7 Best Micro Stock Photography Websites Where You Can Make Money Globally

What You’ve Got To Know About Stock Photography 

Stock photography, groups of photographs that people take, grouped and licensed for selling purposes.  Instead of taking new pictures every time they need pictures, many people use the stock photography method.  People that work for magazines, as graphic artists, and advertising agencies sometimes use public pictures instead of hiring photographers for individual projects.
Alternate names for stock photography is picture libraries, photo archives or image banks.  Typically, in order to use these pictures, although publicly available, there is a small fee or a purchasing of usage rights that comes with a fee in order to use the pictures.  Sometimes a membership purchase allows you to have access to a particular group of stock photography.
Saving time and money, stock photography is a great way to enhance newsletters, blogs, advertisements, company brochures and more.  It is obviously less expensive than putting a full time photographer on staff and takes less time if you need images of something specific.  Many times, it is as easy as using a search engine or checking an email.
Sometimes full rights and usage is available for purchase.  Other times, full rights are limited.  In those cases, photographers might be requiring that they receive a certain percentage of sales and or royalties of usage.  Agencies usually hold the images on files and negotiate fees.  With the technology and easy access that the internet provides, negotiations are quicker and easier.
The cost of using stock photos depends on how long the pictures will be used, what location the images will be used, if the original photographer wants royalties and how many people the photo will be distributed to or seen by.  Prices for stock photography can be anywhere from one dollar to two hundred dollars.
There are several different pricing arrangements.  Royalty free stock photography allows the buyer to use photographs multiple times in multiple ways.  When you buy royalty free pictures, there is only a one-time charge for unlimited usage.  When the images you purchase have a royalty free section, the agency is able to resell the image to others.  If an image is rights managed, there is a negotiated price for each time that it is used. 
Sometimes a buyer of stock photography might desire to have exclusive rights to the images.  In that case, no one else will be able to use the pictures once exclusive rights have been purchased.  It may cost thousands of dollars to purchase exclusive rights because agencies who handle the sales have to make sure that they are making a profitable sale.  If a photograph would make more money staying in circulation, they would lose out selling exclusive rights.
Stock photographers sometimes work with agencies producing images for them alone.  Different subjects and categories might need multiple varieties of images.  Sometimes contributors work for multiple agencies selling their photographs for a fee. They work out arrangements for royalties or they sell their shots for full rights. This has proved to be a big business for photographers around the world.
Stock photography started in the early 1920s.  It especially grew as its own specialty by the 1980s.  Galleries hold hundreds, thousands and even millions of pictures available for purchase.  Stock houses sprung up in many different places.  By 2000, online stock photography became microstock photography, which we call photo archives online.  Companies like istock photo and bigstock photo offer you the opportunity to purchase so many pictures and when you use them up you can add more credits for another fee.  Photos that are distributed online are typically less expensive than those that are sold hard copy.  

A review of 7 best micro stock websites where you can make money by selling your photographs. 

These days, there is high demand for stock pictures or photographs online.  Reason being that people are getting familiar with online possibilities and opportunities mostly towards various businesses. Hence, there is increasing demand for blogs, websites, e-commerce, online stores etc., many of which make use of stock photographs for their sites, presentations, brochures, t-shirts, calendars etc., and they are ready to pay for the best or the needed images. Getting to sell your photos on micro stock sites doesn’t requires that you become or are a professional photographer, this is because people generally search for images by keyword not by a photographer. Therefore you have equal chance of getting your pictures sold out as other persons.
Micro stock sites are great: You register (it’s free) and then upload a few sample images. After your samples passed an initial review you start uploading and making money.

