Online part time job idea 21: Sell the rights to your stock photography

Online part time job idea 21: Sell the rights to your stock photography

If you’ve been paying attention, you will remember that the very first online part time job that I recommended was to sell your stock photos online. It’s probably one of the simplest ways to earn passive income on the internet, and the demand for new and fresh photos continues to be fierce. Styles and hot topics are changing all the time in our crazy world, and designers and publishers are craving awesome photos that are in touch with the times. Make no mistake about it – this is a big industry, and you’d be foolish not to take part in it.

To recap, stock photos are usually sold under a simple royalty-free license at places like dreamstime and stockfresh, which simply means that you can sell one photo over and over to as many people who are willing to buy it. The royalty-free license allows for one use only, so that means that each buyer cannot use it for multiple projects or distribute it themselves as part of an app or something. These individual royalty-free sales don’t pay very much (usually $1-5 depending on the agency), but that adds up if your image sells many times.

Selling the rights to your stock photos, however, is different

When you sell the rights, you are effectively giving up ownership of the image and transferring it to the buyer. That sounds kind of scary, but the benefit is that you will make a lot more money doing this.

For example, lets say that a photographer uploaded photo to dreamstime with the intent to sell it under a royalty-free license, and it sold a handful of times. However, an interested buyer came along and offered to pay $800 to purchase the image outright. Realizing that $800 is more than he’d ever make selling that image many times as royalty-free, he agreed to the deal. This happens more often than you’d think, considering that very large companies often find it much more cost effective to purchase images this way – it’s cheaper (and easier) than hiring a photographer to take the shot for them.

Luckily, dreamstime makes it very easy to transfer the rights to your stock photos and images. When you upload your photos, you can select the types of licenses you wish to attach it with. You can even set your own price for a full rights transfer sale:

As you can see, the potential to make a lot of money is huge. And the really great thing about this is that you don’t really need to produce highly technical and stunning images to attract these sorts of buyers. In the world of stock photography, being in the right place at the right time is more important than having a killer portfolio – if you don’t have images online, you’ll never get a chance for these kinds of sales.

Here are a few important things you should know about selling the rights to your photos:


You’ll need to build a collection of stock photos that you can sell on places like or You can even sell your images yourself with Photostore from No matter where you upload them, make sure you make the images available for a full rights transfer.

Start up costs:

None, beyond the cost of producing the stock photos.

Potential earnings:

The sky is the limit – but it’s important to know that these kinds of sales won’t happen as often as just selling them under a simple royalty-free license.

If you can make it work, selling the full rights to your stock photos is a really great way to make a living online. Once you shoot the image and upload it, it becomes yet another weapon in your arsenal of passive income earning assets.

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