How to sell your images for $5,000 and more

Starting from the classical 'an image is worth a thousand'..., let's just say that an image may actually worth five thousand dollars. Or more. And we're not talking about a particular image, but any image out there can be the perfect candidate for the +$5,000 sale.

Red rose flower

Contrary to what people think of the income generated by microstock, that it takes time and plenty of downloads to reach a satisfactory level, your images can earn you considerable revenue in just one Sell the Rights license download.

For those familiar with stock licenses, the 'Sell the Rights' license is similar to the more traditional rights managed license. In plain terms, with this SR license, designers can purchase ownership of an image, with full, unlimited, exclusive usage rights.


This means that, with sensitive context/usage exceptions, they can basically use the images for almost anything and everything, unlimited copies, worldwide.The copyright is retained by the image author but the person buying the license would own the image. Dreamstime is the only agency to offer this type of license agreement throughout the microstock industry and the prices range from $250 to $10,000. Copyright owners, that is photographers and artists, decide the price for this license.

What is unique about this license is that the lifetime SR is the only license that allows designers to use the images in logos that can be trademarked. So if you're creating logos, you really stand a good chance of getting a SR download. Many of the SR downloads we get are obviously for logo usage and we noticed that both unique, extraordinary and simple, less intricate artworks sell alike.

Retro tv

What does it take for an image to be worth +$5,000? Is it the equipment, the photographer, the gear investment, the concept, the model? Yes and no. The stock is filled with amazing cliparts and images taken by pros or amateurs, in elaborate settings, with expensive equipment or on the contrary, taken in the street, with minimal efforts and a mobile phone. If you're wondering which ones stand higher chances, then any of these images can sell for the 5K.

If you need further evidence, take a look at the images illustrating the article. These are the type of images that hit the jackpot and sold for more than $5,000. They're not exactly those images but very close to what the designers bought.

Glasshouse at dusk

From the classical sumptuous rose petal close up, the agriculture concept to the funny retro tv icon, this varied image selection proves that the sell the rights license is not restricted to a certain type of imagery. Your biggest earner does not necessarily have to be the star of your portfolio. As you can see for yourselves, it can take a strong concept or a simple flower image to make an image worth $5,000 or more. What we can assure you is that it mainly takes a good image.

Christmas shopping bags

So to answer how to sell your images for $5,000 and more, then simply enable the sell the rights license for your files. Designers are always looking for the right image out there. Who knows, your image may be their next choice.

Carmen Pietraru
View blog View portfolio
  • Tangie
  • Bucuresti, Romania
I am one of the brave Dreamstime admins.
I am friendly, sociable and quite talkative so don't be surprised if I answer some of your emails. I can help you with site-related questions and I specialize in usages, licenses, exclusivity issues, keywords, searches and account management.
When very young, I fancied traveling around the world but ended up embarking on a long and interesting journey into the land of foreign language studies. So I may check your image info, posts, blogs and/or anything else you may say online, on this site. Don't worry, I don't make a habit of using this against you. P.S. I still have a lot of countries to see around the world.

Your comment must be written in English.

We value all opinions and we will not censor or delete comments unless they come from fake accounts or contain spam, threats, false facts or vulgarity.


September 29, 2022

Food for thought. 


March 13, 2022

Thank you Carmen,  very informative information for me.  As I am one who has sold 27 images but getting 42 cents or 2.20...  (honestly, I am excited with each sale feeling sense of pride, like "my picture was chosen."    


January 09, 2019

very nice article and very useful for me.


January 07, 2019

Nice article! thank you


April 26, 2018

Nice article !!


April 05, 2018

Thanks! Got it.


April 05, 2018

Vladimirkz, sometimes the buyers change their mind or prefer to select an image that already has the license. This is why we recommend our members to enable this license at upload and leave it active in case there are buyers interested.


April 05, 2018

Hello! I received two letters asking to sell the license. I answered with consent, then it all ended. How it works?


March 28, 2018

great points! I love your article layout and love your photography!! keep up the great work.


March 17, 2018

I didn't think about this and this way also. This made my day. It's a nice informative article for those people who want to earn some extra by selling their own capture image.


March 13, 2018

Since first time I joined and learned about this - my goal was making images good enough to attract buyers who want to buy the rights. But so many times passed and it never happened so my desire faded away... Your article reminded this possibility to me and waken up my passion again. Thank you Carmen :-)


March 13, 2018

@Jacetan: there can't be real sales examples included because once its rights sold, the photo must be deleted from anywhere online, including Dreamstime.


March 12, 2018

An eye-opener. Now, I would like to really think in these terms. Good job!


March 11, 2018

Good to back up claims with real sales example. If not, it's again some news to motivate contributors to work more and get less.


March 10, 2018

great blog


March 10, 2018

This is great article with useful tips!


March 09, 2018

Really useful. I always wondered what images are sold for this type of license. Thank you!


March 09, 2018

Great article! Thank you