How to Sell Your Photos Online and Earn Handsome Money: A Detailed Guide

Nowadays, with inflation going above the charts, everyone needs an extra source of income they can rely on. One such side income source is photography; whether you’re seasoned or just starting with a passion, selling photos online is a significant opportunity in 2023 and will likely attract even more people.

From contributing to stock photo websites to creating your website, there are countless ways to turn your creative passion into a source of additional cash.

This article covers the essentials to help kickstart selling photos online for beginners and earn handsome money!

What is the Earning Potential of Selling Images Online?

What are the potential earnings for photographers? Let’s break down the figures based on different levels of expertise.

  • Hobbyist: Typically free (if you don’t care about money) or under $100. These individuals pursue photography for the love of it, often offering free shoots for family and friends, charging well below market rates.
  • Amateur: Expect an average of around $36 to $47 per hour. Amateurs are just starting their journey in photography.
  • Student: Rates range from $16 to $100 per hour, depending on their skills and experience. Advanced students may charge rates comparable to semi-professionals.
  • Semi-Pro: Look at rates between $60 to $180 per hour. These photographers, often graduates of photography schools, have formal training and some professional experience.
  • Professional: Earnings typically range from $100 to $300 per hour. Professionals have substantial experience and have garnered respect for their work.
  • Top Professional: For the elite, rates can go $500+ per hour or as much as $1,500 per image. These photographers are highly sought after and represent the pinnacle of the profession.

A Comprehensive Guide To Start Making Good Money While Selling Photographs Online

There are a few essential aspects when it comes to sell photos online, and these tips and avenues can help you maximize your potential to sustain in the game.

Setting up Online 

  • Creating Your Online Presence

There are numerous avenues to sell your photos online, but creating your website stands out as the optimal path for future expansion; it’s like having your shop set up in the market (but it’s digital). Your dedicated website allows you to carve out a professional identity as a photographer. It will enable you to showcase your brand and logo, curate how your photos are presented, and determine the pricing strategy that aligns with your goals.

Utilizing the WordPress platform and some SEO practices, a website lets you quickly sell your photography online. Leveraging WordPress gallery plugins like FooGallery enhances your website’s functionality, opening up various sales avenues and increasing your likelihood of success.

  • Register on Freelance Sites

The wider you make your mark, the better. Running a freelance photography business by offering your services on platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr gives you a great chance of earning money quickly. You can easily secure clients, capture compelling photos, and receive compensation for your work. Although you might be charged some fees (typically 5-10%), it’s a great way if you want more clients.

  • Registering with Stock Photography Sites

These sites are also one of the best sources to be at the front online. The best way to monetize your photos is by submitting them to various stock photography sites, where you can enhance their visibility by incorporating relevant keywords.

Companies and businesses consistently seek stock photos; if your images align with their needs, they will likely make purchases. Building a substantial portfolio allows you to sell prints, repeatedly creating a viable source of income. Commission rates vary across different stock photography platforms. Some top-performing sites, such as Shutterstock, 500PX, and Adobe Stock, offer commissions ranging from 30% to 90% per sale.

Clicking and Earning

Create Your Photo Book: Explore the less conventional path of generating income through photography by crafting your photo book. Numerous online galleries provide platforms for showcasing your work.

Enter the Wedding Photography Business: Consider venturing into the lucrative realm of wedding photography. This specialized niche could be a lucrative source of income for photographers.

Monetize Your Travel Photography Stories: Combine your passion for photography and travel to make money. The growing demand for original travel content offers opportunities to sell your work to clients like magazines and newspapers.

Teaching and Workshops: Share your expertise with others by offering photography classes and workshops. Host online sessions to guide students in developing their photography skills, using editing software like Adobe Lightroom, and mastering the art of filming stock footage.

Gallery Sales: Sell your photos in local galleries as a viable income stream. To maximize success, focus on capturing images that resonate with the local community, such as scenic views and recognizable landmarks.


Now, you know how to sell photos online effectively with better earning potential. These tips will help you gain a mark in the industry in the long run. You might have to be patient initially, as setting up is the hardest part, but don’t worry. Once you know the knack, you’ll be an expert quickly.