Selling Photos Online

Revenue in February’14: US$ 6,006.22
Total Photos in portfolio: +/- 8000 photos
Total Revenue from Microstock in 2014: US$ 12,141.27

It’s now easier than ever to earn extra money from your images by selling them online via micro stock photography sites such as Shutterstock, Fotolia, Dreamstime and many more (please keep reading to find out how much I earn from each stock photography site)..

Make money online by selling your digital photos
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It goes without saying that to be successful your shots need to be ‘good stock photographs’ and available in high resolution format. But presuming that all this is in order, how do you maximize sale ability?

Good Stock Photographs

Firstly, you must know how to take good stock photographs. For those who haven’t heard what stock photography is.. Stock photography is photography or imagery that can be licensed for specific uses. Its use is very popular with designers, graphic artists, art directors, advertising agencies, and marketing professionals, in magazine ads, websites, and marketing brochures. Instead of hiring a professional photographer to create an image, a buyer licenses an image and the photographer is paid a commission. There are many books talk on how you can take good stock photographs, and here are just some of the very basic points;

- No digital noise, please…
Most agencies rank each photo based on it’s overall quality and potential for salability. Make sure your photos are clear, crisp, nicely composed, well lit and most importantly free of digital noise caused by high iso, underexposure, long exposures and over-processing.

- No snapshots or tourist-like photos, please…
Do not ever think that you’ll earn lots of money by selling your snapshots or tourist-like photos. This is not a get rich quick scheme. Your photos must be commercially in demand and highly usable for art directors or designers. You can take a look at the most popular files once you’ve signed up to an agency to get an idea of what is selling. You can also review other professional sites like GettyImages, Corbis, and Comstock to get some inspirations.

- No logo/copyrighted material, please…
When you’re submitting photos to the microstockphoto agencies, make sure they don’t have any company logos, trademarks, third-party images and brands.

- Ask your model to sign a model release..
Unless if you’re submitting editorial images, you must provide a model release for any recognizable person in your image. Each agency has its own standard model release form that you have to fill in and send along with each image containing a recognizable person. I usually send the same format of model release [Download model release], and send it to all agencies without any problems.

Some useful shooting models tips available on this site:

- Download Free Model Posing Guides
- Choosing and Communicating with Models
- Portrait Photography Tips
- How To Use Light in Photography
- Studio Lighting Video Tutorial

Choosing The Right Photo Agency

You need to find out whether a website will be worth your while by logging on and having a look around. Views the types of images stocked, and determine whether yours are on par with their quality and style. You can check how many visitors (traffic graphs are available below) and the number of times each image has been downloaded. You can also join the community forum usually available on the agency and ask the other members regarding their selling/month, etc. Use this information to answer the question: How likely is it that I will actually sell my images through this website?

Categorizing & Keywording

Sellers can usually place images in more than one category – exploit this by placing yours in as many as possible. The importance of this is that while visitor and site members browse websites, photo buyers shop by category. Getting your photos listed within the right categories ensures they appear in front of the right audience.

Keywords are there to give your photos a further away of being found by searches, and websites will give you a certain amount of characters to play with, which you should exhaust. Keep your keywords simply and accurate. Remember, do NOT enter “junk” keywords or keywords that are not applicable to an image. This will slow down your approval process or even worse, get your photos being rejected.

Here’s a neat online keywording tool to help stock photographers keywording their images with high quality keywords.


Usually you have three ways to upload your photos to the agencies. The most common one is using the web upload form which is available on all stock photo agencies. Then you have the ActiveX/Java uploading system which available only on some of the agencies. The last one is via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software which I think is the easiest way of uploading your photos as what you need to do is to drag and drop your files from your computer to their server. You can also schedule your upload anytime you want (I usually do my uploading at night just before going to sleep). Unfortunately, one of my biggest money maker agencies (ie. Istockphoto) does not have this option available, instead the agency has its own uploading software where you have to pay to get the pro version.

To be able to transfer your photos via FTP you will need an FTP Client such as CuteFTP and FileZilla for Windows users or Cyberduck for Mac users. You can go to software repository sites such as or to find your FTP client program, read the user reviews, download & install it to your computer.

Below are some stock agencies where I submit my photos to..


This is currently my favorite microstock photo agency. Monthly income has been great, photo review time has been stellar. It takes around 2-3 days max until they review your photos and and add them to their database. Uploading images and adding model release is also very easy on this site. For me and many other stock photographers, Shutterstock is ranked first giving us more than 40-50% of total income.

Shutterstock is the pioneer of selling photos by subscription where a buyer can download up to 750 images over a period of time. You’ll get 25 cents every time one of your images is downloaded. Uploading photos is easy, they have 3 uploading system; (FTP, HTML, and activeX).

Visit Shutterstock


Visit Dreamstime

Dreamstime has been online since 2000 as a Royalty-Free stock photography website, selling CD imagery. The concept has been redesigned, upgraded and adapted to the market’s need, evolving into a powerful and active community in March 2004. Your commission is .50 for each photo downloaded, but I believe your commision would increase as more people donwload your photos. Please visit their site to check the detail of their royalty figure.

123RF is wholly owned by Inmagine. They have been in the Royalty Free industry since year 2000 and had since accumulated a strong database of repeated users. Prices for single images are available in low-res, med-res and high-res and are set at $1, $2 and $3 respectively. You will be paid a direct 50% of the actual price for each of your image sold.You can also earn money from their subscription revenue which is based on the total of downloaded images that belong to you and on the total revenue in that particular month.

Visit 123RF


Fotolia has a lot of earning potential. For each photograph sold, the photographer receives a commission based on the type of license sold to the customer. Fotolia currently has a local presence in 5 major countries: USA, France, Spain, Germany, and UK. For more info about their commission structure, please visit

Visit Fotolia


Since launching the site last May 2005, BigStockPhoto has grown to over 11 million images. It’s one of the fastest growing stock photo sites. The site has a sophisticated search engine, multiple light boxes that can be shared with friends and colleagues, how-to articles and tutorials, forums, and an easy-to-use features for uploading and downloading photos. Whenever a person downloads one of your photos, your account balance increases by 50 cents, you can also make up to $20.00 for special licensed photo sold.

Visit BigStockPhoto


Istock was the first and the biggest microstock agency online. This is the agency that rejected most of my photos. From 95 photos submitted this month they only accepted probably around 15 of them :(. They also have this ridiculous upload limits for non exclusive contributors. If you’re a new member (base) you can upload 15 photos per week (that’s right! you have to wait for 168 hours until you can submit another batch of 15 photos). If you’ve been there for a while like me and have more than 25000 downloads, you can only submit 30 photos per week. Earnings are also decreasing each month. My suggestion is if you’re new and NOT thinking of becoming Istock exclusive contributor just don’t bother to submit on their site since it looks they’re really giving their non-exclusive photographers a hard time

Visit Istockphoto

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1. Can I make a living out of this?

Well, I think it all depends on which country you’re living in. But here’s an idea on your earning potential from the industry. Meet Yuri Arcurs, a full time stock photographer and a uni student at Aarchus University. He makes $300/day (times that by 30 days, which is around $9000/month) by selling his photos on Shutterstock alone!! Now, that’s the figure you and I should aiming for because I’m sure you can have a pretty good life in whichever country you’re living in with more than 10K/month (and it keeps growing if you keep taking photos).

Click to enlarge

2. Can you post the same photo on multiple stock photography websites?

Yes, you can..unless if you choose for being exclusive with Dreamstime or any other agencies that offer exclusivity. Then, you MUST only submit your photos to that agency.

3. What type of photography seems to be the most profitable?

Shoot what you like.. But keep in mind that your photos must be commercially in demand. While some photographers say that people photos always sell really good, my best sellers have always been landscape/travel photographs.

4. Are you selling the same photos at multiple agencies?

Yes, I am.. as I’m not being exclusive to any agency and I’m selling all my photos as Royalty Free.

5. How do you increase your sales?

I think the key is you have to upload lots and lots good photos. See FAQ no. 1 above for an inspiration.

6. Do you have any keywording tips?

Please check out the keywording tips posts here, here, and here

7. Can I see your portfolio?

Sure, You can go to my Free Pictures and Photoblog sites to see my work.

8. How much do you earn each month?

Below is my earning stats from September 2005


Total Revenue from Microstock in 2014: US$ 12,141.27

February’14: $ 6,006.22
January’14: $ 6,135.05

Total Revenue from Microstock in 2013: US$ 69,252.26

December’13: $ 5,465.32
November’13: $ 5,932.23
October’13: $ 6,100.54
September’13: $ 6,853.00
August’13: $ 6,412.20
July’13: $ 6,287.00
June’13: $ 6,184.31
May’13: $ 5,766.25
April’13: $ 6,012.85
March’13: $ 6,246.29
February’13: $ 6,046.22
January’13: $ 6,435.05

Total Revenue from Microstock in 2012: US$ 57,137.02

December’12: US$ 5,991.20
November’12: US$ 5,669.37
October’12: US$ 5,905.74
September’12: US$ 5,305.24
August’12: US$ 5,225.14
July’12: US$ 4,805.82
June’12: US$ 4,325.35
May’12: US$ 4,502.22
April’12: US$ 4,254.23
March’12: US$ 3,954.23
February’12:: $3,711.87
January’12: $3,487.36

Total Revenue from Microstock in 2011: US$ 33,945.69

December’11: US$ 3,248.77
November’11: US$ 3,706.74
October’11: US$ 3,466.25
September’11: US$ 3,350.27
August’11: US$ 3,347.27
July’11: US$ 3,599.17
June’11: US$ 3,264.83
May’11: US$ 3,022.54
April’11: US$ 2,936.25
March’11: US$ 2,752.54
February’11:: $2,134.43
January’11: $2,245.73

Total Revenue from Microstock in 2010: US$ 41,953.83

December’10: US$ 2,641.31
November’10: US$ 3,152.54
October’10: US$ 3,255.59
September’10: US$ 3,623.22
August’10: US$ 3,985.98
July’10: US$ 3,199.33
June’10: US$ 3,423.12
May’10: US$ 3,323.34
April’10: US$ 3,911.59
March’10: US$ 3,723.9
February’10: US$ 3,745.39
January’10: US$ 3,968.52

Total Revenue from Microstock in 2009: US$37,538.91

December’09: US$ 3,224.12
November’09: US$ 3,968.52
October’09: US$ 3,842.32
September’09: US$ 4,203.05
August’09: US$ 3,637.00
July’09: US$ 3,537.00
June’09: US$ 3,663.35
May’09: US$ 3,098.32
April’09: US$ 3,094.72
March’09: US$ 3,141.53
February’09: US$ 2,899.51
January’09: US$ 2,766.47

Total Revenue from Microstock in 2008: US$30,521.71

December’08: US$ 2,609.72
November’08: US$ 2,615.78
October’08: US$ 2,622.24
September’08: US$ 2,614.5
August’08: US$ 2596.61
July’08: US$ 2248.64
June’08: US$ 2546.61
May’08: US$ 2874.93
April’08: US$ 2687.79
March’08: US$ 2381.30
February’08: US$ 2455.02
January’08: US$ 2241.39

Total Revenue from Microstock in 2007: US$25,662.79

December’07: US$1707.33
November’07: US$2035.89
October’07: US$2124.36
September’07: US$2034.24
August’07: US$1966.26
July’07: $1987.43
June’07: $2048.15
May’07: $2278.92
April’07: $2354.59
March’07: $2561.99
February’07:: $2194.88
January’07: $2368.75

Total Revenue from Microstock in 2006: US$23,725.79

December’06: $1840.20
November’06: $2025.67
October’06: $1722.91
September’06: $1876.76
August’06: $2038.33
July’06: $1921.87
June’06: $2060.23
May’06: $2286.5
April’06: $1924.50
March’06: $2120.35
February’06: $2062.70
January’06: $1845.84

Total Revenue from Microstock in 2005: US$5,004.14

December’05: $1216.83
November’05: $1421.92
October’05: $1384.59
September’05: $980.80

This page would be updated every month (next update: 1st of March 2013)

See also: MicroStock Photography | Photography Business | Photography Tips

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Comment by Indra
2005-11-18 14:52:37

this site is cool!….i like it, and i want to try to make money from my photo too.

Comment by Menank
2009-08-28 04:00:14

hey but hw can we actually sell my pics hw much money do we get

Comment by Jennings
2010-04-29 16:26:46

didn’t you read the article? You must have just skimmed over it to not have paid attention.
He said it’s different pay per site and whether or not you are going for exclusivity with any agency.

Comment by Elzaree Subscribed to comments via email
2010-05-16 03:05:07

How do I sell my pics? How much do I ask for them?

Comment by lanak Subscribed to comments via email
2010-07-19 18:02:58

WELL. iam going to start off with the canon or nikon point and shoot camera. maybe a high resolution camera of 8 mp or above will do . that is all i can afford now. i plan to get good value photos . i also want to use my camera to create various illustrations and art for the same sites. will anyone tell me about the cheap camcorders available on ebay ? can they match the dslr cameras in picture quality?

Comment by Eric
2010-11-08 14:12:17

I’m guessing you’re being sarcastic.

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Comment by Tara
2011-03-22 06:45:56

Hello…One of my client is looking for partners/affiliates who can contribute their photos on his Stock Photography website.If you are interested please drop me an email.

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Comment by Cullen
2011-05-01 08:25:29

Please tell me more Re: partner/affiliate that your client is looking for.
I a photographer from the Caribbean presently in Alberta Canada shooting the great mountains here. Being from the Caribbean I also have many images of that part of the world and am affiliated with many other quality Caribbean photographers with lots of quality work.
I look forward to a response.


Comment by ru
2011-03-17 16:18:44

why dont you try reading the post above

Comment by Tara
2011-03-22 06:43:49

One of my client is looking for partners/affiliates who can contribute their photos on his Stock Photography website.If you are interested please drop me an email.

Comment by Joy Subscribed to comments via email
2011-05-11 11:31:25

Hello, ok i am interested! Will you please contact me at my e-mail address above with more info..Thank you! (:

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Comment by Jeremiah Subscribed to comments via email
2011-07-13 15:27:38

I have been taken photos for years and am now looking to start selling somethings. the oppritunity that you have posted seems like a great chance to break into this. Can you tell me more please such as what types of photos? What are they paying for peoples photos?

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Comment by Ossie
2011-08-04 06:46:46


Would be interested this is my email I reside in Thailand

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Comment by bing Subscribed to comments via email
2010-07-17 13:04:54

thanks a lot for this very informative blog.

1. if my photos are of my kids and nieces/nephews below eighteen do i still need a model release? who signs it?
2. have you heard of photostockplus, what do you think of it?

Comment by Darcy
2006-01-14 07:39:44

Great site. I was wondering if you upload the same picture or can you upload the same picture to more then one online stock agency.

Thanks Darcy

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-01-14 08:53:13

You can upload the same pictures to more than one site..Unless if you’re exclusive with Istockphoto..then, you can only upload to them.

Good Luck!

Comment by Carlos Gomes Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-24 18:50:03

I was wondering if you can help me.
How did you get good photos with your canon d300.
I bought the same camera just because you said that you started with that one and you took acceptable photos to sell on the web.
I try to take the photos in jpeg mode but they are to small (3.2 mb) to sell on the web.
They accept as minimum 4.0 mb. Sow i try taken the photos in raw mode witch gives me a size of 5.2mb but then i have to change the format to jpeg and it goes down to 3.2mb again.
I am a bit lost now. Can you help me?
Please reply direct to my email adress.
Carlos Gomes

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-02-24 22:08:00

I shot in RAW and then converted them to JPEG (maximum quality) using photoshop with Canon EOS 300D (not D300). It’s a 6.3 million effective pixels digital SLR camera and it was enough to take great photos for stock.

Comment by carlos gomes Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-25 17:42:03

Hello again

Thanks for the reply, when you shot in raw mode and then convert it to jpeg how havy does your photos get?
Cause mines go down to 3.2mb when i convert it.Does the same happends to yours to?
How havy does your photos get after converting them?
Thank you
Carlos Gomes

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Comment by Jon
2009-08-27 08:30:51

Carlos – you are confusing megabytes (MB) with megapixels (MP). You can have a 3.2MB (megabyte) photo that has a 10MP (megapixel) resolution. Your 3.2MB (megabyte) .jpg files should be just fine.

Comment by John Subscribed to comments via email
2011-07-15 12:01:29

I just joined shutter stock and they notified me that my pictures are not 4.0 MP. I use a 15 MP canon camra and I was just wondering how do I make sure that the pictures that I upload are what they are asking for?

Comment by Will
2006-04-29 14:27:39

so appx how many pictures have you uploaded at one of those websites? im a struggling designer/photographer, just did my first wedding actually, but this seems like a great way to have some money on the side. you have a great website btw, keep up the good work

Comment by veedee
2006-05-09 22:53:58

Very interesting, this article has open up my mind. I really want to make money online beside the add stuff. Just wonder, is paypal the only payment form they used? I’d love to have payment by check

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-06-07 02:16:53

Will, as u can see above..I have around 500-700 photos at each stock site. The more photos you’ve got the more earnings you’ll get each month.

Veedee..I’m sure that they also have payment option by check..

Comment by Scott Haneda
2006-06-08 14:05:25

Is there any way to see some samples of the images you sent in so we can get an idea of what they are looking for to get returns like you are?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-06-08 14:21:48

You can go to, most of photos there are also available at those stock sites..

Comment by vattana
2010-03-29 06:54:38

Hi I need to sale some photos that are strange and beautiful..
how and where should i sale as well?

Comment by lanak Subscribed to comments via email
2010-07-19 18:07:46

great ideas.

Comment by Tony Harrison
2006-06-19 23:29:42

Can you recommend any interpolation software to upsize images to suit the image library requirements? I know of Genuine Fractals but not really any others.

Comment by David Subscribed to comments via email
2007-10-14 03:33:53

Capture NX enables you to ‘upsize’ images for Alamy.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-06-20 08:49:33

I only use GF and it works like a charm..The software is also recommended by Alamy.

Comment by Beau
2006-06-26 02:16:41

Hi, I was just wondering what some of your most popular photos are because i’m interested in selling some of my photos but most are nature/scenery related.

Comment by Russell
2008-11-21 21:29:32

Right now, photographic websites are crying for more photos. Most are struggling to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of image buyers currently browsing through their websites. Seriously, photos are in such high demand that Getty Images (the parent of iStockphoto) reported annual revenue of $857.6 million in 2007 – and since most of their pictures sell for around $2 to $15 – it doesn’t take a genius to see how lucrative this business can be. Good luck!

Comment by Jana
2010-01-31 20:57:27

I was just wondering if you could tell me where I might sell some of my photos. Would like to hear back from you as soon as possible.
Thank you,

Comment by Tara
2011-03-22 06:49:02

Hi Jana..One of my client is looking for partners/affiliates who can contribute their photos on his Stock Photography website.If you are interested please drop me an email.

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Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-06-26 18:55:11

While other photographers have good sales on people & lifestyle photographs, my best sellers have been travel related photographs such as tropical beaches, mountains, the outback, etc..

Comment by giles
2006-07-05 17:57:29

just checking, you may have already mentioned – how do you receive payment from each online agency?

Comment by eirikso
2006-07-05 19:10:55

I am running a technology related blog and spend a bit of time taking pictures and making illustrations. From time to time people ask for permission to use my pictures commercially.

I am looking for a site that would allow me to upload a couple of pictures and handle the transactions if people want to buy non exclusive rights.

For me it seems like most of the sites you mention here is based on volume. If you have a couple of hundred pictures out there you can make some money.

Do you know any sites that could let me set a better price because people have contacted me specifically to buy one particular picture?

I found this one:shutterpoint[.]com

…but they want payment for the storage of my pictures…

Comment by Daniel
2007-09-07 17:05:17

@ above poster.

I suggest you try Image Vortex, they allow you to set whatever price you like for your images & no charge for hosting. Similar to the other sites in terms of reviewing & approval etc but perhaps more suited to what you have in mind?

ATB Daniel

Comment by Dawn
2009-10-29 23:07:18

Thank you for the help.Sincerely, Dawn

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-07-05 20:47:37

Giles..I always receive my payment thorough paypal from all agencies mentioned above, accept for alamy, where they have bank transfer payment option to australia…

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-07-05 20:54:59

Hi eirikso, you might want to buy one of those sofwares where you can make your own photo site then upload your own pictures and sell it on your site. With this, you can set your own price..and don’t have to bother to pay any commisions..

Comment by eirikso
2006-07-06 05:02:59

Thank you for your reply. I have Gallery running on my site. I will look into the possibilities that exist for that software. My host also let me install Zen Cart.

Until then I’ll do an experiment with just to have a possibility to sell my pictures and accept all kinds of payment when people ask.

The price of Shutterpoint might pay itself compared to the time I need to set up my own shop… :-)

Comment by Olugbenga
2006-07-06 06:19:39

Hi eirikso, You might want to try They have the best deal of all.Check them out and you will see what I mean.

Nuff regards

Comment by Mike
2006-08-01 15:03:34

Hello, very very nice web site. Thanks for being so open and helpful to the rest of us.

I have two questions if I may:

1) You have 250-600 photos on these web sites. Do you have to keep adding more photos at certain intervals to maintain the income, or did you just post all your good photos once and now you are raking the benefits?

2) Are all of these 250-600 photos taken with 6+ MP cameras, or are you able to make any money with as low as 2 MP cameras also?

Thanks for your response.


Comment by Elena
2006-08-04 09:42:14

Hi eirikso!
You can try http:/
No payment for the storage + your own price for images

(sorry for the wrong address in the previous post)

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-08-04 14:13:24

Hi Mike, I haven’t added any photos for the last 3 months..and, yup..I took most of my photos with canon eos 300d and sigma lenses, until recently i upgraded my camera to EOS 5D..and added some Canon ‘L’ lenses.. I don’t know anyone shooting with 2MP camera though..

Comment by Martin
2006-08-15 22:37:53

I have just started submitting to Alamy. Do you find it better to sell your images through the royalty free or Licenced options? I guess they are both Non exclusive. Using either of these options still allows me to sell images elsewhere, right?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-08-16 13:19:06

Hi Martin, I sell my images through both royalty free & licenced depending on what the images are likely to be used for. There have been many discussions about this on Alamy mailing list at yahoogroups. You might want to join and check out their old message archive. Here’s the link:

Comment by Martin
2006-08-17 11:04:20

Many Thanks for that I have just joined.

Comment by Nigel
2006-08-23 21:50:48

Hi, Reading down your lists above how many photographs have you actually uploaded. I see that you have 700+ at Fotolia and only 500+ at shutterstock is that 1200 unique images or actually 200 unique with 500 being hosted on both sites or somewhere between the two.

Also do you know if the make and model of the camera effects the number of downloads… ie images taken with a Nikon or Canon would out sell that of say a Fuji.

Great info by the way.


Comment by John Bailey
2006-08-25 02:08:05

Great website, I wanted to ask you, do any of the sites you mentioned above place some pictures before others? In other words when someone does a search how can I get my pictures to come to the front of the line?

Thanks and keep up the great work,


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-09-09 13:28:15

Nigel… Those are the same photos hosted on both sites. It’s just there’re about 200 photos were accepted at fotolia and rejected at shutterstock.

I don’t see that camera brand will influence your selling. As long as you can take great photos and do your keywording properly, you can earn some good extra money..

John, Keep uploading..they have the search result based on the latest photos being uploaded to their sites..

Comment by Vahaj
2006-09-12 16:22:40

Can any company trasnfer the amount that I get by the selling pics to my bank account rather than in check or paypal form cause in my country the chek less to 10000 USD is not cashed. And if not than can I get the facility of money order etc doesn’t matter even if they are going to deduct the cost from the money I earned. Please do help me in this connection I shall be very thankful to you.

Comment by Rob
2006-09-22 11:31:13

GREAT STORY! I’ve been on Istock for awhile, but it’s taken me awhile to get any decent downloads going. I mainly like sports, wildlife and landscape. I just passed the 100 mark for images accepted. Would my portfolio do better at another site?

Comment by Jim
2006-10-03 07:14:58

Thanks for the great site! Very informative. I had a couple questions.

Are all these uploaded as RF ( royalty free )? I assume if you submit your photos RM ( Rights Managed ) that each photo can only be submitted to one agency.


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-10-03 09:10:59

Vahaj, I think it’s only alamy that’d transfer your payment to your bank account..Rob, you wouldn’t know if you don’t try it…Jim, yup..those are royalty free images.

Comment by Jimie
2006-10-04 17:35:39

Thanks a lot. I have a question. What’s the software to sell photos online? I’ve searched for it but can’t find the answer. Is there a free software or open source?
Thank you

Comment by Kim
2006-10-05 15:24:11

How much time, effort and money did you spend to producing the hundreds and hundreds of images required to make a few grand every month?

And once you subtract your expenses and overheads do you actually make any profit at all?

I often make more from a single rights-managed image sale than you make in an entire month of RF micro-stock sales.

Don’t you think your time and resources would be far better spent creating quality imagery for rights-managed stock?


Comment by Maya Koyo Subscribed to comments via email
2010-06-06 05:01:05

Hello Kim,
Is there any way to see your photos – do you have a website ?
I am learning about this business and it would help me understand what and why and how :) Thanks a lot !
you can use to send me the info

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-10-05 16:48:25

Jimmie, I did not use any software either..what I usually do is upload my photos with a FTP software to those agency. Except for Istock which has its own software…

Kim..Well, I’m not a pro photographer, and I don’t have any intention to be a pro…Photography is just my hobby, just like travelling. Most photos submitted are usually taken during our family’s holiday. I really think that it’s much better to get them work for me and give me an extra $1500-$2000/month rather than just sitting on my hard drive and do nothing.

Comment by Mart
2009-07-24 17:29:11

Kim makes sense.
The stock agencies you refer to have collections of 3 to 4 million photos available for purchase. Of which thousands have not sold any.
To make the sales you claim, I would guess you would have uploaded hundreds, if not thousands of photos. True?
I’d thint that means you spend a good bit of your life at the computer.
Looking at your samples, you are good. But so are so many others.
(How many did you submit?)

Comment by jess Subscribed to comments via email
2010-01-20 06:16:29

what FTP mean?

Comment by Larry Spisak Subscribed to comments via email
2010-08-27 13:05:17

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It’s a means of sending files from your computer to a server or computer without all the overhead of a browser or trying to attach it to an e-mail, which may have limits on file size.


Comment by Frank
2010-08-30 11:03:26

Hi Jess,

I’m afraid I must partially disagree with Larry – FTP is a way to send files, but it’s quite difficult to use and often unsecure. When I need to send large files, I use an online service like FilesDIRECT: inbrowser file upload and download, any file type, SSL encryption and it’s easy to use!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Andy
2006-10-08 02:48:37

It’s great story! It’s really cool that making money of your hobby.

Just want to confirm with you – is it ok to submit a photo to all of the sites you listed as Royalty-Free?

Thank you!

Comment by DJA
2006-10-09 09:48:09

very nice site !! I am interested in selling photos online.
I really want to make a living doing this.If you could give some advice that would help me achieve my goals – what would it be?

Comment by Amia
2006-10-12 04:21:38

Great article, thank you so much! I’m just a tad confused with the comment about “exclusive” with istockphoto means you can’t upload to anyone else. Can you not be exclusive with istock? I’d love to get a group of images on all of these websites, except alamy, and I would have to exclude istock from the list if I could only post certain pics there. Thanks!

Comment by Rob
2006-10-21 08:00:59

It’s fine to be non-exclusive at Istock. You wouldn’t get any benefits by not uploading elsewhere until you reach 500 downloads anyway. They won’t even call you exclusive until you reach that number.

Comment by tom
2006-10-26 05:41:29

now listen this might sound rely stupid but i dont get how the buyer gets the photo do you send them a print or what

Comment by tassos
2006-11-03 01:29:20

hello for some time now i am obsesed with photos, but i dont have a good cammera i only have a 4 megapixel. i now am thinking of getting a new cammera and start selling my photos also. whould a cammera like canon G7 be acceptable by these sites?

Comment by tassos
2006-11-03 01:31:26

sorry for the double listing. but i have another question. if i photograph people do i need a special licence from them in order to sell the pictures? and if yes what is the format?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-11-03 18:15:58

Tom, you send/upload your digital photo files to the agencies mentioned above, and buyers buy/donwload the files from those agencies.

Tassos,’d be much2 better if you use Digital SLR cameras such as canon 400D, Nikon D80 etc.. Yup, you’ll need a model release signed by your models to be able to sell their pictures. You can download the model release template from the agencies.

Comment by tassos
2006-11-03 21:00:42

what do you think of Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ 50?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-11-04 12:23:53

Tassos.. whatever camera you’re going to get, make sure it’s not prone to digital noise as it’s very influence your photo acceptance rate at the agencies. Eg. I used EOS 300D before, my acceptance rate was around 65-75%..When I bought the EOS 5D a year ago, my acceptance rate was up to around 90%. So, read the reviews..see what editors say about the camera’s noise.. DMC-FZ 50 review roundup is available here:

Comment by Brian
2006-11-06 13:44:34

ok so i just happened to stumble across this and it seems pretty interesting.

i JUST got a canon rebel xti. i’m assuming that will be good enough quality for photos to sell (hopefully my photos are as well).

are there any other websites that any of you would suggest for me to just find out more information?

i’m no pro photographer either, but i enjoy taking photos, i don’t think i’m terrible at it, and this would give me some motivation and challenge myself to take better photos.

so if anyone has any tips or more information (and have enough free time and courtesy) please e-mail me.

i would greatly appreciate any input. thank you.

Comment by Martin Hurley
2006-11-11 01:50:11


Great site… fascinating.

I’m planning to interview a few photographers about some sell photo questions I had. Would you be interested in participating? It would be good to know your perspective…

Please let me know at your convenience.
I can be reached at hurleyboy AT gmail. com

Any other photographers who have had some success at selling their photos online or off are also most welcome to email me. The benefits to those who contribute will be greater exposure and more promotion for their websites and photography. :-)

I’ve got a newletter on this subject and you can sign up free at my site:


Martin H

Comment by Joseph
2006-11-12 12:14:25

Hello! You have a great source of information here. My question: what software do you use to organize and keep track of your hundreds of photos, and where you have posted them.
Thanks very much

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-11-13 03:08:06

Martin, thank u for your interest.. To be honest, there are tons of microstock-photographers who earn a lot more than I do..Try to ask people in the online forum at the agencies mentioned above, they should give you some good insights regarding the business.

Joseph, I don’t use any softwares to keep track of my photos, I usually check on the online stats page at each agency to see which pictures sold and the total earning of the day.

Comment by lady dee Subscribed to comments via email
2009-04-24 09:15:50

hi, i’m really getting bored of a very meager salary for working 8 hours a day…thanks for passing by this site…i’m getting excited of how to start getting into such money earner fun…when i enter into such agencies mentioned and submit photos, do i need some registrations to fill up? does the country where pics come from matter to them? and can i be paid into my local bank account instead of paypal or other forms?

please…just so excited of doing it..

Comment by Kelly
2006-11-20 22:31:35

This is a great resource, I’m very interested in selling stock online, as I have a social disorder, and find it hard to work a regular job.

Once I get myself a decent camera and a form of I.D… I’m coming back to this page and taking all of your advice.

Comment by Sair
2006-11-21 15:04:45

If you have a person in a picture, but you can’t see who they are (they are a sillhouette, only partially in the picture, etc.) do you still need a model release?

