15 Options to Sell Photos Online

Photographers have a growing number of options when it comes to selling photos. Stock photography sites aren’t the only option. Many different companies have developed ways to help photographers sell their work online through their own website, and many of these options allow for the sale of both digital (downloadable) files as well as prints. Some of them even handle the printing and fulfillment for you, if that is what you’re looking for.

In this post we’ll take a look at 15 options that exist to help photographers with selling their work. Some of these options will provide the photographer with a website to display and sell the products, others can integrate with existing portfolio sites.

If you’re a photographer you have probably thought about how you can make more sales online, so maybe one of these options would be a good fit for you. If you’re a designer you may have clients who are photographers. Some of these options allow designers to create customized sites for their clients, so if you work with a lot of photographers it can be worth exploring.

Photocrati

WordPress is an extremely popular content management system, and it is ideal for photographers. While WordPress itself does not include e-commerce functionality the Photocrati theme does allow you to sell your photos. Photocrati allows you to set up your site on WordPress and you have almost complete control to customize the look and feel of the site without the need to touch any code, and you can also sell your photos with several customizable options. One of the great things about this option is that it only requires a one-time fee to purchase Photocrati, and no monthly fees like most of the other options listed here. You would still need a hosting account, but you can get inexpensive hosting from a host like Bluehost for less than $5 per month.

Photocrati

SmugMug


SmugMug gives you a customizable website to host your photos. You can choose from their selection of templates, customize it without any coding, or make changes to the CSS to fully customize the look of your site.  SmugMug sites are response, so they’ll look good on mobile phones and tablets in addition to desktops.  You can sell your photos as prints or as digital downloads. The prints can be fulfilled and shipped directly to your customers. You can upload photos to SmugMug directly from Lightroom, Aperture, iPhoto, and others. Prices range from $5 per month to $35 per month (or $40 per year to $300 per year).

SmugMug

PhotoShelter

With PhotoShelter you get to choose from one of their customizable templates. You will upload your photos to the site and visitors will be able to buy digital photos or prints. You can choose to have orders fulfilled by their lab, or you can fulfill orders yourself. Plans range from $9.99 per month to $49.99 per month.

Photoshelter

Zenfolio

Zenfolio allows you to create a portfolio site of your work. You can upload photos, create galleries, password protect galleries, and make your photos available for purchase. For e-commerce, you can choose from different labs to fulfill your orders, or you can fulfill them yourself. Prices range from $25 per year to $250 per year, with a 14-day free trial available.

Zenfolio

Fotomoto

Fotomoto is different than the other options listed here. With Fotomoto you get a widget that integrates with your existing website that allows you to sell photos. They handle the product fulfillment for you. Pricing is a combination of a monthly fee ($0 – $25 per month) and a transaction fee (22% – 10%).

Fotomoto

Collages.net

Collages.net allows you to create websites for your events (like weddings) where customers can view and purchase prints from the event. You can choose between auto or manual fulfillment. It includes a discount tool that allows you to setup package pricing or other discounts to make more sales. Monthly prices range from $19 per month to $29 per month (both of those plans include unlimited galleries), or you can pay as you go at $7.99 for an event site.

Collages.net

Fotomerchant

Fotomerchant allows you to choose a website template and add a blog and galleries to your site. Each plan comes with unlimited storage and hosting so you can upload as many photos and create as many galleries as you like. The websites have an integrated shopping cart to allow you to sell your work to website visitors. You can choose to fulfill orders manually, or auto order fulfillment so prints will be shipped directly to your customers. Prices start at $8 per month, but you’ll need at least the $16 per month plan to use your own domain name, opt for direct fulfillment, and to have a blog.

Fotomerchant

Exposure Manager

With Exposure Manager you will get a website to sell your photos. You can use your own domain and customize the header and footer. Upload your photos and create galleries, which can also be password protected. For selling your work, photos can be sold as digital downloads or prints. Prints can be fulfilled by their lab, or you can set it up for self fulfillment. Prices range from $14.99 to $24.99 per month.

Exposure Manager

DigiLabs

DigiLabs allows you to create photo galleries that integrate with your own website. DigiLabs can fulfill your orders or you can fulfill them yourself. You’ll also have the option to choose a plan with a flat fee or one with a commission from sales. Prices start at $40 per month.

