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How to Start Selling Photos Online

Updated on September 17, 2009

First Easy Steps

  1. Equip yourself with Digital Camera of minimum 5MegaPixel. Else you need good eyes and a sense of creativity.
  2. Register yourself at one or more Photostock Website, which you can do for free. Check out the Stock-Photography Websites listed at the end of this article.
  3. Upload your pictures. Wait for approval. This might need some time.
  4. Once approved, your pictures are available for online sale. You will receive commission for each sale/ download, variably depending on the agreement condition with your photostock website.
  5. Work on your portfolio continously


1. Check your photos/ pictures before uploading them as many top photostock website are very, very picky.

First screening:
Most accepted formats are JPG, RGP, at least 3MP. MP stands for MegaPixel; don’t mix this with MB. Your photo/ image has to be originally from you. Check out copyright issues, make sure there is no commercial logo, trademark, brands or such. Notice that some characters (e.g. cartoon), buildings, cars are protected.

Upload only good pictures with high selling potential.

Second screening:

Some photostock websites are very picky. You should not only take pictures, you should make them.

Pay attention on the Focus area, Composition, Lighting/Exposure, Color/Contrast. Pay attention while making photos, and then you still may take extra enhancement with pictures editor such as Adobe Photoshop.

Photos with strong visual statements have often high selling potentials.

2. Upload regularly. Set your goal, for example 30-50pictures every weekend.

3. Be patient and resistant.

No business is easy. Especially not on the beginning. Be active in these communities, you can write on the message board or forum they provided. While waiting for the approval, you may produce your next photos and keep updating yourself regarding what kind of pictures they want.

4. After approval:

You need to work on your image title, descriptions, as well as tags/keywords. These may influence how people will find your photos as thus will influence your sales.

5. Keep uploading.

You need to widen your portfolio and make people aware of your existence. This takes time. Remember the rivalry is hard there, so keep improving. The needs of new creative stuffs never stop. You may for example watch news and respectively create photos respective to the current hot issues/subjects


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