Did you know how to make money selling photos of yourself online? I’m sure some of you might not even know about it.
We are all beautiful in our unique way. I strongly believe that.
Many of us are posting pictures of ourselves every day.
We use Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, numerous other platforms that currently exist on the Internet.
If you are comfortable posting pictures of yourself online, have no problem showing your body or your face online (and why would you?), why not get paid and make some profit out of it?
Personally, I love taking pictures, and I always thought that to sell them, I would have to be a professional photographer. That is not the case anymore. The wonders of the Internet opened a whole new world of possibility to everyone, regardless of skills and diplomas.
I was very interested in finding where and how one can get some cash by selling your pictures online. The field is so big that I am going to divide it into several categories in order not to confuse you.
Before we start, let me give you one piece of advice; Once you decide to sell photos online and start to commit to this task. Let your creativity flow. Pick a scenery that takes the breath away. Be mindful of your surroundings and choose those beautiful spots that may be familiar to you but exotic to the rest of the world.
3 Creative Ways to Make Money Selling Photos of Yourself
There are several ways from which you can sell photos of yourself. Some ideas can be your permanent source of income, and others can give you extra cash. It totally depends on your photos and the particular method. Check different options that best suits you.
1. Sell Your Photos via Websites and Apps
I found numerous apps where you can sell photos of yourself. Some pay extremely good, and others do not. Depending on how committed you want to be to earn money this way, you should check different options.
I. Pay Your Selfie
One of the best apps that buy selfies is Pay Your Selfie. They provide insights about the consumers to the brands that they have partnered with, all via images that they gathered.
Pay Your Selfie sets tasks that you can complete and earn between 20 cents and 1 dollar. All the tasks are straightforward and include you taking a selfie while either smiling, frowning, etc.
After earning 20 dollars, you can cash out your money.
Scoopshot is another app that works a bit different than Pay Your Selfie. Here you can upload your pictures that are getting purchased by other people. They also have contests where you can upload your photos, and if you are one of the winners, you can get paid for pictures of yourself.
III. SmugMug Pro
If you wish to dive into more professional photography that combines all kinds of photos, not just pictures of yourself, you should try SmugMugPro.
To join them and start selling, you have to pay a monthly subscription starting at 12.50 dollars. The good thing is that you get to keep 85% of your earnings.
As we are all worried about someone stealing our pictures without paying, you can protect your work by custom watermarks and print marks. There is an option to limit your display size to keep the original safe, and the copyright of your photographs always stays yours.
One app that stands out is Stylinity. This app creates a shopping lifestyle for its users. What they offer is an opportunity to take as they call “shop-able-selfies.” This means you take a selfie wearing certain clothes, shoes, or accessories. That merchandise is tagged by a brand you are wearing.
When the picture is posted, other users can browse through. After someone purchases by clicking at your selfie, the brand whose item is sold will reward you with points. You can redeem those points for cash.
Another great website worth visiting is 500px. You can choose to join either by signing up for free or pay for 500px Prime.
I would suggest trying the free option first and see if you like it. According to this website, 5 million photographers are using this platform to sell their pictures.
By selling through this website, you get to keep 70 percent of every license sold. Standard licenses are usually 250 dollars.
If you choose an exclusive license for your images, you can earn extra, but this also means that you can not sell your pics anywhere else.
I assume that once you get to any of these apps or websites, you may feel overwhelmed and somehow discouraged. Like with everything else, if you seriously want to make money selling photos of yourself, you need to start slowly, build your portfolio, and, most importantly, be patient and consistent.
Depending on your ambition, try some of the mentioned platforms, and I am sure you will find the one that fits your needs.
2. Use Stock Libraries to Get Paid for Pictures of Yourself
If you are passionate about taking professional photos, and you probably are since you are reading this article, I bet that you have hundreds or even thousands of photos just resting somewhere. Am I right?
They are stores either on your phone, computer, USB, but barely used or looked at.