Comment by Paul
2006-11-27 04:52:20

Hello! As Kim mentioned before: “Don’t you think your time and resources would be far better spent creating quality imagery for rights-managed stock?”. I see your point in your answer and I agree with it. However, do you have any idea of anybody shooting rights-managed stock (which is not of that much higher quality) and of profits it would make? I mean is it better to supply many micro-stock agencies at the same time or maybe it would be better to contact a more “pro” agency? I see your calculations for micro-stocks. Any idea what capacity and quality I’d have to supply to pro stock agency to get the same money?

Comment by Gene
2006-11-27 08:19:31

This “blog” was super informative and I really appreciate the actual list of stock sites with their traffic rankings… that really helps…

I noticed several people asking about selling their photos on their own website using purchased software. I recently found a software which takes all of about 30 mintues to implement, gives you a fully functioning store with full admin , and you don’t need to know anything about building a website. Runs on your own server/website etc. etc… great stuff. if anyone is interested here’s where I found it.

I tried it out this week and it’s working like a charm.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-11-27 14:19:17

Kelly..All the best !!

Sair.. Nope, you don’t..

Paul.. It’d be interesting to see pro-photographers shooting for big right-managed stock agencies such as getty images sharing their opinion here..

Gene.. Thank you for sharing..

Comment by Paul
2006-11-28 08:34:10

Thanks for your answer ! Yes, it’d be definitely intresting to see one of “the big guys” over here.

One more question though: so you have more less 600 photos on each site. Could you share what sells most? What subjects? What do you think of cityscapes, buildings, architecture?

Comment by Glen
2006-11-30 03:41:27

Do you think that going exclusive at any RF agency pays more than having your images spread across several agencies? Also, does having a creative network and active forum postings help to sell and market your images? Thanks for all the great info…

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-12-01 18:52:25

Paul.. Please read the FAQs above.. ;)

Glen.. can’t answer both of your questions as I never try to become exclusive and I hardly post any messages in the forum. :)

Comment by David
2006-12-02 02:41:16

Why waste your time on has a lot more clout and a lot more traffic!

Take a look:… [url is too long]

Comment by AnnA
2006-12-03 14:41:09

A couple of the websites mention that you should have copyright of the photos, e.g. “you must own the rights for each image you upload to our database.”

How do you go about doing this? All my photos are my own, but do I have to copyright them somewhere first?



Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-12-03 22:29:12

David, It’s because I just had more than 100% increase in revenue at 123rf (and now it’s higher than my earning at stockxpert and a waaay higher than csp), so I thought they started doing the right thing to increase their traffic /sales…

Anna…nope you don’t…Once you take a picture with your camera, you’re automatically holding a copyright for that particular pict.

Comment by Mike
2006-12-04 19:53:11

Eirikso, what is your strategy for labeling the pictures that you post? Let’s say you have a great yellow flower picture. Do you spend hours trying to find the latin name, or do you say yellow flower, or just flower? Same discussion goes for landscape shots. Do you label as forest for example, or do you say Impressionamus tree forest from the Tintoarna region of the country Pixelon? Thanks, and keep up the phenomal work!

Comment by Paul
2006-12-09 00:39:15

When using FTP upload is there a way to upload to multiple servers at once or do you have to do it one-by-one?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-12-09 00:50:26

Paul, I’ve been using CuteFTP from GlobalScape where I can schedule the file transfer. What I usually do is schedule all file transfers to multiple servers before go to sleep at nite, and let the FTP program does the rest..

Comment by Sarah
2006-12-13 15:59:27

Your earnings seem quite high especially for sites like Dreamstime and Fotolia. You must have an awesome portfolio full of popular downloads. Can you post a link to your portfolio for istock and others?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-12-14 03:11:40

Sarah, you can visit my photoblog ( ) to see samples of my portfolio

Comment by Kim
2006-12-18 04:43:48


is this your main job?

or is it something you do just to earn extra money?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-12-18 13:16:27

Kim, nope.. I work as multimedia developer and used to do this just to avoid arguments with my wife when it comes of buying those expensive photography equipments ;) … Now, that Ive bought all photo equips I ever wanted, I use the money to pay for my family vacation.

Comment by lynn
2006-12-20 12:46:24

I don’t know how to say. I find this website at internet. And I have some wonderful pictures of natural scenery, but I’m in China. I don’t know if I can sell my picutres on this website? And how to get payment? Thank you!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-12-20 13:52:01

Hi Lynn…There are bunch of photographers from china who sell their pictures from the agencies mentioned above. You can get payment by cheque or paypal.

Comment by Adrian [Moldova]
2006-12-20 19:17:21

Congratulations !!!

So… let’s the shootin’ start .

Comment by Kim
2006-12-20 21:51:56

do you sell you photo on ?

i have nearly 100 photos on there site, but none of my images have been sold!?

if i really put my time and effect to this, could i do this as my main job?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-12-20 23:38:30

Kim..No, I dont sell my picts there… As I mentioned on the FAQs above that there are some photographers doing this full time with more than 4000 great images (and growing) with earnings around $7000 – $8000 /month…So, if you love taking pictures and happy with that kind of earning/month then u should go hard do it as your main job.. All the best!

Comment by Shaithis
2006-12-21 23:38:49

Great article. I’ve been curious what a skilled photographer could make on those sites. I just started in February. Great info.

Comment by Kim
2006-12-22 22:34:28

how many photos did you have up, when you first started making this kind of money (sept 05?)

Comment by Elaine
2006-12-23 15:29:33

Do you need a business license to sell your photos?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2006-12-24 21:39:10

Shaitis..Thanks and good luck!

Kim, I actually started back in March 2005, with 10 photos only on Istock and SS..On Sept I had around 250-350 photos..


Comment by Kym
2006-12-27 23:13:04

so only having 250 – 350 photos still makes abit of money?

Comment by meg
2006-12-27 23:17:12

is it best to upload your photos to loads of diffrent sites – as many as possible,
or just stick to the good ones, where my photos do well?

what would be your recamended min and max amounts of sites?

Comment by zara
2006-12-29 00:58:22

thanx for the informative website…

i have just one question on my mind right now, that is… to all the stockagencies that you have your pictures…do you upload all your pictures same size/resolution for all the agenies…or different stock agency needs different picture size or format? It`s complicating…if you have to do them in different size for each different agency…it`s lots of work resizing for different sites ???

Comment by kim
2007-01-01 03:06:56

so i can make quite good money with only 250 photos on sites?

Comment by Burt
2007-01-18 14:49:29

Great site. Thanks for all the info. I just uploaded 8 pictures to fotolia, and have already sold 2. Im not really doing this for money, but I sure get a kick out of getting paid for doing something I love. I noticed you said you use L lens. I was considering a sigma lens, do you find the Cannon glass much better?

Thanks again, Burt

Comment by Andorbal
2007-01-19 01:18:44

I love this article, thanks for the information!

I’ve got a question for you, though… Right now the two cameras I’ve got are a Fuji S1 Pro (3.2MP DSLR, though it says 6.4) and a Nikon FM10. I’ve got the same set of lenses available for both, and two of them are pretty good lenses.

So my question is, do you think it would be better to start off using the Fuji, even though it’s only 3.2 MP, or try using 35mm film and scanning it? I’ve got access to really good film scanners, though they’re not drum scanners. Ultimately, I’d like to get a Nikon D200 since I can keep my lenses, but I’d like to make sure that my photos can sell at least a little before I can justify the purchase to my better half.

Thanks again for the great site!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-01-22 21:38:31

Sorry for the late respond, just got back from a long vacation and also had some problems with my blog database..

Kym..It’s all coming back to the quality of your photos..

Zara…You can set up an action in photoshop so that resizing can be such an easy job to do..

Meg..I’d upload to sites that already have lots of traffic. You can check the traffic by using the graph provided by

Burt.. I used to have lots of sigma lenses..but now that I have some spare money from stock photography, I sold them all and buy only Canon L lenses. They’re just sharper and the AF is a waaayy faster. (IMHO)

Andorbal.. See how you go with your Fuji. Film is now part of the history(IMHO). Just start with your digital camera, find the best workflow from finding a concept, retouching, keywording, uploading etc…so that when you’re ready to buy your’re already familiar with your digital workflow and know how to work faster.

Comment by Juan Kis
2007-01-23 16:10:35


Thank to you article, I finally encorage to sign up and send my pictures to sell.

Also I’m reading a couple of book about stock photography.

One question about the model release. I know the model and the witness need to sing the form, but you have to scan and send to each agency when you upload you images ?

Sorry for my basic question.

Thank you so much!

Juan Kis

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-01-23 22:06:05

Juan..Yup, you’ll need to upload the model release to each agency. Good luck!

Comment by Juan Kis
2007-01-24 16:26:58

Thank you! But today I saw an image of the Dalai Lama on ShutterStock

In this case, Dalai Lama signed the model release ? What about the paparazzis who take pictures of the celebrities and the images are publish on magazines ?

I love photograph people but I think I have to carry a lot of paper for this bussines right ? Once you scan the model relase, you have to store, or is enougj with a digital scan of it ?

I really apreciate your article and your support.
Buy the way, what your name ?

Thank you so much!

Juan Kis

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-01-25 18:47:47

Juan…That photo is one of the editorial stock photos. At Shutterstock, if you have an image that’s newsworthy, and it contains people, and it doesn’t have a release, then you can select ‘Editorial, does not need release’ at the keywording phase of the submit process.

Comment by Kim
2007-01-25 20:27:13


when will you update your earnings for December?

Comment by Juan Kis
2007-01-26 01:44:48

Thank you so much!

Now I understand!

Comment by Russell
2007-01-26 02:43:42

Hi again – my previous post was not approved for some reason. I mentioned an ebook aimed at selling digital photos. I won’t list the URL again and please know that it is not my book and I am not an affiliate or anything. I was hoping you would take a peek at it and give me your honest opinion. If you need the link just email me.

Also, I really am seeking any recommendations for any other resources you might know of. I’m not a novice photographer but am fairly new to digital photography. I own a Fuji Finepix 3800.

An all-in-one guide claiming to cover all aspects of this business sounds appealing, but I don’t want to waste my money if it is just overhyped, rehashed info easily found on the web.


Comment by quentin budworth
2007-01-26 18:17:43

Hi what a great site – Do you shoot raw or jpeg – I’m shooting the highest resolution I can get on my canon 20D is this a sufficient resolution or should I start shooting RAW?

Comment by Kim
2007-01-31 00:26:59

do you guys really want your photos to sell for under 30p?? all the time and effect you put in to taking great photos?

the best site is

you get to choose your own price for all your photos, and choose different liceinces and the site is getting more popular

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-02-02 22:18:12

Kim..Just updated my earning.. December was slow (as expected), but despite not uploading any photos in January, the revenue was really good.

Russel..I think the best resource is the community forum available at some agencies where you can ask anything to improve your photography & photo selling skills

Quentin… Once you start shooting RAW, you\’ll never go back to JPEG.. ;)

Kim..Thanks for your info. :)

Comment by kim
2007-02-18 23:31:10


what is the max amount of photos you are allowed to upload?

is there a max amount?


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-02-19 11:16:31

Kim.. I don’t think so, as long as you’re uploading good stock photos, they’ll be happy to accept all of your photos..

Comment by Dawn
2007-02-20 04:11:49

This site is great! Thank you so much for sharing this kind of information for us.

I do have a question that you may know the answer to (or at least point me in the right direction.) What kind of copyright exsist regarding animals? I shoot alot of wildlife photos as well as at zoo’s and places like cat and dog shows. Would I need a release from the zoo or from the individual pet owners if I wanted to sell the pictures? I found a mound of copyright information about people but have been struggling find more out about animal copyrights.

Thanks for any information.


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-02-20 13:38:57

Hi Dawn, I think you won’t need a model release for your animal photographs. I have uploaded some animal pictures from a local zoo without any problems..

Comment by Tami
2007-02-21 10:45:52

I was just wondering there have been many talks about different cameras. So I was just wondering how do you think the Canon 30d camera is. I am interested in buying one. Do you think they would take good enough pick to sell on these sites mentioned above.

Thank You,


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-02-21 11:56:23

Tami, around half of my photos submitted to the agencies above were taken using my first DLSR, the 6MP Canon EOS 300D (now discontinued). So, Yes.. The EOS 30D is good enough for you…

You might also want to read this buying advice article submitted by one of our readers..

Comment by Tami
2007-02-21 23:13:16

Thank You. I was also wondering if you could give me some advise about one of the subjects I love to take pictures of. My children! Of course I think the pics are wonderful but hey I’m thier mom. The thing is many people have told me they really are photogenic and the pics I have taken are really good. So what do you think I should do? And if I were to submit them should they be to places that give royalties if so do you know of any reputable places? Thank You For Your help anything you can give me would be great.


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-02-23 12:56:03

Hi Tami, my fave model all this time has always been my wife.. ;) now that we’re expecting a baby boy soon..Well, I guess he’s going to take her place soon.. :P Most stock photographers are submitting photos of their family, as long as your models are happy .. I don’t see any problems..

You can sell their photos to the agencies that give you more royalties..The thing is they don’t usually sell very often.. You can choose whether you want to sell a picture one time for $70 or sell it 70 times for $1 ..

Comment by Tami
2007-02-23 14:53:03

Thank you for your help and congrats on your new baby!!


Comment by mateilama
2007-02-25 21:54:05

Hello to All, specially you Dphotojournal boss!
Your openness is brilliant and am thouroughly thankfull for it.
A week ago i was experiencing a daily headache due to the fact that someone (a friend) took apon herself to organise a photography show based on the web pictures i would send to her evry so often. I have peen taking pictures my head off in NA, Europe, Asia in the last 3 years but never thought about the comercial aspect of it. Now your article and the discussion/links it generated put most of my question to rest. Thank you again. I still have one problem though:

Any of you out there has some tips on making a picture seen on my screen (mac powerpc) look the same in print (color synch site/article?, printer?…) thanks a milion.

here is a site that some of you may find useful re copyrights:

Comment by George
2007-02-26 18:29:06

So, what is the percentage of your income that you get for your referrals that you don’t mention on this site? How many sales each of of your photographs generates as compared to the income from referrals. Thanks.

Comment by Timmy
2007-02-26 18:58:25

Hi, thanks for this great article..
I was just wondering whether I’d need a model release if I’d submit photo of myself (I am also the photographer)…since am having problem finding models.. thank you..

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-02-26 19:11:43

mateilama… I\’m a PC person, so i don\’t know much about Mac.. But I\’m sure you can calibrate your monitor and printer on budget using those calibration tools such as PrintFix Pro from colorvision and Eye-One from Pantone.. I\’m planning to get one myself since I\’ll be starting shooting wedding soon and will need to have a good printout photos.

George.. Not much at all.. I\’d say around 2-3% and I did not add them to my earnings published here. Most of the referred photographers only applied but did not submit any photos.

Timmy… Yup, If you\’re a both the model and the photographer you\’d still need to fill up the model releases and sign them… Good luck!

Comment by Timmy
2007-02-26 19:19:20

Thank you for your prompt reply.

Just one more question, I’m planning to get some lights (with softbox etc), but most of them are so damn expensive.. Do you know any place to buy those equipments online?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-02-26 19:40:19

Timmy.. Have you tried Ebay? My friend just bought light equipments for his home studio on Ebay for around US1200 for 3 lights (600W), transmitter, 2 softboxes, barn door and other accesories. They are made in China and he says with that kind of price, the quality is quite good.

Comment by kim
2007-02-27 07:01:08


are your earnings in us dollers?

Comment by kim
2007-02-27 07:10:55

what other stock sites are you with?

Comment by Steve
2007-02-27 21:07:30

I have a question regarding receiveing payments. Earlier in these posts, you mentioned that you can choose to have payments made via PayPal or check. Does PayPal charge their fee on the received money? I’m curious because when I sell on eBay, any type of payment I receive gets the 2-3% PayPal payment processing fee pulled out. If you opt to select to receive payments by check, is there a charge for them to mail it to you? Thanks in advcance and keep up the good work & success!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-03-01 14:28:30

Kim..yup, they are in US dollars and I also with alamy, but have no sales since last october :(

Steve.. I don’t think they will charge you for money withdrawal..But if you need to transfer your money to your bank outside US (like I do), they will apply a 2.5% exchange rates fees for international withdrawal (australia) :(

Comment by Ken Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-04 20:10:31

Thanks for your generous sharing.
As for Paypal, is it necessary to use Paypal Premier or Business Account to receive the payments? Or you just the Paypal Personal Account will do?

Comment by Forestwander
2007-03-02 02:48:43

I have a site and several others that I publish my work to. I have not made the thousands that you cliam but I enjoy what I am doing and I feel it will be more lucrative in the future. My work mostly consists of nature and landscape photography since I live in West Virginia which is almost heaven!

Comment by Donna H
2007-03-02 08:01:25

Thanks for this great website. I’ve learned a lot and now think I’m ready to buy the camera. Shot film for years – made some covers and articles with dumb luck. Would I be better, with limited funds, to buy a 8+ megapixel and a super-duper lens than going whole hog with the 10 megapixel and a stock lens? Was considering the Canon xti but read lots of bad reviews about the lens they include with the camera. Thanks!


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-03-02 14:20:59

Forestwander…Just checked out your gallery and mate, you’re so lucky living in such beautiful place..

Donna… Here’s something you should remember; never buy an entry level DLSR camera with the kit lens included. Canon Xti is a great camera and it’s good enough for shooting stocks. Just buy the camera (body only), then get yourself some Canon L lenses. Which lenses you should buy is all depends on your budget. If you give me some ideas on what your budget is.. I can help you with lens recommendations.

Comment by Donna H
2007-03-02 16:31:19

I was looking a under 1k but….seems the body is 700+/- and the most likely lens is the 70-200mm f/4L for almost 600 (unless I can find better deals). My film Pentax was/is a work horse with the 70-210 and I rarely changed it out. Most of my photos are outdoors: horses, cows, birds, landscapes, wildlife, etc. I don’t use a tripod.

Am I on the right track or do you have a better suggestion? Thanks!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-03-02 17:20:31

If I were you, with 1K to spend on I’d go with the Canon Digital Rebel XT 8MP DSLR and the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS. They are both priced nicely at around 1K and the IS would be very useful since you don’t use a tripod. If anyone has any good suggestions, feel free to post it here..

Comment by Donna H
2007-03-03 14:59:43

Thanks for the information. I’ll pencil it all out and see where I end up…


Comment by kim
2007-03-05 22:51:27

can you put a link to your photos that actually works?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-03-06 10:02:12

Kim.. – That image has been sold like more than 350 times on ss + is alone..

Comment by owen
2007-03-07 09:12:47

do you / would you sell your photos rights managed?

Comment by andrew
2007-03-08 14:23:04


I have a question regarding copyright. Whats to stop some enterprising type from downloading a bunch of images from various sources and setting up a site to resell them? it would be difficult to police.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-03-08 15:47:14

Owen.. Maybe, Maybe not..

Andrew.. I think you better ask the agency where you want to submit your photos to.. They should be able to explain it to you..

Comment by greg
2007-03-13 08:52:44

g’day mate,

Great site and I appreciate your candor on so many issues. I was wondering if you have any tips on keywording you can divulge. Also, is there a reason why you don’t list Alamy payment receipts on your tally? I have just applied to them and am curious about what to expect.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-03-14 10:20:30

Greg.. I use photoshop CS2/Adobe Bridge to embed keywords and other IPTC info to my photos, and I don’t have any luck with Alamy.. I’ve got around 400 photos online, but have no sales since October’06.

Comment by dusty
2007-03-20 16:11:15

Very informative blog and thanks for sharing your success story with us!
How many keywords do you embed per image and how do you determine which keyword is the most suitable? Do you use any special software for choosing the right keywords?

Comment by Leon
2007-03-20 22:04:15

What prevents people for downloading your photos without paying for them? Is it the on-the-fly watermarks some of these sites add to your photo?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-03-20 23:53:13

Dusty… I usually embed maximum of 50 keywords and using the microsoft word to find synonyms.. There’s a great keywording tip at Dreamstime stock photography blog that you might want to check them out..

Leon… yup, you’re right.

Comment by Dusty
2007-03-21 09:35:34

Thanks for your prompt response. I will check out the keywording tips at dreamstime and see what I find.

Comment by Gary
2007-04-04 11:02:10

Do you recommend sharpening photos before uploading to an online site for consideration?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-04-05 18:32:16

Gary, I had couple of photos shot with my budget sigma lenses sharpened and got rejected in my early submissions sometime ago..Since then I just submit my images without any sharpening., and that’s good so I can spend my time more on keywording..

Comment by Mike
2007-04-10 00:28:26

Great and very informative website! Thanks for sharing your experience and success with us.

I started upload photo to several websites you mentioned here about 4 months ago (total monthly about $400 currently), and the best site for me is SS (50%). Looking your income history, it seems you had a big jump in Jan 2006, and stayed around $2000 for almost a year afterward. Would you be willing to share your reason for the big jump and stay flat afterward? I am assuming you have been kept uploading every month which should lead to a constant income increase trend.

Thanks in advance!


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-04-11 02:36:59

MIke.. It looks like you’re on the right track, keep it up!

The sudden jump was caused by around 200 photos of my vacation to Indonesia uploaded on that month alone..and no, I haven’t been kept uploading every month, I normally upload tons of photos every time I get back from a long family vacation which usually happens in December/January… then I could stop uploading anything for the next 2-3 months or even longer..

Comment by Mike
2007-04-12 01:10:49

Thanks for your quick reply. I really appreciate it.

I will send you an E-mail in your DT website.

Comment by Mike
2007-04-13 01:05:52

Thanks for your review and comment on DT. I am glad to hear that without continous uploading you could keep a constant income. It seems to me more buyers like travel/landscape photos in SS. Do you have any experience on editiorial photos with SS?



Comment by Sheri Coleman
2007-04-13 13:54:04

I have two questions for you, please ~

1. Is there an easy way to reduce or get rid of digital noise? I have a 3.2 megapixel Olympus.

2. What do you think of and ?

Thanks so much for some the information and fantastic pictures!!!!!


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-04-13 19:12:23

Mike.. I don’t have any editorial photos with SS or any other agencies.. But I know people that have some good experience with editorial photos at alamy. So you might want to try both agencies.

Sheri… you can use noise reduction software such as Noiseware

I haven’t had any experience with both of them..but by looking at their alexa stats: here and here it looks like they don’t have much visitors (photo buyers) just yet..

Comment by Sheri Coleman
2007-04-14 15:51:07

Thanks! I will review those links.


Comment by kyte
2007-04-17 05:53:59

I’m so pleased to have found your site, and thanks for the information you publish here. I’ve sent the link to this particular post to a couple of friends who would love to join the throngs of happy (and earning) photographers, as would I. I’ll be back!

Comment by Lannie
2007-04-21 00:31:14

Hi there,

Thanks for your very informative site. If we wish to submit pictures of buildings and landmarks, do we need formal permission from the building owners? For example, a picture of a famous landmark such as Edinburgh Castle or the Tower of London?


Comment by Curt Woodcock
2007-04-23 06:38:23


I just discovered the microstock industry recently and submitted 20 shots to Fotolia as a “test,” of which 10 were accepted. I listed the photos as being exclusively available only on Fotolia (not an exclusive buyout license) and am curious as to what the legalities are if I ever decided that I wanted to make any of those photos available on other sites. Can the original exclusive agreement with any of these companies ever be changed (in exchange for a lower commission) or once an exclusive availability is granted to them, is it etched in stone?

Thanks, and I appreciate your efforts in making this site available.


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-04-25 12:11:03

Lannie… I don’t think you’ll need a property release for a landmark. A property release must be obtained where identifiable property is included in an image that might sensibly lead to the identity of the owner of the property.

Curt… I think it’s much better if you ask your question to Fotolia… They should be able to explain it to you in detail.

Comment by Donna H
2007-04-28 02:58:36

Update to March 2-3 postings. I ended up with a Pentax K10D.
With the shake reduction in the camera, not the lens, I was able to afford the exact set-up I wanted (50-200 lens) – Plus I can use my old Pentax lenses…but not sure why I would. Fooled around with a few shots here at home, then yesterday went to a friends place with 2 new foals to entice me. HOLY COW – I got some great photos. Maybe I’m shell shocked because I’ve never used a 10+ megapixel camera but I’m thrilled. Signed up for a digital photography class at my local Community College to pick up some pointers. Thanks for this forum and web site, you fueled my interest into going forward into the digital age.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-04-28 10:17:37

Donna…I’m glad that you have found the perfect camera for you.. All the best on your new endeavour!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-05-01 15:32:42

We had some problems with our database from Thursday – Monday ( 26/4 – 30/4). Comments posted during that time may have been lost. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Comment by John Wilde
2007-05-02 07:43:23


Are you exclusive with any or all of these websites? Do you sell the same photos on different websites?

Comment by carin
2007-05-02 08:35:03

i’d like to thank you very sincerely for your very informative website, and very inspiring portfolio. i’ve recently decided to make a change of career and indulge my passion for photography. it is my ambition to be able to make a living selling my images online. it’s a real treat to find so much information in straightforward language. i’d like to know to what degree you use image editing software to finalise your images.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-05-03 14:19:03

John.. please read the FAQs above.

Carin… That’s really good.. This actually reminds me of the old saying: “Choose a job you love and. you will never have to work. a day in your life”… Regarding the post processing, I always keep it to a minimum level. I believe that’s what the agencies/photo buyers like.

Comment by carin
2007-05-03 20:09:47

hey, me again. i wanted to ask a quick technical question. at the moment i’m shooting with a canon pro1 powershot 8mp, which i inherited from my mum (she bought it, but couldn’t figure out how it works!). it’s a nice little camera, but i’m way more interested in a slr camera where i can change the lens. this is on a wishlist – there’s no official budget set aside at the moment – but i want to know what you would recommend as my first slr camera. i see you use a canon eos 5d, i’ve been looking at the canon eos 400d (10mp). Would you say the difference is worth saving a bit longer to get the big daddy? I’d also be looking at getting a fantastic lens with great depth of field.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-05-04 18:45:19

Carin… the EOS 400D should be good enough for shooting stocks. In fact, if you see my equipment list, I still have the old 6.3 MP Canon 300D (now discontinued) on the list.. More than 1/2 of my submitted photos were shot with this camera. For the lens, I’d start off with the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS which is a pretty good lens. Then for outdoor portrait, you can’t go wrong with Canon 70-200mm f/2.8. This lens will give you beautiful bokeh and is very sharp too.

Comment by carin
2007-05-09 04:56:35

…thanks for the advice.

Comment by Rafael
2007-05-10 15:45:53

I just want to thank you for your effort and candor to explain to us your experience with the different Stock sites, I will defenetly try them.
Congratulations on your photos they are all great.

Comment by John Wilde
2007-05-11 07:41:38


Do you know any good free artifacts reduction software?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-05-12 00:41:54

Rafael.. Thank you for your kind words, much appreciated. :)

John… I’m currently using this software. Hope that helps.

Comment by BG
2007-05-13 12:58:18

This may be a stupid question, but here goes anyway: Would a Kodak EasyShare C310 provide photo quality acceptable to get a start selling photos online? If not, what would be your recommendations? Thank you!

Comment by bh
2007-05-16 16:23:08

I have a question regarding model and building release forms. Do you need a model release form if cannot see the person’s face? For example, in your gallery over at photblog you have a person in the water with a sack on their head with their back towards you. I also came across something called a building release form. When would you need this and how would you get the form signed? For example, you have several pictures of the skyline of cities with a number of buildings in them.


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-05-16 17:49:28

BG… I’d recommend at least an entry level DSLR camera such as Canon EOS 400D or Nikon D40 to start off..

bh.. Nope you don’t, and here’s a note on property release: A property release must be obtained where identifiable property is included in an image that might sensibly lead to the identity of the owner of the property. Hope that helps.

Comment by Tami
2007-05-18 03:42:20

The software that you stated above that you use did you do the free download or did you buy it? It stated that it was free but with some limitations so I was wondering what limitations. Thanks So Much

Comment by carin
2007-05-18 07:42:53

Hey there. I’ve been registered on bigstockphoto, dreamstime. 123rf and fotolia for about 2 months now, and i am constantly amazed at how seemingly randomly each website accepts and rejects my submissions. As a result, when I have new images ready for upload, I upload them all to all the websites, and then it’s pretty interesting to see who wants what, though I’m not quite seeing a trend yet. My question to you, as a seasoned uploader and profiteer, would be the following: do you submit images exclusively with any of the above agencies, and do you determine individual pricing on your images, or do you submit randomly and use recommended pricings? Your images are incredible, and I’m just wondering whether your generated revenue is mostly down to mass downloads, or clever pricing and exclusivity control on your part.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-05-18 17:38:01

Tami.. Please visit this page to see the comparisons

Comment by Chris
2007-05-20 06:35:49

Thanks for your detailed info. I checked into this last year but didn’t do anything. Your series of earnings and other info has prompted me to look at it again much more seriously this time.

I just wanted to mention for some people who are struggling with the cost of getting a good camera and lens. I bought my Canon 20D and L lenses second hand. I’d say it’s better to have a good second hand camera/lens then a lesser capable but shiny new one. Last year’s model goes for an incredible discount in price and works just as good. When Canon comes out with the successor to the 5D – then the 5D will be THE camera to get second hand for sure.


Comment by eugene
2007-05-20 08:03:10

Hey, nice website and great tips

I see you have a lot of ads on the blog
Are you earning a lot from this blog?

great article and comments, keep it up

Comment by Robert Visintine
2007-05-20 09:00:00

This is a very interesting site. I intend to follow up with some of the URLs you mention as well as other links. Although I have several, my favorite camera at this time is the Cannon D20.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-05-20 22:55:19

Carin.. I just upload the photos to all the websites and not worry about submit images exclusively with any of the agencies. I also use the recommended pricing…

Chris.. That’s really a good advice, thank you for that.

Eugene.. It’s enough to pay for the hosting every month.. ;)

Robert.. Did you mean the 20D?

Comment by Brett Simpson
2007-05-22 00:49:20

Great blog and website you have! A quick question, as I’m finally getting into selling stock – you mention that most of your shots are ‘landscapes’, but when I look at your photoblog the majority I see include people/faces/babies, etc…

So, I really wonder, do you know what the percentage is that you sell of Landscapes compared to shots with People in them?

It makes big difference for me, as I shoot mostly landscapes/nature, etc, Should I concentrate on getting people shots?

Keep up the excellent site and blogs… -Brett

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-05-22 22:00:40

Brett.. Most photos in my photoblog are personal works only. I don’t submit all of them to the agencies. The site is created as a visual playground for me for experimenting with new angle, photoshop techniques etc.

Like I said before, most photographers say that people photos always sell really good.. So, I guess you should start shooting people.. or, shoot everything and see which photos selling best. By doing that you’d know which subject you’re good at..

For the percentage, I think mine is around 60/40 for landscape..

Comment by temis
2007-05-23 07:03:05

I would like to ask if your sales were so good immediately or it took some time before starting to sell pictures. I mean did they buy your images immediately?

Comment by carin
2007-05-24 21:33:29

could you maybe tell me what your name is on dreamstime so i can check out your portfolio with them?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-05-26 01:31:40

Ternis.. If you submit ‘OK’ photos to Shutterstock, you’ll see some sales right after your photos have been approved.

