Sell Business Images
If you believe photography is an expensive hobby, you’re right, it can be. But that doesn’t mean you need pro-quality equipment to make money from your own photos! Sell Business Images
In actuality, if you have got a decent phone cam and a steady hand, you are already in with a shot.
However you get your clicks, you will find a growing number of opportunities to monetise photos you’ve 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 celebration for yourself!
If you’ve got a digital camera (or fancy picking up one for a steal), you’ll have more options for selling pics to stock libraries, to sites for prints, or for print-on-demand products. This is because cameras will usually 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 stock libraries are catering for mobile snaps, and you still have a shot at the other biz ideas below. Continue reading!
It helps to have…
Some kind of editing program will help buff your pics for the best results, so it is worth sniffing out a nice 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 directly 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 more.
- PIXLR is a persuasive alternative to Photoshop, and even simplifies the very same shortcuts directly out the bag. You can run it directly from a browser through the program at no cost.
- GIMP can do a lot of what Photoshop excels at, though some users reckon it’s a tougher learning curve.
- There are tons of phone editing programs to be obtained for free or a few 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. Many 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 as well as in advertisements, together with the photographer getting a cut of the sale each 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 might need to submit a selection of pics (and be accepted) until you can become a stock library contributor. After that, some websites will keep on reviewing all your submissions, and will gladly bounce any they don’t think meet standards.
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; combine a number of websites and post pics to all of them to find the best possible policy.
Which Websites Pay Most?
Swing by Alamy first. Their pupil contributor scheme gives 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 loads of UK and US institutions are already on the books. Sell Business Images
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 program (iStore only) provides you a 20% reduction.
Other Websites to Check Out:
- Picfair has a twist: you decide to what extent 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 market. 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 phone 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 a pic. They also run monthly Missions, where you can submit photos on a theme to be in with a chance of winning extra cash 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 begin at between $0.34 and $2.38 (USD). If you’re shooting on a phone, begin with the free Dreamstime program (Android, iPhone).
IStock hands over 15% of a picture’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 license or subscription plan the customer purchases determines how your slice is calculated.
Shutterstock coughs up $0.25 (USD) per sale on the most frequent subscription plans, but say you’ll find a larger cut as your life 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
Making money with stock photographs 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 will need to upload lots of quality pics to a number of sites.
- Photos of individuals are constantly in demand, but anybody you pap may want to signal 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 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 ads for STDs or benzoyl peroxide, do not 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 plenty of keywords when you upload your images. It helps people find (and hopefully purchase!) your pics.
Promoting Your Prints
There’s 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 nice 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 pictures on your home printer or at a high-street laboratory, better quality means greater profits! Sell Business Images
That means using a suitable printing lab (one which 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 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 stamp 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 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
Alternatively, you can always get your own website or Etsy store and hang onto more of your gain!
Obtaining prints or gifts to sell is also super easy; go for print-on-demand and you won’t need to store any 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 begin 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 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 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 real 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 inventory to shop, lose, or fall over. Even better, there are sites out there that do all of the printing, printing and posting for you, so all you have to do is take the photos!
Blurb enables you to create photo books by simply importing your Facebook or Insta images — and you’ll be able to sell your finished book on Blurb or Amazon.co.uk. You could also advertise books on your own website (if you have one), but have Blurb/Amazon handle the payment. Easy! Sell Business Images
Gifts and Goodies
Turns out you can slap a photograph 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 photos (or illustrations), choose 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 market, but you can choose to have your own online store and add a mark-up into the price (which you get as your royalty) instead. It’s free to set-up and run a shop, 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’s 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 can add a mark-up of $1 to $20 on items sold through the market, or you can open your own store and grab 20% commission.
- Redbubble begins with a product base price 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 shop is low-fuss and low-cost — if you are contented with the occasional sale, it can be a wonderful way to generate cash on the side for relatively little effort.
The word from successful vendors is that, to earn proper bucks, you’ll need to put in the hours (so the same as a job, sadly). We’re talking uploading plenty of photos or designs, getting the word out, and generally making an effort!
Selling photos anonymously online is simple 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 market . Whether it’s individuals, pets, food or something totally left-field, it’s easier to market yourself whether 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 when 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 for your gear!
- Offer to photo events, parties or portraits for friends and family 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 connected. 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 websites and ask if you can submit photos or pay local events.
- You may have more chance of being adopted by Madonna than obtaining a press pass, but it’s 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) but, as soon as 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 adequate pics — and you may well have to give away pictures for free when you first begin to get noticed. If you are in it for the career, do not quit. If you’re 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 everywhere — and not just when you’re doing something or going somewhere special. Loads of companies and brands are after photographs of everyday life and often it’s the simple things that make the best pics — believe roads, food (street food?) , facial expressions, family, pets, sports… anything!
- Back-up your best pics (or some 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 run, and could save you cash on your tax invoice.
- You might not be able to sell photos should they comprise 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.
- Don’t just do the same-old or what everyone else is doing. Quirky, cute or weird is always in vogue. Amen to that! Sell Business Images