国外能够通过卖图片赚美金获取被动收入的10个平台及收益情况

能卖照片赚钱的8个平台

1、Shutterstock

这是最推荐的一个,主要因为这个网站算是规模最大的相片出售网站,特色是买家可以选择包月制,让各图片的销售量明显高于其他网站。虽然每张0.25美元的价钱偏低,但还是受到不少人的欢迎。

你只要免费注册一个账号,将自己的作品上传,网友只要点击你的照片,并且购买了,你就能分到钱。注意:对照片进行适当的PS很重要。申请帐号需要提供护照等身份证明资料,以及10张自己的作品照片,需要7张符合水准才能通过申请。

附:官方注册链接https://submit.shutterstock.com/

2、 Photoshelter

这个网站对图片的审核比较严格,更适合比较专业的摄影师。卖一张照片可得销售总额的70%。

3、123RF

卖一张照片可得售价的50%。有简体中文的介面,比较没有语言门槛。注册与图片审核的速度较快,图片通过率高。网站规模稍微比不上前面几家龙头,在这个网站当中,除了照片可以卖钱以外,要是帮网站介绍其他顾客或摄影师加入,你还可以获得额外的佣金。

4、Dreamstime

美国第二大的图片库,注册与资格的审核比较简单、宽松,不必提供护照,但上传的图片大小必须在300万画素以上。每张照片能出售的价格也相对较高,要是买家想高价买断图片版权的话也可以。

5、Fotolia

注册时需要提供护照扫描图档,在注册完成后,每张上传图片需等待审核通过后才能出售,虽然审核标准并不十分严格,但效率稍慢,需要耐心等待才行。除了实际拍摄的照片以外,也可以上传使用3D绘图软体制作的图片,而每张照片的出售价格也可自订。

6、iStockphoto

这些网站中的龙头老大,注册的审核稍严格,需要回答一些问题,以及缴交身份证明与三张自己拍摄的范例照片。而注册通过后,上传照片的审核也是耗时最久、最严格的网站,除非你自认自己的照片十分有水准,否则极有可能发生全部被退回的情况。卖一张照片可得 0.25美元

7、SnapVillage

该网站的特色就是多种的定价策略,摄影师可以有1、5、10、25与50美元的定价选项,买家也可以选择包月制或是单张购买制。不过它的规模并不算很大,审核标准普通。卖一张照片可得售價的30%(可自訂售價1~50美元) 。

8、Stockxpert

它目前有九种多国语言介面,可惜不含简体中文或正体中文,网路上能找到的资料也不多,网站的规模也相对较小。除了卖照片以外,这个网站也卖影片。卖一张照片可得售价的50%。

Shutterstock

At the moment Shutterstock is the number 1 selling microstock agency. 80% of my income comes from it. Shutterstock sells basically everything - people, nature, cities, video and even audio. If you are thinking of getting started as a stock photographer, make sure Shutterstock is at the top of your list to join. As I've mentioned in my previous post, at the beginning prices are quite low starting at only 0.25$ per photo but they go up once you reach a certain level. The highest sale I've ever done was 210$ for a single sale. It all depends on the subscription plan the customer has bought.

They also made a deal with Facebook, meaning that every time someone uses an image that Facebook makes available in its advertising system from Shutterstock, the contributor gets paid a subscription-rate download royalty which goes from 0.25$ up to 0.38$ per photo.

Unfortunately, Shutterstock doesn't provide contributors with much information about their sales. I can see how many photos have been sold and that is pretty much it. No analytics, statistics, geostatistics (except for the small map with random sales). I wish Shutterstock provided a better analytic tool for contributors.

Registration steps are fairly simple although you have to pass a test. In the past, you had to upload 10 of your best photos 7 of which had to pass all the quality criteria. Now it's enough with only one photo. So it's super easy.

