Make Money From Your Photos: Top Stock Photography Sites

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Fotolia (

Fotolia is my favorite stock photography uploading site. It is very easy to go around and get used to it and it has over 600,000 members. They don’t ask much from you except that the pictures have to be at least 4MP (to determine to size of your pictures, multiply the width by the height, for example 3200 by 2400), images should be uploaded with normal proportions and files must be less than 20 megabytes. There are various ways how to upload your pictures and the best way is by FTP. Filezilla is a good FTP Client for Fotolia. The forum on this site is a great place to learn new techniques and get criticism from other users before you submit a picture. The reviewing time is usually short and they ask you to upload an ID for you to be able to get the payments.

Bigstockphoto (

Bigstockphoto is another great site. The site is even easier than Fotolia to get used to, but the reviewing time can be a bit longer. Another thing that is on this site is that sometimes they disable the uploads so that the reviewers won’t have a lot to do and therefore take less time to review what you have uploaded. They are very picky on what to choose but if your pictures pass the review then you are in for some good money. There are various ways to upload and they accept FTP too.

Dreamstime (

Another great site which probably has the best selling profits. Again, reviewing might take a long time but it is worth the wait. As you a new member you can upload 100 images a day but that will vary according to how many images you get declined or accepted. The more images you have declined the less you can upload. You can upload using an FTP but make sure that it is set to passive. You can choose various licenses for your images but I suggest choosing them all to maximize your profits. The management area is very simple to use and helps you keep track on what you uploaded, what was accepted/declined, what you sold and more. Dreamstime also has the best referral program in which you can also make good money.

Shutterstock (

This is my least favorite and yes I will tell you why. First of all it is very difficult to get accepted on this site. First you have to upload 10 images at once and 7 of them have to get accepted in order for you to be accepted in the program. If those 7 won’t get accepted then you have to wait 30 more days to be able to submit your application again. It took me two times to be accepted and the funny thing is that in my first try I uploaded images that are multiple sellers on the other sites, but somehow shutterstock did not like them. A wise thing to do is go on the forum and post your 10 images there and ask for criticism and that way you will get an idea of 7 of those images are going to be accepted or not and you will avoid having to wait 30 more days to try again.

Remember, art including photography is subjective. So if you submit something to one site and it gets declined, try uploading it onto another site. The reviewer on one site might not like it but that same picture might become a hit seller on the other site. If you take this very seriously you can make a living out of it. Last year I made a good amount of money from those four sites, and yes I am a pro photographer but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. We were all beginners once and we all made mistakes.

The best way to learn is to read a lot of tutorials and magazines. You don’t have to go to expensive schools in order to become a good photographer and you don’t need an over the top camera. An entry level DSLR is enough. And another thing to remember about stock sites is to never over filter your images in Photoshop because buyers don’t like that. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this article and start making money soon.


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