Sell Photos To Magazines
If you believe photography is an expensive hobby, you are right, it can be. But that does not mean you need pro-quality equipment to generate money from your photos! Sell Photos To Magazines
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 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 to get a sneak ), 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 generally produce larger file photographs (although some camera phones are trumping digi cams nowadays so this isn’t always 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 kind of editing software will help buff your pics for 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 own photos.
Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are industry standards for picture 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 out of your digital camera and save them as JPG, TIFF or PNGs. OK for basic edits such as 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 convincing alternative to Photoshop, and even recognises the very same shortcuts directly out the bag. You can run it directly from a browser / through the app at no cost.
- GIMP can do a lot of what Photoshop excels at, though some users reckon it is a tougher learning curve.
- There are tons 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, phone or notebook. Most can make light work of the fundamentals.
Selling Through Stock Libraries
Stock libraries purchase’n’ sell digital photographs to use on websites, in books, on products as well as in advertisements, together with the photographer getting a cut of the sale every time.
Selling photographs through a stock website is a top way to browse passive income streams: you can upload a photograph once and sell it over and over again, pretty much forever!
You may have to submit a selection of pics (and be accepted) until you may become a stock library contributor. After that, some sites will keep on reviewing all your submissions, and will gladly 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. Don’t get too hung up about rejections, however; combine a number of sites and post pics to all of them to find the best possible coverage.
Which Websites Pay Most?
Swing by Alamy first. Their pupil 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 this scheme, but loads of UK and US institutions are already on the books. Sell Photos To Magazines
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 registered, the pay-out’s still a fairly decent 50%. Selling phone pics through their Stockimo program (iStore only) earns you a 20% cut.
Other Websites to Check Out:
- Picfair comes with 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 but, if you wish to earn more than’likes’, you can also pimp your images through the market. EyeEm divide every sale with you 50/50, with photographs 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 telephone photographers, with everything handled through the program (Android, iTunes, free). Foap sells photos for $10 each and divides it 50/50, so you’ll make $5 a pic. They also run monthly Missions, where you can submit photographs 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’s downloaded: newbie images start at between $0.34 and $2.38 (USD). If you are shooting on a phone, begin with the free Dreamstime program (Android, iPhone).
IStock palms over 15 percent of an image’s sales price, but guarantee 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 license or subscription program the customer buys determines how your slice is calculated.
Shutterstock coughs up $0.25 (USD) per sale on the most frequent subscription programs, but say you will find a bigger cut as your lifetime 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 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 lots of quality pics to a number of sites.
- Photos of people are constantly in demand, but anyone you pap might need 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 submit).
- 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 in the future?
- You often won’t get a state in how customers use your photographs, so if you don’t want your selfies turning up in ads 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 improve your camera or editing skills.
- Add plenty of keywords when you upload your pictures. It helps folk find (and hopefully purchase!) your pics.
Selling Your Prints
There is loads of freedom in selling prints (i.e., printed copies of your photographs ). You decide what to take, 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 lab, better quality means higher profits! Sell Photos To Magazines
That means using a suitable printing laboratory (one which excels in art or framed prints), opting for expert paper, or perhaps selling restricted or signed editions. Sounds like a drag? Not necessarily; there is inspiration below to get you started.
Use a Photo Host
Photographer-friendly site hosts give you a secure place to store your digital pics, a portfolio (which means you can show’em away ) and purchasing tools (so you can sell prints, downloads and wall art).
They even take care of the printing and any stamp each time you make a sale. 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 is not everyone’s cup of cocoa! If you want to give it a whirl, look out for free 14-day trials until you pony up the cash: 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 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 start letting us sell photos and other content directly from our profiles.
But until then, have a hint from street photographer Daniel Arnold: he offered 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 solid 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 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 setup costs.
The actual beauty of print-on-demand is that while you can advertise tons of goods, none of them actually exist until somebody buys’em — so there is no inventory to store, lose, or fall over. Better still, there are sites out there that do all of the printing, printing and submitting for you, so all you have to do is take the photos!
Blurb lets you create photo books just by importing your Facebook or Insta pictures — and you’ll be able to 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! Sell Photos To Magazines
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 give you a cut of the profits if they sell.
- CafePress pays you 10% if your products sell in their market, but you can opt to have your very own online shop and add a mark-up to 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 each month, up to a $10 max.
- Zazzle enables you to set your own royalty rate between 5% and 99% 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 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 marketplace, 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’re contented with the occasional sale, it can be a nice way to generate cash on the side for relatively little effort.
The word from successful vendors is that, to earn proper bucks, you will need to put in the hours (so the same as a project, sadly). We’re talking uploading lots of photos or designs, getting the word out, and generally try!
Selling photographs 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 freelancer photographer:
- Know your niche. When it’s people, pets, food or something totally left-field, it’s 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 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 profit. And get insurance for your equipment!
- Give to photograph events, parties or portraits for friends and family to develop 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 in touch. Get cheeky and choose alternative promo shots for brands, then tag them to get noticed.
- Get in contact with picture editors at newspapers, magazines or websites and ask if you can submit photographs or cover local events.
- You may 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 need 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 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 images for free when you first start out to get noticed. If you’re in it for the career, don’t 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 anyplace — and not only when you’re doing something or going somewhere special. Loads of companies 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 would hate to lose): maintain copies on an external drive or in cloud storage (Dropbox gives 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 run, and can save you cash on your tax bill.
- You may not be able to sell photos if they include trademarked products, brands or perhaps certain buildings. Check out the terms with your stock library, or contact the company involved and ask if you need permission to hawk your own snaps.
- Do not just do the same-old or what everybody else is doing. Quirky, cute or weird is always in fashion. Amen to that! Sell Photos To Magazines