Sell Images For Greeting Cards
If you believe photography is a costly hobby, you are right, it can be. But that does not mean you need pro-quality equipment to make money from your photos! Sell Images For Greeting Cards
In fact, if you have got a decent phone camera along with a steady hand, you are already in with a shot.
However you get your clicks, there are an increasing number of opportunities to monetise photos you’ve already taken. And if photography’s already your bag, there are heaps more ways to develop your skills, and income; from selling your Insta stock to pulling a Brooklyn Beckham (famous parents optional).
You know the drill: read, learn, and give it a bash for yourself!
If you have got a digital camera (or fancy picking one up to get a sneak ), you will have more options for selling pics to stock libraries, to sites for prints, or for print-on-demand products. This is because cameras will usually produce larger file photographs (although some camera phones are trumping digi cams nowadays so this isn’t necessarily the case).
Got a camera phone? A growing number of inventory libraries are catering for cellular snaps, plus you still have a shot at the other biz thoughts below. Continue reading!
It helps to have…
Some kind of editing program will help buff your pics for best results, so it’s worth sniffing out a nice bundle (and learning how to use it!) So you can earn more money with your photos.
Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are industry standards for photo editing. But they cost bucks! Do not crack open your wallet until you’ve checked out the freebies:
- FastStone Image Viewer can open RAW files directly out of your digital camera and save them as JPG, TIFF or PNGs. OK for basic edits such as colour correction, straightening, cropping and contrast.
- Raw Therapee is a Lightroom-like editor with loads of tools for tweaking colors, curves and more.
- PIXLR is a convincing alternative to Photoshop, and even recognises the very same shortcuts directly out the bag. You can run it directly from a browser / through the app at no cost.
- GIMP can do much of what Photoshop excels at, though some users guess it is a more demanding learning curve.
- There are tons of phone editing apps to be had for free or a couple of pence, but Snapseed (iPhone, Android, free) always makes the best-of lists.
- Don’t forget the bloatware image software bundled into your’puter, telephone or laptop. Many can make light work of the fundamentals.
Selling Through Stock Libraries
Stock libraries purchase’n’ sell digital photos to use on websites, in books, on products and even in ads, with the photographer getting a cut of the sale each time.
Selling photographs through a stock site is a top way to browse passive income streams: you can upload a photograph once and sell it over and over again, pretty much forever!
You might have to submit a choice of pics (and be accepted) before you may become a stock library contributor. After that, some sites will continue reviewing all your submissions, and will happily bounce any they do not think meet standards.
What that means is you’ll always need to be on the ball about picking your best shots. Do not get too hung up about rejections, however; combine a number of websites and post pics to all of them to get the best possible coverage.
Which Websites Pay Most?
Swing by Alamy first. Their pupil contributor scheme provides you 100% of the sales price of your pictures for 2 years. Total win! Your uni will need to be part of this scheme, but loads of UK and US institutions are already on the books. Sell Images For Greeting Cards
Alamy reckons images typically sell for $90 (USD) each, but you could get anywhere from $20 to $500 depending what it’s used for. If you’re not a student, or your uni isn’t enrolled, the pay-out’s still a fairly decent 50%. Selling phone pics through their Stockimo program (iStore only) provides you a 20% reduction.
Other Websites to Check Out:
- Picfair comes with a twist: you decide to what extent your images sell for. Picfair then add 20 percent on top for their cut, but the sales price you set is what you get if your image sells.
- EyeEm: if Instagram and Alamy had a love child, this is what it would look like. EyeEm is a photo sharing website butif you want to earn more than’likes’, you can also pimp your images through the market. EyeEm divide every sale with you 50/50, with photographs selling from $20-$250. EyeEm Bonus: regular how-to articles, themed missions run by large brands, plus you’ll be able to upload pics via the web or phone.
- Foap is constructed around phone photographers, with everything managed through the program (Android, iTunes, free). Foap sells pictures for $10 each and splits it 50/50, so you will make $5 a pic. They also run monthly Missions, where you are able to submit photos on a theme to be in with a chance of winning extra money and perks.