Carin..what’s your username on dt?..I’ll send you a sitemail.. ;)

Comment by carin
2007-05-27 01:09:17

my username is on dt is carix. i’m feeling a bit down on myself at the moment ’cause i’ve just had a look at the shutterstock website and all the pics on there are sooo good. they won’t have my pics (yet), and i can’t say i blame them. it seems just impossible to get anywhere near the clean, crisp, sharp images that are required by shutterstock and istockphoto, using my current camera (powershot). i’ve got constant problems with the focus, there’s constant noise, and by the time i’ve cleaned it up as much as i can with photoshop, any sharpness i had is gone. i’m really looking forward to getting my new camera and lenses, to give myself a real chance of making a go of this. i’ve decided to go for the canon eos 5d, and the lenses you recommended. a bit of money’s coming our way and i don’t want to have to upgrade again soon. anyway, hope you didn’t mind me having a bit of a sob on your blog… you could charge by the hour

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-05-27 03:49:09

Carin.. I just posted a comment on one of your beautiful photos. Feel free to reply it to my e-mail

Comment by Kathryn
2007-06-05 14:42:23

Does anyone know the legal issues surrounding selling images of logos/company signs?

Comment by Daniella
2007-06-06 04:54:37

Kathryn.. your images will be rejected by the agencies if it contains company logos, trademarks, third-party images and brands.

Comment by Chris
2007-06-06 20:13:43

I see you have updated your May earnings. It seems to be pretty consistently above $2000 nowadays – which is excellent. I am very curious about a rough average earning per download figure. I have been doing various calculations and it seems like some sites pay so little per download. If you take your total downloads and divide the gross income into that to get a income per download figure – can you estimate roughly what that would be? I’d like to get a reasonable figure to plug into a spreadsheet to estimate how many photos vs. downloads volume vs. earnings.


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-06-12 14:01:44

Hi Chris.. Usually I never bother to count the total download of my images across the agencies. I’m just happy with the extra money comes to my paypal account every month :P But, hey.. I might just start to do this at the end of this month..

Comment by viva Subscribed to comments via email
2007-07-24 03:54:47

Hello Chris,

Have you succeeded in making your excell file accurate? We all here would love to see it! If I can search something 4 you let me now and thank you for taking the time to read this request.

Comment by barb
2007-06-07 06:24:40

Wow, very informative article. I even read all the comments too to see if you addressed this question about model releases but it hasn’t come up, so my question is each agency seems to have their own personalized model release. Does this mean that you would have to know before you take the photo which agency you were going to submit the photo to and give the model the appropriate model release form? Would it not be possible to use a generic model release form in case you end up uploading the photo to several different agencies?

Thanks in advance for all your helfpul advice!

Comment by Emma
2007-06-08 04:45:43

This has been discussed on the article above under ‘Good Stock Photographs’ section.

Comment by TuxRacer69 Subscribed to comments via email
2007-06-08 22:47:25

I like this review and discovered also the graph from Alexa.
I tried to understand how site site compute its ranking information and discovered it uses the data sent by a toolbar your install in your web browser. Unfortunately I can not participate to this information tracking as I use Firefox and do not want to use IE.
You saw how all sites listed here drops in the number of hits (not really in percentage). Is that because more and more people use Firefox?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-06-12 13:47:53

It might be the case..or it might be just one of those slow months of the year.. you’ll never know.

I reckon google should provide a service like this as you said..more and more people are using firefox/IE with google toolbar rather than IE with alexa bar, so the data should be more accurate.

Comment by sam
2007-06-10 07:19:02

hi i’d just like to say what a great site this is! i was just wondering if anyone could help me in finding software which helps to reduce noise on the picture that i take. anyone know of any?



Comment by Chris
2007-06-11 01:54:45


There are sevreral well known ones. I’ve used Neat Image and it works well. Another one is Noise Ninja. For more just google “photo noise reduction”. I think Neat Image still has a free version.

Chris :)

Comment by Emma
2007-06-11 02:03:03

I’m currently using Noiseware to help me reduce noise on my images. Got it from this link:

Comment by sam
2007-06-12 04:00:04

thank you for your help! just another quick one what ftp software would you recommend to upload photos?


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-06-12 13:44:42

Sam, I’ve been using CuteFTP for ages.. you can get the home version for $40. If you’re looking for a free FTP client, try Filezilla..

Comment by Chris
2007-06-13 19:23:12

You might want to look at SmartFTP. It’s pretty good. It is free for personal/educational use. It’s quite complete as well.
Chris :)

Comment by sam
2007-06-14 02:54:38

wow! thank you all you’ve all been so helpful! just wondering if any1 else has found their pictures harder to get accepted by shutterstock than others such as fotolia? is their a reason for this???


Comment by Andrew
2007-06-14 21:47:54

Sam.. I think it’s just because SS currently has close to 2 million images and they add around 25000 photos/week. I guess they just don’t want to waste their hard disk space on ‘not-so-good’ stock photographs


Comment by Alexander Park Subscribed to comments via email
2007-06-16 19:32:34

I have a little bit different side of questions.
All those companies who buy and sell photos have Business Model Patent?
Photographers upload their photos and website companies sell and pay to photographers- this might be a good business model itself. Why nobody registered a patent?
I saw one business model patent exactly the way Shutterstock or other companies are doing in South Korea.
I am also thinking about opening a website for photo agency, that’s why I am interested.
Thank you.

Comment by Joao
2007-06-24 07:53:16


Thanks for this site, it has helped me much.

I´d like to add my input to “BG” comment respecting to his camera the Easyshare C310.

I also hope that others that may not have DSRL cameras may find this post encouraging.

I have become a member at bigstockphoto, and have uploaded some photos there that were done with a Kodak Easyshare C300, and they were accepted thanks to God. However, I edited these photos in a image editor to improve color, saturation, warm, and noise reduction, basically.

I also wanted to give this link,, it´s a man that compares his 3000 dollar (though his equipment costs 5000) camera (Canon 5D) against a 150 dollar Canon A350. See the results for yourself. :)

Also, for beginners (like me) you may want to check out HDR photography, which stands for “High Dynamic Range” and you can learn more at:, this can greatly improve your images no matter if you own a cheap camera or a high end one. I would earnestly recomend you to try it out, as it can make your pictures to stand out, specially landscapes. See more examples of this technique by going here:


Comment by Mike Subscribed to comments via email
2007-06-27 06:39:36


I recently split the cost of a Sony Alpha A100 with my mom, and I’ve been looking into this a bit. However, I am under 18 so I dont know how these companies will handle that. SS didnt say anything about age at all. So, Im wondering what you recommend? Should I sign up with my info, or just use my moms? Thanks.


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-06-27 12:36:55

Mike.. I think you should shoot them an email before you sign up asking about this matter. They should be able to give you a clear explanation. All the best!

Comment by fred lucato
2007-06-29 02:25:47

I have 700 pic in 123rf and 600 in fotolia from May. I mean approved pictures. I haven’t seen such a good earnings as you but just some small money. Is it because your pictures are really stunning or it takes sometime before you see good results?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-06-29 09:59:28

Fred.. feel free to browse my portfolio to see what kind of pictures I’ve submitted to the agencies. Usually I can see immediate good result after my photos have been approved in ss but not in other agencies.

Comment by carin
2007-07-12 23:50:25

hello! do you have any time saving tips for uploading/keywording my files? I seem to spend ages and ages going through the various websites’ (I’m on 7 now) uploading pages. Does there exist a kind of connection or something whereby I can upload my files to the various agencies at a click of a button? :) thanks!

Comment by Andrew
2007-07-13 11:13:25

I do my keywording in photoshop. Usually I make a keyword template for landscape photos, people photos, etc so I don’t have to type everything all over again for each file. Finsih with that I upload all my files with FTP program to each agency (except for IS). It’s pretty easy, you just have to drag all files on the left window to the right window like in windows explorer and let the program works while I sleep at night. Then it comes to the most daunting task which is setting categories to each photo in each agency which takes a little bit of time. Hope it helps.

Comment by Tricia Subscribed to comments via email
2007-07-30 02:03:13

What is the best iso setting for landscapes, macro shots, & interiors of homes?

Comment by Igor Subscribed to comments via email
2007-08-02 02:18:22


To my mind the best iso is always the lowest possible iso available
for you in particular situation. As far as I know the higher iso the higher
the noise! However, the shutter speed also matters. The longer the
exposition the higher the noise! Taking all this into account I would
use tripod, set iso = 100 (the lowest on my Nikon D80) set the
appropriate shutter speed, make a picture and see how it looks like.
I would also try the same procedure with iso = 200, 300 and probably
higher to compare the results. Only after these tests you can tell which
iso/shutter speed is better for your case.

Hope this helps,

Comment by Ant Subscribed to comments via email
2007-08-02 07:01:32

Hi ya, just trying to click through to your blog. Am very interested to see some of your sample photos.

Am I doing something wrong?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-08-02 08:37:52

Hi Ant, the link has been fixed.. thank you for your notice.. ;)

Comment by Ant Subscribed to comments via email
2007-08-02 21:16:02

No trouble… that’s a great folio you got there – I can see why you’re earning such good money. Have you had formal training? It looks like the work of a seasoned pro…

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-08-06 16:21:16

thank you for your kind words..and no, I still haven’t got the time to do a formal photography course :( Been busy my day job, some websites, and lately with my 4 months old baby boy.. :D

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Zander
2007-08-11 11:27:41

I was wondering if it is safe to enter all of the passport information and the credit card numbers. Why do they do that? What sites are safe?

Comment by Dave
2007-08-14 20:41:32

They might use it to avoid fraud. I think because many ‘photographers’ submit others people works to the agency. Just my 2 cents.

Comment by T. Cartwright
2007-08-18 12:19:47

Hi All, I’ve been taking photos of landscape for ages and now I want to expand my portfolio by taking people photos. The thing is that I’m having problem directing people to get the pose that I want. Has anyone got any tips on directing the models? Where do you get your posing ideas?

Many thanks…

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-08-19 17:21:55

You can download the model posing guides here:

Comment by Ian Harling
2007-08-18 22:20:09

Hi. I’m a photographer and photograph collector. I have a very large collection of B+W shots gong back to the early days of photography, mostly non-portrait or unusual, with a lot of newspaper shots from the 40′s and before. Firstly, is there any demand for B+W early photo’s? Secondly, I assume that agency shots taken for newspapers have lapsed from copyright after 50 years, is this the case?

Thanks for your help, great site,


Comment by Matt
2007-08-23 21:17:10

I don’t think there’s a lot of demand for B&W photos from the 40′s and before, but’ll never know until you try to submit them. My suggestion is you might want to ask the photo editor from each of the agency above before wasting any time submitting your photos.

Comment by Eric
2007-08-19 10:37:34

What a wonderful forum – it’s been fun to read through the posts over the past 2 years and see the development of an online community! Now for my questions – I’m very interested in aerial stock photography and I have two questions: 1. Any idea if there is much of a demand for this? 2. Any suggestions on DSLR’s (and/or lenses) that would work best in the ‘bumpy’ environment of an airplane cockpit? Thanks so much for any suggestions!

Comment by William
2007-08-23 21:24:57

Hi Eric, I’ve been submitting my photos for a year now..and let me try to answer your question;

1. I think there’s always a demand for aerial photography. I don’t think they have many photos from that niche..
2. I’m not really sure about this since I’ve never been taking photos from the cockpit.. But I think all the latest DSLRs from Canon should be fine since they have less noise so you can use high ISO to get eliminate any motion blur..

Comment by noirin Subscribed to comments via email
2007-08-22 21:52:13

hi, one question! Say you have 700 images on one site, im assuming the site does not accept 700 images straight off, so how long does it take to get to that level of images available for sale?


Comment by William
2007-08-23 21:28:31

I think you can upload as many photos as you want to the agencies like shutterstock, dreamstime & fotolia once you’ve been accepted.

Comment by Noirin Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-06 21:19:40

Cool thanks. Must get to work on getting my images online for sale. :)

Comment by Rocket
2007-08-28 12:12:14

Hi I have a question, will a Rebel XT 8 MP be good enough for taking quality and acceptable stock photos?

Comment by Mark
2007-08-28 23:16:07

I think you should be fine since almost 2/3 of my photos submitted to the agencies were shot with the 6MP Canon EOS 300D, and they’re selling pretty good.

Comment by Eric
2007-08-29 11:03:08

I’d like some advice on a purchasing a lens. I’m planning on shooting aerial stock photos (air to ground or landscapes, not air to air) and will typically be flying about 1000 feet over my subject (in a rather bumpy environment). I’ve decided to purchase a Canon Rebel XTi, but I’m not sure what lens to purchase for it. What should I look for in a lens?

I believe that the advantage of a zoom lens is the convenience and utility of not having to switch lenses between wide angle and telephoto shots, while prime lenses tend to provide a sharper photo – is that true?. If I did decide to go with a prime lens, what should I look for if I’ll be 1000 ft from the ground? In general, is it better to go with a manufacturer’s lens (in this case, a Canon), or will any SLR lens do (I can get a Tamron 28-33mm Image stabilized lens for $599, though that’s about $200 more than I’d like to spend). Does anyone have any suggestions or advice about a good lens for my situation?

Thanks in advance!

Comment by Mark
2007-08-31 11:13:46

So your budget is around $300, right? I’d recommend the Canon 28-135mm IS. Amazon currently has a pretty good deal on the lens ($305.04) and the lens users rate it 4.5/5. Beside you’d have the Image Stabilizer to eliminate motion blur when you shoot in a rather bumpu environment.

Hope that helps.

Comment by Micheal
2007-08-29 20:46:08

Excellent article. I started uploading photos 2 weeks ago and now have 50 across 5 of the six sites mentioned above. So far three sales. Thanks for the inspiration

Comment by Mark
2007-08-31 11:22:20

Back to my first upload days around a year ago..My only problem was I couldn’t stop looking at the stats. This thing can be so addictive!
I hope you don’t have the same problem as mine.. :P

Comment by Scott
2007-09-04 01:15:56

Hi, just wondering if you upload any photos since august’06, since it looks like your earning has been around 2K since that month and not moving up.. I remember reading this article for the first time around January 2006… and after 1.5 years in this business, I am now earning around 3k/month with approx 2000 photos for sale online. Well, it’s not that much compared to the other big guns in microstock industry..but, Hey! I’m really proud of it.. ;) ..So thank you for the inspiration!!!


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-09-06 09:53:41

My last upload was Jan’07 …uploaded around 80 photos that time, and that was it. Been busy with other projects and my 5 months old baby boy lately…
Well done with your earnings! It looks like you know how to take photo that sells. Keep shooting and uploading and before you know it you’ll be one of the big guns in microstock industry.. ;)

Comment by Ricky Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-05 03:14:40

Hi! I’m very curious about this business, and I’m wondering if there are good opportunities to earn quite money for newbies too(like myself) or mainly for the professionals who started one or two years ago.
Thanks…and sorry for my English (I’m Italian).

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-09-06 10:03:33

Ricky, please see FAQ no. 1 above.. Those big names in the industry were newbies too when they uploaded their first photos. All the best!

Comment by Julie Eydman
2007-09-06 05:22:48


These are interesting stats – it unveils the mystery about how much you can realistically make on microstock sites. If anyone is interested, is currently offering a free “Guide to Marketable Photography” which comprehensively explains how to achieve marketable images and also showcases hundreds of top-selling images.


Comment by Ken Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-07 15:28:23

Hi, may I know, as for Paypal, is it necessary to use Paypal Premier or Business Account to receive the payments? Or you just the Paypal Personal Account will do?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-09-07 17:35:52

Ken, you don’t need to use the Paypal Premier or Business Account to receive the payments.. Your Paypal Personal Account will do just fine..

Comment by Allie
2007-09-11 16:33:20

Wonderful information! Thank you sooooo much for being so open.

Just wondering, I have a Nikon E5000 and am wondering if it’s good for taking stock photos??? It seems to have noise sometimes, but I haven’t figured out yet if that’s some setting I’ve not yet found out about (it has lots and lots of settings). I’ve been wanting to get a D80 so can use the lenses I have already (for Nikon 35mm film).

The photos in your blog are wonderful to say the least. We all strive to be that good!

Thanks for your comment back :)
Keep up the good work!…

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-09-14 01:19:17

Allie, thank you for your kind words.. :)

I’d strongly recommend you to get a DSLR camera (eg. D40) and a good piece of glass if you want to take this seriously. With more photographers submitting their best photos every day, it’s just getting harder and harder to get your photos accepted by the photo editors from each site. All the best!

Comment by carin
2007-09-11 17:19:08

Hey, I still haven’t bought my new camera because i’m still hunting for the perfect option. At the moment my heart is set on the Nikon D200, which I want to get with the 70-200mm f2.8G ED-IF AF Zoom Nikkor lens. I am looking for a Nikkor lens which is compatible with your earlier suggestion of the 17-85mm f4-5.6 Canon lens. I’ve found a 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 version with Nikkor. I’m looking for a high performance lens which has no difficulty freezing motion. Do you know how these two compare? Bye!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-09-14 01:30:29

With the release of D300, the price of Nikon D200 should fall pretty soon, and that’s when you should get one.. I’m not familiar with nikkor glasses, but if you want to freeze motion, it’s better if you get a fast lens (f/2.8 or faster). Therefore, you can always keep your ISO setting down and avoid digital noise.

Comment by Sasho Z. Spirkoski
2010-05-18 07:42:22

I’m using the most basic lenses from Nikkor (they are implemented on my Nikon L16) and they do just fine, I’m really satisfied considering that the complete camera cost me only US$ 120, and that’s about 18 months ago… I have done a really sharp, clean and noiseless macro photos with those lenses. The focus is a bit slow, but hay, they are the most cheap thing you can get from Nikkor… btw. I’ve heard somewhere that NASA uses Nikkor lenses on some of their telescopes, and that is a pretty well recommendation to me ;)

Comment by Mrs McDreamy Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-14 12:14:45

Hi there

Great website :)

just wondering, some of the websites requires large size of photos to be accepted.For example in tiff format, and the size can be up to 50MB for each photo. My DSLR is only 8MP so what do you do? IS there a software when you can convert photos to tiff?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-09-16 15:37:28

You can use Genuine Fractals. I think the software is also recommended by Alamy.


Comment by Allie
2007-09-14 13:01:25

Thanks for your reply–I was thinking of a Nikon D40 before because of the price, but I already have two Promaster autofocus lenses plus filters and teleconverter for them. Someone told me they won’t work on the D40. Is this true or do I still need a D80??

Thanks again for your comments. I learned a lot from your site–hope you keep it up!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-09-16 18:58:49

Allie, I shoot with Canon camera and lenses, so I’m not really sure how to answer your question.. But you can join Nikon forum at I think The forum members there should be able to help you..

Comment by Joshua Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-16 21:41:12

Hey love the site,
Im thinking about getting the Canon Rebel XTI, and i noticed earlyer you said that you upgraded from this camera i beleave and have had higher acceptance rates of your photos. Im pretty much getting the camera for school but figured hey why not make money with the photos i’ll be taking for class lol :) then again i love to take pictures. So do you recomend this paticular camera based on its Noise Factor?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-09-18 02:10:12

Joshua, that’s a perfect camera to start with… It’s even better that the Canon’s Digital Rebel XT and XTi DSLRs are now available at new low prices. I’d recommend the 17-85mm IS lens to go with this camera.

Comment by Azhar
2007-09-16 22:56:32

I would appreciate if you could help me out here…
Firstly great article. When you start selling online, when someone licenses your photo, what if they start reproducing it and selling it? How can you prevent it? And won’t you be just giving it away for them to exploit?
Also, I am 17 and run India’s most popular photoblog at, I have a very strong portfolio of over 100+ potential selling images (I have shot over a 1000 like you but I doubt all will sell), I am just about to apply to my universities for my BFA, so I can’t risk any of my photos getting into the wrong hands. I need to start earning to somehow fun a nice laptop for myself =D

Also (sorry, this is the 3rd also =D) so you sell prints? Like any luck with Imagekind?

Sorry to ask so many questions, but I hope you find the time to answer them.

Again, a great guiding article for all of us amateurs out there.
Thanks again!

Comment by carin
2007-09-20 02:33:19

just had another look through your awesome portfolio on your photoblog. My especial favorites are ‘pray’ and ‘heaven on earth’. how do you achieve that dreamlike, softened quality, and keep the focus clear? i’ve been playing with different filters on photoshop, and blurs, diffuse glow etc., but i can’t quite seem to get that soft, even feel and keep it sharp. would appreciate a tip from the top.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-09-23 11:24:02

hey Carin, can you give me the links?


Comment by ckalt Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-20 23:45:52

hi all
after reading this article and others similar to it i decided to give selling photos online a go, I started a week ago and had my first sale today.

If anyone is interested im keeping a blog of how it goes

comments and suggestions welcome!

Comment by Teresa
2007-09-23 00:55:17

Is shutterstock still accepting photographers? I signed up for an account this morning and I can’t navigate around the website at all. I wanted to submit the initial 10 photos for approval. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Teresa

Comment by Ray
2007-09-23 11:33:09

I can navigate the site all right with no problem.

However, most website do their site maintenance on the weekend when they have less traffic (visitors). In doing so they might have to turn off some of the site features. So this might be the case why you’re having problem accessing their site.

Comment by Courtney
2007-09-25 09:00:12


I have recently started in the microstock game and was wondering about earnings consistency.
I notice you mentioned your last upload was Jan 07, and it looks ike your earnings have just started to drop off.
Have you found that your earnings usually drop off if you stop uploading for a while, or do they stay fairly consistent?


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-09-27 22:21:00

Yup, when you stop uploading pictures, you’ll find your earning dropping off gradually since most photo buyers only buy the latest good photos submitted and there are many2 great photographers submitting their images everyday. So keep your portfolio fresh with great images. Good luck!

Comment by Sare
2007-09-25 13:46:06

Do you have to sign away copyright on all pics sold online??

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-10-04 14:44:37

You must own the copyright of your works..but, don’t worry to add a copyright watermark to your photos.

Comment by emi Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-27 21:16:29

Hi Paul,

What are the standard resolution and ASA recommended for selling online?

I used to photograph alot before the digital revolution and am interested to start again, since I am getting a camera tomorrow.

Please advice. thank you.


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-10-04 14:48:36

Emi.. I think the minimum resolution is like 3072 x 2048 pixel (6 MP) ..the recommended ASA if you’re planning to shoot with a digital camera is always 100 or lower to avoid digital noise.

Comment by Courtney
2007-09-28 05:43:52

Thanks for your advice, much appreciated.


Comment by Destiny
2007-09-29 04:53:30

I see you manage to sell with BigStock and the other agencies simultaneously. Do you offer any extended licenses that might require you to pull a photo for a client exclusively? If so, how do you manage it with the photo being listed somewhere like BigStock that says you have no rights to pull the photo for at least 90 days?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-10-04 14:50:43

I never sell my photos exclusively to a client..

Comment by Anne
2007-09-30 23:40:06

Hi dphotojournal,
Congratulations for your great earning. I’m very surprised reading that your 2k income boosted after your vacation to Indonesia. I live in a tropical country and getting crazy shooting pictures everyday. However, the images is not good enough I think to be uploaded. I’m using Canon PowerShot A460 5MP. Do you think it’s not the camera weakness, but the photographer, that’s me!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-10-04 14:54:42

Yeah..most photos were taken at the beautiful hotels swimming pool and beaches in Bali.. I must say it’s really a beautiful place. Great for your travel stock photos theme

Comment by CRISTIAN GALLI Subscribed to comments via email
2007-10-03 08:04:15

Hi,thanks for this important information…..EXIST SOME STOCK FOTO COMPANY THAT CAN ACCEPT MY 1600X 1200 size foto’s?
i shot this fotos with a powershot por1 canon,but i don’t use 8 mpx …i make all the foto with the size 1600×1200.
sorry for my english,….. thanks cristian

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-10-04 14:58:11

Hi Christian, I’m not really sure.. You might want to ask the agency regarding your question since each agency have its own rule regarding the minimum image resolution that can be submitted.

Comment by Izo Subscribed to comments via email
2007-10-03 10:28:05

I just wonder : how many time did you spend entering the info for every picture ? Do you have a secret method ? I spent a few hours trying to enter every practical and useful info on every picture and it’s hard to manage !


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-10-04 15:09:32

Photoshop CS2 has the batch keywording / batch titling feature to make your life easier. I think there is also an EXIF/IPTC plugin in for Irfanview which may work with batches. It’s free, so not harm in exploring the possibilities.

Comment by Frances
2007-10-03 15:14:23

yes i had a question what size photos should i take to start?

Comment by Mike
2007-10-05 15:08:12

As for model release compensation, how much would you normally give to an indivdual? What about for photos taken overseas during maybe a crises or something (child poverty,etc.)?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-10-10 11:43:22

Try to you visit model sites like, you can get a photoshoot with an amateur model who’s trying to break into the business for “free”.

In most cases, they usually ask for TFP (Time for Pictures) or TFCD (Time for CD). So you give them prints or a cd with pictures, in exchange for the time they spent modeling for you.

Hope that helps.

Comment by emi Subscribed to comments via email
2007-10-05 20:43:55

thanks for the answers.

My photos are already 10mpixel, is it still neccesary to interpolate it?
I tried doing it on my photoshop, and my image did not expand to 48mb but still stayed at 1mb. what did i do wrong?

With a 10mpixel size image, i doubt interpolating is still necessary? i am confused.

thanks again!

Comment by Ray
2007-10-09 20:34:29

Emi, I don’t think you’ll need to interpolate your images. Unless if you’re submitting for Alamy

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-10-10 11:47:05

Ray is right. In fact, you’re NOT allowed to interpolate your photos when submitting your photos to some of the sites mentioned in this article.

Comment by Alexandra
2007-10-09 18:13:24

Hi there! Thanks so much for your information, I actually spent a night reading it all and now it feels like I’ve been through a kind of a University course.:)))
I still have 3 questions though -
1) I live and work in Russia, paypall doesn’t exist here :(((( As for checks, they will take a long time to get here( in case they do get here). Have you ever heard of an alternative to paypall?
2)You said you try not to retouch your photoes. Do you mean you don’t change the “intense” of the colours as well( like making blue more blue and so on)?And if you do,how do the agencies react on that?
3)What about a digitally made b&w photo? Have you ever sold one or heard of those being sold?( the same about sepia)

Thanks in advance for any replies! And good luck and a kind “muse”:) to you all!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-10-10 12:02:27

Hi Alexandra, great to hear that the article can be very useful to some people..

1. I think some of them also have Moneybookers as option. But, I’m not sure whether it’s available in Russia. The best thing is asking this question in their forum. Most of them have a very active forum, and I’m sure there are many Russian photographers who are willing to help you.

2. Increasing contrast or add more saturation to your photos will be just fine. Just don’t apply photoshop filters such as artistic effects, sketch etc to your photos.

3. In many cases people who download your photos are designers who know how to do that easily in photoshop. Converting your photos to BW is just limiting yourself to other potential buyers who want to use the color version of your photos. So, I won’t bother converting them to BW. I better use my time to do keywording or to take more photos..

Comment by Angarato Subscribed to comments via email
2007-10-31 02:55:59


You also can find an awesome Russian resource
To my mind this is an excellent Russian forum
where you will find a lot of info you are
interested in in particular.



Comment by nels
2007-10-19 02:08:24

Great and Informative postings,
I was wondering how you format the IPTC tags? I’ve been playing around with them and cannot get the tags to register on any of the sites. IE, I’ve tried things like “keywords; cute, baby, etc” but have had no luck. Any help would be great.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-10-19 20:20:42

Nels, I did my IPTC in Photoshop (File > File Info) and never have had any problem. You might want to ask them about why their system can not read your embedded IPTC..

Comment by Pics
2007-10-20 11:01:30

It is amazing how the internet has opened the doors of the photography marketplace for so many people. It is nice to see people being rewarded for their passions.

Comment by Olu
2007-10-20 19:37:25

This article is great. Thank you for all of the useful information. I have one question though, what’s the difference between selling your photos royalty free and an exclusive buyout license? Does the exclusive buyout license refer to the fact that you’re tying yourself to that one stock photo company only?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-10-23 09:54:02

Olu… Yup, you’re right!

Comment by Ole A Subscribed to comments via email
2007-10-23 03:38:19

This is an excellent article, but i wonder if you have some advices for a first-timer of sellng pictures? Is there a place that is better for an amateur?

Best regards Ole

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-10-23 10:08:17

Ole, I honestly think that microstok site is the best place for amateur photographers who want to try to sell their photos. Each site has an active community where you can learn a lot from other photographers. I’ve seen many amateur photographers grow, and when I’m comparing their first uploaded photos to their current uploads..sometimes I just can’t believe that they were shot by the same photographer. It shows so much how these photographers skills has just got so much better.

Comment by affzan Subscribed to comments via email
2007-10-23 05:07:49


Looking at your photoblog, I think I know you from somewhere, photomalaysia forum perhaps?

Anyway, just like to congratulate you on your earnings. I’ve always dreamed of getting those kind of income every month, but so far not very impressive.

A quick question, how long does it take for you to start earning steadily from those microstock sites? I started a year ago but very rarely uploading until recently, hence my portfolio contains only 20 photos or so. I’m getting 1 or 2 downloads per week at the moment. What was the number like when you first started this microstock business?

Thanks a lot and keep up the good work!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-10-23 10:47:14

Affzan.. I broke $100/month when I’ve got around more than 100 photos on each site.. But I think it all depends on the quality of your photos rather than quantity. I know a photographer who has around 1500 photos but has less earning than me.. So, make sure you you know how to take high quality stock photos and upload only your best works..

Good luck!

Comment by affzan Subscribed to comments via email
2007-10-26 00:24:30

Thank you for your advice

I’m really happy with Shutterstock. I’ve just uploaded my first batch of 10 photos and 8 were accepted two days ago.

To my surprise, I’ve already generated $5.50 just from that 8 photos over the period of 2 days. This is much better than what I get with the same photos in fotolia and other microstock agencies. But of course, fotolia is much more forgiving than shutterstock in terms of rejecting photos

I can’t wait to upload more. At the moment I’m planning to set up my DIY home studio, using floodlight, boxes, white cloth and papers etc. Might buy some umbrella and softboxes from ebay as well. This is for my children’s portrait shots. I was thinking of having white muslin as the background, 1 strobe with umbrella and another with softbox. I don’t know whether that gives me the look I want but maybe that’s a start

Do you have any suggestion on very cheap studio lighting equipment?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-10-28 23:27:51

Affzan, That’s pretty good!
Get used to see your earnings increase immediately after uploading new photos on Shutterstock from time to time.

You can buy cheap studio lighting equipment made in china on ebay. I bought mine from a local shop in Melb for about US$1000. I think it’s a bargain since that includes 3 lights with 3 softboxes, and other accessories (light-stand, barn door, honeycomb, etc), 4 different background colors, background stand, and a flash trigger.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by CD
2007-10-31 03:00:57

My husband is a wonderful amateur photographer
(I am not so bad either) who is involved with several local camera clubs where he is winning recognition and awards. We recently put together a website to sell his photos (no one even knows it’s there yet); but would also like to get into stock phototgraphy sales as we plan to retire within the next 5 years and would love to do this full time. If we sign up with some of these stock agencies can we still sell the photos on our our website? Do our photos need to be officially copyrighted? What stock agencies do you recommend as the best for sales of landscapes, flowers, animals and lighthouses? These are his specialties. Thanks!!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-11-14 08:26:07

Yes you can, as long as you are not being exclusive to any agency and you’re selling all your photos as Royalty Free.

Comment by john Subscribed to comments via email
2007-11-02 01:19:41

SO is shutterstock free?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-11-14 08:26:39

Yes, it’s absolutely free.

Comment by john Subscribed to comments via email
2007-11-24 02:48:06

n do u have to send in like a id card or passport?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-11-28 08:27:35

When I applied to SS 2 years ago, yes I did have to send in a copy of my passport. But the rule might have changed now..

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by john Subscribed to comments via email
2007-11-29 07:24:38

Ok thx :)

Comment by Maurice
2007-11-07 03:08:06

Hi there, thanks for the good info.
I have a question though,
When do you become bronze to diamond with istockphoto?

