Selling Photos At An Art Fair
If you think photography is a costly hobby, you are right, it can be. But that does not mean you need pro-quality equipment to generate money from your photos! Selling Photos At An Art Fair
In actuality, if you have got a good phone cam and a steady hand, you are already in with a shot.
But you get your clicks, there are an increasing number of opportunities to monetise photos you have already taken. And if photography’s already your luggage, there are 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 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 is not always the case).
Got a camera phone? A growing number of inventory libraries are catering for cellular snaps, and 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 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 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 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 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 more demanding learning curve.
- There are tons of phone editing apps to be obtained for free or a couple of pence, but Snapseed (iPhone, Android, free) always makes the best-of lists.
- Don’t forget the bloatware picture software bundled into your’puter, telephone or laptop. Many can make light work of the fundamentals.
Selling Through Stock Libraries
Stock libraries buy’n’ sell digital photographs to use on websites, in books, on products and even in advertisements, together with the photographer getting a cut of the sale every time.
Selling photos 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) before you may become a stock library contributor. After that, some websites will keep on reviewing all your submissions, and will gladly bounce any they do not think meet standards.
What that means is you’ll always need to be on the ball about picking your best shots. Don’t get too hung up about rejections, however; join multiple websites 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 two 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 Photos At An Art Fair
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 enrolled, the pay-out’s still a fairly decent 50%. Selling phone pics through their Stockimo app (iStore only) earns 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 website but, if you wish to earn more than’enjoys’, you could 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’ll be able to upload pics via the net or phone.
- Foap is built around telephone photographers, with everything handled 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 can submit photographs 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 start at between $0.34 and $2.38 (USD). If you’re shooting on a phone, begin with the free Dreamstime app (Android, iPhone).
IStock palms over 15 percent of a picture’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 plan the customer buys determines how your piece is calculated.
Shutterstock coughs up $0.25 (USD) per sale on the most common subscription plans, but say you will find a larger cut as your lifetime earnings pass different levels. To put that into context, as soon as you’ve earned $10,000, you’ll be bumped up to the heady heights of 38 cents a picture…
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 will need to upload a great deal of quality pics to a number of sites.
- Photos of people are always in demand, but anyone you pap may need to signal a model release form to say they are OK with you using 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 later on?
- You often won’t get a state in how clients use your photos, so in case you don’t need your selfies turning up in ads for STDs or benzoyl peroxide, 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 buy!) your pics.
Selling Your Prints
There is loads of liberty in selling prints (i.e., printed copies of your photos). You decide what to shoot, who to sell to, and for how much and, like selling through stock libraries, it can be a wonderful little passive revenue 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 photos on your home printer or at a high-street laboratory, better quality means higher profits! Selling Photos At An Art Fair
That means using a suitable printing lab (one that excels in art or framed prints), opting for specialist paper, or perhaps selling limited 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 provide you with 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 each 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’s not everyone’s cup of cocoa! If you want 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 profit!
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’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 chance to order prints from his feed — and made $15k in a single 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’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 set-up costs.
The actual beauty of print-on-demand is that while you may advertise tons of products, none of them really 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 the producing, printing and posting for you, so all you have to do is take the photographs!
Blurb enables you to create photo books just by importing your Facebook or Insta images — and you’ll be able to sell your finished novel on Blurb or Amazon.co.uk. You could even advertise books on your own website (if you’ve got one), but have Blurb/Amazon handle the payment. Easy! Selling Photos At An Art Fair
Gifts and Goodies
Turns out you can slap a photo on pretty much anything, from shower curtains to pet clothing and PJs; and you don’t even need a glue gun to get started!
Most print-on-demand outfits let you upload your photographs (or illustrations), choose which products you wish 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 price (which you get as your royalty) rather than It is 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 harder to make sales.
- With Spreadshirt you can 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 starts with a product base cost and lets you add on a mark-up — the default is 20%, but you can tweak it as much as you like.
Running a print-on-demand shop is low-fuss and cheap — if you are contented with the occasional sale, it can be a wonderful way to make money on the side for relatively little work.
The word from successful sellers is that, to make proper bucks, you’ll need to put in the hours (so just like a project, sadly). We’re talking uploading plenty of photos or layouts, getting the word out, and generally making an effort!
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 freelance photographer:
- Know your market . Whether it’s individuals, pets, food or something completely left-field, it is 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 understand your aperture from your elbow, but you can’t afford to chance it when someone’s paying you for wedding pics!
- Work out your rate and be sure it covers your time, your costs and leaves you a little on top for profit. And get insurance to your gear!
- Give to photograph events, portraits or parties for family and friends to build up a portfolio, and ask them to spread the word for you. Or search out your favorite 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 connected. Get cheeky and take alternative promo shots for brands, then tag them to get noticed.
- Get in contact with picture editors at magazines, newspapers or sites 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 is like a golden ticket that could 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) however, as soon as you’re in, you’re going to get plenty of saleable photo opps!
While everybody with an Insta account seems to reckon they’re a pro photographer, the reality 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 images for free when you first begin to get noticed. If you are in it for the career, do not give up. 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 everywhere — and not only when you’re doing something or going somewhere special. Loads of companies and brands are after photographs of everyday life and often it is the simple things that make the best pics — think streets, 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).
- 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 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 fashion. Amen to that! Selling Photos At An Art Fair