A great way to bring all those beautiful pictures from the dead is to upload them into stock libraries and try to sell them.
Shutterstock is one of the biggest stock libraries, and it is free to join. You can upload all kinds of photos, but everything has to be approved.
First, you sign up and as a contributor and start uploading your images. Once uploaded, they are reviewed by the Shutterstock staff members.
If they satisfied the criteria that go online, when purchased by someone, you make money selling photos of yourself.
One thing to remember is that if you are posting people, yourself, or others, you need a model release form signed and submitted.
Another stock library is iStockphoto. This website is one of the oldest ones around, and it is perceived as confident and reliable.
It is free to join, and the process of submitting either photo, video, audio, or illustration is similar to Shutterstock.
After submitting your work, the iStockphoto team reviews it and approves it.
Make sure that any work you submit satisfies their standards.
You can expect to receive 15 percent out of the sale. There is an option to have an “Exclusive” status, and in that case, you get 45 percent.
I would also mention BigStock as a reliable stock library and an excellent opportunity to make money selling photos of yourself.
First, you sign up for free as a contributor. After you complete the Contributor Tutorial, you can start uploading images.
As for the other two stock libraries that I mentioned previously, your pictures are getting reviewed by the BigStock team. Remember to submit a model release form if you are posting pictures of yourself or other people.
If your photos are approved, they are getting added to the BigStock collection, and you earn money when they get sold.
The earning varies depending on different factors. The best thing to do is go on their website and get all the information from there.
As you can see, through these stock libraries, you can upload not just pictures of yourself but also pictures of your friends, family, nature, your city, travel, food, etc.
Be warned, you can easily get sucked into the “Photo Wonderland,” and it can be so fun that the hours will pass without you being aware. Just saying.
3. Make Authority and Sell
IX. Start Your Youtube Channel to Sell Professionally
YouTube is a platform for everything, even photos. Anything you want to advertise, promote, and teach about, can find its audience here. You can post your pictures, create and tell a story about them.
People may find it interesting to know what inspired you to take a photograph, in which part of the world it was created, how did you feel while taking it.
Try it out, and you can create followers that you can direct to the platform where you are selling photos of yourself.
X. Start Photography Blog
As for YouTube, where you can talk about the background of your photos, a blog can be a space where you write about it. You can also post images and create followers.
The ways that you can make money is by selling photographs of yourself and through sponsored content and advertisements.
If you are willing to explore the option of creating a blog, I would suggest to sign up with Bluehost to start your photography blog. This is a leading web hosting solutions company. They are partners with WordPress and honestly, signing up with them will make your blogging much easier.
They help you fight spammers, block pornography, promote web civility, and take care that the web is a safe place for all.
You will get the tools that are simple to use and wouldn’t need to worry about the maintenance.
It only costs 3.95 dollars a month, which is a small amount for what you are getting in return.
Depending on what you like, you can see that there are many options for you to sell photos of yourself online and make a profit.
I have deliberately extended the list with platforms where you can send not only pictures of yourself but all the pictures you think can be sold.
The reason why I did that is that if you like taking photographs of yourself, there is a great chance you like taking pictures in general.
Why not turn that passion of yours into something you might enjoy financially as well?
Now that we have explored the options of selling photos let us dive into the section where I am going to give you tips on how to make sure that your photos are going to be sold online.
How to Make Sure Your Photos Are Going to Be Sold Online?
I. Take a Course to Be a Pro
Taking a good photo is a skill; therefore, you can learn and upgrade your knowledge to take even better photographs.
I once took a course on “How to take photographs for Instagram” and what I learned there in 2 hours, significantly improved my photography skills a lot.
Try finding the best courses online or somewhere local. I suggest Photography Masterclass on Udemy, where you will discover How to Take Amazing Photos as a Beginner & Advanced Photographer. It is not free, but the value of the course is worth it, and you will become a pro.
They offer a master class on “How to click perfect pictures,” so if you want to make money selling photos of yourself, this course is perfect for you.
