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How to Make Money Online by Selling Photos of Yourself

“You know, you can make money by selling photos of yourself which could be your side income source. Though it seems a piece of cake to an outsider, it is not really! So, in this article, let’s discuss  the ways to make money online by selling photos easier for you.” 

What if I tell you with every picture you delete you lose your chance of earning some good amount? Ok,  tell me how would it sound if someone offers you money for your pictures? No, absolutely not. You don’t have to be a professional model for that. Here we are talking about pictures you click on daily basis. That might be your mirror selfie, or a selfie that you click at bus stop, it might be your picture sitting in your office or also it may be a picture with your favorite food. 

How to Make Money Online by Selling Photos of Yourself

Haha! I can hear you saying ‘this person must be joking’ but no! I ain’t. Here we are talking about how to earn money by selling photos of yourself. I understand if this concept is totally new for you because just like you many people have not so clear idea about how can they earn money by selling their photos. We have been watching people hustling too much for side income but the question is ain’t they aware of this idea? Or didn’t anybody clear their doubt about how to sell photos online and make money? Ok then let’s make this clear for everyone and talk about how to make money easily by selling pictures. So,  it is called as Stock Photography. 

Now, You know how to make money by selling photos of yourself. The way to do that is stock photography, but actually is stock photography? 

Basically, stock photography is about making and selling imagery. Stock photography is about letting customers use the photo and videos in their projects by charging them a fee to buy the right. The amount generated by selling is divided between the platform and the person who clicked the photo. It may be either a professional photographer or a person who wants to sell a photo. Now a days due to technology and better camera phones it is quite easy for anyone to click a good picture and thus the scope for stock photography has increased. 

Types of Stock Photography

There are three types of stock photography; Macrostock, Midstock and Microstock. 

  • Macrostock: In macrostock photography number of customers buying same stock photo is limited. In macrostock photography customer pays a higher cost to buy the right
  • Midstock: In midstock photography, the price paid by the customer is between macrostock and  microstock.  
  • Microstock: The price paid by customers in microstock is the lowest. But the volume is very high that means multiple buyers can buy the rights for the same photo.  

So how ‘selling photos of yourself ‘ is beneficial for you? 

There was a time when mostly professional photographers and models used to do stock photography. But now a days, things have become easy for common people too who love to capture. You can easily make money by selling your photos. Instead of hustling too much for that one source of side income, you can sell your pictures and selfies on stock photography platform and generate income. You don’t need to have a strong portfolio, if you are a little creative and have time to dedicate you are ready to go.

So, there are few basic things which you have to think about before taking this idea of selling pictures of yourself into consideration. 

Get a good camera or a phone with good camera. 

Get a tripod camera stand or a mobile stand for better quality of pictures. 

Grow and build your social media accounts to attract people 

Go for a suitable software or an app to edit your pictures 

Try to display your photos on different platforms 

Be choosy with the photos you want to upload 

Do it consistently 

Everyday people need various photos for different purposes but it is not possible for everyone to hire a  photographer or a model. In such cases, people look for online picture to buy for their purpose and it makes their work much easier and hassle-free. And thus, it’s a two-way deal, one can easily generate an income by selling pictures and a person from other side can get its work done easily. Now many of you  may have got a clear idea about stock photography and how to sell picture of yourself online so now let’s  discuss 

How To Make money online by selling photos of yourself

It’s quite easy when you are about to buy photos online for you or your organization. But in case of selling your pictures online you need to understand how it works. When you are ready to sell your pictures online there are certain ways to do that. 

  • Sell your photos on apps 

When you look for a platform to sell your photos selling it on apps or through companies is quite convenient. The major benefit of selling your photos on these platforms is that you don’t need to gather  audience separately because these platforms already have a huge number of users. There are so many of these apps are available. All you need to do is to register yourself on these apps and you are all set! 