Let’s look at how this works in detail:

Stock photography
What is stock photography? Think about someone who is trying to build a website or an e-commerce store for healthcare. In getting to do this you will agree with me that they will definitely be needing images of doctors, nurses, operating theaters and so on. 
So this is how it works, instead of hiring a photographer (giving him “assignment” as it’s called in the business) which can be very expensive t,he designer can decides to use stock photos, i.e. images that are already made available. Meanwhile, stock images are much cheaper than photographs you get by giving a photographer an assignment. So, instead of employing the service of a photographer, a designer can visit one of the established stock image sites and browse around a little until he/she finds some nice healthcare related images. After paying up he/she will download the photos, puts them on the website and calls it a day. 
Mind you, some of the photos that designers buy the most are photos of people (Male & female, small and old etc, from all works of life.), photos of people that are walking or running around (most importantly, photos or people that are doing meeting, sporting events, round table sorts of photos etc.), photos of pets and wildlif,  landscapes, beautiful nature, travels all around the world, photos of various foods (even empty designer plates is a pick atimes), cities, citiesapes, natural events like weather, climatic changes, Clouds, mountain top photographs, machines and tools (even people that are working with tools in their hands) etc. are beautiful picks by designers.
With a payout of perhaps 25 to 80 cents per image, this is not very attractive for professional photographers but an amateur can make decent money this way and should at least be able to finance her hobby. And remember, this is the Internet we are talking about: Make it up on volume. 25 cents per image downloaded may not sound like much but if you have several hundred or even a thousand decent and usable images, all of them submitted to the big micro stock sites even a paltry 25 cents per download can add up nicely. One unique thing about selling photograph on this websites is that a photograph can sell more than hundred times. Now imagine you having hundreds of photographs. Even though the pay for a photograph may be little, even then, as time goes on it will definitely add up to something. 

What you need

Most micro stock agencies have the same requirements: You’ll need at least a four Megapixel camera (more is better, although you’ll be fine with between six and eight Megapixels), your images should be free of noise, properly keyworded and should picture sought after subjects. For example, good selling images are business or healthcare related or illustrate a concept or an emotion such as love, relationships, carreer and the like.

Rules and regulations you need to know:

All the stock websites have some rules to be followed. All of them have some guidelines which you as an employee or candidate must keep in mind. and guidelines about what photographs they are looking for and besides that what will be acceptable for them. Such as, there are bunch of rules about ownership and copyright issues on any photographs which are submitted by you as an employee.

Commission and payments:

It varies from a one stock photography to another. So do a little research about all the stock sites and then choose which one is convenient for you.
• One type of payment for photo downloads could be like via a subscription.
• you could get more per download for a photograph that has been downloaded 5 times than one that has had just 1 download .
• some of the stock photography sites by agreeing to submit photographs exclusively to their website and if you are accepted onto their exclusive program.Such as iStockphoto pay you to almost three times more commission to their exclusive photographers.
• More ever to paying more per download to exclusive photographers, Dreamstime also offers an additional bonus for each and every photograph that their exclusive photographers successfullyuip submit to the site.
• The outstanding thing about stock photography is that in case your portfolio can grow and bring you a residual income even if you aren’t even active on the website.

Mode of payment:

All stock photography website has its own set of rules for when and how payment is made. But most probably you will be able to reach a minimum threshold for instance $50 to $100 dollars before you request. It varies from a one stock photography to another. So do a little research about all the stock sites and then choose which one is convenient for you.
You can also launch your own personal photography website to sell your photos online, in this regard you can check out Ecwid Store.
You just have to get your photos into your own website shop without needing to know how to code.
The largest buying base of stock photos are bloggers, YouTubers and small to medium sized website business owners.
Take advantage of the discount offer of this powerful ebook. 


1. Shutterstock

Shutterstock is a micro-stock site where photos are cheaper and non-exclusive, and the way to increase downloads is by contributing a large quantity of images that can be used as visual metaphors. Don’t expect to earn as much here, but it’s a good place if you’re just starting out. Payouts are based on your earnings over time and range from 20% to 30%. There’s also an affiliate program where you can earn additional money if you refer new photographers or customers. In total, contributors have earned a total of more than $300 million from over 500 million downloads, so people definitely snap up these images. Shutterstock also sells stock video footage, including HD and 4K videos, as well as images and vectors.
You can also refer other photographers and make a small profit, typically around four cents, each time they sell an image. If you refer a customer who purchases images, you can earn 20% of their first purchase, up to $200.

