I’m sure you’ve heard of the terms “work from home” and “make money at home” a lot, which is why you’re here. If you haven’t, then congratulations! You’re in the right place today with me because I’m talking about making money from home – legally. Copying Pictures and Selling Them.
You might have seen images of things online, like a logo design or a very pretty night sky. You can copy pictures online and sell the copies on websites such as Shutterstock or Istock Photo.
Doing this is simple too, all you have to do is find a Public domain image online and save it on your computer. Then you upload the photo to an image selling website and place a price tag on it.
After that, all you have to do is wait for people to find and buy the images you’ve made – and with a bit of luck, they will!
Here’s How to make money selling remastered public domain photos.
Find a Public Domain Image
There’s a lot of money to be made in copyright infringement, but it’s not as easy as you think. You can’t just come and copy any picture you find on the internet and then sell it. Copyright law is very specific about what is and isn’t allowed, so make sure you understand the rules before you start selling other people’s work without their permission.
The idea behind copyright law is that it encourages people to create new works by giving them a limited period of exclusive rights to their work. After that period expires, the work enters the public domain where anyone can use it without permission. This helps promote creativity and innovation, as people are more likely to create new works if they know that their old ones will eventually become available to everyone.
It’s because making artwork part of the public domain eventually aids in the creativity and inspiration for future creations. And so the public domain is simply a term to refer to any art that no longer has any copyright protections on it, either because the artist themselves has chosen to wave it or because it has expired.
For example, you can sell a picture of the Mona Lisa because the copyright protection is now expired. However, you can’t sell a picture of Mickey Mouse without getting permission from Disney. That’s because Disney still holds the copyright on Mickey Mouse and they haven’t chosen to waive those rights yet.
The Public Domain Registry is a searchable directory of public domain works. It includes books, movies, photographs, clip art, and other types of media that are available for free without any copyright restrictions whatsoever.
Where to Find Public Domain Images
You can definitely search for famous historical artists on Wikipedia. They have a comprehensive database of information on all sorts of different artists, including their biographies, works, and even images.
Freeimages.com showcases thousands of pictures taken by amateur and professional photographers under the Creative Commons license. This means that you can reproduce, remix, or otherwise use them in your own works as long as you mention the photographer’s name and link back to the original photo.
RawPixel has a large database of high-definition 300 DPI images. Some of these images will be listed in the public domain. When you click on an image that has a royalty-free license, you want to ignore it. The royalty-free license does not provide permission to print. Instead, find the public domain button and browse there.
Unsplash has a great list of completely free royalty-free images. These are all high-quality photos, and they update their site daily with new fresh content. If you want to make a good website for your business, the place to start is Unsplash.
Flickr Commons: Flickr Commons is a database of public domain images that are either part of the U.S. or Canada’s copyright system. The collection includes photos, illustrations, maps, and other primary source materials dating from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century, with new uploads every week.
MorgueFile: MorgueFile has a large collection of free photos in the public domain. This community-based photo archive features images contributed by creatives from all over the world, making it the perfect resource for designers, educators, and anyone else looking for unique visual content. Plus, with photos that range from amateur snapshots to professional quality images, you’re sure to find something that meets your needs.
Pixabay: Pixabay has a huge collection of high-quality public domain images with a simple search bar. Pixabay provides you with the creative commons licensed images you need to make your next project a success. With Hundreds of domain images to choose from, finding that perfect picture has never been easier.
Old Book Illustrations: Looking for a little bit of vintage appeal in your designs? Old Book Illustrations has you covered! They offer a nice collection of public domain illustrations scanned from old books, as well as vector illustrations that can be modified and distributed for both personal and commercial projects. Whether you’re interested in adding some classic flair to your work or joining in on the resurgence of Victorian design, Old Book Illustrations has exactly what you need.
Creating Your Own Public Domain Images
Once you’ve found a picture that’s in the public domain, you can use it for almost any purpose. You just can’t falsely pass it off as your own.
Here are some ways to take old photos and create new original works out of them:
Photo Collage: You can learn how to do this in Canva or Photoshop. Make a collage of various old images and overlay some fun text. Be creative!
Paint: Download a photo of a painting from the public domain, open it up in GIMP or Photoshop, then try playing around with making your own version! You can use watercolors, oil paints, colored pencils, etc. to create a brand-new piece of artwork that clearly takes inspiration from the photo you started with.
Vector Illustration: You can use a picture in the public domain and then create a vector illustration out of it using Adobe Illustrator. This is super fun to do! Just make sure to clean up any jagged edges before you start making your artwork.
Photo Restoration: If there’s a photo from the past that seems damaged or dirty, you can try restoring it using Photoshop. All photos have some information on them no matter how old they are or where they’ve been. By utilizing cloning tools, healing brushes, layer masks, selective colorization, and other editing techniques, you can take an old photo and breathe new life into it! Always be careful when restoring, though.
Don’t go overboard; otherwise, your restoration project will end up looking more like a modern painting than an old photograph!
Photo Mashup: If you’re taking inspiration from one photo, in particular, try tweaking the image and creating something new out of it. This is what I did with my Abraham Lincoln drawing. Just take two or three different elements of the original photo and rearrange them to create your very own unique work! You can even choose parts of photos to borrow for use in other projects later on.
Drawing: Select a public domain image that has some interesting lines in it (e.g., architecture). Then draw over it using either pen or pencils. You can import your drawing into Photoshop and use the pencil tool to make it look as though you drew freehand.
Jigsaw Puzzle: Using a public domain photo, create a jigsaw puzzle with pieces that line up nicely. You can use online tools to help you do this or you can simply print out your own version and carefully cut them apart by hand using an X-Acto knife.
