Have you ever wondered what to do with your massive library of selfies and other pictures?
You can just leave them on your phone or camera, or you can get paid for pictures of yourself. You can make as much as $100 a month in extra cash for your selfies and pictures.
To help you save time, we did some digging by comparing the best sites to sell photos online and reading reviews from real users. Some of these sites are more popular than others, but they all have something unique to offer.
After going through the list, keep reading because you'll also discover even more ways to make money with your pics, plus tips on how to take amazing photos using only your phone!
Can you get paid for photos of yourself online?
Yes, you can sell photos of yourself online. It's a great way to earn extra money in a fun and easy way.
Buyers come from all walks of life. For instance, lots of individuals are looking for unique images to hang in their homes or for their art projects. Many businesses also find it a cheaper option than hiring a photographer for their websites and marketing materials.
To sell photos online, all you need is a camera or smartphone, a solid internet connection (so your images will load quickly), and accounts on relevant sites.
Photo editing software will also come in handy (we share a few of our favorites later on!)
How much money can you make selling pics online?
Extended licenses can go up to $500 or more, depending on the platform and the type and number of pictures you sell.
The Best Sites & Apps Where You Can Sell Photos Online
For this list, we covered a mix of mobile apps and websites so you have a range of options regardless of what you’re looking for.
These sites are great whether you're an amateur shutterbug or a professional photographer, and we suggest you try signing up for all of them to maximize your earning potential:
Pay Your Selfie
Pay Your Selfie is a unique app that lets you make money by taking pictures of yourself doing various tasks assigned in the app (which their partner companies’ request).
Once you complete the task, you'll submit your selfie to Pay Your Selfie. Each selfie will earn you between $0.50 and $2, depending on the task they ask you to do.
You'll start by downloading the Pay Your Selfie app from the Play Store or Apple Store, depending on your device.
Once it's downloaded and installed, open it up and start by filling out a brief survey about yourself so that Pay Your Selfie can start assigning tasks to you (don't worry—it shouldn't take long).
After that, just keep an eye out for notifications for selfie tasks you qualify for and start earning. You can cash out when you hit $20 total.
500px and 500px Prime
500px is a photography website and app where you can view and share your own photos or other photographers’ work.
You can sell your photos under the “500px Prime” section of the website. By selling your images on 500px, you retain the copyright but give 500px a perpetual license to use, display, distribute and reproduce those images in any form.
You can earn 30% of the sale of your non-exclusive photos and 60% of exclusive pictures.
To get started with 500px, create a free account with the platform and upload your photos on the site. The 500px editorial team will then review your submissions.
If your photos are approved, they will be added to the marketplace and be available for sale.
Scoopshot is more of a marketplace than some other options on this list, where you can upload your photos and they'll be available to purchase by users.
The process is straightforward:
- create an account
- check out Scoopshot's open tasks
- or create your own task to see what kind of photos people want
- upload your photos
The thing is, you won't get paid directly by Scoopshot. The clients who will buy your selfies are the ones who'll send you the money.
While this means that there's no guaranteed pay, it also means you can set your own prices for your photos.
Scoopshot also holds daily photo contests where users can submit a video or picture and win $5 cash.
Shutterstock is one of the biggest microstock agencies, meaning they sell stock images at a much lower price than traditional stock photo agencies like GettyImages or Alamy.
Shutterstock pays contributors between $0.25 and $120 per image, depending on how many times their images have been downloaded by customers.
Anyone can sign up to sell pics on Shutterstock. All you need to do is register on their site and start uploading photos in the required format. When someone licenses one of your images, you'll earn money.
Shutterstock has over 200 million images and videos in its library, so if you're thinking about joining, it's important to know what types of photos are in demand so that yours stand out from the crowd. There are tons of tips on their blog, so definitely go and check that out.
If you’re an Instagram user, Instaprints is a great app where you can upload your Instagram photos and sell them to consumers as prints for use on wall art, phone cases, greeting cards, home decor, pillows, and more.
All you have to do is sign up for an account, add your details, link your Instagram account, and choose which Instagram photos you want to sell as prints.
From there, Instaprints takes care of the printing and shipping process.
As a seller you can set your own prices and Instaprints will charge you a fee depending on how big the printed size will be. You can earn $1 up to $50 per photo on Instaprints.
Originally focused on stock photos, iStockPhoto has expanded to include other types of media like videos and music clips. The site uses a credits system for purchasing stock media, with each credit costing about $1.50.
Once you become a contributor, you can get royalties for each photo purchased by a customer using their credits.
Contributors start at 15% royalties and can rise as high as 45% based on how many approved photos they have in the iStockPhoto library.
To start, create an account and upload at least three of your best photos. Wait to get approved then upload the rest of your shots. Be sure to follow their guidelines for what photos will be accepted so you don't waste your snaps.
PicFair is a website that lets you upload and sell your photos to customers through their stock photo marketplace.
