Tips on Selling Digital Stock Photographs Online

If you're looking to start a home-based business, are creative, and have at least a few hours spare each week, you could learn to make money selling photos online. Online digital photography sales is a booming modern market. Rather than employing photographers themselves to take commercial shots, many companies now prefer to buy images from online websites that specialize in marketing work from freelance photographers.

Camera and Editing Equipment

Digital cameras that perform well under most conditions are increasingly affordable and, if you enjoy taking photographs as a hobby, you may already own one that is capable of taking suitably high-resolution pictures that you can sell online. Digital SLR cameras with changeable lenses are best. You will also need a decent photograph editing software package. Again, you may already have one of a reasonable quality that you know how to use if you enjoy taking photographs in your spare time. If you want to sell photos online you will need to have enough spare time to go out and take pictures, as well as time to edit, upload and catalog them.

Making Photographs Saleable Online

You will need to think of up to 50 keywords also to associate with each image. To come up with appropriate keywords, sit and look at the image and make a note of any words that spring to mind that you associate with it. This keyword list is important if you are selling your photos online. It will make each image appear higher up the list when potential buyers do a search for images they want.

Quality of Photographs

As well as being of high-resolution, any photos you sell online will need to be free of digital noise. Crisp, clear, well presented images taking in good lighting conditions are essential. Also, don't upload anything to sell that is either over or underexposed. Images that you offer for sale online will need to be edited to exclude unnecessary surrounding people, scenery and objects as well as to get the quality as high as possible.

Content of Photographs

The photos you sell online need to be commercial and have some aspect to them that could be used in an advertising campaign. Scenery pictures, for example, can be used in travel brochures. Study still images used in advertising and look on the websites selling digital photographs commercially to get a good idea of the sort of shots you need and how they should look. Be careful not to capture any brand names in your photographs, however, if you are setting up a scene including objects, or are framing a shot that contains commercial products.

Standing Out From the Crowd

Getting uncommon shots is important if you want to successfully make money selling your photos online. There are already many images available of everyday things and situations, so you will probably need to go out to search for suitable scenery, or to set up models in appropriate surroundings for more unusual images. Make sure your models sign a release form for the use of their pictures. Friends and family will probably be prepared to help for free and won't mind giving you permission to sell the images online.

Where to Sell Stock Photos Online

You can also upload your photographs to more than one site if you choose not to offer rights exclusively. The options vary, so decide what suits you before you begin to market your pictures online. Internet based photograph agents include Shutterstock, Fotolia, Comstock and Gettyimages, to name a few. Use search engines to research as many as you can before you start to upload your photos.

Futher Advice

You will need to be objective and self-critical if you want to successfully make money selling photos online. Take as many shots of each image as you can and take time selecting the best one before you edit it and upload it to a website to sell. Many images will probably not sell, so you need to be able to handle rejection and not take it personally. There will be a lot of competition in many categories, so accept that you can't always be the best, or that your particular image is just not what companies are looking for currently.


To be successful selling pictures online takes perseverance and commitment. You will learn more as you go along. This will improve your chances of long-term success in your attempt to make money selling photos online.




Scenery Shots Are Used By Travel Agents