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Get Paid to Take Pictures [2021 Guide]

By Forrest | Last Updated: October 30, 2021

Taking pictures is a fun activity that many enjoy doing. If you have a particular eye for this task, you might wonder if there is a way you can get paid to take pictures. Owning a photography business is the dream of many and for good reason. You can sell photos, set your hours, and determine the outcome of each day while you make money selling little masterpieces you've created.

Read on to learn more about how you can get paid to take pictures. Selling photos can bring in a solid income if you know where to go, and what sites your images will sell best on.

If you take excellent images on your camera or phone, some people will invest in your art without hesitation. It will be simple enough to sell photos online and in-person if you know what you're doing.

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Get Paid to Take Pictures

How Can I Get Paid for Taking Pictures?

There are many ways you can get paid to take pictures. From stock photos to selling on a personal website, the options are endless. Monetizing your photography is a simple process you can take on in many ways.

Some of the best ways to get paid for taking pictures include:

  • Utilizing stock photo sites
  • Selling photos on a site
  • Taking event photos
  • Posting prints for sale
  • Taking pictures of yourself
  • Photographing for Google

These are valid ways to make money taking pictures, and some of the best ways to get started as a beginner at photography.

Read on to learn about how you can gain extra cash when you take pictures. There are many ways you can sell your photos so you can begin to make a living from your unique hobby. The options are wide open, so you can select a method that works best for your life.

Take Advantage of Stock Photo Websites

The best way to make money online with your photography skills is through a stock photo website.

To sell images, all you will need to do is send sample photos to a stock photo site. From there, they will determine how much you can earn and if your photos are worth paying you for.

There are many sites seeking stock images that will make your effort worth the time. All you need to do is submit photos to earn some money.

Read on to learn more about some of the best sites for selling photos online. With a free account, you can take advantage of the stock photo market and start selling photos that can be utilized by others online. Whether you are a professional photographer or a beginner, you can make pictures sell. Stock photo sites are always on the lookout for people who will sell photos to them.

Related: 10 Ways to Make Money with Photoshop

Places to Sell Stock Photos

Many sites will permit you to sell pictures for a profit. Stock sites will then take your digital photos and make them available for the general public to use. Making money is simple with these once you understand what they are looking for. You can get paid to take pictures on many websites that sell stock photos.

Some of the best stock photo websites include:

  • Getty Images
  • Shutterstock
  • Adobe Stock
  • iStock Photo

These are the best stock photography websites for those on the hunt for a stock photography website that will take their work.

Read on to learn more about these websites. Each of them ensures their photographers are paid to take pictures, releasing stock images that anyone can access on the site with a free account. Digital images are one of the best ways to make money online with any level of photography skills. If you don't mind your images being turned into stock photos, stock websites are the way to go.

Getty Images

Getty Images is one of the most well-known stock photo websites. If you get your photos accepted here, you have the opportunity to make some big dollars compared to other stock photo sites. Rates for even the smallest photos start at $50 per download, so you expect a large sum for digital downloads that occur on Getty Images. Photographers can receive payment through a PayPal account.

To get your pictures on this site, you will need to apply. They'll look over your work and decide if you have anything worth putting on their site. Most often, they will pick images that they think people will download.

Some tips to get selected on Getty Images includes:

  • Selecting high-quality images
  • Technically precise pictures that are also creative
  • Photos with a model release and proper image licenses

Getty Images tend to select these types of photos.

Other sites have a similar application process. If an image sells, you will get paid. Getty Image selects the best of the best, so you need to ensure your images are top-tier before you decide to apply to become a contributor on Getty Images.

Shutterstock

Shutterstock is another stock photo website that will pay users to contribute their images to their site. It has a widespread community, full of photographers all around the world that take pictures and make them available to anyone who wants to access them. There is a simple process you can follow to become a contributor on Shutterstock.

To get started on this site, you will need to:

  • Create high-quality pictures
  • Submit content on the site
  • Get paid money for your work
  • Recommend other users to the site

This is the cycle that will continue for you to make a career on Shutterstock.

Although you cannot make as much on Shutterstock as you can on Getty Images, it is still a solid way to bring in some money. Typically, you will make between twenty-five and thirty-eight cents every time your picture is downloaded on this website. With enough downloads, you can make a decent amount of money.

Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock is another popular site where photo contributors can make a decent sum of money for providing their art to the website. Adobe requires high-quality, simple photos. Nothing too complex or processed will make it onto the Adobe Stock website.

To become a contributor on Adobe Stock, you should:

  • Get an Adobe ID
  • Upload your work
  • Add title and keywords
  • Wait for approval

This simple process will permit you to get paid for the images you take with your camera, whether that's on a phone or with a camera.

On average, Adobe Stock will pay users about 33% commission when photography sells. You're allowed to pull your money out once you hit $25 through a payment site like PayPal.

iStock Photo

The final website we will discuss is iStock Photo. iStock is closely related to Getty Images, so you can be sure you will have a quality experience when you apply and upload work through the website. As with Getty Images, there is a specific process you should follow before you can begin to earn an income through your art.

To sell your pictures on iStock Photo, you should:

  • Apply with your images through the site
  • Note which category your images have been put in
  • Wait for income to roll in from your photo

These steps will permit you to make money through stock photos on your website.

The best thing about iStock Photos is its connection to Getty Images. If you get approved for iStock's signature category, your images will also get put on the Getty Images website. You will be getting twice the exposure for one application process, beneficial to any photographer who wants to make a strong career out of what they do.

What Types of Images Do Stock Photo Sites Want?

If you intend to go the route of selling photos through stock photography, you might wonder what types of images sell best on stock photo sites. Being able to target the market is a sure way to get paid to take pictures and avoid wasting your time with stock photography. There are specific types of photos that stock photo sites search for when buying up images from photographers.

On these types of sites, the types of photos generally favored from photographers include:

  • Authentic people in genuine settings that do not come off as staged
  • Niche events, such as catching a fish or blowing out a birthday candle at a party
  • A specific time of year, such as Christmas or Thanksgiving
  • Intimate settings that feel like they are real, such as family gatherings or opening gifts around a Christmas tree

These are the most popular stock images sites look for from photographers. Anything that feels natural and relates to something specific will do well with stock photo websites.

The most critical thing to remember when taking stock photos is to ensure that everything stays natural. The more authentic your photos look, the more likely they are to sell. People don't want photos that look like they were meticulously staged. They want images that make them feel comfortable, as though they could step right into the piece and feel at home.

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Upload Photos to Sell

If you don't want to turn your images into stock photos, you might choose to sell photos online in an authentic manner rather than turning them over to a company. There are many ways you can start selling photos online that will bring in enough of a profit for you to thrive off of in your life. All of them are different, as stated above, so you can select a location that caters to your needs.

Read on to learn more about the websites you can sell your photos on. If you are good enough, some people are sure to invest in your products. Uploading photos to sell online is a great way to make money if you don't want to give up your products to an entity like a stock photo website. This action permits you to keep your photos as intact as possible when selling them.

Locations to Upload Photos

There are many places you can upload your photos online where people can invest in them. From there, you might sell them as a framed product or ship the photograph to the customer. Whatever you want to do, you can advertise it on one of these locations. All will give you the chance to get your work out to those who want to invest in it.

The best places to upload to sell photos directly include:

  • Your own website
  • Etsy

These sites will allow you to make money taking pictures, though there are many other options if you look hard enough.

When you create an online marketplace, you must create a brand of your own to make your photos sell. To compete with professional photographers you will need to ensure that you stand out amongst all the other sites that exist online. Read on to learn more about these websites where you can upload images.

Your Own Site

Your personal site is the best place to post pictures for sale. If you can garner enough of a following, people will flock to your site to download and invest in images. With your own website, you can choose to sell physical versions of your photos or post downloadable options. You can pick the price, the size, and even the amount of downloads a person can get.

Some of the best websites you can use to get started include:

  • WordPress
  • Wix
  • Weebly

All of these are excellent free website choices. They're simple to handle and easy to work with by yourself or with a team.

Once you decide on a site, you can customize it and transform it into a personal statement on your art. Your pictures can go right on the front page where others can see them. With a personal website, it's up to you to cater and shift what your customers will see when they access your website.

Etsy

Etsy is another excellent site to sell pictures on. This creative community fosters an environment where creatives can grow and thrive, both in their art and in the money they make through their endeavors. You can transform your photography in any way you want, creating a unique style anyone will enjoy.

