Photo Selling Faa
If you think photography is a costly hobby, you’re right, it can be. But that doesn’t mean you need pro-quality equipment to generate money from your photos! Photo Selling Faa
In actuality, if you have got a good phone cam and a steady hand, you are already in with a shot.
But you get your clicks, you will find a growing number of opportunities to monetise photos you’ve already taken. And if 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 celebration for yourself!
If you have 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 photos (although some camera phones are trumping digi cams nowadays so this is not necessarily the case).
Got a camera phone? A growing amount of inventory libraries are catering for cellular snaps, and you still have a shot at the other biz thoughts below. Keep reading!
It helps to have…
Some kind of editing program will help buff your pics for the best results, so it’s well worth sniffing out a decent bundle (and learning how to use it!) So you can make more money with your own photos.
Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are industry standards for photo 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 tools for tweaking colors, curves and much more.
- PIXLR is a convincing alternative to Photoshop, and even simplifies the very same shortcuts right 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 guess it is a more demanding learning curve.
- There are tons of phone editing programs to be obtained 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, phone or laptop. Most can make light work of the fundamentals.
Selling Through Stock Libraries
Stock libraries buy’n’ sell digital photographs to use on websites, in books, on goods as well as in ads, together with the photographer getting a cut of the sale every time.
Selling photographs through a stock site is a top way to surf 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 gladly bounce any they do not think meet standards.
What that means is you will always have to be on the ball about choosing your best shots. Don’t get too hung up about rejections, however; join a number of websites and post pics to them to get the best possible coverage.
Which Websites Pay Most?
Swing by Alamy first. Their student contributor scheme gives you 100% of the sales price of your images for two 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. Photo Selling Faa
Alamy reckons images typically sell for $90 (USD) each, but you might get anywhere from $20 to $500 depending what it’s used for. If you are not a student, or your uni is not 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 how much 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 want to earn more than’likes’, you could also pimp your images through the marketplace. EyeEm divide every sale with you 50/50, with photographs selling from $20-$250. EyeEm Bonus: regular how-to content, themed missions run by big brands, plus you’ll be able to upload pics via the net or phone.
- Foap is constructed around telephone photographers, with everything handled through the program (Android, iTunes, free). Foap sells pictures for $10 each and splits it 50/50, so you’ll earn $5 per 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 cash and perks.
Big Name Websites
Dreamstime provide 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 are shooting on 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 website. Photos typically sell for #7 or #20 a go, but the sort of license 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 plans, but say you will get a bigger cut as your lifetime earnings pass various levels. To put that into context, as soon as you’ve earned $10,000, you’ll be bumped up to the heady heights of 38 cents a picture…
Playing the Stock (photo) Market
Earning 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’ll need to upload a great deal of quality pics to several sites.
- Photos of people are always in demand, but anyone you pap may want to sign a model release form to say they’re OK with you using it (your stock library will have template forms you can print, sign and publish ).
- Assess the accounts terms! When will you get paid, and in what currency? What happens to your photos if you would like to cancel your account later on?
- You often won’t get a say in how customers use your photos, so in case you don’t need your selfies turning up in advertisements for STDs or hemorrhoid ointment, do not upload’em!
- Sign-up for contributor newsletters, as they can clue you in on what sells, what to snap next, as well as how to improve your camera or editing skills.
- Add loads of keywords when you upload your images. It helps people find (and hopefully buy!) your pics.
Promoting Your Prints
There is loads of liberty in selling prints (i.e., printed copies of your photographs ). 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 is 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! Photo Selling Faa
That means using a proper printing laboratory (one which excels in art or framed prints), opting for expert paper, or perhaps selling restricted or signed editions. Seems like a drag? Not necessarily; there’s 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 (so you can show’em off) and shopping 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 site, they also take a cheeky cut from each sale — and that is not everyone’s cup of cocoa! If you wish to give it a whirl, be aware of free 14-day trials until you pony up the cash: try Zenfolio or Smugmug.
Get Your Own Photo Shop
Alternatively, you can always get your own site or Etsy shop and hang onto more of your profit!
Getting prints or gifts to market is also super straightforward; go for print-on-demand and you won’t need to store some 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 begin letting us sell photos and other content directly from our profiles.
But until then, take a hint from street photographer Daniel Arnold: he provided Instagram followers the opportunity to order 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’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’ve 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 with zero set-up costs.
The actual beauty of print-on-demand is that while you can advertise tons of goods, none of them really exist until somebody buys’em — so there’s no stock to shop, lose, or fall over. Better still, there are websites out there that do all of the printing, printing and posting for you, so all you have to do is take the photographs!
Blurb lets you create photo books by simply importing your Facebook or Insta pictures — and you’ll be able to sell your final book 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! Photo Selling Faa
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 begin!
Most print-on-demand outfits let you upload your photographs (or illustrations), select 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 market, but you may choose to have your own online shop and add a mark-up into the cost (which you get as your royalty) rather than 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 enables you to 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 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 marketplace, or you can start your own store and grab 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 store is low-fuss and low-cost — if you are contented with the occasional sale, it can be a wonderful way to make cash on the side for relatively little effort.
The word from successful vendors is that, to make proper bucks, you’ll need to put in the hours (so the same as a job, sadly). We’re talking uploading lots of photos or designs, getting the word out, and generally try!
Selling photos anonymously online is simple 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 freelance 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 the time to learn your craft. You may get lucky selling stock in case you don’t know your aperture out of your elbow, but you can not afford to chance it when someone’s paying you for wedding pics!
- Work out your rate and be sure it covers your time, your prices and leaves you a little on top for profit. And get insurance to your equipment!
- Offer to photo events, portraits or parties for friends and family to build up a portfolio, and ask them to spread the word for you. Or search 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 connected. Get cheeky and choose alternative promo shots for brands, then tag them to get noticed.
- Get in touch with picture editors at magazines, newspapers or sites and ask if you can submit photographs or pay local events.
- You might have more chance of being adopted by Madonna than obtaining a press pass, but it’s like a golden ticket that 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) but, as soon as you’re in, you’ll get plenty of saleable photo opps!
While everybody with an Insta account seems to reckon they’re a pro photographer, the reality is that being a freelancer may be the toughest route you can 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 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 are doing something or going somewhere special. Loads of companies and brands are after photographs of daily life and often it is the simple things that produce the best pics — think streets, food (street food?) , facial expressions, family, pets, sports… anything!
- Back-up your best pics (or some you’d hate to lose): maintain copies on an external drive or in cloud storage (Dropbox provides you 2GB of space for free).
- Once you start getting sales, get to grips with tax and the freelancing fundamentals. It’ll save you stress in the long term, and could save you money on your tax invoice.
- You may not have the ability to sell photos if they include trademarked products, brands or even specific buildings. Check out the terms with your stock library, or contact the company involved and ask if you require permission to hawk your snaps.
- Do not just do the same-old or what everyone else is doing. Quirky, cute or weird is always in vogue. Amen to that! Photo Selling Faa