I was wondering how you get higher up. Lets say you have uploaded and sold some Royalty Free photos and there is one very good photo that just as well could be a Rights-Managed photo on gettyimages. How do you get there. Do you get invited or anything ? And the image you submitted, you can’t suddenly decide to go ask 300 dollars for it once its been Royalty free. am i right ?


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-11-14 08:33:00

You’ll be a diamond when you have 25,000-200,000 downloads.

I’m not really sure with your next question since I still have around 1000 downloads to go for my diamond. You might want to check out the IS forum to get the answer.

Comment by Chris
2007-11-15 22:56:14


Fantastic article – inspired me to buy a DSLR!

I`ve been looking at the 400D/40D but I read somewhere that the EF-S lenses (such as the 17-85mm IS lens you mentioned earlier), wont work with later models, such as the 5D (which you have). Is this the case? Did you have to sell the EF-S lens when you upgraded?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-11-23 07:10:34

The reason why the EFs lens won’t work with 5D is because 5D is a full-frame digital camera whilst the EFs lenses only work on Canon digital cameras with 1.6x crop factor. like 300D, 40D, 400D, & 30D.

When I upgraded to 5D, the only EFs I had was the kit lens (EFs 18-55mm) so I didn’t bother to sell it. Besides, I have a plan to use my 300D as an infrared DSLR.

Hope that helps.

Comment by JH
2007-11-25 00:31:37

There’s a site called PhotoFront (link here) that lets you sell unlimited photos and/or stock photos with no commissions. Sounds promising.

Comment by scott
2007-11-30 15:36:30

Hi i’m new at this but have a Megxon X33 camera how
do you download your photos from your camera to your computer?


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-12-13 23:11:50

I’m not sure about your camera, but generally all digital cameras come with a software where you can download your photos from your camera to your computer..

Comment by Richard
2007-12-02 14:05:54

You should have mentioned something about fair trade stock photography. Why would you let someone pay you a dollar for a photo that they are going to use to make thousands of dollars? Why would you spend thousands of dollars on equipment and transportation–to say nothing of the time and effort to gain the necessary skills–only to sell your photo at slave wages? These microstock sites are undercutting professional photography by enticing people who are so ignorant about the trade that they don’t even know or care what a good photo is worth.

Comment by Lenner
2007-12-03 07:14:45

Thanks for all the info! You mentioned that you used budget sigma lenses with your canon 350D in you “early” days. What sigma lens would you recommend with the 350D? What sigma’s did you use? Let me put it this way. What budget sigma’s would your recommend that will do the job. Do all sigma lenses fit the 350d? I would love to get cannon lenses, but I just don’t have the cash. What do you think about the Sony alpha? Thanks. Take care.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-12-13 23:52:58

I used sigma 12-24mm for wide, 70-300mm APO II for longer shots and 24-70 for portraits..

Hope that helps.

Comment by Max Subscribed to comments via email
2007-12-04 04:51:05

thanks for the great site. Could you tell me what size each image should be in order to be accepted. Is tiff ok?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2007-12-13 23:59:17

I think the minimum is still 6 MP. You might want to check the image submission requirements on each agency for more detail.

Comment by Phase4Photography
2007-12-20 13:26:03

Thanks for the great information! I check back frequently to see how you are doing and you always have informative posts. It’s great to see how fellow microstockers are doing!

Comment by erwin
2008-01-10 14:34:35

Thank’s for the tips,

But I’v something else to say:
Be careful if you send to the subscription agenceis model, consider this:

1. subscription sales are much more destructive for the business as a whole, than microstock in general. Subscriptions enable customers to build large image archives that reduces the need to download photos in the future and thus our (photographer) profit potential.

2. average subscribers only use about 15 – 30% of the full potential of their membership. This means that most pictures in a subscription sell at a 5-6USD price-point in average, giving us about 25 cents in commission. A bottom-line commission of about 5 percent. Even if I was totally wrong and every subscriber actually downloaded the double of what I have heard, the commission would still only be 10%.

3. Same price at all size.

Downsize your image before send to the subscription model agencies.
this link is interesting

for photographer future, there is pay per photo and 70% share agency out there… is one of them

Comment by erwin
2008-01-11 17:29:09

here is another reason why photographers hate subscription agencies (shutterstock, dreamstime, 123rf):

4. Deep Discounts
First, in the business world, deep discounts are normally given to the best customers. Giving a deep discount (up to 35% off or more from the normal price) is understandable. But subscriptions go much, much deeper than that.

The approximate cost and royalty for a maximum size image is as follows at the top sites:

IS: $20 ($4)
DT: $8 ($4)
SXP: $10 ($5)
FT: $5 ($1.50)

So an artist will receive between $1.50 and $5 for a maximum size image from the largest sites.

If a customer buys lots of images, then a discount should be given. Giving discounts to large customers is good business. But most sites already have discounts for purchasing large token packages. For example, on IS if you buy 1500 credits, then you will receive a 34% discount. On DT, if you buy over 150 credits, then you will receive a 25% discount. On SXP, if you buy 500 credits, then you will receive a 20% discount.

But subscriptions go above and beyond these deep discounts. Almost to the point of giving away our images.

For example, on DT, a submitter receives 0.30 for a subscription. That is a 93% discount from the normal royalty (of $8 for a maximum size image with over 100 sales). On SXP, a submitter receives 0.30 for a subscription. That is a 97% discount from the normal royalty (of $10 for an XXL image).

5. Macro Buyers
Second, the buyers that are purchasing subscription packages are normally the large agencies that need lots and lots of images. These are the agencies that used to purchase macrostock images for $100s (if not $1,000s) of dollars apiece. These are the customers that could actually afford to purchase images individually (if needed). According to the financial news, this is a multi-billion dollar industry. They have deep pockets. But yet, they now want to offer them even deeper discounts (over 95% off) on images that are already cheap. It makes no sense

we are free to choose which better for us…

Comment by Pete Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-01 04:11:06

Great site, thanks for all the info.
Are there any stock sites that accept editorial images?
I have several images of buildings and sports events that i cannot get release forms for and wonder if i can use them in this way.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-02-08 23:22:54

You might want to try shutterstock & alamy to sell your editorial photographs

Good luck!

Comment by Jane
2008-02-24 10:34:29

I have three questions about selling photos online via micro stock photography sites such as Shutterstock, Fotolia, etc.

1) Do you have to pay sales tax on commissions earned from photo sales?

2)If a photo is sold to someone in another country do you have to declare the item and value on customs forms?

3)Do you recommend opening a business checking account for photo earnings in PayPal to be transferred to?

Comment by Timothy
2008-02-24 17:55:40

1. Yes, if you live in the USA. You’ll need to confirm this to the agency since you might need to fill up a tax form.
2. No
3. No, a personal paypal account should be fine.

Comment by Jane
2008-02-25 07:29:32

Thank you for your response, Timothy.

This article and the following comments have been a HUGE help for me as I have just started researching selling photos online.

Does anyone have a recommendation for the best pixel size for uploading photos to balance quality and saleability with speed of upload?
Thanks in advance!

Comment by Jane
2008-03-06 00:24:11

I just had my first three sample photos rejected by due to “artifacting when viewed at full size.” The photos were 4.9 MP, the quality setting on my camera was high and the HP Image Zone program I used was set on the lowest compression/highest quality setting for saving JPEG images.
1) Do you have any other recommendations to avoid compression artifacting?
2) I have a Panasonic DMC-FZ20 camera. Do I need a higher quality camera or different photo editing program?

Comment by Dejan Subscribed to comments via email
2008-03-07 06:45:43

Try to use TIFF mode. TIFF is “looseless” format with no artifacting.

JPEG is format with compressions and quality losing with EVERY saving during the image processing. More savings = more artifacts and the result is… rejection.

Process image in TIFF format and at the end of the process convert it in JPEG with max quality. And keep TIFF images for further modifications (eventually)!

Photo editing software: The best is Photoshop, but fairly expensive. Photoshop Elements is also very good and much cheaper.

If you can, try to acquire some DSLR camera (Canon or Nikon ;-)) and lenses. But I think that your camera is OK for the beginning.

Good luck!

PS: Sorry for my bad English.

Comment by Jane
2008-03-07 20:18:09

Dear Dejan,

Thank you so much for your prompt reply! It is very helpful! My Dad said that I might try shooting in TIFF and this confirms it. I did not want to have to get a new camera to start out with – maybe eventually (-: did ask me to submit three more samples, even though they had to reject the first three, so I think I’m doing o.k. with composition and lighting.

If you have the time, I have two more questions:

1) I have set the Noise Reduction to “high” on my camera under Picture Adjustment. If I use scene settings like “Party” for inside shots to get better color in the photo, or “Sports” for action shots, do I risk getting more artifacting and noise?

2) Is there a book you would recommend for learning stock photography?

I realize I have a ton to learn, but it is a great adventure! I do love taking photographs and it is great to think that I am a little closer to solving the artifacting/noise problem. (Also, It seems to me that artifacting and noise are a separate issue/problem from focus.)

Thanks again for your time!

(P.S. No need to apologize for your English – you communicate quite well!)

Comment by Dejan Subscribed to comments via email
2008-03-09 08:29:00

Hello Jane!

I’m very happy if you think that my words are usefully!

First of all: you wrote “I do love taking photographs…”. It is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing for success.

I didn’t have experience with your camera and I don’t know exactly (anybody knows here?) effects of settings in Picture Adjustments.

But some universal tips are:
Don’t shoot JPEGs; Shoot TIFFs (as you already know ;-)) and buy more memory cards because TIFFs are several times bigger than JPEGs.
Always use at least sensitivity as possible. In your case it is ISO 80. You can use ISO 100 nad try to forget ISO 200 and 400.
With TIFFs you will avoid artifactings, and with low ISO values you will avoid noise.
Use aperture values between 4 and 8 (4, 5.6, 8) for best lens performance.
Try to learn reading the histogram (use Google).
If you have pictures taken with higer ISO values (200 and 400) and with noticeable noise (eventually), try some of the following programs: Neat Image, Noise Ninja, Noiseware… for removing noise.

I have following books:
Digital Photography Book, Scott Kelby
The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers, Scott Kelby
Both of them are excellent. Visit and carefully check the whole site.

I also have this book:
Real World Digital Photography, Katrin Eismann, Tim Grey, Sean Duggan
Try to find this book. Explains (almost) everything.

I don’t have idea about the books especially for stock photography. These book will help you to understand photography (cameras, lenses, techniques, software…) and to make good/excellent photos. Almost every photo like that is suitable for stock.

Visit stock sites’ forums where you can find many advices, tips, tricks from first hand. Also, on these sites you can find official regulations.

Visit this, too: There you can find and download many of EXCELLENT movies about processing images in Photoshop.

…And this:

The best library is internet, and your best friend is Google. Include these words and phrases in the serches: photography tips and tricks, portrait lightening, studio lightening, lightening tips and tricks… Be imaginative.

Try to acquire DSLR one day. Find used body to save money for lenses (for example Canon’s 350/400D or Nikon’s D50/70/80). Bodie comes and goes, but good lens (lenses) stays for a long time.

If you are OK with composition and lightening, as you said, you will learn other important things for sure. With many of learning, effort, patience… your great adventure will paid-off and you will enjoy fruits of your work.

Be happy, have a good work and good luck!!!

…and read Kipling’s poem “IF” ;-)

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Jane
2008-03-09 15:47:11


Thank you, again, for such a SUPER, complete response! I am sure that it will be VERY HELPFUL to many other beginning photographers reading these comments as well.

I appreciate the reference to Rudyard Kipling’s poem, too. Hadn’t read it in years and it is a real encouragement to hold to one’s values and persevere!

With all those excellent websites and books you listed, I have enough homework for a few years, I think! Looking forward to learning it.

Many thanks and may God bless you abundantly for your generosity!


Comment by the_red
2008-03-11 22:48:09

hi..thanx a lot for yr info. since our earning is based on what people are searching for the pictures… so the question is..can i get the info on “the people demand” on the photo?

Comment by Dejan Subscribed to comments via email
2008-03-13 10:01:17

Carefully check out the stock sites. The answer should be yes.

Comment by Arunes
2008-03-19 04:08:34

I am from Tripura, which is a small state of INDIA. How can I get payment if I sell my photo in website. There are no international bank in this stae.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-04-07 02:35:12

The easiest way is to get payment by check or paypal. Ask your local banks if they would accept an overseas check. Good luck!

Comment by sam jackson
2008-04-13 21:37:07

hi, i loved your article, but when thinking about it its not really for me, my photographs arnt ‘stock’ photographs, as i am planning to sell them in gallerys for a lot more than .30c but i wanted to know if you know anywhere that i could put my images online for free and have a gallery or website of my work where i could sell it for a price i choose, or one thats a bit higher??

Comment by John
2008-04-14 23:47:39

Hello, thanks for all the info- most useful. Your photoblog is great. As a 17 year old uni student I am only a budding photgrapher with tight finances. I am not the greatest photographer (though am learning) however I do know my way around photshop well. I was wondering how much editing is acceptable to the upload of stock sites or even if it is ok whether you would recommend it or that graphic artists prefer to do that themselves (if they buy the liscence appropriate to do so).

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-04-23 08:40:57

Very little. Usually they prefer if you only do curve/level adjustments. Unless when you’re shooting people, many designers want people shot with clean white background. In this case, you can use your photoshop skills to remove the background.

If you’re also good in illustrations/3D imaging.. then this is the right place to sell your works.

Good luck!

Comment by Misha
2008-04-16 10:15:44

Wow! This is amazing. I have been thinking of selling my photos online for years, but now I am really trying to DO it… and this is a great idea. I am glad that I happened upon your site! Thanks


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-05-28 04:55:49

Good luck MIsha!

Comment by Courtney
2008-05-05 20:39:12


I started in the stock game last year, and your article was a great help. Thankyou!

I am working on a mac and am now looking for a way to upload to multiple sites using one piece of software. Do you use one or have any recommendations?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-05-28 04:57:55

I’ve heard about this software but actually never used them myself..


Comment by Cynthia Blue
2008-05-06 15:20:36

Thanks for the info, great post I’ll be checking these companies out.

Comment by Brian
2008-05-26 12:57:23

Hi! a friend recommended i do this and your page is the first one i came upon looking into the opportunity. great description! i’m looking forward in trying it myself for i’ve been offered and paid money before for some shots i took. I looked at your pictures on and they look fantastic. if it’s ok with you, how can i make a similar photo collection page like yours? best regards!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-05-28 05:00:13

I use pixelpost software for my photoblog. You can download tons of themes for free. Just google it, sure you’ll find them!

Comment by Shubha Subscribed to comments via email
2008-06-01 03:45:23

Lovely positive vibes visiting your site/blog – congratulations and many thanks to you !

I was wondering: I took shots of random village kids and got lovely smiles….but now, how will I ever get a model contract for them, I could never go back and locate them/their parents! Does this mean I cannot sell these shots as stock?

Glad for any tips.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-06-02 02:42:25

You still can submit them as editorial stock photos.

Comment by Shubha Subscribed to comments via email
2008-06-02 08:44:16

Thanks, Rusyanto! I hope that is your name?!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-06-12 17:56:06

No worries and all the best!

Comment by wan Subscribed to comments via email
2008-06-03 19:43:42

This is great..thanks..

Comment by Eddie
2008-06-22 08:09:04

Hi all,
Great blog, verry informative.

I have a legal question. I’ve just returned from mexico and have some great shots of children in a Myan village. I did have a model release form but the children and their parents were illiterate. Our tour guide did translate and the mother was happy to release images of her children but was unable to complete the form. I would prefer to use iStock for my images. Is there a work around for this situation?

Would really appreciate your help!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-06-23 21:48:10

Hi Eddie,

You might want to ask the agency where you want to submit those images to.. As far as I know, the rule is pretty simple, no model release means you can only sell your photos as editorial stockphoto.

Good luck!

Comment by Joe
2008-07-11 15:41:28

I have a Kodak z810. Is this camera capable of taking the 4 mp pictures required for submission?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-07-25 04:21:12

I’d strongly recommend that you use at least a 6 MP DSLR camera.

Comment by mainephotonut
2008-07-16 15:15:47

It took me two days…but I finally read your entire post + comments.

While I was reading it I kept asking myself..”what’s the catch…why is he disclosing all this…what does he have to gain by doing so?”

In the end, I realize that your a fellow photographer looking to further enhance his craft, and sharing tips and tricks along the way.
Isn’t that what it’s all about?

I thank you very much.


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-07-25 04:26:24

Good luck Kevin!

Comment by Phil
2008-07-17 08:58:59

I have taken thousands of photos in the past of a child who lives with my wife and I. Do these photo’s require a release from the childs’ guardian even though they are my own personal work?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-07-25 04:29:05

Yes, every photo with recognizable faces will require a signed model release.

Comment by Dr Michael Bellamy Subscribed to comments via email
2008-07-31 12:48:23

I’m currently selling and doing well on I.S. but as exclusive. What I simply cannot understand is that the agreement says I cannot use rejected photos on any other site, but why?

If they reject them then why can’t I sell them on S.S.? I just recently opened an account on S.S. It’s a wonderful site.

Is this even legal for them (i.S.)to deny me the chance to sell photos which I believe can do quite well on another site?

Comment by Baki Toktas Subscribed to comments via email
2008-07-30 09:56:22

Its a brilliant article, niceone and all the best for sharing such information. I just wanted to ask, can we edit the images then submit it to the agent or does it need to be original untouched photos.

Many Thanks

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-07-30 12:17:36

I think agencies will reject photos with over-editing just because most photo buyers want to buy untouched photos to be used on their projects.

What I usually do for my photos is playing a little bit with contrast curve and saturation.

Good luck!

Comment by Dr Michael Bellamy Subscribed to comments via email
2008-07-31 13:25:18

My question refers to the Guild laws: which states that:

“When artwork is rejected, the client has chosen NOT to obtain any rights to the use of the artwork.”

So I.S. has no legal right to keep me from posting a photo they reject onto another site unless they pay a “Kill Fee”?

Comment by Dr Michael Bellamy Subscribed to comments via email
2008-08-01 07:04:11

I’m currently selling and doing well on I.S. but as exclusive. What I simply cannot understand is that the agreement says I cannot use rejected photos on any other site, but why?

If they reject them then why can’t I sell them on S.S.? I just recently opened an account on S.S. It’s a wonderful site.

Is this even legal for them (i.S.)to deny me the chance to sell i.s. REJECTED photos which I believe can do quite well on another site?

Comment by John
2008-08-01 12:28:21

I think you should’ve asked this question when you’re about to press the agree button on IS exclusive terms and agreements.

Once you’ve press the button, then I guess you should obey all the rules stated there. Whatever it is..

Just my 2 cents

Comment by Dr Michael Bellamy Subscribed to comments via email
2008-08-03 11:18:05


Thank you for the quick response. I am considering termination of my exclusive with i.S. Although I make over $1200 per month on average with I.S., I assume S.S. has a more professional relationship with it’s artists. I am already with SAG, so I will now consider GAG as well.

Dr. Mike

Comment by Dean
2008-08-08 13:03:02

Mike, with that earning.. how many photos do you have on IS. I have around 400 or so photos spread over the agencies mentioned on this article and earning around $1000/month

I’ve been thinking of joining IS exclusive for ages and still can not decide it. How much do you think I will earn with 400 photos if I become IS exclusive photographer?


Comment by diane dickson
2008-08-08 13:48:49

I’m a newbie and really appreciate your insights and tips; thanks for your generosity of spirit. I have two questions: You recommend limiting editing of photos so should I avoid sharpening completely? Do you have any security/identity theft concerns re: giving stock agencies personal identifying info. such as social security #, passport, etc.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-08-15 05:49:21

Sharpening should be fine.. Just don’t overdo it..

Comment by James Austin Subscribed to comments via email
2008-08-10 00:17:31

My questions are about the Model Release for non-US persons like whan you are out of the US. What happens in that case? Do you find other nationalities cooperative when you hand them the Model Release? Especially when the Release is in English and they may not be able to read English. Do they usually sign it? How do you handle that situation? Thank you for the article and thank you for taking questions.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-08-15 06:07:49

Well, my models for the moment just limited to family and friends.. So I’ve never had any problems regarding signing model release.

Comment by Stephen Lewis
2008-08-19 10:50:38


I am completely new to this and quite new to digital photography. Would it be fair to say that an 8mb compact camera is not suitable for this and that I should buy an SLR?

Also, if I was to scan my negatives from my 35mm SLR into a digital format, would they be deemed suitable in terms of resolution?

With thanks


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-09-07 22:16:55

I’d strongly recommend you to get a DSLR camera if you want to start selling your photos. It’s not about how many megapixel a camera has, but rather the size of camera CMOS/CCD sensor when it comes to the quality of your photos.

Check out this link from wikipedia for a good explanation.

Comment by nagabhushan
2008-08-28 02:01:15


i just bought a kodak 7MP camera, please let me know if this quality is sufficient for me to post


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-09-07 22:19:48

Same as above.. Try to get a DSLR camera even with less megapixels since you can get a much better photo quality when shooting with it.

2008-09-02 18:19:30


I’m so glad I stumbled across your article, it’s fantastic.

How many photographs would you recomend as a minimum to a stock site? I haven’t uploaded to anyone yet and the thought of uploading 800+ pics to each site is a bit daunting.

Also, as well as photography work I really want to find somwhere to upload my digital artwork to. Can you recomend a stock site which would suit my work , maybe there are specialist sites that you know of or have come across?

Thankyou for your time :)



Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-09-07 22:27:55

Well, just upload as much as you can. No pain no gain.. ;) But remember, only upload your best works!.. There are many great photographers right now, uploading your so so photos with flaws (ie. digital noise)can only get them rejected by the agencies and it really can put you down.

Comment by Robert Subscribed to comments via email
2008-09-09 12:33:35

I’ve been follow this blog since I started stock photography earlier this year. I am glad to have found this blog to use as a reference guide for what to expect from these sites. Your earnings and exceptance percentages are much higher than mine! Your quality of work is obviously better. Plus I am new to photography and have really only been messing with it for 2 or so years…. more seriously recently though. I was wondering if you could post a link to one of your portfolios….. like Dreamstime or which ever one you prefer so I can maybe see how you work your magic!


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-09-15 22:11:43

Hi Robert,

Most photos on my photoblog are also submitted to the agencies mentioned above.

You can find the link from the FAQ above..

Comment by Remmy
2008-09-15 03:38:13

Great, great site!
Was looking to buy a camera,and it is hard to decide tho my budget is limited to about $1500
What do you think about
Canon EOS 400D KIT – EF 18-55 mm / EF 55-200 mm
Do you think I can get good acceptance rate of photos made with this camera?


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-09-15 22:35:15

Hi Remmy, I think that should be fine.. BUT just in case you have couple of hundred dollars more to spend, here’s my suggestion..

Camera: 400D (body only) $560
- Wide: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L ($700)
- Telelens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L ($600)

Comment by nagabhushan
2008-09-16 05:53:00


I have shot about 300 photos,can i upload all the 300 photos at above mentioned websites all at once.

glad for reply


Comment by Timothy
2008-09-25 10:20:22

You used to be able to do that, but now with many new photographers selling their photos, most agencies have their daily limit rule. For example dt only allows you to upload 50 photos per day.

Comment by Keith
2008-09-26 03:19:15

An excellent read. I have been taking photos for many years now, and people keep telling me I should sell them, as you do on those websites.

By the way, your photos are great!
(hence your good sales)

I mainly do travel type photos like you do, and animals when I can find any here in Tokyo, or Japan.

Question: They don’t mind photos with Photoshop effects on them? Velvia color, saturation… etc etc. How about good HDR photos?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-10-03 13:19:47

Thanks for your complement on my photos Keith.. Much appreciated! ;)

HDR photos sure look pretty but they’re not selling really well on this agencies.

What I usually do to my photos in term ‘image editing’ is just adding a little bit of saturation (if necessary) and adjust the brightness and contrast level.

Comment by Keith
2008-10-18 07:23:29

Thanks for your reply.

I signed up to some agencies, and I am starting to earn a few dollars with the photos they have accepted so far.

I have so many photos to try and get submitted and have certainly improved my photography skills in the last few weeks just by looking at galleries like yours and try my best. As well as new Canon L series lens :)

Comment by Ash
2008-09-26 09:45:03

Hi ppl! Pls somebody tell me why it depends on what country I live? please! I enjoyed reading …

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-10-03 13:23:56

Are you asking about this question?

“1. Can I make a living out of this?
Well, I think it all depends on which country you’re living in.”

Comment by DeWayne
2008-10-01 14:03:15

What a great blog!!! You have some outstanding content on making some money with quality photos!! Thanks for sharing your information, which has inspired me…I use to take pictures for Walmart and that is a far cry from the master pieces your producing.

My backround is in art and I took an excellent art course at a University back in the early 1990′s.

The internet has opened up some innovative jobs for people who want to work from home. This is refreshing information to find in an internet sea of false claims and never ending scams.

I fully realize this will take some work and there is going to be trial and error, but this is the best opportunity I’ve seen for a starving artist with talent!

Take care,


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-10-03 13:26:43

Great to see people are inspired after reading the article.

All the best with your new endeavor! ;)

Comment by Vince DSouza
2008-10-07 06:36:45

I want to upload to different site for sale. Which sites do I avoid i.e. those that require exclusivity. Thanks

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-10-12 04:05:57

If you do not have any plan to become an exclusive photographer, I’d recommend you to avoid Istock because:
1. You can only upload 15 photos per week (hence you’ll need a very long time to build up your portfolio).
2. This is just my guess, but I think IS gives their non-exclusive photographers a hard time when accepting photos since my acceptance rate on IS is really bad compared to other agencies.

Comment by Tamika Subscribed to comments via email
2008-10-08 02:15:02

Hi there,

Have you ever tried to sell your prints with Deviant Art?

I have been with them for a while. They are a great company.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-10-12 04:12:22

No, I haven’t.. but I might give it a try one day. You said you’ve been with them for a while. How’s your prints sale?

Comment by Henrik
2008-10-13 11:20:54

Very informative!

Comment by idilium
2008-10-18 23:10:54

thanks for all this information and the help you are giving us.

one question i love macro photos more than anything but you think macros is a good are for selling stock?

thanks againg

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-10-26 18:36:04

Usually business theme macro shots are selling well.

Comment by Focal Point
2008-10-22 11:39:17

Hello… I cant believe the info at hand, very informative and very inspiring. Many thanks!

Now to my questions;

1. Like to the question above, are macro shots ideal?

2. Are we allowed to edit the pictures in a photo program first before we upload them? I mean, clean up any noise, change lighting, brighten/darken… etc. This leads into my next question

3. Can we upload artistic photos that have been edited in a photo program? Meaning ones with filter work and such?

Again, many thanks for your blog.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-10-26 18:46:37

1. as above..
2. What I usually do before submitting my photos in term of editing are playing with the curve and boost the saturation a little bit. I would not recommend you to clean up any noise using your photo editor. It’d be much better if you shoot with a DSLR camera using low ISO..
3. Nope. There’s a 99% of chance that your artistic photos with filter work will be rejected.

Hope that helps.

Comment by Focal Point
2008-10-26 21:19:12

Thanks for the reply… your suggestions are noted and appreciated!

Comment by Kambiz Subscribed to comments via email
2008-10-27 07:17:44


Many thanks for sharing your valuable information!

Q.A very important thing as I learned here is adding key words to photos and this is not very easy to me.
Is there any software to make it easier?

I wish you a leap beyond the signs,


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-10-29 18:58:05

Hi Kambiz, thank you for your appreciation.

Have you tried to google it? Try to search “stock photography keyword software” and it looks like there are couple of companies make such software.

All the best!

Comment by HerrySW Subscribed to comments via email
2008-10-29 08:02:35

Dear Sir, I thought you are foreigner but later on I know you are Indonesian, live in Jakarta, same as me..:)). Thanx for a really helpful sharing; knowledge is really weird, the more we give away, the more we will receive..:)) Btw, I have one question: I like to shoot manufacturing plant (due to my job nature-I’m insurance surveyor), for example: warehouse, racking system in warehouse, boiler, generator set, excavator (heavy equipment), backhoe, etc. For post processing, I use HDR (you have said that HDR is less likely to be successful), so I will just use curve/gradient/saturation etc. Do you think my kind of image will be successful? Thank you very much. Herry.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-10-30 01:33:50

an e-mail has been sent to your Gmail account…


Comment by mike koicuba Subscribed to comments via email
2008-11-08 05:13:43

hello, i love this site . packed full of lots of helpful surprises . its as good as an unexpected christmas present on a chill to the bone christmas morning . just awesome ,thank you . i had a question or two .is there a way to upload all your pics to all the sites yo u reccomend at the same time .i was hoping this way people couldnt buy your photo and post it to another site to sell before you upload the same pic threw out the different sites . there are so m any pictures on alot of these sites . how does the picture hosting site now if the picture your sending them is not already on there site ? i realize that some sites might only allow you to upload a certain amount of pics a day or week? what sites do you reccomend that allow you to upload as many as you want , no limit and how many pics are you allowed to upload to them at a time . is there a way people can left click and save your pic to there computer and resell your pic without paying for it .? what sites dont have there sites copyright image over top your pic downloaded to there site to prevent this ? thank you and happy selling

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-11-10 21:47:36

Hi Mike,

That’s exactly what I do. Since I’m not an exclusive photographer to any agency, I uploaded the same pictures to all agencies mentioned above. Some photos were accepted by one agency and rejected by others.

SS does not have daily limitation rules. You can upload as many as you want. Always make sure only upload your best works. Quality is always better than quantity in this industry.

All sites have a watermark on photos, so don’t worry about it

Comment by mike koicuba Subscribed to comments via email
2008-11-08 05:28:19

hello again. i thought id send an another question that might help others as well. i went to alexa and typed in names of sites that you mentioned and others as well to look at traffic to those sites . what in your opionion is the most important things to consider when looking at the picture hosting sites on alexa? is it the traffic ? or and the amount on the graph where the lines are at ? some sites i put in didnt even show a graph but they had alot of traffic . and some sites didint have alot of traffic but had high graph lines that ididint make much sense to me ? its confusing ? how does a newbe like me understand whats the important things to look at when doing research on alexa with different photo posting sites to sell my image , thank you .

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-11-10 21:54:14

Actually, these alexa graphs are not that accurate. I think it’s better if you spend your time on researching what kind of photos that made it to the best seller list on each stock site and also increasing your photography skills so you can submit the same quality photos (or even better) to those sites ;)

Comment by LimYK Subscribed to comments via email
2008-11-12 03:19:12

hello. This website is great. I’ve been shooting with my 450D for few months and thinking of earning $$ from my photos. I’ve seen most of the stock photos from have completely plain backgrounds. How did they do it? Is that important in stock photography?

Can you recommend the websites that you think are good and worth uploading my photos to?

Thanks for any advice

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-11-18 03:10:33


You can get a white background and set up a small studio in your house. Or, alternatively you can remove the background and change it with plain colors such as white or green in Photoshop or other photo editing softwares.

Designers love these images and they’re selling quite well.

