9 Best Stock Photography Websites And Apps For Contributors

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If you are into photography and want to earn some extra cash at the same time then stock photography is the best option to get started. There are many websites and apps these days which offers decent earnings for your creativity. So here are the recommendations for best stock photography websites and apps for contributors.

Note: All the websites and apps mentioned here are ads free.

Earn Money Through Best Stock Photography Websites And Apps

1. Shutterstock


This is surely the best stock photography agency right now. For becoming a contributor, you will have to submit your 10 best photographs online which will then be reviewed by their experts. The approval process can take up to 10 days, so be patient. Once you get approved as a contributor, you can begin uploading your best work and you will be paid every time when an image of yours get downloaded.

Initially, you will receive 0.25$ per pic downloaded, but after 500 downloads pricing will increase. Shutterstock has the best amount of buyers, therefore, making it easy for contributors to get exposure. Buyers will be able to find your images through keywords, so make sure you are using the right keywords which fits according to your snap. Contributors can also upload videos for selling but criteria is much more complex in this category. Video resolution and screen fit should fit respectively to Shutterstock’s policy.

Links: Official WebsiteShutterstock for Android | Shutterstock for iOS

2. Depositphotos

depositphotos for stock photo contributors

Depositphotos is another place where one can go to get various kinds of stock photos, vector images and videos. Similar to Shutterstock, to become a contributor in Depositphotos you will need to register an account with them for free. Then you can upload a few of your photos or videos for the test. The test usually takes 1-2 days to finish, and after that Depositphotos reviewer decides whether the photos are useful for selling purposes or not. You can even add your links to your website or other portfolios which will help you in increasing your ratings in Depositphotos.

With the addition to the photos, you will also need to upload your Identification card. Once your photos are approved, you are ready to earn. Depositphotos pays the contributors for their images downloaded via subscription according to the level they are assigned. Starting with Level 1 the green badge with a payout of $0.30 for each downloaded photo. And up to Level 5 with a Platinum badge with a payout of $0.35. Apart from these, if one buys a photo on Demand then the contributor gets paid up to 42% depending on the level they are in.

Link: Official Website | Depositphotos for Android | Depositphotos for iOS

Also Read: Nikon D5300 DSLR Review

3. 123RF


123RF offers minimum 30% commision to contributors for every sale. Previously they were working in a tie-up with Fotolia but later started working on their own. Although the buyers are less on 123RF as compared to Shutterstock but, to be honest, no one has enough buyers to match up with Shutterstock.

Sellers also need to get approved as a contributor here first which is comparatively easy to other agencies. You can upload images, vectors, illustrations and footage for licensing. Sales and Royalties are not good for videos but great for images. This agency also works on keywords basis.

Links: Official Website123RF for Android | 123RF for iOS

4. Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock

In terms of image quality and details, Adobe stock is the best stock photography agency. But it is extremely difficult to get images approved here. I had submitted more than 50 images here and 4 of them got approved. Whereas 90% of those images were approved in different agencies. If your images are a bit over post-processed, then don’t even think about uploading them. They will reject them immediately.

Buyers in Adobe Stock are specifically for those images which are great in quality and sharpness and also have a raw touch instead of editing. There are no certain criteria for becoming a contributor here. Just upload your gallery and wait for the first sale. They only have the website for stock images but you can download Adobe Creative Cloud app both in Android and iTunes for accessing stock images.

Link: Official Website

5. iStock

iStock- best stock photography website and app

Don’t let the ‘i’ confuse you. This is not an Apple product. In fact, iStock is powered by Getty Images. iStock is specifically for exclusive contributors. Exclusive simply means that you cannot upload the same image on other websites as this will be licensed to the buyer. Commision will be much higher as compared to non-exclusive agencies.

But every coin has two sides. Download commision can be even up to 50% but just think about it. If a buyer is paying so much then he or she would definitely look for the best possible image which increases the competition. You can not directly apply to iStock. First, you have to apply for Getty Images and their experts will decide whether to include you in iStock or Getty.

Links: Official WebsiteiStock for Android | iStock for iOS

Also Read: Best Camera Apps Including Dual For Android And iPhone

6. Getty Images

Getty Images

Getty Images is for non-exclusive contributors. This is the biggest stock photography agency right now. Biggest because most of the small stock agencies are powered by them only. Like I have mentioned, even 123RF used to pay commission to Getty.

But after using it for a month, I felt like the website is a bit slow. It takes forever to upload photos there. Yet, one uploaded, you can see the progress of your images. How many times your images were viewed by the buyer on which date and which month. This feature is not present in any other agency. Personally, I would recommend you to go fo non-exclusive rather than iStock because earnings will keep increasing depending obviously upon the content that you are uploading.

Links: Official WebsiteGetty Images for Android | Getty Images for iOS

7. 500PX


Just from this year August, 500Px changed their licensing to Getty Images which opens more exposure window for contributors. Earlier, 500px was not so good for contributors because of limited buyers. When it comes to uploading, 500PX provides the best interface among all the agencies mentioned here.

You can either select exclusive or non-exclusive agreement right when you have uploaded the images. And if you have included metadata in your content, then this website will automatically retrieve keywords for you. Of course, users can add extra keywords manually when they want to. But its a bit tricky to view your sales and download stats in the website. Just go to the settings, then licensing and then payout setup.

Links: Official Website500px for Android | 500px for iOS

Also Read: How To Tell If An Image Is Photoshopped

8. Foap


Foap is also available on the website, but in order to upload photos, you have to use the Foap Android or iPhone mobile app as it cannot be done through the website. This app is quite unique. There are many brands like Nivea who are organizing daily, weekly and monthly challenges for photographers. In these challenges, the contributor has to click a photo according to the criteria of the challenge and if selected as a winner, earning credited will be 100$. Isn’t that great?

You will get 5$ every time your photo gets downloaded normally. This is definitely the best app to sell photos. The app is super easy to use and you can even interact with other photographers by rating their content.

Links: Official WebsiteFoap for Android | Foap for iOS

9. SnapWire


Snapwire is a lot like Foap. And various brands post challenges for photographers. Well in Snapwire, contributors get a brief about how the shoot details and challengers have to submit their photos. The main difference comes in pricing. In this app, the winner can receive up to 150$ or even more after winning the contest. Also, you can view the best photographers and leaderboard if you want to get insights into what is selling best.

Links: Official WebsiteSnapwire for Android | Snapwire for iOS

Also Read: Best Duplicate Photo Finder And Remover Apps

Sell Your Photos And Get Paid With Above Sites & Apps

Frankly writing, you will have to build a decent portfolio to see some good results. 50 or 100 pictures are not going to cut it. Sure you earn here and there but not enough to make it as a passive income. If you are really looking to make a great amount of money through stock photography then you will also have to invest your time accordingly. I would recommend you to upload your portfolio in every non-exclusive party so you can get the most out of it.

About The Author

  • Ayush Karanwal

    Indian Adrenaline junkie who loves trekking, long bike rides, clicking pictures and sharing his travel stories.

Photo of author

Ayush Karanwal

Indian Adrenaline junkie who loves trekking, long bike rides, clicking pictures and sharing his travel stories.

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