How To Sell Pictures On Dreamstime
If you believe photography is a costly hobby, you’re correct, it can be. But that doesn’t mean you need pro-quality equipment to make money from your photos! How To Sell Pictures On Dreamstime
In fact, if you have got a decent phone cam and a steady hand, you’re already in with a shot.
However you get your clicks, there are a growing number of opportunities to monetise photos you have already taken. And when photography’s already your luggage, you will find heaps more ways to develop your abilities, 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’ve got a digital camera (or fancy picking up one for a steal), 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 generally produce larger file photographs (although some camera phones are trumping digi cams these days so this isn’t always the case).
Got a camera phone? A growing number of stock libraries are catering for cellular snaps, plus you still have a shot at the other biz ideas below. Continue reading!
It helps to have…
Some kind of editing software can help buff your pics for best results, so it is worth sniffing out a nice package (and learning how to use it!) So you can make more money with your photos.
Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are industry standards for picture editing. But they cost bucks! Don’t crack open your wallet until you’ve checked out the freebies:
- FastStone Image Viewer can open RAW files straight out of your digital camera and save them as JPG, TIFF or PNGs. OK for basic edits like colour correction, straightening, cropping and contrast.
- Raw Therapee is a Lightroom-like editor with loads of resources for tweaking colors, curves and more.
- PIXLR is a persuasive alternative to Photoshop, and even recognises the same shortcuts directly out the bag. You can run it directly from a browser / through the app at no cost.
- GIMP can do a lot of what Photoshop excels at, though some users reckon it’s a more demanding learning curve.
- There are tons of phone editing programs to be had for free or a couple of pence, but Snapseed (iPhone, Android, free) consistently makes the best-of lists.
- Do not overlook the bloatware image software bundled into your’puter, telephone or notebook. Most can make light work of the basics.
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 every time.
Selling photographs through a stock website is a top way to browse passive income streams: you can upload a photo once and sell it over and over again, pretty much forever!
You may have to submit a choice of pics (and be accepted) before you may become a stock library contributor. After that, some websites will continue reviewing all your submissions, and will happily bounce any they do not think meet criteria.
What that means is you’ll always have 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 policy.
Which Websites Pay Most?
Swing by Alamy first. Their student contributor scheme provides you 100% of the sales price of your images for 2 years. Total win! Your uni will have to be part of this scheme, but loads of UK and US institutions are already on the books. How To Sell Pictures On Dreamstime
Alamy reckons images typically sell for $90 (USD) each, but you could get anywhere from $20 to $500 depending what it is used for. If you’re not a student, or your uni isn’t registered, the pay-out’s still a fairly decent 50%. Selling phone pics through their Stockimo program (iStore only) earns you a 20% cut.
Other Websites to Check Out:
- Picfair comes with a twist: you decide to what extent your pictures sell for. Picfair then add 20% 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 but, if you wish to earn more than’likes’, you could also pimp your pictures through the marketplace. EyeEm divide every sale with you 50/50, with photos selling from $20-$250. EyeEm Bonus: regular how-to content, themed missions run by big brands, plus you can upload pics via the net or phone.
- Foap is built around telephone photographers, with everything handled through the program (Android, iTunes, free). Foap sells photos for $10 each and splits it 50/50, so you will make $5 per pic. They also run monthly Missions, where you can submit photographs on a theme to be in with a chance of winning extra money and perks.
Big Name Websites
Dreamstime offer up to 60% for exclusives. How much your photograph sells for also goes up the longer it is downloaded: newbie images start at between $0.34 and $2.38 (USD). If you’re shooting on a phone, start with the free Dreamstime program (Android, iPhone).
IStock palms over 15 percent of an image’s sales price, but promise a bigger cut if you make the pic exclusive to the site. Photos typically sell for #7 or #20 a go, but the type of licence or subscription program the customer buys determines how your slice is calculated.
Shutterstock coughs up $0.25 (USD) per sale on the most frequent subscription programs, but say you will find a larger cut as your lifetime earnings pass different levels. To put that into context, once you’ve earned $10,000, you will be bumped up to the heady heights of 38 cents a picture…
Playing the Stock (photo) Market
Making money with stock photographs can involve a significant cash-in, but there are a few things worth bearing in mind…
- Stock photography is a numbers game: if you want sales, you will need to upload a great deal of quality pics to a number of sites.
- Photos of people are always in demand, but anybody you pap may want to sign a model release form to say they are OK with you with it (your inventory library will have template forms you can print, sign and publish ).
- Check the accounts terms! When are you going to get paid, and in what currency? What happens to your photos if you would like to cancel your account in the future?