  • Registration: 5/5
  • Photo acceptance rate: 4/5
  • Sales: 5/5
  • Prices: 4/5
  • Price upgrades: 5/5
  • Mobile App: Yes
  • Sales statistics info: 2/5
  • Overall rating: 5/5
  • Shutterstock registration link

To this date I have uploaded around 20 000 media files

Adobe Stock logo

Adobe Stock (ex Fotolia)

Adobe Stock is the second agency, that brings another 15% of my income. Backed by Adobe it has grown significantly, yet Adobe Stock doesn't sell any Editorial photos - photos with logos, brands etc. Which cuts out quite a lot of good photos. For example, you've taken a great shot in Venice. It's a nice shot.

But there are some brand names, name on the boat, on the building or a logo by the window. Automatically this photo can't be sold as a regular photo, since it's a hidden add for these brands or companies. So you have two options - if possible photoshop out all of these titles (like I'm doing) or mark it as editorial. In Adobe Stock, second option is not possible.

Adobe Stock logo
Different brand names sample.

Adobe Stock has a little better prices than Shutterstock. A single photo can be sold for 1 - 5 Eur even in the very beginning, when you are at the low level. The registration process is fairly simple and photo acceptance rate is pretty high as well.

Price sample on Adobe Stock
  • Registration: 5/5
  • Photo acceptance rate: 5/5
  • Sales: 3/5
  • Prices: 5/5
  • Price upgrades: 2/5
  • Mobile App: No
  • Sales statistics info: 5/5
  • Overall rating: 4/5
  • Adobe Stock registration link

At the moment I have around 5 000 media files uploaded

Depositphotos logo

Depositphotos

An agency with a huge advertising budget and increasing sales. Its image count is growing massively every day. Sadly it takes a long time to grow through their royalty tiers. So start as soon as possible!

I was lucky to be contacted by Depositphotos and offered to get help from them with my media description. Depositphotos make up the rest 5% of my income and I'm planning to increase this number in the upcoming year.

First prices are quite low, even though most of the photos sell for 0.30$ vs 0.25$ on Shutterstock, the initial growth is much slower. On Shutterstock, I got upgraded to 0.33$ per photo in less than 6 months.

The registration process is fairly simple and photo acceptance rate is pretty high.

  • Registration: 5/5
  • Photo acceptance rate: 5/5
  • Sales: 2/5
  • Prices: 2/5
  • Price upgrades: 2/5
  • Mobile App: Yes
  • Sales statistics info: 4/5
  • Overall rating: 3/5
  • Depositphotos registration link

At the moment I have around 8 500 media files uploaded.

Dreamstime logo

Dreamstime

I have registered my profile a long time ago, yet only recently has started uploading large amount of media to this agency. At the moment it doesn't seem that Dreamstime can be very efficient. The prices are extremely low, 3-4 times lower than in other agencies and sales are quite rare. Of course, I've uploaded around 1500 media files so far, so I'll raise that number to at least 4000 and see if something changes or not. And I want to point out, that I'm uploading the same files that make good profit on other websites.

The upload process is quite annoying, but the acceptance rate is high.

  • Registration: 3/5
  • Photo acceptance rate: 4/5
  • Sales: 1/5
  • Prices: 1/5
  • Price upgrades: 2/5
  • Mobile App: Yes
  • Sales statistics info: 4/5
  • Overall rating: 2/5
  • Dreamstime registration link

Around 1 500 media files but don't make any useful income out of it. Yet.

Pond5 logo

Pond5

At the moment I'm also starting uploading media on Pond5, which is popular for its video sales. But it's too early for me for a legit review. The only thing I can tell is that their media acceptance period is quite long. Some people say it might take 2 - 4 weeks for the media to get approved and uploaded, while in other agencies it usually takes no longer than 2-3 days.

Another huge advantage is that you can set your own price. This is extremely rare for stock photography.

Check out Pond5 if you are more of a video kind of person.

  • Registration: 5/5
  • Photo acceptance rate: 5/5
  • Sales: Can't evaluate
  • Prices: 5/5
  • Price upgrades: No need
  • Mobile App: No
  • Sales statistics info: 5/5
  • Overall rating: 3/5
  • Pond5 registration link

I have around 1 000 media files uploaded.

BigStock

The last website that I'm currently testing is BigStock. Owned by Shutterstock, the BigStock microstock agency seems to be just finding its feet recently. It has pretty decent UI and review times are pretty quick. Yet, I've had some trouble uploading videos using the FTP client.

