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How to Sell Your Photos Online for Free, and Make Money with Stock Photograpy

Updated on October 15, 2014

Microstock: Make Money with Your Digital Camera.... Selling Stock Photos Worldwide!

Without doubt, the easiest way to sell your photo's online is via something called MICROSTOCK, where you can sell your photos online for free. It costs nothing to sign up and display your photos in one of the online microstock galleries where millions of customers can browse (and buy) your images!. If you enjoy photography, then this is an ideal way to make money doing something you love doing. I will show you PROOF of how ONE SIMPLE PHOTO can rake in thousands of dollars - and an income stream for life. Interested? Read on for the full story.... .

Could YOU take a picture like this one?

Microstock is a new concept in stock photography that allows you to easily upload and sell your photography (digital images) online, via a variety of large Microstock agencies, that are desperate to sign you up and sell your images for you! There is a constant never-ending demand for good images, - as needed by a huge and hungry market, including: web designers, magazines, websites, blogs, brochure publishers, and thousands of other types of business around the world.

So how much can you actually earn selling stock photography online? The beauty of Microstock is that once uploaded, your images can sell and re-sell again and again and again - indefinitely - raking in money from your favourite hobby for years to come, long after the original images were taken.! A popular image may sell hundreds of times. Selling photo's has never been easier. And it can be very lucrative for some, as you will soon see.

sell stock photos
sell stock photos

Gulp! $10,000 For photo of Parents!!! (ABC News report on Stock Photography)


If you have any doubts about the earning potential of stock photography and microstock...

ABC News recently featured microstock giant istockphoto as a good way to earn yourself some extra money, - or even a six figure income.

They go on to show us how a (fairly unremarkable) photo of a senior couple has made $10,000 for the photographer.

You will notice that it has been downloaded (at time of writing) about 3330 times, which suggests (average) of;

*Almost $3.00 per download.

*And about $3,000 a year income from one photo.

To view both of these simply

Copy/paste in browser to view

To View ABC report: and video;

"Make Money in May": Selling Stock Photos... Click here

istockphoto link: actual results page... Click here

What's on Your Hard Drive?

Are your photo's losing you money? You may have photo's sitting on your computer right now that could be earning you a monthly income!!


Learn The Essential's of Stock Photography.... Now

And Start Earning While You're Learning!

It's a joy to be paid handsomely for doing something you love and regard as fun. But... you may need some professional help.

No matter how big or small your ambitions might be for Microstock, you're going to need know-how to get you up and running quickly.

The market for Microstock pictures is not about selling your greatest sunset photo's or sensational lanscapes. Instead you must lean what the market wants, and what will sell in big numbers. This is where serious money can be made, by serious people.

If you want first class guidance on this topic and want to get serious, then there are a number of quality books that will help you get off to a flying start.


Want to Learn How to Profit from Your Photo's Online? Read On...

(Hint, it's not very difficult)

Are you creative? Are you good with a camera? Do you want to earn some money from your photography skills? Gone are the days when only experienced professionals submited photographs to the photo stock agencies. Now it's wide open, - And free to enter!


Could you take a photo like the one above?

Obviously you could.

Fact: The best selling digital images are selling at a rate of over 3,000 downloads per month

Obviously this is the star performers, but nevertheless it does give you an idea of what is acheivable.

Just ONE popular image could earn you or me hundreds of dollars per month. Multiply that by a few dozen of your best shots, and you can enjoy a very useful income from your photo's.

Who Buys Your Microstock Digital Images?

And Why...

More and more businesses are becoming aware of the significant benefits available from sourcing quality digital images from Microstock subscription-based image libraries. And Microstock is one of the fastest growing industries online.

Imagine you are a publisher, or running a website or blog, (millions are) and doing a feature on healthy cooking or canal boats.. You obviously need images (Right now) to furnish your articles with interesting and apt photographs. Answer, Subscribe to Microstock galleries. A few clicks and done.

