Do 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.
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 and have no problem showing your body or your face online, then why not get paid and make some money 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 qualifications.
I have been really interested in finding where and how one can get some cash by selling pictures online. The topic is huge and so, I’m going to divide it into several categories so as not to confuse you.
Before we start, let me give you a quick 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 using which you can sell photos of yourself. Some ideas can be a permanent source of income while others can just get you some extra cash on the side.
It completely depends on your pictures and the method you choose. Check out the different options below and work with the ones that best suit you.
Sell Your Photos via Websites and Apps
I found a lot of 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 may consider the different options listed below –
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 the 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 fee 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 offering a shopping lifestyle platform for its users. What they offer is an opportunity for you to take what they call “shoppable 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 checking out 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.
It is possible that once you get to any of these apps or websites, you may feel overwhelmed and somehow discouraged. But 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 goals, try some of the mentioned platforms, and I am sure you will find the one that fits your needs.
Use Stock Libraries to Get Paid for Pictures of Your Body
If you are passionate about taking professional photos, and you probably are since you’re reading this article, my best bet would be that you have hundreds or even thousands of photos just sitting somewhere.
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 on the internet, 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.
Once your pictures meet the criteria to go online and get approved, you make money when someone buys your photos.
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 great stock library is iStock. 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 iStock team reviews and approves it. Make sure that any work you submit follows their guidelines and 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 photo 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 earnings vary depending on different factors. The best thing to do is to go on their website and get all the information from there.
As you can see, using these stock libraries, you can upload not just pictures of yourself but also pictures of other people, animals, nature, your city, travel, food, etc.
Be warned, you can easily get sucked into this “Photo Wonderland,” and it can become so fun that the hours will pass without you even noticing. Just saying. 🙂
Become an Authority and Sell Photos
9. Start Your Youtube Channel to Sell Pictures Professionally
YouTube is a platform for everything, even photos. Anything you want to advertise, promote, and teach about, you can find an audience for it 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 you felt while taking it, or even your whole process of editing it.
Try it out, and you can create a good following that you can then direct to the platform where you are selling your photos.
10. Start a Photography Blog
Besides YouTube, where you can talk about the story of your photos, a blog can be a space where you write about all the different aspects of it. You can also post your images on it and gather more followers.
You can make money with a blog by selling photographs of yourself, through sponsored content, affiliate marketing, advertisements, selling courses, and more.
If you are willing to explore the option of creating a blog, I would highly suggest signing up with Bluehost to start your photography blog. They are a leading web hosting solutions company and are also partners with WordPress. Signing up with them will make your blogging journey a completely 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 won’t need to worry about maintenance.
It only costs $2.95 a month, which is a small amount for what you get in return.
Depending on your approach, 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 worth selling online.
The reason I’ve done this is if you like taking photographs of yourself, there is a high 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’m going to give you tips on how to make sure that your photos do actually get sold online.
How to Make Sure Your Photos Get Sold Online
a) Take a Course to Become 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 it’ll help you improve your photography skills considerably.
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.
b) Invest in Your Camera
You can not take 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 that is built right into our phones. It is not only cost-effective but very convenient and easy to use. You have a choice between iPhones and Android, both options are good (depending on your budget and preferences), 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 a tripod. You will get better photos, and therefore a much better opportunity to sell them.
c) Edit Your Photos
To capture a perfect picture, with ideal lighting, tone, and softness is difficult to achieve for amateurs. Even professional photographers edit their photos, so why wouldn’t you?
There is always some detail that needs correction.
I found that Snapseed is a fantastic tool and easy to use. It is a photo editing app, and even if you don’t have any previous knowledge, you can use it with complete ease.
Snapseed is free to download and available for both iOS and Android. The only downfall is that Snapseed does not have a good desktop version (yet).
Another option that is a bit more advanced (but most widely used by designers, artists and photographers) 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.
d) 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 a personal brand 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 Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and so on.
The best thing would be to create multiple accounts on various platforms and link them all together. You can also showcase all your work by creating a blog or a portfolio website.
Building a decent list of followers takes time. You can learn how to do it through free classes, videos, or paid courses. You can also leverage social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels to provide valuable content in the form of photography tips and tricks to build up your following.
Make sure that you are consistent with the posting of your content. To optimize reach to 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 with similar interests and drive them towards your content.
e) Upload Your Photos to Different Platforms
The easiest way to take a shot at selling your pictures online would be to choose one website, upload your images, and be done with it.
But limiting your chances to only one platform can decrease your success rate, so I would suggest spreading your work wherever you can.
Use different apps and websites, create various profiles, write about your work, promote it at several places.
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 additional income. You can not only get paid for pictures of yourself but you can also post sponsored content to promote someone else’s products or services to your followers.
f) Be Committed
Lastly, if you are serious about selling photos of yourself online, you have to be committed.
This means taking photos regularly and posting them either daily, weekly, or even monthly. But it’s important to create a routine.
Depending on what you choose to do, some platforms will require your constant presence. If you decide to build your personal brand online, you have to post regularly.
Your audience will expect you to keep updating them with new pictures, information, etc. So don’t disappoint them and go build that following, some of them may become your customers too!
As you can see, the list of possibilities for you to make money by selling pictures of yourself is quite extensive.
If you are a student then this can be a good 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 the right accessories for photography. Trust me these are all steps that can make a huge difference.
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 from them. It is as simple as that.
Finally, let your creativity flow. Capture those beautiful moments that take people’s breath away.
Enjoy the process, be patient and persistent and I wish you the best!
Are there any other platforms to sell pictures that you’d like to suggest to others? Did I miss mentioning any tips that have helped you sell pictures of yourself? Let me know in the comments below!