Two Tulips - Andy Sears

Which way with stock photography


While I have been contributing to stock photo libraries for many years, it has not exactly been a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. There are many libraries you can join up to and offer your images for sale, and here I will give a little insight into the ones I have used over the last few years, which are:

  • Adobe Stock / Fotolia
  • Picfair
  • EyeEm
  • Alamy

Adobe Stock / Fotolia

Adobe Stock, which took over the Fotolia stock library, is where I have sold most images, with over 2000 image sales. While a low earner, the ‘credits’ I received mostly went back into purchasing images for my web design work.

Because of the integration with the Adobe Suite and Creative Cloud, Adobe Stock enjoys vast reachability. The earning are generally very small per image, i.e. £0.20p, so while pretty pitiful, it is still nice getting the email stating ‘Congratulations one of your images has been sold’.

Adobe Stock Images



Picfair is a little unique, not as big or as well known as Adobe Stock, but work on a fair price principle. While I have only sold a few images with them, the earning compared to Adobe Stock increase significantly. Wih £5.00 commision earnt on each of my sales, each sale with Picfair ears the same as selling 25 images on Adobe stock.

Picfair Images



EyeEm, a large stock library boasting 20 million contributors, the licence image direct themselves but also supply images to the likes of Getty Images. Earning on images sold work out around £2.75 per image, so again not a lot for your effort. One of the dislikeable things about EyeEm that I found, is the time it takes to review and accept images, we are talking weeks!.

EyeEm Images



Alamy’s claim is to be the worlds most diverse stock photo collection. It is big and a strong contender up there with Adobe Stock. I probably use Alamy more than the other now, upload is easy, image review is 1 – 2 days typically, and the earnings much better. The earnings vary greatly with most sales generating me £7 – £10, but then you get a nice sale with a single image generating £145.00 in commision the equivalent of selling over 700 Adobe stock images.

The interface for Alamy is easy to use and allows extensive keywording and descriptions, which again can only help sales.

Alamy Images 


So there you have it, a quick overview of just a few of the many stock photo libraries out there waiting to sell your images.