You may have noted that many of the photos used to illustrate WalletPop stories come from Flickr, Yahoo's site that offers free photo storage and viewing to one and all. On this site, posters can choose to allow their shots to be used in this way by choosing the Creative Commons rights protection protocol.
This has become a great resource for users like us, for whom buying rights to photos from stock photo shops such as Getty Images would be prohibitively expensive. Now a new sort of business is growing in the middle ground between these alternatives. Companies such as Photrade allow the public to post their photos and make a little money every time they are used by others on the internet.
The income comes from tiny advertisements placed into the photos. If a site such as WalletPop used a Photrade photo, Photrade would collect some ad revenue from the company advertised in that photo and split the take with the photographer. The site will also act as a stock photo shop if you prefer to sell your photos in a more conventional way, or sell other items such as t-shirts carrying your images.
Before you rush to upload your entire life's worth of pictures, though, I might caution you. Sites such as ours depend on the advertising we can sell to stay afloat, and aren't too excited about diluting its value by running someone else's ads. There are so many photos available without ads that I can't imagine grabbing a Photrade pic instead. As a money-making proposition, this seems like very small potatoes.