How Much Money Can You Make Selling Photos Online? 7 Profitable Ideas To Try

You’re considering monetizing your photography hobby, but you wonder how much money can you make selling photos online. Luckily, there are plenty of options for making money with photography. 

Whether you’re an aspiring photographer or a pro, you can earn money from your photos.

In this article, we’re covering 7 different ways to make money with photography.  

You’ll learn:

  • How much money you can make selling photos online
  • 7 profitable ways to make money with photos online
  • If selling photos online is profitable
  • If making a living by selling photography is possible
  • How to make money with stock photography
  • And more!

Let’s get into it!

How Much Money Can You Make Selling Photos Online?

how to make money from photography.

Photographers earn an average of $20/hour, according to ZipRecruiter . But, depending on your niche, you can make much more.

For example, in this Reddit thread, wedding photographers share their salaries, ranging from $75k to $160k+ per year.

Photography can be a real passion project. Many photographers aren’t in it for the money, but if you are, a lot of money can be made in this industry.

How Can You Make Money By Posting Photos Online?

Posting photos online can be a smart way to make money selling photos. You can share your portfolio, get leads, secure clients, or directly sell your photography to customers.

Some of the options available for making money by posting photos online include:

  • Selling stock photos on a stock photo website
  • Sell photos for print-on-demand selling
  • Sell prints to make money online on marketplace sites like Etsy
  • Post photos on social media and make money from sponsored content or social network creator programs like Instagram Reels or the TikTok Creativity Program Beta

Let’s dive into the specifics of how to make money online with your photos and how much you can make from it.

7 Great Ways To Make Money Online With Photos

1. Stock Photos

Sell stock footage and stock photographs online on sites like Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and Alamy.

This is a great option for photographers who want to take the photos they love and sell those digital photos online.

In his first year, this photographer grew his stock photo income to $1,800/month from uploading 3,000 to 6,000 stock photos.

Why stock photos?

It’s one of the best ways for you to pursue your creative expression. You can snap exactly the kind of photos you want, whether it’s landscapes, portraits, lifestyle photos, etc.

You can also shoot stock footage and explore videography as a part of your photography business. Learn to film video, teach yourself how to operate a drone, and sell stock videos in addition to stock photos.

Stock photos and stock videos are passive income opportunities, too. So, you can make money in your sleep with your stock photo/video portfolio published online.

2. Selling Prints

Selling prints is another way to make money with photos. Prints are physical photos, not digital photos. 

These physical photographs can be sold for artwork or decor on online marketplace sites like Etsy, eBay, or Creative Market.

  • Create prints
  • Signup to a marketplace site
  • Create product listings and publish
  • Sell to customers

The photo print market is huge, valued at 5.2 billion dollars in 2022.

Etsy alone has over 7 million results when you search for “digital print” on the site.

In addition to selling on marketplace sites, you can also sell prints in your own online store. 

Running an online store will give you more flexibility, and you can save money on marketplace fees.

Here’s the process you’d follow:

  • Create prints
  • Signup to an online store platform like Shopify
  • Set up your online store and add product listings
  • Publish your store and sell online

Read our guide on how to make money with Shopify, including setting up your store.

3. Freelance Photography

Explore running a freelance photography business. Offer your freelance photography services on sites like Upwork or Fiverr. 

Get clients, take photos, and get paid.

Did you know you can do freelance photography entirely online?

You can specialize in a niche like product photography, food photography, etc. 

Set your freelance rates, book freelance gigs, and grow your freelance business.

Read our 8-step guide on how to start a photography business.

4. Social Media

how to make money on social media.

Sell photos on social media. Join social network sites like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok. Post your photos and monetize them through:

  • Selling photography services: Taking on clients on a freelance basis.
  • Brand deals: Partnering with companies who pay you to post about them on social media.
  • Sell products: Attract clients and sell photo products like photo jewelry, exclusive images, photo books, photo magnets, digital downloads, or stickers.
  • Affiliate marketing: Refer affiliate products in your niche to your audience on social media.
  • Creator programs: Make money posting your stock imagery through creator programs/funds like TikTok Creativity Beta and others.

