Did you know how to make money selling photos of yourself online? There are 3 main ways of doing so – selling your pictures via websites and apps, using stock libraries to sell & becoming an authority and selling. Let’s take a closer look at each of these methods.
We are all beautiful in our own unique way. I strongly believe that.
Many of us post pictures of ourselves every day. We use Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and numerous other platforms that currently exist on the Internet to do so.
If you are comfortable posting pictures of yourself on the internet, have no problem showing your body or your face online, then why not get paid and make some profit out of it?
Personally, I love taking pictures. And I always thought that to sell them, I would have to be a professional photographer.
That is not the case anymore. The wonders of the Internet and devices like smartphones have opened up a whole new world of possibilities to everyone, regardless of skills and diplomas.
I have been really interested in finding where and how one can get some cash by selling your pictures online. The topic is so big that I am going to divide it into several categories to not confuse you.
Before we start, let me give you one piece of advice; Once you decide to sell photos online and start to commit to this task, let your creativity flow. Pick a scenery that takes people’s breath away. Be mindful of your surroundings and choose those beautiful spots that may be familiar to you but exotic or appealing to the rest of the world.
3 Creative Ways to Make Money Selling Photos of Yourself
There are several ways from which you can sell photos of yourself. Some ideas can be a permanent source of income, and others can just get you some extra cash. It completely depends on your photos and the particular method. Check out the different options that best suit you.
1. Sell Your Photos via Websites and Apps
I found numerous apps where you can sell photos of yourself. Some pay extremely well, while others, not as much. Depending on how committed you want to be to earn money this way, you should consider the different options.
Scoopshot is one of the best apps that pays for your selfies. Here you can upload your pictures that are then purchased by other people registered on their app.
They also have contests where you can upload your photos, and if you are one of the winners, you can get paid for pictures of yourself.
The higher the quality of your photos, the better the chances of you winning and getting more buyers.
If you wish to dive into more professional photography that combines all kinds of photos, and not just pictures of yourself, you should try SmugMug
To join them and start selling, you have to pay a monthly subscription starting at $7. The good thing is that you get to keep 85% of your earnings. Also, you get to decide your own profit margin and quote your own price.
To prevent people from stealing your pictures without paying, you can protect your work with custom watermarks and print marks. There is also an option to limit your display size to keep the original safe, and the copyright of your photographs always stays yours.
One app that stands out is Stylinity. This app works in a unique way by creating a shopping lifestyle for its users. What they offer is an opportunity for you to take what they call “shop-able-selfies.”
This means that you take a selfie wearing certain clothes, shoes or accessories bought from their online store. That merchandise is then tagged by a brand that you’re wearing.
When any user browsing through the app, makes a purchase by clicking on your selfie, the brand whose item is sold will reward you with points called StylePerks. You can then redeem those points for cash or other fun items.
Another great website worth visiting is 500px. You can choose to join either by signing up for free or pay for 500px Prime.
I would suggest trying the free option first and see if you like it. According to this website, over 16 million photographers are using this platform to sell their pictures.
By selling through this website, you get to keep up to 60% of every license sold. Standard licenses are usually $250.
If you choose an exclusive license for your images, you can earn extra, but this also means that you can not sell your pictures anywhere else.
Another really good app that I can suggest on this list is Foap. It is an online marketplace app where you can sell your photos and videos.
Like the other apps listed above, you make money whenever someone buys a picture or video uploaded by you, usually split mid-way with Foap.
Apart from this, you can also participate in competitions (known as missions) hosted by big brands and companies. You can get paid between $100-$700 if your entry gets selected.
I assume that once you get to any of these apps or websites, you may feel overwhelmed and somehow discouraged. Like with everything else, if you seriously want to make money selling photos of yourself, you need to start slowly, build your portfolio, and most importantly, be patient and consistent.
Depending on your ambition, try some of the mentioned platforms, and I am sure you will find the one that fits your needs.
2. Use Stock Libraries to Get Paid for Pictures of Yourself
If you are passionate about taking professional photos, and you probably are since you are reading this article, I bet that you have hundreds or even thousands of photos just resting somewhere. Am I right?