DigiLabs

ifp3

With ifp3 you can get a website to sell your photos online. You can set up galleries (public or private) and pages to show your work. For e-commerce, the shopping cart can be set up to sell an unlimited number of products, both downloads and prints. The price is $30 per month if paid month-to-month or $16 per month if paid in advance for one year. A 10-day free trial is available.

ifp3

More Photos

With More Photos you can choose from a variety of templates and set up a website for your photos. The shopping cart will allow you to sell your photos online in digital or print format. You can use their integrated vendors to print and drop ship orders directly to your customers. Pricing starts at $19 per month, but in order to sell your work you will need to $49 per month plan.

MorePhotos

Instaproofs

Instaproofs allows you to create galleries and promote your photos from events. Customers can purchase your photos, and you’ll have them fulfilled at a lab of your choice, or you can have them fulfill the order for you. There are no setup or monthly fees. Instaproofs keeps 15% of the sale as commission.

Instaproofs

Shutterfly

Shutterfly allows you to create a gallery of your photos at their site or integrate your own website with their ordering process. They have their own lab to handle fulfillment of your orders. Prices range from $99 – $199 per year.

Shutterfly

PhotoBox

PhotoBox allows you to create customizable galleries and sell your work. Customers will be able to buy prints of various sizes plus magnets, mousepads, coasters and more. There is no cost to sell with PhotoBox, but they keep 10% of all sales as commission.

500px

500px is a popular site where you can create your own portfolio, and they also have some optional upgrades that allow you to sell your photos in their marketplace. The options for selling your photos aren’t very extensive, but for those who are already using 500px it may be a worthwhile option. Prices range from free to $75 per year.

500px

For more posts related to photography please see:

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75 Responses

Comments are now closed on this post.

  • inspirationfeed, May 20, 2011

    This is extremely helpful for beginners, thank you for sharing this info!

  • David, May 20, 2011

    Great post about ideas for selling your photography. Thanks for sharing!

  • Eric, May 20, 2011

    How could you miss http://www.collages.net !?

    • Vandelay Website Design, May 21, 2011

      Hi Eric,
      I didn’t really miss collages.net, just chose not to include it. I’m familiar with the company, have a friend that used to work there, but from what I saw they have a different approach to the sites that were included in this post. It seems like they focus on event-based sites rather than a portfolio site. Maybe they also offer portfolio sites, but from their website it doesn’t look like it.

  • PhotoBella, May 20, 2011

    Another option is http://www.shootproof.com I’ve been very happy with them so far.

  • Steve Morgan, May 21, 2011

    Thanks for your information….Keep on sharing….

  • Melody Loops, May 22, 2011

    Really great information not just for a beginners, but for an everyone who is want to make a little bit more from their photos. Good alternatives to the stock sites.

  • Jason, May 23, 2011

    Also http://www.fotoviva.co.uk sell photos by photographers although we have a different approach in that you don’t upload your pictures yourself, and we choose the images we think will sell best. This is to try and keep the quality high and ensure a better return for all concerned. We specialise in the more creative type of photography that’s suitable for interior wall art.

  • Nora Reed, May 24, 2011

    This is some thing which i never found anywhere, also beneficial for those photographer who born with photography skills but not in this profession.

  • Dot Monster, May 31, 2011

    Nice collection, I’ll be looking into this!

  • Colin, June 4, 2011

    Check out http://shootproof.com as well, they don’t take any commission on your sales and offer a free plan.

  • Toronto Web Developer, June 10, 2011

    Totally agree. Great alternative to stock sites. Thanks a bunch!

  • Pat Carrigan, August 1, 2011

    I was with photoreflect it was ok but Im not a big time computer guy I have abot 20k photos I am looking for a turnkey operation if the writer or anyone else wh can help please contact me thanks Pat Carrigan

  • tedmcstevens, September 8, 2011

    this isn’t helpful. you’re just making these companies rich. you might as well go to fine art america, at least there your artwork won’t sell like at all these places but at least you didn’t have to spend money.

    ask yourself why this website didn’t list any of the free places

    • Vandelay Website Design, September 9, 2011

      Ted,
      I couldn’t care less if I am “making these companies rich.” If they have a good product or service that helps their users they deserve to make money. The article is intended for professional photographers. Anyone who treats their business professionally will be willing to pay a small amount for a service that makes it easy and profitable for them to make more money through photo sales. This post isn’t intended for those amateur photographers who just want to share their photos without any expenses. The reason no free services were listed is because I couldn’t find any free services that can compare favorably to paid services for the intended purposes.

