If you want to make more money, you might be tempted to get into stock photography, at least some of the time. Maybe you wanted to learn more about how to sell photos online and make money. Read on to find out how.
Earn passive income on stock photos!
One of the easiest ways to make money from your photos is to sell them on certain websites. When you put your photos on these sites, you would be surprised how many people actually buy!
These buyers are usually companies or people who need a specific image, and they mainly want to buy the right to use the image. So, when you upload a photo to sell online, you are actually selling the right to use it. As long as someone takes a fancy to the photos you upload, even if it is just a cup, it will bring you passive income.
Share Of Revenue from Different Stock Photos Website
According to different websites, the revenue share of contributors is different. The following 15 sites each provide different profit-sharing mechanisms for reference.
|Site||Stock type||How commission is calculated||Payment method|
|Shutterstock||Photos, vector, videos, illustrations||Earn a certain percentage of revenue based on the selling price of each authorized download, up to 40% of royalties||Paypal, Payoneer, Skrill|
|Freepik||Photo, vector, ICON||Calculate contributor royalties based on total monthly downloads||Paypal, Payoneer|
|Adobe stock||Photos, vector, videos, audio, 3D modules||Earn a certain percentage of revenue based on the selling price of each authorized download, up to a 33% royalty||Paypal, Payoneer, Skrill|
|Getty Images||Photos, vector, videos||Get a certain percentage of revenue based on the selling price of each authorized download||Paypal, Payoneer, Skrill|
|123RF||Photos, vector, audio||There are different calculation methods depending on the image download or point of sale, and the maximum royalty can be 60||Paypal, Payoneer, Skrill|
|Canva||Images, Graphics, Audio Tracks, Videos||Get 35% of every asset sold, price depends on which license the user chooses at checkout||Paypal, Payoneer, Skrill|
|pngtree||PNG images, background images, templates||Earn up to $150 per thousand downloads||Paypal,Payoneer|
|depositphotos||Photos, vector, videos, audio||Earn a certain percentage of revenue based on the selling price of each authorized download, up to 42% of royalties||Paypal|
|POND5||Photos, vector, videos, audio, 3D modules, post-production special effects||Earn a certain percentage of revenue based on the selling price of each authorized download, up to 60% of royalties||Paypal, Payoneer, Skrill|
|PIXTA||Photos, vector, videos||Earn a certain percentage of revenue based on the selling price of each authorized download, up to 53% of royalties||Paypal, Payoneer|
|Flaticon||ICON||Calculate contributor royalties based on total monthly downloads||Paypal, Payoneer|
|vecteezy||Photos, vector, videos||Free Plan: Earn up to $10 per 1,000 downloads, Paid Plan: 50% split||Paypal, Payoneer|
|envato||Videos, sound effects, graphic materials, photos, WordPress, 3D materials, etc.||50% of net income from all subscriptions per month goes directly to the author of envato elements||Paypal, Payoneer|
|Dreamstime||Photos, vector, videos, audio||According to the size of the stock, the amount of profit sharing varies, up to 60% of the royalties can be obtained||Paypal, Payoneer, Skrill|
|illust AC||vector||Contributor royalties are calculated based on monthly downloads, earn $ 0.02 worth of credits for each download||Paypal|
It can be seen from the table that the payment methods of almost every site are Paypal and Payoneer, but Payoneer is recommended because the handling charge is cheaper.
Where Do You Get Inspiration From?
After all, it takes time and cost to create stock photos, and if you go in the wrong direction, you can end up with half the effort. Here are a few ways to explore creative inspiration for reference.
Article provided by Shutterstock describing the 15 most popular and searched stock photo types, such as landscape shots that inspire travel desires, work environments and office spaces, aerial shots, buildings, etc.
Pinterest is an indispensable source of creative inspiration for design creators. For web design, logo design or product marketing contextual needs, you can find a large number of stock photos on the site. In particular, Pinterest has a high conversion rate in shopping guides, so creators of vector graphics and hand-drawing arts use Pinterest as a channel to share their works.
