How to Make Money Selling Photos of Yourself

One of the best parts of earning from home is that there is really no shortage of fun ways to make money. Case in point? You can actually make money selling photos of yourself!

Yep, believe it or not, there will people who will pay you cash for photos with you in them. I was super intrigued when I heard this, so I decided to investigate this extra earning opportunity further.

As I was researching, I found a lot of confusing information, like people telling you to build a blog or start a YouTube channel in order to make money selling photos of yourself. Others advocating using sites or apps that weren’t really useful to people looking to sell photos. That’s pretty confusing and not what I think most people are looking for.

If you’re looking for legit and easy ways to make money selling photos, you’re in the right spot. Here’s what I found about this money-making opportunity.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. 

Selling Photos of Yourself – Selfies

Selfies have been popular for a while now, but now big brands and businesses are realizing that they can leverage the popularity of this social media art form to bring attention to themselves.

Have you ever participated in something and been asked to submit your #selfie?

For instance, the last time I went to give blood and checked in on the American Red Cross app, I was encouraged to take a selfie and post it on social media (presumably with the idea of encouraging others to donate). Taking pictures of yourself to promote awareness and boost brand engagement is becoming a very popular marketing tactic.

While influencers hold the biggest market share of getting paid for selfies, you don’t need to have thousands of followers to make money this way. Some of the sites below connect regular people (non-influencers) with brands who are willing to pay for selfies that represent the brand in some way or depict it in a positive light.

Selling Photos of Yourself – Stock Photos

Posing for a selfie isn’t the only way to make money selling photos of yourself, at least not in the traditional sense. You can also make money through stock photo sites that purchase user photos.

With this method, your photos will be less casual than selfies, and more curated to have a professional look. You can still take photos of yourself, but for the best results you’ll want these photos to show you doing something.

The best way to understand what’s popular is to head to one of the stock photo sites listed below and browse photos with people in them.

What are they doing, and what makes them stand out?

For these photos, you’ll want to enlist the help of someone who can take photos of you. If you don’t have a friend who can act as your photographer, at the very least you’ll need to use a tripod with a timer, like the one we recommend below.

These sites pay for more than just pictures of yourself. Also check out Get Paid to Take Pictures: 15 Easy Ways to Make Money With Your Photos.

Top Websites That Pay You For Photos of Yourself

how to make money taking photos of yourself

Whether you want to focus on making extra cash with candid selfies or you’re more interested in selling curated stock photos of yourself, it’s definitely possible to earn some extra cash this way. Check out these top sites to get started.

1) Shutterstock

Shutterstock is a well-known stock photo site that accepts high-quality images. As a creator, you’ll submit any photos of yourself and then get paid when your content is downloaded. Earnings will vary greatly depending on whether or not your image was downloaded as part of a monthly subscription or an on-demand purchase.

Your lifetime earnings also play a role in how much you’re paid. Click here to find a great chart breaking down the price guidelines. In general, though, you can expect to make between $.25 and $2.48 every time your image is sold.

2) iStock / Getty Images

Photo curator Getty Images has a corresponding stock photo site called iStock Photos. If you want to make money with this website, you’ll need to first qualify as a contributor. To do this, submit your best-quality photos.

If you get accepted, you’ll receive money every time someone downloads one of your photos. Royalty rates start at 15 percent of the purchase price.

3) Visual Society

Anyone can upload photos to Visual Society, which is more an online marketplace than a stock photo site. As the photographer, you can set your own price and keep 100 percent of the proceeds, with the understanding that the photos may be used for commercial use.

4) Dreamstime

Dreamstime is another reputable stock photo site that will pay you for quality images, including those you take of yourself. Like its companion stock sites, the payout will determine on factors like licensing, exclusivity, and downloads, however, you can expect to receive anywhere from 25 percent to 50 percent commission for each download.

5) Pay Your Selfie

Pay Your Selfie does just what the name implies – pays you for selfie photos. This smartphone app connects users with brands who will pay for user images.

Typically, you’ll receive compensation for completing various challenges that require you to take pictures of yourself doing different things. Compensation usually ranges between $.20 and $1.00.

6) Scoopshot

Scoopshot is an app available for both iPhone and Android. On this platform, you’ll simply upload selfies as you see fit. If someone is interested in purchasing your photo, you’ll get paid. You can also participate in one of the many photo contests or paid tasks available on the app.

7) PicFair

PicFair is user friendly and easy to navigate. Simply upload your photos – including those of yourself – and set your own price.

PicFair adds a flat commission of 20 percent onto each image you sell, which is added to the buyer’s total price. This is nice for you because as a seller, the price you set is the amount you’ll receive when someone purchases your photo.

8) Alamy

Alamy is a photo platform that loves to showcase real people doing real things. This makes it the perfect market for anyone looking to sell photos of themselves.

Alamy doesn’t edit the content they put up for sale, which means that anyone can sell anything. If you list your images exclusively on this platform, they’ll pay you 50 percent of all direct sales; those images that are non-exclusive receive a 40 percent payout.

Tips for Taking Quality Photos of Yourself

Submitting high quality photos is the best way to make money selling photos of yourself. The reasoning is pretty simple – when you take good photos, people will want to buy them.

If you’re doing this on your own, there are things you can do to improve the look of your pictures. Here are some top tips for making your photos look their best:

  • Keep the camera as far away from you as possible. The best way to do this is to use a selfie stick, like the one recommended below.
  • Use a tripod. If you don’t have a selfie stick (or you want a more curated photo), and you’re taking these photos yourself, a tripod is a must.
  • Hold the camera a bit above you. The angle looking down is always far more flattering than one looking up.
  • Consider the landscape. What’s behind you and around you? Don’t forget that these things will be in the background.
  • Consider the lighting. It’s hard to get a good picture with dim lighting or lots of shadows. Natural light found outdoors is always best, and the morning sun or evening sun generally offer soft lighting which brings out the best in photos.
  • Use a timer. Rather than trying to struggle with snapping the picture while you’re posing, a timer is essential. There are lots of wireless remotes now too that connect with your smartphone with the push of a button.

The One Tool You’ll Need to Take Better Selfies

If you notice the tips above, keeping the camera both far away from you and steady are two very important components to taking good pictures. If you’re going to do that a good selfie stick and/or a tripod is a must.

Luckily, you can get both these things in one package. This selfie stick and tripod combo is a relatively inexpensive way to help you take good-looking photos. I like this one because with the combo, there’s no need to make several different purchases. Plus, it’s easy to control with a wireless remote.

Check it out to see if it’s compatible with your phone.

Final Thoughts with Making Money Taking Photos of Yourself

I’ll be honest – you won’t get rich taking photos of yourself, and you won’t make enough to retire from your day job. In fact, unless you’re really dedicated to taking a lot of high-quality photos and selling them on a variety of platforms, you’ll probably only make some pocket change.

But, it’s always a good idea to have multiple income streams, especially when you’re finding ways to make extra cash each month. When you combine taking photos with other ways to make money, like taking surveys or participating in focus groups, you have the opportunity to make a significant income with your side hustles.

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