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Stock Photography:How to Sell Your Photographs Online?

Updated on January 13, 2014
White Hibiscus Flower by Mahavir Sanglikar
White Hibiscus Flower by Mahavir Sanglikar | Source

There are Many Buyers for Your Photographs

If you are a good photographer, have an increasing collection of quality photographs, then there are many buyers for your photographs. Now in this online era, it is easy to sell your photographs online to your buyers. This article tells you about selling your photographs online. This includes who are the buyers, what type and quality of photographs the buyers want, how much they pay for your photographs. In addition, I have given submission guidelines.

Who Buy Your Digital Photographs?

The main buyers of digital photographs include Print Media, Online Media and Advertising Agencies. You can find direct buyers for your photographs, or can sell the photographs through online stock photo agencies. Of course, you can use both the methods for selling your photographs.

What Type of Photographs Stock Photo Agencies Want?

What is a stock photo agency?

There are many online stock photo agencies. The agencies invite quality photographs from the photographers and sell them to the buyers. All the accepted photographs are displayed on the website of the stock agency. To protect unauthorized use, every photograph is watermarked by the agency, generally by using its logo. The agencies pay a handsome commission to the photographers on each sell. The commission varies between 30% to 85%. Each photograph can be sold for many times, and every time the photographer gets a commission. You can upload a digital photograph to many stock photo agencies or exclusively to a single stock photo agency. If you want, you can choose an option of selling a photograph with all rights.

The stock photo agencies require photographs of various subjects. Here is a small list of the subjects:

Nature: Animals, Birds, Pets & Wild Animals, Flowers, Trees and Plants, Rivers, Lakes, Sky, Clouds, Forest, etc.
Architecture: Buildings, Houses, Monuments, Structures, Historical, Streets, Railway Lines, etc.
Industries: Machinery, People at work, Production, Vehicles, etc.
Editorial: Photographs having news or editorial value.
Celebrities: Photographs of famous personalities in various fields.
Science and Technology: Astronomy, Biology, Botany, Computers, Electronics............Zoology.

Many other subjects.....

Required Quality of the Photographs

Stock photo agencies accept only high quality photographs. If your photographs do not match their quality criteria, they will be rejected. The important quality requirements of your photographs are as following:

Usage Value of the Photographs: The photographs must have a selling value. They must be of commercial or editorial value.

Size of the Photographs: The photographs must be of higher Mega Pixels. Generally they want 6+ Mega Pixels photographs.

Photographic Quality: The photographs must be of high photographic value, i.e. well composed, having proper sharpness, proper brightness and contrast, without color caste, without noise, not over manipulated and without spots and scratches on it.

Permissions: If the photograph is of a person, a model release is required. If the photograph is of a property, a property release is required. There are some exemptions for this rule, specially in case of editorial photographs.

Selling Photographs to Print and Online Media

Besides selling through stock photo agencies, you can sell your digital photographs directly to print and online media. This media market includes newspapers, news magazines, magazines, book publishers, web designers etc. At first step, you should start selling photographs to such buyers in your local area. In this market, the requirement of photographs varies. Newspapers and news magazines generally require news related photographs, Web designers and book publishers want photographs on specific subjects.

Although you are going to sell photographs online, developing a personal relationship with the editors and web designers is a must thing for selling in this field.

Selling Photographs to Advertisement Agencies

Advertisement agencies are one of the major buyers of photographs. You can work on assignment with them.

Try These Photo Agencies

You can try this photo agency:


Click on the link, a page Sell your images will appear. Read it and then click on the Register Now Button. An easy sign up form will appear, just fill in it.

Click on it, then go to the bottom of the page. On the right hand there is a column For Photographers. Click on the link Sell Images. A new page with the name 'Contributor's Dashboard' will appear. Now Sign Up for a Contributor Account by clicking on Sign Up link.

