How to Monetize Food Photography

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You’ve been going to restaurants for years. You’ve mastered the art of shooting a dish in the dimmest light and you don’t want to submit it to review sites so they can monetize on your pictures. If you want to Monetize Food Photography, read on. We’ve got tons of ideas and places for you to make money off all those gorgeous dishes you’ve styled.

How to Monetize Food Photography

How to monetize food photography

Monetize food photography by selling on stock sites

Online Photo Submission Sites

If you are interested in monetizing food photography or are currently cultivating an interest in food photography with the objective of getting paid, the Internet offers several options through online photo submissions.

Besides web-based photography services, websites that offer photo storage and online galleries, licensed downloads or products that feature your photos. Which websites should you check out quickly start monetizing food photography? Here’s a list:

BigstockBoasting 54 million images, it’s a great place to test our selling your images. They sell images in packs and pay their contributors 30% of the price paid for the image.

iStock: They require that you be an exclusive contributor, but pay a higher (undisclosed) percentage to their contributors.

Shutterstock: Shutterstock starts off by paying its contributors 25 cents when an image is downloaded. This increases per download until you reach the $500, $3,000 and $10,000 lifetime earning milestones.

StockFoodan international food image agency, offers a web-based food picture database with a unique variety of Rights-managed and Royalty-free food images, videos, and features by more than 1,000 international photographers and filmmakers.

EyeEmThis site pays a higher amount on average, but is not as popular as other sites, so it is harder to make sales.

A few other sites to check out are 123RF, Dreamstime, Creative Market, and Fotolia.

Monetize food photography by selling tee shirts

Sell merchandise with your pictures on sites like Etsy


Then, begin the process of selling photos through art, craft or custom merchandise sites. The big ones are:

  • ArtFire
  • DaWanda
  • deviantART
  • CafePress
  • Etsy
Monetize your food photos on Fiverr

Use sites like Fiverr to promote your food photography services

Outsource Yourself

You can also sell photography services through mobile work global marketplaces. Sign up for the following sites and get ready to pick up some gigs.

  • Fiverr
  • Gigbucks
  • Gigwalk

Reach Out

Email samples of your photos to publishers of publications that you’re interested in that pay for submissions. Do the same thing with local restaurants who may need photography services but may not have the budget for a well-established photographer (it’s a great way to build your portfolio).

Brand your photography on social media

Social media is a great place to promote your photography services

Market Yourself

Online storage sites like Flickr and social networks like Instagram are great for displaying photo streams, learning how to improve skills, and networking to make contacts. Make sure to optimize your profiles and clearly state that you are open for business.


Learn a Little SEO

In addition to shooting good quality images, when storing those images online, keywords are important. Do a little keyword research and make sure your images contain those words. That way when people search for them, they can easily find them (just remember to always include a call to action to contact you for a licensing agreement. Image descriptions can inform potential buyers that a photo is available for licensing or for sale as a print. That will show buyers that you understand the commercial side of photography and you’re willing to make a deal.


Networking, or spinning your web, is a key element in achieving success in selling your photos. Establish a digital domain — website or online storage site — as a medium to display your portfolio.

Become active in groups and forums, comment on other photographers’ photos, and include your photo stream URL on your email signatures.

How to monetize food photography with google adwords

Ad words is a great place to build awareness of your food photography services


Besides marketing yourself on social media, take the time to advertise. Don’t leave any stone unturned. Check out email, local newspaper listings, and free web business listings like Google, Yahoo etc. They still work. If you have the cash, Google ad words are superb.

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Spence Cooper
Inquisitive foodie with a professional investigative background and strong belief in the organic farm to table movement. Author of Bad Seeds: A FriendsEAT Guide to GMO's. Buy Now!
Spence Cooper