I am one of those people that takes photos of everything when I vacation. And I mean everything. Cool flowers, neat buildings, interesting wall paper, and tons of landscapes. So when I discovered how to make extra money with vacation photos, I got that crazy entrepreneur-butterfly-itch that hits me time and again.

Now, obviously you can post your photos on sale at stock photography sites – and you probably could make some money that way. But that’s not nearly as exciting and doesn’t get your creative juices flowing like creating actual products. And it’s much easier than it sounds.


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One of the best ways to make extra money is by using your photography from past vacations! Not only is this a great side hustle, but it's also a wonderful way to preserve your memories.


There are a couple of sites out there that have similar capabilities, but the one I use and love is Zazzle.com.

Here’s the basic gist of Zazzle – you upload your photo and put it on a product (there are literally hundreds of options). You click “Post for Sale”, fill out some details like a description and keywords and you’re done. It’s honestly that simple. Zazzle is pretty phenomenal when it comes to marketing, so you don’t have to do much if you don’t want to or can’t – they work with sites like Google and Amazon, so your products will show up there if someone is searching for it.

Now, there are lots of ways to make money using Zazzle, but here’s some specific tips for using your vacation photos:


Step 1: Pick Your Photos

In my experience, the best vacation photos to use are skylines, landmarks, and landscapes. I rarely sell pictures that include people, so I stray away from them.

Outer Banks Dunes Postcard

I always add text to my photos (Zazzle makes this extremely easy), so I also try to pick pictures that have “free space” (the sky, grass, etc) where text will look good.


Step 2: Edit Your Photos

Before you close this blog post and go running in the other direction, hear me out. You do not – I repeat do not – need to be a PhotoShop expert. You don’t need to use PhotoShop at all. In fact, if you really don’t want to edit your photos, you don’t have to. But there are some really, really simple ways to edit them.

Sometimes all I use is the basic photo editor that appears when you open a picture on your computer. I fiddle with the brightness, contrast, or saturation. If you want to experiment, try using PicMonkey.  They have some really cool effects that can make a picture look really amazing. I also use Whitagram on my phone which can do some cool things (and you can definitely use pictures you’ve taken with your phone).

Hong Kong Skyline Postcards


Step 3: Pick Your Product

When it comes to vacation photos, here are the products I recommend you start with:

As I said before, there are literally hundreds of options for products, so you don’t need to stop there, but this is the best place to start.  I love experimenting with new ideas and products, but I always start with these products first. They’re the easiest to work with and they sell pretty consistently.


Step 4: Create Your Product

If you plan on selling your creation, you will first need to sign up for an account. After that, you pick the product you want to create and they will prompt you to choose a photo. They will also prompt you to add text, which is optional, but I always add it (I have found that I sell way more when text is included).

I always use Zazzle’s text editor because then customers can change the text if they want to. Experiment with different fonts and colors to make the product look professional. Also, make sure that your image is filling up the entire product. Zazzle does not always automatically do this for you.

Saint Lucia Pitons Postcard


Step 5: Posting for Sale

Once you are satisfied with your product, you will click on Post for Sale. This final step is where you will fill out the information about your product. Be as clear and descriptive as you can because this is how people will find your product.  Zazzle only allows 10 keywords, so choose wisely.

This is also where you will be able to set your royalty amount, which is how much you make off of each sale.  By default, Zazzle will set this at 10%.  I always increase the royalty.  For postcards, I set it at 15%. Depending on the image, you can set your posters even higher than that.

Once you’ve finished this, you’re good to go!  The more products you make, the more sales you will make, so don’t get discouraged if you’ve only posted a few products. Before long you will be waking up to emails with dollar signs – and you’ll have a new way to justify traveling!



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One of the greatest side hustles is to make extra money with your vacation photography! It's free, easy, and also a great way to preserve your memories!

59 Comments on How To Make Extra Money with Vacation Photos

  1. How do you protect your photos? I was looking into zazzle after reading this article because I have a lot of travel photos but a lot of people complain that instead of customers buying the postcard or whatever, people just click and save the image for themselves to their computers, is there a way to protect your images?

    • I don’t take any special measures to protect my images and I haven’t experienced any problems yet. I’f you’re really worried about it, you could focus on other products (besides posters or postcards) that would not provide the opportunity to just save the image. A lot of those will make you more money per sale anyways. But I’ve had my images on Zazzle for over 8 years now and have been selling consistently since day 1! So I wouldn’t let too many nay-sayers discourage you 🙂

    • Glad you liked it 🙂 This is the perfect outlet for photos – you won’t believe everything you can do! (and money you can earn 😉 )

  2. Wow, what an awesome tip! I had never heard of Zazzle. I’ll be sure to take lots of pics on my next vacation! Thanks for sharing at the #ConfessionsLinkUp

  3. We travel quite a bit as a family and never thought about this option. Passive income is always nice to have. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Great info! I’d love it if you could give us an idea of how long you’ve had a Zazzle account, how many products you’ve offered and how many sales you’ve made. This would certainly help in providing some idea of the kind of commitment one would have to put in to really start earning. Would also love a link to your Zazzle store to check it out!

    • I’ve been using Zazzle for about 7 years and have around 700 products. I usually make around 30 sales a month (about 1 sale each day), but that can vary depending upon the season. The commitment level is one of the most attractive parts of Zazzle in my opinion – you really can focus on it whenever you want. I’ve had days where all I think about is the different products I want to create and then I’ve had months where I haven’t done a single thing. 🙂

  5. Hi, I was just wondering if you were able to explain this site (zazzle) just a little more to me! I’m very interested in sharing my photos and possibly making some money on the side! It’s such a great idea!

