Can I Make Money with Stock Photography | Shutterstock

Published by Debasis Nayak on

Make Money with Stock Photography

Before I answer the answer the question “Can I Make Money with Stock Photography” and “Is uploading photos on shutterstock worth“, let have some basic introduction about the topic.


Nowadays Photography became a hobby for many people. Starting from Mobile photography to High-End DSLR professional photography. You just name the event, everywhere and every part of life you will find photography events. Wedding photography, pre-wedding photography, portfolio shoot, Food photography, Portrait photography, street photography, nature photography, animal photography etc. And you must have noticed many people have chosen photography as their sole career and they are very successful in it.

Many people use their photography skills for passive income like Travel Bloggers. Apart from that there are various platform like Instagram where you can upload photos and earn money. Below are some of the articles you might be interested in:

This post is all about Stock photography and How can a normal person with a normal camera or Phone, make money with stock photography? Is uploading photos on shutterstock worth?

What is Stock Photography?

In stock photography there is an industry which creates and sells photos, illustrations, or videos and can be purchased for various use through multiple licensing models.

Make Money with Stock Photography

Customers needs to pay a fee for buying rights to legally use the stock photos or videos they want. This fee is usually split between the artist that took the photo or footage and the website or service where the artist has listed his contents.

What is Shutterstock?

Well, In today’s internet world, making money with photography, requires a basic knowledge of ins-and-outs of the photography industry and a platform where you can upload your photos and get paid. Shutterstock is that platform, where you can make money with Stock Photography. Here contributors come from all corners of the world, with a wide variety of photography experience. From professional photographers to photography companies, amateur enthusiasts to smartphone hobby photographers, everyone just clicks and uploads their photo and get paid, just that simple.

History of Shutterstock

Shutterstock launched in 2003, with the digital photo stock business idea. Which is a business model based on the sales of low-cost online multimedia content, like:

  • Stock image
  • Stock footage

From then millions of contributors and customers joined Shutterstock. Every day thousands of photos are uploaded and downloaded from it.

My Experience with Shutterstock

Before I start to explain in details about Shutterstock, let me show you the earning of an immature like me in Dec-2019. Now you decide Is uploading photos on shutterstock worth.

Make Money with Stock Photography - Shutterstock

Let’s start with the Basics. What Are You Uploading?

On Shutterstock, you can upload photos, vector images, illustrations, and video footage. Photos can be either be taken with a professional DSLR camera or a high-quality smartphone that matches Shutterstock’s image specs. Vectors are digitized artwork that features graphic design, type, or scanned illustrations. Footage clips are motion clips that tell a moving story.

When you upload, ensure that the image or clip you submit matches the correct description of the type of content that you are uploading.

Sign Up Here

Signing up is very simple in Shutterstock, Just click this link to open shutterstock signup page.

Click on Signup

Can I Make Money with Stock Photography – Shutterstock

Fill this simple form as above and you are ready to go.

Four simple ways to get Paid in Shutterstock

  1. Create quality content
  2. Upload your content
  3. Every time when your content is downloaded you will earn.
  4. You can also earn passively by referring contributors and customers.

uploading photos on shutterstock

Never underestimate your referrals

Contributor Referral

In Shutterstock 90% of my earning comes from referrals. Because according to Shutterstock’s website: You Earn $0.04 on images and 10% on videos when an artist signs up with your link and their work is downloaded. So it’s like a super passive earning, when your referral earns you earn too.

Make Money with Stock Photography – Shutterstock

Customer Referral

If you managed to refer a customer to shutterstock platform it’s a jackpot for you. Because according to Shutterstock’s website: when you refer a customer to Shutterstock, you’ll earn 20% of their first payment, up to $200. For example, if you refer a customer whose first purchase is a $249 monthly membership, 20% ($49) will be added to your current account.

Focus on your Keywords

When you upload any content on Shutterstock focus on the keywords. Key-wording is how potential customers find your images on Shutterstock. Without proper and accurate keywords, you will not be able to earn money from your submitted content. All keywords that you add to your image should be relevant to the image, and specific to the content that is showcased. You can also use the Keyword Suggestion Tool, in your Shutterstock profile to support you in key-wording your images.


Now let’s talk about the most interesting and important part “Payment”. This will answer to the questions “Can I Make Money with Stock Photography” and “Is uploading photos on shutterstock worth“.

Payment Update: The Earnings are updated in every 15 minutes based on number of times your contents were downloaded or based on the referrals.

Payment Duration: You will get paid in Net 30 basis if your total income reached USD35 at the end of the Month.

uploading photos on shutterstock

Payment Method: There are 3 methods you can get paid from Shutterstock: Payoneer, Paypal and Skrill.


I would highly recommend to give a try with shutterstock if you have some photography knowledge. I have seen lot of people with very little photography knowledge with a smartphone camera making money with photography on shutterstock.

In this era of internet, everything is going digital and same happening with photography. Everyday people search on internet for images, videos, vectors, icons to be used for various purposes. This is the opportunity which shutterstock has grabbed and provided a platform for both customers and content creators.


Rajeeb · January 31, 2020 at 2:29 AM

Great Post sir 👍 I have made 12 USD so far. Hoping for the best. Thank you.

William Kugler · April 1, 2020 at 9:42 AM

The Can I Make Money with Stock Photography article is one of the best I have ever read!

I found how to get an online income from my home, maybe it helps
You are doing a great job with your site

Sakshyam Education · February 9, 2021 at 5:16 PM

Good Post

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