According to Freelancers Union’s report, 35% of the U.S. workforce is freelancing. And majority of them rely on design and creativity, like sell photos online. And Freelancers Union expected that there will be more and more people become freelancers due to flexibility and freedom. Learning about how to sell photos online is important for both amateur and professional photographers. And such skill will become more significant as photography freelancers increase. In this post, we are going to talk about how to sell photos online and monetize from it. In a word, you can grasp all necessary knowledge about photo selling within a few minutes.


What types of photos people want to buy?

Currently, the biggest customers of online photography are bloggers, website owners and small business owners. Every post created by bloggers, small business marketers or website owners for social media updates needs an appealing image. And our research found that there are a few categories in demand.

  1. Photos of people.
  2. Pictures of travel.
  3. Images of cities.
  4. Photos of work situations.
  5. Photos of products.
  6. Animal pictures.
  7. Landscape images.
  8. Special photos, like close-up photos, panoramic pictures and more.

To learn about how to sell photos online, you should grasp these popular photo categories first. And if you have an excellent camera, you can totally do this. To beginners, we suggest you to look at the most popular images on the website where you want to sell you photos.


Top 5 sites to sell you photos online

In this part, we will share 5 most profitable sites to sell your photos online.

500px Prime

500px Prime is a popular photography community that has attracted millions of photographers. If you list you photos on this site, you will receive 70% net for each license sold. A standard license on 500px Prime is $250. The operation of how to sell photos online is easy too. All you need to do is to submit you photos after registering a free account. And 500px is also a place to learn about professional photography skills.

SmugMug Pro

SmugMug Pro offers 85% of the markup of your images. This attracted many photographers to subscribe a pro account, which starts at $12.50 per month. You sell a photo for $10.50, for example, the SmugMug default price will be $0.50. The markup is $10.00 and your profit is $8.50. And it offers a wider range of services besides selling photos online, like photo print.


Shutterstock uses a different pricing structure and offers variety monetization methods. You can upload photos or refer other photographers to make profit. If the photo is downloaded over 500 million times, for example, you can earn more than $300 million depending on the size of the photos. And if you refer a transaction, you can get 20% of the first purchase.


iStockphoto has an extensive network of content creators since founded in 2001. It has a professional team to review your qualifications. Compared to other open market to help you solve the problem of how to sell photos online, iStockphoto is more like an agency. After accepted by this site, you can receive 15% to 45% of sales. You can request payments up to twice per week with PayPal, Moneybookers or Payoneer Mastercard.


Fotolia is operated by Adobe and there are millions of buyers. If you sell photos on Fotolia, you can get royalties of 20% to 63%. These royalties will go to your account immediately without any threshold. Currently, this site has integrated into Adobe’s software packets, like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, so you can upload photos from these desktop programs to the site directly. Payment is made via Moneybookers or PayPal.


Create the best photos possible for selling online

Even though you have a professional digital camera, you need a photo editor to create the best photos possible. And that plays a key role in resolving the problem of how to sell photos online successfully. From this point, we recommend iFotosoft Photo Denoise. As it name said, it is a professional photo editor to reduce and remove spots, blemishes and more. The biggest advantage is to deal with imperfect photos in batch.

How to create the best photos for selling online with Photo Denoise

Step 1: Import photos

Launch the photo editor and click on the Import button at bottom left corner to load the photos you want to sell online. It also supports drag-and-drop command.

Tip: Photo Denoise is a desktop application and you can install it from here.

Step 2: Reduce noise

The software will analyze the noise on the loaded images automatically. You can reduce noise by adjusting the values of Luminance and Chrominance on left side. And the Sharpness feature is used to enhance the details on the images.

Step 3: Soften faces

If you are processing photos of people, Photo Denoise is able to wipe blemish and winkle from the photos with Face Soften function.

Step 4: Export photos for selling online

Finally, press the Save button to export de-noised photos to hard disk or hit Share to sell photos online directly.


In this article, we have showed you how to sell photos online in detail. Firstly, you have to understand what kind of photos people are looking for online. We have listed the most popular photo categories in the first part. Of course, for different marketplaces the most popular ones are a bit of varied. And we also identified 5 most profitable sites to monetize your photos. No matter you sell photos on open markets or agency, quality is the most important factor to decide the sales and prices. If you have multiple photos to process, iFotosoft Photo Denoise is the best option. It is easy to use and able to enhance hundreds of noisy photos in bulk.