    • Of course! What exactly would you like to know? There’s sooooo much to say about it! If you’re into photography, you wouldn’t believe all the potential that is there. I have a few other articles that go over different points of Zazzle, but I believe most are linked through this article. Tell me where to start and I’ll answer any questions you’ve got!

        • Well, as is typically the case, the hardest part is just sitting down and forcing yourself to get the first one done. 🙂 My recommendation is to start w/ the steps in the post. Those were all my first products and then I started branching out from there. So pick a great landscape or skyline, edit it, and then upload to a postcard (link for that is in the post). Then make sure it looks nice and add text. Once you post it for sale, you will be able to see how it works! Then you can either start experimenting with different types of products for the same image, or use a new image and make more simple products. Here are some more tips once you get started – http://gardenharbor.hubpages.com/_MBAsahm/hub/10-ways-to-make-money-on-zazzle Good luck! Let me know if that helps more.

          • awesome thank you for all the help! Now the only thing i am having a problem with is I created a postcard, and now I can’t figure out how it shows up in my store? Do I have to wait that first 24 hours before it shows up?

          • Awesome!! thats so great! Yes, you do have to wait 24 hours (or at least overnight), so hopefully it will show up tomorrow morning! Was it easy for you? There are tons and tons of products, so hopefully you enjoyed it and will want to try out more 🙂 Even if they product seems weird, sometimes its worth a try…I’ve sold skateboards, license plates, cake pops, lol…the options are endless! good luck 🙂

  6. This is a great idea! Pinning and sharing. Thanks for sharing this at Totally Terrific Tuesday last week! I can’t wait to see what you have lined up for this week! Our party is live right now!

    Her Organized Chaos

  7. How cool! You created postcards. Nice job on those photos. Font style and colors totally works. We travel a lot too, but it never occurred to me.
    Thank you for coming to the Inspire Me Monday Linky party. I’m Janice, one of your hostesses.

  8. Amazing! Never knew such a thing existed until now. I’ll have to keep this in mind next time I go on vacation. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Thanks so much for this! My son in law is an amazing photographer, so I’ll be passing this on to him. I love to take lots of pictures, so may take at look at this for myself as well. Found you on the #ThisIsHowWeRoll Thursday link party!

  10. I’m not blessed with any kind of photo-taking skills, but I stumbled on your blog today and am impressed with your idea. Rock on, girlfriend!

  11. Seriously, how did I not know about this! THANK YOU for sharing! I love Zazzle and I love that I immediately recognized the Pitons in your photo from St. Lucia! I’ll have to go through my photos and take your advice. Thank you!

  12. I can honestly say that I have never heard of this possibility before! I take tons of pictures too and will have to check this out!

  13. I didn’t have much luck with Zazzle awhile back, but to be fair, I don’t think I gave it my full attention. Maybe I will go back and try it again!

  14. I’ve been considering this for about a year now and I’m beginning to think about it more seriously. I’ve just heard you have to create a LOT of stuff to be pretty successful, so it might be slow going for me for a bit 🙂

    • It’s definitely true, the more you have for sale, the more you make. BUT the good news is that that will happen naturally over time…so it’s not like you need to increase the rate at which you make products, you just gradually build up your collection. As is usually the case, I’m soooo glad I started. 🙂

  15. This is brilliant! Never heard of it before but I will DEFINITELY be looking into it.

    …And thank you for giving me another excuse to go traveling 😀

    • LOL, thats the best reason…and you have to travel somewhere exotic and picture worthy!

    • Well, in this case, you’re not actually selling the photo, you’re selling a product that the photo is on…like as a souvenir or something! So, yes, I guess that would be the purpose 🙂 I’ve also sold destination wedding collections using vacation photography, so that would be another purpose. Honestly, once you get into this you will be so surprised all the cool things your photos can make! 🙂

        • Sorry, lol, didn’t mean to confuse things! What I meant was that I’ve used vacation photos to create wedding products that could be used for a destination wedding at that location. For example, pictures of the Bahamas could be used to make pretty wedding invitations or wedding gifts for someone planning a destination wedding in the Bahamas. I have another article that focuses specifically on the wedding topic if you want to check it out – https://mbasahm.com/make-money-designing-wedding-invitations/ This is another huge opportunity to make some extra money (and tons of fun!) 🙂 Let me know if I’m explaining myself the right way. Sorry for the confusion!

  16. Wow, I have never thought of this. What a great idea!

    Do you also know of any sites that pay for pictures of messy houses and/or unkempt children? Because I have a lot of those.

    Repinning from the Retro Repin party to my personal board.

    • Lol!! I bet if you’re really creative you could come up with a way to sell those, lol. I’m not sure why people prefer serene paradise pictures 😉

  17. NEVER knew you could make money this way!! i am a picture junky and always take pics of the most random things when we are on vacation or visiting friends/family…thank you for sharing this awesome piece of info!

    • No problem! If you love taking pics, then you are going to LOVE Zazzle 🙂 It will be your new favorite hobby, I guarantee it! Good luck!

    • you should definitely think about it! I try and create products from every trip I take. It makes me feel like I can travel more often 🙂

    • I definitely recommend it. Of all of my sources of extra income, it is the easiest, smoothest, and most regular. I’m soo soo glad I started 🙂

    • Glad to introduce something new to you! It’s truly amazing how much you can make these days…especially on this site. Even if there wasn’t money involved, I would still be addicted to Zazzle. It’s so a great outlet for creativity. Thanks for stopping by!

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