(Original blog post written 25th Nov 2015, updated 5th Jul 2018)
Whether you are a part time hobbyist photographer or a full-time commercial photographer, there are many methods to sell photos online to earn additional revenue. The main requirements are to have a good quality camera, photographic skills (both technical and artistic), dedication and time.
One popular method for selling photos is to sell your photos as stock photos – this is how I first made money from photography. There are a number of sites which sites which allow you do to this including Shutterstock, 123 RF and Dreamstime. Almost all sites require you to pass an initial approval process to become a photographer – typically you will need to submit around 10 of your best photos and these are then checked. Assuming you are accepted, you now have the ability to make some money! With stock photography, it’s important to take and select photos which buyers want, not what you think are great. It’s critical to include a good amount of keywords in the photos you upload. All photos are approved and something to remember is that not everything will be accepted – sometimes even seemingly great photos will be rejected. If it’s a technical issue you can sometimes correct this, but if not it’s best to be positive and move on – photography is very subjective! With the stock photo websites, all sites have a minimum payout limit and if they are US based sites (most are) you’ll need to fill in a form to ensure US tax is handled correctly.