iStock Review – How to Sell Photos on iStock

iStock ReviewWhy not make some money selling some of your favorite photos on iStock. In this iStock review, we take a look at how to sell photos on iStock.

Yes, you can sell stock photos online and make extra money. It’s easy.

And the best thing about selling stock photos is, once you’ve taken the photos and uploaded to iStock, it becomes passive income and you can get on doing what you love while earning  money in your sleep.

OK, maybe it’s not that easy, but letting someone else sell your photo totally makes sense, doesn’t it?

Let’s learn a little more about iStock

iStock Review

What is iStock?

iStock is a stock photo repository that sells your photos to people from around the world. In recent years, it was purchased by GettyImages and combined they are the largest players in the stock photo arena.

But iStock doesn’t just sell stock photography. They also sell videos, illustrations and audio.

They have been in this business for over 15 years and have a massive client base and a website that boasts millions of yearly views.

iStock is the place to be if you are serious about selling stock photography online.

How Does iStock Work?

When people are looking for stock photos for their advertising, books, or websites, they turn to a website like iStock to find that perfect image.

You simply type in a few keywords and iStock searches their database to return the most relevant images.

If you see what you like, you purchase some iStock credits and then can freely download the photo, without any ongoing Royalty fees.

You are essentially paying a royalty up front.

It’s really that easy, and if you want a lot of images you can purchase a subscription that allows you a monthly quota of image downloads.

Let’s take a look at the iStock review video…


How to Sell Photos on iStock

How to Sell Photos on iStock

#1 Join the Community

First you’ll need to become a community member and it will only take a minute to join. It’s a bit like signing up with any website as they just need a few contact details.

#2 Apply to be A Contributor

During the application process, you’ll need to choose the file type(s) you are interested in selling

  • Photos
  • Illustrations
  • Video
  • Audio

And then read the manual of terms and conditions that are associated with each file type.

So if you want to just Sell Stock Photos then just read that particular manual.

Once, you’ve fully understood what you need to do to become a contributor then take the quiz.

The quiz is only short, and will prove that you’ve understood what you just read.

#3 Submit Samples of Your Work

If you get past the quiz, you are then ready to submit samples of your work.

You need to submit 3 sample photos, and these will be used to judge if your quality is up to the iStock standard, so make sure you send your very best work.

iStock review your photos and then you wait for an assessment to be completed on your photos.

But don’t worry, they have over 160,000 contributors so iStock isn’t a scam, they just want the best quality stock photos for their website.

#4 What does iStock Pay?

First, you need to understand that you only get paid if someone purchases and downloads your photos.

If they do, you get a 15% base royalty rate, but you can earn more money the more stock photos you sell, so make sure you add as many high-quality photos as you can.

Here is a summary of the iStock Royalty rates for 2016

iStock Royalty Rates

And as you can see, the more you sell, the more you earn in commissions. Even more, if your images are exclusively on iStock.

Now these percentages are based on the fee iStock charges for downloads, and this varies depending on the subscription the customer might be on.

For instance, if the customer just wants just one photo, they’ll pay around $10, which means you’ll get $1.50 commission, but if they buy credit packs or have a subscription you will earn less money.

So that’s the basics on how to sell photos on iStock.

I’ll be covering how to sell stock photos more generally, in a future post, so don’t forget to check back regularly.

iStock Referral Program

iStock do have a referral program that is run by GettyImages, but at the time of writing this iStock Review I could access their website. Here’s the program link so you can check it out when it’s back up.


Hopefully, you’ve learnt a little more about how to sell photos on iStock, and as I mentioned I’ll be covering this in more detail at a future time. Although the idea of selling stock photos sounds great, you’ll need something a little special to stand out from the crowd.

The iStock database has literally millions of stock photos and it’s growing daily. So make sure you create unique photos, and use the tagging section wisely, as this is essentially used in the iStock search engine.

Selling stock photos, on a site like iStock, won’t make you rich, but after submitting them, it becomes another passive income stream, so who doesn’t what extra money trickling in.

Potential Earnings: 5-MONEYBAGS


Time Required: 1+ Hours

15 minute time blocks

Thanks for taking the time to read this iStock Review and if you have any questions, come and find me on Twitter @365waysto and I’ll see if I can help. Otherwise, take a look around and discover some of the best ways to make money online.