Here’s How to Make Money Taking Pictures

One of the biggest problems that arises when people want to travel is money. Sometimes, travel really can be expensive. However, what if I told you there was a way you can make money while you’re traveling? If you like taking pictures, then you’re in luck, there’s something called microstock!

If you’re like me, your camera goes everywhere with you. My camera has gone with me through rain, sand, blood, sweat and tears (well…maybe not all of those).  To be honest, I’m not even sure how it still functions after 5 years of taking pictures on hikes and travels!

Me taking a picture with my camera in New Zealand
Me and My Camera in beautiful New Zealand

As much as I love taking pictures, making money is also nice too, and you can make money taking pictures! Ideally, a DSLR camera would come in handy, but it’s even possible to make money with your phone pictures. Here are 7 websites and apps where you can make money with your pictures.

Microstock Websites:

You may have heard of stock images, but what in the world is microstock? No, they’re not mini pictures, but pictures provided by the public and sold at micro prices. However, because they are sold at micro prices, there are lots of people searching for micro stock images. If you put enough good images out there, over time your revenue will add up.

Keep in mind, microstock takes work and commitment. To get your photos noticed it’s important to use efficient tags. Most microstock companies make you apply first by sending in a few pictures. If the pictures are approved then you can begin selling microstock, if not you will have to wait sometime and then apply again. A good thing about microstock is that if you upload a lot of high quality images you can gain some passive income because your pictures are always there for sale.


1. Shutterstock

From my experience, Shutterstock is the best microstock website. So far I’ve made $50 from pictures and videos. Shutterstock allows you to upload illustrations, photos and videos. Videos are good to upload because they sell for higher prices. I sold 1 video for $30! Their website is easy to use to upload your pictures.

-Minimum payout is $35.

-Ranges from $.25- $2.85 for pictures and 30% for videos.

-Sign up here to get started.

2. Dreamstime

Stock Photos

Dreamstime is another popular microstock website. You can sell photos, videos, illustrations and audio. Their user interface is a little rudimentary but still easy to use.

-Minimum payout is $100.

-Commission ranges from 25% to 50%

-Sign up here to get started.

3. Pond5

Royalty-Free Stock Video at Pond5

Pond5 is one of the leaders for microstock videos, but also sell photos, illustrations, AE Templates, sound effects and more around the world!

-Minimum payout is $25.

-They also have a 50% commission

-Set your own price

-Click the picture above to get started.

People at the lookout on Lovcen in Montenegro
You can sell all kinds of microstock pictures, especially travel photos! Above: Lovcen National Park, Montenegro

Photo-Selling Apps:


There are a multitude of apps that gather pictures from anyone to be sold. Lots of these apps will even accept pictures taken with your phone. Lots of the apps have challenges to filter out the best images to be sold.

1. Twenty20

Twenty20 is my favorite of the photo selling apps. It is very easy to use and submit photos. The way it works is that there are challenges for various specific and general topics such as beach landscapes, foods, etc. People then vote for the images that they like. There are then 3 achievements, Top 20 pictures, T0p 10%, and Top 20%Photos in the Top 20% are added to the topics collection which are then open for customers to buy. The overall winner of each challenge then wins the challenge prize which is usually $20. Sign up here to get started.

2. CoinaPhoto

CoinaPhoto allows all pictures to be uploaded in the market for sale to customers. Tokens are used as currency in the app and each token is equal to $.20. There are also photo challenges, with prizes up to $100. An interesting and fun feature Coinaphoto has that other apps don’t, are photo duels. It works by putting up one of your photos against a similar photo and people vote for the better image. Before the voting starts you place a bet for the reward. Sign up here.

3. Foap

Foap is another app that includes a marketplace as well as missions. You get $5 for each picture that you sell. The missions are similar to the challenges in the other apps and prizes are usually around $100 with various photo topics. Learn more here.

4. Snapwire

Snapwire integrates a marketplace with photo challenges and requests. Challenges are specific topics for photos that anyone can enter. Requests are by certain companies seeking a certain type of picture. They are only available to enter after you level up by submitting to more challenges. Sign up here.

Ready to get started? If you upload high quality pictures to these apps and websites frequently, you really can make money. The more photos you have out there, the more available to be bought. Get snapping!

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