Make money selling stock photos?

Now – whether you can make money on selling images for stock photos, I don’t think I’ll ever find out.  It’s not something I’m interested in.

I am however very interested in how this works, and even more so, in what sort of images will get accepted.


So – I have submitted (or tried to submit!) 3 images with all the places listed below that sells stock photos.  Three very different pictures:

A – a very good black and white image.  It is large, it is clear, it has one main subject in it.  If any of them are to be accepted, I think it will be this one.

B – a very charming image.  It is however slightly grainy, and I purposely made it a little too yellow.  If this gets accepted – they got taste, and value the overall impression of an image more than just clarity.

C – this is a rubbish image.  Oh it’s got a nice subject in the front, but I messed up the background (whacked in some light blue on top of grey).  If this gets accepted, then the stock photo website don’t give a shit what sort of images they sell.


List of stock photo sites where you can sell you images online:

Dreamstime – easy to sign up.  Confusing layout.  Long slow process of uploading pics (who can come up with 10 keywords on the spot?)  A & C rejected, B accepted.  It took what felt like forever until the pics got reiewed.  Too many similar images like A and C to be added.  Chuffed with B being accepted, especially since it’s yellow galore.  😀

123RF – I liked the look of this site, easy to navigate.  However, picture C was rejected due to it’s size, and I wasn’t able to upload the others either, as you’d have to be a fucking rocket scientist to figure out how to complete it (some download of some form… might have helped if I had Excel)… and thus:  Neither A, B or C ended up on their site.  None uploaded.

Can Stock – a little bit of a dated look, but easy enough to navigate and use.  Easy and quick to submit.  A, B & C accepted.  Hmmmmm…  well, if you’re just wanting to get your pics accepted, this one looks like a good option.  I wonder if they actually checked pic C at all.  Got no e-mail to inform me they’d been accepted, had to check the site.

Bigstock – great layout and userfriendly  Simple and easy to navigate.  A, B & C accepted.  Again, this too, like the above seems like a good option if you want to be pretty certain your pics will get added.

Alamy – it’s like they forgot to actually do anything with the website as soon as you go to your account – like being taken into a bloody website script.  Not impressed.  Only two of the images uploaded.  A & B rejected.  The email is a little cryptical, it claims I need 4 images accepted before I’m allowed to upload more.  So am I allowed to upload more to be checked?  Or not allowed?  Did my images automatically get rejected due to not having uploaded 4 images?  Who knows!  Doesn’t matter to me personally, I’m just doing this as a wee experiment, but still cryptical messages is clearly not good for those that want to have their images there.

Fotolia – for some reason they’ve being dicks, and you’re not allowed to upload pics until your account’s been active for 48 hours.  Update – sent me an e-mail 12 hours later to say account had been activated.  Site is easy to use when it comes to upload and submissions, and they got a handy little colour-coded system to tell you what’s happened with your snaps.  A, B & C rejected.  They were very good with the rejection e-mails, explaining why.  😀  A & C (I’m assuming they couldn’t even be bothered checking C, due to so many similar images) were rejected, not due to the quality of the images, but that they already had too similar images.  B however was rejected due to it’s quality.  So if you got some fairly unusal images that are great quality, then it’s well worth a shot!

Shutterstock – very user friendly, my fave of all – will always guide you along.  However they want 10 images, so I just threw in 7 random ones with A, B and C.  Compared to all the other’s this website is a dream to use!   A & C rejected, B accepted.  This was a little bit of a surprise, but a pleasant one at that.  B is a cracking picture.  However, 7 of the 10 images needs to be approved, before you’re allowed to become a contributor, which might be a little bit of an obstacle.

iStock – this site is alright.  Fairly straight forward to upload, and the website is quite easy to navigate.  Got an e-mail to say my images are commercially and technically good enough to be uploaded to their site… so now had to upload them again, to see if they will be accepted onto the site.  *sigh*  A, B & C accepted.

9 thoughts on “Make money selling stock photos?

  1. Pingback: Stock photo experiment | Crap I Blog About

    • I haven’t posted the pics, as pic B is quite a personal picture. 😀

      I didn’t even look at the what percentage you get or what the pics sell for… as I got no plans on selling pics, but I was very curious on how it worked… and quite pleased that some of my pics were accepted as “sellable”. 😀

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