Please feel free to ask for any assistance by sending an email to me at:


Submit a Comment

  • tamarawilhite profile image

    Tamara Wilhite 

    5 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

    Put watermarks in your photos so that they are harder to copy and re-use without attribution elsewhere.

  • tobusiness profile image

    Jo Alexis-Hagues 

    5 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

    Excellent hub, very informative.

  • dghbrh profile image


    5 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

    Very well informed hub. Thank you. Shared and votes up

  • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

    Vinaya Ghimire 

    5 years ago from Nepal

    I enjoy photography, but I have never tried to sell my work online or offline. Perhaps I should try to sell my photos. After all there is no harm in earning extra dollars.


  • jainismus profile imageAUTHOR

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    5 years ago from Pune, India

    Thank you Chantele for reading and commenting, as well as showing the mistake about mentioning this Hub as a lens. I have corrected it.

  • daisydayz profile image

    Chantele Cross-Jones 

    5 years ago from Cardiff

    Useful hub, my hubby is looking into doing this at the moment. Just to tell you, you have said this is a 'lens' at the top, must have forgot your were on Hubpages not Squidoo

  • profile image

    Olde Cashmere 

    5 years ago

    This is useful information and a great way to make money online from home. Voting up, sharing, and rating useful and interesting :)

  • NP.QUEEN profile image


    6 years ago from Dubai

    Very useful hub. Thanks for sharing.

  • jainismus profile imageAUTHOR

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    6 years ago from Pune, India

    Thank you Gail for reading and sharing your experience.

  • Happyboomernurse profile image

    Gail Sobotkin 

    6 years ago from South Carolina

    Thank you for sharing this useful and interesting information. I've never sold my photographs in the places you spoke about, but I have had some printed in local newspapers that ask for reader submissions for their "From the Readers" section and have had some accepted onto the state's official website.

    I've also written a freelance magazine article about a historic diner and submitted my own photos with it. I was pleasantly surprised when the photos earned more than the story!

    It's good to know what type of photographs are sought on a commercial basis.

    Voted up, useful and interesting.

  • Kamalesh050 profile image


    6 years ago from Sahaganj, Dist. Hooghly, West Bengal, India

    Beautiful hub - interesting and useful. Voted Up.

    Best Wishes, Kamalesh

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 

    6 years ago from United Kingdom

    Thank you jainismus for this useful information, this is something I will certainly consider!

    Voted up and useful

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 

    6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    Very interesting Mahavir. You have shown me an additional way to make money. Are you selling your photos online? Who determines what price the photo is to be sold?

    Voted up, useful and shared on G+1

  • jainismus profile imageAUTHOR

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    6 years ago from Pune, India

    Thank you nightnight you found it interesting.

  • nightnight profile image


    6 years ago from UK

    Thanks for this hub :) This is an area I am interested. Voted Up.

  • jainismus profile imageAUTHOR

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    6 years ago from Pune, India

    Thank you Dinkan, you found this hub useful.

  • dinkan53 profile image


    6 years ago from India

    Very nice article and very helpful, thanks for sharing it up. I love photography and I'm going to take these into account for sure. Voted and shared.

  • jainismus profile imageAUTHOR

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    6 years ago from Pune, India

    Yes, one should try to sell better photographs.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    6 years ago

    Good information to know for those who are interested in pursuing this option. If I ever get a camera, I may look into this as well.

  • jainismus profile imageAUTHOR

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    6 years ago from Pune, India

    Thanks Sommer....

  • SommerDalton profile image

    Sommer Dalton 

    6 years ago

    Voted up and useful! This is great for photographers!

  • christin53 profile image


    6 years ago from UK

    This is very interesting I've never thought about selling photos .

  • Curiad profile image

    Mark G Weller 

    6 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

    Very useful information!

  • rfmoran profile image

    Russ Moran - The Write Stuff 

    6 years ago from Long Island, New York

    Well done hub. I'm forwarding this to some photographer friends of mine


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