Column: Your pictures could make money as stock photos – Los Angeles Times


Do you love to take photos with a digital camera or smartphone? You may be able to make money with photography. There are dozens of online platforms that could help you sell your photos online, ranging from stock photo sites to print-on-demand shops that pay royalties to sell mugs and iPhone cases decorated with your snapshots.

Although you normally won’t earn a lot on any given sale, you can sell the same photo many times and in many different ways. Regardless of whether you’re a professional photographer or a relative amateur, that could turn your popular shots into moneymakers that pay royalties year after year.

Stock photo sites

Stock photo sites are where many newspapers, magazines, web developers and bloggers go to find art to illustrate millions of pages of content every year. These can be shots of anything — sunsets, hands on keyboards, animals, a couple having a fight.

By and large, stock photo sites sell contributors’ photos on a nonexclusive basis. This means you can sell your images multiple times on multiple online platforms. You keep your copyright and the ability to sell those images anywhere and in any form. Beware of the rare sites that demand exclusivity. The right to sell your images widely is a right you shouldn’t give up unless you’re paid handsomely for it.

The more photos you upload to these sites, the better your chance of making a decent amount of money. That’s because each image sale is likely to bring in a few bucks — maybe even pennies. But popular photos can sell hundreds of times.

Selling stock photos is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Seasoned photographers say you can make a nice living, but it takes time, skill and strategy.

Some of the best stock-photo sites:

Adobe Stock is a division of software giant Adobe Inc., which is one of the biggest names in multimedia and creativity software. The site promises to pay photographers 33% to 35% of the amount it collects for your photos. However, Adobe Stock makes its photos available to buyers largely through discounted subscription plans that give users the ability to use between three and hundreds of images a month. Photographers who sell through the site are likely to earn between 33 cents and $3.30 on any individual sale. Adobe Stock does not limit your rights to sell your photos elsewhere.

Shutterstock is one of the largest stock photo operations in the world. Like Adobe Stock, it encourages photographers and videographers to upload their images and pays royalties when those images sell. The royalties range from a low of 10 cents per photo to a high of $120. (The $120 payment is …….


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