How Much Can You Make Selling Stock Photos? 

Check out the stats on how much can you make selling Stock Photos in this post. In today’s digital age, where anyone with a camera and an internet connection can become a photographer, many individuals are looking to capitalize on their passion for photography and potentially earn a living by selling stock photos. But just how much can you make by venturing into the world of stock photography in 2023? In this article, we’ll explore the latest data, statistics, and insights to help you better understand the potential earnings from selling stock photos.

How Much Can You Make Selling Stock Photos Stats

Check out the stats on how much can you make selling Stock Photos below.

Earnings per Sale on Stock Photo Sites

Earnings in the stock photography industry can vary significantly based on several factors, including the photographer’s contributor level, the type of license purchased, and the volume of sales. Generally, stock photo agencies offer different commission rates for each sale, with some favoring photographers who consistently contribute to their platforms.

Here’s an overview of the minimum and maximum earnings per sale, including extended license earnings for some popular stock photo agencies:

  • Shutterstock: $0.10 – $5.80 (Extended license: $39.80)
  • iStock & GettyImages: $0.10 – $16.20 (Extended license: $113.40)
  • YayImages: $0.10 – $10.00 (Extended license: $25.00)
  • 123RF: $0.22 – $24.00 (Extended license: $77.88)
  • BigStock: $0.25 – $0.50 (Extended license: $29.70)
  • Canstockphoto: $0.25 – $5.00 (Extended license: $25.00)
  • Depositphotos: $0.30 – $5.88 (Extended license: $37.38)
  • Adobe Stock & Fotolia: $0.33 – $3.30 (Extended license: $26.40)
  • Dreamstime: $0.34 – $10.10 (Extended license: $40.80)
  • Photocase: $1.52 – $16.50 (Extended license: $110.00)
  • Alamy: $4.00 – $99.50 (Extended license not specified)
  • Stocksy: $7.50 – $200.00 (Extended license: $75.00 – $8,100)

Real-Life Earnings of Stock Photographers

To gain a better understanding of the earnings potential in stock photography, we’ve gathered some real-life examples of photographers and their experiences:

  • KL Douglas: KL Douglas earned an average of $0.013 per month per photo after uploading 30 photos to Shutterstock.
  • Rachel Lerch: Rachel emphasized the importance of consistent uploads, earning an average of $100-$200+ per month per stock photo agency when she uploaded consistently. This dropped to $30-$40 per month per agency when uploads were less frequent.
  • Oliver King: After uploading 410 images to various agencies, Oliver King earned an average of $0.10 per month per photo in his best month.
  • Luka Ažman: Luka Ažman achieved impressive earnings, but it’s important to note that his top 3 images generated the bulk of his income, and not all of his images were successful.
  • James from Photerloo: James uploaded 628 photos to 23 stock photo agencies and earned an average of $0.21 per month per image on the best-paying websites.
  • Laurence Jones: Laurence earned $0.003 per month per photo by selling 4 images for $95 on Alamy, highlighting the potential for higher earnings with increased uploads to multiple stock photo sites.

Is Selling Stock Photos Worth It?

While stock photography can provide an avenue for making money from your passion, it may not be a path to retirement. The industry offers varying earnings potential, and some photographers find it challenging to accept the low compensation for their hard work. Uploading to multiple agencies can be time-consuming, and the best-selling photos often tend to be generic.

However, for beginners looking to make pocket money with their photography skills, selling stock photos is a viable option. It allows you to earn some income while honing your photography skills. Ultimately, the decision to pursue stock photography should align with your personal preferences and goals.


In conclusion, the world of stock photography offers a range of earnings possibilities, from modest pocket money to potentially more substantial income for dedicated photographers. The key lies in consistently producing high-quality, in-demand images and adapting to changing trends in the industry.


What type of photos sell best?

Photos of diverse and authentic people, business and technology concepts, nature, travel, and lifestyle scenes tend to sell well in stock photography.

How do you get paid for stock images?

Photographers receive payments for stock images based on commission rates determined by stock agencies. Payments can vary based on the type of license purchased, contributor level, and volume of sales.

Why are stock photos so expensive?

Stock photos can be expensive due to licensing fees, production costs, and the need to compensate photographers for their work. The price may also depend on the quality and exclusivity of the image.