  • Cornell Adrian, September 17, 2011

    Do you know any template or a script which can be installed on my own domain to sell my photos? I prefer to pay an one time fee…

    • Vandelay Website Design, September 19, 2011

      Cornell,
      There are several e-commerce plugins if you are using WordPress. There are also e-commerce options on other CMSs like Expression Engine and Drupal.

  • Pablo Xavier, October 28, 2011

    Thanks for sharing!

    Does anyone know of any company that has a spanish interface so i can sell my photos from my own website??

  • Aaron, November 24, 2011

    After 5 years working in the photo selling industry and researching so many online services, I vote for what I think are the best three websites suitable for selling your event photographs: http://www.smugmug.com, http://www.zenfolio.com and http://www.bluemelon.com

    In my personal opinion, all three offer good and stable service, but have various set of features and level of customization. All offer free trial.

  • Julian, November 26, 2011

    I also wanted to let you know about the stock library at imagegate.com where you can buy and sell images online. This might be an other option to look at.

  • klaud, December 4, 2011

    Hi to all
    could you indicate a one which have also the option to sell just the file dowload for personal use (no stock)?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Vandelay Website Design, December 5, 2011

      klaud,
      Whether it is sold for personal or commercial use isn’t going to matter which system you use. That is something that you will specify in the terms or the license.

  • Bill, December 11, 2011

    I’m REALLY struggling to find a solution for a business we’re starting. I love smugmug and the others listed. But, I’m needing a service that provides the ability to sell framed photos with multiple mat openings for “letter photography.” We’re doing it on our own right now (in this test phase), but will need a professional service that is affordable if we’re going to grow. I see other letter photography businesses out there that seem to have figured it out, but my wife and I are stumped.

    Right now we’re selling via Facebook (facebook.com/abcdavis.art), mostly to friends. Can anyone offer a suggestion? Smugmug (et al) would be great, but they seem to only print/frame single images. HELP!

    • Vandelay Website Design, December 12, 2011

      Bill,
      You probably want to use a standard e-commerce platform, that will give you more flexibility than the ones intended for just selling photos prints. Check out Magento and Shopify and see if either meets your needs. You can also use content management systems like Drupal, WordPress, or ExpressionEngine for e-commerce with the right add-ons.

  • Tor Peter, December 15, 2011

    Could one of you very experienced people help me out please. After searching, searching and reading through the blogs, I still haven’t found a suitable solution to my problem. Basically, I have built my own website from scratch and am very hapy with how it looks and performs, but I would like to find an order or print fulfilment solution that can integrate with my website and fulfil orders when my customers visit, choose and order a photograph from my gallery. Can I find a service like this in the UK?

    Thank you so much.

    Regards

    • Vandelay Website Design, December 15, 2011

      Tor,
      There are some solutions like ShootProof the you can use with your own website. If you want it to integrate completely with your site you could use a general e-commerce solution like E-Junkie. You would have to fulfill orders yourself, but it could be integrated any way you like with your existing site.

  • Kay, February 22, 2012

    Does smugmug offer the chance to fufill the prints yourself? You mention this with the other sites, but I wasn’t sure with smugmug. It would be nice to be able to offer digital download, and prints fufilled from a local printer.

    • Vandelay Website Design, February 22, 2012

      Kay,
      It’s been a while since I used SmugMug. I think you may be able to set it to fulfill the orders yourself, but I can’t say for sure. If you contact SmugMug I’m sure they can answer that question for you.

  • Greg Weber, March 6, 2012

    Glad I found this list of photo management resources. A development client wants to sell her photos online and this came in right handy. Thanks!

  • sabrina, April 13, 2012

    With listed 18 options, which one is easy to setup on the back end and user friendly for the consumers?

