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4 Sites that Make Your Photography Pay

If you’re a budding Ansel Adams and would like to make some money off of your better photographs, there are a number of options to help you sell your photos. These sites will sell your photos (and sometimes vector art) and share the revenue with you. Don’t think that you can submit just any old image though, most of these services have editors to make sure the quality stays high.

These are also great websites for designers to know about (as I’m sure most already do), since you can find more interesting images to use than you will find at the normal stock photography sites.

iStockPhotoOne of the more established sites, iStockPhoto has been around long enough to have a really solid inventory of images. They have a section for movies, Flash, vector files and normal photos. If you’re looking for something eclectic, you can probably find something here.

Lucky Oliver
Lucky OliverOne of the newcomers to the show, Lucky Oliver is both original and high quality. I’ve had a chane to meet one of the founders, and his vision for Lucky Oliver is something that will make designers and photographers happy – keep an eye on these guys. I use them regularly, and highly recommend becoming a part of their community as either a designer or photographer.

Shutterstock PhotoShutterstock gives you vector and normal images, just like the other two listed. How it’s different, is that you pay on a monthly or yearly subscription, not on a per image basis. They seem to have a good selection and if you need a lot of images, this might be a good service for you.

Spy Media
SpyMedia is a place where you can take advantage of being in a good, or lucky, situation. Say you’re out at a show, a sporting event or catch something newsworthy with your camera – well, now you can sell that image directly to news outlets. Members can place “bounties” on getting a certain type of picture, or a picture of a certain person. Fulfiling that bounty allows you to get paid. A similar service to this is Citizen Image.


[UPDATE: Here is another great micro-stock photo review, an article on why micro-stock photography is displacing traditional photography business models, and a blog post from a professionals perspective.]


  1. if your photograpy worth one buck gross (50 cent net) submitt to these agencies…

  2. @ Stockbroker
    If you already have a successful business selling your photos for thousands of dollars, congratulations.

    However, I think you’ll find that the traditional “professional photography” role is quickly becoming outdated. Why? Because as a publicist or designer I can find just as good of quality images for my purposes at a small % of the cost that you would charge. (There’s a reason that Getty Images bought out iStockPhoto)

    Secondarily, letting hobbyists make a little extra money selling images and illustrations on these websites is a good thing right? Or, are we fighting the same battle here as between “accredited journalists vs bloggers”, where only “real photographers” should make any money?

  3. Hey Hash, thanks for the little write up!

    StockBroker- Microstock is a viable industry. Sales in volume really works, but we also think artists should be able to get more margins off their work. We have the Sideshow which allows artists to set their own price. We’re leading the charge in the midstock space.

  4. Hi Brian, yeah I know you guys at Lucky Oliver are doing some really innovative things. You’re the guys I go to when I want some interesting images for presentations.

    I’m just waiting for the ability to get “true” vector files from you. 🙂

  5. hiii
    i want to paste in soe photographs… and get paid back how do i start up

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