Also want to make money with stockphotography?

I am an amateur photographer but everybody kept saying that i should sell my photos. That my photos were great and that I had an eye for it. So Istarted to read about stock photography and published my first photos on Dreamstime.

There are a couple of things I ran into and would like to discuss in this small article, so that you (also as a starter to try to earn some bugs out of your hobby) can take this into account.

Which stocksite to use?

There are a lot of stocksites these days, both as desktop versions and/or telephone apps. Some are big (like Shutterstock and iStock) and some are smaller. Some have an app and some have not. Some give you less percentage of payout per photo. And some have a better interface than the other. Here are some links on which several stock sites are compared:

At the moment I use several stockstites to try out which gives me the best results. The current lead for me is Dreamstime, but maybe this is a little unfair because I have uploaded the most photos to that agency (a couple of 100 in total).

Do you get rich?

In my experience so far you do not get rich. For me it is the excitement when selling one photo, that is already enough for me to make me happy. That somebody uses my photo and that somebody likes my photo and even pay for it. That is a good feeling and that’s already fine by me. I think you have to out a lot of effort in it to make you rich, especially because

  • There are a lot of stock sites
  • There are a lot of photos on those platforms so it is not easy to stand out
  • There are also a lot of platforms that exposes photos for free so it is not easy to sell

Which photos actually sell?

I read some articles of photographers that have more experience than me and what i read is that not always the best photo sells. A simple but exclusive photo like some food on a plate sells. My advise is to photograph the basic things in life. Look around and use your camera or phone.

Which tags to use?

A lot of stockplatforn tools have an automatic tag generation module available. Use that as a start and furthermore try to imagine youself as a customer. Which tags would you use to search that specific image. You can also look around at other stockphotos and see what they use.

Which tools are handy?

I had to upload each photo to each site. I started wondering if this could be done far more easier, so i started googling for a tool that would upload my photo to each one of them without repeating the upload process for each site seperately. I use the tool which supports a lot of the most famous stock sites.

Helpful resources

Here are some resources i found usefull. Note there is a lot of information on the internet so this list is far from complete.

  • Contains a lot of information about stock sites and tools. It is kept up-to-date
  • A lot of info and ratings of stock sites, tools and beginner guides.


  • Have a lot of patience
  • Do it for fun
  • It takes a lot of time
  • You do not get rich out of it so get another job as well ;-)
  • Make of lot of photos and upload them
  • Read a lot on the internet for inspiration and learning
  • Try to find a niche (i did not find it yet so i keep doing the previous points ;-)