How To Sell Photos Online And Make Money

How To Sell Photos Online And Make Money

Hi MooCash readers,

We understand sometimes that simply suggesting which websites, tools or mobile apps to use to make money with is simply not enough for you to get paid.  So in this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to make money out of your photos and sell photos online.

Simple Guide To Sell Photos Online With  Stock Photos

If you’re wondering what stock photos are, they are photographs that are sold on royalty-free basis and can be used for commercial purposes.

As we’ve noted previously in our previous article on making money with mobile phones, you can use mobile apps to sell your photos online.  If you’re an Instagram user, taking photos may be second nature to you, but hang around, we might still have some useful tips for you.

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Stock Photo Buyers

To understand more about how to sell stock photos, you need to understand the type of customers who buy them and the type of stock photos they buy.


Well known brands like Puma, MasterCard sometimes buy from marketplaces such as Foap.  These brands will run campaigns or competitions for photographers to submit photos based on a certain theme. Selected photos will be paid higher than the average sale price in the marketplace. Price ranges around $100 per photo and some even as high as $500. An example would be Nivea asking for photos of women with their hairs in hairbands.


Other than well known brands, businesses also use stock photos to fill images to their brochures, banners and even websites.  Some business such as hotels and travel agents would purchase travel photos and famous landmarks.

Advertising agencies

Some smaller agencies will also use stock photos as a way to keep costs low for ad campaigns for their clients, which can be online or offline.

Website owners

With the growing popularity of blogs, many people are now using stock photos to enhance their website appearance. Both business websites and personal blogs often need to supplement their websites by using stock photos.

Photos That Sell

Now that you understand the types of buyers involved, let’s dive further into the types of photos that sell.

Photos of People

Photos of people typically involve a person or people doing an activity, or showing an emotion.

Photos of People By Topic

  • Business – Businessmen or business women conducting a meeting or presentation
  • Health and Fitness – an example would be a group of people practicing yoga or a woman jogging
  • Family and Parenting- this could be a mother and child eating ice cream in the park.
  • Technology- this could be a young person busy with various electronic devices

There are more niches or topics which you can explore further, but we hope you get the idea of how stock photos of people are a great source of interests to many businesses, agencies and website owners.

Photos Of Items

In addition to the photos of people above, you could also take photos of items used to portray a concept. Some examples could be:

– Balloons reaching the ceiling to represent a birthday or new year party

– Well aligned stones to represent serenity and peaceful environment

– A desk will a laptop, a mobile phone and a cup of coffee representing a working office

You could also taken photo shots of some items which have some blank spaces for buyers to insert some text over the photos. These would be popular for businesses and blogs which need to have written text, such as ad copy, over an image.

Photos of Pets

Let’s not forget photos of our favorite puppies and kittens and their older relatives. Where would the internet be without cute photos of cats and dogs cozying up to each other and other warm and fuzzy feelings?

So why don’t you think that photos of pets could sell too? In fact, pet photos are often part of regular contests by brands to depict their brands amidst a family environment or a particular festival. Pet based businesses, such as dog grooming services as well as general pet websites would also be interested in such photos.

Nature Photos

Images of nature, such as a trees in a park or a snow covered park are also popular. The ideas for nature shots are endless, so we suggest that you go through various stock photo websites to get a deeper picture (pun intended) of what sells.

How To Create Quality Photos

While one article may not be enough to cover various aspects of taking a quality photo, we will just give you a basic rundown of what’s normally expected:


When taking photos of items, most prefer a neutral white backdrop. For photos of people,  a focus on the subject is normally expected with blurring background images, including other people.

To have a neutral backdrop, consider using a white sheet or white wall. For smaller item shots, you could also use a white paper as the base of the item.

To create a focus image on a person with a blurry background, a depth of field is required. Typically this can be achieved with a camera such as a DSLR. However, for mobile phones, this is normally limited as mobile phones do not have adjustable apertures.

While you can still create a blurred background with a closeup photo of the item or subject, on most cases, taking shots at such close range is not possible. Luckily, there are many apps available that’s can mimic the blurred background effects. Simply apply them after you’ve taken your desired photos.

Still Shots

For taking still shots, especially of items, such as food and beverage, or products, you also need to consider using a tripod. In this case, you don’t want to have a blurry image, and even with mobile phones have inbuilt image stabilisers, just don’t take that chance.


For still items, you can just use the natural window lighting. Just remember to have the window light behind the camera and shining towards the item or subject.  If that’s not enough, consider using a desk lamp to shine on the item. Avoid using the camera flash light or the photo will just amateurish.

Enhancing Your Camera Lens

While smartphone cameras have continued to improve their images, with higher quality images, and more pixels, however their quality is still lacking compared to the DSLR cameras (digital single lens reflex cameras).  One way to overcome this is to use an add-on lens to your phone such as the High Performance Camera Lens such as the Ultra HD90 which has a mobile attachment kit. Compared to purchasing a full DSLR, this is a bargain piece.


Let’s also remember to back up all of your files and images.  After snapping so many photos, you don’t want to lose it if your phone suddenly crashes or disappears.

Your Smartphone

Last it not least, your device matters too. The minimum resolution for a sellable image is 1600×1200 pixels and on Foap, certain brands require a minimum resolution of 2048×1536 pixel size for entering contests.  Most stock photos marketplaces do not accept images which have been up-sampled, meaning you can’t increase it from the original file image size.

What does this mean in terms of your phone image resolution?

Nowadays, an average Android phone has at least 8 megapixels (MP). A megapixel is just a million pixels, so to find out the image size requirement, simply multiply the width pixel size by the image height pixel size.

In the image size mentioned earlier, this would mean 1600×1200 pixels is 1.920 MP. For 2048×1536 pixels would be 3.145 MP.

A Simpler Way To Get Paid

If you find the above information a little overwhelming, consider this: you’re already taking photos on your phone anyway, and sharing them proudly on your Facebook or  other online accounts. This is just one step further, in knowing what photos to take, what backdrops to use and the type of buyers who might be interested so you can cater to their needs. This information is to enable you to succeed in your efforts to make money online.

Of course, there’s a much simpler way to make money online: use the MooCash app!

Please help your family, friends and followers to make money online by sharing this article. Do share with us your experience as well in the comments section below.