There are many different potential markets and uses for these pictures, including magazine and booklets, or brochure publishers, etc. Also, might be used for business card design, leaflets, and a thousand other possible commercial uses, online or offline.

The internet is used by many millions of such businesses and websites every day.

So What Exactly is Microstock?

A Foolproof Way to Sell Your Photos Online

First of all, "stock photography" - in a nutshell, - is about supplying publishers, websites and other businesses with the images they constantly require.

Stock photo's are essentially "photo illustrations" employed to illustrate a point, or a concept, or a place or a particular thing. (From a plate of chinese food to a jumbo jet or a child playing baseball)

In years gone by...

Budding freelance photographers would offer their pictures speculatively to Photo Agencies and Magazines etc, (Many still do) in hope of making a lucrative sale. But without a solid reputation in the industry chances of success would be pretty slim, especially for the amateur or aspiring freelance.

In those days Stock Agencies existed to supply demand, but would have been working with filing cabinets full of 35mm slides, -and 10 x 8 inch glossy black & white prints! And all largely distributed by POST! If wanted, buyers / Publishers would normally pay quite well, but would typically only buy and use the picture ONCE, - for a one-off requirement. (Usually with limited royalty agreement attached.)

This all involved keeping safe a large collecton of your photos, and posting them out to potential buyers. A rather labour intensive situation, requiring a lot of time, effort, special envelopes, and stamps... (not to mention a large amount of PERSISTENCE!!). Thankfully there is now a better way!


Microstock Companies on the other hand, specialise in selling "Royalty Free" (RF) images, where the buyer has much less limitations, and can use the images downloaded in almost unrestricted fashion, and for many different projects. (Subject to various Terms and Conditions.),

Once subscribed, the buyer has access to literally

millions of images of every variety, instantly and easily

sourced at the click of a mouse!

As to content, microstock images are usually "generic" and therefor very saleable as ideal discriptive images that can demonstrate or illustrate related text or articles, for instance.

Earnings: Each sale made is at an almost alarmingly low price, depending on the quality (file size) chosen by the purchaser for download. (Typically perhaps a couple of dollars or so for the smaller size files). You may get around 50% (or less) of this money. Higher definition pictures command more, and so you earn more on a sliding scale. Note: All Microstock site payment scales have significant differences. The point is, it aint much per picture sold.


The big advantage to you, the photographer, is the possibiity

that instead of making the RARE one-off sale, the images you submit may

be sold HUNDREDS of times. (And all with zero further

work on your part.) Suddenly the figures start to get very exciting!

Ditto the dozens of other images you submit.

Note: I am not describing a 'Get Rich Quick' scheme here. You will need enthusiasm for photography and some creative thinking and planning to ensure you begin earning a worthwhile income. And obviously it's ultimately your talant with a camera and your ideas that will determine your monthly earnings.

Another Stock Photo

Could you have taken a photo like this? --->>

Your stock photos don't need to be sensational to sell, just very useable.

And Another Simple Stock Photo

What about this? ------>>

Stock pictures related to popular sports and pastimes obviously have excellent earning potential.

I Love Photography, But Can I Make a Shed-Load of Money with My Camera?

Perhaps not, But....

My aim in this lens is not to suggest this is a fast-track to getting rich.. This lens is meant to inform people as to a good way to make some useful extra money from their camera. Some may have greater ambition for their photography. (There are a few photographers in the industry that over $1 Million per year from microstock, so I'm told). But let's keep our feet on the ground, at least for now.

Examples abound where some people are making amazing money from this, but this is far from the "norm" in most cases. Some will inevitably 'hit the jackpot', and rake in fabulous returns.

So how much microstock money can you earn with your digital camera?

I recently checked one microstock site for a particular type of transport images, and found that several had sold hundreds of times. The TOP seller almost 1000 downloads!

The exact same image may be selling on other microstock sites too!

(This is by no means one of the best sellers on the site, just in its category under the specific term looked for.)

Do the math:

Its quite likely that this image will easily pass the 1000 downloads post soon, and probably has likely earned around $1,000 or more in its lifetime so far.

Just one image!

