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The 11 Best Websites to Sell Your Photos Online in 2024

ProfitProton Logo Sjoerd Visser
The 11 Best Websites to Sell Your Photos Online in 2024

In this article, we will look at the 11 best online marketplaces to sell stock photos in 2024 and compare the royalty percentages they offer you as a seller, as well as considering their overall potential to sell pictures for money.

Stocksy provides the highest royalty rates as a stock photo site, offering photographers 50-75% commissions on each sale. However, when considering all aspects including number of users, licensing options, ease of use, and more, Envato Elements stands out as the best overall platform for selling stock photos.

The Best Websites to Sell Stock Photos

We will explore the pros and cons of each site to help you determine where to license your images for the highest earnings and visibility.

1. Shutterstock

Shutterstock Contributor

Royalty: 15-40%

Shutterstock is one of the most popular places to sell photos. With millions of images available, competition is very high between photographers looking to sell photographs on this platform. So while Shutterstock offers a place for photographers to sell their work and earn money online, it may not be the best place due to relatively low royalty payments. Photographers looking to start a photography business by selling their stock photos may find it difficult to stand out and attract buyers on this site.

Given the high competition, Shutterstock likely isn't the best option for those wanting to start selling their photos online unless they have exceptionally unique high-quality images. Photographers looking to sell images online may have better options to showcase and sell their best work.

2. Alamy

Alamy

Royalty: 50%

Alamy provides generous royalty payments to contributing photographers. Their licensing fees tend to be higher than other stock platforms too. This means that while the amount of sales may be lower, each sale earns you significantly more.

So although earnings per sale are high, you may experience fewer frequent sales compared to platforms with cheaper subscription models or licenses.

Ultimately Alamy can be a stock photography site if you have unique content that buyers are willing to pay premium rates for. But for newer or inexperienced stock photographers, other platforms may be a better fit for you.

3. Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock

Royalty: 33%

Adobe Stock offers a great user experience for photographers looking to sell photography. Uploading photos and managing your portfolio is straightforward and intuitive through their seller tools. Adobe Stock photographers also receive free access to Adobe Portfolio, which allows you to create personalized online galleries and websites.

The site provides a respectable 33% royalty on sales, which lands in the middle range compared to other top platforms.

Adobe has the advantage of integration with Creative Cloud, allowing millions of existing users easy access to Stock's image library. This built-in customer base makes it relatively easy to get your photos seen and potentially sold to Adobe's large number of users.

4. iStock

iStock

Royalty: 15%

iStock is focused on having a great stock photo buying experience, as shown by their high customer rating. However, this means lower royalty earnings for photographers, with iStock only offering a 15% royalty rate.

So while the royalty percentage is on the lower end, photographers can still make money on iStock by providing images that the large buyer base is actively looking for. The key is regularly adding new content that fits what sells best on this stock photography website.

Some sellers make over $20k on iStock by regularly uploading a diverse range of high-demand images.

5. Etsy

Etsy

Royalty: Takes 20 cents and 3.5%

Etsy isn't a traditional stock photo website, but it does provide creative ways for photographers to sell their images and earn money beyond just digital licensing.

Photographers can open their own Etsy shop to sell photo prints, canvases, mugs, t-shirts and more featuring their photography. This gives you full control to set your own prices and offer unique physical products showcasing your best photographs.

Etsy makes starting an online photography business easy even without much experience. You simply sign up for an account, upload your top images, add them to products, set prices, and start selling your work.

So if you're a photographer looking for alternative ways to sell your photos online beyond just stock images, Etsy provides a customizable platform to start your own online store.

6. Envato Elements

Envato Elements

Royalty: 50%

Envato Elements operates on a subscription model, customers pay monthly for unlimited downloads. This means your photos can be quickly downloaded by Elements' 500,000+ users for free if they are subscribed, leading to fast volume and sales.

Envato Elements also has a low barrier to entry for new stock photographers. Uploading your portfolio and getting approved is fast and straightforward.

