Selling photos on internet

Selling photos on the internet. Where should you be?

Selling photos has never been easier than nowadays because the internet connects the market of supply and demand of photography. (Semi) professional photographers have been able to sell photos for at least 20 years via online stock photo agencies, where millions of potential customers have gathered. Where you as a contributor can best offer your work depends mainly on the quality of your own photos. All stock photo desks have admission requirements for contributors, but they differ per agency.

We suggest to join the stock photo agencies(s) that connect you with the your target group. For example, starting photographers can best connect with large microstock agencies. Are you a great talent with very unique and distinctive material, look in a higher segment. What are good possibilities for selling photos on the internet? We help you get started with the overview below. You will find a selection of stock photo agencies with a large potential for buyers and excellent sales opportunities.

Selling photos at Depositphotos

This is one of the leading agencies in stock photography, with more than 83 million creative items in stock and 4.9 million customers. An important advantage of Depositphotos for contributors is the low entry barrier. With customers in 192 countries, at Depositphotos there is a large market open to you.

The earnings at Depositphotos depend on the number of sales you have achieved as a contributor. This means that the commission will rise when you have reached a certain number of downloads. For on-demand downloads, the commission is 34% to 42%. For downloads by users with a subscription plan, the commission is 0.30 to 0.35 US$.
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Selling photos at 123RF

123RFWith nearly 103 million photos, 123RF is one of the largest providers of stock photography. The quality of the portfolio shows that the selection criteria for contributors are quite large. This means that 123RF is also accessible to the better amateurs in photography. 123RF is also one of the cheapest providers of stock photos. So to get a large turnover, you have to sell a lot of photos.

For every sale to users who pay with credits, the commission is between 30% and 60%. This means a turnover of up to 6 US$ per download. For users with a subscription plan, the revenues are between 0.22 and 0.43 US$ per sale. However, when selling an extended license you earn up to 15 US$ per download. The level of the commission depends on your contributors level. This level increases when you have sold more photos.
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Selling photos at Dreamstime

DreamstimeDreamstime offers a collection of more than 81 million stock photos to an audience of 11 million unique visitors per month. Currently there are 432,000 photographers connected. So, this is a very large community with many sales opportunities. However, the average prices are relatively low.

Dreamstime uses a sophisticated revenue model on the basis of different content levels. For example, the revenue will increase if a photo is sold more often or if it is sold under certain licenses. The revenue per sale will differ for that reason. To contributors Dreamstime guarantees a commission of 25% to 60% per sale. This means that you can earn up to 15,50 US$ per royalty free download. For extended licenses you get paid 60% of the proceeds.
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Selling photos at Bigstock


Bigstock is a fast growing stock photo agency with 67 million stock photos in stock. This agency is working hard to grow into an even bigger player. That is why Bigstock is looking for new (semi) professional photographers. At Bigstock, photos are sold on the basis of credits or a subscription plan. The higher the resolution, the more the buyer pays. This results for contributors in a higher commission for downloads with a high resolution.

So, what are the earnings at Bigstock? As a contributor you receive 0.50 US$ per credit used. This means that the revenue per photo sold can reach 3.00 US$. However, when the buyer uses a download plan, the commission amounts 0.25 to 0.38 US$. The commission depends on your total number of sales in the past 12 months. Finally, when the user buys your photo under an extended license, your earnings are 25 US$ per download.
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Selling photos at Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock (formerly Fotolia) is one of the world’s largest stock photo agencies with 90 million items. This agency is active in the microstock segment and has millions of buyers. So, enough sales opportunities for contributors! The commission at Adobe Stock is clear: you get 33% of what the buyer paid for the photo. However, the price depends on whether the buyer uses a download plan or a credit package.

So, what can you earn at Adobe Stock? That depends on various factors. When a buyer uses a credit package, you will be paid 3.30 US$. If the buyer uses a download plan, the commission is 0.25 to 3.30 US$ per download. The earnings are by far the highest when an extended license is sold. Then you get paid 26.40 US$.
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Selling photos at Stockfresh


Stockfresh is a relatively small agency with 4 million items in stock. The core qualities of this agency are passion, respect and simplicity. Her goal is to bring the best photos and vector illustrations for an acceptable price. On average, the prices at Stockfresh are very sharp. But not as low as for example with Dreamstime and Bigstock. This creates opportunities for contributors.

The earning model at Stockfresh is simple and clear. When your photo is sold to users who have purchased a prepaid package, the commission is 50%. The exact revenue will depend on the downloaded resolution. In the most favorable case, the commission will be about 6 US$. If your photo is sold to a user who has purchased a download plan, the commission is 0.35 US$ per download.
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Selling photos at iStock


iStock is a world-famous website for stock photography and traditionally a trendsetter. Gradually iStock switched to a higher creative segment with a lot of unique and artistic material. The quality level has been tightened in recent years, which means that high selection criteria have been set for contributors. At iStock you can participate as an exclusive contributor. This leads to higher commissions. However, then the visual material can not be offered elsewhere. Exclusive contributors can earn three times more than non-exclusive contributors.

The income for non-exclusive contributors of photos is 15% of the sales price. This results in a maximum commission of approximately 5 US$ per download. For illustrations the commission is 20% and for videos 25%. Exclusive contributors start with a commission of 25%. This can be up to 45% with achieved targets. This means that a download can result in a commission of up to 15 US$. For downloads by users with a subscription license, the commission starts at 0.10 US$ for non-exclusive contributors and for 0.75 US$ for exclusive members. These commissions can be up to $5.00. For example, when your photo is classified in the Signature + collection. You will get the highest commission for downloads under an extended license. The fee can be up to 75 US$.
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Digital economist and experienced user of stock photography for many purposes like blogs, advertising, websites and news media. Researcher of the market of stock photography. Loves to write about chances with visual content.

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