How to Make Money Selling Photos of Yourself?

With the advent of smartphones, photography has become more of a necessity than a luxury. It has become an integral part of modern society. Everyone owning a smartphone has become a trend to click pictures and post them on social media platforms. Nevertheless, what if we say you can earn money from your photos? Sounds interesting, right! Read on to find out how you can make a few bucks by selling your photos. Let us know ‘How to Make Money Selling Photos of Yourself?’.

How to Make Money Selling Photos of Yourself?

How to Make Money Selling Photos of Yourself?

You can monetize on your hobby of clicking random pictures or sell pictures of yourself and make this your side hustle. Getting paid for photos might sound like a scam, but it isn’t. The internet is flooded with many websites and apps that pay you for your pictures. Here’s a helpful guide on how to get started in making money by selling your photos. 

  • Invest in good equipment- Photography is the art of capturing some beautiful moments either on your camera or smartphone. You do not need a professional camera to click beautiful pictures. These days, a decent mobile equipped with a good camera is necessary to make you a professional.  
  • Invest in a selfie stick- Most websites online pay for your selfies rather than for some random pictures. If you are all by yourself, it would be a great help to invest your money in a selfie stick. This will come in handy, especially while capturing your picture with a stunning background. 
  • Find suitable locations- You need your pictures to be visually appealing. The best way to add a cute touch to your photographs is by doing your photoshoots in unique backgrounds. So, carry your equipment and go on an exploration to find the best location for your shoot. 
  • Focus on good lighting- Good lighting is crucial to get perfect pictures. Professional photographers usually have lighting equipment that helps them in getting the right light for the shoot. It is okay if you cannot afford the lighting equipment. But, you need to make the best use of the natural lighting available. You can even watch a couple of tutorials to understand how to make use of natural light. 
  • Equip yourself with good editing tools and software- Editing your photos elevates them to the next level. Every picture needs editing to make it perfect. There are great editing tools and software available online. It is always advisable to experiment with them before finalizing one. You can consider getting trained by online tutorials to master your post-production skills. 
  • Pick the best- Once you find the right location and desired lighting, it would be of your help if you try getting at least 50-100 shots in different angles. You can then take your time in selecting and editing the best images of the lot. Taking multiple shots will help you in getting the perfect picture that is both attractive and visually appealing. 
  • Be persistent with your efforts- Photography is just like any other art that needs to be mastered. If you are passionate about your skill, you need to make it a part of your routine and practice taking pictures daily. Be consistent in your efforts and stick to a routine while uploading your pictures on online websites. 
  • Upload your pictures on multiple platforms- You cannot expect to hit the jackpot on your first try. Limiting yourself to a few platforms will decrease your opportunities and success rate. So, register yourself on multiple platforms to increase your chances of visibility and earnings. 
  • Develop your portfolio- It is only with experience your work gets better. In the meantime, you can focus on developing a solid portfolio on social media platforms. Instead of hopping onto every social media platform, you need to develop a strategy and understand what works best for you.  

Different Options to Make Money by Selling Your Photos

As mentioned earlier, there are numerous platforms online that pay you for your pictures. There are even mobile applications that provide you a platform to sell your photos. Let us take a look at different options where you can make money by selling your photos. 

Apps That Pay For Your Pictures 

There is an app for everything in the current world, so is the case with selling your selfies. With the ubiquitousness of smartphones, many apps allow you to sell your selfies. Let’s look into some of the apps where you can make some quick buck for your selfies.

Pay your selfie

It is one of the best platforms where you get paid for your selfies and photos. Once you register on the app, you will receive specific instructions on the activities you need to perform while clicking your selfies. Then, the app pays you around 20 cents to $1 in coupons or discounts on completing the task.

You cannot wholly rely on this app for work. It is advisable if you engage yourself on other apps as well. The app lets you cash out your earnings once your wallet amount reaches $20. You even have an option to donate the money to a charity of your choice. 


The next app on the list that pays for your selfies is scoop shot. Apart from Pay your selfie, this app is that it does not pay you directly for your selfies. The app is more like a marketplace that integrates people like you with potential buyers. Upon registering on the app, you need to upload your pictures. These pictures are then visible to people who run ad campaigns. You will get paid only if they like your pictures. The app does not guarantee you money. But the app provides several options for you to earn money in the form of contests and competitions. 