The 50% royalty rate is great compared to other platforms. And having your work exposed to tons of potential new customers each month provides great opportunities to build your profile and earn steady passive income over time.

Overall, Envato Elements is one of the best platforms to sell your stock photos.

7. Dreamstime

Dreamstime

Royalty: 25-60%

Dreamstime provides user-friendly tools for stock photographers to upload, manage and sell their portfolio.

In terms of features, Dreamstime does not stand out as particularly unique compared to other leading marketplaces.

Royalty rates starting from 25% are decent, but not the highest commissions. Overall, Dreamstime operates as a solid stock agency that gets the job done.

8. Redbubble

Redbubble

Royalty: Adjustable

Redbubble provides a creative way for photographers to earn money from their images beyond just digital licensing. Sellers can upload their photos to be printed on physical products like apparel, phone cases, art prints and more.

This allows you to create your own brand and products showcasing your photography work. It's a great way to start your own online store featuring your pictures.

9. Fine Art America

Fine Art America

Royalty: 30%

Fine Art America lets photographers license their work while retaining copyright ownership. They offer print sales, merchandising, and licensing to earn from images.

The site has a 30% commission rate which is standard for the industry. Useful seller tools for managing portfolios and tracking analytics are also provided.

Marketing efforts fall heavily on contributors though. Without much promotion of your work, it can be difficult to stand out amongst other sellers. SEO and social media skills are highly beneficial to sell your photographs.

10. Stocksy

Stocksy

Royalty: 50-75%

Stocksy is one of the best stock photo sites for photographers to maximize income from selling their images. This website provides incredibly high royalties between 50-75% to contributors.

Stocksy has built an impressive niche customer base that earns photographers good money, unlike massive sites like Shutterstock where there is more competition. The smaller platform makes it easier for sellers to gain exposure and make sales.

However, Stocksy only accepts around 10% of sellers after an application process. So you need exceptionally high-quality photographs just to get started selling on Stocksy. But for the photographer with high-quality photos looking to sell their photographs and earn high royalty payments, Stocksy is likely the top choice.

11. Bonus: Fiverr

Fiverr Photography

Royalty: 80%

While Fiverr is not a stock photo platform, it provides a huge online marketplace where photographers can sell their services to a global audience. Offering your photography and editing skills on Fiverr is an excellent way to earn money and potentially build your own business.

It's easy to get started. You simply create gigs for services like basic product shots, photo editing, collages, and more. Fiverr allows you to showcase your skills and best work to attract buyers. You can start off offering basic packages for $5.

The platform makes it simple for photographers to translate their capabilities into revenue. With millions of active buyers seeking creative digital services, the earning potential and ability to scale your photography business on Fiverr is immense.

FAQs

How much money can you make selling stock photos?

Earnings from stock photography vary widely based on several factors. Many stock contributors make between $500 to $5,000 per month on average. Top sellers on the most popular platforms can earn over $100,000 annually. Essentially, income potential scales up the more content you consistently produce and license across multiple stock sites.

Which stock photo website offers the highest royalty rates?

Currently, Stocksy provides the most generous royalty payments to photographers, between 50-75% commissions on licensing fees. Other platforms with high rates include Envato Elements (50%) and Alamy (50%). Sites like Shutterstock (15-40%) and iStock (15%) sit on the lower end of the commission spectrum.

What type of stock photos are the most profitable?

The most profitable stock photo niches tend to focus on high-demand topics like business, technology, healthcare, food and lifestyle imagery. Trending subjects that align with current news and pop culture also offer money making opportunities. Ultimately, photos that provide solutions for target audiences tend to earn the most in licensing fees over time.

Key Takeaways

When researching the top stock photography sites, it becomes clear there is no definitive "best" platform. Each marketplace has unique advantages and drawbacks for photographers to consider.

Ultimately, contributing your images across multiple stock websites allows you to maximize visibility and diversify your licensing income. Platforms like Shutterstock provide accessibility to massive audiences, while Stocksy focuses on premium content.

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