Social media sites are a great place to build an audience and build your online reputation. 

Even if you’re not directly selling on social media, you can use that forum to attract clients to your freelance photography business, online store, and other places where you sell your photos.

5. Teaching And Workshops

virtual workshop

Teach what you know to others through photography classes and workshops. Host a class online, teach students how to build their photography skills, how to use photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom, and how to film stock footage. 

You can also teach the business side of photography, like creating a stock photography website and attracting potential clients.

Launching an online course or workshop is also an excellent way to make passive income!

This is how you build an online course that makes money!

6. Sell Digital Products

Sell digital photo products online in your online store or in an online marketplace.

  • Social media templates
  • Lightroom presets
  • Digital scrapbooking kits
  • Virtual backgrounds
  • Printable wall art
  • Photo digital download bundles

This is similar to selling stock photos. It’s a passive income stream; you can make money 24/7, even in your sleep.

Creating digital products is hard work. It’ll take time and effort to create your products, ready them for publishing and pricing, and then post them online for purchase.

But it’s totally worth it!

7. License To Media Outlets

Licensing your photos to media outlets means you permit them to use your photos in exchange for compensation.

Familiarize yourself with the process. Here are the steps you’ll take:

  • Step 1: Get to know the various license types, like royalty-free and rights-managed.
  • Step 2: Create high-quality images
  • Step 3: Establish ownership and copyright over your images
  • Step 4: Choose a licensing platform, like stock photo agencies
  • Step 5: Create a licensing agreement and watermark your photos

Photo licensing can be pretty lucrative and an extra income stream to explore as a photographer.

According to this source, photographers made between $50 and $400 per month from photo licensing.

Is It Profitable To Sell Photos Online?

Yes, selling photos online can be profitable. Top photographers earn hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions per year. the best photography jobs pay up to $150,000/year and include jobs like:

  • Freelance photography
  • Photo stylist
  • Still photographer
  • Nature photographer

Can You Make A Living Selling Photography?

Yes, photography can earn you a living. It can be a very fruitful and rewarding career. Your success can be based on a number of factors your skill level, experience, niche, etc.

What’s great about photography is that it can be monetized in several ways. You’re not forced only to make money from one thing. You can combine multiple income streams to amplify your income.

For example, you can do freelance portrait photography, teach photography workshops, and sell photo packages and digital prints online.

The sky’s the limit!

How To Make More Money With Stock Photos?

To make more money with stock photos, sell and license your stock photography.

Join multiple stock image websites. You’re not limited to just selling stock images on one site.

Here are some examples of stock photo websites to check out:

  • Shutterstock
  • Alamy
  • Adobe Stock
  • Deposit Photos

Licensing your stock photos, too, through stock photo agency sites.

You can also start a money-making stock photography website.

Bottom Line

How much money can you make selling photos online?

Potentially, a lot! 

Monetizing your photography passion is a way for you to get paid to express yourself creatively. Top photographers earn six to seven figures per year, and there are plenty of ways to make money online with photos, as you can see above.

Going online can make a lot of sense for your photography business. You can eliminate the headaches of working one-on-one with clients, like negotiating payments, getting paid late, or getting taken advantage of.

Perfecting your craft, understanding the market, and choosing multiple income channels is a smart strategy for making the most from your photos online.

How are you selling your photos online?

Tran Danh

Tran Danh

I'm Tran Danh, the author behind Smart Passive Income (SPI), a blog dedicated to online business and entrepreneurship. I started this blog in 2008, following in the footsteps of Pat Flynn, the founder. Being one of the leading business blogs globally, SPI attracts over 2 million readers each month. Through my content, I aim to assist individuals in generating passive income from various online sources. Join me on this transformative journey as we delve into the world of online business and uncover the strategies and tactics that have led to tremendous success for myself and countless others.

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