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17 February, 2020 / Mon, 3:07 am

Date: 30.07.2019.

Post Your photos online

Leveraging your passions into a passive income


Upload Your Photography to Shutterstock

Leveraging your passions into a passive income is always a good idea—what’s better than earning money doing what you love? That’s what makes Shutterstock such an appealing passive income stream.

What is it?

Shutterstock is an online photo database where users everywhere can upload their photography, either for free or paid licensing by users all over the world. You might be thinking that you need to be a world-class photographer to earn money, but that’s the beauty of Shutterstock. It’s used most often by people in need of very specific photo content, not only those looking for artfully composed shots.

Think about those times when you needed to complete a project, and you had to find that random perfect picture of two people shaking hands on a bridge on a cloudy day. You probably ended up at Shutterstock.

Who is it for?

Anyone with a decent-quality camera and the most basic photography skills. Sure, being a photography expert might increase your chances of making some money from your shots. But the truth is that if you can line-up a shot without it looking like it was taken by a toddler, you have a shot of earning on Shutterstock. Like we mentioned above—the more subjects, scenes, and object variety in your shot, the better your chances of bringing in profit.

How does it pay?

Shutterstock payments are divided into earnings tiers. You’ll initially earn 25 cents each time someone downloads one of your photos, but as you earn more your per-download earnings can rise as high as 38 cents. That might seem small, but keep in mind that you can upload as many photos as you like, and members with 500 images or more can receive hundreds of downloads per month.


  • Earn money doing something that you love (assuming that you love taking photos)
  • No up-front costs, unless you consider the cost of your camera or photo-editing equipment
  • Earnings can grow the more photos you upload


  • Building your portfolio can take time before earnings begin to add up
  • The approval process can sometimes be frustrating

How to Get Started

Head to Shutterstock’s become a contributor page to learn more about their process and how to start earning money from your photos.


Related article to making money with photography:

Make money selling your iPhone/android photos with Foap

If you have a passion for photography and know how to compose a decent shot, becoming a Shutterstock contributor can lead to an impressive passive income stream. And if you love taking photos, it can be a rewarding way to earn money from one of your personal talents.