    I have tried PhotoDeck.com but it’s hard to understand how to setup even after I watch the video tutorials. When I email them, the response was “that’s just the way HTML works”. I don’t want to or need to know how HTML works, I just need to find a right option that think of user when they design it and will work for me without knowing how HTML works.

    I think Photoshelter is on the harder/complicate side. I don’t like how SmugMug and Shutterfly looks, too consumerish looking. I haven’t try other ones but would like to know which one is easy to use so I can start with that one first.

    thanks,

    • Steven Snell, April 15, 2012

      Hi Sabrina,
      It’s hard for me to say which option would be easiest for you because I don’t know anything about your background except that you don’t know HTML. You shouldn’t need to know HTML to use most of these, but if you want advanced customization, that is where you would need to know HTML and CSS. I would say SmugMug was fairly easy if you just wanted to use one of their templates.

  • Yannick, April 18, 2012

    Is anyone aware if one of these websites offer the french language option?

  • Mike Connors, April 22, 2012

    Thank you for including us in your list and we are also honored.

    Yannick, morephotos is in French plus others.

    I did want to mention we just launched a app through Facebook, you can find it by doing a search on FB for morephotosapp. This app let you put prices on your
    facebook photos create albums, pass worded watermarks the cost is $7.95 a month.

    The Pros will still like the morephotos system better, though it might come in handy for smaller jobs or stock.

    Let me know if there is any thing we are missing,

    Thank you again
    Michael Connors
    CEO morephotos.com

    • Steven Snell, April 22, 2012

      Hi Mike,
      Thanks for the info about languages. That is good to know.

  • Video Production, SF, April 24, 2012

    How about Fotomoto? http://fotomoto.com

  • rosanna salonia, May 3, 2012

    whatever you do, DON’T USE PRINTROOM. they stole my profits and their customer service is a JOKE, at least at the FREE membership level.
    thanks for providing all these alternatives, i’ll be doing some careful studying now.

  • scott, May 15, 2012

    Another great one is http://photorankr.com. You can sell photos for free, and buying photos is really easy since you just download them straight from the site, no hassle. You also get to maintain your own copyright. No limits to the storage size or anything either. I think where it kind of beats the others is it is also a social network. You can follow other photographers and everyone has their own “Photostream” to view what is going on around the site.

  • sundowner, June 12, 2012

    Hello,

    I am an armature looking to make a little extra scratch. I have been told I should sell the pictures I take but have always felt they were almost part of me. However, times are tough and I am considering it. I am looking to just upload the images and selling however I can. Mostly outdoor, birds, animal and ocean pics. Also, some of them need to be cropped.
    Thanks for any input

    Bob

    • Steven Snell, June 12, 2012

      Hi Bob,
      For the cropping, I’d recommend that you do that in Photoshop or some other photo editing software. As as selling the photos, check out the options listed in this post to see what suits your needs the best. Finding the right fit for you would depend on the number of photos you want to sell, the price of the various options to allow you to sell that many photos, if you need a website template, if you want to fulfill orders yourself or have a lab take care of that, etc.

  • Mick Hudson, June 20, 2012

    So glad you’re here. GoDaddy support is very deceptive about this:
    I have only an iPad 2. I edit and retouch and send my Nikon D-90 images with nothing else. BayPhoto makes the prints.
    Is there ANY site for displaying them for sale, that will allow me to upload from the iPad?
    I want to use Authorize.net for quick payment.

  • Mick Hudson, June 20, 2012

    Question 2:
    Can you put up photos on all these sites with a Mac? Or does the use of Flash force you to use a PC from Microsoft?

  • Steven Snell, June 21, 2012

    Mick,
    Each company is going to be different in terms of their process for uploading photos. I don’t know for sure which ones would have issues on an iPad, so my recommendation is to find one that you like and see if their upload system will work on an iPad (if it doesn’t say so on their site, contact them and ask). If you are used to working with BayPhoto I would start by looking at SmugMug since their system integrates with BayPhoto.

  • Luke, June 26, 2012

    Another one to checkout that isn’t on the list is Photography Orders http://www.photographyorders.com

  • Art, July 9, 2012

    To answer Klauds’ question about personal use, I’ve used Winkflash for years. They have quick turn around, and great Giclee prints. I have also taken photos of a friend’s paining, and had them reproduce it on canvas. The result was remarkable.
    Their smaller photos are cheap enough that it is easy to go through several rounds of proofs if you need to before ordering something large.

