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How to make money selling your photos online

Dreamstime is the world’s largest community for stock photography. It’s also a great way to make some cash — even if you’re a new photographer. Content creators online are always hungry for new content; after all, engaging images can pull in traffic like a magnet.

Your images could be the key to attracting readers. If they’re good enough, you could rake in a mountain of cash. Tap here for three ways to take better photos.

Good news: This flexible website offers quite a few money-making opportunities. Here are some of the ways you can make big money on Dreamstime.

1. Sell stock photos

This is the easiest and most well-known way to make money. First, you have to become a contributor. From there, start uploading your images.

After that, you’ll wait to see if any buyers pick them up. At that point, you can start requesting payments. Just sign up with an email address, and you’re good to go! You can find here a list of possible earnings: Sell your photos.

The process is as easy as 1-2-3: Select, upload, promote.

Keep in mind royalty fees. Every time a buyer downloads one of your photos, you’ll get a percentage of that fee. Of course, the royalties you receive for each sale depend on a few different factors.

For instance, how popular is your image? What type of license is it under? How does the buyer intend to use it? These can all impact the amount of cash that goes into your pocket.

This doesn’t mean you’ve got to break the bank with an expensive camera, though. In fact, you can take some incredible photos from your phone. Tap here for tips on taking great photos with any type of camera.

2. Research the types of images that sell

If you want to really go deep with your stock photography knowledge, you will find plenty of useful information on Dreamstime’s blog. There’s also the public forum, where you can chat with fellow users and learn the secrets to making big sales.

There are two main sections where you can send your photos on Dreamstime: Commercial RF or Editorial. 

For the Commercial RF section, your images have to be free of copyrighted elements. However, if there are any copyrights, just provide a Property Release signed by the copyright holder. If you’re submitting an image with people, make sure to provide a Model Release signed by each of them.

If you’re submitting an image like this to the Commercial RF section, you’ll have to get each model’s consent in an official release. | Photo by Yunuli123

The Editorial Section has lighter standards. Here, most pictures with people and copyrighted elements are acceptable. For the most part, you won’t need to provide releases, although there are a few exceptions.

Photos should be saved in high quality (preferably 100% or quality 12, depending on the software you are using) at a minimum of 3 megapixels resolution. For each photo you upload as .jpg, you can also upload the RAW as an additional format. Make note, though: It usually costs more for buyers so that you can earn more from it.

After submission, photos enter the review process. If they meet all the legal and technical requirements, they’ll go up for sale on Dreamstime.

3. Submit newsworthy editorial photos

You may not be aware, but sending newsworthy editorial images could bring you a nice upload bonus of $5 per image! Your images have to be very recent. It’s best if they’re shot on the same day you upload them. However, in some cases, even yesterday’s events will be accepted.

They must have good technical quality. Last but not least, they should illustrate an event of international importance.

Remember: The people using Dreamstime are likely looking for a good, eye-catching image to attract new readers. A bright image with dynamic staging can make a world of difference.

The more clicks your images get, the more people will choose your photos. That’s when the big money starts rolling in.

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