Sale Photography Online
If you think photography is a costly hobby, you are right, it can be. But that doesn’t mean you need pro-quality equipment to generate money from your photos! Sale Photography Online
In fact, if you’ve got a decent phone camera along with a steady hand, you’re already in with a shot.
But you get your clicks, there are 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 abilities, 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 bash for yourself!
If you’ve 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 websites 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 these days so this isn’t always the case).
Got a camera phone? A growing amount of inventory 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 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 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 directly from your digital camera and save them as JPG, TIFF or PNGs. OK for basic edits like color correction, straightening, cropping and contrast.
- Raw Therapee is a Lightroom-like editor with loads of tools for tweaking colours, curves and more.
- PIXLR is a persuasive alternative to Photoshop, and even simplifies the very same shortcuts directly out the bag. You can run it straight from a browser / through the app at no cost.
- GIMP can do a lot of what Photoshop excels at, though some users guess 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 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 purchase’n’ sell digital photos to use on websites, in books, on goods and even in advertisements, together with the photographer getting a cut of the sale every time.
Selling photos through a stock site 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 have to submit a choice of pics (and be accepted) until you can become a stock library contributor. After that, some sites will keep on reviewing all your submissions, and will happily bounce any they don’t think meet criteria.
What that means is you will always have to be on the ball about picking your best shots. Don’t get too hung up about rejections, though; join multiple sites and post pics to them to find the best possible policy.
Which Websites Pay Most?
Swing by Alamy first. Their pupil contributor scheme provides you 100% of the sales price of your images for 2 years. Total win! Your uni will need to be part of the scheme, but lots of UK and US institutions are already on the books. Sale Photography Online
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 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 app (iStore only) provides you a 20% reduction.
Other Websites to Check Out:
- Picfair has a twist: you decide how much 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 site butif you want to earn more than’likes’, you could also pimp your pictures through the market. EyeEm split every sale with you 50/50, with photographs selling from $20-$250. EyeEm Bonus: regular how-to content, themed missions run by large brands, plus you can upload pics via the net or phone.
- Foap is built around telephone photographers, with everything managed through the app (Android, iTunes, free). Foap sells pictures for $10 each and divides it 50/50, so you will earn $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% for exclusives. How much your photo sells for also goes up the longer it’s downloaded: newbie images begin at between $0.34 and $2.38 (USD). If you’re shooting on a phone, start with the free Dreamstime app (Android, iPhone).
IStock palms over 15% 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 purchases determines how your piece is calculated.
Shutterstock coughs up $0.25 (USD) per sale on the most frequent subscription plans, but say you’ll get a larger cut as your life earnings pass different levels. To put that into context, once you’ve earned $10,000, you’ll be bumped up to the heady heights of 38 cents an image…
Playing the Stock (photo) Market
Earning money with stock photographs can involve a significant 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 lots of quality pics to several sites.
- Photos of individuals are always in demand, but anybody you pap might need to sign 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 ).
- Check the accounts terms! When will you 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 if 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 plenty of keywords when you upload your pictures. It helps folk find (and hopefully purchase!) your pics.
Promoting 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 nice 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 lab, better quality means greater profits! Sale Photography Online
That means using a suitable printing lab (one that excels in art or framed prints), opting for specialist paper, or perhaps selling restricted 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 give you a safe place to store your digital pics, a portfolio (so you can show’em off) 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’s 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
As an alternative, you could always get your own website or Etsy shop and hang onto more of your gain!
Obtaining prints or gifts to market 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’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 right from our profiles.
But until then, take a hint from street photographer Daniel Arnold: he offered Instagram followers the opportunity 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 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’ve 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 real 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 is no stock to shop, lose, or fall over. Even better, there are sites out there that do all the printing, printing and submitting for you, so all you’ve got to do is take the photographs!
Blurb lets you create photo books just by importing your Facebook or Insta images — and you can sell your final novel on Blurb or Amazon.co.uk. You can even advertise books on your own website (if you have one), but have Blurb/Amazon handle the payment. Easy! Sale Photography Online
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 let you upload your photos (or illustrations), choose which products you wish to sell them on, and give you a cut of the profits if they market.
- CafePress pays you 10% if your products sell in their market, but you can opt to have your own online store and add a mark-up to the price (which you get as your royalty) instead. It’s 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% 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 harder 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 grab 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 nice way to make money on the side for relatively little effort.
The word from successful sellers is that, to make proper bucks, you’ll need to put in the hours (so just like a job, sadly). We’re talking uploading lots of photos or layouts, 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 niche. Whether it’s individuals, pets, food or something totally left-field, it’s a lot 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 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 be sure it covers your time, your prices and leaves you a little on top for gain. And get insurance for your gear!
- Give to photograph 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’re 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 newspapers, magazines or sites and ask if you can submit photographs or pay local events.
- You might have more chance of getting 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’ll need to apply each time (or become a member of the National Union of Journalists) but, once you’re in, you’re going to get loads 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 are 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 just when you are doing something or going somewhere special. Loads of businesses and brands are after photos of everyday life and often it’s the simple things that produce the best pics — think roads, food (street food?) , facial expressions, loved ones, 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 cash on your tax invoice.
- You may not have the ability to sell photos should they include trademarked products, brands or perhaps certain buildings. Check out the terms with your stock library, or get the company involved and ask if you need permission to hawk your own snaps.
- Do not just do the same-old or what everyone else is doing. Quirky, cute or weird is always in fashion. Amen to that! Sale Photography Online