Sell Photos Online in Minutes and Get Your Work Noticed by Brands

It’s astoundingly easy to sell photos online. To you, the thousands of selfies, travel photos and everyday snapshots saved to your phone’s camera roll might just be something to scroll through when you’re bored. But for today’s companies and marketers, they’re worth their weight in gold.

Companies around the world — from cosmetics brands to prominent travel websites — are willing to shell out cash to capture your moments. Sounds too good to be true, right?

Not necessarily.

Let’s think about the photos that appeal to you personally. If you had to pick between a your average stock photo or a brilliant Instagram shot of the same subject, chances are good that you’d prefer the latter. That’s because user-generated visuals, or photos and videos posted by ordinary people to social media, are a lot more authentic than microstock photography. They don’t have that stock photo “feel,” which also makes them extremely valuable.

How to sell photos online
A Scopio submission from photographer Jonathan Mendoza. Though this might look like a typical nature photo, it has a distinct human element.

How to sell photos online
If you’re a beginning photographer who wants to sell photos online, make sure your work has a human element. Static stock photos like this one aren’t the best for reaching modern audiences.

With so many people crowding the internet, it’s also becoming more difficult for brands to get their voices heard online. So when companies are looking to start conversations in our saturated digital world, they’ll run with the most interesting snapshot: Yours.

If you’d like to democratize photography, it’s as simple as uploading your creations to Scopio’s visual platform, where selling photos online is done with a few clicks on our Scopio’s Originators portal. We help bridge the gap between your outstanding photos and the innovative companies that love to use them.

Here’s how to sell photos online with Scopio. It’s easy and fast. But most importantly, it’s immensely rewarding.

1. Make Sure Your Snapshot (Or Video) Is a Great One

There are no solid rules if you want to sell photos online, but it’s always a good idea to keep a few guidelines in mind.

Think in Thirds

It’s a common misconception that great photos must center everything (or at least a main subject) in the middle of the frame. However, things get a little more eye-catching when you go by the rule of thirds.

Just divide your frame up into three horizontal and vertical components, and place your subjects either in the crosshairs or along those lines. Viewers gravitate naturally toward shots like these.

According to an article from Photography Mad, “an off-centre composition is more pleasing to the eye and looks more natural than one where the subject is placed right in the middle of the frame. It also encourages you to make creative use of negative space, the empty areas around your subject.”

So when it comes to balance and composition, don’t be afraid to think a little differently and switch things up.

Dare to Be Different

Think about it: How many pictures of people “holding” up the Leaning Tower of Pisa have you seen on Twitter or Instagram? We’d wager more than a dozen. What about interesting shots of the building itself or the landscape around it? Just a few, right?

The shot below exemplifies this. It’s not your typical photo of Pisa, and it puts more of a focus on the gorgeous art and architecture of the structure. Bonus points if you realized that it also follows the rule of thirds!

If you seriously want to sell photos online, just know that your favorite companies aren’t just looking for user-generated images. They’re searching for something that’s also visually striking.

That doesn’t mean that you should never take those cliché tourist shots — just that it’s a good idea to promote your most eye-catching, memorable photos and videos.

Don’t Sacrifice Quality

Companies tend to choose photos that are crisp, colorful and clean. So whether you’re choosing a photo to sell or snapping a new one, ensure that the camera is focused completely on your subject and that the photo has enough color and light.

And if you plan to sell photos online regularly, it never hurts to invest in a high-quality camera phone such as the iPhone 7 or the much-awaited Samsung Galaxy S8. On the other hand, you don’t necessarily have to use your phone to take pictures, even though it is a pocket-sized convenience. Many Instagram and Twitter photographers use DSLRs, like the one below. You just have to go through the extra work of sending these pictures to your phone if you’d like to post them on Instagram, since posting on the app is restricted to mobile for now.

For those looking to polish their digital presence and expand their camera collections, the Canon EOS Rebel T5i, Pentax K-s2 and Nikon D3300 and D3400 are great quality cameras that are great for beginners, as they won’t break the bank.

2. Sell Photos Online with Scopio’s Originators Portal

When we launched our direct upload site, our goal was to make it a breeze for avid photographers to sell photos online.

That’s why there are no hidden fees or account signups to worry about when you upload your work to Scopio. Everything is completely free and astoundingly easy, and there’s no competing with other photographers. If you’re curious, you can check it out here.

To contribute to Scopio’s digital library, simply upload your photos in bulk (or by individual URLs), type out some relevant keywords, select a category and fill in your contact information. We’ll make sure companies see your work, and we’ll also let you know if they use it.

With the exception of nonprofit- and live event-type clients, we pay Scopio photographers per use for their work. That means that if your photo is used five separate times by a company, you’ll get five times the payment amount. Pretty sweet, right? We try to pay each of our photographers within 30 days of selling their work to companies.

We usually arrange payments through Venmo, but can make exceptions when the app isn’t available in your country. Just email if this is the case for you.

3. Keep on Creating

When you’re selling photos online, it doesn’t have to be a one-and-done experience. It’s likely that you have a natural knack for photography or videography and can sell more.

Make sure to keep your camera of choice on you at all times, and learn how to protect your tools. After all, professional photographers do this, too. You really never know when you’ll run into a beautiful, interesting or once-in-a-lifetime moment, so keep your eyes open and your camera charged and ready.

Once you capture those new snapshots, be sure to upload them onto our platform to be considered by even more companies. One day, you might just be paid 30 times a day for pictures you created on a whim.

Scopio is the industry’s premier search and licensing platform for images and videos on social media. We help companies find and use the photos and videos that matter to their audience, from capturing content to evaluating the performance of their new campaigns. Wondering about what we can do for you?  Just email for more information. We’d love to field your questions. Featured photo by charlottehuiying/Instagram.

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