How to Sell Photos on iStock

Both professional and amateur photos can take advantages of the opportunities to sell stock photographs at iStock. Even though assignment photography will generally cover your base costs as a photographer, it can be somewhat limiting, especially when local clients dry out. However, while stock photos have lower prices, they sell more regularly and also to a broader market, thus making it a worthy investment. Discover how to sell photos on iStock here below.

Anyone who is considering trying out making money using stock photography should first start by evaluating what type of photography interests them and where they excel. As you gradually hone your photography skills, you can amass a huge stockpile of interesting photos. All those beautiful landscape pictures that you took during your vacation, photos of your home garden or even potteries that you made are all potential stock photographs that can be bought.

Stock photos are largely used in publications like newspapers and magazines as well as for selling certain products or services. As many clients like photo editors in newspapers and magazines have limited time to spend too much effort in purchasing stock photographs, you must ensure you find a good website that will market your work.

In choosing a good service to market and sell your work, affordability and functionality are some of the most important features to look for. The website you choose must have a simple interface for you to upload your photos as well as large enough to increase the possibility of your work being seen by a wider audience. Leading sites like and iStock are great options for anyone looking to sell stock photos.

Provided you take high quality photos of subjects you feel very strongly about, the stock photography can be quite profitable. In fact, you could even be able to do it is a full time job if you are talented and you successfully sell lots of stock photos. Be sure to check out a site like for tips on how you can start earning money from stock photos today.

First Steps

It is vital to ensure you have the right equipment before you can begin selling on iStock. Developing a decent stock photo portfolio is no place for your iPhone photos. Actually, your phone’s camera should be the last thing you use to take stock photographers, since most of the photos will be of significantly lower quality as compared to a DSLR.

In this case, you need to buy or rent a high quality DSLR. As a best practice, it is always good to use a strong digital camera that allows you to control various settings like ISO, lens and exposure mode among others. This means you should avoid those simple compact digital cameras, and instead get a modern DSLR with an accompanying lens kit.

The camera you choose to use must shoot very sharp images. This is because each image submitted to iStock is inspected keenly before being finally approved and then posted online. In order to ensure you take technically-correct photos that will pass the iStock review process, you must learn how to use the various features of your DSLR.

Even though the process of applying to larger stock photo websites like Shutterstock or iStock can be a bit harder, it is vital not to get disappointed if you get rejected. Just keep doing what you love doing and creating your unique portfolio. Luckily, there are plenty of other great sites like that offer opportunities for people looking for stock photography jobs.

Build your Stock Photo Portfolio

As selling photos on iStock is basically a numbers game, it is very helpful if you have a strong and diverse portfolio. A simple strategy that you can use is to set a realistic goal of the number of photos you plan on uploading every week or every month. For example, you could aim for anywhere between 50 and 100 high quality photos per month.

A good practice when building any stock photo portfolio is to consider the various potential uses for all the images you are taking. In this case, you can take advantage of your connections to various industries and produce more marketable photos. For instance, while breaking into nature and landscape can be hard, you can easily get some creative behind-the-scenes photos at a local dry cleaner store.

Generally, just look into your current network and find out what things you have easy access to and whether you can use them as subjects for your photos. Always remember that when it comes to stock photography, being generic is the best option. There should not be any notable brands within your photos. Additionally, photos with people and building will also require that the models or property used to sign a release to allow the photo to be sold.

Hel increase the likelihood of your photos selling on iStock by naming them correctly using the most fitting keywords. Think of the title of your photos carefully, especially how people may search for the photos on the website. In addition to photos, you can even sell video clips on the website.

Summary of How to Sell Photos on iStock

  • Choose your best photos with the highest selling potential
  • Ensure you own the copyright of the images
  • Go to the iStock website and then apply to become a contributor
  • Wait for the review process and then you can start contributing to the site if your application is accepted

Is iStock the only Place to Sell Stock Photos?

While iStock is a reputable place of selling stock photographs, there are various other options you can consider if you want to have even more control when it comes to your photos and income. For instance, a site like features lots of photography jobs for a keen user. Simply pick from the wide range of jobs, submit quality images and earn money. Just shoot photos you enjoy and you will find there is always a market for your images online.

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