Jsell Images On Dreamstime
If you think photography is a costly hobby, you are right, it can be. But that does not mean you need pro-quality equipment to generate money from your photos! Jsell Images On Dreamstime
In fact, if you have got a good phone cam and a steady hand, you’re already in with a shot.
But you get your clicks, you will find 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 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 generally produce larger file photos (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 inventory libraries are catering for cellular snaps, and you still have a shot at the other biz ideas below. Keep reading!
It helps to have…
Some kind of editing program will help buff your pics for the best results, so it is well worth sniffing out a nice bundle (and learning how to use it!) So you can make more money with your photos.
Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are industry standards for photo editing. But they cost dollars! Don’t 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 like colour correction, straightening, cropping and contrast.
- Raw Therapee is a Lightroom-like editor with loads of resources for tweaking colors, curves and much more.
- PIXLR is a persuasive alternative to Photoshop, and even recognises the very same shortcuts directly out the bag. You can run it straight from a browser / through the app for free.
- GIMP can do much of what Photoshop excels at, though some users reckon it’s a more demanding learning curve.
- There are loads of phone editing programs to be obtained for free or a couple of pence, but Snapseed (iPhone, Android, free) always makes the best-of lists.
- Don’t overlook the bloatware picture software bundled into your’puter, telephone or notebook. Most can make light work of the fundamentals.
Selling Through Stock Libraries
Stock libraries buy’n’ sell digital photos to use on websites, in books, on goods and even in advertisements, with the photographer getting a cut of the sale every time.
Selling photos through a stock website is a top way to surf passive income streams: you can upload a photograph once and sell it over and over again, pretty much forever!
You might need to submit a selection of pics (and be accepted) before you can become a stock library contributor. After that, some sites will continue reviewing all your submissions, and will gladly bounce any they do not think meet criteria.
What that means is you will always need to be on the ball about choosing your best shots. Do not get too hung up about rejections, though; 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 gives you 100% of the sales price of your pictures for 2 years. Total win! Your uni will need to be part of the scheme, but loads of UK and US institutions are already on the books. Jsell Images 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 is not enrolled, the pay-out’s still a fairly decent 50%. Selling phone pics through their Stockimo app (iStore only) earns 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% 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 wish to earn more than’likes’, you can also pimp your pictures through the marketplace. EyeEm split every sale with you 50/50, with photos selling from $20-$250. EyeEm Bonus: regular how-to articles, themed missions run by large brands, plus you can upload pics via the net or phone.
- Foap is built around phone photographers, with everything managed through the app (Android, iTunes, free). Foap sells photos for $10 each and splits it 50/50, so you will make $5 a pic. They also run monthly Missions, where you can submit photos on a theme to be in with a chance of winning extra money and perks.
Big Name Websites
Dreamstime offer up to 60 percent for exclusives. How much your photo 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 a phone, begin with the free Dreamstime app (Android, iPhone).
IStock hands 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 sort of licence or subscription program the customer buys determines how your piece is calculated.
Shutterstock coughs up $0.25 (USD) per sale on the most common subscription programs, but say you’ll get a bigger 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 an image…
Playing the Stock (photo) Market
Earning money with stock photos can involve a substantial cash-in, but there are a few things worth bearing in mind…
- Stock photography is a numbers game: if you want sales, you’ll need to upload a great deal of quality pics to several sites.
- Photos of people are always in demand, but anybody you pap might want to signal a model release form to say they’re OK with you using it (your inventory library will have template forms you can print, sign and submit).
- Assess the account 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 state in how clients use your photos, so in case you don’t want your selfies turning up in advertisements for STDs or benzoyl peroxide, do not upload’em!
- Sign-up for contributor newsletters, as they could clue you in on what sells, what to snap next, and even how to enhance your camera or editing skills.
- Add plenty of keywords when you upload your pictures. It helps people find (and hopefully purchase!) your pics.