2. Fotolia/Adobe Stock. 

Fotolia, which has been purchased by Adobe Stock, has two pricing models for users: Pay-As-You-Go and Subscription. Photos sold to Pay-As-You-Go customers earn 20–63% commission, while Subscription generates 33% commission but has a minimum guarantee.

3. Getty Images 

On the higher end of stock photography sites, Getty Images attracts brands and publishers looking for high-quality or hard-to-find exclusive images to license. The standards for becoming a contributor are predictably higher than many other stock photo sites. For photos licensed via GettyImages.com, rates start at 20%.

4. FreeDigitalPhotos.net

FreeDigitalPhotos.net offers free photo downloads as well as images for users to purchase. When the small version of your photo is downloaded for free, attribution is required. While you won’t earn a cent, you will get credit. When their target market (professionals who need images for business use) purchase images, photographers earn 70% commission.


5. 500px Prime

Five million photographers list their stock images with 500px, according to the site. You’ll receive 70% net for every license sold (standard licenses are $250), and your images may appear in big-name ad campaigns if you submit them for commercial licensing.
To give 500px Prime a try, first sign up for a free account on 500px. Then submit your photos, enable your store and complete the required forms for each image (including model releases, liability releases, etc.).
You’ll also have the option of selecting an exclusive or non-exclusive license for the images. You’ll earn more for an exclusive license, but that means you can’t license or sell the photo to anyone else.

6. Etsy

Etsy’s not just for selling wedding decorations, custom Halloween costumes and quirky cat-themed gifts. You can also sell your photos!
While the fee structure is beneficial to a photographer (Etsy keeps 20 cents on each sale as well as 3.5% of the sale price), you have to put in extra work to make those sales.
While people browsing stock photo websites are specifically looking to purchase images, not everyone browsing Etsy will necessarily be looking for photos. And people looking for photos may not think to look on Etsy.
That’s why, if you choose to sell your images on this site, you’ll need to invest time and energy into marketing your designs and images. But Etsy takes such a small cut of each sale, it may be worth your while.
Etsy offers a helpful handbook to help you learn about branding, marketing, how to price your items and how to succeed. When you set up your own Etsy store, you set the prices, so your earning potential is virtually unlimited.


The SmugMug Pro package is an alternative to PhotoShelter. The platform enables you to showcase your work on a massively customizable storefront, and to manage your orders for a yearly subscription fee.
The main distinguishing feature is the ability to use SmugMug’s printing service create prints, books, and greetings cards from your snapshots. There are also some additional features such as the ability to create coupons, photo packages, and built-in analytics. You’ll also get to keep up to 85 percent of your revenue.
Here’s an example of how the pricing structure works, from SmugMug’s website: “You sell a 5×7 for $10.79 and the SmugMug default price for it is $0.79. The markup is $10.00. You keep $8.50 as profit (85% of $10).”
Once you sign up, you’ll upload photos, select the products you want to sell and pick prices.
This is a good site for someone with a true entrepreneurial mindset, since you get to decide how much to charge for your images.

8. Your own store. 

What can be best like having your own website or stores where you can showcase your expertise to the whole world. Having your own business website, blog or e-commerce platform where you show your pictures and place a price on them is simply the best. 
Setting up your own photography business website, or a blog, is quite easy, you can either do it yourself or employ the service of a pro. That’s all. And you start uploading your photographs and setting your own convenient prices. 
Setting up your own photo store (like the one I did here) I will advice you make use of Shopify e-commerce builder or Ecwid Store. they are simply the best out there. 
They have free websites builder with little limitations. Meanwhile, if you subscribe to their paid plans, you are good to go. Build your own photo store with ECWID HERE
Another powerful ecommerce platform you can use is GUMROAD 

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