Whether you take images professionally or as a hobby, you can sell your good quality images. Instead of trying to find buyers on your own, check out these websites that will get you the most buck for your click.
Shutterstock: The Most Popular Option
Shutterstock is one of the top stock photo sites in the world and has paid over 500 million to its contributors to date. The earnings that you will make depend on a variety of factors, the details of which are available on their website.
Make sure to read the terms thoroughly, as many things affect your final payout like the type of license purchased, the resolution of the image, whether it’s a single purchase or part of a subscription, and so on. To simplify, you can make up to 30% of the sale price for all images you sell while retaining copyright.
iStock: A Good Alternative, but Not Great for Exclusivity
iStock is an excellent site for selling your images, illustrations, and videos. iStock is owned by Getty images and offers a 15% payout for images that you sell. If you make your images exclusive to iStock, you can earn 25% to 40% payouts based on the volume of sales.
You can become exclusive only for specific categories if you want. For example, you could sell images exclusively on iStock while selling videos non-exclusively. But, pay attention to the fine print, as being exclusive means that you can only sell your images (or other content) on iStock and are not allowed to sell any image on any other marketplace—even the ones you don’t sell on iStock.
123RF: Simple Terms and Decent Commissions
123rf.com is another popular stock photo website where you can sell your photos, illustrations, vector graphics, and videos. The site was started in 2005 and has a collection of over 113 million creative assets with 90,000 assets added daily. It also has an impressive 12 million active users per month, which makes it a lucrative place to sell images.
The commission starts at 30% and goes up to 60% based on a point based system. You earn some points for each sale depending on the type of asset and some other factors. Put simply, the more you sell, the more commissions you make.
You can find details of 123rf.com’s commission structure on its website.
Alamy: Excellent Commissions and Simple Licensing Terms
Alamy hosts over 155 million assets on its website and has one of the most diverse collections of images, vectors, and creative assets. There is no exclusivity contract, so you can sell on Alamy while also selling on other websites.
Alamy also accepts a large variety of images, so images rejected by other websites might be allowed on Alamy.
The commission structure is fair and straightforward—you get 50% of all sales, period. The terms are simple too, and you can read all about it on Alamy’s website.
Adobe Stock/Fotolia: For Adobe’s Reach
Adobe Stock is uniquely positioned for selling stock photos as it has an unparalleled reach through the Adobe Suite of applications for desktop and mobile.
You don’t have to sell exclusively on Adobe, and the commissions are pretty reasonable, too. You make 33% on image sales and 35% on video sales. Uploading your images to Adobe will also make them available on Fotolia, which is now owned by Adobe and will act as another sales channel for you.
If you’d like to read up on the specifics of selling on Adobe Stock, you can find detailed documentation on their website.
500px: For the most eyeballs
500px is a community of professional photographers with over 15 million members from 195 countries. It is the place to be if you’re looking to gain exposure for your work and building your brand.
Of course, you can also sell your images through 500px. Earlier, 500px had a marketplace where potential customers could purchase images directly, but it’s now closed, and all sales are made through distribution partners. Currently, it has an exclusive partnership with Getty Images to sell images and also Visual China Group (VCG), which now owns 500px and markets images in China.
So, technically, you’d still be selling on Getty Images, but 500px can give you unmatched exposure that you probably won’t get elsewhere. You can read about its licensing details on the site.