Selling Your Prints
There’s loads of freedom in selling prints (i.e., printed copies of your photos). You decide what to shoot, who to market to, and for how much and, like selling through stock libraries, it can be a wonderful little passive income earner.
Now, before you leg it down to Boots to batch publish your holiday snaps, there’s 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! Jsell Images On Dreamstime
That means using a proper printing lab (one which excels in art or framed prints), opting for specialist paper, or even selling limited or signed editions. Seems like a drag? Not necessarily; there is inspiration below to get you started.
Use a Photo Host
Photographer-friendly website hosts provide you with a secure place to store your digital pics, a portfolio (which means you can show’em off) and shopping tools (so you can sell prints, downloads and wall art).
They even take care of the printing and any postage every time you make a purchase. Hashtag hallelujah, right?
But the big catch is, not only do they charge for hosting your site, 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, look out for free 14-day trials before you pony up the money: try Zenfolio or Smugmug.
Get Your Own Photo Shop
Alternatively, you could always get your own site or Etsy store 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 need to store some stock (or be out of pocket if you can not shift it!) .
Sell on Social Media Platforms
Eventually the social networking giants will wise-up and start letting us sell photos and other content right from our profiles.
But until then, take a hint 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 strong fanbase, but if you have talent (and the right hashtags) it is 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 enormous potential audience!
Print-on-demand is a brilliantly simple way to make moolah from mouse mats, keyrings, t-shirts, bags, books and more — often using zero setup costs.
The actual 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 inventory to shop, lose, or fall over. Better still, there are websites out there that do all of the printing, printing and submitting for you, so all you’ve got to do is take the photos!
Blurb enables you to create photo books just by importing your Facebook or Insta images — and you can sell your finished novel on Blurb or Amazon.co.uk. You can also advertise books on your website (if you’ve got one), but have Blurb/Amazon manage the payment. Easy! Jsell Images 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 do not even need a glue gun to get started!
Most print-on-demand outfits allow you to upload your photographs (or illustrations), choose which products you wish to sell them on, and 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 very own online store and add a mark-up into the price (which you get as your royalty) instead. It is free to set-up and run a store, but CafePress take 10% of your royalties each month, up to a $10 max.
- Zazzle lets you set your own royalty rate between 5 percent and 99% 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 might 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 start your own shop and grab 20% commission.
- Redbubble starts with a product base price and allows you to 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 cheap — if you are contented with the occasional sale, it can be a wonderful way to make money on the side for relatively little effort.
The word from successful vendors is that, to make proper bucks, you will want to put in the hours (so just like a job, sadly). We’re talking uploading plenty of photos or layouts, 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 customers of your own, here are some tips to get started as a freelance photographer:
- Know your niche. When it’s people, pets, food or something totally left-field, it’s easier to market yourself if your portfolio showcases what you do best.
- Take the time to learn your craft. You can get lucky selling stock in case you don’t understand your aperture from your elbow, but you can’t afford to chance it if someone’s paying you for wedding pics!
- Work out 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 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 favourite bloggers and pitch them your pic ideas!
- Batter your social media 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 contact with picture editors at newspapers, magazines or sites and ask if you can submit photographs or pay local events.
- You may have more chance of getting adopted by Madonna than getting a press pass, but it is like a golden ticket which can get you into sports, fashion and other exclusive events. You’ll want 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 may be the toughest route you may take.
You’ll need a great deal 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’re in it for the career, do not quit. 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’re doing something or going somewhere special. Loads of companies and brands are after photographs of daily life and often it’s the simple things which produce the best pics — believe streets, food (street food?) , facial expressions, loved ones, pets, sports… anything!
- Back-up your best pics (or any you would 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 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 include trademarked products, brands or perhaps specific 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.
- Don’t just do the same-old or what everyone else is doing. Quirky, cute or weird is always in fashion. Amen to that! Jsell Images On Dreamstime