How to Use Your Vacation Photos to Make Fast Money

Or, at the very least, add a cushion to your savings account.

photographingsolominviktor/ShutterstockIf you thought your vacation photos were worthless, you’re wrong. Blogger James Wheeler recently told the PetaPixel community how he made $4,000 over the last five years on just one photo.

His secret? Stock photo sites.

“In 2012, I uploaded around 300 of my best photos to five microstock sites. It was a tedious process of keywording, uploading, categorizing, and submitting but I was able to get them all uploaded in my spare time within a month,” the photographer wrote. “Some of the sites rejected about half the photos as not being high enough quality but enough got accepted for me to start making about $100 month in sales across the sites.” (Here’s how to take postcard-perfect pictures on your phone.)

And while Wheeler’s on the more experienced end of the amateur photography spectrum, he makes it clear that all it takes is one hit photo to bring in a sizable amount of cash. The photo for him is a landscape shot of Moraine Lake in Alberta, Canada, which has made $4,000.

“If someone buys your photo when searching a specific term, then your photo will rank higher for that term on future searches. As more people buy, the photo can move up to the first page. Once a photo is on the first page for a popular keyword then it will often stay there for a while as more sales come in.”

That said, the more generic your photos are, the more traffic they’ll get. “Shots of famous landmarks, landscapes, and photos people can’t find anywhere else are all safe bets to make a few bucks,” writes Travel + Leisure.

As for where to post, istockphoto.com and shutterstock.com are both great options and pay photographers around 15 percent on the sale of each photo.

h/t Travel + Leisure

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