6 Effective Tips for Making Royalty Free Images That Sell

Any experienced photographer will tell you that selling photos today is harder than ever due to the multitude of photography websites out there that are eager to showcase their photos. Between the years 2002 and 2007, things were pretty easy and photographers were able to sell their photos without going through a hustle. The photography market was still in its startup stage and photography websites were hard at work to fill their archives. Today, however, the paradigm has shifted. The competition is fierce among photographers.

There are so many talented and expert photographers who are competing for the same buyers, and anyone that wants their images to be accepted on major photography websites must be able to take unique photographs. Here is a rundown of aspects you need to put into perspective if you want to create a great portfolio of royalty free images:

1) Create unique royalty-free images

There is a ton of photography websites out there in just about any niche. So your photos are likely to be the same as those available on those websites. That’s why you need to be creative when taking photos. Try to make your photos unique to enable them to stand out from the rest. This way, you’ll be creating images that sell every day.

free images instead

2) Create quality royalty free images instead of quantity

Some years back, the success of any photographer hinged on the quantity of images they could produce. It was a numbers game. Quality was not an issue at the time when photography was just starting. That’s mainly because images were scarce and buyers would appreciate what they got. However, today it’s a different story. There are more photography websites out there listing top quality images. And more are being submitted every day by expert and experienced photographers. Essentially, some of these websites have more than 5 million photos on their platforms. So uploading a lot of images to your portfolio won’t cut it in this day and age. Today, you only need to showcase a limited amount of top quality, unique photos to make it in the photography business.

3) Forget about making royalty free images on common themes

Common themes like dogs, cats, sunsets, isolated objects don’t sell anymore. Just do a test experiment. Go to any major royalty free photography website and search these common categories. You will find a ton of images that look pretty much the same. So taking photos of the same will not make you any different. That’s why you should stay away from these common themes.

making royalty free images
people have high demand

4) Royalty free images that feature people have high demand

Ask any accustomed photographer, and they will tell you that people images sell the most and they continue to experience record sales. The beautiful thing about images that feature people is that their demand will only increase moving forward. So the possibilities of selling them are great.

When taking free images for websites, make sure to leave room for typography

Today, image buyers want to do a little manipulation (adding title and texts) before they use them. These kinds of buyers will only buy images with plenty of space on the right or left-hand side of the image that allows extensive manipulation. So, when shooting your royalty free photos, be sure to take note of that.

5) Brighter colors will take your royalty free images up a notch

With the population obsessed with colored visuals today, images with bright colors and lots of contrast will sell. Today’s buyers will easily pick an image with vivid colors and a lot of contrast. Therefore, this is an aspect you need to take seriously.

Brighter colors


In a nutshell, stay calm. The kinds of images that rock today may not pop tomorrow. And because you sold a lot of images yesterday, doesn’t automatically mean you’ll sell tomorrow. The photography business evolves with time. The most important thing is to stay current, and you’ll never go out of business.

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