This app is very much different from the other two apps we have talked about until now. Stylinity is a combination of a selfie app and a shopping site. You need to register on the app, purchase from their online store, click pictures of yourself in those clothes, and upload them on the app to earn StylePerks. This app works great for people who love shopping. You can redeem your StylePerks for money or products on the app. 

Smugmug Pro 

If you are worried about your pictures getting stolen by people, then Smugmug pro is the right platform for you. The app provides you with an option to store your pictures and decide when to make them public. You can even use watermarks provided by the platform to protect your pictures from theft. You need to register yourself on the app by paying subscription fees to join their seller community to sell your photos. The app lets you keep 85% of your earnings. This app is best suited for people who are most inclined towards professional photography. 


The app 500px resembles more of a social media platform. You need to create an account either by signing up for free or paying a subscription fee to become a prime member. The pictures uploaded on the app are of high resolution. However, uploading your pictures on the app is not enough. You need to be creative and write a description and generate keywords for the picture you uploaded. 

The play and app stores are filled with similar apps that allow you to make money by selling your photos. It is always better for you to go through the terms and conditions of each app before registering yourself on these platforms. 

Websites That Pay For Your Stock Images 

Many websites and apps have a massive collection of images arranged in categories with millions of followers. By uploading your pictures on these websites, you can use a large audience to reach potential customers. However, the images uploaded on these sites are high resolution. Therefore, you need to meet the website’s standards while uploading a picture. You will have an added benefit if you upload images that come in the form of a series.

Additionally, it is always better to upload images in different resolutions as you might not know the purpose behind its purchase. For example, the customer might use the image for social media campaigns, publishing it on flyers or billboards. Each of these publications comes with different resolutions. So for the quality to not get compromised, it is best to upload the images in different resolutions.

Customers or buyers get access to photos based on keyword searches. You need to ensure that you are using the right keywords while uploading your pictures on the site. Before becoming a regular seller on these websites, the images you upload will be scrutinized closely. You can upload the images regularly once your images pass the test. Here is a list of some popular websites where you can sell your stock images. 


Being one of the most extensive stock libraries, Shutterstock allows users to register freely on their website. Once you register yourself on the app as a seller or contributor, you must upload several of your images. The internal team then reviews these images at Shutterstock. Finally, Shutterstock approves you to contribute and sell your pictures on the website if your images meet the given criteria. 

You will earn money when a potential customer purchases your photos. Suppose you upload images of people or yourself. In that case, it is mandatory to get a model release form signed and submitted on the website. 


While other stock libraries are restricted to photos, iStockphoto allows you to upload photos, videos, audios, or illustrations. The process of becoming a contributor on the site is very much similar to that of Shutterstock. You need the approval of the internal team at iStockphoto to become a contributor. 

Just like Shutterstock, iStockphoto is also free to join. The only drawback of this site is that it offers only 15% out of the sale. If you want more, you can opt for exclusive status that pays you nearly 45% out of the sale. 

Big Stock

If you are looking for a reliable platform to sell your pictures on, BigStock can be considered the right option. You can register yourself as a contributor on the website for free. However, before uploading your pictures on the site, you need to complete the site’s mandatory tutorial. Then, you can start selling your images upon receiving the approval of the BigStock team. You will receive your earnings once your images get sold. 


The British-American visual media company, GettyImages comprises every image one can think of. Established in the year 1995, GettyImages is considered the godfather of all stock images. The site follows strict rules and does not encourage any copyright infringements. You can expect to make a good amount of money from this site. 


Unlike the sites mentioned above, PicFair gives its users the flexibility to price their images. However, they charge a minimum of 20% on your earnings.  

If you master the art of selling popular stock photos, you will end up earning more. Stock library websites are an effective way for beginners to earn money and increase their discoverability by selling their photos. 

Build Your Portfolio 

Making money by selling your photos online takes time. Additionally, while selling your photos on various platforms, you need to adhere to the platform’s terms and conditions. However, this will restrict your field of work. For example, suppose you are passionate about photography and confident in producing popular, on-demand images. In that case, you should have your brand and work on your terms. 

The primary step in building your portfolio is developing a website to display your work. You can use this website for commercial purposes and to authenticate your work. Having a website for your work will let you decide what type of images you want to display and the amount you want to price them. This will also increase your visibility online and help establish a good relationship between you and your prospects. 

You need not wait at the mercy of websites to grant you your earnings. You will be the only person who has complete control over the platform. Knowing SEO comes as an added benefit while developing your website. This will help get a better rank for your page and show your page in the top search. Many companies online let you start your blog or website by charging a nominal fee as low as $6 a month. 

