Last Updated 6 months by Emily Standley-Allard

Nowadays almost anyone can make passive income selling photos online. With today’s technology you can take stunning, professional images on your cell phone or i pad. Selling photos has never been easier. Here’s how to earn passive income consistently by selling your photos!

Stock photography websites want your images and are willing to pay you for them. These sites will give you a percentage for every one of your pictures that gets downloaded. Your images can be downloaded an unlimited number of times.

China night
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“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson

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Many individuals, businesses, organizations, websites and print publications are in constant need of a wide variety of quality photographs for their websites, sales letters, brochures, magazines, videos and newspapers.

These entities regularly turn to stock photography websites to buy the photographs that they need.

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You can submit your digital photographs to digital stock photography websites.

You don’t need to be a professional photographer. You just need a digital camera (with extra memory cards) or a high quality i phone or android and internet access.

Signing up for many of these websites is free.

Each time one of your pictures is downloaded you’ll get paid a percentage of the cost of the photograph, which generally comes to twenty-five cents to several dollars.

Pixabay image
Design by Pixabay

Just about any type of digital picture is accepted as long as it is of high quality. Your pictures need to be in JPG/JPEG and for most stock websites they should be 1600 x 1200 pixels or larger.

New photographers for Shutterstock need to submit photographs that are 4.0 Megapixels or Million Pixels (MP).

You can calculate the number of pixels in a photograph by multiplying the width by the height. A picture that is 1600×1200 is 1.92 million pixels.

Digital image of cat
Image by Brigitte Werner

In photographs that depict a minor, or where an identifiable human face is visible, you will need to send a model release with the picture to the website.

You need to submit original work and make sure that you do not include copyrighted material or logos in your images. Do not submit photographs that have been increased in size from their original file size.

You should read the submission guidelines from each website before you start posting your pictures.

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Once you have uploaded a picture to a stock photography website, it stays there for as long as you like (even for years). Every time it gets downloaded you earn money.

You can upload your pictures to several different websites as long as the websites allow the submission of non-exclusive photographs.

For example: let’s say that you have accumulated 1,000 high quality photographs for stock photography websites. You upload each image to ten different websites. So each site now has 1,000 different pictures.

You have a total of 10,000 images uploaded on the various sites.

If each of your pictures get downloaded just twice every thirty days, and your commission is only $0.25 cents for each download, you’ll be making $5,000 a month!

You can take ten pictures a day and upload each one to ten different stock photography websites. In just three months you’ll have about 900 photographs uploaded 9,000 times.

What is really cool about this is that once your pictures are uploaded they continue to make money for you with no additional work on your part. If you continuously upload pictures to the stock websites you can earn even more.

There are several people that do this full-time and make $5,000, even $8,000 a month.

Most of the stock websites pay you once a month through PayPal, MoneyBookers, paper check or direct deposit.


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Here are 17 companies that pay you to take photos. Some are free to join for all levels, some have specific requirements, and some send you specific assignments. Check them out!

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You can start by taking pictures in your area, or travel anywhere and make a very healthy living by taking stock photographs.

The more pictures you upload, the more earning potential you have.

You can make great money from this “job” from just about anywhere in the world.

You could even start your own website portfolio and upload your own photos to it. Thousands of bloggers and website owners are always looking for new quality images for their sites all around the globe!

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Check out SmugMug to create your secure sharing photo website today!

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