You are currently viewing Get Paid to Take Pictures: A Comprehensive Guide to Earning Money Through Photography

Get Paid to Take Pictures: A Comprehensive Guide to Earning Money Through Photography

Are you a photography enthusiast? Do you have a collection of breathtaking pictures that you would love to share with the world? Well, here’s some good news for you – you can make money by selling your photos online. Yes, that’s right – get paid to take pictures! The internet has revolutionized the way people do business, and photography is no exception. With an increase in demand for quality visuals on the internet, companies and individuals are looking for ways to source images without breaking the bank. Therefore, they are turning to freelance photographers who can offer high-quality images to suit their different needs. This means that there are ample opportunities for photographers to earn money by taking pictures, as long as they have the skills and know-how to sell them effectively online. So, if you are looking to turn your passion for photography into a profitable income stream, let’s explore how you can make money by selling photos online.

Ways to Earn Money by Taking Pictures

There are various ways that photographers can earn money by taking pictures. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Sell stock photos on websites:
  • Websites such as Shutterstock, Getty Images, and Adobe Stock offer photographers the chance to upload and sell their images to clients worldwide.

  • Sell pictures on your own blog or website:
  • If you have your own photography blog or website, you can sell your images directly to your audience.

  • Work for businesses as a photographer:
  • Another option is to work with businesses as a freelance photographer, shooting images for their website or marketing materials. This can include product shots, portraits, event photography, and more.

It’s important to note that to succeed with these methods, photographers need to be able to take high-quality pictures that meet clients’ specific needs. In addition, they need to have effective marketing skills to sell their images online.

How can a photographer earn money?

There are several ways for photographers to earn money:

  • Sell your photos as prints or digital downloads on online marketplaces like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and Getty Images.
  • Offer your photography services for weddings, events, portraits, and more.
  • Create and sell photography courses or tutorials online.
  • Start a blog or YouTube channel showcasing your work and earn money through sponsorships, ads, and affiliate marketing.

Additionally, you can create your own website and sell your services, prints or digital downloads directly to your audience.

Top Websites to Sell Your Photos

There are many websites that photographers can use to sell their pictures, but some are more reputable than others. Here are the top websites that photographers can use to earn money by taking pictures:

Website Name Commission Percentage Minimum Payout
Shutterstock 15-40% $35
iStock 15-45% $100
Getty Images 20-45% $50
Adobe Stock 33% $50
Dreamstime 25-60% $100

It’s worth noting that these websites have varying commission percentages and minimum payout requirements, so photographers should take this into account before joining. Additionally, some websites like Shutterstock and iStock require contributors to pass an initial review before they can start earning money. Despite this initial hurdle, photographers can earn a steady income by uploading and selling their pictures.

How do photographers sell their photos online?

Photographers can sell their photos online through the following platforms:

  • Stock photography websites, such as Shutterstock or iStock
  • Online marketplaces, such as Etsy or eBay
  • Creating their own website or using a photography-specific platform, such as SmugMug or Zenfolio
  • Using social media to showcase and sell their work, such as Instagram or Facebook

Steps to Start Selling Your Photos

Getting started with selling your photos online can be a simple process. Here are the basic steps to start making money by taking pictures:

1. Build a Strong Portfolio

Before you can sell your photos, it’s important to create a portfolio that showcases your work. This allows potential buyers to see your photography style and quality. You can use platforms like Instagram, Behance, and Flickr to share your work.

2. Sign Up for Photography Marketplaces

Once you have created a portfolio, it’s important to sign up for photography marketplaces where you can sell your photos. Some of the major sites include Shutterstock, iStock, and Getty Images, among others.

3. Follow Submission Guidelines

Each marketplace has their own submission guidelines, and you need to follow each guideline strictly to be able to offer your photos there. Common requirements include the size of the photo, the format, and the inclusion of keywords.

4. Promote Your Work

Even the best photos won’t sell if they aren’t visible to the right audience. To get your work seen, put effort into promoting your work by sharing your photos on social media, marketing locally, and networking with other photographers and potential clients.

