff, you need to know that you can get more than just your own satisfaction. There are websites that pay for your photos, and demand for new content is constantly growing. People are getting bored seeing the same images on multiple sites and webmasters pay to have their content stand out. These are the ones that are most popular nowadays. If your photo gets rejected, don’t bring yourself down. No matter how small, having a passive income is great. Try submitting it to another platform. You just have to start from somewhere. Selling your art online is a process, and you just have to keep going. 

Photo by Yanny Mishchuk on Unsplash

Noupe Editorial Team

The jungle is alive: Be it a collaboration between two or more authors or an article by an author not contributing regularly. In these cases you find the Noupe Editorial Team as the ones who made it. Guest authors get their own little bio boxes below the article, so watch out for these.

One comment

  1. Hi! First I would like to thank you for helpful article. I am very happy to here your site because your article help me. Go ahead and keep sharing helpful article.Thank you admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *