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Freelance Photography: How to Make Money

Updated on May 10, 2011

Getting into freelance photography is hard work but, while you are trying to make it big there are little things that can be done to bring in a side income to help you on your way. A new innovative way for photographers to make money online using some of their specialized photos or stock photos is using a stock photography website.


Basically a micro stock is a photograph that you have taken sold to a magazine, advertising agency or website at a substantial discount. With a stock website potential clients can view and purchase a photo for about one or two dollars and instantly be able to have it downloaded and licensed.

The idea of micro stock websites is still in its beginnings but it is a virtual time savers for those that are using it. It is a great way to number one get your photos even if they are not the best out there into the public domain. Also it’s a great way to make a few dollars on the side while you are using your portfolio looking for the freelance work.

Micro stock websites are truly unique to each individual and can be an ideal place to start for the hobbyist or the amateur looking to get a professional contact job as a photographer or freelance photographer.

How Does It Work?

There is a simple step by step operation that you need to do to sell your photographs to a stock agency.

1.      First Research. It is very important, using Google or another favorite web browser look for micro stock companies online and see what type of photos they are into. Start with just a couple so you do not get overwhelmed.

2.      Choose several of your best photos that you would like to submit. Some of the stock companies you are submitting to require that you submit up to ten different photographs for review while others only require three during the sign up process.

3.      Your pictures are then transferred into the queue and are reviewed by human eyes. This can result in photos being rejected, accepted, or submitted to the micro stock community of photos. Once accepted they are immediately available for other clients to purchase.

The website is not really “buying” your photograph you still own all the rights and obligations for the copy write of the photograph. They are used as a intermediary that will allow your photos to be browsed and licensed for different uses by people who purchase a licensed. For example a lot of photographs are used in brochures, advertising, or other websites.

The fantastic concept I love about these stock photograph websites is that that photo will continue to make you money time after time month after month.

The micro website that you have it listed on also receives a cut of the profit. They usually charge a fifty cents or twenty cents licensing fee for using their service taken off the top. This does not seem like much but if you are a photographer that has hundreds if not thousands of photos online this can add up and be a nice little income little by little for you on the side. For more information look at my other articles below related to photography and freelancing see what else you may want to learn happy photography.


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  • eduzmi profile image

    eduzmi 6 years ago

    nIce hub. planning on starting to sell mine

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Great Hub. I hope to start studying photography later this year - this will be as a hobby. But if I'm any good it would be nice to maybe earn a few quid on the side doing something I enjoy. Many thanks for sharing this information, have bookmarked it to keep for future reference.