A Legit Site to Make Money Selling Visuals?


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Alamy is a stock photography site launched in 1999 in the UK. If you’re looking to sell pictures online, take a look at this Alamy review to see if it’s worth your time.

Photographers can use the site to sell images, vectors, and videos in the creative, editorial, and enterprise niches.

According to Alamy, they pay out over $1 million every month to contributors and they have over 150,000 photographers using the site from all around the globe.

But, with so many stock photography platforms out there, is Alamy a worthwhile place to sell your images?

In this review, we’ll investigate:

  • How does Alamy work
  • What are the best features
  • What content can you sell
  • How to become a contributor
  • How much money can you make
  • Who should use the site
  • Tips to sell more images
  • What are people saying about Alamy
  • The best alternatives.

Let’s take a look.

No time?

Check out Alamy right now.

Alamy Review

  • Ease of Use

  • Profit Potential

  • Customer Service

  • Features


Alamy is a site where new and experienced photographers can sell photos, vectors, illustrations and videos. While it has a decent amount of features, there are reports of low sales volume and some contributors not being happy with the commission rates.


  • Good 40% royalty rates on the Gold level
  • Free to sign up and sell as a contributor
  • Analytics and search statistics to see what buyers want
  • Can earn from selling photos, vectors and videos in many niches
  • Possibility to earn higher commissions in the ”Live News” section
  • Can earn higher commission rates the more you sell
  • Students earn 100% commission for any direct image licence sold


  • Some contributors report a low sales volume
  • Hard to reach the $250 gross sales volume so may risk getting a lower commission rate
  • Some users report that it takes 3 months for sales to show in your dashboard

Alamy Review: How Does it Work?

alamy review

As an Alamy contributor, your stock photos may get used around the world for books, billboards, newspapers, websites, marketing materials, TV shows, and more.

You retain the copyright of your vectors, images, and illustrations, Alamy just licenses them for you.

There are minimum requirements to become an Alamy contributor. You can be a beginner or pro photographer, and you must be at least 18 years of age.

Using Alamy is simple:

  • Create a contributor account
  • Upload a portfolio of images to be reviewed
  • If your content passes quality control, you can add keywords, tags, and captions
  • After 24 hours, your images will be available for customers to license.

Features for Contributors

Alamy offers a range of features to help you succeed as a contributor. These include:

Tools and Analytics

Read the Alamy blog to keep up to date with news about the stock photo industry and get practical tips to help you succeed as a contributor.

Every month, the Alamy team informs contributors about customers ”picture needs”. This lets you know what a buyer is looking for and gives you inspiration for what to shoot next.

Take advantage of Alamy analytics to keep track of your image sales and overall earnings.

Contributor Forum

contributor forumcontributor forum

Get tips for selling images on Alamy by joining the active ”Contributor Forum”.

Here, you can get guidance from those who’ve had success and share tips yourself once you start to sell.

Live News Page

If you’re a press or live news photographer, check out the ”Live News” page to learn how to join the Alamy global network of press photographers.

Fresh Picks

Every month the Alamy team handpicks a range of stock images to be featured on the ”Fresh Picks” page.

You can head here for inspiration and enjoy extra publicity for your work if your images get chosen.

Stockimo App

stockimo appstockimo app

Stockimo is a free app created by Alamy that allows you to turn your iPhone photos into cash.

Check out the ”live feed” of customer likes so you can get real-time feedback on what types of images are popular and selling.

Follow these steps to start selling images in the app:

  • Select images from your iPhone
  • Add tags and captions and upload them to Stockimo
  • Wait for your images to be approved
  • If accepted, your images will go on sale to publishers, designers, advertisers and more
  • You’ll be notified when an image sells.

What Kind of Content Can You Sell On Alamy?

Alamy sells a range of images, such as stock photos, illustrations, vectors, and archival imagery.

They also have a live news team that works closely with news outlets to sell sports, entertainment, and news images taken in the last 24 hours.

The site aims to offer a diverse selection of images with different types of photography and themes.

image categoriesimage categories

They have over 50 image categories, with a few of the most popular being:

  • Abstract
  • Background
  • Black and white
  • Cities
  • Culture
  • Families
  • Fashion
  • Historical
  • Travel.

One thing to note is that they do NOT accept AI-generated images on the platform.

Alamy Review: How to Become A Contributor?

Click on the ”Become a Contributor” link and create an account.

ontributor registrationontributor registration

You’ll be asked to fill out the usual information such as name, email, password, phone, address, and whether you’re a student, agency, or photographer.

These last details are important, as this will affect your commission rates.

They also have an additional opportunities section, which includes:

  • Distribution Offer. Receive up to 24% commission for sales into international markets through their network of experienced distributors.
  • Novel Use Offer. Receive up to 40% of all novel use sales, which are classed as ”experimental revenue opportunities”.

Alamy Review: How Much Money Can You Make?

How much money you can make selling photos online depends on the quality of your content, your contributor level, exclusivity rights, and where the sale comes from (eg: affiliate sale or through the Alamy site).

Alamy has three commission rates – Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

Alamy reviewAlamy review
  • Gold. New and existing contributors start on Gold with a core 40% commission rate. If you sell up to $250 gross in 12 months, you’ll stay at this rate. However, Alamy states that students get 100% commission for any direct image license sold on Alamy.
  • Platinum. If you sell over $12,000 gross in 12 months, you’ll get boosted to Platinum level and earn a 50% commission for images exclusively sold on Alamy.
  • Silver. If you sell under $250 gross after 12 months, you’ll move to the Silver level and earn a 20% commission rate.

