Selling Photographs On Ebay
If you believe photography is a costly hobby, you’re correct, it can be. But that does not mean you need pro-quality equipment to make money from your own photos! Selling Photographs On Ebay
In fact, if you’ve got a decent phone cam and a steady hand, you are already in with a shot.
However 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 bash for yourself!
If you’ve 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 websites 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 always the case).
Got a camera phone? A growing number of stock libraries are catering for mobile snaps, and you still have a shot at the other biz thoughts below. Keep reading!
It helps to have…
Some kind of editing software will help buff your pics for the best results, so it’s 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 dollars! Don’t crack open your wallet until you’ve checked out the freebies:
- FastStone Image Viewer can open RAW files directly out of 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 resources for tweaking colors, curves and more.
- PIXLR is a persuasive alternative to Photoshop, and even simplifies the very same shortcuts right 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 loads of phone editing programs to be obtained for free or a few pence, but Snapseed (iPhone, Android, free) always makes the best-of lists.
- Don’t forget the bloatware image software bundled into your’puter, phone 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 goods and even in ads, together with the photographer getting a cut of the sale every time.
Selling photographs through a stock website 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 selection of pics (and be accepted) until you can 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 need to be on the ball about picking your best shots. Do not get too hung up about rejections, however; combine multiple 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 provides 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. Selling Photographs On Ebay
Alamy reckons images typically sell for $90 (USD) each, but you might 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) 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 website but, if you want to earn more than’enjoys’, you can also pimp your images through the marketplace. 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 telephone photographers, with everything handled through the program (Android, iTunes, free). Foap sells pictures for $10 each and divides it 50/50, so you’ll make $5 per 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 provide up to 60 percent for exclusives. How much your photo sells for also goes up the more it is downloaded: newbie images start at between $0.34 and $2.38 (USD). If you’re shooting a phone, begin with the free Dreamstime program (Android, iPhone).
IStock hands over 15% 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 type of license or subscription plan 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’ll find a larger cut as your lifetime earnings pass various levels. To put that into context, once 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 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 people are constantly 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 ).
- 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 say in how customers use your photos, so in case 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 plenty of keywords when you upload your pictures. It helps people find (and hopefully purchase!) your pics.
Selling Your Prints
There’s loads of liberty in selling prints (i.e., printed copies of your photographs ). You decide what to take, who to sell 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 print 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! Selling Photographs On Ebay
That means using a suitable printing laboratory (one that specialises in art or framed prints), opting for expert paper, or even selling limited 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 away ) and shopping tools (so you can sell prints, downloads and wall art).
They even take care of the printing and any stamp every 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’s not everyone’s cup of cocoa! If you want 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
As an alternative, you can always get your own website or Etsy shop and hang onto more of your profit!
Obtaining 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 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 directly 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 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 using zero set-up costs.
The real beauty of print-on-demand is that while you can advertise a great deal of products, none of them really exist until somebody buys’em — so there’s no inventory to store, lose, or fall over. Even better, 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 enables you to create photo books just by importing your Facebook or Insta pictures — and you can sell your finished novel on Blurb or Amazon.co.uk. You can also advertise books on your website (if you have one), but have Blurb/Amazon manage the payment. Easy! Selling Photographs On Ebay
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 allow you to 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 opt to have your own online shop 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 monthly, up to a $10 max.
- Zazzle enables you to set your own royalty rate between 5% and 99 percent 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 might 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 starts 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 cheap — 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 sellers is that, to earn proper bucks, you’ll want to put in the hours (so the same as a job, sadly). We’re talking uploading lots 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 customers 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 completely left-field, it is 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 if you don’t know your aperture out of your elbow, but you can not 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 equipment!
- Offer to photo events, portraits or parties for family and friends to develop 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 photos or cover local events.
- You might have more chance of getting adopted by Madonna than getting a press pass, but it is like a golden ticket which can get you into sports, fashion and other exclusive events. You will want 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 plenty of saleable photo opps!
While everyone with an Insta account seems to reckon they’re a pro photographer, the truth is that being a freelancer may be 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 begin to get noticed. If you are in it for the career, don’t quit. 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 everywhere — and not just when you’re doing something or going somewhere special. Loads of businesses and brands are after photographs of daily life and often it’s the simple things which produce the best pics — believe 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 gives you 2GB of space for free).
- As soon as you start getting sales, get to grips with tax and the freelancing fundamentals. It’ll save you stress in the long term, and can save you money on your tax bill.
- 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 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 fashion. Amen to that! Selling Photographs On Ebay