Photo Mosaic: Take a public domain image and then compose a mosaic with pieces of that photo only. This is a great way to turn a portrait into a quilt square for example or even a colorful abstract piece of art! Just be sure to scale down your picture so that each square fits within 1×1 inch dimensions so that it’s easy to cut up later on.
Photo Transfer: You can take any photo in the public domain and transfer it onto a physical object. For example, you could print out an old image on paper, then glue that picture to wood or poster board. Do keep in mind if you’re transferring your images to anything made of fabric, though! Some fabrics will not accept ink from a regular printer unless they are nylon-based fabrics.
And if your transferred image is going on something porous like wood, make sure to add some sort of sealant (e.g., varnish) over it after the fact so that your piece won’t get damaged by water later on down the road.
Selling Your Remastered Photos:
If you’re going to sell your remastered photos, always make sure that you have permission from the original photographer, or are using public domain licensed images. In other words, if someone else took the photo, then it’s their intellectual property and not yours.
Selling Remastered Photos on Etsy:
If you’re going to be selling remastered images online, though, then Etsy would probably be one of your top options. Here you can set up an Etsy shop where people can browse your images, then purchase them in the form of digital downloads. Plus, Etsy is a friendly place to sell art online since it’s free to list items and there are no product listing fees!
Selling Remastered Photos on eBay:
Another option for selling remastered photos would be with eBay. But keep in mind that each time someone purchases an item through your eBay storefront, the site will take a cut of what you make including money from any shipping costs or sales tax. So in other words, if you have an eBay business in which someone else takes customer orders and sends them to you to fulfill (e.g., by printing out your remastered images), then be sure to factor in these eBay site fees for your own profit margin.
Selling Remastered Photos on Blurb:
If you want to sell physical copies of your work, another good option is the site Blurb. With this site, you can use their platform to set up a book store in which people can purchase books printed with images they select. Plus, since most of the book-making tools are web-based instead of software-based, it’s easy for anyone to create their own photo albums or coffee table books!
Selling Remastered Photos on Fine Art America:
If you’re looking for an alternative place to sell remastered photos online other than Etsy or eBay — I would recommend checking out Fine Art America. Similar to Etsy in some ways but without the same fee structure, this site focuses more on “fine art” products. So while you can set up a storefront to sell your remastered images just like with Etsy, you might have a harder time trying to sell items that are more store-specific (e.g., Christmas cards).
Selling Remastered Photos on Redbubble
You can make money with public domain photos by selling merchandise. Sell items like stickers, posters, coffee mugs, and t-shirts. Simply upload a public domain photo with a title, tags, and description and add to any product sold at RedBubble.com.
You can list these products for sale and take advantage of the millions of website visitors RedBubble attracts. When a product sells, RedBubble will print your product, package it, and send it to the customer.
You avoid the hassle of stocking inventory, shipping products, handling payments, and providing customer service. You can focus on creating great designs, growing your business, and making money.
Selling Remastered Photos on ArtFire:
To sell remastered photos (and other types of artwork) online, another top option is ArtFire. Similar to Etsy but without the fees, this site has an excellent community of people looking for handmade and vintage items as well as art supplies and tools!
So if you’re selling a photo with a classic look (e.g., black and white), then this might be a good platform to post it since people will likely be more interested in purchasing such images for their homes or personal collections. Plus, since there are no listing fees and you only pay when your product sells, this is also a great place to test before making any big investments!
Selling Remastered Photos on CafePress:
To sell remastered photos (and other types of artwork) online, another top option is CafePress. Similar to ArtFire but without the fees, this site offers many different products for sale and has an excellent community of people looking for handmade and vintage items as well as art supplies and tools!
Selling Remastered Photos on Zazzle:
To sell remastered photos (and other types of artwork) online, another top option is Zazzle. Similar to CafePress but without the fees, this site offers many different products for sale and has an excellent community of people looking for handmade and vintage items as well as art supplies and tools!
Selling Remastered Photos on Society6:
Whether you want to sell remastered photos or are selling other types of art, another great platform to consider is Society6. Similar to Zazzle but with lower fees, this site offers many different products for sale and has an excellent community of people looking for handmade and vintage items as well as art supplies and tools!
So if you’re selling a photo with a watermark, then this might be a good platform to post it since people will likely be more interested in purchasing such images for their homes or personal collections. Plus, since there are no listing fees and you only pay when your product sells, this is also a great place to test before making any big investments!
Selling Remastered Photos on Big Cartel:
Another option to consider for selling remastered photos online is BigCartel. Similar to Etsy but without the fees, this site focuses more on “small businesses” over “individuals selling craft items”. So while you can set up a storefront to sell your remastered images just like with Etsy, if that’s not what you’re going to be selling than this might not be the best platform for you.
However, if you’re just looking to start out with an online presence and aren’t sure what you want to sell yet then Big Cartel can be a great way to go! This site is a good option if you want to make some money without investing lots of time or cash! You’ll also receive access to customizable email templates and real-time shipping rate calculators for USPS, FedEx, UPS, and DHL services!
Selling Remastered Photos on WordPress:
Another blog-based option that allows people to purchase your images would be to start a site with WordPress. This platform is completely free (outside of hosting) and will allow you to sell remastered photos through your blog or website using integrated PayPal buttons or another payment gateway.
Selling remastered photos is a great way to make money. Whether you use WordPress, Redbubble, or Social Media, there’s an audience waiting for your artwork. Be sure to only use public domain photos that you can remaster commercially.