  • Jon, July 11, 2012

    Another is PhotoStore from Ktools.net http://www.ktools.net/photostore/

    What’s nice about PhotoStore is that it gets installed on your own hosting space and you run your own photo selling site instead of using a service like many of these others do. There are no commission fees and you can run your site and set your prices however you would like.

  • Tomas, July 27, 2012

    Just an FYI – Morephotos has another option – even for those that do not have a website of their own yet. They have a Facebook App that can be set up on your free Facebook Page. It is free to test and only 6.95 per month to get more space. Everything but the taking of the pictures is done for you. They handle the credit cards, they handle the shipping, they handle it all. AND GET THIS – it keeps your clients right in Facebook! No annoying link that takes them to some other site. That way the images can be shared and when someone views that share, they are taken right back to your Facebook Page.

  • Dean Rither, July 30, 2012

    Hi, the more I read about stock houses the more confused I become. I’m eighty one, not very computer literate. I’ve been in the photo busyness for 36 years. I have about 400 images ready to sell, (of many types, landscapes, flowers, people, nudes and many others) and more to get ready. I have very little money, and at 81 a limited time. My work is pretty good, what should I do? DEAN

  • Adrian Ellis, August 18, 2012

    Another powerful option would be http://www.stockboxphoto.com.

    Our software provides an affordable solution for photographers to display and sell their work online. A full featured SEO optimized online gallery maker and digital asset manager. A one time license fee and no commission on sales!

    Adrian Ellis
    Partner – Stockbox Photo

  • Scott, September 19, 2012

    ImageQuix is another option, the main difference I have found is that they work with green screen photography. you can upload the photo and different backgrounds and allow your client to view and select the one they want. I would realy like to find a solution for showing green screen photos on my own website, any ideas on that or other services that support green screen. By the way my clients have realy liked being able to select there background and I think this would be something great for all portrait photographers to look into.

    Thanks

  • Peter Bryenton, September 24, 2012

    Helpful article and comments, thank you.

  • Alice, November 7, 2012

    PhotorankR was very accessible and looked nice but I could not find even a single photo that had been sold even once! Nobody had purchased even top ranked photos!

  • jafar, December 17, 2012

    i recently used http://www.easemysell.com and gumroad.com both website are very simple and easy to use , one can sell his digital content from the portal and collect money as well

  • Mert, December 20, 2012

    I have been using Smugmug for a year. They just upped their price on the Pro account and changed the format for pricing the products/prints. The new way doesn’t work for me. Also the customer service hasn’t answered one of my questions about the new changes. They are responding to my questions by such things as “you must be confused” it has been highly annoying and time consuming for me to email the questions I have and get no answers. No Phone support! DON’T USE SMUGMUG!!!

  • Nancy Young, December 25, 2012

    Great tips, thank you for sharing! Here is another money-boosting hint from me: go browse those stocks to find the pictures with most downloads and try to guess what makes them top sellers. This will work out for sure :)
    By the way, here is one more good article on related topic: http://photodoto.com/how-to-sell-photos-online/ feel free to check it out!

  • Natalya, January 11, 2013

    Thanks for your great help

  • Jennifer V, February 22, 2013

    I am currently handling all marketing etc for a school and am trying to find a site that offers a % of sales back to the school. We professionally shoot all events at school and want to post all photos online for parents to easily access and purchase photos, etc. I thought shutterfly would work but it requires an annual fee and I’m not sure they are the best solution. We will constantly be promoting whatever service we use and require parents use that specific company’s services to download, print, make a mug, etc ,,,so I was hoping there was a simple online solution that would give a % back to the school for promoting their services and products consistently to their target market. Any suggestions? Thank you!
    Jen

    • Steven Snell, February 22, 2013

      Hi Jennifer,
      That’s kind of a different situation than what we were covering here. I’m not really sure what would be the best fit for you. You may want to look into something like CafePress.