Big Name Websites
Dreamstime provide up to 60 percent for exclusives. How much your photograph sells for also goes up the longer it’s downloaded: newbie images begin at between $0.34 and $2.38 (USD). If you are shooting a phone, begin with the free Dreamstime program (Android, iPhone).
IStock palms over 15 percent of an image’s sales price, but guarantee a bigger cut if you make the pic exclusive to the website. Photos typically sell for #7 or #20 a go, but the type of license or subscription program the customer purchases determines how your piece is calculated.
Shutterstock coughs up $0.25 (USD) per sale on the most common subscription programs, but say you’ll find a bigger cut as your lifetime earnings pass different levels. To put that into context, as soon as you’ve earned $10,000, you will be bumped up to the heady heights of 38 cents an image…
Playing the Stock (photo) Market
Making money with stock photographs can involve a substantial cash-in, but there are a couple of things worth bearing in mind…
- Stock photography is a numbers game: if you want sales, you will need to upload lots of quality pics to a number of sites.
- Photos of people are constantly in demand, but anybody you pap may need to signal a model release form to say they’re OK with you with it (your stock library will have template forms you can print, sign and publish ).
- Assess the accounts terms! When are you going to get paid, and in what currency? What happens to your photos if you want to cancel your account later on?
- You often won’t get a say in how clients use your photographs, so if you don’t want your selfies turning up in ads for STDs or benzoyl peroxide, don’t upload’em!
- Sign-up for contributor newsletters, as they could clue you in on what sells, what to snap next, as well as how to enhance your camera or editing skills.
- Add plenty of keywords when you upload your images. It helps people find (and hopefully buy!) your pics.
Selling Your Prints
There is loads of freedom in selling prints (i.e., printed copies of your photographs ). You decide what to take, who to sell to, and for how much and, like selling through stock libraries, it can be a nice little passive income earner.
Now, before you leg it down to Boots to batch publish your holiday snaps, there is a bit more to it. While you can run off pictures on your home printer or at a high-street laboratory, better quality means higher profits! Sell Images For Greeting Cards
That means using a suitable printing lab (one which specialises in art or framed prints), opting for expert paper, or even selling limited or signed editions. Sounds like a drag? Not necessarily; there is inspiration below to get you started.
Use a Photo Host
Photographer-friendly site hosts give you a secure place to store your digital pics, a portfolio (which means you can show’em off) and purchasing tools (so you can sell prints, downloads and wall art).
They even handle the printing and any stamp every time you make a sale. Hashtag hallelujah, right?
But the big catch is, not only do they charge for hosting your website, they also take a cheeky cut from each sale — and that’s not everyone’s cup of cocoa! If you wish to give it a whirl, be aware of free 14-day trials before you pony up the money: try Zenfolio or Smugmug.
Get Your Own Photo Shop
As an alternative, you could always get your own site or Etsy shop and hang onto more of your gain!
Getting prints or gifts to market is also super easy; go for print-on-demand and you won’t have to store any stock (or be out of pocket if you can’t shift it!) .
Sell on Social Media Platforms
Eventually the social networking giants will wise-up and start letting us sell photos and other content directly from our profiles.
But until then, have a tip from street photographer Daniel Arnold: he offered Instagram followers the chance to purchase prints from his feed and made $15k in one day. Obviously it helps if you’ve already got a solid fanbase, but if you have talent (and the ideal hashtags) it’s worth a shot!
The best thing about selling on social media is that you don’t even need a website: your feed is the portfolio, and you have got a enormous potential audience!
Print-on-demand is a brilliantly simple way to make moolah from mouse mats, keyrings, t-shirts, bags, books and much more — often using zero set-up costs.
The real beauty of print-on-demand is that while you can advertise a great deal of goods, none of them actually exist until somebody buys’em — so there’s no stock to shop, lose, or fall over. Even better, there are websites out there that do all the producing, printing and posting for you, so all you have to do is take the photographs!
