The internet has made it easy to license your artworks and earn from them. Licensing is a great way to safeguard your hard work and your uniqueness on the wide world web. Whether you are a musician, a photographer, or any kind of artist, there are places where you can sell your works and monetise your efforts. For photographers, in particular, the scope is more extensive than other art fields due to the high demand for graphic content on websites and web platforms.
Stock photos are of high quality, usually generic pictures that buyers can download for free or for a small sum of money to use on their platform or commercial purposes. They can also use stock photos for advertising, marketing, and published blogs. There are several websites where you can sell pictures clicked by you.
Getty Images is one of the most popular stock photo libraries in the world. You can sell illustrations, photos, and videos and earn from them. To do so, you need to download ‘Contributor by Getty Images’ and upload a few sample images. The staff at Getty Images reviews these samples and then invites you to work with them as a contributor. After this, every image that you submit is checked and then published under your name. Every time a customer purchases your image, you receive a percentage of the sum in royalty. The best part is that you retain the copyright of your pictures. Royalty rates start at 15%.
iStock is a venture by Getty Images itself. The difference between the two is that the images that you sell on iStock are not exclusive. This means that you can sell these images on other platforms as well. There is, of course, an option to make your work exclusive. Also, the pictures on iStock are priced lower than those on Getty Images. To complement this, the royalty percentage increases in your favor.
The method of becoming a contributor is almost the same as Getty Images except that you don’t need an application like the former. Shutterstock is non-exclusive and the percentages of royalty aren’t that high. Shutterstock likes to play more with quantity. You can upload a large number of images to increase your chances of returns. To add to this, Shutterstock has a referral program where you can earn more by referring Shutterstock to contributors as well as customers.
With every photo that you sell on Adobe Stock, you earn a royalty of about 33%. Adobe has also harnessed the advantage of being a tech giant and the Adobe Stock Contributor portal allows you to integrate with other apps by Adobe. You can use their Creative Cloud apps to catalyse your sales on this platform. You can also connect your contributor portal to Photoshop or Lightroom and import photo edits from there. Adobe Stock is an excellent option because the company also owns Fotolia, another stock photo library. Your images appear in the Fotolia library as well, and this increases your visibility and in turn your chances of better revenue.
Although Pexels is a free platform for uploading and downloading high quality images and videos and you cannot earn money through the platform directly, its name deserves mention on this list for two major reasons. Firstly, Pexels is a very popular name in the stock photo arena with more than 6 million visitors on its website every day. Secondly, it is a fantastic platform to grow yourself as a photography brand. With Pexels’ audience, you can promote yourself and earn followers and more importantly, customers. Pexels allows you to get the visibility that amateur and freelance photographers compete for.
GL Stock Images
GL Stock Images gives you a whopping 40% commission per sale. To add to this, you can set your images yourself prices yourself (price range is 1$ to 30$). You can license your images on GL Stock Images with multiple licenses as well. The platform is a great place to start and the best part is that all licenses are non-exclusive. You can upload multiple images at a time and the company gives out payouts with punctuality. If you are looking for an ethical and robust platform to sell your photos, try GL Stock Images.
500px is a unique platform because of its approach towards building a community of photographers. 500px is not only a stock photo library but also a social media sort-of thing for photographers. You can follow other contributors on this platform and talk to them, share your works, sell your own photos on their platform, and promote them. You have the option of making your photos exclusive or non-exclusive depending on your choice. Exclusive photos shell out 60% commission in your name and the non-exclusive ones give 30% on each sale. Check out some best film cameras to start your photography business on Transfer Magic.
This platform allows you to sell photos exclusively, which might turn off some, but you do get the credit for your works. The commission can also go as high as 70%, so the exclusive license is a fair tradeoff. You will find images of amazing quality on Stocksy and this is partly due to the high standards during the application process. Images are priced moderately for customers. Stocksy is a preferred platform for publishers and professional photographers.
Can Stock Photo
With a community of more than 70k contributors, Can Stock is a fine platform for up and coming photographers as well as established professionals. You can earn money through this platform based on several different pricing structures. Roughly divided, there are two basic structures; fixed and percentage-based or variable. Also, you earn a small amount for every photo that your referral sells. This reminds us that the affiliate referral program is also a good channel to earn some revenue. Like Adobe Stock, your listed photos are also available for sale on another stock photo platform, Fotosearch.
This platform began its journey as a tool for Instagram through which photographers could sell their photos. Over time, Twenty20 has matured into a stock photo library website where you also connect with other photographers and build your clientele. You can upload your works via the mobile app or directly through your desktop. All your licensed photos will fetch you 2$ per sale. To add to this, you can take part in competitions and earn a prize sum of money. Finally, you can also do contract-based photoshoots for brands.
Also Read: A detailed guide on how to get more followers on Instagram organically. This article gives a look into using Instagram Analytics and dissects the Instagram Algorithm to help users optimize their reach and following.
Even though you get a lot of exposure on the internet as an artist, there is always a chance of piracy and people stealing the credit for your hard work. Licensing your images and selling them on stock photo platforms effectively stops this while making money. For photographers, or any artist for that matter, due credit and a fair price tag is all that matters.