Payments are made monthly as long as your cleared funds exceed $50.

Contributor Contract and Licensing Information

Alamy does not lock you into any contract, but if you want to leave, you have to give 45 days’ notice by email.

They do not own any of the images on their site; they just license the images for contributors.

It’s important to note that rights-managed licenses are more restrictive than royalty-free, which is what many other stock photo sites use.

With rights-managed agreements, you’re charging a one-time price for a one-time use of a photo. If the buyer wishes to use it again, they have to pay to license the photo again.

Royalty-free means the buyer can use the photo multiple times on multiple projects with minimum restrictions.

This brings into question whether selling rights-managed photos on Alamy will be profitable.

Who Should Use Alamy?

Alamy encourages a range of people to contribute, including photographers, hobbyists, and graphic designers who want to sell their art.

Alamy Review: Tips to Sell More Images

To increase the sales of your images on Alamy, take a look at these expert tips:

Research Competition

When you start to upload images to Alamy, it pays to check out what the competition is doing.

By doing this, you can discover what is working and what is not, paving the way for you to shoot better images than the competition.

Use the What Should I Shoot Tool

This tool was created to bridge the gap between customers and contributors by better communicating what people are looking for.

The two main features of this tool include:

  • Picture needs. Here, you’ll find out what customers have not been able to find in the Alamy collection. You can browse this section by adding keywords for your niche and further niche down with the filter button. This is great for finding new ideas for photos and gives you ideas of what people want to buy.
  • Photography trends. This section shows trending topics and different photography styles your potential customers love. This section is another way to get ideas so you can shoot popular images related to the latest trends.

Utilize Tags, Captions, and Keywords

The right tags, captions and keywords will help your images get discovered in search.

Aim to use detailed and accurate descriptions to describe each image and these will also help to improve search rankings.

Shoot High-Quality Images

This is obvious, but high-quality images are more likely to sell than low-quality, badly edited images.

Edit your photos well, use the right lighting, and aim to think like a customer to produce what they might be looking for.

Build a Large Portfolio

The greater the number of photos you have in your Alamy portfolio, the better chance you have of making more sales and more profit.

Spend time uploading photos to Alamy to see what gets a good response, and double down in that area once you get a few sales.

When learning how to make money from photography, it can take time to learn the ropes, but patience and persistence will pay off, just like when you start anything new.

Become Known for a Niche

The most successful photographers of all time usually become known for their niche photography style.

This might be travel, fashion, culture, outdoors, extreme sports, animals, food, celebrities, or something else.

Find what you’re good at and become the go-to photographer for those types of images.

Alamy Review: What Are People Saying?

Alamy only had a 1.4 Star “Bad” rating on Trustpilot, with many negative reviews talking about poor customer service and frustration with the licenses.

Contributors give bad reviews about being unhappy with the commission split and hardly selling any images.

alamy reviewalamy review
alamy reviewalamy review

However, some Alamy customers on G2 praised the amount and quality of stock photos available. So, even though contributors may not be thrilled with it, those making use of the images seem to appreciate the variety on offer.

alamy reviewalamy review

The Best Alamy Alternatives

If you want alternative stock photo sites to sell your images, here are a few options:

SmugMug Pro

smugmug homepagesmugmug homepage

SmugMug is a photography site where new or established photographers can start selling prints, products, and digital downloads in minutes.

You can upload your photos and create carousels and slideshows to show your best work.

SmugMug has also partnered with a range of print labs, so you can make even more money printing your photos on metal, canvas, paper, and a range of keepsakes.

To use SmugMug, you will have to pay for a membership plan, and you get to keep 85% of the profit you set for download sales.

Check out SmugMug Pro now.

Adobe Stock

adobe stock homepageadobe stock homepage

Adobe Stock is a great site for selling photos as it has millions of users who visit the site every month.

It’s free to become a contributor, and you have the option to sell photos, videos, illustrations, or vector content.

When you upload images to Adobe Stock, you enter a non-exclusive partnership, where your content is promoted and licensed, and you earn 33% in royalties.

Check out Adobe Stock now.


clickasnap homepageclickasnap homepage

Clickasnap works a little differently from the other sites, as you get paid when your photos are viewed.

It’s free to use, and you just need to upload your photos to the platform, and you’ll earn around 0.9 cents per qualifying view.

Pro accounts are available that get you a higher payout per view, and you can cash out once you hit the $15 threshold.

Check out Clickasnap now.

Learn more in this Clickasnap review.

Alamy Review: Final Verdict

At the end of this Alamy review, let’s sum up whether it’s worth your time.

Alamy does offer a legit way for new and experienced photographers to make money selling their stock photography, vectors and illustrations.

And you get access to a range of features to help you improve sales, such as analytics and picture needs, where you can get information on what people are looking for.

However, the restrictive rights-managed licenses may put buyers off and reduce the amount of sales you get, thus making it hard to hit the $250 in gross revenue.

But, if you have a large amount of high-quality images to sell, it may be beneficial to add your content to Alamy but diversify, by using other stock photo sites to increase your profit potential.


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