  • Ray R. Morawski, February 23, 2013

    1. Any recommendations of what equipment to use to print your own canvas prints? I am living in Peru, and the cost of canvas prints in the U.S. or shipping costs from China are not helpful with the prices people can afford here.
    2. There are so many choices listed in the article. I specialize in landscape, seascape, sunsets and flowers. Which of the various sites would be a better selection? I have never tried to sell on a website such as those listed.

  • Emily Walters, March 14, 2013

    What about http://www.PhotoStockPlus.com and http://www.PhotoEventPlus.com

    They have amazing customer service and helpful tools.

  • Dave Johnson, April 10, 2013

    Severe amature photographer here with limited computer skills. Any recommendations that would provide a quick easy setup. After reading the remarks, I agree that any photographer that is looking to make a go of it is willing to pay a little. Free sites scare the heck out of me because they are usually very difficult to work with.

    • Steven Snell, April 11, 2013

      Dave,
      It’s been about 2 years since I gave SmugMug a test run, but I think you could set it up without much technical trouble.

  • Vera, April 12, 2013

    Hello and thanks so much for all the comments and advice! I’ve been wanting to set up a photography selling website, but I have numerous questions just because I’m a noob. For fulfilling, I am pretty sure what most people mean is that when an order is purchased, it would mean fulfilling it such as prints and mailing correct? My biggest question though is in regards to watermarks and copyright – do we place our own watermark on the images (like with Lightroom) or can we just upload the images and the website will refrain from people right-clicking and copying the image directly and printing it themselves?

    Also, would you recommend that we do a test print of our own images to see how they would print out as prints? Sometimes after editing, it can look great on screen but complete crap on canvas depending on the medium that it is printed out on.

    Thank you again! This is a fabulous resource!

    • Steven Snell, April 13, 2013

      Vera,
      Yes, in most cases order fulfillment would include processing, printing, and shipping, but you would need to check the details with whatever company or service you are using. On the watermark and right clicking issue, that would vary from one service to the next so you would need to consider that when deciding what option to use. Yes, I would recommend a test print. Some labs, like Bay Photo which you can use through SmugMug, will do a manual color correction or testing to help avoid bad prints. Also, calibrating your monitor can help here.

  • Wendy, April 14, 2013

    Thank you for Ll this possibilities.

  • Soltan Smith, May 12, 2013

    Great article – it’s always difficult to sell photos online, but I’ve found that a mix b/w promoting on social media and posting on stock sites generally works the best. That’s why I love using and selling on this new photography platform called PhotoRankr (http://www.photorankr.com that is). It’s by far the easiest way to get candid feedback and sell your work (along with your own domain, for free!!) all at the same time. HIGHLY recommend y’all check it out sometime…

  • addixon, June 10, 2013

    What about Getty Images?

  • Bill Smith, June 17, 2013

    Very useful! Thanks! I use http://www.artystockphotos.com/ to sell my photographs and illustrations because they have a special facility for xLarge (3600 pixels W/H) and xxLarge (4000 pixels or more W/H) images they allow contributor to fix there own price.

  • Robert Bowling, June 18, 2013

    Thanks for this compilation and interesting comments. It’s great to see REPLIES on there, that must be a lot of work. It seems like this review is mostly about the photographer’s experience in creating and interacting with the sites. What about information on which sites seem to have better traffic to actually SELL the work? Isn’t that the big question? I see on websites that sell Art, that they tout how many hits they have and how many BUYERS are looking through their site and can search for, or stumble upon, the artist’s website. How about this for Photographers?

  • Erin, June 20, 2013

    Guess it’s down to 17, I clicked on PicsCliq and they’ve shut down. Anyone know of a site that will allow to upload photos, but have “business cards” that would give the person (at an event) a unique web address/code to access those pictures of them? I know it’s out there, I just can’t find the name…I was given one of these “cards” at a sporting event, very nice to go home and order pictures that same day.

  • lucy, July 11, 2013

    hi,
    can i be sure that no one will still my pictures???

  • Karan chengappa, July 11, 2013

    Hello all, I m new to the online photo selling concept and this blog and comments have really helped me a lot in this new venture… Thanks to each and every one out here.

    Chao..

  • Moutushi G, July 25, 2013

    Thanks bro ! I can get started from here. I will try the basic options first where I need pay only commission on sales & then go on to upgrade. Appreciate your effort in trying to help us.
    Cheers