I have always loved photography, but have, only recently, become serious about it. Two years ago, I bought a new Dslr camera and a couple nice lenses, and started reading everything I could about taking great pictures. Before long, I was starting to notice that the quality of my photos was improving. That is when I started to think about how I could make money with some of my better shots.
I started out on the stock photography websites. I submitted several different photos to a couple of the sites I found online. Some of my photos were rejected, but a few of them were accepted. I had been warned to expect a lot of rejection at first, and to not let it discourage me. So I continued on, working on my photography and trying to make the needed improvements. What I learned about stock photography, though, is that my style of photography does not suit most of their needs. Their needs are more commercial, and the photos must be well thought out to give a certain message. I am just too busy in other areas of my life right now to take the time to get quality stock photos, so I started looking for other ways to get my photography to earn money.
If you are interested in trying stock photography, some good sites to start on are Jupiter Images and iStockphoto. There are many more out there, but this will give you a good start.
Soon after that, I discovered RedGage. RedGage is a site that will pay you for views on your photos and articles. They pay $.60 per 1,000 views, which can come rather quickly if you make friends on the site and promote on sites like Twitter and Stumbleupon. I joined up with them in January, 2011, and to date, I have earned almost $200. I love the community at RedGage. I have met many great photographers and writers, and can sincerely say that my time on there has helped me to learn so much about working online. My problem with RedGage is that they are very slow to pay. So far, I have been paid most everything I have earned on their site, but it can take months to get that money. If you don’t mind waiting to be paid, and you would like to promote your work and meet some great people, RedGage may be worth your time.
Early in August, I joined Gather. Gather is similar to RedGage in that they pay for your photos and content. They do not reveal their formula for points, and from my understanding, their formula changes often. That is to prevent users from abusing the system. In about three months, I have earned $80 on the site. I like their method of payment. You can choose payment to your PayPal account, or you can order gift cards to different stores. Payment generally gets to you about one month after your order goes in, so I feel the site is very dependable.
Zazzle is another good site. I have heard of people who are willing to put in the work, getting to the point of being able to make a regular and good income on Zazzle. You use your photos to design items like Tshirts, posters, mugs, and such. When the item sells, you receive a portion of the profits. I have an account on Zazzle, and have sold one postcard. I know this is because I have not put in the time necessary to do well on the site, though. My son, however, is making about $40 per month using Zazzle.
There are many other sites that can help you earn money with your photography. I have listed only the ones with which I have personal experience. If you have experience with other sites, leave me a comment and let me know. I would love to find more dependable sites.