By following these simple steps, you can start earning money by taking pictures. Be sure to invest time and energy into building your portfolio, following submission guidelines, and promoting your work to maximize your earnings.

How Do I Sell My Photos to Make Money?

To sell your photos and make money, you can try the following:

  • Join stock photography websites like Shutterstock, iStock, and Adobe Stock.
  • Create your own online photography portfolio through services like SmugMug, Zenfolio, or WordPress sites with plugins such as NextGEN Gallery or Envira Gallery.
  • Sell prints or digital downloads on print-on-demand sites like Fine Art America, Society6, or RedBubble.
  • Pitch your photography services to local small business owners, wedding planners, or digital marketing agencies.

Tips for Taking Great Photos

Taking great photos is essential to making money through photography. Here are some tips to help you take high-quality photographs:

1. Keep It Simple

Sometimes, the best pictures are the simplest ones. Focus on the main subject and remove any distractions to create a clear and eye-catching photo.

2. Pay Attention to the Light Source

Lighting is a crucial factor in photography. Make sure you take note of where the light is coming from for the best possible outcome.

3. Use a Tripod If Necessary

Using a tripod can help you take sharp and clear photos. This is especially helpful when taking pictures in low light.

4. Be Creative and Try New Angles

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles and compositions. Taking unique and interesting pictures can help you stand out from other photographers.

By following these tips, you can take high-quality photos that will sell well on photography marketplaces. Remember to always strive for improvement and be creative with your work.

What are 5 Elements of a Good Photograph?

  • Composition: A well-composed photograph has a balanced arrangement of elements to create an aesthetically pleasing image.
  • Framing: The use of framing helps to draw attention to the main subject or point of interest in the photograph.
  • Lighting: Good lighting is essential in photography as it creates mood, highlights texture and creates depth and contrast.
  • Focus: Focus is critical in photography to make sure that the subject is sharp and clear.
  • Timing: Timing is everything in photography, as capturing the right moment can make all the difference between a good photo and a great one.

If you’re keen to take your photography skills to the next level, check out websites such as Udemy, Skillshare, or CreativeLive. They offer online courses and tutorials for all levels of photographers. Additionally, if you’re looking for photography equipment, online retailers such as B&H Photo Video or Adorama are great places to start.

Potential Earnings

The amount of money you can earn by selling photos varies depending on the quality and quantity of pictures sold. However, it’s not uncommon for successful photographers to earn a decent amount of money. Here are some examples of potential earnings:

  • On average, photographers can make between $0.25 to $30 per image sold on stock photography websites.
  • If you sell a photo exclusively through a specific stock photography website, you can make as much as 60% commission per download.
  • Working with businesses or as a freelance photographer can also earn you higher-paying gigs.

While there are no set earnings for photography, sticking with it can lead to financial success. By building a solid portfolio, taking quality photos and consistently looking for new clients, you can increase your chance of earning more through your photography skills.

How much profit do you make from selling photos?

Here is a brief overview of potential profits from selling photos:

  • Stock photo websites typically pay royalties to photographers for each sale, ranging from 15% to 50% of the purchase price.
  • Some stock photo agencies also offer exclusive contracts, which provide higher royalty rates but require exclusivity to their platform.
  • On-demand platforms such as Foap allow users to upload their photos and set their prices, with the platform taking a 50% cut of each sale.
  • Photographers can also sell prints of their photos through online marketplaces such as Etsy or their own personal website, with profit margins varying depending on the cost of production and price point.


In conclusion, getting paid to take pictures is a viable way to earn money in the photography industry. With the internet making it easier to connect photographers with interested buyers, there’s no shortage of potential for photographers to make a living selling their images. While it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme and it takes some effort to build a reliable income stream, it’s an excellent opportunity for people passionate about photography. To maximize your potential earnings, be creative with your photographs, develop a portfolio, invest in the right gear, and take the time to find your niche in the photography industry. Remember, with consistency and effort, you can build a thriving career as a photographer.