Find a niche market
A niche market is a segment that has a need but has not yet been met. Just like the concept of e-commerce product selection, subdividing from the red ocean market to the blue ocean market, because the search volume in the red ocean market is large enough, and you can see if there are unmet needs for long-tail keywords. For example, the weight loss market itself is a big red sea, and the competition is fierce, but long-tail keywords can be sleep and weight loss, fitness and weight loss, etc. In addition, you can refer to various sales data or rankings to understand the market needs. For example, a corporate favourite is a photo of a professional entrepreneur shaking hands in what appears to be a deal. These types of photos are downloaded frequently, so it is common to see the same stock photos on different websites, and so you can provide more options for this type of theme.
After finding a profitable market, it is necessary to develop various situational photos, because people who like your photos have a certain chance to see similar photos to choose from or download them together. For example, the handshake photos can have different races to choose from, and the photos style can also have a variety of backgrounds to choose from.
Which Website Is the Best to Sell On?
Although there are quite a lot of stock photos websites, here are a few relatively large websites recommended. After all, the more users, the better for us.
- Shutterstock is arguably the best stock photos site, and one of the easiest to get started with. The reason is that Shutterstock has an exceptionally large user base, and no matter what kind of photos you want to sell or how good or bad the quality is, there are likely to be people who want them. Many of the website images of major companies are purchased from here, so do not suspect that you may have seen some similar images. Another point is that Shutterstock’s mobile app is also very friendly. Not only can you take and upload photos directly with the mobile app, but also provide some information to tell you what type of photos are most searched recently. Uploading such photos can greatly increase exposure. As for how much you can earn from selling photos from Shutterstock? It depends on who downloaded your photos. If they are a monthly subscription, your income will be slightly less, otherwise it will be much higher. Of course, as you upload more and more photos to Shutterstock, your income will gradually increase.
- Adobe Stock
- Adobe Stock is also a good option. This is a stock photos site owned by Adobe, the famous Photoshop company. Because users who use Adobe’s various software are usually engaged in design-related work, the exposure opportunities of stock images here will be greatly improved. And in 2014, Adobe acquired Fotolia, another stock photos company, which means that when you upload photos to Adobe Stock, it will be synced to Fotolia, and the chance of exposure will be doubled directly. Adobe Stock will pay users 33% of the selling price of photos, but because it is a fixed rate, there is less room for growth in the later stage.
- Getty Images
- If you are confident in your photography skills and want to earn a higher income from your photos, Getty Images will be your best choice. Here you can upload any high-definition quality photos, but there is a troublesome thing that requires registration and authentication to start uploading. Once you have completed the registration process, the certification process can take up to 30 business days. If your photo is selected, you can get 15-45% profit, and if you are willing to sell photos only on Getty Images, you get a relatively higher percentage.
Selling photos pays off in the long run, but it is definitely not a short-term endeavour. If you do not mind being patient, selling photos can be a fulfilling endeavour overall. Having said that, do not think of stock photography as a way to quit your day job. It can be a highly competitive industry, so it can take years to generate a steady income.
A stock photo site is a website that sells images, videos, music, etc. that users can download through these sites. Using licensed images on a personal or business website is important, so stock photos are becoming more and more important.
The relationship between photographer, consumer, and stock photography company:
- For photographers, they can upload their work to the website, and when consumers download the image, the photographer will have income.
- For consumers, they can get the works of professional photographers at low cost, which can be placed on their own websites, blogs, advertisements, publications, etc.
- The stock photography company manages the copyright of photos, and consumers who download it with official authorization can use it with peace of mind.
Most stock photos are royalty-free for commercial use, but each company’s copyright management method is different, so you need to confirm the usage rules before using them.
