How to Make Money with Pictures

The internet has truly changed the world we live in, transforming how we do business and how we interact with each other. It’s opened up a whole new world of opportunities for creators, offering them a much larger audience and the chance to make more money.

Thanks to platforms like Instagram, we’re seeing an explosion of content creators who are having success and gaining popularity by capitalizing on the ‘grammable phenomenon’. Instagrammers like Miranda Kerr, Gigi Hadid, and more recently Kaia Gerber are earning huge amounts of money from stock photography, sponsorships, and brand collaborations. It’s quite the lucrative niche.

If you’re looking to make some extra cash by taking pictures and selling them online, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about making money with Instagram.

The Basics

Before you even begin your journey to financial freedom, it’s important to make sure that you have all the necessary equipment and software to take decent pictures. These days, you can find a DSLR camera for less than $500 which will take professional-looking pictures without too much skill. As for editing software, you can pick up Adobe Photoshop for less than $200 and you’ll be able to edit your photos to look just the way you want them.

With these two items in your possession, you’re pretty much set to begin creating your Instagram account. It’s also a good idea to sign up for a free account on Fotolog, a community built around showcasing and improving your photography skills. This will help you get inspired by other photographers and gain knowledge which can help you become a better artist.

Content And Hashtags

The most important thing to consider when creating content for Instagram is the content itself. After all, that’s what your followers are going to be interacting with. Make sure that you’re interesting and unique enough to keep everyone interested, but not so much that it becomes tedious.

The second thing to consider is hashtags. When someone searches for something on Instagram, the algorithm encourages them to see content that has relevant hashtags. If you use the right hashtags, you can ensure that your content will show up when someone performs a search on Instagram.

For example, if you’re a fashion photographer and you’re posting about clothing and style, you might want to include the hashtag #fashion or #wedding to attract the right audience.

How Instagram Works

Once you’ve created a free Instagram account and started posting, you’ll see a lot of people following the ‘grammable trend and using the platform to share pictures and videos of themselves. This is mostly because humans naturally connect with other humans and crave to be included in the activities of others. It’s important to note that while this might be a valuable source of inspiration, remember that you’re not supposed to copy or imitate any account. As long as you stay true to yourself and your creative vision, you’ll find that the right audience will appear and you’ll be able to make money from your art.


Since the entire point of creating content for Instagram is to be able to monetize it, it’s important to make sure that you’re considering the right monetization options. Aside from selling your own artwork (see below), you can use the platform to sell and promote other people’s artwork. In theory, this is a great opportunity to create a market for creative designers, artists, and photographers. There are multiple ways that you can do this, but the best and most popular one is through affiliate marketing.

The Pros And Cons Of Affiliate Marketing For Creators

By entering the world of affiliate marketing, you’ll be able to monetize any content you create on Instagram. You’ll never have to worry about selling a product which you haven’t tried out first, as you can partner with brands and businesses to promote their products. While this might sound fantastic, it does come with some important caveats. First of all, you’ll have to produce a certain amount of content each week. For example, you could create a series of videos explaining the ins and outs of a certain product, hosting a webinar, or interviewing a creative director from a lifestyle brand. In any case, you’ll have to regularly post to keep up with the algorithm’s expectations and to ensure that you continue to attract the right audience. The second downside to this strategy is that you’ll have to actively engage with your audience. If you’re looking to create a business that relies solely on engagement, affiliate marketing might not be the way to go. Last but not least, make sure that you disclose any affiliation when discussing a brand or product which you’re paid to promote. Even when these aspects can be considered as perks, it’s still considered as an ethical gray area.

Make Money With Stock Photography

Another popular and effective way to make money on Instagram is to take high-quality pictures of pretty much anything and sell them to stock photo agencies. If you’ve got a decent camera, a steady hand, and an eye for photography, this is a lucrative option. Just remember that while the amount of work is minimal, the amount of money you’ll make won’t be! Since stock photography is heavily based on the ‘grammable trend and the overall marketability of creative content, make sure that you familiarize yourself with the various stock photography agencies and the specific type of pictures that they’re looking for. Once you’ve got a good idea of what they want, you can begin submitting your work regularly and see your earnings increase steadily.

Live Events And Meetings

If you’re looking to create a more traditional business, you might want to consider exploring the world of live events and meetings. For this kind of business, the best platform to use is GoToMeeting because not only can you share your screen with others, but you can also have live attendees join you via webinar or through a dial-in phone conference. You can use websites like GoExpert for free to get started (and still make money from sponsored events you conduct periodically)

As a live event or meeting facilitator, you can make a handsome profit by enlisting the help of freelance webinars and phone conferencing experts. Once you’ve got your own team of people who you can trust to host live events for you, you can scale your business quickly.

Just remember that while this might be a viable option for those who need a steady income, you’ll still have to put in the effort to connect with potential customers. In theory, this could be a good fit for those who can’t quite commit to venture capital, but needs a steady cash flow.

The Bottom Line

To wrap up, let’s reiterate some key points. While there are certainly many ways to make money on Instagram, we hope that this article will help you understand what is entailed in being a content creator on the platform and how you can make money from it. If you’re looking for a way to earn quick cash, you might want to consider exploring the world of freelance writing, webinars, and phone calling as affiliate marketing, stock photography, and live events can be quite lucrative and offer you a steady stream of income. Regardless of what you choose, make sure that you stay true to your creative vision and don’t get tricked by false promises, which is why it’s always a good idea to consult a reputable financial advisor or lawyer before getting started.