You can also create your own photography store using the PicFair domain.
First, create a free account on PicFair. After you upload a photo and set your price, the PicFair team will review it and put it on the site for sale. You also get access to any photo requests from clients who are looking for a particular kind of photo.
When someone purchases one of your photos, Picfair takes a 20% commission.
SnapCape is an app that's similar to Instagram, except it has a built-in marketplace where you can sell your pictures for $1 to $5.
It's super easy to get started—just download the app, create an account, upload some photos and wait for people to buy your stuff.
You can also make money by completing photo tasks on SnapCape requested by buyers and brands, and by joining SnapCape's daily contests.
GettyImages is probably the biggest name in the world of photographic stock imagery with 1.5 million clients around the globe.
They boast an impressive catalog of photos, and they make it relatively easy to get paid for your photos, too.
You can earn 15% to 45% of each sale (with prices ranging from $5 to $500) depending on your contributor status. You can also earn money from their refer-a-friend program.
To start getting paid, sign up for an account and submit 3 to 6 photographs. GettyImages will then review them and inform you if they're selected. Once approved, you'll be able to start uploading pictures and selling on the site.
Depositphotos features over 50 million royalty-free stock photos, vectors, and videos in their collection.
When a contributor sells one of their photos on the site, they get up to 38% depending on their membership status.
They also pay 15% of sales from any sub-distributor that purchases one of your photos through Depositphotos.
To start selling your photos on Depositphotos, you need to register for a free account, submit samples in the correct file format, fill out a tax form, and wait for the approval.
Alamy is an international stock photo and footage site where you can sell your photos and videos.
You can get paid as much as 50% of every sale (Alamy images sell from $15 to over $200), and they have a huge global customer base so your photos have a good chance of being purchased. If a photo sells multiple times, you will continue to earn royalties on it.
To get started, create an account on the site and upload some photos! Once they're approved, you'll be able to upload more and start selling.
Foap is an app that will allow you to upload your photos for purchase by businesses and individuals around the world. If a photo sells, you'll earn $5 per sale.
You can also sell your photos in limited-time missions created by brands like PepsiCo, Nivea, Volkswagon, and more. When you take part in a Foap Mission, you can win around $50 for just one photo!
To begin, download the free Foap app from the App Store or Google Play. Then sign up for an account using Facebook or an email address.
Once you have an account, upload your photos to start getting paid. Make sure to browse current Missions to see which ones might inspire your next photoshoot.
123RF is a website that is a library of over 20 million photos, vectors, and audio files.
It’s used by web designers and bloggers to find affordable stock photos, but it also has a Contributor Program where you can upload your own photos for other people to purchase for their websites and blogs.
You can earn 30% to 60% commission for each photo you sell through 123RF.
Start by creating an account with 123RF and then wait for them to approve your application to become a contributor.
Once approved, you’ll be able to upload images and earn commissions on every download.
123RF takes care of all the transactions so you don’t have to worry about money exchanging hands or providing technical support or anything like that – just focus on taking great pictures!
As part of the Depositphotos company, Clashot is a mobile app that allows you to sell your photos and videos through the Depositphotos marketplace.
You can upload photos of anything you like, from landscapes to selfies. If a user buys your photo, you earn up to 40% of the sale, which can be as much as $80 per image.
You can also earn bonuses depending on which category your photo falls into (for example, you might earn more money if your photo is used in an advertisement vs. someone simply using it to decorate their website).
To get started, download the Clashot app on your phone and create an account.
Once you're in, hit the camera icon in the bottom center of the screen and snap a picture or select one from your gallery. Then hit “Upload” and set up a name and description for your photo before submitting it.
Once it's live, users can search through pictures by category or keyword, just like they would on any other stock website.
Make sure to tag your photos with relevant keywords (e.g., “dog” for an image of a dog) so they show up in more searches!
6 More Ways to Make Money Selling Photos
Aside from signing up for the websites and apps we mentioned above, there are other awesome ways to get paid for your content.
Here are some great options:
1. Put up a blog or website for your photos.
If you want to sell your photos online, one of the easiest ways to do so is by setting up a simple blog or website with an online store (like Shopify) and posting some beautiful photos there.
You can use WordPress or Squarespace to build your site in minutes—and even if you don't know how to code.
Once you've got your store set up, all that's left is adding products and telling people about it through social media.
2. Start a YouTube channel to build a following.
Starting a YouTube channel is another way to build an audience of people who may want to purchase the right to use one of your photographs.
The key here is that you need to build an audience first, and then sell them products and services related to photography (such as tutorials, courses, etc.).
3. Join photo contests.
Another terrific way to get exposure and make money with your photos is by joining photo contests.
There are tons of free contests out there that you can participate in, such as the iPhone Photography Awards. What matters for this one is that you take the photo on an iPhone and submit it through their website or iOS app.