However, (feet firmly on the ground), it will depend on your commitment, drive and determination, as well as your ability and flair for photography. Nevertheless, it's easy to see how income can multiply if you submit plenty of highly saleble photos.

Yes it would be great to earn big from your hobby, but on the other hand it's also fun to see your images online and selling, and also using your wits and skill to devise saleable photos for this market.

Apart from the need for a decent digital camera, (which many may already own)there is no capital needed to get started in this business.

Study the subject, learn all you can about the subject of stock photography and what's wanted and in demand, and you should be able to eventually build a signifacant income, that continues to grow into the future.

Paid Holidays!

Take dozens of great photos on your travels, then earn cash from them ever after!! In other words, your vacation somewhere like Venice could earn you big bucks for year to come!


The Microstock Earnings Calculation.

Your Monthly Income might be....

In Microstock, it's generally acknowledged that the "rule of thumb" on earning potential is (reasonably) estimated at $1.00 per month per image submitted., and generally holds true to most successful contributors.

This obviously leaves a nice easy to calculate earnings formula.

100 images = $100 per month.

1000 images = $1000 per month.

2000 images = $2000 per month.

Note: All images submitted are subject to review and must pass quality control, and it's fair to say not all will pass as desirable, but other than that, it's up to you to take great shots, learn the ropes, and get earning money with your camera.


So, although only a rule of thumb, you can see how earnings are generally related to volume. The more images you have, the more you are likely to earn. Note: This calculation takes into account the fact that some images sell very well, while some will do poorly. The formula is obviously based on a mean average. Quality of images also has a significant effect.

So get the camera out, and start clicking!!!!


Is Microstock for You?

10 Reasons Why This Might be the IDEAL Home-Based Business for You.

1. You can shoot saleable photo's from anywhere you happen you go.

2. You get to work from home and work when you feel like it.

3. No experience necessary - if you can take good photos, you can make money.

4. You don't need a website to sell online.

5. You don't need any sales skills, and you won't even need

to sell to anyone.

6. If you choose to sell microstock you don't need to

store or ship inventory.

7. If you already have a camera, computer and an Internet

connection, then you won't need to spend anything to get


8. You may already have a number of saleable photos

sitting on your hard drive - that means you can start making

money quickly.

9. Demand is growing daily, meaning now is the perfect time

to get started!

10. Simply put, you won't find an easier way to make money

with your camera.

What Type of Camera do I need?

If you want to sell your photos online and make proper money, then you'll obviously need a decent quality camera. The good news is that almost all (recent) digital cameras are capable of producing decent stock images of the required quality. And good enough to get started in this exciting field.



Never before in history has it been easier to make some money from your camera, even as an amateur. The latest generation digital cameras have features that make it almost impossible to take a bad photo! (Unless taken in very difficult lighting conditions perhaps.) And prices are coming down to very affordable levels, even for top makes.

Obviously if required for producing highly saleable photo's it's a big advantage to own a decent quality digital camera. So the advice is use the best quality equipment you can afford. Buying cheap could be a big waste of your money, and render many of your shots unsuitable for stock photography.

It will also depend on the seriousness of your involvement.

But which TYPE is better? The basic choice boils down to:

1/ A Compact digital.

2/ A Bridge camera/ or Superzoom/

3/ A Digital SLR (DSLR)

Frankly, a Digital SLR is considered the most compatible camera for obtaining highest quality clean images beloved by the Stock Photography Industry. DSLR's have bigger sensors, and so generally speaking deliver higher quality results. Anyone taking this up as a career will probably invest in a good DSLR eventually.

Downside; Expensive, especially when the camera and all required extra lenses are taken into account. Wait until you have proven income, and are sure it can make money to pay for itself, and provide a good return on investment

However, both Compact and Superzooms can be used, and I suspect most microstock contributors will carry a slim compact about much of the time, to avoid missing a big unexpected photo opportunity.

*Note: Dauglas Freer, in his new book "Microstock Photography" (Listed above) reveals that one of his microstock "all time best seller's" was taken using a 6mp compact!

