Most of us already know about several microstock websites. We see their photos on major news sites and blogs, and most writers use them for featured images.
But you probably didn’t realize that setting up your own creator account is easy and will cost you nothing.
Of course, these sites are competitive and you’ll probably not jump in and start making money right off the bat. However, the advantage of microstock websites is that there’s a place for everyone.
They already have a large audience ranging from big news websites to individuals, all of whom have different needs. You never can tell which of them will need the very kind of experience you’ve captured. That said, here are six websites that will pay you for your pictures.
Most big websites like CNN and even Medium-owned publications buy their photos from Getty Images. Almost anyone, anywhere around the world, can make money uploading pictures on a site like Getty Images because of the variety of needs their buyers have.
For instance, if you’re in India and you get a first-hand view of a scene where a major event happened, if CNN will write an article concerning that event, there’s a huge chance they’ll pick your picture. If you are close to a ghetto, and you upload pictures of it, when a buyer needs a picture that illustrates living in a ghetto, then you stand a chance.
There was a strong movement in Nigeria towards the end of 2020 regarding police brutality called the #EndSars protest. It was a huge movement that most news outlets around the world covered. But there was no way they could be there to capture the event live. If you go on Getty Images right now and search #EndSars, you’ll see countless images taken by Nigerians and marketed on the site.
On the bottom right corner of their home page, you’ll find “Apply to be a contributor.” Once you get to the contributor page, there’s a bullet point guide to set up your contributor account and start uploading images.
On Dreams Time, you sell stock photos, videos, and audio recordings for videos, advertising campaigns, or for personal use. Dreams time has a large customer base ranging from individuals to big companies like Coca-Cola, TIME magazine, Samsung, hp, and Google.
To get started, simply go down to the bottom right of the front page where it says “Upload and sell photos.”
Dreams Time has six different levels, level zero to level five. Each level has a threshold. Once you reach the threshold, you go to the next level and your earnings increase as well. The rules are the same for images, videos, and audio files. Unlike the other microstock websites, Dreams Time pays you by the number of downloads you get.
Alamy is an online platform where you can sell your images and get paid for them.
Once you get to the contributor homepage, you’ll get a brief explanation of how to go about selling on Alamy. It’s straightforward. You’ll make a great photo or create an illustration, upload it to the website. It will be available for purchase within 24 hours.
To get started, simply go to the footer on the site’s front page and click “become a contributor.”
Whenever your picture is sold, you can get up to 50% split for exclusive images, and up to 40% split for nonexclusive images. It has one of the highest commission rates.
On Picfair, buyers can order prints or downloads. This creates a wider range of options for those buying and a better market for the sellers. Sometimes a customer wants to download a photo or a wallpaper. Other times they want to order a big print for their new home. Either way, Picfair has a market for it.
Shutterstock is a go-to site for most writers who use paid images for their articles. Once you upload your photos to Shutterstock, you permit them to sell those photos to stuck buyers. When they sell one of those photos, they give you a cut of the sales.
Like most photo publishing websites, how much you make from your photo will depend on how much the buyer paid for them and what level you are as a Shutterstock contributor.
Get started by signing as a contributor. The registration process is pretty straightforward. You’ll be required to fill in some basic details and confirm your email address. Going about uploading photos on your contributor dashboard is simple and intuitive.
The Foap app was founded in 2011. As of today, they have over 3 million creators, and it’s only app-based.
Now, like many stock photos sites, the reality is that it’s difficult to get attention to your work out of the millions of photos you’re competing with. To make it easier to be found on Foap, you’ll need to tag your images. Similar to Medium, you’ll have to set at least 5 relevant tags and upload frequently. The more pictures you have, the higher your chances of getting sales.
Microstock companies are great, especially for professional photographers because traditional agencies usually work with selected artists. But microstock companies are willing to accept images from both amateurs and professionals.
And since these sites already have a large audience, it’s a great way to get work across to an audience already passionate about art. Some amateur photographers sometimes make more than professionals because they spread themselves across many platforms, making them exposed to a large audience.