5 Amazing Ways to Make Passive Income From Your Photos and Videos

Calling all semi-professional photographers and weekend warrior drone fliers! We have a Passive Income Method here for you! Have you been searching for ways to increase your profitability within your own photography business? Or maybe you enjoy taking pictures or videos and are maybe looking to start making some money in a new income stream.

In this blog post we are going to discuss 5 ways you can start building a passive income stream using the photos and videos you already have on your computer, and ways you can link your website for other people to find them!

  1. Sell your Photo’s & Videos to a Stock Photo Site- This is about one of the easiest passive income stream options we have found yet! There are several stock photo and video sites out there that are looking for contributors to add to their collections and how it works is really simple.  You sign up to be a contributor and upload your photos and videos. If anyone decides to use them for a website, video, email or any other type of content, you get paid! That is really about as passive as you get. Now there are other ways to market yourself to ensure that your photos get picked more but we’ll get into that part shortly.
  2. Spread your Products Through Multiple Websites – While this may seem incredibly simple, I know as I’ve been building this product it’s been easy to get on one thing and put on the blinders. Make sure you take the time to find as many of these websites as possible and spread your products around. Don’t limit yourself to just one site. We will have a list of sites below to help you choose your best option!
  3. Refer Others to Sell Their Photos and Earn a Commission- If you build up a network of others who also enjoy photography, you can earn referral commissions. Shutterstock offers $.04 on referred picture downloads and 10% of sale price of referral video clips… I want you to think about that. You don’t take the pictures, you don’t upload, all you do is refer someone to upload, and you make the money off of it. Sounds pretty passive to me.
  4. Use Your Website to Promote Their Stock Photo Site – This is going into the affiliate marketing side of things but it’s still another way for you to make that extra money! If you have a website for your own photography business, you can add in special links directing people to their site to find more of your images to use. This is a great way to build your brand if you’re a small local photographer, but it also opens up an extra income stream. If they find your photos, you earn. But also, you’ll receive a commission from the website if they sign up to be a customer to use their site. Right now again, Shutterstock.com is paying 20% of the customers first purchase up to $200. It doesn’t take many for that to become a meaningful part of your business. If you don’t have a website yet, it’s super easy and we’ve provided a great deal from hostgator to get your started inexpensively and easily. WordPress is also super easy to get started with.
  5. Target Niche Advertising – This is another marketing technique for commission but it’s still a great way to use this photos to help you sell more. When looking for photos to upload, think into different niche’s and sub-niche’s that you can target and build curated content for those niche’s. Companies use these photos for their websites and content. If you take the time to build those curated collections, you’ll have a better chance of selling them more consistently. There are already a gazillion pictures of a palm tree, but what about pictures you can relate back to teachers or local rec sports, or birdwatching. Selling to a particular niche will make you easier to find and you’ll most definitely sell more.

Now that we have your eyes open to the possibilities of selling your stock photos or videos, it’s time to spread your wings and find some great places to get to selling. Remember, don’t sit on this info once you have it. At the end of the day, the only way to start making those extra streams of income is to get up and move.

I took the time to find a handful and do some comparisons, but wow, there are ton of these sites available so take the time and do your own research as well. Below you’ll find a list of the Top 4 that I found publish your content on.

  1. Shutterstock.com – Now in full disclosure, we have become an affiliate for Shutterstock.com, but there’s a reason. For me it was the most impressive and touched on all of the points we saw above. They have a large customer base, as well other sites that tie back to their original like bigstockphoto.com. Additionally, they have an affiliate program you can earn from, a referral program you can earn from and they sell both photos AND videos.
  2. Adobe Stock  Everyone on this planet knows Adobe, the creates of Acrobat and Photoshop. But did you know that you can sell your photos on their platform? Adobe has the largest customer base as their products span the photo and video market in so many different ways. This makes it a great opportunity to sell your photos at a higher level. The downside to Adobe is I couldn’t find any affiliate or referral programs so you’re limited to the types of ways you can make money with this partnership.
  3. iStockPhotos.com – iStock is a Canadian company that sells your content through different media. They own gettyimages.com and photos.com and offer an affiliate program. It appears to be a smaller operation overall but they do boast having a consistent customer base of about 1.5 million. Being a smaller operation may also give your photos a better chance of consistently selling. While they have the affiliate program, I couldn’t find anything on a referral program to earn from.
  4. VideoBlocks.com – VideoBlocks.com, as the name suggests focuses much more on video content that photos, however they had much higher commissions, some sitting as high as 50% for their contributors. If you have high quality content, especially drone content capturing hard to get footage, this is a great option to sell to. Only downfall I saw is though they have the higher commissions, I again couldn’t find any affiliate program or referral program so it’s another one stream option in this space.

While we didn’t go crazy in-depth in this article, there are tons other resources at your fingertips. Below we found two books to get your started on how to step by step start earning money by selling your books online.


Now if you’re a photographer or videographer and you have other great recommendations on where to sell your photos and videos, or other ways to make this a passive income stream for the rest of our readers please comment below and share! We’d love to hear more!

Also here at Operation Passive Income, we just want to thank you for readership! Please follow us here or on any of our social media’s. Find us down at the very bottom of this page!


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