  • Develop a web page 

Another option to make money online by selling photos of yourself is by creating a website. You can create your own website and when customer search for its requirement he can get the address of your web page. But while selling on your website you have to make sure that you are visible on top searches and for that you have to be very alert about SEO. 

  • Promote on social media 

You can create a page on different social media platforms to advertise and sell your pictures. There are many paid promotion packages offered by these platforms for businesses. Also, you have to be creative and selective with your photos. Try to keep your page catchy and attractive to engage more customers. 

  • Start a photography blog 

You can also take an advantage of content publishing platforms to post your blogs about photography.  There are many popular platforms such as Quora, Reddit etc. All you have to do is to post your pictures with descriptions and also you can insert links of your other platforms into the description to engage audience. The best part about these platforms is that they have huge number of quality audiences. Photography blogs are a good way to make money online by selling photos of yourself.

  • Participate in photo contest  

Try to find out photo contests and competitions happen around you. Take a part in it. It’s not about winning or losing a contest, it’s all about the experience. Once you start participating in these events you will get an idea about the market and it will elevate your confidence. You will know the areas to focus on and also you will understand what types of content have more demand. 

This will also help you to promote your photography and you may start receiving audience. Ways to sell your photos effectively : 

3 Tips to make your sales better

  • Use Accurate Keywords 

Keywording your images correctly is the most important task. Otherwise, what good are your images if the potential buyer can’t reach it. The only way for the right buyer to find your photographs is the right keywords. Try to be more specific about the keywords. Like, if your image displays ‘apple’, then put that in front of the more general keyword ‘fruit’. Getting the order of the keywords according to its importance also works in some cases. Also add to the keywords, the emotions, activities and concepts displayed by your pictures just like sad, crying, walking, kindness, etc. You can also mention the objects that are there in the picture. There are some amazing keywording tools available to help you with the keywords too. And thus, using right keywords is important to boost sell of your photos. 

  • Upload with Consistency  

Uploading new images totally gives the exposure of your images to current searches. More the photos you put out there, the more are the chances of better sales of your photo. And also, the trends change with time and to keep up with that you have to put up with a regular dose of creative uploads. This doesn’t mean that your old photos won’t make any sales. Many buyers are out there looking for photos that were popular years ago. But what about the ‘passive income’? Well, it is there. The secret to passive income is also the regular uploads which will keep your income intact. 

  • Keep an eye on the needs of users 

Let’s come on terms with the sales. The photos you like are not going to get you any money. Only those pictures that are liked and bought by the users will do. So, keep this in mind, the likes of the user and the demand of the market while you take the photos. Most importantly, you’ll need to focus on the needs of users. Post content according to it. Ask yourself some questions like ‘What is this image useful  for?’, ‘Who would want to buy this?’, ‘How will they use it?’ Keeping these concepts in mind, the chances of increasing your sales are very high. 

Categories to Look Upon for selling photos of yourself 

  • Lifestyle  

The lifestyle category is not that simple to score with as it seems. The efforts and money invested are always high in lifestyle photos. They are the photos that need more hassle to create. The pictures like a  group of friends at a cafe, parents with their toddler, a couple holding hands, people at games or enjoying a dance show are some examples of lifestyle photography. To create such photos, you need to spend on the models. Also, you need to put an extra effort to find that one perfect location. Though it’s a bit more cliche but the payoff is really worth it.  

  • Current News 

Some of the websites specifically demand for current news photography. Don’t try to go out of your  way to a different state or country when you are just a newbie. Instead start with covering the local or  regional news. Any political, social or anything other happening in your area, try to capture that. There  are some websites who specifically need the current news photos. These ones can really make you sales. 

  • Travel 

Many people get lucky with their sales increasing just by doing travel photography. If you happen to  travel a lot, then it surely can get you benefited by this category of stock photography. You can even  roam around your village/town or the area surrounding it and have your photos captured. Many people have had a hype in their sales effortlessly just by doing the right kind and demanding travel  photography. With locations pictures of culture, food and local lifestyle have very high demand. 

