3 Ways to Monetize Your Photos

Published on March 14, 2020

You love taking photographs and spend a lot of time doing it. Why not make some money from it? You can even go as far as making it your full-time job. 

The best thing about an artistic career is that unlike other professions such as accounting and medicine, there is no defined method of doing things. There is no limit to how creative you can get. And the more unique images you create, the more money you can make. 

Using your skills, you can open the world’s eyes to a new way of looking at everyday items and show them the hidden beauty in the things people take for granted.  

Can Photos Be Monetized?

Yes, you can monetize your photography talent or hobby. There are people earning thousands of dollars a month from photography. They have built a strong brand that makes their work recognizable, built a loyal customer base, and used their talent to attract high-value customers.

Create photos with a goal in mind. How can businesses and individuals use your photo for marketing, to bond with their target customer base, and tell visual stories? Aim to produce photos that creatively express ideas.

Use the right tools to enhance the appearance of your photos and add creativity. Concentrate on where your passion and skills lie. If you have a knack for street photography, focus on it, and invest in the right tools to perfect your work. 

Market yourself extensively with a focus on your target market. Showcase your work across social media platforms, Instagram provides the best visual platform. Use websites such as Behance as well.

How Much Can You Earn from Photography?

How much you make from your photos will depend on the quality of your images, uniqueness, and the demand in your niche.  If you are selling your products through third party websites, you can earn as much as 45 cents per photo while other independent buyers can provide up to $5 per image.  

Besides selling photos, you can teach people about photography. There are thousands of people who love taking photos but don’t know how to enhance their appearance. 

Create workshops and ensure that you are providing people with value for their money. Statistics from a survey carried out on wedding photographers revealed that 55% of a photographer’s time is spent on editing. It is a sought after skill and an avenue for making good money. You can charge $75-$150 per student or more if you are going to get into technical details.

How Do Your Monetize Photos?

Here are three easy ways to make money from your photos

1. Stock Photography

Stock photography may not be your ticket to early retirement, but it can earn you a decent income on the side. The key is in uploading your photos to as many agencies as you can, such as Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and iStockphoto.

Use keywords efficiently. It will make your photos easily visible to potential buyers. Research on the search terms most people use when looking for photos in your niche and upload these types of photos. Upload lots of unique and quality photos with the right exposure settings. 

2. Create a Website

Stock photography websites gives your photos the most exposure due to their popularity, but you also part with as much as 60% of the sale price. By selling your photos independently through a personal website, you gain 100% of the sale value. Be sure to set competitive prices to attract buyers. Create a blog and write informative SEO articles about photography that will drive traffic to the site.

Setting up your website is not a painful process, you can use a website builder on WordPress. By using a plugin such as Easy Digital Downloads and WP iSell Photo, it makes it easy for people to download the photos from your website. With a few add-ons, you could allow other photographers to sell alongside your photos and earn a small commission from their sales. 

3. Online Market Place

This is an e-commerce site where you can sell your photos. Unlike stock photography websites, you have more control over your images. E-commerce sites will expose your work to a larger audience. And you could attract the attention of global advertisers and brands that need quality images.

Use sites such as 500px where you can receive feedback for your work and Snapped4U, which focuses on event photography. Be consistent in your style and niche. It will help you build a brand and attract a following.  


Making money while doing something you love is everybody’s dream. And as a photographer, you stand to make a sizeable amount if only you follow the right channels and create quality work.

Sell your photos on stock websites, e-commerce sites, or on a personal website. Optimize on the right keywords to gain visibility.

You can also share your knowledge with the world and make money doing it. Remember the problematic areas during your days as a beginner? Teach other beginners what you learned through workshops.

Do not try to be a jack of all trades. Focus on the niche you are most passionate about, and you will never have to work a 9-5 job again.

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