Sites worth uploading are mentioned on the article above.. Well, except for iStock.. It’s just getting harder and harder to sell images on their site if you’re not their exclusive photographer

Comment by mike koicuba Subscribed to comments via email
2008-11-12 06:20:03

hello thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. heres some more. do you upload your pics to the websites then make up your keywords or make up your keywords first ?how many keywords do you put with a pic nowadays? not to steal any of your ideas , but what method do you use to find keywords for your pictures,nowadays? i have anywhere from 10 to 50 keywords per image. i have like 200 [pictures to upload to all the sites. i only have keywords for 10 pictures so far . that is a long process. anymore help on keyword issue would be great . this site is awesome. so much help and info. i realize some of the questions i asked has been answered but that was a few yrs ago. maybe some things changed has you do this or that and maybe there is better ideas . im interested in seeing what methods people use to find there keywords nowadays.thank you everyone

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-11-18 03:22:17

Please check out our microstock photoraphy category for some keywording tips.

Comment by Gary Subscribed to comments via email
2008-11-15 23:22:45

I have numerous shots of wildlife and birds of prey. Is there a particular agency that you would recommend placing them with?

Great website and thanks for the support!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-11-18 03:30:43

Well, I honestly don’t know which agency is better for selling wildlife photos.

If I were you, I’d upload my photos to all sites mentioned above and see which site sells better.

All the best!!

Comment by Aly Subscribed to comments via email
2008-11-16 15:13:21

Thank you so much for such an informative blog! I have been a photographer for many years and am only just discovering the wonderful world of web based sales.

One question I have for you though, I am wondering about putting photos on these sites that have been taken for clients. One such instance would be some equine shots of a stallion that I took for a client. Would I need permission from the owner of the horse if there are no people in the shots?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-11-18 03:35:25

I know you’ll need a ‘model release’ when you’re submitting people photos with recognizable faces. You’ll also need a ‘property release’ when submitting some building images. But, I don’t think you’ll need an ‘animal release’ when submitting photos of horses, cats, dogs, birds, etc

Comment by Aly Subscribed to comments via email
2008-11-18 12:57:26

Thank you for responding so quickly! I was kind of thinking that was the case but wasn’t sure. I am looking forward to this new venture! I sure hope that I have just a small amount of your success, it is a start anyway!

Comment by mike koicuba Subscribed to comments via email
2008-11-20 20:03:39

hello, thank you for never letting us down wit h answering back with answers to our questions. this is a question that im surprised no one else asked about . atleast i dont think they it is .. i noticed on some sites they show you by clicking on the pictures that are being sold . how many people looked at that particular photo and also how many times it was downloaded. like say for instance in which they have these 2 features. my questions is what sites that you mentioned above or others that you know show how many of a particular image was sold and how many times it was looked at by clicking on it , or someother way ? this can also help a person with what pictures are selling and which ones arent. i realize that some sites alow you to look and see what is the most popular image but i m looking for more info on any particular one image( like snapvillage) , not a whole block of a certain field of images. thank you . i have been googling my questions as well

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2008-12-08 03:02:55

Well, DT has this feature. You can see the total views of an image and also show how many times it was downloaded.

Comment by Mas Subscribed to comments via email
2009-03-12 00:27:10

Can you monitor who downloaded your pictures and even better, where they are being used?
I’m a professional photographer from Thailand and have always resisted the large micro stock agencies due to devaluing my work.
Do you have any advise on this ‘concern’ or can recommend any agencies working on ‘rights managed’ images?
One agency which has been recommended by several pro-photographers is Alamy.
Any advice would be gratefully accepted!

Comment by Martin
2008-12-11 13:05:50

I have been taking photos in Raw for the last year or so but I have a lot of photos ranging from .7MB to 3.2MB taken before 2005. If I use software like Genuine Fractals can I improve the resolution so that some photos may be accepted by Micro Stock Photography agencies?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-01-14 03:24:28

They won’t accept photo resized with GF. However, you may want to try Alamy which allows you to upsize your pics

Comment by Mariana Subscribed to comments via email
2008-12-11 23:00:17

I only can say, thank you very much for all these information, fantastic!

I am thinking about it. A lot of people are telling me that I should sell my photos.

I will follow your tips.

Have a nice day and Merry Christmas!

Very inspiring,

Greetings from Holland,


Comment by graphpaper Subscribed to comments via email
2008-12-20 18:07:20

I’m on the opposite side of the fence as you all. I rarely ever take pictures and don’t even own a camera capable of the 4 megapixel minimum. I do buy stock photos for my web design work.

I’m thinking of buying a camera and taking a few pictures. As a web designer I know exactly what types of shots are useful to my work. My thought is that I can take some of the photos I need myself, and also offset the cost of stock images by having some of my own for sale. Do any of these companies give more in terms of credits if I use them to purchase other photos?

I’m no photographer so I don’t plan to make oodles of cash from my pictures. I also rarely ever use an image that that is more than 400×600 in my own design work. What level of camera should I be looking at? I doubt I can justify the cost of a DSLR.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-01-14 03:25:31

Thanks for your insight..
Much appreciated!

Comment by Robert Subscribed to comments via email
2009-01-16 07:53:31

Do all of your stock sites send you W9 forms so that they can file a 1099. I got a request from shutterstock, but, have not received any W9′s from the other sites that I’m with.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-02-03 02:40:13

I don’t live in the US.. So I think it’s better if you email the sites admin asking about the form.

Comment by leila
2009-01-19 06:08:00

here is so much good information, thanks.
i joined fotolia, but i´m confused- i can sell my photos, put there is no information about how i get money. to they use paypal or something else?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-02-03 02:28:18

There are couple of payment options available from fotolia. I personally choose paypal.

Comment by liili
2009-01-19 08:47:25

I love taking pictures and idea to sell them on internet is super, but I only have Canon powershot A460. I understand that it´s not good enough, but still, can any of these micro-stock accept my fotos? So I could earn extra money to buy new and better camera.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-02-03 02:38:11

With many photographers now own a DSLR camera, I think it’s going to be hard to get the shots from the A460 accepted on sites mentioned above.

Comment by abdalmjid
2009-01-25 09:08:36

Abdul Majid Alfaragany photographer from Libya, the Director-General of the Libyan imaging
Associated Press photographer, told the U.S.There are many pictures of the desert and beautiful pictures of the possible to sell these pictures

Comment by Lou Subscribed to comments via email
2009-01-29 15:40:47

Great and informative site…thank you very much. The answer to my question may be somewhere in the comments (I tried to read most of the comments but there are soooo many!) but I would like to know do you shoot in RAW format and then convert to JPEG? I sent pics to IS after shooting with my Nikon D80 with a Nikon lens in JPEG and they all got rejected. I joined the other sites you mentioned but dont want to send photos yet until I get a better idea of how to send them. Any suggestions?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-02-03 02:49:03

Hi Lou,

Yup, that’s correct. I only submit JPEG (highest quality) converted from RAW. So, if your photos got rejected by IS, I’m sure it’s not because you sent them in JPEG.

Didn’t they tell you why your photos got rejected? Something like; poor lighting, digital noise, etc.

Comment by Lou Subscribed to comments via email
2009-02-03 13:12:54

They said one of the culprits was digital noise and another was overexposure. Since I shot in jpeg instead of raw (a mistake I wont make again) I can see why there would be problems. Can you also suggest a software to help remove noise or other artifacts? I read online that Photo Shop is good but I would like to hear your opinion.

Thanks for your help.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-02-03 22:44:54

Well, the best way to remove digital noise is to avoid it in the first place by shooting with low ISO (100-200)

Noise removal software won’t help much, since it will also softened your image. I personally never use this software for my stock images.

Anyway, there are couple of software you can use such as noise ninja or neat image. Try this page:

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Lou Subscribed to comments via email
2009-02-04 07:52:37

Sounds good…thanks again for all your input! :-)

Comment by Valentino Subscribed to comments via email
2009-02-20 02:26:46

Great reed, fantastic job my friend.

I was wondering if you do Opt out or Opt in, in iStock. Whats the difference?

Thanks for the inspiration, just got my first 2 images approved at iS.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-02-27 05:27:06

I do opt in on all of my images but if you want to control which files are sold to both Pay-as-you-go and Subscription plans just click the ‘All Off’ button in your Control Panel. You can also opt-out individual files from the ‘Edit File’ details page.

Comment by tuvoca Subscribed to comments via email
2009-02-25 13:10:14

Please put a user name in the article so that people can give you credit when they sign up to sites like shutterstock. All I could give them was this site and the URL of your photoblog. :(

Comment by jesse Subscribed to comments via email
2009-02-27 00:27:49

Hi I was just wondering if after you’ve up loaded your photos if your still given credit for your work. Are there some photos that get royalties? but really what I’m wondering is are you acknowledged for your work when its sold. Is your name on your photos? or do you loose all credit once youve sold them to the sites.

Hope to hear from ya soon. Thanks

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-02-27 05:52:14

Well, I can say that you will loose credit once your photos sold and used for brochures & advertisements. Nobody but you and the buyer will know that it’s your work that being used. But, that’s just how it works. Have you ever seen any advertisements or brochures with the name of their photographers/designers on them? Probably not.

It’s different when your photos are used for books or magazines. On most cases, your name will be on the photos and I even have some buyers who are willing to send me books and magazines where I have my photos on them.

Comment by amy mcalister Subscribed to comments via email
2009-03-04 04:49:30

hi, really enjoyed this blog but still find it confusing about being non-exclusive… i just applied to istockphoto with the three sample photos…. i am non-exclusive with them, so does this mean that i can upload THE SAME PHOTOS to other sites ????? what about same photos, different angles or different shots etc????? help please!!!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-03-04 12:36:00

YUP. By being a non-exclusive photographer, you’re allowed to sell EXACTLY the same photos to other sites.

Comment by Valentino Subscribed to comments via email
2009-03-05 23:11:11

I was wondering how do I know if I’m exclusive or not on I stock?
I dont want to be exclusive.
Thank you. Valentino

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-03-13 14:17:09

You’ll be offered an exclusivity when you have 250 downloads, a minimum 50% approval rating, and have no royalty-free stock images, vector illustrations, video footage, audio clips or Flash files available at other agencies. Please visit this page for more info:

Comment by Light Stalking
2009-03-10 20:42:42

This is a great roundup of making cash doing something you love. Thanks for taking the time to share.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-04-16 01:40:36

Thank you for stopping by. Good luck!

Comment by chl Subscribed to comments via email
2009-04-04 05:57:59

Do you think doing photo shooting is earning more than illustration in stock photo?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-04-16 01:52:41

If you can make great illustrations then I’d suggest you to go for it, since the earning is slightly better. Or you can always do both.

Comment by MTrebbin
2009-04-19 06:56:48

Hey and greets from Hamburg, Germany!

careful: advanced question ;)

Your article explained and motivated me a lot when I started back in summer 2007. Thanks for that ;)

Today I wanted to ask: how do you manage to create photos which continue selling?

I didn’t have time to upload very much so far (Shutterstock: 600+) and most of my pics (see link above) sell at the beginning only. After a few weeks burst they (almost) die. This way I can’t reach such monthly figures ;)

What makes a photo keep selling, and selling, and selling?

What’s your mindset before, when and after you shoot? What questions do you ask yourself to make the photos stand out?

Thanks in advance!

Comment by MTrebbin
2009-05-15 10:35:24

Still no reply? ;)

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-05-15 20:42:41

Sorry, missed this one out..

Beside promoting my photos offline to fellow local designers I know, I also have a popular free photos website where visitors can download the photos – which also sold at the agencies – for free. The trick is I only give them the smaller version of my photos for free and provide the link if they want to buy the bigger version.

Try to position yourself as a graphic designer who is going to buy your photos.

What are they looking for in a photo?

I actually have a design degree so basically I don’t have a hard time with this. But, if you do, you can always check the ‘Most Popular’ photo list for an inspiration.

Comment by Alfred Haus
2009-04-19 14:58:06


I have a question with regards to rights.

If I decide to take my pictures down from these hosting sites one day, does that end the agreement? Do I now exclusively own the rights to the photos once again? No one can legally use them other than me?


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-04-26 13:39:30

Yes, I think so.. But to be sure, you can email the photo agency support staff and ask them.

Comment by Chris Subscribed to comments via email
2009-04-22 19:49:00

Thanks for the insight into stock photography and great article! I am looking at starting to submit my photos to stock sites but I have a question. My concern is what is to stop someone from going on a stock site, buying my photos for a dollar and then turning around and selling that same photo in an 8×10 print on ebay or something like that for $10 a print? This is my only concern with stock sites….

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-04-26 14:08:23

Well, I’ve never experienced it myself but there are couple of discussions on Shutterstock that related to your question;

- My Image On E-bay, Yours also?
- Someone selling prints of our photos on ebay

Comment by Felix
2009-04-23 12:43:29

Wow, thanks a lot for taking your time to answer all theses questions,
I’m brand new on fotolia, stockexpert and stockxchng… ive been rejected once to istockphoto and shutterstock…
but now i guess I’m getting to know what they really want, so in a couple of days ill retry…

I’d really like your advice on what is the best topic pictures you think would sell the most… I mainly do fashion portrait, really artistic and I don’t really think its the best for these kind of stock site… here my photos

And another question; can you copy an idea from somebody else… lets say, a pictures of money near a computer something like that… i’ve seen it selling a lot, can I do one myself a bit differently, or will it be considered like stolen or something like that?!?

Thank you very much for your time and wow again for your success!!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-04-26 13:45:54

Hi Felix, usually every stock sites have their ‘Most Popular’ photo list. Check them out regularly to find out what’s selling. Hope that helps.

Comment by Tracey Steele Subscribed to comments via email
2009-05-06 16:09:42

I laughed aloud when I read your paragraph about iStockphoto. They were the first site I submitted to and I was a bit disgruntled when I received their rejection, since the article that referred me was talking about amateurs breaking in to stock site sales. There’s no doubt in my mind that I will receive more rejections as I learn how to shoot better and pick more popular subjects, but their rejection note was a bit blunt, to say the least! It cheers me to read about it happening to a seasoned photographer.

Comment by chl Subscribed to comments via email
2009-05-11 08:30:58

thankyou for you answer for Illustration vs photograph. I plan to buy a cannon camera and lens. Do you think cannon 450D is enough for stock photo and which canon macro len is good for shooting the small objects?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-05-15 20:15:51

Yes, as long as you have great lenses, I think the EOS 450D is good enough for shooting stock photos.

I’d recommend the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens. Seen lots of great photographs taken with this lens.

Good luck!

Comment by Jennifer Engstrom Subscribed to comments via email
2009-10-27 09:40:06

Is the Canon EF 100mm USM lens a prime lens? Do you know roughly how much does this lens sell for?

Comment by lanak Subscribed to comments via email
2010-07-14 22:19:58

i plan to buy the ordinary canon or nikon brand point and shoot camera for a start.i plan to buy above 10 MP resolution.wil it help me to put photos on the stock sites? i want to concentrate more on the subjects of interest rather than on the camera and plan to use photoshop to enhance my images later budget is very much limited at present. it is better to start with something rather than nothing . will a high resolution ( higher megapixel ) camera from a nikon /canon brand enable me to get stock quality pictures?
2) i also want to concentrate on the art/illustration frontier. i also want to use my camera images to get sketches from which i can draw art.

Comment by chl Subscribed to comments via email
2009-05-20 08:37:07


Please advice if this website have a link to go to site selling the studio lighting?

Comment by GONZO Subscribed to comments via email
2009-05-21 07:32:44

What about lonely planet images, is it worth it? they ask for a minimum of five years of exclusivity. Can you comment on this?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-06-08 11:58:55

I’ve never tried Lonely Planet Images…I think if you travel a lot and taking many great travel photos, then you can give it a try..

Comment by Jim
2009-05-23 08:54:23

One could create their own stock photo webste. Marketing is a bit difficult…
Here are instructions how:

Comment by Rosemary Subscribed to comments via email
2009-05-26 16:06:32

Thanks for all this info. Just registered at Alamy, and noticed in their instructions, that they say to check, prior to uploading, that there is “NO sharpening”! I shoot with a Canon 40D and have a 70-200mm f2.8 L IS lens as a fav. Do you think that they do the sharpening? ALways was told, that every digital shot could do with a bit of sharpening, at the end of processing, of course. What do you think?

Comment by Jun
2009-05-27 23:20:36

I submit to istock, shutterpoint, dreamstime and shutterstock. My opnions on each:

istock – too crowded, too competitive, and too strict. they reject pretty much anything and everything for the most ridiculous reasons. I get annoyed by that, especially when my stuff is accepted elsewhere.

shutterpoint – there is no formal approval process, you’re your own approver. much smaller in size than istock, and you can get a real chance to rise above the crowd. if your sales cover the storage fees, their 85% pay rate can be sweet.

dreamstime – not as strict as istock, but not the same visibility. Still very crowded, but it doesn’t hurt to keep it as another source of sales.

shutterstock – best in terms of number of sales, worst in terms of money made per sale, it’s literally a few pennies. Stuff sells well soon after uploads are approved, then it sort of dies off. Submission process could be simplified, but I am pleased with them overall.

None of them is a clear winner in my opinion, at least for me. I have tried fotolia a while back and faced some glitches after which I just quit it there.

Comment by Jenny Subscribed to comments via email
2009-05-28 09:14:09

What’s the lowest priced camera I can buy to take photos of good enough quality to sell? Does it have to be an SLR?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-06-08 11:50:36

I always recommend people to get at least an entry level DSLR camera if they want to get serious making money from stock photo.

You can try to search used Canon/Nikon DSLR cameras on ebay

Comment by Jenny Subscribed to comments via email
2009-06-08 22:38:59

Thanks for the advice, very much appreciated!

Comment by Digital Photos
2009-05-31 16:20:49

Great Post. I was not familiar with fotolia before reading this. I am just getting started and am enjoying this alot.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-06-08 11:45:20

All the best!

Comment by Juan
2009-06-03 11:28:47

Hello everybody!
since Ive been reading these posts I am very excited and olso find my self very buisy tyring to organize all my pics. I am interestet on selling some of my pics online, But I am new to this. I have a couple of questions.

1. I shoot lots of athletes practicing mountain sports such as moantain biking, climbing, ski, etc.
I would like a web that I can sell individual pics at the price I want to the athletes. any sudjustions?

2 for the stock agencies. I see that keywording the pics is very important.
very simple question: where and how do I keyword my pics? once Ive uplaoded them to a stock webpage, or do I have to actualy name the pic on my pc? can I use keywording on bridge?

if anybody can help me I would be so happy! It would save me lots of resurching.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-06-08 11:43:56

Hi Juan,

1. Getty and Alamy pay a lot.. But you don’t get as many sales as you get from his microstock photo agency.

2. I usually do my keywording mine Photoshop. But you can also add keywords to your pic on the photo submission form available on the agency website.

Good luck!

Comment by John J.
2009-06-06 14:58:52

You have previously stated “All sites have a watermark on photos, so don’t worry about it.”
My questions are these: What about after the sale? Does the seller’s watermark remain as an invisible WM? If not, how is the photographer protected from a purchaser’s fraud of selling reprints (ie on eBay)? Wouldn’t it be prudent for a photographer to embed his own invisible watermark to prove copyright (ie with Digimarc’s software) before uploading? Or do the stock photo sites reject submissions with watermarks?
Many Thanks
John J.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-06-08 11:36:47

No, your photos that have been sold/downloaded by photo buyers will not have any WM on them..

There have been discussions about fraud on eBay.. Here are a couple on SS:

- My Image On E-bay, Yours also?
- Someone selling prints of our photos on ebay

Comment by Seb Coursol
2009-06-08 22:29:57

I’d like to thank you for this great article that got me started in microstock. I’m not as successful as you (though I definitely add a few bucks to your monthly!) :-)

I must say that I got quickly frustrated with all the uploading and submitting.

Err… I’m trying to mention an idea here without sounding like I’m “pitching” for my product here – that’s not my intent. But yes, I got frustrated enough that I decided to build myself a platform to simplify my distribution process (link is under my name if you care to check). It doesn’t slice bread (yet), but it does shorten my submission process (to 15 agencies) a lot.

I figured that would be worth mentioning as an alternate to manual uploading, especially when you have a large portfolio.

Comment by Bader
2009-06-20 06:20:08

Man, you’re inspiring! since long time I’m watching your moves ;)

Really thanks for sharing all that with us!

I see that your sales way better with Fotolia! while you have almost same image quantity with the other agencies!
are you uploading an extra exclusive images for them? or they are just the most active agency at the moment?

Cheers mate,


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-07-20 09:22:48

Fotolia has managed to surprise me as well. I think they’re doing pretty good with marketing and stuff to get more photo buyers to the agency.

Comment by MikLav
2009-07-17 07:37:54

I keep watching your progress for several years already – good to see the growth.

I remember Alamy was in the picture some time ago but isn’t anymore – did it appear to not worth your effort?

Did you try, or do you have any intentions, with traditional stock like Getty or Corbis?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-07-20 09:38:36

Hi Miklav,

To be honest, I can’t remember when the last time I was uploading my photos to Alamy.. Despite their good commission compared to other micro-stock agencies, sales were quite low. I think the last payment for 6 months was around $400.

Comment by justaminute Subscribed to comments via email
2009-07-17 15:28:35

Thank you for the inspitation. One question — many sites make a big issue about company logos and copyrights and so on. In this regard, hoe did you overcome these copyright issues with image displaying ‘Coca Cola’?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-07-20 09:47:57

I don’t upload any photos with a copyright logo on it. But, sometimes I use photoshop to clone logos on shirts, buildings, etc.

Comment by Matt
2009-07-17 21:59:50

Just wanted to post a quick note about to mention that we have broken into the world of stock photo sales and pay out some of the best royalties around.

We don’t pay you pennies per sale like that others, we do things a bit differently here and will be changing the face of how stock images are bought and sold.

We’ve been around for 13+ years now but our stock section is new with a bunch of big name deals in the works now. I really hope you will check us out an give us a try!


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-08-20 19:52:51

All the best Matt!

Comment by chl Subscribed to comments via email
2009-07-21 03:59:26

Dear sir

I just bought canon 500D. There is a function called monochrome. The filters and tones and in few colors like blue, orange etc.. How to use it??

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-08-20 20:01:12

Have you read the manual?

2009-07-21 05:54:08

this is agreat opportunity for photographer to get most price of their photos because our photos is given to just one site and no one else and a reliable site as well. so you dont have to worry about you genius work

Comment by Sally Subscribed to comments via email
2009-07-22 00:01:46

Thanks for all the great info!

I have one question for you. I’m trying to sign up with some of the stock photo sites, and the instructions are telling me to not upsize or downsize – to only send full size images. Does this mean I can’t crop in any way (for example, if there’s a cord in the pic I want to cut out). If so, does this mean that I must take the pic just like I want to upload it to the site?

Thanks in advance for your answer!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-08-20 20:05:42

Yes, you can crop your images as long as the size is still within the minimum size requested by the agencies.

Comment by gary ferguson Subscribed to comments via email
2009-07-22 12:06:30

I have many 35mm Kodachromes that I used to sell. Most were shot on asa 25 or 64 and have been blown up quite large. If they were converted to digital would they be marketable? If so, any specs on the digital conversion?

Thanks….you do a remarkable service on your site.


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-08-20 20:09:33

I think it’s better if you ask the agencies about the specs on the digital conversion.

I know some old agencies are accepting digital conversion but I’m not sure about the micrstock agencies.

Comment by Martin
2009-07-25 18:07:38

With some of the stock agencies you mention having over 3 million photos for sale, how do you beat the competition? Tho most sell 0 to 3 each.
Do you do any sgarpening before subitting pics?
How many photos have you uploaded by now?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-08-20 20:13:50

Usually photo buyers are looking for the latest photos for their projects. So if you keep uploading new images with fresh models and ideas, then everything should be fine.

Comment by Morgan
2009-08-06 15:55:14

Hi Dphotojournal, I am very new to the whole stock photo biz and was wondering would one of the above mentioned stock sites have a problem with the quality of pics that I take from my Vivitar DV545 5.0 Mega pixel Camera? Although it has a variety of other features, it does take really clear pictures. Have you heard of submissions from simular cameras?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-08-20 20:16:08

Haven’t heard from such camera. You can sign up and try to submit photos taken with the camera and hear what the photo inspectors say about it.

Comment by Ali
2009-08-11 12:15:40

Hi My friends ,
Please look at my photos
Do you think i will be succsefull in microstocks

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-08-20 20:19:38

You’ve got some great images man! You should try to sign up and submit your photos.

Comment by Frank Harris Subscribed to comments via email
2010-04-13 15:21:12

Ali is a “pro” He just doesn’t know it!

Your site is great, I just found it today. I will be visiting it frequently

Comment by PhotoFrenzy
2011-07-10 22:59:18

I know this is an old post, BUT…AMAZING!! You have a collection of some utterly amazing photographs. Everyone should take the time to check them out.

Comment by Brian
2009-08-18 12:11:22

I saw your samples, read your article, and am curious why you have such an informative website? I really appreciate it, and I’m going to be a regular reader, but you don’t just flip ads, you also answer questions, etc… So I’m grateful, and curious.

I do have one question, have your ratings on the stock websites changed any over the past few years? Any of the sites gettinb better or worse?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-08-20 20:31:39

Overall they all perform really good over the years. The difference is since they are many more great photographers signing up with great images, it’s just getting harder and harder to get your images accepted, specially on Istock & Fotolia.

Comment by Rahmat
2009-08-20 01:24:25

Hi Dphotojournal,

This is a great article. I’m from Indonesia but currently live in Sydney, Australia. I’m a student here so I’m just temporary living in Australia.
I tried to sign up to stock photo sites you mentioned in this article but they require me to verify my address with my passport.
- Should I put my location as Indonesia or Australia?
- Can they pay to my paypal account (my paypal account is linked to my australian bank account)
- What if one day I go back to Indonesia, can I still receive my payment?
Do you have any suggestion of what should I do to get into this business?
Thank you.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-08-20 19:50:37

Reply has been posted on Facebook..

Comment by Amy Subscribed to comments via email
2009-08-25 16:04:33

I’m trying to get started selling some photo’s but my question is how do you get paid do you just get a check in the mail,do you get an email or something telling you you have sold a photo? How does that work?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-10-03 20:59:46

1. Payment can also be sent by check, but I prefer Paypal..
2. You will have a statistic page showing photos sold for the day, your current earning, etc.

Comment by Juan Pablo Subscribed to comments via email
2009-08-26 07:33:13

Hi! I’m from Argentina, does this stuff work on my country?? I mean, can I sell my pics from here?

Comment by boo
2009-09-12 15:53:25

You can ask on microstock sites if they accept you – I think there will be no issues with submitting phiotos. But mostly with payment transfer and taxes.

Comment by chl Subscribed to comments via email
2009-08-30 00:39:06

Is it possible to see your photo that already in microstock websites?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-10-03 21:01:13

Go to my photoblog mentioned above, most of my photos there are also being sold at the agencies.

Comment by Tim L.
2009-09-04 15:41:46

Is it a requirement to obtain an official copyright from the U.S. Copyright Office in order to sell stock photos on these websites?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-10-03 21:02:11


Comment by chl Subscribed to comments via email
2009-09-07 09:51:28

Dear Sir,

I use canon D500 and My camera lens is:
canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

My photo have softness problem.

Kindly have a look at my photo at below link

Kindly let me know how to solve this softness


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-10-03 21:04:20

You add a bit of sharpening filter in photoshop to overcome your softness problem

Comment by Tom
2009-09-10 22:39:55

Thanks for the information. Quick question – when you upload and start earning income off your photos, are you required to open a business/company for tax purposes, or is it purely regarding as personal income. Im in Australia so I guess the tax ruling will be different to the US.


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-10-03 21:11:01

Well, I think it’s better if you contact the taxation office in your country since I’m not really familiar with the tax ruling over there.

Comment by IowaPhoto
2009-09-14 23:05:13

I just found this website, and am interested in utilizing my passion for photography to add to my income. I have a Nikon D80 and work with Mac software to archive my shots. I have never uploaded or sold pictures privately. Some quick questions will go far in helping me get started:
1.) Will my D80 be enough camera for the quality needed to post and sell?
2.) Are any sites more appropriate for starters? What about wildlife, still life, nature shots?
3.) Software for a Mac needed?
4.) Startup costs?

This is purely a hobby for right now. Any assistance is navigating the startup is appreciated. – Thanks

Comment by cit journo
2009-09-17 08:21:06

If you’ve got any news-related images you’d like to sell, I’d recommend checking out

Sign up is free and you can upload an unlimited amount of news-related photos and videos, which they will sell for you to media outlets around the world.

Comission is up to 75% of the sale price, which is amazing!

I read on the site that their partners with Agence Frence-press, which is the 3rd largest news agency in the world, so they’ve got considerable street credit.

If you’ve got any exclusive shots from breaking news stories, this is exactly the place you want to sell them for you…

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-10-03 21:16:59

Great info! Thanks!

Comment by sallyanne
2009-09-17 13:21:57

Thankyou for all the information, it has really inspired me!!! It is very generous of you to share all this. My question…….

I have some good pictures of random strangers met in India, Vietnam, Mexico, I was wondering about the model release, so if they have not signed it I have to sell it as an editorial photo?

What difference does this make, less income or chance of it being sold?

Many thanks!!


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-10-03 21:19:40

That’s correct, you have to sell them as an editorial photographs with less income and also less chance of it being sold

Comment by Damon Billian Subscribed to comments via email
2009-09-17 17:22:40

I just wanted to highlight that folks can also sell photographs online (from their own website)using a service like Fotomoto (work there).

I was kind of surprised that the primary focus of the article was on stock photography only, when there are a number of venues that people can take to sell photographs online (Fotomoto, SmugMug, etc.). Are there plans for an additional articles not solely focused on stock? Many of the folks I speak to on a regular basis actually take a shotgun approach to selling (stock, own site, direct, etc.).

Comment by ashish swami Subscribed to comments via email
2009-09-24 15:08:49

can i take this kind of photos from nikon p90,
i am going to buy it next week.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-10-03 21:24:43

If you want to get serious in this business, you’ll better off put your money on a DSLR camera and some good lenses as your investment.

Comment by JohnC Subscribed to comments via email
2009-09-27 20:51:11

Great website. I have a Nikon D40. Do you think that is a good enough camera to take pictures for DreamsTime? Thanks.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-10-03 21:26:03

Yup, that should be good enough..

Good luck!

Comment by Sonia
2009-09-28 14:07:32

Thank you so much for this precious info. Could you kindly answer a very basic question for me ; what would be the best digital camera for taking pictures that can be sold online ? I would like to take lots of macro shots, but landscape as well. I would like to keep it as simple as possible when downloading the pictures in my computer and also transfering them to websites. I would like to do as little retouching or changes as possible. What type of camera would you suggest ? Thank you, Sonia

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-10-03 21:29:59

1. Any DSLR cameras would do the job..
2. When you get a DSLR camera the question would be what kind of lenses would you suggest?

Comment by Laura Subscribed to comments via email
2009-09-29 16:52:46

Would a Canon 20D be capable of making stock photos???

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-10-03 21:30:40

I think that would be enough as long as you have some great lenses.

Comment by Tulin Youssef
2009-09-30 19:07:53

Great site =) i have one question though, most of my pictures have my signeture.. should i remove it or keep it? Thanks

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-10-03 21:33:05

They won’t accept your image if it contains any watermarks. So, yes. You definitely need to remove it.