II. Invest in Your Camera
You can not make a great photo, no matter how talented you are, without a good camera. The good thing is that today, we have a choice to purchase a good camera built on our phone. It is not only cost-effective but very convenient and easy to use. You have a choice between iPhone and Android, both options are good, so pick the one you like best.
Since it is very hard to snap a photo of yourself with one hand holding the phone, I would suggest investing in a selfie stick or tripod. You will get better photos, and therefore a more significant opportunity to sell them.
III. Edit Your Photos
To capture a perfect photo, with ideal lighting, tone, softness, is very rare. Even professional photographers edit their photos, so why wouldn’t you?
There is always some detail that needs correction.
I found that Snapseed is fantastic and easy to use. This is a photo editing app, and even if you don’t have any previous knowledge, you can use it without the problem.
Snapseed is free to download and available for iOS and Android. The only downfall is that Snapseed does not have a cool desktop version.
It is not free, though. And this software is available for all platform desktop included.
The monthly subscription for Photoshop and Lightroom is 9.99 dollars. You also have an option to purchase all of their apps, and there are many, for 29.99 dollars per month.
If you are not a beginner and would like to dive into the more professional side of photography, this may be a good option for you.
IV. Build Your Online Presence
If you want to earn money online, you have to exist, period.
Take your time to build an image for yourself. I can not list all online platforms where you can create your profile simply because it seems to me that they are endless.
There are well-known platforms that are proven to bring quick results. Let’s mention just a few of them: Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and so on.
The best thing would be to create multiple accounts on various platforms and link them all together. If you are planning to create a blog or a website, include all of your profiles there as well.
To build a decent list of followers takes time. You can learn about how to do it through the internet, free classes, or paid courses.
What you need to know is that posting can not be random.
To reach your audience and increase visibility, you must follow an algorithm. Find out more about it; there are tons of information on the internet and start creating your image.
Tip: Include hashtags whenever you can. This little tool can help you reach more people and drive them towards your content.
V. Upload Your Photos at Different Locations
The easiest way to take a shot at selling pictures online would be to choose one website, upload your images, and be done with it.
Limiting your chances to only one place can decrease your success rate, so I would suggest spreading your work wherever you can.
Use different apps, websites, create various profiles, write about them, promote them.
By being present and gaining visibility everywhere you can, you can not only sell your photographs faster, but you can also gain followers.
By having an audience, you are getting the chance of an additional income. You will get paid for pictures of yourself and to promote someone’s products or services, for the ads that you can post on your page.
VI. Be Committed
If you choose to be serious about selling photos of yourself online, you have to be committed.
This means taking photos regularly, posting them either daily, weekly, or monthly but you need to create a routine.
Depending on what you are going to choose, some platforms require your constant presence.
If you decide to create accounts and build your online image, you have to post regularly.
You would have people that are following you, expecting you to update them with new pictures, information, etc.
As you can see, the list of possibilities for you to make make money by selling photos of yourself in really long.
If you are a student then you can make it as a source of making money in college days.
I gave you a choice to pick short term engagement and an option where you can build a full-time job as a photographer.
My final advice to you is not be discouraged if you do not sell anything immediately.
Review your steps; see if there is something you can improve and correct. Try to learn as much as possible by collecting information off the Internet or investing in the course.
Make sure that you have proper equipment since it is crucial for taking good photos. Consider investing if you think you can improve your camera or if you don’t have a selfie stick. These are all steps that can make a difference, trust me.
Get familiar with photo editing apps, and play with them, explore, try different things.
The more you use them, the better your photos will be.
As the photographs get better, so will the income out of them. Simple as that.
Finally, let your creativity flow. Pick a scenery that takes the breath away. Be mindful of your surroundings and choose those beautiful spots that may be familiar to you but exotic to the rest of the world.
Enjoy your process, and please be patient and persistent.
Which platform do you suggest to others? Let us know which platform helped you to sell photos of yourself.