Stock Photography Agencies and Sites

A Google Search Returned 9.3 Million Results - Where Do You Start?

Stock Photography Agencies

So how do you wade through all those stock photography agencies to find the right one for you? Is it worth it?

Absolutely! As I have said before, if you work hard, submit as many photographs as possible and follow the guidelines, why shouldn’t your photos be used as much as anyone else’s?

Edit 2021: This was written a few years ago now but I am still earning from my stock images. That is despite me not uploading any significant amount for nearly a decade. In fact, only last week I sold some nice on demand images.

You may need to do a bit of research here to find the stock photography agencies suited to your work or which fit your requirements. However, as always, I am here to lend a hand.

Go online and search for the bigger stock photography agencies such as Alamy and Corbis. Sift through until you find one or more agencies that you would like to deal with, and who pay well and on time.

At the end of the day, do some research, read any success stories and/or statistics on sales, sign up and start shooting.

Amateurs, Newbies And/Or Beginners, This Bit Is For You!

Of all the stock photography sites and agencies there are, a market leading "Micro" stock agency is Shutterstock. They are a rapidly expanding company who’s popularity is growing amongst photographers (amateur and professional) and buyers alike.

A great benefit for joining is that they have a wonderful selection of photographs currently standing at just over 15,000,000. However, unlike Corbis, you have a much, much better chance of selling your photos. If you want to give them a try, and I recommend that you do, use the link below to learn more.

  • 26.April.05 - Here is an update on Shutterstock: A week ago, one of my photographers signed up and has already sold 6 photos. I tested this and uploaded one photograph yesterday and sold one copy last night!
  • 06.May.05 - Update: Loaded 48 pics to Shutterstock a week ago, 5 were rejected for various reasons but the others have sold 18 copies. I have now uploaded another 90 for review.
  • 11.May.05 - This will be the last update as I have done enough “Guinea Pigging” for now. Of the 90 uploaded, 1 was rejected and the next day 53 were sold.
  • 11.March.06 - Almost one year on and after holding off last summer due to many weddings I attended (as photographer), I uploaded around another 380 images in October. I have now sold over 6,000 images and increasing each month.
  • 30.Jun.06 - 900 Images online and close to 11,000 sold. The income has paid for a new EOS 5D and 24-70L 2.8. As far as I am concerned, these images would have just sat there and done nothing for ever otherwise.
  • 15.March.07 - 1,200 images online and 21,000 sold.
  • 18.March.08 - Due to being incredibly busy, I have uploaded no images in the last year. The money coming in has stayed exactly the same…not joined yet?
  • 06.May.11 - Having now sold many tens of thousands of images at Shutterstock alone, and having uploaded barely any new images for 3 years, the money and sales still come in. More importantly than that, the photographers that I have introduced to Shutterstock alone have sold half a million photos!!!! This is still BIG business.
  • 18.08.15 - Yes, it has been more than 4 years since I updated this page and 10 years since I started selling stock but guess what…I am still making money from those old images uploaded 10 years ago!!! In fact I have made well into 6 figures now…

Note: The photographers I signed up have collectively sold well over 800,000 photos!


I am so inspired that I now have a new office and will be uploading thousands of new images and especially video clips as this is a massively growing business and soooo much fun to be part of.

If you want to be alerted as to when I add a stock video tutorial and course to ATP, please join our newsletter. For now, sign up to the stock photography websites below and get started.

The monthly income from Shutterstock (which is also the most popular site of all micro stock photography agencies for me and many others) is around $600+. We have just been looking at buying a new 4 x 4 and these earnings at Shutterstock alone more than cover the monthly payments!

What could you do with that extra income? What if you uploaded 5,000 images over time?

You will earn up to 38 cents a download at Shutterstock and if you have enough online it all starts to add up into a nice steady "residual" income.

However, all photographs submitted that are accepted, will be automatically available for their "on demand" system where if sold, you earn up to $2.85 per image sold, it just gets better! ALSO, for selling a photo with an enhanced license (optional but recommended) you receive $28 per image sold. I would suggest that you submit your photographs here (anything over 4MB files accepted as long as they meet the criteria), as well as buffering them up to bigger sizes for bigger agencies otherwise it could be money down the drain.

They have a great forum where you can discuss tactics and just about anything to give you reassurance and motivation. Just give their site the once over, and if you fancy submitting a bunch of your work. I bet you sell your first picture sooner than you think!

Your first 10 images uploaded need to have 7 or more accepted before you can begin. Make sure they are all spot on and exactly what they ask for. Once accepted, just start submitting after again reading all of the guidelines and enjoy the experience. But beware as some of the regulars jokingly say, you may become a "Stataholic". The stats at Shutterstock are updated every 15 minutes, and it is actually quite exciting to see if any have sold in that time.

More free training

To be assured of getting accepted and receiving as much help as possible, why not check out our membership section of ATP . Here you can watch over 3.5 hours of video tutorials on stock photography as well as a LOT more besides. You will also receive expert advice, critique and guidance to getting your first batch of images accepted at the stock photography agencies. Head over to ATP Members for more info.

ShutterStock Application!

Do you want to earn up to $10-$18 per image downloaded by using the same system and type of stock photography agencies? Why not upload the same images to 2 agencies or more? Double or triple your income for just a bit more effort.

Dreamstime are another of my favourite stock photography agencies and my second biggest earner. They have recently revamped their pricing system meaning a pay rise for all photographers. Earnings for each image go up the more they get downloaded and popular they become. My average earning per image here is around $4-5 a time now. Great!

The income can really add up if you upload a couple of hundred images and simply leave them there. Before you know it, you have enough money to buy that new lens you have been after! What have you got to lose?

Stock Photography Agencies
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