Selling Photos At Markets
If you believe photography is a costly hobby, you are correct, it can be. But that doesn’t mean that you need pro-quality equipment to generate money from your photos! Selling Photos At Markets
In fact, if you have got a good phone cam and a steady hand, you’re already in with a shot.
But you get your clicks, you will find a growing number of opportunities to monetise photos you’ve already taken. And if photography’s already your bag, 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 celebration for yourself!
If you’ve got a digital camera (or fancy picking one up for a steal), 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 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 cellular snaps, plus you still have a shot at the other biz thoughts below. Keep reading!
It helps to have…
Some kind of editing program will help buff your pics for the best results, so it’s well worth sniffing out a decent package (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 dollars! Don’t 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 color correction, straightening, cropping and contrast.
- Raw Therapee is a Lightroom-like editor with loads of tools for tweaking colors, curves and more.
- PIXLR is a persuasive 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 much of what Photoshop excels at, though some users reckon it’s a tougher learning curve.
- There are tons of phone editing apps 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, phone or laptop. Most can make light work of the basics.
Selling Through Stock Libraries
Stock libraries purchase’n’ sell digital photos to use on websites, in books, on products and even in ads, with the photographer getting a cut of the sale each time.
Selling photos through a stock site 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 might need to submit a selection of pics (and be accepted) before you can become a stock library contributor. After that, some websites will continue 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 choosing your best shots. Do not get too hung up about rejections, though; combine multiple websites and post pics to all of them to find the best possible policy.
Which Websites Pay Most?
Swing by Alamy first. Their student contributor scheme provides you 100% of the sales price of your pictures for 2 years. Total win! Your uni will have to be part of this scheme, but loads of UK and US institutions are already on the books. Selling Photos At Markets
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 app (iStore only) earns you a 20% cut.
Other Websites to Check Out:
- Picfair comes with 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 can also pimp your images through the market. EyeEm split 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 constructed around phone photographers, with everything managed through the app (Android, iTunes, free). Foap sells photos for $10 each and divides it 50/50, so you’ll 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 photograph sells for also goes up the longer it is downloaded: newbie images start 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 percent of a picture’s sales price, but promise a bigger cut if you make the pic exclusive to the website. 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 will find a larger cut as your lifetime 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 photos 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 always in demand, but anyone you pap may want to signal 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 ).
- Assess the account terms! When are you going to get paid, and in what currency? What happens to your photos if you would like to cancel your account later on?
- You often won’t get a say in how clients use your photographs, 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 could clue you in on what sells, what to snap next, as well as how to enhance your camera or editing skills.
- Add loads of keywords when you upload your images. It helps folk find (and hopefully buy!) 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 wonderful little passive income earner.
Now, before you leg it down to Boots to batch publish your holiday snaps, there’s a little more to it. While you can run off pictures on your home printer or at a high-street laboratory, better quality means greater profits! Selling Photos At Markets
That means using a proper printing lab (one which excels in art or framed prints), opting for specialist paper, or even 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 site hosts provide you with a safe place to store your digital pics, a portfolio (so 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 purchase. 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 is not everybody’s cup of cocoa! If you want to give it a whirl, be aware of free 14-day trials before you pony up the money: try Zenfolio or Smugmug.
Get Your Own Photo Shop
Alternatively, you could always get your own website or Etsy store and hang onto more of your profit!
Obtaining prints or gifts to market 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 market photos and other content right from our profiles.
But until then, take a tip from street photographer Daniel Arnold: he offered Instagram followers the opportunity to order prints from his feed and made $15k in a single 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 generate 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 may advertise a great deal of products, none of them really exist until someone buys’em — so there is no stock to shop, lose, or fall over. Even better, there are websites out there that do all of 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 pictures — and you can sell your finished book on Blurb or Amazon.co.uk. You can even advertise books on your own website (if you’ve got one), but have Blurb/Amazon handle the payment. Easy! Selling Photos At Markets
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 photos (or illustrations), choose 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 marketplace, but you can choose to have your very own online shop and add a mark-up to 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 monthly, up to a $10 max.
- Zazzle enables you to set your own royalty rate between 5 percent and 99 percent 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 market, or you can open your own store and catch 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 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 make money on the side for relatively little effort.
The word from successful vendors is that, to make 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 layouts, getting the word out, and generally making an effort!
Selling photographs anonymously online is simple 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 market . When it’s individuals, pets, food or something completely left-field, it is easier to market yourself if your portfolio showcases what you do best.
- Take the time to learn your craft. You may get lucky selling stock in case you don’t know your aperture out of your elbow, but you can not afford to chance it when someone’s paying you for wedding pics!
- Work out 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 equipment!
- 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 favorite 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 contact with picture editors at magazines, newspapers or sites and ask if you can submit photos or pay local events.
- You may 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 will want to apply each time (or become a member of the National Union of Journalists) but, once you’re in, you’ll get plenty of saleable photo opps!
While everyone with an Insta account seems to reckon they’re a pro photographer, the reality is that being a freelancer may be the toughest route you may 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, don’t quit. 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’re doing something or going somewhere special. Loads of businesses and brands are after photographs of daily life and often it is the simple things that make the best pics — think streets, food (street food?) , facial expressions, family, pets, sports… anything!
- Back-up your best pics (or some you’d hate to lose): keep 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 will save you stress in the long run, and can save you cash on your tax bill.
- You might not have the ability 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 everybody else is doing. Quirky, cute or weird is always in fashion. Amen to that! Selling Photos At Markets