Comment by Orock Eta Subscribed to comments via email
2009-10-03 09:23:35

It has taken me two days to go through the comments from top to the last. In fact, i’m so appreciative to you all.I live in Cameroon, a small country in West Africa. have been a photographer for nine years and have never come across an enriching site like this.Thanks to the web,i will be signing up to these sites.I have hundreds of digital photos in stock.I don’t regret the time i spent going through the site.Thanks again, stay blessed.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-10-03 21:34:48

Thank you for your time checking out my site and good luck on your new endeavor.. :)

Comment by sonia
2009-10-04 22:08:32

Thank you for your quick reply ! I purchased a Canon Rebel XS 10.1 MP with EF-S 18-55 mm on for 499.99 CAN. The price seemed pretty reasonable. I have also registered with Shutterstock. So many thanks for all the info. I will keep you posted ! Sincere thanks, Sonia

Comment by Orock Eta Subscribed to comments via email
2009-10-05 17:03:04

Dphotojournal, i have signed up with and submitted a photocopy of a page of my passport,containing my detailed information, but they replied saying it is not valid.Don’t know if you could help.If i have your email address, i could send what i forwarded to them.Thanks in advance, waiting.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-11-02 23:37:11

Sorry for the late response. I hope you have sorted this problem out.

Comment by moin
2009-10-18 14:58:29

well i have got some pictures of my own ,i am even good in photography…

And i want to sell those pictures , can you please assist me out …

Thank you .

Comment by Jennifer Engstrom Subscribed to comments via email
2009-10-27 09:23:08

A question I have is: We are allowed to submit the same stock photos to all the stock photography websites, as long as we’re non-exclusive (this was posted in the FAQS)?
I ask this because I am registered with iStock and have had 19 accepted photos. I am ineligible to be exclusive with them until I have 250 accepted uploads.
You are also correct that iStock has a ridiculously low amount of weekly submissions of 15 per week. I have been submitting since August ’09. I have uploaded 45 total, 19 accepted and 8 more in que to be inspected. I think for the most part that is pretty successful as a new stock photographer and have only been using my Canon DSLR since June ’09.
Okay, back to the original question, it is then perfectly legal to submit the same work to multiple stock photography websites as long as you are not exclusive? I thought I saw as I was signing up with iStock that once I submit any photo, it becomes the property of iStock, regardless if it was rejected or accepted. Is this true?
Thanks so much, Jenny

Comment by philipjbigg
2009-10-28 17:11:03

I was having a bad day. I haven’t had a decent sale on Alamy for a while now and was starting to consider going down the Royalty-Free route after spending an hour or so reading the above writings until I stumbled across this summation of abuse of photographers interests by royalty free organisations and had second thoughts ……

Why will Photographers Direct not represent photographers who have images on microstock / micropayment sites?

Because they are the antithesis of Fair Trade Photography. Microstock sites (which sell Royalty Free images for 1 to 50 dollars) prey on the lack of industry-experience of amateur photographers.

The only people who benefit from these sites are:
The site owners, because they make money from the images and do not care about the damage they are doing to professional photographers’ livelihoods.

The buyers, who cannot believe their luck at being able to get images for a few dollars, and being able to use them as often as they like, for as long as they like, wherever they like.
The people who lose out every time are the photographers. Almost every photographer we have spoken to on this issue has expressed regret at placing their images on microstock sites. Initially they are excited at people taking an interest in their images and paying for them. Of course they like making an income from their images, but here are the facts:

The average fee for an image licensed through Photographers Direct is about 200 dollars, of which the photographer will receive 160 dollars. Images have been licensed for up to 5000 dollars. These license fees are usually for a single usage, not a Royalty Free license. The photographer can license the same image again and again for similar fees.

To make the same average amount through a microstock site you will have to sell anywhere between 200 and 800 images. These images can be used anywhere at any time and cannot realistically be traced. You are not ‘selling’ your images, you are not ‘having success’; you are giving away your images, and the buyers cannot believe their luck.

Imagine the day when you see one of your images on a book or magazine cover. You will probably be very happy and proud, until you realise you earned a dollar from an image that is helping to generate possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in publishing sales. Is this fair?

The microstock myth is that this does not happen, that images off microstock sites are only used by designers for initial layouts and by ‘mom and pop’ businesses who would never pay more for images. If this were true, then shouldn’t the license reflect it? If you are only paying a few dollars for an image, then it should only be allowed for personal use, a blog, or for businesses with less than 4 employees, for example. However the licenses are open ended. You pay a couple of dollars and you can use the image for anything, for all time. It could be for a billboard advert, a magazine cover, a tv spot.

But does this really happen? Yes it does, and what is painfully ironic is that microstock photographers love to boast about where they have found their images published. Once they have got over the excitement of seeing their work in print, they need to step back, take another look at that paycheck, and think ‘Is that all my work is worth?’

Comment by Jennifer Engstrom Subscribed to comments via email
2009-10-30 19:53:39

Wow Phillip, you certainly had a lot to say about the stock photography! I really appreciate all your input. However, can I ask why you chose to respond this very informative comment to my question? If stock photography is not profitable in any way whatsoever, then what route would you suggest? I am curious about this, especially since I have a decent camera and some ability to use it. I want to profit from it as much as possible, what are your opinions on this? Thanks for your input, Jenny

Comment by 50megapixels
2009-11-02 21:36:39

philipjbigg is right, microstock price policy sort of degrades the value and talent of the professional photographer. I myself have been active on microstock sites for a while but at the end of the month facing sales of 10$-15$ made me kinda sick, hours and days of work, shooting, editing, investing in equipment, all that for 20$ a month. Honestly ashamed to tell my friends about this.

I have been monitoring about 10 photographers on Dreamstime for the last months, all of them with more than 2000 approved files. Downloads: around 120 each, most of them uploading constantly for the last 2 years. So upload weekly for 2 years to make 100$ a month of it. Ridicolous.

Dear dphotojournal, you must have incredible photos, to say the least to pull in 1365$ from Dreamstime in september with 1100 files, roughly 1000 downloads let’s say. That is a huge rate on Dreamstime in my opinion. I know it is possible, of course, but from what i have come to know and from other bloggers and microstock diaries, out of the 200.000 “photographers” registered with microstock websites only 1500 or so make more than 2000$/month (considering ALL the sites thay sell on)and the number is decreasing as more people take a piece of the pie each day.

Bitter i am, i know :(

Comment by Jennifer Engstrom Subscribed to comments via email
2009-11-03 07:37:00

Hey 50megapixels,
That was some response! LOL ~ Yes, I have to say that what the stock photography business makes a ton off of the contributing photographers. It’s sad and it made me feel personally that 30 cents was not worth all the time, effort in precessing/editing for the quality of my photo. I am happy that someone felt that my photo was what they were looking for over all the millions to choose from. That is an honor, but like I said, 30 cents isn’t a proper compensation for all the hard work. I know that some, such as Dphotojournal, are very successful and that is awesome! Congratulations Dphotojournal on your success, it really is a blessing!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Jody Van Slembrouck Subscribed to comments via email
2009-10-28 14:13:49

Is my Sony H5 good enough for stock photos?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-11-02 23:33:02

I would prefer a DSLR camera.. It just produces better image than point and shoot

Comment by Tracey
2009-10-30 11:56:32

Great tips, great advise. Thank you for sharing. This article helps a person wanting to break into selling photos online, have the know how to do it.

Thanks again and showing your earnings was a great incentive too.

Comment by Craig
2009-11-07 21:57:24

Fantastic website, full of great information, I feel I have learned a lot from reading this over the last few days.

I do have one question… has anybody here tried selling through photographers direct?
On the face of it it would appear that earnings could be a lot higher there, but that depends if anything actually sells.
I would appreciate any input


Comment by Henri Faure Subscribed to comments via email
2009-11-17 17:33:35

Do not send photos to iStockphoto.
It is no longer the most powerful in terms of sales, indeed at least Fotolia and Dreamstime can do better.

I have been contributor in iStock since November 2007. At the beginning all was at its best, I uploaded lots of photos and my sales increased. Then I became exclusive and my sales kept growing from 80 files per month in June 2008 to 120 in January 2009. But on February 17th, my sales dropped from an average of 5/day to less than 1 per day. Since then I could not sell more than 2 files per day and last week was dreadful with only 8 files sold.
I worked hard to upload 500 files – in fact 1000 because 50% files are rejected – and when I began to earn some money, they threw me out of the window.

Impossible to know why my sales dropped in one night. The support says that it’s because the quality of other contributors has increased, but if you look at the database, you dont see a significant quality increase and anyway the quality on the files could not increase 10 fold in one single night, on February 17th.

What they did with me? They used my files to draw traffic via Google, then paying me only 25% of the price and when I could earn some money they pushed my sales down. In iStock there are some happy few who sell 300 files a day or more and earn several thousand Dollars per month. These contributors are protected and most customers are directed to these contributors. The new ones see their best files rejected when they risk to compete with those of the happy few, I was here only to make volume and to attract people from the net. Other contributors took the money and iStock makes fantastic profits without any risk.

Comment by Ikenna Agina Subscribed to comments via email
2009-11-30 08:13:03

Please I would like to know which of these sites permit you to upload photos for sale without requiring you to buy storage? I do not have a credit card to foot the bill. I want a site that gives you access immediately, maybe they take commission from you ar something


Comment by Jennifer Engstrom Subscribed to comments via email
2009-11-30 09:55:17

Hi Ikenna Agina, One answer to your question is to sign up for an account with Unfortunately, as with all stock photography sites, you will need to submit photos for review by their inspectors and it can take a couple weeks for the review and acceptance/rejection of your photos. Another thing is that you have many restrictions at first and the more you submit, the more you have in your portfolio for buyers to look at and buy, if they choose your photo. There is alot of competition on the stock sites, so you will have to be patient for your sales. Also, unless your photo sells a large size or many in quantity, it doesn’t pay very well. I personally use exclusively, but am not an exclusive member due to not having the required minimum amount of accepted photos in my portfolio yet. Please sign up for a free account and look around at the photographers info regarding being a seller. Istockphoto is the most difficult to please in photo quality. Their standards are rigid and the pay isn’t a get rich quick income. In fact, your percent of the commission is only 30%. Look into it and other stock photo websites. As for a free storage site to sell your pictures, I have not heard or really searched on that. Hopefully what I have told you helps, be blessed! Jenny

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-12-02 04:10:56

None the sites mentioned on the article above require you to buy storage.

Comment by Nick Subscribed to comments via email
2009-12-01 19:20:21

I’ve read almost all of this awesome post but still have a couple of questions before I jump into legal agreements with my photos……

I know it all depends, but from the few
“terms & agreements” I’ve read at microstock sites

would it be correct to state the following……

1. Once a photo is uploaded it is property of that specific site? they hold the copyright it is no longer mine to do what I wish with?

2. some sites specifically state that a photo uploaded to them, cannot be uploaded to any other microstock site…. do you upload the same image to multiple sites?

3. I no longer own the copyright to those images, and cannot use them on website or in the advertising of my business…

4. royalty free?

I thank you for the great article, questions, and responses, and I’ll keep researching, lol
any help would greatly appreciated

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2009-12-02 05:54:09

1. You still hold the copyright of all your works. If you’re not becoming exclusive contributor in one of those agencies, then you’re free to sell the same images on any other agencies

2. Yes.

3. As above

4. Yes

Comment by J.R.
2009-12-07 02:16:28

Very glad I found your site. I used to be a freelance outdoor and travel photojournalist, and want to contribute to the stock sites. I will go forward, of course, with a dslr. However, I have boxes of old negatives and slides. I understand that some stock sites will consider scanned slides and negatives, of course depending on subject, quality, resolution, etc.
* Is scanning viable at all?
* If so, do you know which sites are more likely to accept scanned images?
* Also if viable, what do you think of the Canon CanoScan 8800F Flatbed Scanner, specially for slides & negatives ($200, with max. color dpi resolution of 4800 x 9600, interpolated)?
* Or do you know of other reasonably priced scanners?

Comment by J.R.
2009-12-07 02:24:24

Correction to the final question in my earlier post.
* Up to 9600 x 4800 dpi optical resolution (19, 200 x 19,200 dpi interpolated

Comment by Adrien Subscribed to comments via email
2009-12-07 22:44:10

About this “model release”. I take a lot of pictures of people in other countries – where it would make no sens and take a lot of time to ask for this model release. So how can I sell those pictures ?

Comment by Jennifer Engstrom Subscribed to comments via email
2009-12-08 16:50:24

Unfortunately without a model release, you do not legally have the permission to sell your photo of any person, unless that person’s face is unidentifiable. It would be safer for you and for your benefit to obtain a model release to avoid any legal issues in the future.
Be blessed, Jenny

Comment by abhishek
2009-12-08 09:18:34

can u tell how 2 uplod photo and where.inthis site or it is send by email.

Comment by Jennifer Engstrom Subscribed to comments via email
2010-02-04 07:22:06

There should be instructions on each stock website that helps you understand how to upload. The photos that are digital will be uploaded directly from your picture files on your computer. You will upload directly to the stock website you choose. There are tools/programs that are available to help you upload and keyword your photos, but I’m sure each site has it’s own recommended software program. These programs will be free and will compliment the process of uploading your photos.

Comment by fotopro
2009-12-17 12:06:26

This is great information guys… and a lot of guidance is reflected… many thanks to all the folks contributing here… this is a great resource..

One question though…

Is there a limit to how many photos you can upload at a time… or a limit per month?

Many Thanks


Comment by Jennifer Engstrom Subscribed to comments via email
2009-12-18 11:42:44

Hi fotopro, I believe that the amount of pics to upload is based on each stock photography’s own rules/guidelines. For example, I upload/sell at and since I am still new and have not become exclusive, I have a limit of 15 uploads per week. It’s not alot, but other stock sites may have more lenient guidelines! :-)

Comment by tkaziz Subscribed to comments via email
2009-12-17 12:07:33

Great place to learn about stock photo.
I just came to know about stock photos last month, then I found this forum. I uploaded 10 pictures to Bigstock, three were accepted. Still, I am happy with that.
I have a questen to ask. It’s mentioned in this forum, take picture in RAW, or TIFF and then convert to jpeg. I have Canon EOS 350D. When, I take picture in RAW(8MB or more) and then convert it into jpeg using Picasa, or any other software, it is less than 1MB. Is it suppose to be like that, or I am making something wrong? My camera takes jpeg pictures around 3MB size.
Thanks for this forum, and have a great happy holidays.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-01-22 20:05:16

Yup.. RAW is uncompressed. That’s why the file size is so big compared to the compressed JPEG files

Comment by Party0five
2009-12-29 16:03:10

Do I need a model consent form if I am taking pictures of High School fooball players with their helmets?


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-01-22 20:06:41

If the faces are unrecognizable, then you don’t..

Comment by MandieLea Subscribed to comments via email
2010-01-02 01:34:38

I am a teenager, and I love to take photography. i would like to post it somewhere were it can be bought, and if it’s possible, someplace that is free to sign up.
Does anyone have any ideas on what website i should check out?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-01-22 20:08:28

You can sell your photos through all the photo agencies mentioned in this article. They are also free to sign up.

Comment by Mandie Lea Subscribed to comments via email
2010-02-01 19:34:03

Which do you think is the best for a teenager? a website that isnt too difficult to work too.

Comment by Jinay Subscribed to comments via email
2010-01-06 23:29:44

You have a fantastic blog, and it has helped me very much. Thank You.
I hail from Mumbai, India and have quite a few questions.
I have photos of various locations in India since 2006, shot with my Panasonic Lumix DMC LZ2, 5MP. Most photos have resolution 4MP, but after editing, come down to about 900kb in size. Will they be accepted?
Many of my photos had noise, which I edited out with Photo Toolkit and got good results. Should I upload the oroginal ones or the edited ones or both?
Can you please suggest a site(s) which will suit me best?
Are all sited international? Or can payment in India be a problem?
I am slightly above a seroius amateur and my dad is almost professional. We shot photos just for pleasure and experiment. But, now I want to get more seroius. My brother recently bought a Lumix FZ35, but its photo quality was not impressive. I am leaning towards the Lumix FZ50, principally for its photo quality and option to attatch additional lenses. DSLRS are out of my budget since I do not use photography as a means of living. Which camera would you recommend?
Thank you in advance.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-01-22 20:13:24

I think right now you will need a DSLR camera to come up with descent pictures for stock. Even if it’s a used DSLR camera, it’s still much better than those brand new point-and-shoot.

I’m in Australia and I use Paypal to accept all payments.

Hope that helps.

Comment by Dave B. Subscribed to comments via email
2010-01-08 21:37:41

I’m new at this and confused! When my new 10mp camera saves a picture, it is a jpeg (no other option)with a file size between 1.5mb and 2.5mb, and a resolution of 72dpi(no other option that I see). A site that I would like to submit to asks for the photo to be 150-300dpi… Is it okay to use software to boost the dpi( and thus boost the file size to 5+mb? I’m hoping I can use my camera, but don’t understand how to get the dpi and file size that large without software manipulation. If 72dpi is the norm, why would they want the dpi that high? Thanks for your help!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-01-22 20:16:30

What’s the brand of your camera? I always recommend my reader to use a DSLR camera for shooting stock.

Comment by Dominic Subscribed to comments via email
2010-01-11 23:55:26

Fantastic idea and interesting sharing. I am based in Kenya with some regional travelling and have lotsa photos that may be interesting as I love taking photos. Very keen to understand better how I could participate. Dominic

Comment by Krystal
2010-01-22 14:03:56

Very interested to see your earnings for December 2009!! Do you use iSyndica at all or chose to do everything individually?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-01-22 20:21:18

I do everything individually.. Cheers!

Comment by Jinay Subscribed to comments via email
2010-01-24 07:06:36


Your comment helped me very much. I am considering the Canon EOS 1000D. However, I would very much like to know the camera, lenses and related softwares you use. I am currently using Noiseware CE, with pretty good results. I would like to consider both free and paid options.

Thank you,

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-01-25 08:22:49

Jinay, What’s actually your budget for this equipment?

Comment by Jinay Subscribed to comments via email
2010-01-26 06:43:15

It would be around 35,000 maximum, as per Indian Rupees.

I do not have an option for buying it from abroad, so direct conversion of currency won’t work.

In India, it would be more expensive than US by at least 20-25%.

Thank You,

Comment by sarahscott
2010-01-27 06:50:17

I don’t know how to say. I find this website at internet. And I have some wonderful pictures of natural scenery, but I’m in s/africa. I don’t know if I can sell my picutres on this website? And how to get payment? Thank you!

Comment by Benny Subscribed to comments via email
2010-02-01 02:57:11


I have Olympus 6.0 megapixel compact camera and have taken thousands of photos and would like to know whether can I upload them in internet and make money?

What websites do you recommend?
How do we know whether they are real websites not fake?

How long will it take to receive first payment?

How can we protect our copyright and keep it that way? If people can download photos for minimum charge and they can claim they took the photo and post the same photos in some other websites.. to prevent it and keep it the copyright safe.. what can we do?

Thanks a lot for answering these above questions.

Comment by Jennifer Engstrom Subscribed to comments via email
2010-02-01 12:28:06

Hi Benny, I would like to advise you to use a editing program, like photoshop and zoom in on your photo at 100% or click the button that says ‘actual pixels’ (that is 100%). What you will want to look for is the absolute clarity of your image. Whether or not there is a clear point of focus of your subject. Whether your composition is good/appealing to the reviewer. That will determine whether your photos can be sold and how well they would sell. DPhotojournal has stated in his posts that he uses Shutterstock, Fotolia, Dreamstime. There are others, as I use iStockphoto. These are all legitimate stock photography websites. Your payment depends on if your photo is bought and for how much. These sites will have payment cycles and how frequently they pay you your royalties. Your last question on how to protect your copyright is a tough one. I have read that there are people who have bought photos on stock photography websites and sell them on ebay for a profit. Much more than what one would have been paid by the stock site. It’s very unfortunate, but I’m afraid I don’t have a definite answer for you on that question. Blessings, Jenny

Comment by Lisa Russell
2010-02-03 19:04:16

Your numbers are impressive and the charts look nice, but I couldn’t help but notice that your Fotolia numbers are from November 09 and the descriptive text references 2006 as if it were in the future. What’s up with this? Otherwise, thanks for putting together a really nice post and sharing such valuable tips and information.

Comment by Jody Van Slembrouck Subscribed to comments via email
2010-02-03 23:48:20

Thank-you for all your useful information. I was ispired to give microstocks a go and started mid November. It has been a lot of rejections and work but I do have photos on several and small sales too. :) The biggest thing I learned is my Sony DSC H5 is not good enough and is the cause of part of the rejections. Sensor performance. Shopping for a camera now. Want others to know one company will reject and the other will accept so don’t give up and do use at least 3 sites. Research what they are selling.

Comment by Jennifer Engstrom Subscribed to comments via email
2010-02-04 07:23:53

Thanks Jody! What websites did you end up going with?

Comment by Jody Van Slembrouck Subscribed to comments via email
2010-02-04 08:39:43

I use Dreamstime,123RF,Fotolia and Depositphotos. Depositphotos is a new company that started in November 2009. They are currently paying you for pictures they accept. Each one of these companies take different photos. I have had Dreamstime reject because of composition and focus only to be accepted by Fotolia. When I use my parents Canon EOS 10D acceptance level goes up.The Sony H5 is a good camera but not best for microstocks. Having said that most of my accepted photos were taken with the H5.

Comment by Dave Sander
2010-02-09 15:41:46

Hi there Great review please can you review my website i have been working on it for a long time now and finally ready for public viewing with such though reporting it would be of great benifit.

Thanks for your time and seriously this is a great review and you are truly a great photographer

Comment by v.baskaran
2010-02-20 12:02:38

lovely job

Comment by carin
2010-02-21 07:17:19

hello! i’m in the process of updating my desktop and my question’s about the monitor. I don’t have a huge budget for this, only about £200, but I’d really like your input, if any. Also, i’ve recently purchased a second hand canon 5d and am researching lenses. I’ve got about £1000 to spend and as i do stock photography i want to get a macro lens, and a wideangle. i’m pretty much sold on the canon ef 100mm f/2.8 usm macro lens (though still not 100% sure whether it’s worth it chucking the extra £200 at it and going for the L IS version or just to rather spend that money on a better tripod(?)), but i’m a bit disappointed by my options for full frame wideangles. it looks like the canon 17-40mm f4 L USM is the only one in my budget range. Anyway, just if you have any experience with either or these or if you have some advice for me before i take the plunge, i’d be much obliged.

best regards,
c holder

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-03-23 19:22:35

As for monitor, I’m currently using 2 22″ Chinese brand monitors which cost me around US$200 each.

The Canon 100mm is a great lens, if you love macro then you should buy it. It actually depends on what you’re shooting.. As for me, since I do mostly portraits for stock, I have the Canon 24-70 f/2.8L for indoor and 70-200 f/2.8L for shooting outdoor

Comment by Senica Subscribed to comments via email
2010-02-23 20:00:54

Perhaps someone asked this question already, but I couldn’t stand to read all the comments at once. :)

I have a pile of photos that I want to photoshop and start selling online now that I have some time on my hands. As I was looking through them, I noticed that I shoot a lot of random people.

I have read through several helpful blogs online outlining a photographers rights. ( So, I know that I can reasonable take photos of people in public.

My question is, can I sell those photos online without a consent form?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-03-23 19:25:54

Yes, but you can only sell them as “editorial images”..

Comment by veronica
2010-02-27 19:58:07

Im using a product called digi cam and it works very well

Comment by Vitezslav Valka
2010-02-28 07:55:34

I’ll work hard to get Pixmac to this list next time ;-)

Comment by Vitezslav Valka
2010-02-28 07:56:34

Hey, those screens are really from Alexa? Seems like some old version of that…

Comment by antonia
2010-03-05 06:05:45

Absolutely fantastic resource! I’ve linked to your post at, an article which discusses 5 ways to earn a living as a traveling photographer. Thanks!

Comment by Cynthia Subscribed to comments via email
2010-03-11 19:47:17

Great info! Thank you so much! Well, I’m a professional portrait photographer traveling through Europe for a while (with a Canon 5D) and want a way to supplement my income and this sounds great. My question is, what size should the images be submitted as? And can I shoot in Raw with the jpg option? I’ve thought about this for a while but didn’t really know how to go about it.

Thanks again,


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-03-23 19:30:45

There are no maximum size for your submitted images. I am also using the Canon 5D for shooting stock photos.

Shoot in RAW, then you can convert and submit them in JPEG.

Comment by Etienne Subscribed to comments via email
2010-03-12 14:43:25

I take lot of shoots of interesting places in my island called Malta.Bful pitures for sure.

Comment by Deepak K Subscribed to comments via email
2010-03-16 04:33:50


I just went through this article and all the comments below. Extremely informative.

Also, you have been very successful and your success story has inspired many people!! (including me!)

I understand that selling photos online depends a lot on the quality of the photos and my skills as a photographer, along with the ability to select suitable subjects for stock photography. However, I have a few questions to ask about equipment, post-processing and choice of subjects.
1) I Have a Nikon D5000 DSLR and the following lenses …. Nikon 18-55mm VR, Sigma 70-300mm Macro Telephoto. Will this equipment be enough or do I need to invest in anything further to get started in selling stock photos?
2) From this site, I have come to the conclusion that the amount of editing should be limited to changing brightness/contrast/saturation, curves/levels, and maybe a little sharpening. You are recommending that we avoid detailed editing completely. Also, to shoot at lower ISO’s to keep images noise free. Is my understanding correct?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-03-23 19:39:08

1. Well, I think your equipment is good enough for shooting stocks. It’s not about the equipment but rather how well you understand your market and provide them with a well concept photograph.

2. That’s absolutely right!

Comment by lanak Subscribed to comments via email
2010-03-21 13:37:40

i plan to buy the svp model digitalcam or high megapixel cameras from ebay . will they work for stockphotos ? can i buy cameras from chinese sellers from ebay ? they are advertised a s best in comparison with main brands like canon ad sony . what about digital art wil they sell as well as the photos ? do you havre idea about the site ? is it good to earn money from there by just selling my scanned or pc drawn digital art mostly ?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-03-23 19:13:54

I would stick on a well-known brand such as Canon or Nikon. Not sure what the differences are but, at least if something goes wrong with my camera, I can easily bring it to the nearest available service center in my town.

When you’re selling images on these agencies, your target market is mostly designers who’s designing brochures, web sites, book covers, magazines, etc. So nothing is too artsy, instead they want well concept photographs/illustrations that can be used in their design.

Comment by Shreyans Subscribed to comments via email
2010-03-24 02:24:03

Hey ! AWESOME page ! Extremely helpful, especially to a newbie like me…and very comprehensive .
I have a bunch of good images…hope i can make some money out of em…..your help is invaluable !
Good luck !

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-05-12 19:01:19

Glad if I could help. Good luck!

Comment by Lecia Subscribed to comments via email
2010-04-02 13:48:16

What about Getty? I just looked at their site; it sems they require uploaded photos to be exclusive with them. I couldn’t find info about what they pay (if it makes it worth it to have an exclusive photo with them). Have you heard? Thanks.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-05-12 19:04:26

Getty contributors are mostly experienced stock photographers. If you just start it, Microstock Photo agencies are the way to go.. Once you’ve established yourself as a good stock photographer, you may want to look at Getty and other big agencies in the industry

Comment by weeeeeeeeeeeee
2010-04-05 07:41:43

Are there other microstock sites that you may want to tell us about ?

Comment by Ben G Subscribed to comments via email
2010-04-09 18:55:58

Hello, I recently purchased a Sony A230. I have read reviews stating that for an entry level DSLR it’s quite good. I haven’t yet had a chance to test it in proper light (cloud cover the past three days), and I was wondering if the A230 would take good stock photos?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-05-12 19:06:25

That should be good enough. Some of my photos shot with Canon 300D (the first affordable DSLR available for the market) are still selling pretty well.

Comment by jaime
2010-04-12 12:10:13

hey great info thanks. I saw your photos and yes I can definitely see why you are making money. those photos are great

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-05-12 19:07:30

Thanks for you kind words.. :)

Comment by Amit Subscribed to comments via email
2010-04-16 12:52:09

Hi there,

a question, if you can answer.

Do we really need a pro camera like D700? or a D90 will do good as well? I guess the picture sizes are different, so maybe these websites insist on some particular size ?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-05-12 19:13:02

Having a DSLR camera is not about the size of your images. But it’s more about having a camera with bigger sensor and range of lenses to make your life easier when submitting your images to those agencies.

Comment by Mario
2010-04-19 09:35:52

Hi, Thank you very much for all the info you show and the time you take to reply the messages, highly appreciated.

I was wondering how could I make more money from stocks photos, my photos are good quality, 21 mega pixels,mostly liquids and colorful stuffs, texture and conceptual.

But I have around 600 photos in shutterstock, and I barely make the minimum which is $75, If I keep this way, to make around $1000 I will need around 7,800 photos online, I think is just absurd, I do understand that the more photos I have more people will see my photos or will buy different license, and make some clients that buy quiet frequently, so maybe I need a bit less, 5,000 photos online to make $1,000 a month is still a lot…

I was wondering how could you make $1,000 with around 1,000 photos…

Thank you so much for all your help and time.


So maybe I should take other kind of photos,

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-05-12 19:38:36

Having some of your photos in the top list could help your sale..

Comment by catamundo
2010-06-11 10:41:49

Do you know anything about how photos end up in the Top List? Is this an editorial choice by Shutterstock staff, a reflection of sales, or a purchasable advertising spot?

Comment by ChrisPe
2010-04-19 14:34:38

@Amit: check on your own on each microstock website, the size requirements are not too excessive. However, the more pro photo does not mean better photo. I mean it has unquestionably less Noise on the same ISO Level, but :) whole imagination and creativity is in your head not in camera.

Comment by George185
2010-04-21 14:01:37

I must say that I took a look at your photo blog, and you are incredibly talented. Your photography is haunting.

I will be joining several photography sites for a photographer friend of mine. My initial question was if I could join multiple microstock sites, which you answered. But I was also wondering if I could post the photography on sites like Redgage to get paid on views, and constant conten (which can work like a microstock site).

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-05-12 19:43:34

I don’t think that would be a problem George. BTW, thanks for your comment on my portfolio. :)

Comment by Jen Weiss
2010-04-25 21:34:45

Thank you for all the info its very useful for any photographer, Jen

Comment by Lillix Subscribed to comments via email
2010-04-25 23:41:35

Hi, I’ve just signed up with Fotolia, and I came upon this section – Artist Parameters. I don’t want to be exclusive with Fotolia, so is it okay if I uncheck the box with “Add my exclusive images and my video clips to the Fotolia Subscription Program?”

Your blog has been an inspiration! Thanks so much!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-05-12 19:47:56

If you don’t want to be exclusive with Fotolia, then you can do so.. It’s all up to you. You can ask the agency for more info regarding exclusivity on their site.

Comment by Rich
2010-04-29 12:20:35

This is an excellent summary of the stock photography business. Thank you for helping me get a good start. I needed one good push and this was it.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-05-12 19:49:07

Now take some great images and submit them! :D

Comment by arizal Subscribed to comments via email
2010-04-30 04:51:32

All your photo in your photoblog are looking good and excellent.Can u share your knoledge in photo retouching.I want to be as good as u…Thnks..

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-05-12 19:50:40

I have shared most of my photo editing techniques here at If you take a look at the photoshop tutorials category, there are more than 200 tutorials available on this site

Comment by Chris Guillou
2010-05-01 15:20:26

Thanks a bunch for the great article.

Comment by Patricia Subscribed to comments via email
2010-05-03 09:07:12

Hi there
I am a total newbie at photography. I have an eye for composition, but lots of things go wrong, as I only get ‘declines’ from fotolia. I am using a Sony digital DSC-590(?). Some of my shots had the right resolution for fotolia, but I now find many are 190×1090 and that means insufficient resolution. These pics are my best compositions!!! I do not think fotolia allow resizing or righting wrong resolution. What can I do with the photos? are there sites that might accept them? If I am able to resize them, how do I do this? I have Picasa 3 software. I am more of an artist than a cameraman. when things go wrong, I dont know why!!! Thanks for the great site.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-05-12 19:59:33

I don’t think you’re allowed to upsize your images. The only way I see is invest on a DSLR camera.