They are probably stored either on your phone, computer or a USB drive, but are barely used or looked at.
A great way to put all those beautiful pictures to use is to upload them into stock libraries and try to sell them.
Shutterstock is one of the biggest stock libraries, and it is free to join. You can upload all kinds of photos, but everything has to be approved.
First, you sign up as a contributor and start uploading your images. Once uploaded, they are reviewed by the Shutterstock staff members.
If your pictures meet the criteria to go online, when purchased by someone, you make money selling photos of yourself.
One thing to remember is that if you are posting pictures of people, yourself, or others, you need a model release form signed and submitted.
Another stock library is iStockphoto. This website is one of the oldest and considered one of the most reliable ones around.
It is free to join, and the process of submitting either photos, videos, audio, or illustrations is similar to Shutterstock.
After submitting your work, the iStockphoto team reviews it and approves it. Make sure that any work you submit satisfies their standards.
You can expect to receive 15% out of the sale. There is an option to have an “Exclusive” status, and in that case, you get 45%.
I’d also like to mention Bigstock as a reliable stock library and an excellent opportunity to make money selling photos of yourself.
First, you sign up for free as a contributor. After you complete the Contributor Tutorial, you can start uploading images.
Similar to the other two stock libraries that I mentioned previously, your pictures will be reviewed by the BigStock team. Remember to submit a model release form if you are posting pictures of yourself or other people.
If your photos are approved, they will get added to the BigStock collection, and you earn money when they get sold.
The earning varies depending on different factors. The best thing to do is go on their website and get all the information from there.
As you can see, through these stock libraries, you can upload not just pictures of yourself but also pictures of your friends, family, nature, your city, travel, food, etc.
Be warned, you can easily get sucked into the “Photo Wonderland,” and it can be so fun that the hours will pass without you being aware. Just saying.
3. Become an Authority and Sell
IX. Start Your Youtube Channel to Sell Professionally
YouTube is a platform for everything, even photos. Anything you want to advertise, promote, and teach about, can find its audience here. You can post your pictures, create and tell a story about them.
People may find it interesting to know what inspired you to take a photograph, in which part of the world it was created, how did you feel while taking it or how you edited it.
Try it out, and you can create a good following that you can then direct to the platform where you are selling photos of yourself.
X. Start a Photography Blog
As for YouTube, where you can talk about the background of your photos, a blog can be a space where you write about it. You can also post your images on it and gather more followers.
The different ways that you can make money with a blog is by selling photographs of yourself, through sponsored content, affiliate marketing and advertisements.
If you are willing to explore the option of creating a blog, I would suggest signing up with Bluehost to start your photography blog. They are a leading web hosting solutions company. They are partners with WordPress and honestly, signing up with them will make your blogging journey a hassle-free experience.
They help you fight spammers, block pornography, promote web civility, and take care that the web is a safe place for all.
You will get all the necessary tools that are simple to use and wouldn’t need to worry about the maintenance.
It only costs $2.95 a month, which is a small amount for what you get in return.
Depending on what you like, you can see that there are many options for you to sell photos of yourself online and make a profit.
I have deliberately extended the list with platforms where you can sell not only pictures of yourself but any picture that you think is sellable.
The reason I did that is if you like taking photographs of yourself, there is a great chance you like taking pictures in general.
Why not turn that passion of yours into something that might benefit you financially as well?
Now that we have explored the options of selling photos, let us dive into the section where I am going to give you tips on how to make sure that your photos do actually get sold online.
How to Make Sure Your Photos Are Going to Be Sold Online?
I. Take a Course to Be a Pro
Taking a good photo is a skill; therefore, you can learn and upgrade your knowledge to take even better photographs.
I once took a course on “How to take photographs for Instagram” and what I learned there in 2 hours, significantly improved my photography skills a lot.
Try finding the best courses online or somewhere local. I suggest Photography Masterclass on Udemy, where you will discover How to Take Amazing Photos as a Beginner & Advanced Photographer. It is not free, but the value of the course is worth it, and you will become a pro.