Blurb enables you to create photo books by simply importing your Facebook or Insta images — and you can sell your final novel on Blurb or Amazon.co.uk. You can also advertise books on your own website (if you have one), but have Blurb/Amazon handle the payment. Easy! Sell Images For Greeting Cards
Gifts and Goodies
Turns out you can slap a photo on pretty much anything, from shower curtains to pet clothes and PJs; and you do not even need a glue gun to begin!
Most print-on-demand outfits allow you to upload your photographs (or illustrations), choose which products you wish to sell them on, and then give you a cut of the profits if they market.
- CafePress pays you 10% if your products sell in their market, but you can choose to have your very own online store and add a mark-up into the price (which you get as your royalty) rather than It’s free to set-up and run a shop, but CafePress take 10% of your royalties each month, up to a $10 max.
- Zazzle enables you to set your own royalty rate between 5% and 99 percent but, while it is tempting to dial it up to full whack, remember that your cut is added to the sales price: go OTT and you may find it more difficult to make sales.
- With Spreadshirt you can add a mark-up of $1 to $20 on items sold through the market, or you can open your own store and catch 20% commission.
- Redbubble starts with a product base cost and lets you add on a mark-up — the default is 20%, but you can tweak it as much as you’d like.
Running a print-on-demand shop is low-fuss and low-cost — if you are happy with the occasional sale, it can be a nice way to make money on the side for relatively little effort.
The word from successful sellers is that, to make proper bucks, you will need to put in the hours (so the same as a project, sadly). We’re talking uploading plenty of photos or designs, getting the word out, and generally try!
Selling photos anonymously online is easy enough. But if you want to build a rep, get more glory or just have customers of your own, here are some tips to get started as a freelancer photographer:
- Know your market . Whether it’s people, pets, food or something totally left-field, it is a lot easier to market yourself whether your portfolio showcases what you do best.
- Take time to learn your craft. You can get lucky selling stock if you don’t know your aperture from your elbow, but you can not afford to chance it if someone’s paying you for wedding pics!
- Work out your rate and make sure it covers your time, your prices and leaves you a little on top for profit. And get insurance to your equipment!
- Give to photo events, parties or portraits for family and friends to build up a portfolio, and ask them to spread the word for you. Or hunt out your favorite bloggers and pitch them your pic ideas!
- Batter your social networking account with your best pics, let folk know you’re available, and tell’em how to get connected. Get cheeky and choose alternative promo shots for brands, then tag them to get noticed.
- Get in touch with picture editors at newspapers, magazines or websites and ask if you can submit photos or cover local events.
- You may have more chance of getting adopted by Madonna than obtaining a press pass, but it is like a golden ticket which could get you into sports, fashion and other exclusive events. You’ll need to apply each time (or become a member of the National Union of Journalists) however, once you’re in, you’re going to get plenty of saleable photo opps!
While everybody with an Insta account seems to reckon they’re a pro photographer, the truth is that being a freelancer is probably the toughest route you can take.
You’ll need tons of patience, perseverance, good shoes and decent pics — and you may well have to give away pictures for free when you first start out to get noticed. If you are in it for the career, do not give up. If you’re in it for the money, get your game on with the other thoughts on this page in the meantime!
Bonus Tips for Aspiring Photographers
- Carry your camera everywhere — and not only when you are doing something or going somewhere special. Loads of companies and brands are after photos of daily life and often it is the simple things which produce the best pics — think streets, food (street food?) , facial expressions, family, pets, sports… anything!
- Back-up your best pics (or any you’d hate to lose): keep copies on an external drive or in cloud storage (Dropbox gives you 2GB of space for free).
- As soon as you start getting sales, get to grips with tax and the freelancing fundamentals. It’ll save you stress in the long run, and could save you money on your tax invoice.
- You might not have the ability to sell photos should they comprise trademarked products, brands or even certain buildings. Check out the terms with your stock library, or contact the company involved and ask if you require permission to hawk your own snaps.
- Do not just do the same-old or what everybody else is doing. Quirky, cute or weird is always in vogue. Amen to that! Sell Images For Greeting Cards