RT Cunningham


Taking Pictures for Fun and Profit - Amateurs Making Money

pictures Everyone takes pictures. These days, you can find pictures everywhere, not just in tabletop photo albums. You can find them on all the social networks. Professional photographers get paid for their work while amateurs, like me, don’t get paid a thing. For me, things are going to change real soon. If you see a picture from me on Facebook, Twitter or any other social network, it won’t be one of the pictures I intend to make money from.

Pictures at Pixabay

There are thousands of public domain photographs, illustrations, vector graphics and videos available at Pixabay. That site has been around for a while so the number might be in the millions by now. There are other places to get pictures but none of the other free-picture sites have this kind of volume.

Most of the people who upload photos to Pixabay are amateurs but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them are professional photographers. You can buy photographs at places like Shutterstock and iStock but they have restrictions. Pixabay has no restrictions. This is what it says on their home page:

All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty-free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required.

For website owners like me, it doesn’t get any better than that. In fact, a lot of photos I use here are from Pixabay. I’ll eventually replace the ones that aren’t.

How to Make Money from Pixabay

It’s really quite simple. Every page with photos on Pixabay has one or more “donate” buttons on it. When you click on it, you can donate any amount. I don’t know if the owners take a cut but it wouldn’t surprise me if they do. Regardless, some or all of that money goes to the image authors.

I’m planning to start adding my own pictures to Pixabay so I can make some money from donations. If I can make enough money from donations, I’ll remove advertising completely from this website. I don’t like displaying any form of advertising anyway, but it pays the bills for hosting and related costs (with very little left over).

My wife, Josie, and I both have good cameras in our cell phones. We also have a Samsung digital camera but her Samsung Galaxy S3 and my Samsung Galaxy S4 take pictures that look just as good. We’re both planning on becoming picture-taking freaks when we’re away from home.

There are 167 photos tagged with “Philippines” at Pixabay now. We hope to increase that number tenfold. Of course, I’ll probably be using a few of them here as well. Heck, I might even use them all.

Update January 17, 2015

Well, perhaps Pixabay isn’t such a good idea. They have “quality standards” that I can’t meet with a mobile phone camera. I probably won’t be doing this even if and when I get a better camera (stand-alone). Apparently, it only takes seven down-votes for them to discard uploaded photos during the review process.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t bother. What works for others won’t always work for me.

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By RT Cunningham
January 3, 2016
Personal Finance