Key Points for Choosing a Stock Photos Website
- Pricing plan
- There is usually a limited budget that can be spent on paid photos and videos, so the cost performance ratio is very important. Generally speaking, most stock photos sites offer a subscription plan with a contract of 1 year or 1 month, which are much cheaper than purchasing a single product. When selecting stock photos, you need to confirm whether there is a subscription plan that suits your usage habits.
- Quality of stock photos
- The quality of images, illustrations, videos, and other resources is very important. When subscribing to a stock photos site, pay attention to whether there is a strict review system for stock photos, and only sell high-quality stocks. Some stock photos sites allow people to download random low-quality images, such as blurred focus, misaligned horizons, or dull colors.
- Quantity of stock photos
- The number of resources provided by the stock photos website affects the scope of our stock selection. The more resources they provide, the higher the probability that consumers will find a suitable image, and they are less likely to reuse the same image with others. It can be embarrassing for peer websites to accidentally use the same image, so the number of stock photos provided is also an important consideration.
- Ease of use
- It will be difficult to quickly find the image you really want from the massive resources, so the search and filter functions have a great impact on whether it is easy to use.
- The Comparison
- The following introduction is based on the evaluation and ranking of two selected stock photo companies, Shutterstock and iStock, in terms of price, quality, quantity, and ease of use.
Features of Shutterstock
As a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the biggest feature of Shutterstock is its large number of resources. Shutterstock offers a high-quality collection of royalty-free images, photos, vector graphics, illustrations, videos, and music for a variety of purposes, while also being very beginner-friendly. This website has many peripheral functions. For example, the conversion of image extensions (.jpg, .png, .tiff, etc.), cutting images/putting text on images, assistance in designing templates, color matching inspiration tools (to find suitable images with color matching), etc.
Pricing plan – 4 stars
Shutterstock’s pricing plans are divided into All-in-one Subscription and Multiple-Users. The payment method of All-in-one Subscription is divided into three types, Monthly (no contract), Annual (billed monthly), Annual (billed upfront). Among them, the annual plan with billed upfront is of course the cheapest, because it is equivalent to paying for a year in advance.
|Downloads per month||Annual (billed upfront)||Annual (billed monthly)|
|10||$25/month ($2.50/image)||$29/month ($2.90/image)|
|25||$50/month ($2.00/image)||$59/month ($2.36/image)|
|50||$83/month ($1.65/image)||$99/month ($1.98/image)|
|750||$166/month ($0.22/image)||$199/month ($0.27/image)|
It should be noted that there is a small disadvantage of Shutterstock’s pricing plan, that is, the number of downloads cannot be deferred, and the number of downloads that are not used up in the current month will be wasted. This affects the cost performance ratio of Shutterstock, as few people download the same amount each month. The Multiple-Users plan means you can split the cost with other users, but if you compare it with 750 pictures/month, the All-in-one Subscription is $199 a month, while the Multiple-Users is $479 a month. Downloads need to be shared, but the price is not much cheaper, so it is more cost-effective to consider All-in-one Subscription. In addition, if it is a relatively large-scale enterprise, you can leave a message to inquire about the customized enterprise plan.
Quality of stock photos – 5 stars
Basically, Shutterstock’s images are of high quality, but occasionally there are images with relatively low quality.
Quantity of stock photos – 5 stars
Shutterstock currently hosts over 400 million images and taps over 70 million royalty-free vector images for vector backgrounds, art clips, diagrams, and illustrations in expanded EPS format.
Ease of use – 5 stars
Shutterstock does a good job in the filtering function of the search, which can be further filtered by color, whether with people, age, gender, and number of people. In addition, Shutterstock provides a multilingual interface and search function. Because when some traditional industries search for stock photos, it is troublesome to only use English, but Shutterstock does not need to worry about this problem.
Features of iStock
iStock is a stock photos website belonging to the news photos company Getty Images. The biggest feature of iStock is professional-quality resources and exclusive visual content. iStock provides designers with various peripheral functions. For example, connect with Adobe Creative Cloud (access photos in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign), cooperate with InVision Craft Stock (directly access photos on InVison), iStock + Dropbox (directly synchronize iStock library photos into Dropbox), etc.
