Designers, marketers, businesses, and entrepreneurs all rely on quality photographs in their communication and marketing materials. While stock photo websites have been the go-to source of quality photos for a long time, over the past few years there’s been a monumental rise in the quantity and quality of photos available for free.

Five years ago, if you were looking for a free photo, your options were pretty limited. You could do a search at Flickr for photos available through a Creative Commons license, but the selection was thin and finding quality photos was a challenge, especially if you needed to use the photo for a commercial project.

Today, several popular websites exist for the purpose of sharing free photos, and the quantity and quality of free photos continue to increase rapidly.

Many photographers (both professionals and hobbyists) choose to release some or all of their photos for free to increase the exposure they receive, or simply to help the community of people looking for free photos. However, these free photos haven’t directly led to income for the photographers, in most cases.

If you’re a contributor at any of the leading free photo sites, your photos may have been downloaded thousands or even millions of times. While some sites allow you to accept donations voluntarily given by users, those donations are extremely rare.

You might be surprised to learn that it is possible to make money simply by giving away photos for free. If you already have photos you’re giving away at free photo sites, you could start making money right away without the need to change anything you’re already doing. You won’t need to remove any of your photos from the sites you already use, and you won’t need to start charging for the photos you want to give away for free. You just need to make one small addition.

Photos at Vecteezy

Vecteezy - Free Photos

Since 2010, Vecteezy has been one of the leading sources of free and pro vectors and graphic files. Millions of designers have downloaded resources at Vecteezy that help them to save time while creating beautiful designs of their own.

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To make Vecteezy an even better resource for users, photos were added to the site in 2020. Visitors can download from a large and growing selection of free photos, and some additional photos are available with a Pro subscription.

One of the most significant ways Vecteezy is different from other free photo or free graphic websites is that contributors like you can earn money simply by offering their resources as free downloads. Contributors get paid based on the number of times their free files are downloaded.

Vecteezy serves millions of visitors each month. Our users are designers, freelancers, small business owners, and hobbyists who are looking for high-quality resources to use in their own designs and marketing materials. They know Vecteezy as a great place for vectors, photos, and stock videos.

The Benefits of Contributing Free Photos at Vecteezy

Perhaps you’re already a contributor at other free photo websites and you’re wondering why Vecteezy is worthy of your time and attention. Or maybe you’ve never shared your photos on any other sites but you enjoy taking photos and you’d like to get more out of it. Here are some of the most significant benefits of becoming a free photo contributor at Vecteezy.

1. Make Money from Your Photos

Other free photo websites can provide you with exposure by making your photos accessible to large audiences of users, but you probably won’t make any money directly from those sites. As a free photo contributor to Vecteezy, you’ll earn real money based on the number of times your free photos are downloaded.

Having popular photos at other free photo sites can be both exciting and discouraging. Of course, it’s thrilling to know people appreciate your work and to see a lot of people downloading the photos. But if you were hoping to make money through donations, you may have been discouraged to see you’ve made so little, if anything, with so many downloads.

Vecteezy is different. If people are downloading your photos, you’ll be making money.

2. Gain Exposure to Millions of Users

Vecteezy is an established leader in the industry and attracts millions of visitors each month. As a free photo contributor, you’ll be able to get your work in front of a new audience you’ve never reached before.

3. Get More Out of the Photos You Already Have

You don’t need to remove your photos from other websites to upload them to Vecteezy (we don’t require exclusivity). You can simply upload the same photos to Vecteezy that you’ve already uploaded to other free photo sites and you’ll be able to start making money from the photos you already have.

The same photos that have been downloaded hundreds or thousands of times at other free photo sites will be valued and appreciated by Vecteezy users as well.

Of course, you can also continue to upload more photos in the future, and we encourage that.

4. Help Others

We know many people contribute free photos as a way of giving back or helping others, and we applaud that approach. Although we offer compensation to our contributors, we’re also focused on helping our users. In fact, we offer users worry-free licensing with fully guaranteed images for personal or commercial use so they can create with confidence.