Be sure to mention your contact details and areas of specialization to make it easy for the customers who visit your site. In addition to this, you need to make your website user-friendly and optimized for mobiles. 

Lastly, it would be best if you let people know about your new website. You are only responsible for publicizing your content. So, understand your audience and market yourself across different social media platforms. 

Create Your Channel on Youtube

Another crucial step in building your portfolio has a youtube channel where you can share tips and tricks of photography. This is an effective way to increase your brand image and attract new clients. In addition, having a youtube channel where you offer guidance to many photography enthusiasts will help in strengthening your credibility as a photographer. 

You can also drive organic traffic to your website through your videos on youtube and rope in potential clients. If your channel gets popular, you can make extra money or receive goodies from sponsors who would like to advertise their products through your website. So, think thoroughly and offer tutorials only on those topics which you are confident in. Be sure to provide all the information that will guide your viewers to your website. 

Optimize Your Social Media Account

In this smartphone world, almost every individual owns a social media account. With people spending a significant amount of time on social media platforms, most businesses have utilized this opportunity to turn them into mini markets to sell their products and services. You can make optimum use of this new change to your benefit. Social media platforms help in garnering the right audience for your business. 

If you have a good number of followers, you will stand a chance to meet advertisers who love to employ influencers to feature their brand. With the right strategy in place and fully optimized social media pages, you can increase your brand’s visibility and generate potential leads for your business. 

Participate in Photo Contests

There are many photo contests conducted in both online and offline modes. While experienced photographers may not have many takeaways from these contests, beginners can benefit entirely by participating in these contests.

If your picture makes it to the top, you will receive a cash prize. Besides this, these contests are a great way to gain experience, boost your confidence, and understand your competitor’s work. Overall, it will be a good learning experience. So, based on your preferences, make use of every opportunity that comes your way. 

Tips to Get Perfect Pictures of Yourself 

It is always better if you do not compromise on the quality of your photos. Invest in the right tools and equipment to get high-resolution pictures. Besides that, here are some tips that you can consider following during your photoshoot. 

  • With single photos being the top priority for customers, capturing your single photo is better than group photos. 
  • Remember that candids are always the best. However, trying to achieve fake candids will be of no use. 
  • While clicking your picture, always aim to get a wider shot rather than close-ups. Appealing backgrounds will make your picture even more attractive.
  • The majority of the best-selling pictures feature the model looking away from the camera. So, it is always better to look away from the camera while clicking your picture. 
  • Dawn and dusk are often the best times to capture the best shots.  

Things to Consider Before Selling Photos of Yourself

There are certain things that you should be aware of before you set out to sell your photos. First, before selling your pictures to a buyer, you need to be mindful of the license you are selling them, along with the actual usage of your pictures by them. 

Different Licenses

If you are skeptical about selling your pictures to a particular buyer, don’t hesitate to conduct a background check. Find their social media pages or websites to understand how they are using images. Suppose you see them endorsing products you do not want to get associated with. In that case, it is better to break things before it proceeds further. There are different types of licenses, each coming at various price points. You must get a better understanding of all of them. 

  • Rights Managed License: Under this license, only the buyers can decide the usage of the pictures and the amount of time they will be used for.
  • Editorial Use License: This license restricts the buyers from using the pictures for advertising or promotional purposes.
  • Royalty-Free License: This license is generally used for stock images. A purchased image is put to multiple uses for different types of publications.
  • Royalty-Free Extended License: Being very much similar to Royalty Free License, the Royalty Free Extended License can be used for extended usage in derivative products.  
  • Creative Commons License: A non-profit organization has founded this license to help photographers license their work.
  • Public Domain: As the name suggests, this license can be used by any individual as they please. 

Terms And Conditions

It is always better to specify the terms and conditions for the pictures you upload across various platforms- be it social media pages, your blog, etc. The terms and conditions should include where your pictures can be used and the duration they can be used for. While uploading your pictures on any apps or stock library sites, make sure that you read all the terms and conditions thoroughly. Selling your pictures in haste might end them up on websites that you wished not to work with. Also, beware of fraudsters while you are working on your website. 


You can sell your pictures online on various platforms. Though you might end up earning some bucks, you need to understand that relying entirely on this does not pay your bills. Making money by selling your photos is more of a side hustle that can be pursued alongside your regular job. Although you may not hit the jackpot right at the start, pursuing this persistently will yield better results in the long run.

How to Make Money Selling Photos of Yourself?

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