Selling Photos Of Public Buildings
If you think photography is an expensive hobby, you’re right, it can be. But that does not mean you need pro-quality equipment to generate money from your own photos! Selling Photos Of Public Buildings
In fact, if you’ve got a decent phone camera along with 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 have already taken. And when photography’s already your bag, there are heaps more ways to develop your abilities, 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 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 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 stock libraries are catering for mobile snaps, and you still have a shot at the other biz ideas below. Keep reading!
It helps to have…
Some type of editing software will help buff your pics for best results, so it is well worth sniffing out a nice package (and learning how to use it!) So you can make more money with your photos.
Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are industry standards for photo editing. But they cost dollars! 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 colours, curves and much more.
- PIXLR is a convincing alternative to Photoshop, and even recognises the same shortcuts directly out the bag. You can run it directly from a browser through the app at no cost.
- GIMP can do much of what Photoshop excels at, though some users reckon it is a tougher learning curve.
- There are loads of phone editing apps to be had for free or a couple of 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. Most 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 products as well as in advertisements, together with the photographer getting a cut of the sale each time.
Selling photographs through a stock site is a top way to surf passive income streams: you can upload a photo once and sell it over and over again, pretty much forever!
You may 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 do not think meet criteria.
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, though; join a number of sites 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 gives 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 lots of UK and US institutions are already on the books. Selling Photos Of Public Buildings
Alamy reckons images typically sell for $90 (USD) each, but you might 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) provides you a 20% cut.
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 site but, if you want to earn more than’enjoys’, you can also pimp your pictures through the marketplace. EyeEm split every sale with you 50/50, with photographs selling from $20-$250. EyeEm Bonus: regular how-to content, themed missions run by large brands, plus you can upload pics via the net or phone.
- Foap is constructed around phone 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 are able to 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 is downloaded: newbie images begin at between $0.34 and $2.38 (USD). If you are shooting on a phone, begin with the free Dreamstime app (Android, iPhone).
IStock palms over 15% of an image’s sales price, but guarantee a bigger cut if you make the pic exclusive to the website. 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’ll get a bigger 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 photos can involve a significant 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 several sites.
- Photos of individuals are always in demand, but anyone you pap might want to sign 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 would like to cancel your account in the future?
- You often won’t get a say in how clients use your photos, so if you don’t want your selfies turning up in ads 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 loads of keywords when you upload your pictures. It helps people find (and hopefully purchase!) your pics.
Promoting Your Prints
There’s 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 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 greater profits! Selling Photos Of Public Buildings
That means using a suitable printing laboratory (one that specialises 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 website hosts give you a safe place to store your digital pics, a portfolio (which means 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 is not everyone’s cup of cocoa! If you wish 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
As an alternative, you can always get your own site or Etsy shop and hang onto more of your gain!
Getting 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 media giants will wise-up and begin letting us sell photos and other content directly from our profiles.
But until then, take a tip from street photographer Daniel Arnold: he offered Instagram followers the opportunity to purchase 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 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 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 may advertise a great deal of goods, none of them actually exist until someone buys’em — so there is no inventory to shop, lose, or fall over. Better still, there are websites out there that do all of the printing, printing and submitting for you, so all you have to do is take the photographs!
Blurb enables you to create photo books by simply importing your Facebook or Insta images — and you can sell your final 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! Selling Photos Of Public Buildings
Gifts and Goodies
Turns out you can slap a photograph on pretty much anything, from shower curtains to pet clothes 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), select which products you want to sell them on, and then 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 store 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 store, 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’s tempting to dial it up to full whack, remember that your cut is added to the sales price: go OTT and you might 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 open your own store and grab 20% commission.
- Redbubble begins 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 store is low-fuss and cheap — if you’re 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 vendors is that, to earn proper bucks, you will need to put in the hours (so just like a job, sadly). We’re talking uploading lots of photos or designs, getting the word out, and generally try!
Selling photos 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 people, pets, food or something totally left-field, it’s easier to market yourself if your portfolio showcases what you do best.
- Take time to learn your craft. You can get lucky selling stock if you don’t know 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 prices 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 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 connected. Get cheeky and take alternative promo shots for brands, then label them to get noticed.
- Get in touch with picture editors at newspapers, magazines or websites and ask if you can submit photos or cover local events.
- You might have more chance of getting adopted by Madonna than obtaining a press pass, but it is like a golden ticket that could 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) however, as soon as you’re in, you’ll get plenty of saleable photo opps!
While everybody with an Insta account appears to reckon they’re a pro photographer, the truth is that being a freelancer may be the toughest route you may 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 start out to get noticed. If you are in it for the career, don’t give up. 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 only when you are 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 produce the best pics — think streets, food (street food?) , facial expressions, family, pets, sports… anything!
- Back-up your best pics (or any you’d hate to lose): keep 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 will save you stress in the long term, and can save you cash on your tax invoice.
- You might not be able to sell photos should they include trademarked products, brands or perhaps specific 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 vogue. Amen to that! Selling Photos Of Public Buildings