10 Websites That Will Pay Cash For Your Digital Pictures

Did you know you can actually earn money by selling your photos online?  Its true.  Thousands of professional and amateur photographers are able to sell their pictures on the web every day.  And you don’t need any fancy equipment either.  A decent digital camera and an eye for getting a good shot is all you need.  One day your photo could be on a major website or on the cover of a magazine!

Not long ago if a publisher needed a photo they usually had to hire a freelancer to get the shot they needed.  This could get very expensive and they had to wait for the photographer to come back with a suitable shot.

But thanks to the internet publishers of all sizes can simply go online and get the photo they need in just a few minutes, and for a fraction of the cost.

This is great news for photographers! Even complete amateurs can sell their photos to stock photo websites and earn a commission each time a publishers uses them.  You won’t get rich from selling your photos online but you can earn a nice, semi-passive income.

Here are 10 websites that will pay you cash for your photos:

1. Photo Stock Plus

PhotoStockPlus is a well known site with an outstanding reputation among photographers.  They let you set your own prices and you keep 85% of all sales.  You can host your own private gallery on a professional subdomain plus you can categorize and tag your photos with keywords to make it easier for buyers to find them.  You can even apply for assignments that are posted by photo buyers looking for a particular image.  They accept virtually all photo submissions.


2.  Shutterpoint

Another well known site good for amateurs. Just upload your pictures, set your prices, and you’re ready to go.  Like PhotoStockPlus, you also get your own storefront on a professional subdomain and you earn 85% on each sale.  Plus you can earn commissions for referring new photographers or photo buyers.


3.  Shutterfly

This site also gives you your own storefront to sell your pictures.  Plus you can sell non-digital prints, as well as mugs, mouse pads, magnets, playing cards, and other items with your photos on them.


4.  ShutterStock

There’s no membership fee for this one but you don’ have a storefront or domain, and you can’t set your own prices.  You get paid a flat 25 cents each time one of your photos is downloaded.  They also have strict guidelines as to what kind of photos they accept so you may have difficulty getting your pictures accepted.


5.  iStockPhoto

Accepts photos,illustrations, logos, audio, video, and flash files.  Free to join, though you have to submit 3 samples to be considered for membership.  You keep a flat 20% of all earnings, ranging from about 30 cents for small photos to $20 for complex video files.


6.   Fotolia

Free to join…earn 30% to 60% on each sale.  You are paid in the form of credits which can be used to purchase images or converted into cash payment via paypal.


7. Stock Photo Spot

You can get paid twice at this site.  First you’ll earn between 10 cents to $2 for each picture you upload (I suspect most photos will fall closer to 10 cents than $2).  Then get paid another 20 cents each time someone downloads it.  There’s no limit to how many photos you can submit but they only want stock type photos.  Snapshots and tourist pictures are rarely accepted.  I suggest browsing their database to see what kind of photos they are looking for.


8.  Image Vortex

Free to join and you can set your own prices.  And the prices here are much higher than the cheapo $1 sites.   The average is about $15 to $30 per photo and you get to keep 70%.


9.   Shutter Farm

You receive 50 cents per image credit sold.  But you get to decide how many credits each photo is worth, so in a way you do get to set your own prices.  The downside here is that they only pay quarterly.


10. Big Stock Photo

Earn between 50 cents and $3 for each photo downloaded.  This site has a neat feature called “Photos We Need” with examples of what they are looking for.


If selling pictures online isn’t quite for you, don’t worry.  Check out my list of ways to make money and find one that fits you better.

6 Comments so far

  1. Julie@Momspective on November 16th, 2009

    Excellent info, thanks for all the research!
    .-= Julie@Momspective´s last blog ..How To Best Handle A Fantasy Football Loss Without Getting Arrested =-.

  2. Ned Carey on November 16th, 2009

    I use iStock and have thought about uploading some pics before, but I just didn’t think it would generate much. However I didn’t realize there are so many different ones to upload to and it could add up.

    This is a good list for people like me who use the photos. I’ll have to check some of these out.
    .-= Ned Carey´s last blog ..Why Commercial Real Estate is the Best Investment =-.

  3. Mike on November 16th, 2009

    Thanks Ned. You’re right…if you submit your photos to a bunch of different sites the sales can really add up to a nice little income.

  4. […] Maybe it’s because I’m a blogger, but I immediately thought the picture looked like a stock photo.  So I used the reverse image search tool at Tineye and found that same image plastered all over […]

  5. GeorgeNeve on December 31st, 2011

    My personal experience with Shutterfarm was a waste of time. They will let you load all the images you want, they have been viewed many times, (you can check) but never any money, or sales. I recommended this site to three other friends who had the exact same experience.

  6. Mike on December 31st, 2011

    That’s disappointing to hear. Did you try any of the other services?

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