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Are you an entrepreneur looking to make extra money? Are you trying to find creative ways to supplement your income and create financial freedom, without compromising on the flexibility of working from home? Photography as a side hustle to make extra money might be a great option for you. 

With image use on social media, websites, advertising formats and more exploding across the internet in recent years, there is now a huge demand for high-quality stock photos – providing entrepreneurs with a unique opportunity to make some extra cash. In this blog post, we’ll explore how selling stock photos can benefit entrepreneurs, as well as share tips and advice on getting started.

What is stock photography?

Stock photography is a type of photography that is purchased and used for commercial purposes. It typically features models or people in generic settings, and the images are often pre-edited and ready to use. Stock photos are widely used online by businesses, websites, blogs, magazines, newspapers, advertising campaigns, books and more.

Stock photography can be an invaluable resource for any marketing or communication needs. By using stock photos, businesses can save time and money on their projects. It also provides a more professional look than some self-taken photographs, so it is important to consider incorporating stock photos into your marketing mix.

There are a variety of different types of stock photography available, including lifestyle, business, food, travel, nature and more. Differentiating between the different types of stock photography can help you choose the right photos for your project and ensure that they are high quality.

Additionally, certain stock photo sites offer royalty-free images or subscription plans to help businesses save money on their projects.

Stock photography is an important tool for businesses and can help create unique and high-quality visuals that are ready to be used in any marketing or communication piece. With the right stock photography, you can improve your business’s branding and ensure that your documents, websites, and campaigns look professional and engaging.

Is selling stock photos a good side hustle?

Yes, selling stock photos can be a good side hustle. There are many websites that offer photographers the opportunity to sell their work as royalty-free stock images, and with these sites, you can make money from your photography without having to find clients or create custom products for them. With stock photo websites, you upload your photos and set a price; when someone purchases them, you get paid.

Additionally, stock photography can be profitable even if you don’t have an extensive portfolio or professional experience in the field. Many of these websites offer free or low-cost membership plans that allow you to upload as many images as you want and increase your chances of making sales. They also have resources and tools to help you with keywording, editing, and other aspects of stock photography.

Or you can make extra money with photography from your own website or other e-commerce platforms, where you have full control over the prices and products you offer. You can also connect with potential clients through social media to build a following for your work.

Finally, stock photography is a great way to build your skills as a photographer in an ever-growing market. You can experiment with various techniques and subjects while still making money from selling the images you create. It can be a fun and rewarding way to make some extra money as a side hustle with photography.

How to make extra money with photography

If you’re looking to make extra money from your photography, there are a few things you can do.

  1. Stock photo websites are a great way to make some money from your photographs. Sites like iStockphoto, Shutterstock, and Getty Images allow you to upload photos for sale on their platform. If someone buys one of your images, you will receive a royalty payment. Be sure to read the guidelines before submitting your work as they can vary from site to site.
  2. Freelance photography is another option to make money from your photos. You can offer services such as wedding photography, event photography, portrait or lifestyle shoots, and more. If you have specialized skills in a certain area of photography, you may be able to charge higher rates for your services. You can promote your services through word-of-mouth, a website or blog, or even social media. 
  3. You can also consider selling your photos as prints or canvas wraps. Many photographers have found success in selling their work online through Etsy and other marketplace websites. You may also be able to sell your work at art galleries or craft fairs depending on your local area.
  4. If you’re looking to make money from photography but don’t want to go the freelance route, there are other options as well. You can create an online course or tutorials based on your knowledge and experience in a certain type of photography. Or, you could write photography-related books or ebooks and make money from their sales.
  5. You can even create physical products such as props, lighting equipment, or camera accessories.
  6. Create your own stock photo membership site and make money from monthly subscriptions. By creating a membership site, you can offer exclusive content to your members which will encourage them to keep subscribing. There are many WordPress plugins available that can help you create a stock photo subscription service. You can check out Kayla of Ivory Mix who has created a successful stock photo membership of her own. She provides members with an ever-growing library of stock photos at a reasonable price and other exclusive benefits like business and digital marketing tips and tutorials.

Websites you can sell your photography online and make extra money

There are many websites you can make extra money with stock photography online, here are some of the more popular ones:

1. Adobe Stock: Formerly known as Fotolia, Adobe Stock is one of the most popular sites for selling photos online. It’s easy to upload your images and have them available for purchase through the large network of media companies that are partnered with Adobe Stock. You can also set a price for each image or let customers name their own price.

