How to Make Money off Your Hobby Photography

One easy way to make some money of your hobby photography is to sell your photos to stock photo agencies. When I’m saying selling your photo I’m referring to selling the license of using it, just to clarify 🙂
The copyright is always yours if you’re the photographer who took the photo. If you enjoying photography as a hobby. Why not make some money off it at the same time, right?

Businesses, brands, web design companies always need photos to help them to market the products and services. You’ll get paid for each download of your photos, this can vary from a few cents to hundreds of dollars. A few cents perhaps doesn’t mean much, but it all adds up to a bigger paycheck at the end.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you to sell your hobby photos or becoming a stock image photographer.

Avoid Logos and Brand Names
This is one of the most important things about stock photography. Avoid any kind of logos, brand names in your photos. In this way, you can sell your photos as in commercial use and their approval rate at the stock agencies are must higher.

Number’s Game
It’s all a number’s game. The more photos you add to a stock photo agency, the higher the chance a buyer will see your stock photo and your portfolio and therefore increasing your chance for a sale. Don’t just limit to one agency. You can sell your photo to multiple stock photo agencies. If one of your photos doesn’t get approved by one agency try another one. Be patient and keep adding more and more photos a specific agency and your portfolio will be exposed soon or later and eventually get sales.

Put Some Effort in Editing
To get your photo approved, you don’t need to do must editing. Most times you just have to have a clean, well exposed and noise free photo. Try out different editing styles when you edit your photos if you can. Some buyers like the natural look and others are looking for that Instagram life style kind of vibe with desaturated color and so on 🙂

Check out Your Competitors
Get inspiration from you competitors who’s been around for some years for a specific topic. See what their popular photos look like and try a different take on it. Perhaps they have missed something that you can bring to the table.

Keywords Are Important
It’s important that your photos have the right and relevant keywords in the meta data to attract buyers. There are many keyword tools out there for stock photography.
This one is pretty cool.

Think Like a Buyer
If you don’t know what you should shoot. Try to imagine that you’re a stock photo buyer for some company. What is their business? Finance, health care, sport etc? What kind of photos will help them to sell their product/services? What kind of photos does their business need, in order to attract customers?

I hope you find these tips useful. The good part is when it’s all set up, it’s a passive income. You can just keep building your portfolio and increasing its exposure and get more sales.

Below Are Some of My Favorite Stock Photo Agencies




Shutterstock – Pays 30% royalty for every clip purchased.

Dreamstime – Pays 25-60% per sale.

Mostphotos – Pays 50% commission.

Deposit Photos – Pays 44-52% of the sale for people who don’t have a subscription. For subscription based people, you’ll get 30 and 35 cents for files.