Comment by Jinay Subscribed to comments via email
2010-05-05 02:01:29


I am a photography enthusiast. I take photos on family trips and vacations, and am thinking about uploading them to stock. However, with my current point and shoot, I am facing rejections due to low resolution and poor photo quality. I want to upgrade to a DSLR, and after much research decided on the Olympus E-620. I am aware that you recommend Canon or Nikon, but the E-620′s feature set appealed greatly to me. Is this camera good enough for stock in terms of photo quality and resolution? On family vacations, I mainly shoot landscapes and some wildlife in form of distant animals in sanctuaries or birds.


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-05-12 20:10:18

Well, I hardly see gimmick features such as image filtering or inbuilt image editing on a DSLR camera. What I want from my DSLR are

1. The ability to create low noise images even in low light condition. Canon and Nikon DLSRs have proven this.
2. A huge range of high quality lenses. Again both Canon and Nikon have this.

But, if you ask if the E-620 is good enough for stock in terms of photo quality and resolution.. then the answer is YES.

Comment by Jinay
2010-05-24 04:33:00

Thank you very much. I think I will definitely go for the Olympus E620.

Comment by Jinay Subscribed to comments via email
2010-05-25 00:05:18


Thank you for your reply.

I am a beginner and the Olympus kit lens seemed to be sharper than Canon and Nikon rivals. Also, I need only the basic lenses, as in the 14-42mm, 40-150mm, 70-300mm and depending on usage the 9-18mm. This will give me coverage from 18-600mm in 35mm equivalent, which seems sufficient. Also, reviews suggest that even the Standard grade Zuiko lenses are very sharp. Also, the 2x field of view crop factor meant I could get more telephoto reach and it is very helpful for shooting birds. My major interest being landscape, I would rarely go over ISO200, so noise shouldn’t really be a problem. For night photography, I rarely do it. But from the sample pictures I saw, the E-620 handles them respectably. I don’t really care about the Art filters, but the processing seems to have 2 major advantages:
1. The ‘Olympus’ output, which seemingly bumps up saturation slightly to give a more pleasing effect.
2. An excellent JPEG engine which seemingly squeezes every bit of detail from the RAWs, minimizing the need to shoot RAWs.

This is the impression I draw from the reviews I have read. I hope I am correct.

And, another question related to stock:
Do landscapes like coastal scenes and mountains and birds sell well or concepts relating to people are better sellers? I am not very good with people photography, but handle landscapes and birds fairly. At least I believe I do. Can I be successful in stock with these?

Thank you again,

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Jennifer
2010-05-10 21:31:09

Great information and awesome picture! I was wondering what software do you use or think is the best to use?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2010-05-12 20:13:45

I still use Photoshop CS2… I usually only use the software for a bit color correction and keywording.

2010-05-16 23:27:11

Dear Sir / Ma’m,

This is Miss Rajini here would like to sell my ordinary photographs of ordinary life style girl of india all through out the world. Can i get any tips for photographs, costumes, stills etc. for just on the street business and will never get a job in hollywood nor bollywood nor tollywood nor tv industry even for a cheap roles etc.

Comment by Sasho Z. Spirkoski
2010-05-18 03:37:22

You have an impressive results here… How many photos did you started with, back in 2005?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-01-08 08:16:44

about 10 photos..

Comment by S0
2010-05-20 20:03:30

I am fairly new to photography, have taken some pretty good photos and am very interested in learning more about photography. I do not yet have a Digital SLR. I have a film SLR (Nikon N50) and a digital point-and-shoot (Kodak C340) that is only 5mp. Is it pretty necessary to have a good DSLR for stock photography? I am saving for one (actually I am hoping to use my earnings from stock phototgraphy toward the camera) but do not yet have one.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-01-08 08:19:08


Comment by Diana
2010-05-24 11:01:13

I wanted to say thank you for this article, it was my first introduction to stock photography, and having gotten started I am finding it hard to take good enough pictures to sell as stock. I was getting very frustrated and close to throwing in the towel when I came across your article again and realized how much potential there is and just how much money there is to be made doing something I love. I’m trying to open a pet photography and gifts business, while working full time and wanted to do stock photography to generate some extra income to fund my business. Unfortunately, I’m not doing so well creating quality stock images, but now that I’ve read your article again I’m ready to get back on the horse and try some more. Thank you!

Comment by Kathie M Thomas
2010-05-28 01:34:03

Just wanted to say thank you for your comprehensive outline about stock photography – I’ve been reading several articles here and elsewhere. I’ve finally been accepted into several stock photo sites now – but still yet to get into istockphotos. Currently biding my time after a rejection so I can try again. I’ve sold one image so far on one of the sites – so it’s a start! I’m documenting my progress on my blog and hoping to report some success by the end of the year although I reckon I would have a loooooong way to go to achieve what you’ve done. Thanks for giving us all hope!

Comment by Steve
2010-06-01 18:32:39

Thanks for the informative writeup.

I just registered for 5 sites: shutterstock, fotolia, dreamstime, bigstockphoto & 123RF. I seem to be doing well in the last 4 as they don’t have a very strict evaluation for membership, but I got destroyed by Shutterstock. I submitted 10 pictures for their evaluation and ALL of them were rejected! Most of them were accepted by the other 4. The pictures were mainly travel photographs, with no lighting setup. Are they always so anal about travel photography?

Comment by Kathie M Thomas
2010-06-01 23:57:51

Like Steve, I’ve registered for the same sites. Still waiting to resubmit to I love isyndica. I’ve begun blogging about my experience in trying out the stock photo sites. I’ve already sold two images and it’s early days for me.

I’ve found across the 5 sites so far that some will accept a photo when another won’t and vice versa. It’s not always the same site and they all seem to have different acceptance criteria – none of which I’m privy to. But I am learning to be smart in the submission process and work with similar photos at a time which makes the process of keywording, categories and descriptions a much faster thing to do.

Comment by Rina Subscribed to comments via email
2010-06-03 21:50:14

Thank you, i love this article, and I’m learning a lot from the comments. I’m still in high school and want to pursue a career in photography. What would I miss from not going to photography school?
And in simpler terms can someone tell me what is royalty-free photos? Thank you.

Comment by Mark Spowart Subscribed to comments via email
2010-06-05 07:15:12

This is a great article. I have wanted to find a way to make stock photography work. I always thought being exclusive would be the way to go, but clearly you have shown success by posting work to several sites. I am also very interested to see the type of work that is selling for you. With that in mind, I am curious, you do find different agencies work better for certain images? IE for your landscapes and HDR is Shutterstock better than Istockphoto? Also did you find that you need have a certain amount of critical mass, ie number of images on a site, before you started coming up in buyer searches.

Again great article, I am using it as a model to build my stock agency. While I may not love microstock, and do think they undervalue quality work, you have to accept the fact the industry seems to heading that way, so may as well find the best way to make it work.


Comment by Mark Spowart Subscribed to comments via email
2010-06-05 08:41:00

oops…that should have read “using it as a model to build my stock business” not my stock agency.

should follow that rule, type once, read twice!


Comment by Maya Koyo Subscribed to comments via email
2010-06-06 01:53:00

Great info and thanks so much for your help & insight!
I am just starting in this and have a lot to learn I am sure.
I love to shoot photos and would like very much to be able to generate some income from it.
Would you please check out my website and tell me what you think ? (under stock photos)
I have Pentax K 10 and two Pentax zoom lenses:16-45 and 70-300.
I seem to be getting somewhat unsharp images (used to shoot regular SLR Nikon before and all looked much better) and I keep wondering if this equipment as well as my pix are good enough to begin approaching agencies.

Comment by Namrata
2010-06-07 08:33:30

Hi …
I have good plenty of photos of Nature How can i sale them and earn money i don’t even mind if i get a cheaper amount but how can we start sealing photos can i know which website we need to work on with do mail me … will be waiting for the reply .

Comment by Florin Subscribed to comments via email
2010-06-09 03:42:35

Great post, I have been looking for ways to make money online for a while but made no starting steps in any direction yet. Well said that it matters where you live to ba able to make a living out of it. Here the medium revenue is about 300$ so if I could prove myself that I can earn atleast that much while keeping my 8h job, than I could earn as much as I do from my job if I quit it (I tend to agree with the ideea that there are better ways to gain money than in an office sitting 8 hours).

Never thought of selling stock photos online, but I think i’ll investigate it more now. I have a Nikon D90, probably ok for stock photos.

Comment by Maya Koyo Subscribed to comments via email
2010-06-10 02:34:59

Can you tell me the basics of labeling a photo that I intend to submit to a stock agency ?
How do you label your photos – with your name, keywords …?

Comment by Kathie M Thomas
2010-06-10 16:14:03

Good questions Maya – I’d love to know that too.

Comment by Maya Koyo Subscribed to comments via email
2010-06-12 01:51:12

…and another one – can the keywords entered as metadata in Bridge be read by agencies – as well as other metadata associated with the image ?

Thanks so much for all the comprehensive info on this website, by the way, it is very helpful and very inspiring.

Comment by sajo
2010-06-12 23:03:05

Thanks for this info. I’m just curious. Do you also have your own website which you sell photos from?

Also, approximately, how many photos do you have uploaded to these stock photography websites?

Just curious if I would be able to do this on the side or if it would be way to time consuming for me.

Thank You!

Comment by Nosheen Subscribed to comments via email
2010-06-16 16:58:56

Thank you very much for all the time and detail you put into your article. I have been taking pictures and after reading your article I feel like I would be able to try to put up some of my images for sale. I loved your portfolio and it has given me some great ideas.

Keep up the great work! Looking forward to seeing some more of your pictures!


Comment by Joe
2010-06-21 08:42:25

I have a good film SLR camera and was wondering if this would work for taking stock photographs. I figure at the very least I can transfer them using one of those kiosks you see in Wal-Marts or other stores. Does anyone know if this would produce images of decent quality for the purposes stated, and if there are better ways of making the film to digital transfer? Thanks.

Comment by VictorO Subscribed to comments via email
2010-06-21 16:59:08

Hi Paul,
I have a question for you, how much of your income are made from referral program? (last months for example)

Comment by Tris
2010-06-22 14:04:14

Hi, this is a great article answering many questions I have been wondering about for awhile. I have taken pictures for years just for fun and have had comments over the years about becoming a photographer from friends and family. I could never quite find a job doing it, not that I tried hard to do this. I am now interested in this stock photography as I have 1000s of pictures that literally sit on my computer doing nothing. I primarily do nature photography as my mom is mycologist and botanist. I grew up in the woods so it’s where I love to take my pics. My question is I do not know if my photos are near good enough for this. Is there anywhere I can go to get feedback on some of my pictures on the overall quality of my photography. I don’t fully trust my friends an family as they are probably biased and of coarse are not professionals LOL. Thanks for any info you can provide.

Comment by Inderjit Deepak Samuel Uppal
2010-06-25 03:56:46

Proffessional Freelance photographer, wanting to sell my Photographs.

Comment by siska Subscribed to comments via email
2010-06-27 21:01:17

hi, im thinking about buying d300 nikon, im thinking about changing my carrer im a chef, but lately i find my self love taking pic. not going to school for this probally harder, but i will want to do it anyway. so if you take pic of someone on your photo whats in it for them? what would u do? how about taking random pic of random people on the street i guess thats out of question cause that means you need to bring the form at all time? thanks your answer will be appriciated

thanks for your time siska

Comment by narayanan Subscribed to comments via email
2010-06-28 10:17:47

could i sell my photos through india??
because i stay at india

Comment by Luda
2010-06-30 09:08:48

I have a question, i did signed up to a few websites, i read all the details and rules is it important to understand the size and quality of the pictures before submitting? I try to keep all my images the same size but i feel that a lot of the sites are too picky about every little detail i feel like it will take me a while to get to know each one and remember what to submit.
I feel spending more time looking into details making sure my picture is the right size, resolution.

Comment by Kathie M Thomas
2010-06-30 22:17:38

Luda, I’m now signed up to 7 sites and in the past month have sold 9 photos at two of those sites. Small beginnings and I’ve had a lot of rejections but am now finding some success. I submit full size images to all of them and check them at 100% resolution first but as you say, some are more picky than others. I’ve yet to get into istockphoto even with submitting my best of my best that other more picky stock sites have accepted.

isyndica has been good for keeping track of what I’ve submitted to most of them.

Comment by Luda
2010-07-01 13:50:26

I submitted 20 pictures to Dreamstime, and i felt i spend an hour giving all the details they are required about each picture i can’t imagine how you manage 7 websites. I signed up Shutterstock but i didn’t upload any pictures yet. I feel that i can spend all day if i would be managing more than one web. I mean how do you feel, unless you get use to it.

Comment by Kathie M Thomas
2010-07-02 00:18:29

Luda, most of them are through isyndica so you’re processing photos once and then submitting to all the sites. Then a couple you have to go into and select categories but all the keywording and titles are done in that one place.

Comment by Nino Cavalier
2010-07-03 23:40:44

Hello, I just have a quick question, I do not have much time in the stock photo industry, I am already making a few sales, but they are mostly the new photos I upload, I was wondering maybe if stop uploading one month my sales will go really low??

Thank you so much for your help :D

Comment by Erin Subscribed to comments via email
2010-07-07 14:09:50

Can you please re-post the link to the sample of your photos that have been accepted by Microstock, iStock, Shutterstock, Fotilia, etc.?
I tried it and received an error message.

Thanks for all the great info.


Comment by Luda
2010-07-07 18:25:59

I have another question, Kathie you are using Fotolia website, which you find more useful to you when it comes to LICENSES AND EXCLUSIVITY.


Comment by Kathie M Thomas
2010-07-08 00:38:28

Luda, it’s still early days for me yet – too soon to be able to say.

Comment by Ryan
2010-07-08 09:45:47

Can a small cybershoot camara have the ability to shoot stock worthy photos? if so is there a few photoshop tips that may inhance them?

Comment by Luda
2010-07-15 09:20:06

Im back here again, i wanted to ask everyone how long does it take on the average basis to apload images and release forms. I found Istock to be really strict about it, release form for every new picture of a model taken. Im slowly giving up on what i thought would work, i feel im spending more time managing all the websites than i get something out of it.

Comment by Luda
2010-07-15 09:25:10

Tp update istock they only aloud 3 uploads to a new users and if you get rejected you have to wait 3 days even though on the website it says wait 6 hours. I did confirm that by contacting them.

Comment by vin
2010-07-16 16:25:24

Hello, nice put together article. Was very direct and informative. However, I didnt have the time to read through all the comments. I am new to freelancing photos, so my question may be generic to you. But my question is…photos submitted to these paticular photo sites, can they be altered, enhanced, or changed in any way. Or do they specificly need to be a stock photo(unaltered)? ty

Comment by David
2010-07-22 09:45:22

Very nice article and it seems like a reasonable pay for doing something you love!

Comment by Jane
2010-07-23 13:45:12

Does the Canon EOS 1Ds Mk III would be appropriate to make good quality pictures lack?

Comment by HARB Subscribed to comments via email
2010-07-27 13:10:15

Great article :) i love photography, i think i have some good shots with my Canon EOS T2i
but can we edit photos before selling them? or should it be the original one

Comment by Stig
2010-07-28 09:50:04

Hi and tnx for your very informative article. I signed up for Shutterstock and got all my 10 photos accepted. In less than six hours no less. And my first sales in five. So again thankyou :)


Comment by Kathie M Thomas
2010-07-28 21:05:13

Congratulations Stig. That’s great.

Comment by Emi Cristea
2010-08-05 16:12:21

Hi. I am courious to see your portfolio on Dreamstime. Can you tell me your profile there? Thanks!

Comment by ROYLYN (Charles)
2010-08-12 12:22:51

I have been reading web material for over 3 months, and relish your site beyond all other. I have developed a coded tracking number for my picture submission as the end of my picture title. This was created to help me identify and track any pictures I submit. I use the alphabet less “I and “O” for the month and year submitted. This gives me a 2 year record before I start over.

example: Red Flower H04

H is the code for August 2010 and the 04 is the 4th picture submitted for that month.

Do you recommend a tracking system and do you feel this to be acceptable for title submission???

You may use my e-mail for an answer and also publish your answer in any manner you choose. Many thanks. Roylyn

Comment by ROYLYN (Charles)
2010-08-12 13:04:15

Another question — Do you “clean” your photos such as work with contrast etc. or submit them in their raw format.

As usual, you may answer this in any manner you feel. ROYLYN (CRC)

Comment by Nicolas Castanon Subscribed to comments via email
2010-08-13 18:31:55

Hi! I saw several pictures in your blog… They are very good…. Congratulations. Thanks for your directions… I will be sharing my work sooner, thanks to you…

Comment by Patrick Phillips
2010-09-14 15:44:57

Question and perhaps this has already been asked so excuse me if it has, but once your photos are accepted on one of these sites, say Shutterstock, do you keep those pohtos up there forever? Does the website, Shutterstock in this case, allow them to stay on there forever, or are they cleared out every so often?

Comment by Brett Subscribed to comments via email
2010-09-15 15:08:50

Damn! I dont mean to be a pessimist, but your photography vs. what I have going is night and day! I’d love to be able to build a collection like you have in your gallery! VERY VERY NICE!

Comment by Larry Subscribed to comments via email
2010-09-28 11:11:11

iSyndica has gone out of business. They are no longer accepting any accounts. This is effective immediately and they are apparently shutting down their site on Oct. 10 of this year.

Comment by Kathie M. Thomas
2010-09-29 14:59:48

I was devastated to find out a couple of days ago the iSyndica are closing down. It was such a great service. Is there anyone else like them? Submitting to multiple sites is such a time consuming exercising and this service helped prevent the repeated exercises being done.

Comment by Presboss Subscribed to comments via email
2010-09-29 19:45:05

Great info Thanks.
Q: how d these sites pay you. I am based overseas and trying to figure out how to get paid…paypal?

Comment by Kathie M. Thomas
2010-09-29 23:25:39

By overseas – you mean outside USA? I’m in Australia and yes, many list Paypal as an option but not all. Sometimes it’s a check which is a pain because the banks take a hefty fee.

Comment by Presboss Subscribed to comments via email
2010-10-06 00:06:38

Thanks Kathie, will sign in to paypal

Comment by Ashish
2010-10-01 03:53:32

i try to make money its cool and good for me

Comment by Anna Subscribed to comments via email
2010-10-14 04:23:45

I found your site very interesting. Wonder if you or somebody else knows of sites interested in selling more artistic photos since stock photo doesn’t seem to be the kind of photos I’m taking…

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-01-08 08:56:25

You might want to try DeviantArt.. All the best!

Comment by Amanda
2010-10-14 09:00:15

Thanks so much for this wonderfully detailed information – I’ve been taking pictures for years, and am only now looking into shooting/submitting stock photography. Great article.

Comment by Daisy
2010-10-28 09:34:21


I just want to really thank you for writing this article and for being so open and really specific about earnings from different stock sites.

I come from a theatre and media background so don’t find it as difficult to develop an aesthetic strategy for building and sharing my portfolio as an economic one!

I’ve read a lot of articles on selling stock photos but they are so coy on actual income that it is really hard to know which agencies to approach. This article has been so much more helpful.

I am particularly interested in what you have to say about fotolia.

Thanks again! Daisy

Comment by Jay
2010-11-11 06:39:45

Hi i have read all that’s here and the comments, and must say it has all been done/put together very well, so thanks. I do have some questions i hop you don’t mind answering. I see Yuri Arcurs get’s a fare bit, but what would be best do you think for me…i do alot of bird photography, plus odds and ends, but mainly birds. I was considering (shutterstock), what are your thoughts, would it be good for my type of photos, if not what would you suggest? Next does shutter stock have/use pay pal? I joined one site called “Alamy stock photos” they had a symbol of pay pal so i joined up. Then i find out the the pay pal is for buyers, not for my payments. They also told me i had to wait for 7 days to here if they would except my photos,it is now day 12 and still have heard nothing. Have you dealt with or heard anything about “Alamy”?. Sorry for asking abit, but hey if you don’t ask, you never will know huh lol. Thanks for any help you can give.


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-01-08 08:53:58

Bird photographs will sell, but not as many as business people photos. Check their best seller to see what kind of photos are selling well..

Yes, SS can transfer your payment through paypal

Comment by Ezz Subscribed to comments via email
2010-11-12 19:42:57


I recently signed up for Shutterstock but they turned me down since I am 16 years old. In all of your sites, do they only accept 18 years old and above?

Thank you.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-01-08 08:46:39

Oh well, keep shooting and practicing on your photography technique & concept.. when the time is come, you’ll have many great photos to sell..

Comment by John Subscribed to comments via email
2010-11-15 15:56:02

Wonderful site, lots of info. This article has pointed out some real possibilities for me. One issue I’m wondering about, though, is do you have to have a legally documented copyright for photos you submit, or is it simply be able to prove you took them? Thanks.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-01-08 08:44:05

Nope you don’t, but do not even think to upload somebody else photos to this agencies.. They or buyers would eventually find out about it and your account will get banned.

Comment by Jeroen
2010-11-20 11:48:01

Thanks for the great article. I am going to check out the sites you mentioned and see if I can make some money with my own photo’s on the internet ! another great way of making money online in addition to the ways I already discuss on my site. thank again !

Comment by adil
2010-11-26 04:27:10

i have some unique pictures i wana sale it what should i do?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-01-08 08:35:20

If you read the article and comments above, you should not have a problem to sell them..

Comment by 89vtguy Subscribed to comments via email
2010-12-15 09:34:48

Thanks for posting this information. Very useful to determine if this is a side income stream I am interested in starting.

Comment by Dee
2011-01-01 08:03:48


Do you edit (retouch) using software (like Photoshop) your photos before you upload them to Stockphoto sites?


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-01-08 08:33:18

What ever you do in Photoshop, just do not do too much.. Curve, Saturation, and a bit of Image sharpening are fine..

Comment by Nora Stewart
2011-01-04 00:15:41

Thanks for this information – very interesting and helpful. Best wishes

Comment by Jenessa Subscribed to comments via email
2011-01-07 10:14:44

Hi. I’m not sure if this thread is still active, but I have a few questions and maybe someone can answer for me?

First: How do you know what your photos are used for? Do you loose all rights once they are uploaded or is it different for each site? What if your photo is used in a harmful or disrespectful way?

Second: Do you have to claim your earnings for income tax purposes and if so, how do you maintain records?

Thank you so much! I appreciate all of the great information I have gathered from this site and I have enjoyed looking through some beautiful photographs. :)

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-01-08 08:26:52

Hi Jenessa,

There’s no way you can monitor what buyers are using your photos for..

Not sure about the tax, every country has its own rule regarding income from the internet.. You might want to ask the taxation officer in your country.

Comment by Jenessa Subscribed to comments via email
2011-01-10 08:01:52

Thank you! I appreciate your response. :)

Comment by Larry Subscribed to comments via email
2011-01-08 10:00:13

You can try a website called Tineye. It has pretty good success rate for find your photos online.

Comment by Mark
2011-01-08 21:57:16

Awesome well written article. This si what I was looking for. Very detailed personal experience from selling your photographs online, and I assume people understand their mileage may vary.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-05-30 23:01:33

Thank you for your kind words.. :)

Comment by Ade
2011-01-11 05:40:24

Well I’ve returned to this blog one year on. All I can say that this is another web based con. If you think you are going to make any money from photostock – think again.
I made just over $1 last year, and have removed my images from the 3 main photostock sites.
It is a con trick. You are essentially giving away your images for free. Much better to set up your own site. One sale from your own site will generate more income than several years in Microstock.

Comment by Katherine Subscribed to comments via email
2011-01-12 11:24:28

I ave read through most of the comments here and I still have two questions:
1) In your travel photos you have several pictures of people which I assume require a model release for non-documentary images. How do you approach people and ask them to sign the releas? Are they generally receptive or do they seem hesitant?

2) I shoot in raw and try to do as little post processing as possible in order to avoid causing noise, however the images are saved as a jpeg. When someone ask for the actual raw image, how can I get that?

I appreciate all of yourhelp on this site.
Thank You

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-05-30 23:08:48

1) That just depends on which country you’re traveling to. Most people in Asian countries are cooperative when I ask them to sign the model release.

2)I don’t think the stock agencies mentioned above will ask about the raw version of your photos

Comment by Conor Sweeney
2011-01-16 21:09:46

I don’t feel safe entering my credit card or government ID. Are there any stock photography websites that don’t require those?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-05-30 23:11:21

I think that’s just what they do right now with so many scammers on the net. I even had to submit my Govt Id only to get a web hosting recently..

Comment by Marina
2011-01-17 17:12:05

hi, apart from ImageVortex, what other websites are there to sell photographs?

Comment by Wpb
2011-01-27 13:06:39

cpngratulations nice post

Comment by Bill Porter Subscribed to comments via email
2011-01-29 02:02:52


I appreciate your efforts to help out your fellow photo enthusiast.

Great Deed!

I have a few thousand 35 mm slides take from around the world in the 40′s and 50′s. Mostly at historical sites. Is there a market for such photos?



Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-05-30 23:14:22

Not sure Bill.. Never submitted such photos. What you can do is trying to scan 10-20 of those photos and submit them to the agencies above.. and see what the site photo editors say about your photos.. Cheers!

Comment by Vampy
2011-02-07 23:32:37

Thanks for being so open and sharing!

Comment by Carl Gedye Subscribed to comments via email
2011-02-10 03:59:26

Having Googled ‘Selling images online”, yours was the first article I’ve read. I have to say, its a very good article. Many thanks for sharing. Very professional.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-05-30 23:16:48

Thanks Carl!

Comment by url
2011-02-14 22:02:09

Wanted to drop a remark and let you know your Rss feed isn’t working today. I tried adding it to my Bing reader account and got nothing.

Comment by The Captain Subscribed to comments via email
2011-02-16 12:08:09

I don’t know what is going on at Dreamstime Stock photo, but I will not be submitting to them until they get things straightened out.

They rejected on first submission two photos that they later accepted. One was a scientific photo but was rejected for not being cropped correctly. After explaining the reason for the cropping it was put back on the site.

But the second was the really disturbing one. They said the photo was out of focus. It isn’t. I actually had the photo printed at 14×20 from a JPEG. Not a TIFF, but a JPEG. When the photo came from the processors, we examined it with a 10x jeweler’s loupe and it was perfect.

I’m really upset that they have people that would reject a photo because they don’t understand the subject matter.

BTW, Ive sold 8 out of 8 photos submitted. And some of those several times, so I have some idea of what is needed.

Anyone else with a similar experience?

Comment by Kathie
2011-02-16 20:41:54

I’ve had photos knocked back there that have been accepted elsewhere and sold. I ended up deciding going with just the one agency for now – Shutterstock, as I seem to sell more there than anywhere else. And now that the service for uploading to multiple sites at once is no longer available, the time consumed in uploading to several sites at a time – the same photos, is more than I can afford at the moment.

Comment by Kevin D.
2011-02-24 07:32:39

Thanks for this excellent article.
Really good info and encouraging stats!
Few days ago I found a nice eBook on how to make money by selling photos. Takes you from 0 to 100 in easy to follow chapters. Lots of good tips and advice. I haven’t finished reading all of it, but I think it is the most complete ebook on microstock photography available. You can check it out here

Hope you find the ebook helpfull :)

Comment by Don Subscribed to comments via email
2011-02-25 13:39:10

I like this site a lot. Thanks. Do you watermark any of your photos before uploading?

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-05-30 23:23:12

Nope, you don’t need to. The photo agencies will add the watermark to your photo thumbnails.

Comment by harrison athur Subscribed to comments via email
2011-03-13 22:05:15

They accept as minimum 4.0 mb. Sow i try taken the photos in raw mode witch gives me a size of 5.2mb but then i have to change the format to jpeg and it goes down to 3.2mb again.
I bought the same camera just because you said that you started with that one and you took acceptable photos to sell on the web.
I try to take the photos in jpeg mode but they are to small (3.2 mb) to sell on the web.
Are all of these 250-600 photos taken with 6+ MP cameras, or are you able to make any money with as low as 2 MP cameras also?

Thanks for your response.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-05-30 23:27:36

What camera are you using?.. I first used the Canon EOS 300D, a 6 MB DSLR camera, not a pocket camera.

Comment by harrison athur Subscribed to comments via email
2011-03-13 22:07:59

Few days ago I found a nice eBook on how to make money by selling photos. Takes you from 0 to 100 in easy to follow chapters. Lots of good tips and advice. I haven’t finished reading all of it, but I think it is the most complete ebook on microstock photography available. You can check it out here
Wanted to drop a remark and let you know your Rss feed isn’t working today. I tried adding it to my Bing reader account and got nothing.

Comment by Sylvia McKenzie
2011-05-21 17:48:48

Hi, You mentioned you found a great ebook on microstock photography. I would appreciate if you could send me the link.

Many thanks

Comment by furball Subscribed to comments via email
2011-03-18 12:59:13

It is very generous of you to share all of this information. I am actually a good photographer with a rotten bussiness sense, so this is very interesting.

Thank you.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-05-30 23:30:31

haha.. you’re not the only one.. most photographers have a rotten business sense since we think mostly with our RIGHT brain.. While business sense comes from the LEFT Brain.

Comment by Simon Moss Subscribed to comments via email
2011-03-21 17:12:41

Photographers can connect with image buyers for free – basically image buyers submit briefs, photographers are notified and can enter for specific work… rather than hoping someone finds their work on a stock library. Its free for photographers to join and allows them to cash in on work they wouldnt have know about otherwise.

Comment by R khan Subscribed to comments via email
2011-03-22 22:27:36

sir, How i start my earning kindly give me some advice to sell my Photo collection.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-05-30 23:34:55

Read the article and comments above.. That should be enough..

Comment by Sam Crouch Subscribed to comments via email
2011-03-25 21:48:24

I am a photographer who concentrates mostly on photos from underwater as i am a scuba diving instructor as well. I have looked at a few sites and am interested to put some of my work out there for sale but more importantly for review by some people in the know as to how to improve it. Is there a site which would offer a critique of my work, or a photographer you might recommend who specialises ion my particular area of photography. I do know of a few diving photographers but how to contact them and transfer my work for critique is a different matter. Any help you could provide would be gratefully accepted.

Many Thanks,


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-05-30 23:39:05

You can try to join our social networking site for photographers for photo critiques. It’s located at

Comment by Capt. Larry Subscribed to comments via email
2011-03-27 08:15:05

Hey Sam,

Photography critiques can be difficult to come by. At least honest ones. I have been a boat captain for over 40 years, a diver longer than that and have worked with people with point and shoots to National Geographic photo teams. And while I’ve done little underwater photography, I may be able to help point you in the right direction. First, look critically at your photos. Seems obvious doesn’t it? Well, I have a friend who used to process his own color slide film, mounted his own pictures and did a great job of filing everything keeping good records. Problem was, he was a terrible photographer. Out of focus would be putting it mildly. No composition. Bad lighting. And he thought they we4re masterpieces and couldn’t understand why they didn’t sell.When you hold your photos up for comparison to some you see in magazines, how do they compare? Not that you would be expected to shoot at the same level all the time, but you should be getting pretty close.Lots of magazines, Scuba Diver, Diver and others, local and national, often list photographers names and a quick e-mail commenting on their photos may bring a response that opens a door for you sending them so low res photos to look at. But you are going to be your best critic, if you can get by what it took to get the photo and concentrate on your photo as if it were shot by someone else,you’ll gain insight to how your photos can improve or if they are already better than what’s out there. Have a picture of a nudibranch? Are the colors realistic? How’s the framing and the lighting? Not that my opinion will mean much to you as you don’t know me, but I’d be happy to look at some of your photos and give you an honest critique. My offering to do so in no way assures you of a valuable insight, but I would be happy to try and help. Best of luck. Larry

Comment by rahul Subscribed to comments via email
2011-04-05 03:38:41

I want to sell my explosive photograph ( u earn more) if want see semple ple mail me

Comment by Bartek
2011-04-19 03:28:26

Hi. I will start just as you were by buying Canon 300D. I’, from Poland and aroused, when saw such admiration to photography like you are. Currently I have only 2MP on my cell phone, cause my last one was stolen (4MP) and now just collect money (around 100$) for Canon 300D.