Some ways you might advertise your photos to consumers include:

  • Framed in wooden frames
  • Turned into tapestries
  • Collages made from varying images

These are a few ways you can sell your images on Etsy, though there are many other strategies you can take.

Etsy is a unique site. The people that flock to these tend to select more artsy pieces, so transforming your photography is vital. Whether that is in a collage format or black and white, there is something you can do that will draw a consumer's eye to your pieces. Etsy is a great option you can have complete control over in your life.

What Kind of Photos Will Consumers Buy?

If you decide to sell your high-quality photos online, you might wonder what kind of images people tend to invest in. To earn money, you need to settle on a photography niche that has an audience. Selling pictures that are unique but will not sell is no way to make money taking pictures. Sold images will inevitably have an audience to earn money.

Some of the best-selling photos include:

  • Abstract images that can be hung on walls and used to decorate spaces, unique in their composition
  • Fantastical photography that has been changed using photo editing software, including fantasy landscapes and unique designs that stand out in a space
  • Nature photos that look nice when hung on the wall, such as a waterfall or serene mountains

These are a few types of pictures that you can get paid to take. You can even utilize the same photo and edit it with photo editing software for a unique effect.

With photography, people tend to gravitate toward images that will look nice when displayed. Keep this in mind when selling photos online. You want to create pieces that can be enjoyed on walls, in living rooms, and on top of desks everywhere. Selling photos online should be done with a purpose.

Become a Freelance Photographer

Another route to take is to become a freelance photographer. Rather than selling photos you have already taken, you can bring in an income by taking pictures for people at special events. You can make money while helping them capture their special moment. Freelance photographers get paid to take images that people will hold onto for a lifetime.

Read on to learn more about events that might make use of a freelance photographer. With this job, you can set your own prices and get paid on your own terms, rather than those of a website. You can be your own boss and start taking photos when you want to, rather than when you have to.

Events that Need Photographers

Many events need photographers to capture special moments. As a freelance photographer, you can provide an expert eye and snap your lease at just the right time. There are no submitting photos with this strategy. All you need to do is prove yourself to be a reliable photographer customers can count on at their special event.

Some of the most common events that utilize photographers include:

  • Weddings
  • Birthday parties
  • Anniversaries

These items most often need someone who can take pictures to capture memories on a high-quality camera. There are many events out there that need photographers to capture the best moments.

Read on to learn more about how a photographer can come in handy during each of these items. You should make a decent amount of money, and once you get going more and more people will recommend you. Word of mouth is critical when you're a freelance photographer.

Weddings

Weddings are ideal locations for photographers. They're typically all-day events, so you can receive a substantial payment for your efforts if your work is good enough. You can provide the happily married couple with digital copies of their big day, or you can print them out and frame them. Prices can vary based on what you do with the images.

There are many things you might be responsible for capturing at a wedding. Some of these things include:

  • Pre-wedding shots
  • Images of the actual ceremony
  • After party pictures

These are parts of the wedding you will be responsible for capturing. Whoever hires you may also ask you to take separate photos while you are there.

If you feel comfortable standing at a wedding all day with your camera at ready, working weddings might be right for you. You can advertise your services online, or spread them by word of mouth. The better you get, the more people will ask you to take photos for a solid income.

Birthday Parties

Though many birthday parties are casual and low-key events, some are quite extravagant. Many parties for people over the age of twenty want images of the event captured so they can remember it forever. You can be the person who takes pictures of this big event.

With birthday parties, you might want to start for free or for a low fee at first. This action will permit you to capture some images for a personal site and show everyone you know what you're doing. Word of mouth is the ideal way to get going when you want to get paid for your photos.

Anniversaries

Anniversaries are another big event that might need photographers. Whether it's the happy couple's first year together or their fortieth, you can be there to give them physical copies of their memories that will last a lifetime. Everyone loves looking back on photos.

If you want to make money taking anniversary photos, start small. Take images of your parent's anniversary or a special moment between two close friends. From there, you can advertise the images you take and show the world what you are capable of doing. Getting your images out there is a sure way to bring the consumer to you.