Pricing plan – 5 stars
iStock’s pricing is a bit complicated and might put off new buyers. The main pricing plans of iStock are divided into Basic (for Essential images), Premium (for Essential & Signature images), Premium + Movies (for all images, videos, and music). It should be noted that Signature photos are higher quality than Essentials photos. If you are not pursuing higher quality, the basic plan is enough, because the photos and vector images of the basic plan are already very good.
The table below compares the difference between the monthly fee and the annual fee for the basic plan.
|Downloads per month||Annual||Monthly|
|10||$29/month ($2.90/image)||$29/month ($2.90/image)|
|25||$49/month ($1.96/image)||$65/month ($2.60/image)|
|50||$90/month ($1.80/image)||$99/month ($1.98/image)|
|750||$166/month ($0.22/image)||$199/month ($0.27/image)|
Credits are the best option when you don’t need regular downloads, which you can use any time after purchase, while subscriptions expire on a monthly basis. Usually, it costs 1 credit (about $8) for an Essentials photo and 3 credits (about $24) for a Signature photo.
|Price in credits||Price for credits|
|Essential images||1 credit||$8–$12|
|Signature images||3 credits||$24–$36|
In addition, if you need a customized enterprise solution, you can contact the official inquiry.
Quality of stock photos – 5 stars
There is absolutely no problem with the quality of the iStock library that many designers love to use.
Quantity of stock photos – 5 stars
iStock is a massive archive of over 350 million images.
Ease of use – 4 stars
iStock’s keyword search accuracy is good. However, when searching in other languages, the results sometimes do not match when compared to English. Its advanced image search is the same as Shutterstock, with detailed categories such as photo size, color, etc.
If you value the quality of images, iStock is recommended, and if you value the quantity of images, Shutterstock is recommended. In addition, if you value cost performance ratio, Shutterstock is recommended, but iStock’s credits system is more user-friendly.
Shutterstock or iStock both have different features and it’s hard to say which is the best. If you choose according to your own needs, you will definitely not go wrong.
On January 2021 we found at Avopix.com the best selection of 10 royalty-free photos from Shutterstock.com
PHOTO: Close-up portrait of her she nice attractive lovable cute adorable winsome girl with two buns wear white shirt protection flu cold facial mask isolated over pink pastel background
PHOTO: Shot of pretty young woman using her mobile phone while working with laptop sitting on the floor at home.
PHOTO: Beautiful young asian woman with clean fresh skin on white background, Face care, Facial treatment, Cosmetology, beauty and spa, Asian women portrait
PHOTO: Smiling cheerful long-haired girl with curly hair breathes a full breast and enjoys freedom, standing next to road. Portrait of adorable young woman in white blouse and denim shorts having fun outside
PHOTO: Smiling of cheerful beautiful pretty asian woman clean fresh healthy white skin posing in warm knitted pink clothes.Girl felling relaxing and enjoy time on the bed at home.asia beauty
PHOTO: Smiling young african american teen girl wear headphones video calling on laptop. Happy mixed race pretty woman student looking at computer screen watching webinar or doing video chat by webcam.
PHOTO: Freelance concept. Pretty young woman using laptop in cafe on tropical beach in outdoor cafe terrace with sea view. Work and travel
PHOTO: Closeup portrait of beauty asian woman with fair perfect healthy glow skin hand touching shoulder copy space, young beautiful asia girl with pretty smile on face. Beauty korean spa skincare banner
PHOTO: Pretty stylish schoolgirl studying homework math during her online lesson at home, social distance during quarantine, self-isolation, online education concept, home schooler
PHOTO: Woman wearing stylish handmade protective face mask. Fashion during quarantine of coronavirus outbreak. Copy, empty space for text