No firm opinion about this agency so far, but given that it's owned by one of the biggest players in the industry it deserves a shot.

Hard to give any rating so far.

What about the others?

There are a few other popular companies like 123RF or iStockphotos that are out there and I haven't used. The main reason I suppose would be the UI (User Interface). 123RF website is pretty bad and I still can't figure out an easy way to upload my media files. If I had only 10 photos I could use a browser uploader, but in my case, I have 10 000 files and more which are pretty heavy, so the FTP is the only choice for me, yet somehow I wasn't able and upload the media. I wish they made the whole upload process for the contributors much easier. The same goes for iSotckphotos. It takes a huge amount of time to upload every photo with notorious descriptions and keywords.

I do understand that the more I describe, the easier it will be for them to display an accurate photo, but nowadays contributors don't want to spend their time typing keywords. They want to upload their photos as fast as possible and go hunting for the next ones. This is where Shutterstock and Adobe Stock really shine. Shutterstock even has its own keyword generator which is really simple to use, yet very efficient. In fact much more efficient than any other free keyword generators on the web.

What sells?

So after going through all the agencies the main question is "What sells best?" There isn't a particular answer but I can give several explanations.

First of all, on various websites, different topics sell best. One topic that will bring you good sells is the people. People doing random jobs, working, travelling, partying and doing yoga. Basically, anything that people do. But don't think you can just go outside and start taking photos of random people. These photos require model releases, a document which a person signs that he's ok with having his images getting sold on the particular website. So you have to take photos of your friends or find people who are ok with it. Other than that:

On Shutterstock and Depositphotos you'll be better with nature, travel photos and landscapes. Well, and of course the people.

On Adobe Stock on the other hand, food sales should be much higher than on previous two. I guess it depends on the clients.

Pond5 is the choice if you want to sell video files.

I still haven't figured out the Dreamstime demands. So far nothing really sells there for me :)

But it's not only the agency that matters, it's the photo. I already mentioned that it's really important for you to edit your photos, add saturation, lights, sharpness. Some photos require even more editing, like the sky on this photo for example. The milky way here is clearly fake, but it makes the photo look more alive.

Sydney milky way
Adding stars to the night sky. Photo editing sample.

Example time

Let's see some of my most popular photos on Shutterstock:

Venice in Italy
Venice, Italy. Shot from one of the most popular places in Venice, yet captured a moment with 4 gondolas and edited to bring out the colours of the water.
  • Total sales: 900
  • Profit: 400$
Orlando aerial view
Orlando, USA. Shot from the window of the hotel, before the drone times and edited to show all the beautiful colours.
  • Total sales: 300
  • Profit: 250$
Hollywood Sign
Hollywood sign district in Los Angeles, USA. Perfect and a little different shot of a Hollywood sign.
  • Total sales: 314
  • Profit: 200$

As you can see, even these 3 photos together have made a total of 1485 sales and made a profit of around 850$. Of course, there are photos that haven't made any sales at all. So, you have to analyze what sells and what does not.

Shutterstock photography earnings
Chart of my incomes from the Shutterstock for the last year.

I've removed the numbers but you can see the trend. While photo sales are more or less stable, video sales are growing significantly. Of course, I'm not the best seller in the world. I know people who make 10 000$ a month and more. So there is really no limit to your profit. It all depends on your photos and the effort you put in. I'm just sharing my experience with you.

Shutterstock contributor earnings report 2017

What's next?

If you're still thinking about starting selling your photos - stop thinking and start doing it.

Register now and in one years time, you'll be glad that you have started today. Patience and persistence are the keys. Start with one website, build up your portfolio and move on.

Sometimes it takes more courage to ask for help than to act alone.

You can contact me and order a consultation, in case you need my help and advice. I can provide you with registration guidelines, help you with photo checks in case they won't get accepted, provide you with Lightroom and Photoshop presets, that will make your photos more attractive to customers, tell you what kind of photos to shoot to get first sales, what camera to use and answer any other questions.

I wish there was someone to answer all of these questions when I first started selling photos. Would have saved me a lot of time.

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