Eventually, you may want to try your hand at more prestigious photo contests like the Sony World Photography Awards, the IPA or International Photography Awards, and the Monovision Photography Awards.
You can Google “photo contests” plus the year, your location, or type of photography to discover more!
4. Become a freelance photographer.
Get this: you don't have to be a professional photographer to make money selling photos.
There are tons of companies out there that hire freelance photographers to do things like take headshots of their employees or shoot photos of their product launches.
You can even find jobs on sites like Upwork, Fiverr, your area's section on Craigslist, or even in Facebook groups dedicated to local job listings. You just need to make sure you put yourself out there and start applying!
5. Sell your photos on sites like Etsy.
These sites allow you to upload designs for products such as t-shirts, mugs, posters, and more. Then, customers can purchase those items with your design on them.
The best part? You don’t have to deal with the hassle of any inventory or fulfillment because the sites will handle it all for you.
6. Sign up for a Patreon account.
Patreon is a platform that allows people to subscribe to and support their favorite artists, writers, etc. So why not you?
If you're an aspiring photographer (or even an established one), you can start a Patreon page and offer different tiers of membership to your fans.
You can offer photo prints for $1 a month, for example, or give your fans access to all the photos you take over the course of a month for $5 a month.
How to Take Better Selfies & Pictures on Your Phone
Finally, you don't need a fancy camera to take photos that are good enough to sell online.
With a little know-how and a few clever tricks, you can use your smartphone to take high-quality selfies and pics that are ready for sale:
Invest in a Good Tripod with a Shutter Release
A good tripod is worth its weight in gold. It provides a steady base and helps to prevent camera shake that can blur your shots, making them look unprofessional. In addition to helping you take better photos, it will also make it easier to use your camera’s self-timer.
Use a Reference Image
Think of reference images as a shortcut to the perfect shot.
For example, if you were trying to photograph something like a travel scene, product shot, or a themed selfie, look for similar shots on Pinterest, Instagram, or photography websites.
This gives you a clear idea of what the final image should look like before you start snapping away. Use them to help you set up things like angles, lighting, and composition.
Light It Right
To get the best lighting for your photos, start with natural light. Make sure you have a window or access to a well-lit area when taking your shots.
You can even use natural light to add the illusion of depth to your images by adding shadows and bright spots.
If you’re indoors, try to avoid using your phone’s flash. The glare from the flash will make your photos look unnatural and may make them appear washed out or grainy from the low lighting.
Instead, adjust the lighting in the room or move outside for better results. This works for both selfies and regular pictures.
Clean the Camera Lens on Your Phone
This one seems obvious, but dust and dirt can really affect the quality of your shots.
Wipe down your camera lens every time before you take a photo, especially if you have been keeping your phone in your pocket or bag for a while.
Look for Interesting Angles and Varying Heights
You can make even the most boring subject look cool by changing your angle or height.
Take a picture of the same thing (or yourself) from different angles, or move your phone up high above your head or down low near the ground to see what it looks like.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different positions until you find one that works!
Use a Lens Adapter to Give Your Phone SLR-Like Capabilities
Lens adapters, which attach to the front of your camera lens, allow you to use interchangeable lenses with your phone—just like an SLR!
You can experiment with different focal lengths and perspectives, capture more light, and even add special effects filters to your images.
You can get one for as low as $20, but we recommend getting the best one you can afford because they're a terrific investment for selling photos online.
Add props to your image, but don’t go overboard.
By adding a prop or two, like a hat, glasses, or a scarf, you can bring your photos and selfies to life.
But it’s also easy to overdo it with the props and make your photos look cluttered. Choose just one or two carefully selected props that you feel are relevant to the image you want to create.
Use Free Photo Editing Tools to Make Your Images Pop
Once you've taken a picture, the real fun begins! There are plenty of free apps that will take your photos from drab to fab in seconds. Here are just a few:
Snapseed has over 25 tools including real-time filters, white balance and exposure adjustments, and the ability to control focus, saturation, temperature, and more.
VSCO lets you easily enhance, crop, and retouch your photos with just one click.
It also comes with built-in presets such as “Vintage,” “Black & White” and “Food” which can help give your images a professional-looking feel without having to manually tweak every setting on your own.
This popular app allows you to edit your photos like a pro using more than 600 effects, overlays, and borders. You can also use Pixlr to combine multiple images and merge them seamlessly.
This one includes handy features like a stabilizer and timer, as well as an amazing variety of filters and effects that you can add after the fact.
Camera+ even allows you to edit over separate layers in your image, so you can adjust specific aspects of the photo separately from each other.
So there you have it, everything you need to start getting paid for your selfies and photos!
Remember to bookmark this page (and the sites/apps we mentioned) so you can come back to it any time, and then start practicing those smartphone photography tips we shared.
And don't forget: no one became a star photographer overnight, so don't get discouraged if you don't make a lot at first.
Just keep at it, and good luck!