5 Best Places to Sell Photos Online

One of the best options when selling photos and vectors online is to use image banks. For various reasons, exploring this route can be interesting both for professional photographers who can create perfect images that respond to what the market asks for and even for amateurs who may be able to sell a photo that is otherwise one more file on the computer. The same thing applies to graphic designers as well.

Hence, image banks stand as those agencies that have large photographic archives, which have been using for almost a century by both the media, publicists, companies and other customers when they look for the right image, vectors and graphics for their ads, stories, etc. These photographic archives are called stock photos since the client does not hire a photographer or graphic designer to take the photo or create vectors but looks for a photograph already taken, stored in stock, ready to be used, which is infinitely cheaper.

For photographers, this alternative of sale is one of the most frequent and profitable since the agencies allow their works to reach a large number of potential clients. These works is exchanged for a percentage as they are responsible for managing the sale of licenses. In this article, we will help with reviews of the best royalty-free images websites in 2020 that will help you sell your work as a photographer or designer.

5 Best Places to Sell Photos Online

1. Shutterstock


Shutterstock is one of the best and giant stock photography websites as well as one of those that has been in the business longer than most. They are the microstock agency responsible for incorporating an innovative model of stock photo subscriptions, now widespread in the market. This website is also famous for having the largest library of stock photos on the web, with about 190 million files and counting. Thus, creating an opportunity for designers to showcase their skills in return for money. They have very strict technical standards and obviously an apparently infinite variety of content. New photos are constantly added by members who sell their photos, video clips or vector o the platform.

Another reason that makes so many customers prefer Shutterstock is that they offer several additional services for their customers, which make buying, downloading and working with stock photos simpler, faster, and even more fun.

Among its latest innovations, the incorporation of artificial intelligence systems to its platform stands out. Thanks to this, today they offer a much more advanced image search engine, which provides much more accurate results and also allows you to search for images using another image as a reference, instead of keywords. This allows you to find photos faster and easier, and also find multiple alternatives and similar images to have options when designing.

Why is Shutterstock better than its main competitor Especially for Photographers?

Shutterstock occupies an undisputed position in the ranking of microstock agencies. It is usually the one with the highest income for its contributors and has a huge volume of traffic and sales that makes it a leader in the sector.

In addition to photos, this site works with videos, illustrations, vectors and other digital designs. And as a photographer who wants to sell your photos, Shutterstock pays from $ 0.25 for each sale, which is usually between $ 0.25 and $ 2.85 per download. Although the amount increases over time as the photographer climbs up and other similar issues.

The available means of payment are PayPal, Payoneer, Skrill and check. Besides, the platform has an excellent tool that suggests keywords for photos. For the rest, it is a very comfortable, practical and agile platform. They also have an app to upload photos on the go for sellers. This App is “Shutterstock Contributor” (not “Shutterstock” dry, which is the app for photo buyers).

2. Fotolia /Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock

Fotolia/Adobe Stock, the best friend of the graphic designer is an image bank service owned by Adobe, the software giant, built based on the Fotolia library, which is a well-known agency bought by Adobe. It is slightly less demanding than Shutterstock, that is, it is easier to enter although it also has lower traffic volume and sales.

They pay by PayPal or Skrill from 33% to 64% for exclusive contributors. In addition, your level as a contributor is increasing according to the sales of your photos. The higher you get, the more you charge. The interface is very intuitive and pleasant, allows you to upload photos in batch, edit the data of each one (title, up to 50 tags), and also offers keyword suggestions.

One of the most interesting details of this platform is that it not only allows you to put the titles and labels in several other languages ​​other than English but also order them according to importance.

Another of its main advantages is the integration in Adobe Creative Suite. This not only makes it much easier to upload the images (you can upload your photos directly from the Lightroom to your Adobe Stock portfolio) but, above all, that brings them closer to thousands of designers and other creative professionals who from the ACS can search for photos for your projects.

As for the photos taken with mobile devices, Adobe Stock has a special section for them, Instant. When you register, the process is slightly more tedious. Among other things, you must complete a tax section and fill out a mandatory form for the US, but the W-8BEN if you are not from the US, neither live nor work there.

3. Getty Images


Getty Images is one of the most prestigious photographic agencies in the world. So much so that one could say that it is the very definition of what an image bank is. It is a traditional company that started before the Internet era and quickly adapted to an online platform. This agency is famous for its varied super catalog, full of first-class photography for commercial purposes, including millions of exclusive images from around the world, in addition to a long editorial collection.

