How I made $10,000 on EyeEm Market

By Guest Author - 4 min read

Sinan Sağlam is a Berlin based photographer who has sold many photos on EyeEm Market. In this guest post, he shares some of his best tips and insights into how he's seen success with his photography.

No matter if you’re a professional photographer, or do it as a hobby, selling photos online can be a great way to earn some extra money.

On EyeEm, I have the possibility to maintain my portfolio on one single platform while selling on multiple stock photo markets. EyeEm’s technologyautomatically suggests tags for your photos and the curators tag your photos for partner sites like Getty and more. This can be a big time saver.

I’ve been an EyeEm user for quite a while now and I’ve made over $10,000 from my photos - it can be done!

Here are my five tips for selling on EyeEm Market.

Aerial view of beach

1. Find What Sells and Plan Your Shots

A large part of my success has come from the planning process before I shoot.Think of it like search engine optimization, you need to know what people are looking for, what they’re buying, and what content is missing. There are several ways to find well-selling topics:

Gain inspiration from top sellers
Browse through EyeEm’s curated collections and use the top search results as an inspiration for your own photos. You can even try to iterate on top-selling images. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel, look at what others are doing and make it better.

Find your niche
You don’t have to go for those public and obvious topics like landscapes. Finding niche topics can be just as promising. Close-up shots of camera lenses? Unbranded air conditioners? Go for it!

Follow current events
Have your finger on the pulse of time. Use current and upcoming events asinspiration for your shoots. Look out for what’s moving and changing your country or the world, such as the new GDPR law and FIFA World Cup.

Listen to EyeEm
If you’re not sure where to start, read the EyeEm market trends. Trusting their data-driven tips is always a solid base.You can also check the Missions they have running as those are generally based on the needs of buyers.

Close-up of camera lens
Low section of young woman standing on footpath

2. Consider BOTH Quality and Quantity

Besides technical quality (resolution, focus, sharpness etc.), lighting, editing and the content in general matter as well. Spend enough effort on every single photo. Less can be more and it’s better to only select and edit a few specific shots.

But then again, upload lots of different photos. A larger number of great photos leads to more sales. Just be sure to maintain quality throughout your uploads, and if it’s the same subject, choose different angles and perspectives. Diversity is key.

High angle aerial view of tropical hotel with group of bungalows, lodges, cottages and palm trees
Woman touching a water lily against city landscape

3. Edit, but don’t over-edit

Usually, a photo looks better if edited. But be sure to stay subtle, especially for those casual “everyday” shots. Try to avoid black and white, HDR and similar extreme styles. If you’re not sure about a certain photo - just don’t edit. Remove brand logos and other things that call for property releases.

High angle point of view of coffee, laptop, camera and sunglasses flat lay on white marble table
Directly above shot of woman having breakfast on bed
Aerial view of a forest with green and bald trees

4. Tag and Release

Tag, tag, tag - and get your releases! Always add enough relevant tags and a location tag. Try to imagine what people could search for when looking for a photo like yours. Think of all the different topics your photo covers, and make sure to get releases for all photos containing people and property. The EyeEm uploader makes it easy to tag and upload batches of photos.

Always keep shooting! Photograph your daily life - everything and anything could sell. Think outside the box - don’t shoot just the obvious subjects. Even the most unspectacular everyday objects can be top sellers.

Dirt road passing through a desert
Scenic view of silhouette cliff by sea against cloudy sky during sunset

5. Be Patient

Rome wasn’t built in a day. You’ll have to wait until your photos are reviewed, distributed to EyeEm’s partners, and wander up the search results. Don’t expect results within a few weeks. Think months and years. This is something sustainable. Truth is, I still sell photosI uploaded almost six years ago!

Low angle view of monkey on tree against sky

Feeling inspired to make a profit on your images too? Join EyeEm Market to start licensing your photos. Already on Market? Add more photos!

About the guest author: Sinan is a Berlin-based photographer and founder of UpReach Photo Booth. If you want to see more of his great work, visit his EyeEm profile or follow along on his Instagram