make money online selling photos
Photo by Juliana Malta on Unsplash

Selling images is an easy and quick way for you to make money in 2023.

Now, you can make money as a side hustle by selling the pictures you capture on your smartphone online.

In this post, we’ll learn how to sell images as a side hustle, its benefits and drawbacks, and the best apps and websites for doing so.

4 ways to earn money selling photos as a side hustle.

  • Sell photos on a download-only website.
  • Sell photos on a buy-and-sell website.
  • Sell on skill online sites.
  • Create an online store and sell

Sell photos on a download-only website

Downloading photos listed on download-type sales sites can earn you prizes.

Users can simply download photos for free, and the seller receives a few cents to a few dollars for each download.

Because it is free to download, the buying restrictions are low, making it accessible to a broad range of users.

Furthermore, sellers can feel free to publish photos on download-type sales sites because the quality of the photos they post is unimportant.

This is a strategy for those looking to try and make some money out of the pictures they take for fun.

Sell photos on a buy-and-sell website.

You can sell your photos on stock photo platforms like PIXTA and Adobe Stock.

In comparison to sales sites that allow users to download products, these purchase-type websites have higher barriers to entry for users.

There will also be a review when selling images on PIXTA and Adobe Stock.

Each photo sold earns a royalty, and the price is dependent on the photo’s size and file format.

High-quality images will be necessary because they are being registered and sold by creators all over the world.

If you’re serious about selling your images, then this is a brilliant option.

Sell on skill online sites.

You can sell images on skill-selling websites like Canva.

Canva not only sells photography skills but also photo materials like commercial, copyright-free images.

There is a high chance that your images will sell if supply and demand are in balance because skill-selling platforms like Canva are well known and used by a large number of people.

Even without a camera, anybody can start selling images by using their smartphone to capture pictures of things like food or tourist attractions.

Create an online store and sell

You can easily start an online store by using online shop creation services like Zazzle and sell your photos

Zazzle allows you to run an online store without the risk of having real inventory by allowing you to sell photographic goods as digital data.

If you use the free plan with no initial cost or monthly usage fee, you will be charged a settlement fee only when the photos are sold, so you may be able to “try selling at the online shop for the time being.”

In order to sell photos at an online shop, it is necessary to devise ways to attract customers. But zazzle also has a function that links with Instagram shopping, so it is possible to guide people from Instagram to the online shop.

Compared to photo sales sites, online shopping has lower commissions, so if your photos sell, you will likely make a big profit.

If you are successful, you will be able to establish yourself as a sole proprietor, therefore selling images at an internet shop may be one of your choices.

The Pros and the Cons of selling photos

Anyone may simply start selling images, and there are several benefits, such as the possibility to keep starting costs low, but there are also drawbacks, such as the low fees.

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Let me explain here the pros and cons of selling images.

The Pros

The following are the pros of selling images as a side hustle.

  • The initial investment is very low.
  • It is simple for everyone to do.

Once you gain popularity, you may generate money without having to sell anything.

Smartphones are now widely used across generations, so anyone with a smartphone may quickly start selling images.

Some sites need high-quality photographs shot with a single-lens reflex camera; however, there are several sites where you may sell photographs taken with your smartphone.

Of course, there is a market for professional-quality images, but there is also a market for casual photos shot by amateurs every day, so everyone has an opportunity to sell photos.

Furthermore, many photo-sale sites are free to join and have no deadlines.

If you want to sell on an online store, you may begin with little risk if you choose the free plan of Canva, because the initial cost and monthly use charge are both free.

As previously said, you may sell images using a smartphone, so beginners will not have to buy an expensive single-lens reflex camera.

As a result, it is recommended for people who want to start a side hustle without paying any upfront fees.

Furthermore, because it is a digital data trade, if the photos you publish become popular, you can make money without having to sell them.

For example, in the case of regular items, numerous operations such as product delivery and purchase of sold products occur, and sales involve all of these processes.

There is no such bother with digital data; just registration is necessary when selling for the first time, and after that you may continue to sell without care, with the added benefit of making a profit.

The Cons

While there are several pros to selling photos, there are also some cons.

  • Reward levels are low.
  • As there is too much competition, it does not instantly lead to money.

When selling images, the low unit price per shot is a significant disadvantage since it is cheaply sold.

As previously stated, the download-type sales site charges $0.07 per copy.

As a result, in order to generate a substantial income as a side hustle, you will need to sell a specific number of high-demand images.

Furthermore, artists from all around the world are registered on purchase-type sales sites, so there is a lot of competition.

It is vital to adopt tactics such as narrowing down to in-demand genres in order to convince users to pick images taken by themselves from among the hundreds of millions of photos posted.

It’s tough to earn a steady income straight away, but it’s necessary to continuously publish fresh photographs and not give up.

11 Best photo selling Apps and Websites

Here are 11 apps and websites where you can sell images.

Please choose the best sales strategy for you by comparing the features, sales prices, and fees of each.


If you want to sell images on Zazzle, one of the world’s top online store creation services, you must first create your own online shop where you may download and sell digital data.

After you’ve registered your images in the online store, you can manage them from your smartphone, which is really easy.

Unlike photo-sale sites, there are no pricing restrictions, and you may pick your own price.