They offer a master class on “How to click perfect pictures,” so if you want to make money selling pictures of yourself, this course is perfect for you.
II. Invest in Your Camera
You can not make a great photo, no matter how talented you are, without a good camera. The good thing is that today, we have a choice of buying a good camera built right into our phones. It is not only cost-effective but very convenient and easy to use. You have a choice between iPhone and Android, both options are good (depending on your budget), so pick the one you like best.
Since it is very hard to snap a photo of yourself with one hand holding the phone, I would suggest investing in a selfie stick or tripod. You will get better photos, and therefore a more significant opportunity to sell them.
III. Edit Your Photos
To capture a perfect photo, with ideal lighting, tone, softness, is very rare. Even professional photographers edit their photos, so why wouldn’t you?
There is always some detail that needs correction.
I found that Snapseed is fantastic and easy to use. It is a photo editing app, and even if you don’t have any previous knowledge, you can use it without any problem.
Snapseed is free to download and available for iOS and Android. The only downfall is that Snapseed does not have a good desktop version.
Another option that is a bit more advanced is Photoshop. You can use it to edit your pictures, paint and draw, crop, combine, retouch and much more.
It is not free though. And this software is available for all platforms, desktop included.
The monthly subscription for Photoshop and Lightroom is $9.99. You also have an option to purchase all of their apps, and there are many, for $29.99 per month.
If you are not a beginner and would like to dive into the more professional side of photography, this may be a good option for you.
IV. Build Your Online Presence
If you want to earn money online, you have to have a strong online presence, period.
Take your time to build an image for yourself. I cannot possibly list all the online platforms where you can create a profile simply because the options are endless.
There are well-known social platforms that are proven to bring quick results. A few of them include: Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and so on.
The best thing would be to create multiple accounts on various platforms and link them all together. If you are planning to create a blog or a website, include all of your profiles there as well.
Building a decent list of followers takes time. You can learn about how to do it through the internet, free classes and videos, or paid courses.
What you need to know is that posting cannot be random. To reach your audience and increase visibility, you must follow a routine.
Tip: Include hashtags whenever you can. This little tool can help you reach more people and drive them towards your content.
V. Upload Your Photos to Different Platforms
The easiest way to take a shot at selling pictures online would be to choose one website, upload your images, and be done with it.
But limiting your chances to only one place can decrease your success rate, so I would suggest spreading your work wherever you can.
Use different apps, websites, create various profiles, write about them, promote them.
By being present and gaining visibility everywhere, you can not only sell your photographs faster, but also gain more followers.
By having an audience, you are getting the chance of an additional income. You can not only get paid for pictures of yourself but run ads to promote someone else’s products or services to your followers.
VI. Be Committed
If you choose to be serious about selling photos of yourself online, you have to be committed.
This means taking photos regularly, posting them either daily, weekly, or monthly but you need to create a routine.
Depending on what you are going to choose, some platforms require your constant presence.
If you decide to create accounts and build your online image, you have to post regularly.
You would have people that are following you, expecting you to update them with new pictures, information, etc.
As you can see, the list of possibilities for you to make make money by selling photos of yourself is quite long.
If you are a student then this can be a source of making pocket money in college days.
You can choose to sell photos online as a short-term engagement or build a full-time job as a photographer.
My final advice to you is not to get discouraged if you do not sell anything immediately.
Review your steps; see if there is something you can improve and correct. Try to learn as much as possible by collecting information off the Internet or investing in a course.
Make sure that you have proper equipment since it is crucial for taking good photos. Consider investing if you think you can improve your camera or if you don’t have a selfie stick. These are all steps that can make a big difference, trust me.
Get familiar with photo editing apps, and play with them, explore, try different things.
The more you use them, the better your photos will be.
As the photographs get better, so will the income out of them. It is as simple as that.
Finally, let your creativity flow. Pick a scenery that takes people’s breath away. Capture those beautiful moments.
Enjoy the process, and please be patient and persistent.
Which other platforms would you suggest to others? Did I miss mentioning any tips that have helped you sell pictures of yourself? Let me know in the comments below!