Make money selling your photographs




Make money selling photos


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Perhaps standing in front of a camera to become a YouTuber isn’t naturally comfortable for you. The again creative writing and putting a story together isn’t your forte either. This doesn’t mean though that there aren’t other opportunities to make some extra money on the side.

With a mobile phone at arm’s reach almost 24 hours a day 7 days a week having the ability to take great photographs wherever or whenever. With such a widespread of devices to take photos, and the absolute ease to make edits and upload your photo online, it stands to reason the number of people trying to sell photographs online is quite high.

This isn’t always the best side hustle for those new to photography, there is a big learning curve and a lot of competition, but if you feel you know your way around your camera and have a passion for photography, this could be a good way to earn some extra money.

Once you have your device, whether that’s a camera or mobile phone, the ongoing cost to take photos and upload them to sell is minimal. It’s really just a question of your time spent.

It’s worth noting that if you try and upload a photo to the internet using your mobile phone will use your part of your data plan if you have one just like it would if you were browsing the net or streaming videos or music on your phone. It’s best to use a WiFi connection or transfer your photos to a laptop or PC connected to home broadband, and upload to the internet from there. It saves nasty data charges from your mobile provider.



What photographs could I sell?

Although you could really sell any photos you want – as long as they do not depict anything illegal and do not break copyright laws – there are photos that sell better than others.

Obviously good quality is a must. They must be clear, crisp and in high definition. Some photos are bought for the purpose of being used to print posters or for leaflet hand-outs etc… so being able to increase your photo to larger sizes without loss of quality is quite key.

It’s been reported that those who make an income selling photos are surprised by which photos sell and which do not. Often a gorgeous landscape photo is overlooked but an overflowing bin sells more. I’m not encouraging anyone to go and take lots of photos of overflowing bins, but media outlets such as regional and local publications also buy photos for use on their websites on in their print. Topical subjects such as bin collections, or poor waste removal could be a topic a media outlet needs a good depicting photo for.

Others have found capturing protests, marches, public events (not privately held though as there are often copyright clauses preventing the sale of photos from concerts, festivals and almost all ticketed type of events) but from places in which the media may need photos for articles and features.

It can be guess work, but it can be fun.



Can I use a mobile phone to take and sell photos?

Yes you can. There isn’t a rule that states you must use an SLR or DSLR camera to sell your photos. Any photo can be sold using any device. You just need to understand your phone settings and make sure the photos taken are as high a quality as possible.

You could use photography software such as Photoshop by Adobe to fine tune your photos. This is quite standard and often used to enhance photographs. The added enhancements can make a very big difference. Adobe often offer free trials of Photoshop so it may be worth checking out to see if it’s right for you.



Do I need expensive editing software to sell my photos?

No, but it may help. It’s not essential to enhance your photos but using some of these software’s built in functions you can make a great photo even better!

Almost all photographs you see in magazines are enhanced in one way or another. Often using Adobe tools such as Lightroom or Photoshop. The good news is that even if you feel this may be worthwhile the costs are not astronomical. It can work out around £10 a month for both Photoshop and Lightroom and both are very powerful tools. Fortunately, there are lots of great free tutorials online to help master both of them



Where can I sell my photos?

Once you’ve taken your amazing photographs, and perhaps enhanced them using the software mentioned above, you’re ready to try and sell them.

There are lots of marketplaces online designed for photographers to upload and sell their own photos. You will give away a % of the selling price of the photo to the company selling your photo on your behalf, but it’s one of the quickest and cheapest ways as there is no upfront costs to you. The marketplace company sells your photo and collects the money from the buyer, they take their commission and pay directly in to your bank account your earnings.

Here are a few of the largest photography marketplaces you could try:



Adobe Stock



If though you have managed to find an audience that already perhaps follows you on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest you may already have an audience who may buy your photos – if so you could create your own website through online services such as and sell them direct. This is a much tougher route, but still possible if you have the audience already.

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