If you enjoy helping people through other free photo communities, you can help even more people by contributing to Vecteezy as well.

5. Become Part of a Growing Community

We have a great community of users and contributors, and we’d love to bring more photo contributors, like yourself, into that community. If you enjoy the community aspect of other similar websites, we think you’ll love being a part of the Vecteezy community as well.

Our users are primarily designers. They may not be photographers like yourself, but they can use your photographs in the creation of beautiful designs.

How Much Money Can I Make?

At this point, you may be asking yourself, “How much money can I make by giving away free photos at Vecteezy?” The compensation plan is very simple. You’ll be paid $5 for every 1,000 downloads of your free files.

If you’re a contributor to other free photo websites, take a look at your stats and see how many times your photos have been downloaded. Chances are, you’ve got at least a few photos that have been downloaded many times.

Here’s a simple chart to show how much you would make based on different numbers of downloads. These numbers are fictional/hypothetical, but they show how much you would earn based on Vecteezy’s compensation structure for free downloads.

Number of Photos Average Downloads per Photo Total Downloads Total Compensation
10 1,000 10,000 $50
50 2,000 100,000 $500
100 4,000 400,000 $2,000
500 5,000 2,500,000 $12,500
1,000 10,000 10,000,000 $50,000


It’s not unusual for photos at leading free photo sites to be downloaded thousands of times. Of course, not every photo will get that many downloads, but Vecteezy’s compensation structure allows you to make a significant amount of money from photos that you share for free.

How Can Vecteezy Pay Contributors for Free Photos?

In addition to free vectors, stock photos, and stock videos, Vecteezy also offers thousands of Pro resources through a paid subscription or by purchasing download credits. We also make money through advertising. We’re able to pass on some of that revenue to people like you who contribute free resources for our visitors.

Why You Should Get Started Today

Although the photo section at Vecteezy is still relatively new, it’s a major part of our future and we’re investing a lot of effort and resources to make it something special. Right now is the best possible time to become a contributor at Vecteezy because it’s much easier for your photos to stand out.

Have you ever wished that you started contributing at any of the popular free photo sites earlier than you did?

Getting your photos noticed on those sites can be difficult now because there are so many other photographers that also contribute. Those who contributed early on were able to get great exposure since there were fewer photos on the site. Right now there’s a great opportunity to get in early at Vecteezy and gain some momentum with your photos before thousands of other photographers.

Although there are some free photo sites that aren’t as saturated as the leading sites, those less saturated sites don’t attract many visitors and may not be worth your time. Vecteezy presents a rare opportunity that involves an existing audience with millions of monthly visitors and a new photo section that is wide open for new contributors.

There is no cost to become a Vecteezy contributor, and you’ll be under no obligation to upload a certain number of photos or to continue contributing photos in the future. Of course, we encourage contributors to upload more photos because it will give you the best chance to increase your income, but it’s totally up to you when and how many photos you upload.

You’ll retain the copyright for photos that you upload to Vecteezy, and since we have a non-exclusive agreement with our contributors, you’re free to upload them to other sites as well.

How to Become a Vecteezy Contributor

Getting started is simple. Just follow these steps:

Step 1: Create Your Contributor Account

Simply go to our Contributor page to create your account and begin the process.

Step 2: Upload Your Photos

Once your account is open, you’ll be able to upload your photos. There’s no need to take new photos specifically for Vecteezy. You can upload the photos you already have. If you use other free photo sites, start by uploading the photos that are most popular at those other sites. If that audience likes your photos, our users probably will like them too.

Step 3: Get Paid

You’ll be making money once your photos start getting downloads. You can also continue to upload more photos to increase your earning potential.

If you have questions about becoming a contributor or if you need assistance, please reach out to us.

Lead image by yavorsila201833008.