Selling Photos On Photobox
If you think photography is an expensive hobby, you’re correct, it can be. But that doesn’t mean that you need pro-quality equipment to make money from your own photos! Selling Photos On Photobox
In fact, if you have got a good phone cam and a steady hand, you are already in with a shot.
But you get your clicks, you will find an increasing number of opportunities to monetise photos you’ve already taken. And if photography’s already your bag, 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 one up for a steal), 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 usually produce larger file photographs (although some camera phones are trumping digi cams these days so this isn’t necessarily the case).
Got a camera phone? A growing number of inventory 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 program will help buff your pics for best results, so it’s well worth sniffing out a decent package (and learning how to use it!) So you can earn more money with your 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 from 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 resources for tweaking colours, curves and 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 program at no cost.
- GIMP can do a lot of what Photoshop excels at, though some users reckon it is a more demanding 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 picture software bundled into your’puter, telephone or laptop. Many can make light work of the basics.
Selling Through Stock Libraries
Stock libraries purchase’n’ sell digital photographs to use on websites, in books, on products and even in advertisements, 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 may need to submit a selection of pics (and be accepted) before you may become a stock library contributor. After that, some sites will keep on reviewing all your submissions, and will gladly bounce any they do not 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, however; join 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 student contributor scheme gives you 100% of the sales price of your images for 2 years. Total win! Your uni will have to be part of this scheme, but lots of UK and US institutions are already on the books. Selling Photos On Photobox
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’re not a student, or your uni isn’t enrolled, 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 comes with 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 wish to earn more than’likes’, you can also pimp your pictures 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 big brands, plus you’ll be able to upload pics via the web or phone.
- Foap is constructed around phone photographers, with everything managed through the program (Android, iTunes, free). Foap sells pictures for $10 each and divides it 50/50, so you will earn $5 per 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 a phone, begin with the free Dreamstime program (Android, iPhone).
IStock palms over 15% 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 program 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 get a bigger cut as your life earnings pass different 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
Making 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 a number of sites.
- Photos of individuals are constantly in demand, but anyone you pap might want to sign a model release form to say they’re OK with you with it (your inventory library will have template forms you can print, sign and publish ).
- Check the accounts terms! When are you going to 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 clients use your photos, so in case you don’t need your selfies turning up in advertisements for STDs or hemorrhoid ointment, do not 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 people find (and hopefully buy!) your pics.
Selling Your Prints
There is loads of freedom 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 nice little passive income earner.
Now, before you leg it down to Boots to batch print your holiday snaps, there is a little 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 On Photobox
That means using a suitable printing laboratory (one that excels in art or framed prints), opting for specialist paper, or even selling limited or signed editions. Seems like a drag? Not necessarily; there’s 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 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 site, they also take a cheeky cut from each sale — and that is not everybody’s cup of cocoa! If you wish 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 can always get your own site or Etsy shop and hang onto more of your gain!
Getting prints or gifts to sell is also super straightforward; 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 media giants will wise-up and begin letting us market photos and other content right from our profiles.
But until then, take a hint from street photographer Daniel Arnold: he provided 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 strong 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 have 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 real beauty of print-on-demand is that while you may advertise tons 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 sites out there that do all 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 final book on Blurb or Amazon.co.uk. You can also advertise books on your own website (if you have one), but have Blurb/Amazon handle the payment. Easy! Selling Photos On Photobox
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 market.
- CafePress pays you 10% if your products sell in their market, but you can opt to have your own online shop and add a mark-up to the price (which you get as your royalty) instead. 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% and 99% 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 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 catch 20% commission.
- Redbubble starts 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’d like.
Running a print-on-demand store is low-fuss and low-cost — if you’re happy with the occasional sale, it can be a wonderful way to make cash on the side for relatively little effort.
The word from successful vendors is that, to earn proper bucks, you’ll need to put in the hours (so just like a job, sadly). We’re talking uploading plenty of photos or layouts, getting the word out, and generally try!
Selling photos 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 people, pets, food or something totally left-field, it’s 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 understand your aperture from your elbow, but you can’t afford to chance it if someone’s paying you for wedding pics!
- Work out your rate and be sure it covers your time, your prices and leaves you a little on top for gain. And get insurance to your gear!
- Offer 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 favourite bloggers and pitch them your pic ideas!
- Batter your social networking account with your best pics, let folk know you’re available, and tell’em how to get connected. Get cheeky and choose alternative promo shots for brands, then label them to get noticed.
- Get in contact with picture editors at newspapers, magazines or websites and ask if you can submit photos or pay 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 can get you into sports, fashion and other exclusive events. You’ll want to apply each time (or be a member of the National Union of Journalists) but, once you’re in, you’ll get loads of saleable photo opps!
While everybody with an Insta account appears 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 a great deal 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’re 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 anyplace — and not just when you’re doing something or going somewhere special. Loads of businesses and brands are after photos of daily life and often it is the simple things which 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 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 run, and can save you cash on your tax bill.
- You might not have the ability to sell photos if they comprise trademarked products, brands or even specific buildings. Check out the terms with your stock library, or contact the company involved and ask if you require 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 On Photobox