Why the Best Photographers are Selling Their Work at these 7 Stock Photos Agencies

Whether you’re interested in selling your photos online or just want to know where the world’s best photographers sell theirs, this post will outline the top 7 stock photo agencies for photographers. In this list we’ll tell you about the best places to find traditional stock photos, more artistic and creative non-stock, or even the timeliest photos all done by great photographers eager to share their work with you.

So whether you’re a photographer or a photo connoisseur who needs the best of the best, you’ll know exactly where to find the top photographers online after you read this.

1. Stocksy United


A co-operative company that continuously strives to offer the world a unique selection of creative stock photos, Stocksy United attracts some of the best photographers in the world. The individuals who sell their stock photos at this online agency pride themselves in side-stepping the norm of stock photos and offering the public something more unique and interesting.

As a community of artists, Stocksy United offers every photographer in their organization partial ownership of the company. This breeds a committed group of artists eager to share their photography with the world. So for every stock photo purchase on Stocksy, the artists themselves are directly reaping the benefit.

And just because Stocksy offers photographers a piece of the pie, don’t worry about declining quality. Stocksy is extremely picky about their photographers and only have a few slots open each year for new artists to join the company. Quality is the top-most concern for Stocksy. So if you’re looking to find a place where the best photographers sell their work, Stocksy is a must visit for you.

2. Shutterstock


With perhaps the top reputation for stock photos in the world, Shutterstock is a company that offers some of the highest-quality work on the web. The amount of world-class photographers that sell their work on Shutterstock is breathtaking. A whopping 280,000 photographers have shared their photos with the world through Shutterstock. With a selection that huge, you’re guaranteed to have a sampling of the world’s absolute best artists.

In order for photographers to sell their work on Shutterstock, they must complete an application process. This includes verification with a government ID as well as uploading 10 images for a quality check. With a screening process this intense, Shutterstock has been able to monitor the overall quality of their offering and consistently provide the world with some of the best photographer’s work time and time again.

In order for the photographer to be accepted, 70% of their test images must be approved. If they fail to gain approval from Shutterstock’s discerning eye of photo editors and curators, the photographer must wait 30 days until he or she can submit another application. Fortunately, every rejected photo comes with instructive feedback. In addition, for photographers who are accepted into the ranks of Shutterstock’s world-class offering, tutorials and videos are available for contributors in order to help them increase stock photo sales. The company also promotes artists’ work through Facebook, Mini-Galleries and other digital avenues.

3. Dreamstime


On this vastly searched stock photo agency’s database of millions of photos, you’ll find a range of photographers from both amateurs to world-class professionals. In order for a photographer to sell their work on Dreamstime, he or she must complete an application process that includes uploading 12 images that are rigorously reviewed by Dreamstime staff.

If the photographer’s work is approved by Dreamstime’s staff, the photos immediately go up for sale. Dreamstime is known to offer photographers a generous pay per sale of stock photo which has consistently attracted world-class photographers seeking the opportunity to earn more income off of their work.

It’s free for photographers to contribute their work on Dreamstime and gives each contributor a few options for rights and licenses for each photo including web usages, print usage and more. The photographer retains the copyright of each images. Additionally, Dreamstime allows you to upload images that have been already sold.

4. iStock


One of the most well-known stock photo agencies around, iStock has built a strong reputation which dates back to 2001. Millions of photos are for sale on iStock and many of the best photographers flock here.

In order for a photographer to sell their work on iStock, he or she must pass the application process. This includes signing up for a free iStock account and completing a quiz about the stock photo agency’s quality standards. While this might seem like a lot, it certainly does weed out any less-than average photographers.

After completing the quiz, each photographer must submit 3 samples which then must pass the rigorous standards of iStock. But jumping through the iStock hoops is worth it because the site has a lot of users and sells a lot of stock photos every day. Check out iStock for some of the best photographers available.

5. Fotolia


Besides offering more than 36 million stock photos to thousands of users, Fotolia also offers photographers one of the more generous royalty splits in the industry. This includes a payout as high as 63% which varies slightly based on the photographer’s portfolio exclusivity and ranking.

In order for a photographer to contribute their work and gain access to Fotolia’s large database of stock photos, they must register with the stock photo agency and meet a few basic requirements. Although the application process is not as rigorous as some of the other stock photo agencies, Fotolia certainly attracts some high-caliber photographers because of the high payout rate.

Whether you’re a photographer or a stock photo connoisseur looking for great photos, check out Fotolia and you’ll find a strong community of photographers who take pride in their work.

6. Getty Images


What began in 1995 quickly became a world-recognized stock photo agency. Many of the photographs in the Getty Images collections have won awards. The agency selects contributors based on their skill and imagination.

The application process for a photographer interested in selling their work with Getty Images is pretty simple and requires that he or she have at least 40 images to sell. The photographer must select their best images from their portfolio and Getty Images has a strong preference for composed, conceptual images that are extremely visually attractive.

There are technical requirements for photographers seeking a partnership with Getty Images. Point-and-shoot photography is discouraged and images with people, paintings, offices, or stores need to have release forms. The photographer must upload at least 40 images to an online gallery that can be submitted to the scrutiny of Getty Images staff.

After a serious look into each photographer’s portfolio by the editors and staff of Getty Images, only those deemed worthy of sharing their work on the service, receive an acceptance letter that details out further steps which include making photographs live on their website.

7. Can Stock Photo


One of the few online stock photo agencies that really aims to treat its photographers well, Can Stock Photo offers the artists who contribute their work a transparent business model and fair pricing structure. Photographers earn a 50% royalty on each image sold.

In order for photographers to sell their work on Can Stock Photo, they must sign up for a free account. Once signed up, it’s easy to submit work for the site. Photographers complete a simple application form and submit 3 images for review. Can Stock Photo tries to review each application quickly and can sometimes get back to photographers in the same day.

Just having revamped their entire submission process, Can Stock Photo is focusing on upload speed and getting photographer’s work live as quickly as possible. In addition to offering photographer’s photos on Can Stock, all uploaded images are also eligible for Fotosearch which is a large stock photo agency giving photographers maximum exposure for their work. It’s easy for photographers to submit their photos on Can Stock and because photographers are treated well here, great photographers and artists keep bringing their photos to this stock photo agency.


Now that you know the 7 best stock photo agencies for photographers online, you know the best places to either sell your own photos or find the world’s best photographer’s work. Take a look at all these stock photo agencies and decide for yourself which one you think deserves the number one spot on the list for the best images. When you come to an opinion, please come back here and share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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