Passive Income from Stock Photos

stock photos

Selling stock photos online can be a great way for photographers to make some extra income or even turn their passion into a full-time business. Passive income is income that is earned without active involvement or effort, meaning that once the photos are uploaded and approved on a stock photo website, the photographer can earn royalties from their sales without doing any additional work. In this blog post, we’ll cover the basics of how to sell stock photos online and some tips for getting started.


What are stock photos?

Stock photos are pre-shot images that can be licensed for use in various applications such as advertising, websites, or print materials. They are typically shot in a generic style, without any particular branding, and are often used to supplement other design elements. Stock photos can range from landscapes to portraits to abstract designs.


Where can you sell stock photos?

There are many websites where you can sell your stock photos online. Some of the most popular platforms include:




Shutterstock is a popular online platform for selling stock photos. With over 350 million images in its library, it is one of the largest marketplaces for stock photography, videos, and music.

It offers flexible licensing options, including single-use and multi-use licenses, to cater to different business needs. It is a trusted and user-friendly platform that has become a go-to destination for creative professionals looking for stock assets to enhance their projects.


Getty ImagesGetty Images


Getty Images is a global stock photo and media company that provides a comprehensive range of visual content for commercial and editorial use. It features an extensive library of high-quality images, videos, and music tracks created by renowned photographers, videographers, and music producers.

Getty Images offers flexible licensing options that cater to different usage needs, making it a popular choice for creative professionals and businesses around the world. It is a reliable and user-friendly platform that provides access to a wealth of creative assets to enhance any project.




iStock is a popular stock photo and video platform that allows photographers, videographers, and designers to sell their work to customers across the globe. It provides a vast collection of high-quality images and video footage that customers can license for commercial and editorial use.

iStock also provides an opportunity for photographers to earn money by uploading their work to the platform and setting their own prices. It is a reliable and user-friendly platform for both buyers and sellers in the digital media industry.




Alamy is a UK-based stock photo agency that offers a vast collection of images, videos, and vector graphics created by photographers and artists from around the world. It provides a platform for photographers to monetize their work by uploading them to the website and setting their own prices.

Alamy offers flexible licensing options that cater to different usage needs, making it an attractive option for both creative professionals and businesses. It is a reliable and user-friendly platform that offers access to millions of high-quality creative assets.




123RF is a reputable stock photo agency among the top players in the industry. With many years in business and a varied offer of affordable Royalty-free stock photos, this company has tens of millions of images ready to download and use, that fit most budgets and needs.




Stocksy is a royalty-free and rights-managed stock image and video agency that offers high-quality visual content. However, it’s more expensive than the competition without offering many advantages. There are also no subscriptions or free trials.




Canva is a free graphic design platform that allows you to easily create invitations, business cards, flyers, lesson plans, Zoom backgrounds, and more using professionally designed templates. People also use it to create social media posts, presentations, posters, videos, logos, and more.




EyeEm is a photo-sharing community that quickly introduced the EyeEm market, a way for mobile photographers to make money from their best work, and for creatives to find the perfect high-quality, mobile-shot stock images.


Each platform has its own submission process, royalty structure, and guidelines, so be sure to research each one thoroughly before submitting your photos. Some platforms may specialize in certain types of images, so it’s essential to understand their requirements before submitting your photos.


Tips for selling stock photos online

Shoot high-quality photos: Stock photo buyers are looking for professional-quality images that are visually appealing and technically sound. Invest in good equipment and take the time to edit your photos to make sure they are the best they can be.

Find your niche: Stock photo buyers are always looking for new and interesting images. Try to find a niche or style that sets your photos apart from the competition.

Keyword your photos: Keywords are important because they help potential buyers find your photos. Be sure to include relevant keywords in your photo titles and descriptions.

Be patient: Selling stock photos online can take time. Keep submitting photos and building your portfolio, and eventually, sales will start to come in.

Stay up-to-date: Keep up with the latest trends and styles in the stock photo industry. This will help you create photos that are in demand and increase your chances of making sales.


How to Get Started On Selling Stock Photos?

If you’re interested in selling your stock photos online, here are some steps to help you get started:

Research the market

Start by researching the stock photo market and finding out what types of images are in high demand. Look at what types of photos are popular on stock photo websites and try to identify any gaps or niches you could fill.

Create a portfolio

Once you’ve identified your niche, start building your portfolio of high-quality images that meet the stock photo website’s requirements. Make sure your photos are technically sound and visually appealing.

Choose a platform

Choose a stock photo website that fits your style and meets your requirements. Research the website’s submission process, royalty structure, and guidelines.

Submit your photos

Once you’ve selected your platform, submit your photos according to the website’s guidelines. Make sure to include relevant keywords in your titles and descriptions.

Wait for approval

It may take some time for your photos to be approved by the website. Be patient and wait for feedback from the platform. If your photos are rejected, review the feedback and make necessary adjustments.

Start selling

Once approved, the stock photo website will make the photos available for licensing. Keep adding new photos to your portfolio and promoting your work on social media to increase visibility and sales.


Selling stock photos online can be a great way to make money from your photography hobby. With some research, dedication, and patience, anyone can get started on selling their stock photos online.



In conclusion, selling stock photos online can be a great way to turn their passion into a profitable business. With the right skills, equipment, and strategy, anyone can create and sell stock photos online. Be patient, stay focused, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and techniques. Good luck!