- You often won’t get a say in how customers use your photos, so if you don’t need your selfies turning up in advertisements for STDs or benzoyl peroxide, don’t upload’em!
- Sign-up for contributor newsletters, as they can clue you in on what sells, what to snap next, and even how to enhance your camera or editing skills.
- Add loads of keywords when you upload your images. It helps folk find (and hopefully purchase!) 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 print your holiday snaps, there’s a bit more to it. While you can run off photos on your home printer or at a high-street laboratory, better quality means higher profits! How To Sell Pictures On Dreamstime
That means using a proper printing laboratory (one that 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 safe place to store your digital pics, a portfolio (which means you can show’em away ) and purchasing tools (so you can sell prints, downloads and wall art).
They even handle the printing and any postage each time you make a purchase. 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 is not everybody’s cup of cocoa! If you want to give it a whirl, be aware of free 14-day trials until you pony up the money: try Zenfolio or Smugmug.
Get Your Own Photo Shop
As an alternative, you could always get your own website or Etsy shop and hang onto more of your profit!
Getting prints or gifts to sell is also super straightforward; go for print-on-demand and you won’t have to store some stock (or be out of pocket if you can not shift it!) .
Sell on Social Media Platforms
Eventually the social media giants will wise-up and start letting us sell photos and other content right from our profiles.
But until then, have a tip from street photographer Daniel Arnold: he offered Instagram followers the chance to order 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 right 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 your portfolio, and you have got a massive 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 actual beauty of print-on-demand is that while you may advertise a great deal of products, none of them actually exist until someone buys’em — so there’s no stock to shop, lose, or fall over. Better still, there are websites out there that do all the printing, printing and submitting for you, so all you have to do is take the photos!
Blurb lets you create photo books by simply importing your Facebook or Insta pictures — and you’ll be able to sell your finished book on Blurb or Amazon.co.uk. You could even advertise books on your website (if you’ve got one), but have Blurb/Amazon handle the payment. Easy! How To Sell Pictures On Dreamstime
Gifts and Goodies
Turns out you can slap a photo on pretty much anything, from shower curtains to pet clothing and PJs; and you don’t even need a glue gun to get started!
Most print-on-demand outfits allow you to upload your photos (or illustrations), select which products you want to sell them on, and then give you a cut of the profits if they sell.
- CafePress pays you 10% if your products sell in their marketplace, but you can opt to have your own online store and add a mark-up into the cost (which you get as your royalty) instead. It is free to set up and run a store, but CafePress take 10% of your royalties monthly, up to a $10 max.
- Zazzle lets you set your own royalty rate between 5% and 99 percent but, while it’s 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 may add a mark-up of $1 to $20 on items sold through the market, or you can start 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 like.
Running a print-on-demand shop is low-fuss and low-cost — if you’re contented with the occasional sale, it can be a wonderful way to generate cash on the side for relatively little work.
The word from successful vendors is that, to make proper bucks, you’ll want to put in the hours (so just like a project, sadly). We’re talking uploading lots of photos or designs, getting the word out, and generally making an effort!
Selling photographs anonymously online is easy enough. But if you want to build a rep, get more glory or just have clients of your own, here are some tips to get started as a freelancer photographer:
- Know your niche. Whether it’s individuals, pets, food or something completely 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 may get lucky selling stock if you don’t know your aperture out of your elbow, but you can’t afford to chance it if someone’s paying you for wedding pics!
- Workout your rate and make sure it covers your time, your costs and leaves you a little on top for gain. And get insurance to your gear!
- Give to photograph events, portraits or parties for family and friends to develop 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 are available, and tell’em how to get in touch. Get cheeky and choose alternative promo shots for brands, then label them to get noticed.
- Get in touch with picture editors at magazines, newspapers or websites and ask if you can submit photographs 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 that could get you into sports, fashion and other exclusive events. You will want to apply each time (or be a member of the National Union of Journalists) however, once you’re in, you’re going to get plenty of saleable photo opps!
While everyone with an Insta account appears to reckon they’re a pro photographer, the truth is that being a freelancer may be the toughest route you may take.
You’ll need a great deal of patience, perseverance, good shoes and adequate pics — and you may well have to give away images for free when you first start out to get noticed. If you’re 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 anyplace — and not only when you are doing something or going somewhere special. Loads of companies and brands are after photographs of daily life and often it’s the simple things that make the best pics — believe 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).
- Once you start getting sales, get to grips with tax and the freelancing fundamentals. It will save you stress in the long term, and could save you money on your tax bill.
- You might not be able to sell photos should they comprise trademarked products, brands or even specific buildings. Check out the terms with your stock library, or get 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 fashion. Amen to that! How To Sell Pictures On Dreamstime