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Top 10 Websites to Sell Photos Online in Canada for 2024 

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Selling photos online can be a profitable side hustle if you know how to get started and sell them on the right platforms. You can gradually build your reputation as a photographer while earning side income at the same time. 

In this guide, I discuss the top 10 websites to sell photos online in Canada, how to get started in this business, how much money you can make, and the pros and cons of selling photos online. 

Where to Sell Photos Online in Canada 

Your Own Website

Your very own website acts as the primary hub for your online presence, so you should use it to showcase your creative pieces and market the site on various online channels. You can design your site so it aligns with your artistic vision and attracts your target market.

Selling your photos on your site means you get 100% of the profit from your sales. Having your platform also enables you to set your prices. This helps you to avoid commission fees and revenue sharing, so you earn higher profits from selling your work yourself.

Etsy

Aside from being a popular place to sell arts and crafts, Etsy is also an excellent platform for selling photos online since it attracts a lot of traffic. You can sell your photos in different forms, such as physical prints or digital downloads.

While signing up for Etsy is free, you’ll need to pay a $0.20 listing fee for each photo and a 6.5% transaction fee on the sale price, plus shipping fees. The platform provides features for customization options and gives you control over pricing.

Related: How to sell printables on Etsy.

Shutterstock

Shutterstock is a leading provider of stock photography. Its vast library of high-quality photos can be licensed for various creative projects. You can use this platform to monetize your creative work by selling it to a global audience. 

Payouts on this micro-stock site range from 20%-30% and are based on your earnings over time. The platform doesn’t require exclusive selling rights to your photos, so you can sell them on other sites. 

Adobe Stock

If you’re an avid user of Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, Adobe Stock would be ideal for your post-processing software. It gives you free access to your Adobe Portfolio to create your custom site and gallery. 

Site contributors who have Adobe ID can link it to the platform and earn 33% royalties when they sell their original photographs, video clips, vectors, and illustrations online. Plus, when you upload your work to the site, you enter a non-exclusive partnership with Adobe Stock. 

Alamy

Alamy is a British photography site where you can upload photos and earn money. The site provides a straightforward contract and handles the licensing side of selling photos online. 

Royalty rates on Alamy range from 10% to 50% of the sales price, with the average image license fee at $30. Students earn 100% commission for the use of their photos. You can use the Stockimo app to sell photos from your phone. 

SmugMug

SmugMug is a popular photo storage platform where you can make money selling prints and downloads. The site provides the tools to share and sell photos to sell your creative work online as traditional prints or products.

The platform charges a 15% commission on all sales, so your profit for downloads is 85% of the price you establish above the base cost.  

Snapped4U

Snapped4U is an online marketplace for selling photos. It is particularly suitable for event photographers who need a platform that enables them to perform batch uploading and smooth integration with event websites.

The platform sells only JPEG files and charges a one-time registration fee. It also charges a fee of $0.50 on every photo you sell priced under $5, and 10% on all other sales.

500px

500px is a photo-sharing, community-based platform for beginner and professional photographers, hosting millions of photos online and selling them. Members can create personalized portfolios to showcase their work to potential buyers. 

The site offers photo licensing to enable you to sell your uploads as stock photos. If you sign up to become a paid member and exclusively license your photos, you can get up to 100% royalties. Free members can get up to 60%.

Getty Images

Getty Images is a well-known resource for high-quality, exclusive images, with over 1.5 million international customers. Due to this, it has more stringent standards with strict terms and conditions than other micro-stock sites. 

The site only accepts applications to become contributors through their mobile app. Rates for submissions of photos licensed through this premier stock photography website start at 20% and can go higher. 

iStock Photo

iStock Photo is a micro-stock website created by Getty Images. It is an affordable alternative suitable for beginners and contributors selling photos online. iStock Photo is also recommended for amateur photographers. 

The platform pays contributors 15%-45% per sale, depending on their popularity. If you want exclusive rights to your photo, the starting rate would be 22%. 

How to Get Started Selling Photos Online for Beginners

As a beginner, you can start by creating your portfolio. It will showcase your best work and provide a visual representation of your competence. 

You can then start selling your photos as stock images on third-party websites like Shutterstock and iStockPhoto. This helps you sell your work easily, quickly, and inexpensively, making it affordable to your audience. 

You can also start showcasing your artistic work by creating a blog that highlights your photos, provides insights and glimpses into your creative process, and shares your stories about your photos.

This is How Much Money You Can Make Selling Photos Online

How much you earn selling photos online depends on several factors, including the platforms you sell on, their commission fees, and your location. 

Depending on where you sell your photos, a stock photography website (or agency) will sell the images you upload or license them to buyers. 

Photographers get a royalty payment in return. Generally, photo-selling websites offer a 15-60% revenue share with contributors/photographers.

Pros and Cons of Selling Photos Online 

Pros:

  • Access to a global audience
  • Passive income
  • Builds portfolio
  • Diverse market
  • Photographers have creative control over their work
  • Creative freedom

Cons:

  • Highly competitive
  • Market saturation
  • Competition can be steep on popular platforms
  • Commission fees can reduce earnings
  • Low royalty rates at some platforms
  • Popular niches are often saturated

Learn more…

What kinds of photos can you sell online? 

You can sell any kind of photos online, such as people, food, animals, travel, products, or nature scenes. If you have a target market, you can appeal to them through photos that they will find enticing. 

How much do most people make selling photos? 

Photographers can earn up to 50% commission online, depending on the platform they use. Other factors that affect the price are image quality, usage rights, licensing type, and market demand.  

What photos sell for the most money? 

According to a summary by Gitnux, an independent market research platform, the top stock photo trends are authentic and candid images, minimalism and whitespace, drone and aerial photography, environmental and sustainability themes, and virtual and augmented reality.

Is it worth it to sell photos online? 

Selling photos online is an excellent way to generate passive income while also building your reputation as a photographer. You can also maximize your earnings by selling your photos as stock images under a royalty-free license. 

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Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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