Living Frugal
Sell Stock Photos Online

Did you realize you can sell stock photos online and make extra money? Yes, you can make money taking pictures.

Have you always been interested in photography? Do you have a good eye for that perfect shot?

Let's take some time to understand what stock photos are and how to sell them.

What are stock photos?

They are photos that can be used for various purposes under a usage license. If you have photos that contain a variety of subjects, someone is willing to purchase them for their use.

Stock photography is very popular with designers, graphic artists, websites and marketing companies.

Why would someone buy my photos?

If the publisher or advertising agency buys your photograph for use, it saves them the cost of having to hire a photographer. It's a win for everyone involved. You make money while you save them money.

Have you ever visited a website and there wasn't a photo of some sort on the Web page? If you have, they are few and far between.

Professional web designers do not run out and take their own pictures, they purchase them from Stock Photo websites like or

Where do you think a company goes when they need a good image for marketing material? They could be buying from you if you sell stock photos online.

Now, I'm not telling you to quit your job and start selling photos online to try to make a living. You can make money taking pictures but you won't make a living. It's simply an easy way to supplement your income and it's relatively easy.

What sort of photos are selling?

  • All stock photography websites will have certain rules and guidelines. They will include a list of what they are looking for.
  • You want to carefully review the list and only submit what they are specifically asking for.
  • Create an account on several stock photo sites and look at what they have for sale. Take note of the photos that have been sold multiple times. 
  • The majority of the time, the sold images will contain people. However, you want to keep in mind that if you want to sell the photo, the buying agency will require you send them signed agreements from the people in the photo. This will be referred to as a model release.
  • If you don't get a model release and take the chance, they could sue you for selling a picture of them without their permission - there goes your profits.

How do I sell stock photos online?

There are plenty of websites geared specifically for buying stock photography. You can sell stock photos online to any of these websites to make extra money.

Keep in mind that you do not get the full price for the photo. For example, if your photo sells for $1, you may get 30% of that. You're not going to make big money but you can make money taking pictures and selling them online from the comfort of home.

Websites to Sell Stock Photos Online

This site has millions of photos and you can sell your photos for as little as $1. Check out their detailed pricing plan and learn how to sell your stock photos:

At, you can sell your photos in .JPG format. The photos must be at least 4MB. They also accept Vectors/Illustrations as EPS files that are a maximum of 15 MB and a minimum of 4MB. They also accept video footage that is between 5 and 60 seconds long.

If you're just getting started, they have hundreds of tricks, tips and explanations that can help you become a top contributor.

Big Stock Photo

At Bigstock, you can sign up as a contributor for free. After you complete their Contributors Tutorial, you can start uploading your images.

Their review team will inspect your images and if necessary, your model and property releases. If they can use your images, they'll add them to the Bigstock collection and you always keep the copyrights to your work.

For pay as you go purchases, they'll pay you 30% every time a customer downloads one of your images. For purchases made using prepaid credits, they'll pay you $.50 for each credit spent. You can request a payout when your earnings reach $30.00.

At, you'll sign up for a contributor account, upload your photos, vector illustrations or videos. You earn up to 60% of the credit price and up to $.43 per subscription download. They have more details you'll want to check out at their site when you sign up.

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