In Getty Images, you can sell, buy photos and resell photos with licenses and management rights, and more common licenses adapted to your specific needs and can include exclusive use of photos among other benefits.

As a contributor to Getty Images, earnings can differ based on the number of content you have in your portfolio that are needed by customers. The more your contributions are demanded by customers, the more opportunities you will have to gain earnings. But basically, Getty pays between 20% to 30% of the actual value of your images per month.

In addition to the technical requirements, the photos must have commercial value. The sales potential that Getty Images perceives in each photo has a lot of weight when admitting or rejecting it. They may also decide to change a commercial category photo to an editorial category if they understand that it does not meet the necessary requirements.

Regarding the payment method, you can choose between PayPal or mailed check.

Besides, Getty Images have a large selection of author-free images and editorial images that you can buy in an ultra-pack order, with a great discount on large purchases. Prices are based on size, while copyright-free images cost from $ 125 to $ 499 per unit. You can also save up to 15% by buying download packages of 5 to 10, saving you hundreds of dollars.

If you are looking for the prestigious Getty Images photos, Getty Images Ultrapacks are very appropriate, saving you up to 30% of the usual price, making Premium photos more affordable.

4. iStock Signature 


Another of the big ones on the market was iStockphotos, which after being absorbed by Getty Images was renamed iStock by Getty and also includes what Stockxpert was. This platform continues to have a lot of customer traffic and stands out for the high quality of images. In fact, they have recently changed their policy and only accept 500 new contributors each year.

They have different versions but it must be said that it is not particularly intuitive or simple when uploading images and optimizing them. File uploading is a bit tedious. You do this one by one, and the interface in general and at times don’t seem particularly good. When you register, you can try up to 15 images, 3 videos or 15 illustrations.

As a general rule, they pay from 15%, which, although it is very low, it can sometimes be up to 40% if there is exclusivity. You need PayPal or Payoneer to get paid your money.

There is also an app to sell photos on iStock from your mobile which is Contributors from Getty Images.

Also for buyers, signature Photos are available on credit orders, only 3 credits per photo. Depending on the package of credits you buy, this will mean between $ 24 and $ 33 for the image. But to get them at low prices you can get a subscription.

Signature plans that allow you to download images also include access to another main collection for the same price. There are options for 10, 25, 50 and 750 downloads per month, contracted monthly or annually. Depending on your selection, you will pay from $ 70 to $ 399 per month, getting Premium, and then the best photos for only $ 0.43 each. By far the lowest price when it comes to images without copyright.

However, some agents make even lower for you by offering an exclusive promotional code of Stock with a 20% discount on credits for a limited time. It gives you 20% on any credit package, so take advantage of it today.

5. 123RF


123RF is one of our favorite royalty-free agencies. They are defined as a royalty-free digital content file, which offers a wide variety of images for editorial and advertising use, audio files, video clips, logos and vector illustrations at very convenient prices. In continuous growth since 2005, 123RF now ranks as one of the leading content providers worldwide.

This platform asks for files with a minimum resolution of 6 MP. The percentage they pay ranges from 30 to 60%, which usually translates into $ 0.20 to $ 0.40 per download. The variation depends on factors such as the level of collaboration of the photographer, the sales made so far within the year, etc.

The platform is not nice at first hand as the previous ones nor is it too dynamic. But it is still quite simple to complete the subscription process. They pay by PayPal, Skrill or check. You can also choose to manage your account through their app, 123RF-On-The-Go.

On the other hand, 123rf image bank offers different packages and discount promotions to buy images and photographs. They are responsible for managing the use of licenses, payments to the authors of the images and customs charges. Their prices are highly competitive as well.

Buying images is very simple, once registered, choose your plan and use your search engine to find the images you need and download them. When you find the one you are looking for, select the download size and payment method. It will automatically download to your device: simple and easy to do.

Besides,123rf does not sell only photographs. It also has a wide assortment of audio, videos and stock vectors.


That was our titanic list of the best and safest royalty-free images websites in 2020, where you can easily make sales as a designer or photographer. With different levels of legal security, image quality and commercial value, each of these sites have something to offer that you should know and consider. Be it a library with a wide range of constant or trending topics, or be specific collections on a particular topic or purpose that you can contribute photographs for, there is no doubt that you will make a lot of sales on any of these sites.

Feel free to check more stock websites like BigStock, Stocksy, DreamsTime, Alamy

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