ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Personal Finance»
  • Income & Making Money

Best Stock Photo Sites for Selling Photos

Updated on March 21, 2012

Start Selling Stock Photos Online

In my hub titled "5 Ways to Earn Passive Income Online Without Adsense", I mentioned selling stock photos as a good way to earn income passively online. This hub provides more information on the subject. Selling photos online for passive income is something I have always been interested in pursuing more seriously.

The main advantage of earning money from stock photography is being able to profit from something you truly enjoy doing and the ability to make money from the same images over and over again for years. The profit potential is limitless.

The biggest disadvantage of making money in this manner is that the earnings are practically non-existent in the very beginning, but do steadily increase as you continue to grow your portfolio. It is a numbers game.

On a stock photo site, you sell your images for a one-time fee. Each site pays a little differently, but expect to earn no less than $.25 per download. Some sites pay more. Most of the stock photo sites are very selective in their photo review process.

Before uploading images onto a site, it is a good idea to look at the types of images already on the site and fully understand the quality guidelines.


DreamsTime is one of the best stock photo sites to start with because there is no account approval process like some of the other sites. You can create a free account in less than two minutes and begin uploading stock photos to sell, which will either be accepted or denied on an individual basis.

DreamsTime also pays more per photo than most of the competing stock photo sites. The non-exclusive pay scale on DreamsTime starts off paying between $.38 and $2.63 per photo, depending on the size of the photo. DreamsTime will also increase the pay-out for photos that are downloaded more frequently than others.

Selling non-exclusive photos on DreamsTime means that you have the freedom to upload your images onto other stock photo sites for profit. It is also possible to sell photos exclusively on DreamsTime only and earn more money per photo.


Shutterstock is one of the biggest stock photo sites on the Internet. The site currently pays $.25 per photo download, which is lower than DreamsTime and other sites, but it's massive traffic base makes it easier to earn money faster than some of the other sites.

Although earnings start off at only $.25 per download, earnings are automatically increased to $.33 after reaching your first $500 on the site. After that, earnings automatically increase to $.36 from your first $3,000 and $.38 per download after finally reaching a total of $10,000 in Shutterstock earnings.

On Shutterstock, you have to first pass an admission test before you can begin selling photos. For the test, you must upload 10 photos and 7 out of the 10 photos must be accepted in order to pass. If you don't pass the test, you can't apply again for one month.


iStockPhoto is one of the oldest and largest stock photo sites on the Internet. It can also be one of the more difficult places to get started selling photos because they're selective with the photo approval. You can also sell videos, logos and illustrations on the site.

Contributing photographers must first take a short quiz to get account approval. After your account is approved, you will have to submit three sample photos for approval. For each download on iStockPhoto, you can earn 15% to 40% of each sale.

iStockPhoto is one the best stock photo sites because it's a massive site that gets tons of traffic every day, year round. As long as your photo's are approved, it can be easier to make sales than some of the other sites with much less traffic. On iStockPhoto, you can sell both non-exclusive and exclusive photos.

Additional articles relating to passive income and earning money online:


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • howlermunkey profile image

      Jeff Boettner 4 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Your timing is perfect, as I was just telling my friend she shou(whos an excellent photographer), that she should be selling them online. Sharing and passing along to her.

    • G Miah profile image

      Gous Ahmed 4 years ago from Muslim Nation

      Thanks for this info! Will have to look into it!

    • Matt G. profile image

      Matt G. 4 years ago

      Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks.

    Click to Rate This Article