Photos Spelling Love Out Of Paper Hearts
If you think photography is an expensive hobby, you are right, it can be. But that does not mean you need pro-quality equipment to make money from your own photos! Photos Spelling Love Out Of Paper Hearts
In actuality, if you’ve got a decent phone cam and a steady hand, you’re already in with a shot.
But you get your clicks, you will find an increasing number of opportunities to monetise photos you’ve already taken. And when photography’s already your luggage, there are heaps more ways to develop your skills, and income; from selling your Insta inventory 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 photographs (although some camera phones are trumping digi cams these days so this isn’t necessarily 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. Keep reading!
It helps to have…
Some type of editing program will help buff your pics for the best results, so it is well worth sniffing out a decent bundle (and learning how to use it!) So you can earn more money with your own 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 straight from 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 colours, curves and much 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 for free.
- GIMP can do much of what Photoshop excels at, though some users reckon it is a tougher learning curve.
- There are loads 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 forget the bloatware picture software bundled into your’puter, telephone or notebook. Many 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 products as well as in ads, with the photographer getting a cut of the sale every time.
Selling photos through a stock site 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 might need to submit a choice of pics (and be accepted) before you may become a stock library contributor. After that, some websites will keep on reviewing all your submissions, and will happily bounce any they don’t think meet criteria.
What that means is you’ll always need to be on the ball about choosing your best shots. Do not get too hung up about rejections, however; combine multiple websites and post pics to all of 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 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. Photos Spelling Love Out Of Paper Hearts
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 are not a student, or your uni is not registered, the pay-out’s still a fairly decent 50%. Selling phone pics through their Stockimo app (iStore only) earns you a 20% cut.
Other Websites to Check Out:
- Picfair has a twist: you decide how much 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 site butif you want to earn more than’likes’, you could 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 big brands, plus you’ll be able to upload pics via the web 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’ll earn $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 percent 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 a phone, start with the free Dreamstime app (Android, iPhone).
IStock hands over 15 percent of a picture’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 plan the customer purchases determines how your piece is calculated.
Shutterstock coughs up $0.25 (USD) per sale on the most frequent subscription plans, but say you will get a larger cut as your life 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 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 individuals are constantly in demand, but anyone you pap might need to sign a model release form to say they are OK with you with it (your stock 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 would like to cancel your account later on?
- You often won’t get a state in how clients use your photos, so if you don’t want your selfies turning up in advertisements for STDs or hemorrhoid ointment, 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 improve your camera or editing skills.
- Add loads of keywords when you upload your pictures. It helps folk 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 shoot, who to sell to, and for how much and, like selling through stock libraries, it can be a nice little passive revenue 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 greater profits! Photos Spelling Love Out Of Paper Hearts
That means using a suitable printing lab (one that excels in art or framed prints), opting for specialist paper, or even selling restricted or signed editions. Sounds 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 every time you make a sale. 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, look out for free 14-day trials before you pony up the money: try Zenfolio or Smugmug.
Get Your Own Photo Shop
Alternatively, you can always get your own site or Etsy store and hang onto more of your gain!
Getting prints or gifts to sell 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 media giants will wise-up and begin letting us sell photos and other content directly from our profiles.
But until then, take 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 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 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 with zero setup 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 somebody buys’em — so there’s no stock to shop, lose, or fall over. Even better, there are websites out there that do all of the printing, printing and posting for you, so all you’ve got to do is take the photos!
Blurb enables you to create photo books by simply importing your Facebook or Insta pictures — and you can sell your finished novel on Blurb or Amazon.co.uk. You could also advertise books on your own website (if you’ve got one), but have Blurb/Amazon manage the payment. Easy! Photos Spelling Love Out Of Paper Hearts
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 let you upload your photographs (or illustrations), select which products you want 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 marketplace, but you may choose to have your own online store and add a mark-up into the cost (which you get as your royalty) instead. It’s 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% but, while it is tempting to dial it up to full whack, keep in mind 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 marketplace, or you can start your own shop and catch 20% commission.
- Redbubble begins 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’d like.
Running a print-on-demand store is low-fuss and low-cost — if you are happy 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 need to put in the hours (so the same as a project, sadly). We’re talking uploading plenty of photos or layouts, getting the word out, and generally making an effort!
Selling photos 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 freelance photographer:
- Know your niche. When 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 not afford to chance it when someone’s paying you for wedding pics!
- Workout your rate and be sure it covers your time, your prices and leaves you a little on top for gain. And get insurance to your gear!
- Offer 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’re available, and tell’em how to get in touch. 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 websites and ask if you can submit photographs or cover local events.
- You may have more chance of being adopted by Madonna than getting a press pass, but it’s like a golden ticket which can get you into sports, fashion and other exclusive events. You will need to apply each time (or become a member of the National Union of Journalists) however, as soon as you’re in, you’re going to get loads of saleable photo opps!
While everyone with an Insta account appears to reckon they’re a pro photographer, the reality 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 begin to get noticed. If you’re in it for the career, don’t give up. If you are in it for the money, get your game on with the other ideas on this page in the meantime!
Bonus Tips for Aspiring Photographers
- Carry your camera anyplace — and not only when you’re doing something or going somewhere special. Loads of companies and brands are after photos of daily life and often it’s the simple things which make the best pics — think roads, food (street food?) , facial expressions, family, pets, sports… anything!
- Back-up your best pics (or any you would hate to lose): maintain copies on an external drive or in cloud storage (Dropbox provides 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 can save you money on your tax invoice.
- You might not be able to sell photos if they include trademarked products, brands or perhaps specific buildings. Check out the terms with your stock library, or get the company involved and ask if you require permission to hawk your snaps.
- Don’t just do the same-old or what everybody else is doing. Quirky, cute or weird is always in fashion. Amen to that! Photos Spelling Love Out Of Paper Hearts