2. Shutterstock: With more than 200 million images, vectors and videos available on the platform, Shutterstock is one of the largest libraries of royalty-free stock photos on the web. They also offer some of the highest commissions for photographers – up to 40%. You can easily upload your images and start earning money with just a few clicks.

3. Getty Images: Although the main focus of Getty Images is its high-end photography, they also pay photographers for stock images that are uploaded to its platform. Their licensing system allows customers to find the perfect image and pay for only what they need. You can also set your own pricing depending on the image’s usage and copyright.

4. Alamy: One of the oldest stock photo companies, Alamy is considered to be one of the most reputable sellers of royalty-free images. Unlike some photographers who prefer to sell all their work exclusively, Alamy allows photographers to keep the rights for any images sold through their platform. They also offer a high royalty rate of 50%.

5. Dreamstime: With more than 70 million images available on their platform, Dreamstime is one of the largest stock photo sites available online. They offer competitive commissions for photographers and also provide regular updates to their marketplace so that customers can find the latest images. You can also submit your work for their exclusive stock collection to be eligible for higher commissions.

6. iStockPhoto: Owned by Getty Images, iStockPhoto is one of the most popular websites for selling photos online. They offer a wide range of images and videos that customers can purchase for their projects. Photographers can also choose to sell exclusively through the platform or make their images available to other sites through Getty’s network.

7. Etsy: If you’re looking for a more creative way to sell your photos online, then Etsy is the place to go. This e-commerce platform allows you to list your images as prints or digital downloads and create custom packages with multiple images. They also offer a great royalty rate for photographers.

8. 500px: This popular photography website is not only a great place to showcase your work, but also to make some money. Photographers can upload their images and then set their own prices which customers can purchase with the site’s credit system. They also have an exclusive Marketplace where customers can search for high-quality images.

9. Creative Market: Creative Market is a great place for designers and photographers to showcase their work and make some extra money. You can easily upload your images and start selling immediately. Customers can purchase them with credits which you can then exchange for cash or use as a store credit in the marketplace.

10. Photoshelter: Photoshelter is an amazing website for professional photographers looking to sell their work online. It comes with a wide range of tools designed to help you create beautiful portfolios, price your images and manage orders from customers. You also have the option to create custom packages and build recurring subscription plans.

11. Foap: Foap is a great mobile app that allows photographers to monetize their work. You can upload your images to the platform and set your own prices. Customers can then purchase them with credits which you can later exchange for cash or gift cards. It’s a great way to make some extra money while on the go!

Overall, there are a variety of great websites that allow photographers to make money by selling their work online. With so many options available, it’s important to find the one that works best for you and your photography business. Whether you prefer to sell exclusively or through a stock photo platform, there are plenty of opportunities to monetize your photos and start making some extra cash!

Legalities with selling photography online

A little disclaimer here, I am not a lawyer and the information provided in this article should not be taken as legal advice. You can find more information in my terms of use policy and disclaimer policy.

When it comes to selling photography online, there are some important legal issues to consider. It’s important to make sure that you have the right licenses and permissions before making any sales.

First, you’ll need to make sure that you own the rights to the photograph itself. If someone else owns the copyright or has exclusive rights to the photograph, you won’t be able to sell it without their permission. To avoid any potential copyright issues, you should either create your own photographs or purchase a license from the original photographer.

Additionally, if you are selling photographs of people, then you’ll need to get a signed model release form from each person in the photograph. This ensures that the individuals in the photograph have given their consent to be used in the photograph and that they are not expecting any payment.

Finally, you’ll need to make sure that your online store is properly set up with appropriate terms and conditions of use and a privacy policy. This will help protect customers’ rights while also shielding you from potential liability issues.

By taking these important steps, you can ensure that your photography business is properly set up and legally compliant with all applicable laws. Doing so will help give both you and your customers peace of mind when it comes to selling photographs online.

With a little bit of research and planning, you can avoid some of the most common legal issues associated with selling photography online. Taking proactive steps to protect yourself and your customers now can save you a lot of headaches and hassle in the future.


Selling stock photos can be an effective way for entrepreneurs to supplement their income and make extra cash without compromising the flexibility of working from home. Not only is it a great way to use your unique skill set, but it also gives you enough freedom to practice your creativity and sharpen your skills while simultaneously creating an additional income stream. 

Plus, with the demand for high-quality stock photos growing exponentially every day, there’s no better time than now to jump on the bandwagon. So, if you’re looking for a creative side hustle that will give you enough wiggle room to work at any time of the day and potentially help you make some extra money while doing something you love, photography is definitely worth considering!

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