A Superzoom is something of a compromise between a compact and a DSLR. Typically smaller than any SLR, they are quite compact and sport a powerful zoom lens, (from wide-angle - to X10 or more) and often have significant and useful extra features. But different makes and models vary quite widely.

Advantages? No need to carrying extra lenses about, as with a digital SLR. system, (not to mention shots missed while changing lenses!) In short, these are small, light, and very portable cameras, and usually much less expensive than a DSLR + all lenses required.

Most Microstock sites stipulate a minimum jpg size of 4mp (Mega pixels) So it seems wise to own something with at least 6mp or 8mp to allow for any cropping etc. Also they may conceivably raise the bar at a future date.

Tip: Choose a top trusted maker with major reputation. And read reviews prior to getting your credit card out. (Not afterwards!)

But remember, just ONE popular image could easily pay for the camera you buy many times over.

My advice however, is to buy the BEST POSSIBLE CAMERA you can reasonably afford. WHY? ....because you can get far more fired up and excited about photography sporting a fabulous camera, - rather that one that no longer excites you. This drive will spur you to greater things and to be more creative.... and to take your photography more seriously than ever before.


However....see the video below to how see they compare. You might be surprised!

Compared: Fuji HS20 Vs Top DSLR

Canon Rebel T3
Canon Rebel T3

Buying a Digital Camera...

As you already know, you can save a fortune buying online. But obviously be careful WHERE you buy.

There are fantastic bargains to be had on the internet. And one site that has huge buying power and a great online reputation, is They offer some amazing bargains, and even better, you can check out the Customer Feedback relating to the product you plan to buy. You can then compare features and buyers comments, to make an intellegent investment, and avoid buying something unsuitable.

Amazon is by far the best and most reliable source of REAL "customer feedback" from REAL buyers and users....available on the internet, providing an opportunity to discover the true pro's and con's regarding any camera model you might by interested in. You don't get that valuable foresight at a camera shop!

Microstock Video Introduction

A quick look at a highly successful Microstock photographer Yuri Arcurs.

Photography Success - Without genuine know-how, what can you hope to achieve???

Personal Reccommendation.

How to photograph absolutely everything:

By Tom Ang.

Highly informative and profusely illustrated, shows exactly how an expert gets highly successful images using ordinary digital cameras. Available in paperback and hardback.

Microstock Diaries - My Favourite Microstock Photography Blog

An amazingly helpful blog that will give you a great insight into the world of microstock.

Microstock Books Available on Amazon - See above for my review.

Microstock Photography:

How to Make Money from Your Digital Images

By Dauglas Freer.

Some of the Most Popular Microstock Sites

Had any experience selling your images - or making money with your camera??? Let others know. Your comments are very welcome.

Thanks for your Visit, Comments Welcome...

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I tried stock photography having read other articles but not this one and I'd like to just point out that getting your images selected by these websites can get super hard. Almost all photos that you upload will be rejected because they would have tons of other photos that belong to the same category and are similar to yours. I was very disheartened when it happened. So now I'm looking for ways other than stock photography. Be happy to get some suggestions.

      Great article, btw. Cheers.

    • profile image

      rattie lm 

      7 years ago

      Your lenses are the best Richie! Another great one!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      WOW, you covered a LOT of ground here!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      *very* interesting indeed! I'm considering getting into microstock sites and this was a good introductory read. Thank you!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Unfortunately Stockxpert was shut down by Getty Images, but the founders have a new site out there called Stockfresh. I think it is worth checking out. Cheers!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This is a great lens. Very nice photos. If anyone is in the myrtle beach area, come check me out at Myrtle Beach Photography

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Really like the video from Yuri Arcurs. On another note, if you create vector illustrations, a good place to sell those images are on Graphic Leftovers

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Fascinating information. I have been interested in learning about this subject. Nice job on your lens. 5 stars

    • Richiewest profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Devon, United Kingdom.

      If you found this lens interesting or useful, please rate it at very top - by main title.



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