  • Nature and Landscapes  

This category is very popular along with being the challenging one as well. Nature and Landscapes  photography hold a good amount of competition among photographers. You genuinely have to have a  good eye for this particular niche. The records tell that the photographs of landscape with having a  person in it sells more than just the landscape. 

  • Holidays and Festivals  

The kind of categories that always do well at sales are the holiday. The secret to get into this is to think  ahead of time, for at least 7 to 8 months. Click as many pictures and start uploading them every week.  Start posting them before a couple of months ago. By clicking good pictures and uploading on platforms – you can make money online by selling photos of yourself.

Which Platforms Are the Best for selling your photos? 

There are many platform which are used for selling photos. If you want to make money online by selling photos of yourself – you can subscribe to these platforms.

Shutterstock  – Make Money Online By Selling Your Photos

The most popular microstock photography site is Shutterstock. It has a great image library which  includes both images and videos. It is one of the most affordable purchase sources on the internet.  Shutterstock has a great image library which includes images and videos too. But the low price and  affordability has its own drawbacks to the photographer as the payout rate is really low. But even after  this many photographers claim Shutterstock to be their preferable choice. 


The most interesting thing about Alamy is that the payout they offer is really greater than Shutterstock  and iStock. Though the site is comparatively smaller than Shutterstock and iStock, Alamy is great for  those photographers who cover news. 

Adobe Stock/Fotolia 

The Adobe stock offers easy submission but the thing about Adobe Stock is that they don’t accept  editorial photos. Those who are Adobe software users, they can directly make purchase of photos from 

any other Adobe platforms. The payrate at Adobe Stock is just like Shutterstock’s but a bit more than  that.  


Are you a creatively passionate photographer? Even though you just click pictures as your own hobby,  do you know you can make some money out of that? Yes, you heard me right. 

Very few platforms are there who allows the photos that are taken by mobile phone. Dreamstime is one of the few.  

The submission tool used by Dreamstime is too slow and maybe that is the reason why so many  photographers don’t prefer Dreamstime. 


If you’re into stock photography, you must have known about Desiphotos, because it is everywhere. But  the thing that frustrates me to the core is their strategy. You have to put a lot of photo content out  there to go up.  

They have this system of levels. To reach the higher levels you have to upload at least 150,000+ photos.  The highest level is Platinum level. You are paid more when you are on higher levels. 

Desiphotos gives good commission to the contributors than Shutterstock and iStock. The contributors  on Desiphotos earn moderately well with it. 


iStock is a microstock type of stock photography site which is one of the top agencies. It is very useful  and convenient to use. The parent organization of iStock is Getty Images. It was founded in 2000 by  Bruce Livingston as iStock Photo. To say it is a couple of decades old and looked as a pioneer in the  microstock photography industry.  

Being a couple of decades old iStock still has a great value in market. It is one of the most popular  platforms to sell your photos. In early days, iStock used to offer high pay rates. It used to sell royalty free  photos at low rates. iStock used to give a decent commission to contributors as well but since 2006,  when Getty Images purchased iStock, the commission has decreased.  

That does not mean that you should not prefer iStock but it gets better if you do it correctly. 

As the iStock is a part of Getty Images, the photos are licensed to both of the libraries. iStock app is also  available on the play store which makes it more user friendly. You can easily get an access to it just by  registering yourself online. 

iStock offers a bit more payoff than Shutterstock. Though the earnings are not consistent with iStock  but still some of the photographers tend to do well.  

The pay rate at iStock starts from minimum 15% and then increases further. Even after this, iStock holds  strong global presence. It has a huge library including images, videos, illustrations, vectors and even  audio files too. The content provided by iStock is trending and with quality.

After approval, every recognized photo and video is included to the searchable online, where it can be  discovered by buyers who wants to purchase your photo. The files are easy to download and can be  used almost everywhere. 

Hope this article guide you through your way of stock photography and how to make money online by selling photos of yourself.

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