Selling Stock Photography -
Libraries and Agencies

Selling stock photography can transform your hobby into a profitable stream of income. There are many stock libraries and agencies that will accept work submissions online, we have gathered together a selection for you below.

Why not also grab a copy of The Freelance Photographer's Market Handbook 2010 to find more places to sell your photographic work and make money with your digital photography?

  • Macro-Stock Photography Agencies

  • The companies that fall under the macro-stock photography category are the traditional stock photography agencies. These agencies deal with professional stock photographers who submit their images on a contractual basis, with a defined commission basis and for a specified contract term. Some photographers fund their own photo shoots, or develop images in cooperation with the stock agency, while others submit photographs originally produced as part of editorial (magazine) or commercial assignments.

    Getty Images   One of the world's leading creator and distributor of still imagery, footage and multi-media products, as well as a recognized provider of other forms of premium digital content, including music. Offers images that are mainly shot by professional photographers.

    Corbis   Together with Getty Images, they are the two largest traditional stock photography agencies in terms of revenue. Corbis' image collection includes contemporary creative, entertainment, and historical photography as well as art and illustrations.

  • Micro-Stock Libraries and Agencies

  • Alternative to the traditional stock agencies are the micro-stock photography companies. They are characterised by the fact that they source their images almost exclusively online, they are willing to accept the work of both 'amateur' as well as professional photographers and they are selling stock photography images at a relatevely low commission rate.

    With micro-stock photography, images sell more cheaply but in greater volume. Generally, you can expect to earn between 8 - 14 thousand dollars a year for every 1,000 images subimitted to one of the micro-stock photography agencies.

    Big Stock Photo   Easier acceptance guidelines than bigger stock libraries, offering a 50% commission rate.

    Dreamstime   Offers easier submmission and high volume of sales. New photographers can expect commission rate at around 50%.

    Royalty Free Images

    iStockphoto   Considered the pioneer of the micro-stock photography and is Getty Images' micro-stock site. It offers high traffic and high number of sales. The commission rates for selling stock photography with iStockphoto range from 20 to 40%.

    View My Portfolio

    Alamy Images   Has a very good reputation and high volume of sales. 60 or 75% of sale goes to the photographer. Direct link to contributor section.

    Fotolia   There is no submission process and you have the option to set your own pricing. Commission rate for new photographers can be around 30%.


    StockShot   Provider of Winter Sports and Adventure Sports images.

    Shutterstock   They operate via Buyers Subscriptions only which generally leads to more downloads for contributing photographers. Photographers are paid from 25 to 30 cents per download.

    JupiterImages   Operates two online image libraries. One is Stock.xchng , a library of free-to-use photographs and illustrations where contributors are encouraged to submit images to enhance their photography career through wider public exposure. The other is StockXpert  which functions as a commercial microstock photography site. In 2009, JupiterImages was acquired by Getty Images.   One of the leading independent producers and distributors of contemporary stock photography. Direct link to contributors page.

    Science Photo Library   A leading provider of science images. Direct link to contributors information.

    Do you have a question regarding Selling Stock Photography? Have you used any of the stock agencies yourself?
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