I think I’ll do that for fun at the beginning and see what happens, if nothing I’ll just use it for my grand children for inspection and high resolution off course.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-05-30 23:42:12

Sounds like a plan.. Good luck!

Comment by oseas Subscribed to comments via email
2011-04-20 04:04:01

hi.. i,m oseas.. just new…
i also want to sell my photos, can any help me please
thanks so much

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-06-01 21:05:58

Just read the article and all comments above..

Comment by Eric Subscribed to comments via email
2011-04-25 06:58:37

Thank you sharing this good info to us, this is very interesting. hopefully i can make money from my photo…

Comment by Michelle Subscribed to comments via email
2011-05-17 10:07:32

I’m from Montreal, Canada. I read your article and I saw that information on your income comes from 2005. I am a beginner in the field stockphoto. I would like to know if you earn more, less, or a similar amount of money per month in 2011.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-06-01 21:08:23

When you continue to shoot and upload new photos your income will increase every month..

Comment by sabrina
2011-05-21 05:50:48

I’m from Mauritius and tried to sell photos at dreamstime but I can’t upload with java system nor with ftp-client filezilla, will you please tell me how to upload via web-browser, I have no idea how to do it. please help!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-06-01 21:09:36

I think you better ask this question to dreamstime support staff. They must have a solution for you..

Comment by Sylvia McKenzie
2011-05-21 17:55:08

Hi Harrison, You mentioned you found a microstock photography eBook which was excellent but there was no link. Could you please advise the website where you found it. Thanks.

Comment by Tilen Hrovatic Subscribed to comments via email
2011-05-24 14:42:52

Awesome, really informative and really inspiring post for all those who are starting with stock photography business online. Thanks for sharing these great tips and your experiences!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-06-01 21:11:41

Thank you for your kind words.. All the best with your new endeavor

Comment by Static
2011-05-28 02:39:22

smart idea, thanks for sharing

Comment by rraine20frame Subscribed to comments via email
2011-05-30 08:11:51

Hi Dphotojournal com, i just sign up on dreamtime,idont know much about dreamtime but am learning. There is something called keywords. What is keywords? Is it really necessary to put in keywords and add all image details? am not very goods with words..
Thanks for your help

Comment by Tilen Hrovatic Subscribed to comments via email
2011-05-30 09:33:07

keywords are maybe the most important thing if you want to get more sales and expose your portfolio to a larger audience. keywords are words that describe your photos and other may find them. It’s really important to tag all your photos with appropriate keywords and use as much related keywords as possible. Note that there are already thousands of photos online so if you don’t compete with them, nobody will find your photos. They will find photos with keywords instead of yours.

Comment by The Captain Subscribed to comments via email
2011-05-30 10:29:24

Hello rraine20frame,
I don’t work for this forum or DreamsTime but maybe I can help.

Key words are words that describe your photo in some way so that those looking to buy it can find it along with others that have similar words. Lets say you have a sunny beach. So, some of your keywords might be beach, sunny, sand, relaxing,day off and so on. There are two schools of thought on the number of key words you should use. Some say 8 to 12, other say put in as many as you can. Today’s search engines are pretty smart and may not go beyond the first 20 or so words. I use no more than 12 per picture usually and my pictures are found and sell quite often on Dreamstime. You’ll have to find what works for you. The people who buy pictures get pretty upset if the keywords don’t match the pictures, so don’t just throw words in there. Make sure they are about the photo. But they can be about concepts, like happy, sad, lonely etc.

Comment by rraine20frame Subscribed to comments via email
2011-05-31 06:02:59

Hi Tilen Horvatic and The Captain,

Thank you so so much for your help and advise. I really appreciate it.

Comment by ajeesh
2011-06-01 09:27:17

How do I sell my pics? How much do I ask for them?

Comment by The Captain Subscribed to comments via email
2011-06-01 12:13:28


Those questions are almost impossible to answer. It’s like asking what lens should I use.

You need to do a lot of research on line. Go to forums and see what prices are being charged for the type of photos you take.

Is your quality as good or better? Price differential. What sizes?

Your questions are too broad.

No one could answer them honestly.

Comment by The Captain Subscribed to comments via email
2011-06-03 06:07:46

Try this on for size.

By the way, there is NO law against photographing trains and such and the police were lying, which they later admitted.

Comment by Saleh Maglam Subscribed to comments via email
2011-06-12 07:29:23

I am a photojournalist from Yemen and I want to do business with you, but there is a problem in the shale, please help me, thank you

Saleh Maglam
Journalist and press photographer Yemen

2011-06-16 16:07:53

can plz anyone tell me hw to sell the pics,.plz mail me at

Comment by Namita Kapoor Subscribed to comments via email
2011-06-14 10:15:05

Hi, Can anyone explain me the procedure to sell the photographs, I read the article but I didnt undestand much from them(Sorry for that stupidity) Please help me out for this I have been searching for this since very long. I will appreciate ur help.

Namita Kapoor.

Comment by Capt. Larry Subscribed to comments via email
2011-06-18 09:31:48


Your question is not stupid but it can be very hard to answer.

You have to decide how you want to sell your photos. You can set up your own website, you can go through an agency or you can use a sight like SmugMug where you pay a fee and they handle most of the stuff for you.

Sending portfolios to editors and such doesn’t seem to be the way to go anymore.

Read Dan Heller’s pages, and there LOTS, so be prepared to spend some time.

Then you can come back and ask specific questions.

The way you asking now is like asking someone to teach you how to play golf or how to surf.

Where do we start?

Comment by rraine20frame Subscribed to comments via email
2011-06-19 11:32:32

Hi,i put up some of my snaps or images on a site and have got a reply saying that my images are either Distorted pixels, image was interpolated, poorly scanned, upsampled, oversharpened. I’m think i know what it means but i would like someone to explain it to me.. and can all the above be solved by using photoshop? If not how do i correct them?
Please help..
Thank you

Comment by lyka
2011-06-20 20:06:24

how does payment via check work?? i’m here in the philippines, will they deduct some fee if i ask for a check payment? thanks :)

Comment by Sara
2011-06-21 11:12:29

Thank you so much! There is so much great information in here. I am pretty new to this whole “sell your photos online’ thing. I honestly don’t even really know where to start. I live in a very small farming community in southern Minnesota in the United States and people wth artistic flare and connections are REALLY hard to come by. Thanks again!

Comment by Michael Tipton Subscribed to comments via email
2011-06-27 22:13:29

I read through your article, and it is very interesting. I too would like to sell photos that I have taken, but I am unsure of the quality. While there are a few I like very much, I just am not sure if a professional would look at them and appreciate them in the way I do. Where and how would I get a good opinion on if they (select ones) would even meet the standards? Also, when you sell photos, are you selling the DIGITAL photo on-line (via downloading) or a printed copy (with or without a matt) or a framed photo?

Comment by justaminute Subscribed to comments via email
2011-06-29 07:04:37

Beware of any article that shows you an image of piles of banknotes. You will probably earn far, far more money working as a part-time newspaper delivery person that selling photos online.
Stock agencies require extremely high standards that many successful professional photographers fail to reach. And the returns are pathetically small.
Further, no-one cares about the artistic merit or content of your images. The end users just want professional quality images that they can use forever for selling products and services. Your reward is a few pannies or cents for you time, energy and expensive equipment. Also, you usually need to indemnify the stock image site so that if there is a lawsuit they will simply pass the lawsuit to you and let you fund it, fight it or pay up. It up to you and no-one cares that you only made a dollar on the deal — you can bet there are people out there just waiting for the. If you still want to be fodder for the stock image big guns then good luck. A better option might be to market your own quality images on your own web site. You can sell images digitally downloaded, or framed or printed on canvas or whatever and let the buyer pay and indemnify you for a change.

Comment by Hubert
2011-06-29 09:24:44

FYI, I bought ALL my expensive photographic equipment using my income from microstock photography..

My first stock photos were shot using only Canon 20D with the kit lens.. now I own canon 2 Canon 5D Mark II with all Canon L lenses.

Well, shooting stock photos is not my day job (yet) but at least right now it could pay for my expensive photographic equipment.

Comment by Mark Subscribed to comments via email
2011-06-29 09:13:33

In every market there are opportunities that you can chose to be involved with or ignore. I market my images through micro and traditional stock agencies all on a non-exclusive basis. I have had images sell for as little as $0.75 and as much as $500. These companies are your distribution network…use them as much as you can.

I have been active in the stock photography market for less than a year (over 10 years as a freelance photographer) and it is starting to show signs of success.

I personally know photographers who are earning a living solely off of microstock.

It is not easy, and having a perfectly edited picture is only your entry into the stock photography world.

I also market (email and distribution lists) my own images through my site directly to publishers, advertising and communications firms directly.

These three markets plus my freelance assignment work allows me to do what I love – take pictures for a living.

No complaints here…

Comment by Jarrett Subscribed to comments via email
2011-06-29 12:21:19

This is a fantastic article, and it is really inspiring! I haven’t looked to far into actually selling the photos that I take, but I think it is about time to do so, seeing as I have over 300 on my computer.

I had a quick question though. I sometimes work with graphic design and I was wondering in these stock photo sites allow computer generated material. If so, that would be great. Thank You!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-07-09 02:06:57

Yes.. Vector and 3D images are now selling like hot cakes..

Comment by Cheryl Darna Subscribed to comments via email
2011-07-01 13:52:19

Do they require a model release form if it is sport shots of guys playing baseball?? I have some amazing photos I took and would like to try those, is there a need for baseball, football, etc. photos? I do live in a tropical area, so I will build on that, but in the mean time, I have tons of sports photos. Thanks for all this great info!!

Comment by Hubert
2011-07-09 02:13:16

Yes, they do.. unless if you submit the images for editorial.

The rule was any recognizable face would need a model release.. but I was submitting a man playing golf from the back with no recognizable face to DT and it was rejected because now you need a model release even if the person was shot from the back.

Comment by Amanda
2011-07-11 21:15:00

I know this is probably a really stupid question but when selling stock photos online, is it mandatory to pay taxes on the money you make when filing at the end of the year? And if so, how would I go about getting information on how to do that?

Comment by The Captain Subscribed to comments via email
2011-07-12 14:10:45


Not a stupid question at all. When you sign up for a stock agency, they usually have a section that asks your tax status. Corporation, LLC, self employed. Follow their lead. At the end of the year if you have received a payout, you’ll get statement, probably by e-mail. Take that to your tax person and they will help you. If you are in the US an doing your own, it would just be added to your regular income on a separate reline. Remember, you have to be paid by them in order to have tax obligation. If you only have credits to you account you don’t pay taxes until you actually receive the money, no matter what year your photos sold in.

Most agencies don’t pay till you have around $250 or so. Each site is different.

Comment by mathew Subscribed to comments via email
2011-07-16 07:45:53

i am interested in photography and am learning how to take good photos but i want to know if it is possible to take good stock photos with a canon eos 1000D as this is all i could afford at the moment..great blog..

Comment by Alicia
2011-07-20 16:43:34

If I am interested in becoming a professional photographer and not just doing it as a hobby do you recommend stock photography? I just wanted to do this to help me get started and make some extra money, but since I am wanting a career with it do you think it’s better to go a different way?

Comment by Ness
2011-07-21 17:51:56


A good friend directed me to this website and I am very interested in selling my photos. I LOVE taking pictures of Landscapes and flowers. I have been told I have a good eye. However, I am on SSI because of my Auditory Processing Disorder and am nervous about working. Once, I got $10 by check for doing house cleaning for a friend and all my payments were red flagged and stopped. Is there a way to sell my photos with out having that problem? or set up an account under a family member’s name and upload my own pictures? Thanks. :]

Comment by Kerry Subscribed to comments via email
2011-07-26 15:50:29

Do you have any tips on selecting photos to sell as stock vs. selling prints and canvases as fine art? I would like to make some extra money through stock, but don’t want to de-value any of the work that I sell at art shows. I wouldn’t want to offer an image I sell as art to be a stock photo as well right? Any insight on where and how to draw the line?

Comment by The Captain Subscribed to comments via email
2011-07-28 08:33:49

This is a rather tricky question. I would say that you would have to look at the different types of photos you have. Those you feel could sell as art and those that would be more appropriate for stock.

Let’s say you have been concentrating on art photography. Those may or may not sell as stock. Surely as stock, they will not give the same return as selling them in a studio or on a site solely dedicated to art.

You are assuming of course, at least it seems like you are, that the people who attend art shows where your work is featured are also looking at stock sites. While you might get a cross over, I believe they are two separate markets and there is little chance that the two would ever cross pollinate.

Every place you are willing to submit your photos to deserves to have the best of your work. I think the best way to differentiate would be subject matter.

A few crossover pieces won’t hurt and you may actually get some sales if you have a place a stock buyer can look at your other work, like a web site.

Comment by Joanne Subscribed to comments via email
2011-08-05 10:07:29

Would you suggest shooting in RAW to be able to get better image quality? I’ve read so many different opinions but I have never attempted to sell stock photography so I’m not sure what would be more beneficial.

Comment by Bryan
2011-08-05 14:09:11

very popular post and a good subject, i keep thinking about getting into this space and now i know i need to

Comment by rebecca Subscribed to comments via email
2011-08-07 22:52:47

Reading the guidelines for uploading photos to various stock sites they would like you not to embed your own watermark, website name, or copyright notice in your images.
I would like to sell my photos but they all have a copy write embedded in them.
Does anyone know if there is a way to remove this using Photoshop CS5 or another program?


Comment by Dma76
2011-08-23 14:13:18

You can use photo shop to crop it if it’s in a corner.

Comment by The Captain Subscribed to comments via email
2011-08-09 07:09:29


I would shoot in RAW if you have the ability to do so. Many arguments about this, but basic fact is that RAW image has more detail in it.

Many of the arguments against raw were made when memory cards were far more expensive. Storage is relatively reasonable now.

And any time you work on JPEG image, some detail is lost. I’d shoot RAW, save as a JPEG for uploading to most sites and keep TIFF’s as archival files on my computer.

Comment by Bahamas Photographer
2011-08-27 21:55:21

I’ve been considering doing this for awhile. I wondered if it was worth it with how saturated the market is. Looking at those numbers makes me what to give a shoot though. Thanks for sharing

Comment by TheMoodySparrow
2011-09-07 05:25:36

Thanks for the article. Very useful and motivational!

Comment by Andrew
2011-09-13 11:58:01

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Comment by Brice
2011-09-14 10:10:41

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Comment by Photography Forum
2011-09-21 16:35:59

Great tips and thanks for sharing.

Drew Warner
Photography Talk

Comment by theo Subscribed to comments via email
2011-09-22 17:46:11

this is very nice way for few extra cash. can though someone take for example ready pics from google and simply upload them to these sites and wait to get paid? i mean. sth like this shouldn’t be checked or illegal?

Comment by John MacGregor
2011-09-28 10:25:20

I was a semi-professional photographer for about 10 years and have a lot of stock images “35mm slide” that I want to sell. looking at any ideas you may have including web site.

let me know

Comment by Hondenrassen
2011-09-30 13:53:09

Thats a good idea, but I wouldn’t know how and don’t think my photo would be good enough to buy

Comment by Josiah
2011-10-02 02:54:27

This is a very helpful post. I was looking for something that could sustain my hobby in photography and here is the answer. Thanks for making it really detailed even saying how much you earn. It inspires me to do the same. :)

Comment by mette jensen
2011-10-04 04:57:08

I have a question about keywords. Do I write them in the title line, or when I upload a photo at a stock place, is there an option called “keyword” where I can write all my important words? Is there a MAX of how many is good to use, or is it better to have many?

New to the Stock world but very interested!

Greetings Mette

Comment by Katee
2011-10-04 07:58:49

Make sure to check your settings on your camera. Sometimes the cameras are set at lower MP even though they can shoot higher MP. Always check to make sure you are shooting the with the highest MP your camera offers :)

Comment by Annette
2011-10-04 15:05:28

Can you recommend cameras (cheap) for us starters… I used to have a Nikon D80 but it got broke and right now I can’t afford an expensive one … Thank You! :)

Comment by santhosh
2011-10-05 22:31:21

Awesome blog, It’s so infomative and usefull, thanks a lot! If you post more of this great stuff, I’ll visit your blog again!

Comment by Robert Subscribed to comments via email
2011-10-10 11:02:16

It is interesting to read your article on using microstock photo companies. I’m starting to build up a portfolio and am considering starting to use some of these sites. I am curious whether I retain any right to print the photos uploaded. If I wanted to print cards and sell in a local shop, but the photo is uploaded, do I still have the ability to do that?

Comment by Andy
2011-10-12 10:18:35

I just graduated from NYIP this summer and considered where to start my own photo business. This article is very practical and helpful. I am going to give a try soon. Thanks!

Comment by Billy
2011-10-17 21:23:00

A new great site for monetizing sunset and sunrise pictures specifically just went live… Gnarly Sunset has a higher payout per photo sold than most stock image sites and is accepting submissions from any photographers, no matter the skill. Gnarly Sunset is run by a top professional marketer.

Comment by PhotographyTalk
2011-10-20 14:29:23

That is impressive revenue in a very challenging and flooded market…kudos!

Comment by Alex
2011-10-24 11:38:44

In your FAQ, you say “But keep in mind that your photos must be commercially in demand.” how do you find out if your photos are so?

Comment by shankar Subscribed to comments via email
2011-10-26 08:41:55

When u say that u earn 50cents each time ur photo is downloaded does that mean “Bought/Sold” or “Viewed ” ..? kindly acknowledge

Comment by shankar Subscribed to comments via email
2011-10-26 08:45:21

So each time a picture is viewed it earns that right?. Or does it have to be sold?

Comment by MW
2011-10-28 04:25:17

Thank you so much for writing this and replying to comments! I would like to know what L lenses you are using with your 5Ds currently.

Comment by Joe
2011-10-29 07:22:51

The first paragraph is overly optimistic “It’s now easier than ever to earn extra money from your images by selling them online via micro stock photography sites”

It should be changed to, it’s now harder than ever to break into microstock. The market is over saturated and competition is extremely fierce. Most amateur photographers, will find it tough to even get ‘accepted’ into some of the bigger stock agencies which have increasingly higher standards of acceptance rates. It is false to think they if you are the occasional shooter, there will be demand for your photos. Microstock is a business and only the very active submitters make any decent money.

Have a look at the top microstock sites for example: iStockphoto. You have to pass an application test, and then submit 3 of your best photos. These are judged very stringently and most times, new photographers are rejected. Browse the microstock sites for examples of the quality of each photo and see if you can do better or at least as good. Good luck!

Comment by Diwatasalangit Subscribed to comments via email
2011-10-31 04:05:09

I really want to thank you for sharing this wonderful idea, l8ly im tired thingking of what job fits me, until i saw this site.i lov to traveling and taking nice view thats why i bought canon60d but i dont know how to use this as my hobby and work to. my question is when my models are (for exmples my children, cousins, nephew etc.)do i need model release too? and wher do i need to send those papers? by mail or by fax? pls let me know it would helps me alot. thank you.


Comment by Danielle Subscribed to comments via email
2011-11-04 08:55:56

Hi John,
I don’t know if this is relevant to your question however while browsing in a Staples store the other day I came across a machine that’s made by the company Ion, the machine is called “Slides to PC” which can digitalize 35mm slides and 35mm negatives to your computer. Thought this may be helpful since you were interested in online opportunities if you weren’t already aware of this information. Good luck, hope you find the opportunities your searching for!

Comment by Danielle Subscribed to comments via email
2011-11-04 09:08:08

Hi Rebecca,
I’m confused as to how all your photographs have a copy right embedded in them, does your camera have a function for this? Or do you have the originals saved that do not contain the embedded copyright image? I am new to photography and need to find software to place a copyright watermark on my photographs so I can share them.

Comment by diwata Subscribed to comments via email
2011-11-10 02:04:31

I just saw your photofolio and its really amazing. are u usinG photo editing like cs3,cs5 and etc? pls teach me some of your technic in photo editing. thanks.

Comment by l0shmi
2011-11-10 22:07:42

I must agree with you Joe

Comment by Mangesh G Subscribed to comments via email
2011-11-24 12:21:01

Great information shared here, nice job done.

I was wondering if there any photo contests where we can participate without geographical constrains?

It is very hard to find on Internet, atleast while i tried to search…


Comment by Trevor Subscribed to comments via email
2011-12-04 06:11:27

How do you place a copyright on your photos? I’m excited to start getting my pictures out there but I need to protect them.

Comment by James Subscribed to comments via email
2011-12-06 19:19:02

Thank you very much for your article. As a retiree, having done photography some 40 years ago I was intrigued. I picked up a camera and started shooting again. I have signed up for 6 stock photo places mentioned. Rejected so far by Shuttershock and IStock, but have had some 30 images accepted at other stock houses. AND already sold one image. The commission was, well… let’s just say I have a long way to go to make a living at this but I think I will get there in several years. Thank you again for taking the time to write this article. Very encouraging.
Jim Z.

Comment by Brian Weck
2011-12-07 08:56:13

iStockphoto and Shutterstock are a decent stock media resource, especially for photos. Please keep in mind StockFuel as well for your stock media demands. Cheaper and easier to manage than most. Also, a much higher payout.

Comment by wissam hlayhel Subscribed to comments via email
2011-12-08 14:38:12

I have one question,

when opening an account on “shutterstock”, they ask about sending a scan of your ID. Can we consider this as safe ?


Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-12-08 20:10:30

Good to hear that. All the best James!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2011-12-08 20:13:17

You don’t need to do that, when you upload photos to the agencies, their software will automatically add a watermark to your photos.

Comment by Tampa Wedding Photographer
2012-01-03 21:34:17

Very informative. It’s nice to know that many of the images I would have thrown away, could actually bring me some money.

Comment by jenny
2012-01-12 18:26:26

jpg10 is good for the photos that won’t work for stock photography.

Comment by The Captain Subscribed to comments via email
2012-01-16 13:36:38

Where is jpeg10?

There must be at least 200 comments in this area. How are supposed to know what the hell you’re talking about?

Comment by Dee
2012-01-25 01:03:49

HI,i have a lot of Nature photographs including the untouched heaven on Earth ‘Kashmir’ accompanied with the Indian wildlife pics,So how could make money out of it.Please help.
Those interested in buying these pics could contact me @ and i would make them to take a look at my work.

Comment by amber
2012-02-07 21:41:46

tree photos
i sell mine here

Comment by Dhillon Subscribed to comments via email
2012-02-24 12:35:47

oo this is a great site.. useful content, I am trying to sell my photo too.. but worried about save as feature of the browsers .. the only way I have found to protect photos is to use SWF flash…
please comment if you have any solutions for “save as” protection..

Comment by Thomas
2012-03-15 16:56:40

Hello, Sir I am going to buy a 60d, for photography, I’ve been taking photos for quite some time but never thought of it seriously until now.
Is the 60d enough for stock photography by today’s standards.
And will I be able to get a stable income of about 2000$pm. Are the figures you quoted attainable. I kow its not”get rich scheme”. I’m asking if I put the work into will it be worth it, Please reply Sir?

Comment by D.SAUNDERS Subscribed to comments via email
2012-05-13 03:22:08

i would like to sell erotic photos

Comment by Merrit
2012-05-20 01:14:35

I’m guessing so, Eric. :)

Comment by Ann Subscribed to comments via email
2012-05-21 06:09:09

Thanks for the blog…it is really useful. You seem to be doing really well at dreamstime, and I was wondering whether your earnings increases are more closely tied to an increase in rank (you mentioned that as you sell more of a photo the price goes up) rather than significant rises in actual sales/numbers? In comparison with other sites such as shutterstock?

Comment by PaulB
2012-05-27 17:35:35

What a great page! I’ve always been interested in photography and posted many images on the like of Facebook and Twitter, but will now seriously consider uploading some of the better ones to Microstock sites, so thank you. I will also be ‘tweeting’ this page to my 6500 followers…I’m sure they’ll all find it really useful too.
Thanks once again.

Comment by TimD
2012-05-29 12:59:11

I have a lot of ISO 50 Velvia slides from the 35mm era. Velvia was one of the most fine-grained films available then and now(it is still available today).

If I scan 35mm slides on a good high-pixel density scanner with good dynamic range specs, will 35mm scans sell in this digital age?

35mm scans are going to have a little bit of grain from the slide itself and from the digitizing process. Some also say that 35mm seems “fuzzy” to them compared to digital.

Are stock buyers going to be interested in 35mm scans? I have plenty of digital now, but some of my favorite work is still from the film era.

Comment by Baboon
2012-06-02 16:30:38

Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after going through many of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m certainly happy I came across it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

Comment by BBO
2012-06-06 16:28:12

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I have joined your feed and look forward to searching for extra of
your magnificent post. Additionally, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks

Comment by Jolanda Covarrubia
2012-06-09 06:34:58

I have been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

Comment by Benjamin Subscribed to comments via email
2012-06-27 23:52:49

May I know how many photos should I upload in order to make money?

Comment by The Captain Subscribed to comments via email
2012-07-01 09:59:16

It would depend on how much you want/need to earn. I have relatively few photos at a stock agency (Dreamstime) and they sell quite well, but I’m going to have increase significantly the number, into the hundreds, to make a living.

Concentrate on quality first and then when you are doing your best, submit them to the proper category.

All the Best,


Comment by Deepak Subscribed to comments via email
2012-07-04 06:30:09

@ The Captain (Larry),

Can you provide some statistics in terms of number of photos, average monthly income, overall photographic experience and weekly time commitments as it may help people who plan to do this for a living?

Comment by Benjamin Subscribed to comments via email
2012-07-04 11:19:08

May I know what type of photos that you usually use? Is it self taken photos or photoshop designing photos?

Comment by phillip
2012-07-04 16:19:03

I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also go to see this website on regular basis to obtain updated from latest news update.

Comment by ATUL
2012-07-12 23:29:10


Comment by The Captain Subscribed to comments via email
2012-07-17 18:22:52

I don’t think I could give you honest numbers for what you requested. Each person has to find what they are comfortable with in terms of time commitment and subject matter. I’ve been shooting for over 20 years and my style and tastes have changed. I took time off, nearly 10 years, while I did other things and am now starting up again.

If you want to do this for a living, find what you like to shoot, then shoot, shoot, shoot. And study. You have to know what sells. After a certain point, shooting is secondary and your business experience is the most important factor.

Never stop trying to do better, but at some point you are going to have to realize it’s called the photography business for a reason.


Comment by kate Subscribed to comments via email
2012-11-23 10:23:13

i am Kenyan and its rare business here to sell photographs. can i sell it internationally? am interested

Comment by Ricky Subscribed to comments via email
2012-12-05 16:20:00

My compliments for your November result! Almost $5700, wow! How many pictures you have uploaded so far? Bye!:)

Comment by Feloniousmunk.Com
2013-01-03 02:52:56

“Selling Photos Online – Digital Camera Reviews
& Photography Tips” was indeed honestly compelling and enlightening!

In todays world honestly, that is very hard to accomplish.
Thank you, Desiree

Comment by steph c Subscribed to comments via email
2013-01-11 02:18:16

Hi there! thanks for the very thorough article! I now have it bookmarked! =o) and I have a seemingly silly question to ask. I know you mentioned that you shouldn’t have trademarks/logos etc on your photos, but what about watermarking? i usually watermark my photos with my name in different opacity…depending on the photo. I do this so that it would be much less distracting. I also place them in different spots in each photo and they are usually hardly seen as I try and blend them into the photo. Sometime I have trouble retracking where I put the waatermark!

Would these photos work as stock photos? Or do I need to remove all watermarks for them to have more ‘sale’ value? Just a little confused as I would want to sell my pics but also want my copyright protected. Sorry if you’ve answered this question before under your many comments! If you do reply, thank you for your attention!

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2013-02-07 04:43:05

Hello, You can’t have watermark on your photos.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2013-02-07 04:44:46

I am now uploading around 200 photos per month.. I have hired a photo editor to help me with all the photo manipulation stuff.

Comment by Martin T Subscribed to comments via email
2013-02-22 07:56:55

Hi there ;)
finding a photo editor to help me with all the photo manipulation stuff sounds great!
- Could you give more details please? (is it a specific website?)
- Can you tell us a little more about process how you found him?
- What are the steps to finding a suitable editor?
- What aspects are important when you search for one?
- How expensive is it per image?
All the best,

Comment by Martin T Subscribed to comments via email
2013-03-18 17:45:00

Hi again ;)
How are things going? Would love to hear your answers to my previous questions!
All the best,

Comment by shotkeyword
2013-03-19 16:09:55

If you are a photographer who selling photos at stock agency visit our website . We are keywording company.

Comment by charles Murphy Subscribed to comments via email
2013-03-22 21:59:01

I am interested..please email me contact information. thanks

Comment by mary Subscribed to comments via email
2013-03-23 15:45:11

please explain keywords! thanks, mary

Comment by Chad
2013-03-27 16:03:52

Carlos, the problem is you have a camera with little pixel quality. It can be good for stock but it also depends on the color and detail of the image, if there is a lot of white = less data the sensor picks up resulting in lower MB, I woud have gotten a camera with a min. 10MP DSLR and always shoot in raw. If you need to edit and do so in JPEG you lose pixel quality and if over edit it can really ruin the quality to render the photo usless. Most companies not related to stock photo requires a min 10MP DSLR to shoot commercial. I got a Nikon D300 for $375 on ebay and works great it is a 12.3MP.
Hope this helps?

Comment by Giuseppe Subscribed to comments via email
2013-04-02 18:11:36

Congratulations for your site.
I also use the sites to sell stock photos but my biggest problem is to manage different libraries for each agency. Could you give me some advice on how to store and upload photos of all the sites without having to stock different libraries saved?

Thank you, good job, regards

Comment by Tim Subscribed to comments via email
2013-04-03 21:47:54

Hi there, is Canon EOS 1000D ok to use to sell stock photos?

Comment by Marc Subscribed to comments via email
2013-04-04 00:48:43


I am currently using OLYMPUS PEN EP3.
And I don’t regret buying it.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2013-08-16 10:36:13

Comment by Tim 2013-04-03 21:47:54
Hi there, is Canon EOS 1000D ok to use to sell stock photos?


Comment by Rudra Narayan Mitra Subscribed to comments via email
2013-11-04 06:05:26

Dear Sir,

For last two months, I worked as per your guidelines above and now I am registered with Shutterstock, Dreamstime, 123RF, Bigstock, Fotolia and Istock. Total portfolio – about 300 photos online. Total Sale – about 7 US $.

Thank’s to your advises for all above.

Any more websites you suggest for me ? It seems like I am getting addicted to it !

With best regards,


Comment by Aonir Subscribed to comments via email
2013-11-09 13:45:03

do you think I stand a chance with a compact camera. (samsung es25)i don’t have the money to buy a dslr yet

also the photographs in your gallery are easily copied and pasted, you might want to look at that.

Comment by Dphotojournal com
2014-03-11 22:42:35

I think the minimum now is DSLR


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