In today’s review, we’re diving into how you can make money by selling photos you take with your smartphone or camera. The platform we’re focusing on is EyeEm, and I’m going to walk you through the ins and outs. And, don’t worry as you don’t have to be a pro to get started.
Companies and individuals use EyeEm to buy high-resolution photos for their projects.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer; even beginners can benefit from this platform. So, if you’ve got a smartphone or camera and some basic photography skills, you’re good to go.
If you have some photography skills, this can be a neat way to cash in.
With that being said, let’s take a gander as to what the app can do and how you can cash in. As always, I’m 100% honest, only recommending what I feel is worth your time.
EyeEm is a Berlin-based platform. It claims to fall between the categories of a photo-sharing site and a stock photography site. You can share your photos freely, and if their AI thinks your image is good, it might get sold. To put it simply, EyeEm is a marketplace where people pay for the right to use your photos. And, your payments come in the form of royalties, meaning you make money whenever someone buys a “license” to use your photo. You can make this a passive income stream because once your photos are up, they can keep making money without you doing much else.
For example, when you search for something on the site, you’ll find a wide range of quality images. Some are absolutely stunning, while others are fairly basic. But here’s the thing—every image has a price, usually starting at around $99. And when someone purchases your image, you’ll earn a share of the price. This can give you an idea as to what you can potentially make.
Not only can you sell individual photos, but you can also offer them in bundles. The more photos in a bundle, the bigger the discount for the buyer. So, your image could be a part of a 10-photo pack, for example, selling for $279, and you’d earn a share of that amount.
The app and website are supposed to do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. They use artificial intelligence to automatically tag your uploaded photos, which saves a ton of time.
How Much Can You Make?
Your earnings depend on a few things: the quality of your work and the type of license you sell. But the good news is you don’t need fancy gear to succeed. Modern smartphones take excellent photos, and there are tons of free editing apps to polish your images. So you’re pretty much set to go with just your phone.
To give you an idea, a photo can sell for various prices, like $20, $50, or even $250. However, you don’t get to keep all that money because EyeEm takes a cut, but you still make a good amount. The more licenses you sell, the more you’ll earn each month. You also keep the copyright to your photos, which is a big plus.
For example, one YouTuber uploaded around 2,600 photos to the app, and they accepted 2,200 of them, giving them an 85% success rate. Of those 745 were accepted by Getty. Unfortunately, these accepted photos didn’t earn her all that much. Another person on Reddit only made $4 selling 21 photos.
If you want to do well, pick a couple of topics you’re really passionate about, like landscapes or pets, and focus on them. And remember, this is a numbers game: the more quality photos you upload, the higher your chances of making sales. Be original, respectful, and steer clear of spamming if you want to keep your account.
A lot of people dive into sites like these but get frustrated and quit soon after. Some think they’ll make big bucks quickly, which just isn’t realistic. Others enter the scene acting like they’re top-notch photographers just because they’ve won an online contest or two. But these sites have their own set of standards, so many people lose interest and stop contributing.
Lastly, if you find that your photos aren’t getting sold, don’t panic. Consistency is key. Keep uploading regularly, use descriptive keywords, and stay up-to-date with what’s trending through the IEM blog.
And, as a bonus tip, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
There are other platforms where you can also sell your photos. They have different licensing models, so you can diversify your income sources.
Getting Your Photos Approved
Now, you might wonder, “Why aren’t my photos getting approved?”
Well, the app is very selective about what they accept to maintain high quality and relevance. They want images that reflect current market trends and meet certain quality standards. If your photos aren’t getting approved, it’s not the end of the world. Keep practicing and upload new images regularly.
If you have questions or run into issues, there’s a comprehensive FAQ section on the website that can help clarify things for you. And if you’re wondering how to get your images more exposure, make sure to use keyword-rich descriptions when uploading. There are also special ‘missions’ or competitions, and you can collaborate with other photographers to get your work seen by a larger audience.
For even more convenience, there’s a mobile app available for both Android and iOS devices. It has a pretty solid reputation with good reviews, making the process of uploading your photos a breeze. You can take pictures right on your phone and upload them directly via the app, simplifying the whole process.
You’ll get your earnings through PayPal, so you’ll need a verified PayPal account. There might be some delays in payments, but they’re working on fixing that. You can upload your photos using their app or through a web uploader. And guess what? There’s no lengthy application process. Just sign up, and you can start uploading right away.
What People Are Saying
Everyone seems pretty unhappy with this platform, especially when it comes to payments. A common issue is that contributors have requested their earnings but haven’t received them, even after a long wait. The customer service appears to be unresponsive, making it even more frustrating for users. Many mention that since a new company took over the platform, things have gone downhill, with delays in payouts and a lack of communication.
People are also complaining about not being able to delete their accounts or photos. Some mentioned that they were able to make money in the past, but things have drastically changed for the worse. Overall, there’s a strong sentiment that the platform is scamming its users by not paying them while still selling their photos. The reviews suggest that you might want to avoid using this platform for selling your pictures.
The reviews weren’t all that great, but it is backed by a reputable name. These are just some red flags to be aware of.
Should I Join?
While EyeEm seems like a great platform to sell your photos, there are some things to consider. You can participate in ‘missions,’ but I haven’t tried that, so I can’t speak to how good that is. EyeEm’s regular marketplace seems promising based on my experience.
Another perk is that you can upload your pics using cloud services like Google Drive, making the process really quick. But be careful with the automated keyword suggestions—they’re often off-mark.
The tricky part is about the commissions from Getty. EyeEm says you get 50% of what Getty pays them. However, Getty usually pays contributors just 20% of the sale price, meaning you’re likely to get just 10%. And even that 10% isn’t as much as you might think, because Getty often offers huge discounts to its customers.
So, in short, selling your photos through EyeEm, and by extension Getty, can make you some money, but don’t expect to strike it rich.
If you think stock photography is an easy way to make a buck, you might need to rethink that. A lot of people feel it’s a tough market nowadays.
Well, there are tons of photos available for pretty much any keyword you can think of, and the prices for these photos have taken a dive. Plus, you’ve got free stock photo websites like Unsplash and Pixabay making things even harder.
But don’t lose hope just yet as some folks suggest that you could try a different approach.
For example, focus on specific industries that are not saturated and could really use quality stock photos. Think of areas like the metal industry where there’s a lot of money but not many great stock photos. You could reach out to companies in these sectors, offer to take pictures for them for a reasonable fee, and also get permission to use those photos on stock platforms after removing any branding.
However, let’s be real.
The general consensus is that stock photography isn’t what it used to be. The demand for stock photos hasn’t really grown, but the supply has exploded. This makes it harder for you to make money from it. Some even say it’s better to get paid upfront for photography gigs instead of relying on stock photo sales.
In the past, you could make a decent income from stock photos. Some people reported earning around $400 to $700 per month just from smaller sites a decade ago. But things changed, especially after Google altered its search algorithm, affecting the visibility of smaller stock photo agencies. Some platforms, like this one, might still offer opportunities, but you’ll need to be strategic and disciplined to really make it worthwhile.
So if you’re thinking about diving into the world of stock photography, maybe also consider developing your skills in specialized areas or setting up a professional photography business to have a more stable income.
In the end, EyeEm is just one of the many platforms that can make you money, however, don’t expect riches overnight. This is one just to add to your list if you want to sell your photos.
That’s going to do it for now.
As always, if you want to comment on your experience, feel free to leave your thoughts below.
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