How to make money from your photos

One of the most common arts among the modern day species, especially in this age of smartphones and selfie sticks, is ‘the taking of photographs’. It has proven to become a lifestyle as it reflects memories. The average human being takes photos either just for the fun of it or to get likes and comments on social platforms. Little do they know that those photos could actually earn them cool cash.

How?! This is the question you must be asking in your mind right now. This article unveils how money can be made through photos, but before I go into the details, let me introduce you to someone who could be making money from his photos but has decided not to.


The photo above was taken by Wale Adekile, also known as Don Caprio, who is the CEO of and He takes professional shots like this with his Huawei Honor 6 Plus and iPhone 6S Plus with some auxiliary lenses attached.

Now the reason I’m mentioning him here is that his photos are totally marketable and I’m very sure he’d sell hugely if he decided to sell his photos.

I’m not the only one with this thought; some of his friends also advise him to do same.



It seems he’s already taking to the advice, according to a comment on one of his posts;


As we can see from his comment, the medium he’s using is iStock which I’m going to expatiate on in this article.

I guess you’re already salivating. Let’s go straight into the real deal.

Note: I’m writing this article based on the assumption that you already know how to shoot photos like a professional either with a smartphone or digital camera. If you’re new to the art of taking photos, try to master it before applying these techniques.

Making money through photos – the different ways


Make money from your photos with Shutterstick is a website where millions of photos are downloaded daily. It’s definitely not for free; a certain fee is always attached to each download. You will earn money on each of your photos that are downloaded. Payment is always about $0.4 USD per download, so let make a few mathematical analyses!

If a single photo has about 1500 downloads

$0.4 * 1500 = $600.

Meaning you earn as much as $600 USD (about 210,000 NGN) on just one photo, provided it has enough quality to attract that amount of downloads. I guess you’ve started calculating how much you would earn if you have about 120 approved photos. Isn’t it lucrative!

What you need

Shutterstock - Sell your photos for cash

First and foremost, you need the skills. Once you have that, you need to have a good camera.

Visit and Register as a ‘contributor’ on the website.

Shutterstock Contributor account signup

You’ll be required to enter your full name, email address and other details. Fill them in and click on ‘Sign Up’. Signup success

After that, you would need to check your e-mail address for the verification e-mail. Once your account is verified, you can start uploading your photos and making money from them.


Making money from photos with

Apart from Shutterstock, another website on which you can sell your photos is IstockPhoto. The site has a similar setup with the former, and you make money by uploading your photos with the hopes of attracting buyers.

Sign up for

All things being equal, your photos must meet some necessary standard requirements to get an approval.

Remember, your photos could be of anything – animals, species of organisms, animations, plants, etc; not necessarily yourself —
just make sure it’s quality!


KDP Amazon Photobook selling platform

Another way to make money from your photos is by creating, publishing and selling photobooks (i.e. a book that contains different photos). Don’t get it twisted; I don’t mean exercise book or higher education. Wikipedia has more information on that.

To get started with photobooks, register at (it’s a branch of the Amazon group which allows you to make money from Photobooks). The setup of photobooks is easy; to begin with, create a PDF document and add all arrays of photos in it.

Next, upload it on the site. Do not worry yourself on how to make it a photobook; Amazon converts your pdf file directly to ‘book format’ using an automatic software.
Now, to the rate of sale…
If a photobook costs 5USD, selling 1500copies earns you 7500USD. Is this making sense?

Not forgetting that you can create as many photobooks as you can. The higher the number of photos in a photobook [e.g. 50-page photobook, 100-page photobook, etc] should determine your sale price, but this won’t be every time as it’s still down to ‘quality’ photos; quality matters a lot.

Also, the awoof demand comes into play here.
What do I mean?

“The law of demand states that, Ceteris paribus, the higher the price, the lower the quantity demanded and vice versa”

That law was one of my favourites in secondary school due to the funny-sounding Latin phrase used in it:D . So try to make a balance in the sale of your photobooks.
Assuming a book C has a price of $50 and you sell about 200 units which amounts to $10000.. a $10 photobook would need 1000 sales to earn $10000.

With, the economic recession on now, you should know the one an average man would go for, but everything is still down to quality photos. If the photos are not quality enough, you can set high prices, but you won’t get a lot of sales. On those three sites given above, there are lots of options to choose from, so you can’t provide low quality and expect to sell in leaps and bounds.

I hope this piece helps.
Get out of your financial downturn. It’s better to get $10 on your photos than getting 1000 likes.

Leave a Reply