How You Can Make Money From Photography Online

The internet and social media made it easier for photographers to share their work and make a living. Read on to learn more about how you can make money from photography online.

Hobby Cents Staff Writer
Updated on:

Making money from something you love is a great feeling. Even though you have to put in the effort, you are going to enjoy the process. It can sometimes be a challenge to make money from a hobby. If you have a hobby in photography, don’t waste it because you can make money.

The internet has been one of the best things to happen to photographers because it means they can easily share their work easily. Social media has made it easier for them to build a following and make a livelihood.

Making money online through photography is more than just being a good photographer; you need to know how to market yourself because that is how people are going to know about you. You have to balance everything because each of the different aspects is going to play a part.

There are many people making a full-time income from photography online, which is good news because that can be you. You also don’t have to spend a lot of money before you start making money from your passion.

With the right approach, you are going to get great results. All you need to start is a camera and a computer.

Top Ways Of Making Money From Photography Online

The internet is going to make things easier for you as a photographer. Below are some ways of earning money from photography online.

Selling Stock Photos

There is a good chance you have heard about stock photography. Instead of sitting around and waiting for clients to buy your photos, why not consider selling them on stock photography sites. Make sure you have included the rights keywords to make it easier for people to find them.

Business owners and companies are the largest buying base of stock photos. What are the most common types of images being bought?

  • People – Photos of kids and adults from every culture and country.
  • People working – Such images are popular with businesses. These are photos of people writing, working on laptops, speaking at a meeting, etc. Be careful because you can end up with something generic that ends up as a meme.
  • Food – These are images of delicious foods from different cultures. It is also possible to sell photos of empty unwashed dishes. 
  • Tools – Hammers, gears, bolts and screws, and nuts can be used by companies and bloggers.
  • Nature – This is one of those things that don’t get old to shoot, and you will most enjoy spending time in nature taking beautiful photos. 
  • Cities – Buildings, cityscapes, and people commuting. You will not run out of things to shoot because there is a lot of it.
  • Travel – There is always a high demand for shots from around the world. If you love traveling, you will have a wide range of photos from different places. 

There are many stock photography websites, and you can start making some money without having to spend much. If you have existing photos, you can start selling them and see how much you can make. Try shooting subjects or photos that aren’t well covered.

make money photography online prints
Selling your prints online can make you good money.

Selling Prints Online

You most likely have some amazing shots by now if you have been doing photography for some time. If they are good, there are people ready to buy them from you. You need to consider selling prints because it can make you good money.

There are many ways of making money selling photos online. The good thing is these options are inexpensive and easy to do.

The easiest way is to sell using a third-party seller. They are going to do all the work for you. They will process the orders, print them, and then send them out. The only thing you are going to do is wait for your commissions.

There isn’t a good reason to not do this now. Choose from your photos and upload them to a site. You will start making money in no time.

Etsy is a great platform to sell prints on. It is a website offering a platform for sellers to sell all types of handmade products. It isn’t expensive because you just need to pay just $0.25 for each listing.

The only thing you have to do is print the image, put it on the site, and then send it out to the buyer. You have to manage any complaints or refunds that come. Make sure you have a good strategy because it is going to determine whether you are successful or not.

You should be motivated because there are many people making good money by doing this. You are going to learn a lot in the process and adjust your strategy to get the best results. 

Selling Your Travel Photography Stories

There has been increased demand for original content. Clients such as newspapers and magazines are looking for new content. You can easily make good money by creating and selling your travel content. This can be videos or photos highlighting places you have visited. 

If you are good at writing, you can go the extra step of providing a complete package of an article with photos. Your articles and photos have to create a story if you want to sell them. The goal should be to take photos that look good and tell a story.

There are many organizations looking for travel photos, not just newspapers and magazines. Travel companies, tour operators, or even the local magazine companies can buy them. When you start working with a client, you will notice that more work is going to come your way.

When you put passion and effort into your work, people are going to notice it, and you will start becoming more and more popular in your field. 

If a client is happy with your work, they are going to think of you any time they need content. You might be surprised at how much you can make from one client, especially if they are big and have a lot of work to offer.

Teaching Photography

If you are not ready to start working on your own projects, teach others photography. If you have experience, you can make a lot of money teaching others. People know the importance of investing in their careers and passions and are ready to pay you.

You need to have a good portfolio because it is going to help you build trust with your students. You won’t have to go behind the camera, but you will make money and gain experience in the process.

There are some people making good money posting their photography content on YouTube. You don’t get paid when you post your video on YouTube, but you will earn ad revenue when someone watches your video. If you are consistent with this, you can start making money in no time. 

There are many sites that let you sell your online courses. Go through the fine print to know how much they are going to take in fees. The good thing about such courses is you are going to earn for years to come. This is a passive income that won’t run out any time soon.

You might have to update your courses once in a while, but that isn’t going to be much work. You can make as many courses as you want. If you create quality courses, learners are going to learn positive reviews, which will help you reach even more learners.

The course doesn’t have to be complicated, just choose a topic you are good at and see how it goes.

make money photography online social media
Social media is a powerful tool for your photography career.

Social Media

Social media has become one of the most powerful tools for photographers. Your social media account can do wonders for your photography career. Platforms such as Instagram give you a chance to share your photos.

You never know who might come across your content. There are many photographers making money from their social media accounts. 