Also, Zazzle is one of the online store creation services that I would recommend for digital data sales since you can purchase data at the same time.

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There are several free and paid online store creation services that state, “Digital data cannot be purchased at the same time.” In that case, the consumer will either stop buying or just buy one thing.

However, because consumers at Zazzle may buy various digital data items, such as images and graphics, we should expect an increase in the average cost per client.

If you choose the free plan, you will only be charged a price when the photo sells, so even if you don’t know if it will sell, having an online store will enhance your sales prospects for the time being.

Furthermore, even if you are a person, the Act on Specified Commercial Transactions requires you to publish your address, phone number, and other contact information when starting an online store. You may make it public

There are some online store creation platforms that do not enable personal information to be turned to private, thus being able to do so is a huge advantage.


Canva, one of the world’s top talent sales platforms, allows you to not only sell photography as a skill, but also to sell the images you’ve shot yourself as finished products.

If you are an amateur, you might need to sell a collection of $4 images rather than just one, as the minimum exhibition price is $4.

At the moment, skill sales are getting attention, and Canva has a lot of users.

However, there is a lot of competition because there are so many users, so it will take some time before sales start to take off.


You can sell digital items like photos, movies, and graphics as data using the stock photo website PIXTA.

The images bought on PIXTA are used in brochures, pamphlets, and websites for businesses.

Depending on size, there is a fixed selling price.

Additionally, customers have the option of buying images individually or in bulk, with different options yielding different benefits.

It must pass a test before it can be sold, and it is determined whether the subject’s quality, image, and content are appropriate for sales materials.

Photos taken with a smartphone are acceptable as long as they are suitable for use as sales materials.

Getty Images

Getty Images is a group portal of iStock Photo and is a photo stock service that is used all over the world.

To sell your photos, you must first download the Getty Images app, then upload a photo sample and go through the evaluation procedure.

If you pass Getty Images’ evaluation, you will be under an exclusive contract and must give your photographs solely to Getty Images. The reward rate is 20%.

Because high-quality images are necessary, this is a platform for those who wish to sell photos professionally.


PhotoAC is a service that allows anyone to download photos for free.

If you pass the screening, you can register as a creator and upload photo data to the site for download.

Each time your posted photo is downloaded, you will earn 3 points.

Rewards are earned in points. and can be redeemed once you reach 5,000 points.

The profit per item is low, but because it can be downloaded for free and the number of users has surpassed 7 million, there are many possibilities for downloads, making it easier for newcomers to earn money.

If you download a photo with portraiture rights permission from the photo model, you will receive 5.5 points.

Eye Em

EyeEm is a photo sharing app from Germany.

It is a social networking site similar to Instagram where you may share images and follow people who post photos.

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Unlike Instagram, EyeEm allows you to sell your images.

To sell your images, you must first pass the review and be registered with the EyeEm Market.

The photo’s selling price varies depending on the license, but a social license, which enables commercial use of the photo on social media, costs US$20 per shot.

A web license for use in print and the internet is also available for $50, and a full license for usage across all media is available for $250.

You will be paid a commission through PayPal for each photo sold. The payout is half of the sale price.

If you can snap images that look nice on social media, publishing them on EyeEm will provide you not just “likes,” but also rewards, which is a significant attraction.


Shutterstock is a photo stock platform that sells data such as photographs and videos and is widely used throughout the world.

This service is suggested for individuals who wish to share their own images over the Internet all over the world.

Photos and videos are separated into categories, and the prize amount is decided by the number of sales in a year. You can withdraw your prize money through PayPal.


iStockPhoto is another global photo and video sales platform that is trusted all around the world, and you may sell photos as data.

Many well-known brands use iStockPhoto images.

Photo commission rates are set at 25–45% for exclusives sold just on iStockPhoto and 15% for non-exclusives, with payment options including PayPal and others.

iStockPhoto is well-known for its “Business,” “Lifestyle,” “Sports,” and “Travel/Local” genres.

You might boost your chances of selling by narrowing the themes of the photos you offer to popular ones.

Adobe stock

Adobe Stock is a photo and video sales service offered by Adobe, which is best known for its photo editing tools “Photoshop” and image editing software “Illustrator.”

Because it is also a worldwide corporation, it may be used in any part of the world.

This service is intended for users who use Adobe products since it can be accessed straight from tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator.

The photo’s selling price is fixed, and the reward rate is a consistent 33%.

Furthermore, depending on the volume of sales, Adobe’s software will be available for free for a limited period of time.


123rf is a data sales site for images, graphics, music, and other media that began in 2005 and is now popular all around the world.

As photo data can be purchased for a reasonable price, the number of users is growing.

As commission, 30–60% of the license’s sales price will be paid in USD.

You may withdraw your earnings using PayPal.


Esty is an American online platform where you can sell handcrafted items, vintage objects, and images as data.

There is a fixed listing fee of 0.2 USD each listing, and when the item is sold, a transaction fee of 5% of the selected selling currency is refunded.

To the Readers

Yet again, I have brought up a good side hustle in this post. Thank you for reading. 

But if you want more such side hustles, passive income ideas, part-time or full-time making money opportunities, then you can consider reading my other posts here.

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