Monetize Prints

If you don't want to sell your photos directly or take photos for others, you can always monetize them through prints. Many sites will process your photos and turn them into affordable products that consumers can invest in for their lives. This might include t-shirts, posters, and even clocks. Your photography can be sold in formats that are more than flat images.

Read on to learn more about some of the sites you can make use of to monetize prints and sell them to others. This route is what most people take, as it is affordable for both the creator and the consumer. You can make more money and get paid by putting your photos in forms other than the classic framed setting. Extra money will be yours in no time at all if you take on this route.

Sites to Sell Prints

Many excellent sites can take your photos and turn them into prints. They can also transform each image into other items for sale, such as shower curtains and t-shirts. These sites make the earning process for your photos easier than ever. All you need to do is sign-up, upload your images, and wait for the cash to come in.

Some of the best sites to sell prints include:

  • Society6
  • Cafe Press

All of these are excellent locations to sell your photography as prints and other objects.

Whether you are taking images with a high-tech camera or a smartphone camera, these sites will help you make a solid income off of your unique skill. Selling prints is sure to target a large audience due to the affordability of the products produced.

Society6

Society6 is a well-known print site, famous for the way they transform images into a variety of products users can enjoy. Whether you need something for your home office, your dorm room, or your home, there is something your photography can decorate. Society6 has it all.

Some of the items your images can be transformed into on Society6 include:

  • Comforters
  • Tapestries
  • Clocks
  • Mugs

These are just a few of the pieces Society6 makes available to consumers. There are many others on the site that consumers can choose from for themselves.

If you like the idea of making photography more versatile than a flat image, choose Society6 as a way to get paid taking pictures. The more you post on your page, the greater the chance you will have to bring in money from your art.

Cafe Press

Cafe Press is a brand most famous for the clothing it provides. Artists can implement their designs on their clothing and open up a shop on the website. From there, they can create a solid income the more that people interact with the store. Cafe Press is a unique way to display photography that is not the traditional hanging method.

On Cafe Press, you can set your prices based on the quality of the work you create. You make money through the markup you choose on the price they have set in place. For instance, if they sell a photo for $15, you can sell it for $30 and make a $15 income. The world is your oyster with Cafe Press.

Can You Get Paid to Take Pictures for Google?

If you'd like to make money through a brand like Google, you can capture images for them for some income. Often, Google will offer tasks you can complete for income. This activity might include taking a picture of a local restaurant or a road. Google has many tasks you can complete for cash for anyone to take advantage of in their life.

Unfortunately, Google does not pay photographers much for their skills. You can expect around twenty cents for a photo, which is not too much. It's still some form of money, however, so you will get benefits for taking pictures. It's not a lot, but it's a way to make an income from snapping pictures as you go about your day.

Can I Get Paid to Take Pictures of Myself?

If you would prefer to take pictures of yourself, there are a few ways you can make money by doing so. There are many monetization options available online for those who want to sell pictures of themselves. Many applications will pay users for photos they take of themselves.

A few of the applications that will pay you to take pictures of yourself include:

  • Pay Your Selfie, an app that pays users to take images of themselves performing various tasks
  • ScoopShot, an app that connects users with brands that need images
  • Stylinity, an app that pays users to advertise clothing

These are just a few of the ways you can sell pictures of yourself on the internet. Some many other applications and websites will give you money for images of yourself.

If you have a large enough following on Instagram or a similar site, you can acquire income through sponsored brand posts. It is easier than ever to take a selfie and make hundreds off of it. Some of the biggest influencers in the world sell their selfies for millions of dollars.

Final Thoughts on How to Get Paid to Take Pictures

If you want to take pictures and make more money, it's not impossible to do so. There are so many routes for photographers today, no matter your experience level. There are many ways to make extra cash, and even an income, by taking photos and selling them online. You can even get paid to take images at special events that others want to remember forever.

Whatever you choose, it's possible to make a decent living with photography. With a high-quality camera, an eye for great photos, and a passion for selling prints, you are sure to succeed in this unique artistic world. If you want to get paid for the pictures you take, taking pictures and posting them online is the way to do so. You can have a photography business up and running in no time at all.

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Forrest is a personal finance, entrepreneurship, and investing enthusiast dedicated to helping others obtain life long wealth. He owns several different blogs and is also passionate about health and fitness.