If you give it time, you are going to build a following that you can monetize. Being an influencer can be a good-paying job because businesses are ready to pay for you to post about their products or business on your page.

Accounts that are associated with photography earn more compared to others. Before working with a business or company, take the time to learn more about them and their values. The last thing you want is to promote a product or business that doesn’t align with your values.

There are times when you might be tempted to accept just any offer but fight that urge. Your reputation is the most important thing, don’t risk it for something not worth it. 

You can use your social media account to market your photography services too. If someone checks out your profile and like what they see, make it easier for them to reach out to you. If you are selling prints, market them on your account.

Your followers will be happy to support you if they love your work. They want to have a piece of your work for themselves. Use every tool at your disposal to market yourself.

Starting a Blog

A blog is a great idea if you are good at creating content. It is something you will enjoy doing, especially if you have a connection with your readers. A photography blog is going to complement your portfolio, which is great for your career.

There are a lot of topics you can choose to focus on when you blog. It is better to niche down because it helps you grow faster. Look for one area of photography you are good at and focus on that. You can still write general photography content, but make sure you have an area you focus more on.

Blogging is simple; you can start with just WordPress. Don’t overcomplicate things when getting started; you will have the chance to learn a lot throughout the process.

You might not see the results of your work overnight; it might take some time. The only thing you should be focusing on is making progress.

Don’t stress too much about details because you are not going to get it perfect at first. When you notice an issue, work on it, then move on to the next. This is the simplest approach.

How To Get Started On Making Money With Photography Online

There are many ways of making money online through photography, with some of them listed above. You need to have the right tools for the trade before getting started. The right equipment will take your work to the next level. 

One misconception people have is they need to spend thousands on a camera before making money from photography. This is not true because there are people making money by taking photos from their phones. You just need a decent camera.

A good camera is going to help, but it isn’t a must to have an expensive one to make money. When you start making money from your photos, you can use the money to buy a better camera and equipment. Start with what you have and upgrade when you start making money from your photography work.

The internet has made it easy to share and promote products and services. Focus on creating quality work, and everything is going to take care of itself.

It is okay to make mistakes when getting started, but don’t focus too much on that. There are a lot of resources online to help you become a better photographer.

make money photography online websites
Take a look at these stock photo sites where you can sell your photos online.

Websites To Sell Photos Online

There are many stock photo sites you can choose to sell your photos from. Below are some of the most popular.


The platform hosts millions of photographers selling their photos. There are more than a million customers around the world served by its distribution, and many people choose it for creative content.

The content you submit is royalty-free, which means it is licensed for unlimited and perpetual use. It is a good platform for both amateur and professional photographers. You can get up to 60% on exclusive photos and 30% on non-exclusive photos. 

Getting started on the platform is simple. The first step is creating an account, submitting the photos, authorizing your store, and filling out the forms for each of the images. It also involved model and liability release. Once you are done with this, you are ready to sell your work.


It has the most diverse stock photo collection with more than 215 million images, videos, vectors, and 360-panoramic images. You can sell anything from specific niches and everyday images. It has over 110,000 buyers and over 60,000 contributors.

The platform pays monthly, and its payment structure is straightforward. You receive 50% of direct sales if the images are exclusive to Alamy and 40% of direct sales if the images are not exclusive to Alamy.


This is the easiest way of selling photos online. It is the leading stock photography site. In the past 15 years, it has pad over a billion to its community. Your photos can reach millions of customers on this platform.

It is considered a micro-stock site because the photos are non-exclusive and cheaper. The best way of increasing downloads is to contribute a large number of images that will be used as visual metaphors.

You are not going to earn much from this platform, but it can be a good option if you are just getting started. 

There are many other sites like iStock Photo, Etsy, Getty Images, Stocksy, Can Stock Photo, Adobe Stock, Twenty20, Depositphotos, etc.

Related Reading: Hobbies That Use Computers

Frequently Asked Questions

How much money can you make selling photography online?

It is possible to make good money selling photos online, but it is all going to be determined by where you are selling them.

If you are selling on stock sites, you can expect to make about 10 cents per photo per month. It is a good idea to diversify because that is how you are going to make the most money.

If you do things like social media and selling courses, you can easily make thousands a month. Businesses can pay thousands for you to post them or their products on your photography Instagram accounts.

If you are consistent, you will see a gradual increase in earnings. You might not make much when getting started, but you should see some progress.

What types of photo sells best?

Conceptual photos sell well because they are used to illustrate a concept regardless of the destination of the concept; blogs, press articles, marketing, social media posts, and so on. It is hard to fit a photo into a concept. Keep this in mind when shooting.

Photos with people also do well because they illustrate some concepts. It can be sadness, happiness, confidence, surprise, etc. Simple portraits are not that popular, but photos with people doing some kind of action are popular.

Will I keep the copyright of the photos after selling them online?

Selling your photos online is overwhelming, but licensing can be even more confusing for many people. As the creator, you have the right to reproduce the photo and distribute copies to the public.

When you sell, you don’t lose that right. The buyer doesn’t get the right to make their own copies because they have purchased the right to own a copy of the photo.

If you want to protect your rights, consider registering your copyright and then monitoring to see if someone is illegally distributing your work.

Of course, there are lots of other ways to get cash from your photos. Read our complete guide to making money from photography here.

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