Selling Photos Online Business
If you believe photography is a costly hobby, you are correct, it can be. But that doesn’t mean you need pro-quality equipment to generate money from your own photos! Selling Photos Online Business
In fact, if you have got a decent 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 have 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 celebration for yourself!
If you’ve got a digital camera (or fancy picking up one 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 generally 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 cellular snaps, plus you still have a shot at the other biz ideas below. Continue reading!
It helps to have…
Some type of editing software can help buff your pics for the best results, so it is worth sniffing out a decent bundle (and learning how to use it!) So you can earn more money with your own photos.
Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are industry standards for picture editing. But they cost bucks! 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 like colour correction, straightening, cropping and contrast.
- Raw Therapee is a Lightroom-like editor with loads of tools for tweaking colors, curves and much more.
- PIXLR is a convincing alternative to Photoshop, and even simplifies the same shortcuts directly 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 guess it is a more demanding learning curve.
- There are tons of phone editing apps to be had for free or a couple of pence, but Snapseed (iPhone, Android, free) always makes the best-of lists.
- Do not overlook the bloatware picture software bundled into your’puter, telephone or notebook. 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 ads, together with the photographer getting a cut of the sale every time.
Selling photographs 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 may have to submit a selection of pics (and be accepted) until you may become a stock library contributor. After that, some sites will continue reviewing all your submissions, and will gladly bounce any they do not think meet standards.
What that means is you will always have to be on the ball about picking your best shots. Do not get too hung up about rejections, though; combine 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 two years. Total win! Your uni will have to be part of the scheme, but lots of UK and US institutions are already on the books. Selling Photos Online Business
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 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 site butif you wish to earn more than’likes’, you could 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 articles, themed missions run by big 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 program (Android, iTunes, free). Foap sells pictures for $10 each and splits it 50/50, so you will make $5 per 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 percent for exclusives. How much your photograph sells for also goes up the more it is downloaded: newbie images start at between $0.34 and $2.38 (USD). If you are shooting a phone, begin with the free Dreamstime app (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 sort of licence or subscription plan the customer purchases determines how your piece is calculated.
Shutterstock coughs up $0.25 (USD) per sale on the most common subscription programs, but say you will find a larger cut as your life earnings pass different levels. To put that into context, as soon as you’ve earned $10,000, you will be bumped up to the heady heights of 38 cents an image…
Playing the Stock (photo) Market
Making 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 lots of quality pics to several sites.
- Photos of individuals are always in demand, but anyone you pap might need to sign 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 would like to cancel your account later on?
- You often won’t get a say in how customers use your photos, so if you don’t need your selfies turning up in ads 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, and even how to enhance your camera or editing skills.
- Add loads of keywords when you upload your images. It helps people find (and hopefully purchase!) your pics.
Selling Your Prints
There’s loads of freedom 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 nice little passive income earner.
Now, before you leg it down to Boots to batch print your holiday snaps, there’s a little more to it. While you can run off photos on your home printer or at a high-street lab, better quality means higher profits! Selling Photos Online Business
That means using a proper printing lab (one which excels in art or framed prints), opting for expert paper, or even selling limited or signed editions. Seems 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 (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 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 everybody’s cup of cocoa! If you wish to give it a whirl, look out for free 14-day trials before you pony up the cash: 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 have 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 market photos and other content directly from our profiles.
But until then, take a tip from street photographer Daniel Arnold: he provided Instagram followers the chance 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 massive 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 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 is no inventory to shop, lose, or fall over. Better still, there are websites out there that do all of the producing, 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 pictures — and you’ll be able to sell your final book 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 Online Business
Gifts and Goodies
Turns out you can slap a photo on pretty much anything, from shower curtains to pet clothes and PJs; and you don’t even need a glue gun to begin!
Most print-on-demand outfits allow you to upload your photos (or illustrations), choose which products you wish 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 can choose to have your very own online shop and add a mark-up into the cost (which you get as your royalty) instead. It is free to set up and run a store, but CafePress take 10% of your royalties each month, up to a $10 max.
- Zazzle enables you to set your own royalty rate between 5 percent and 99% 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 marketplace, or you can start your own shop and grab 20% commission.
- Redbubble starts with a product base cost 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 cheap — if you are happy with the occasional sale, it can be a nice way to make money on the side for relatively little work.
The word from successful vendors is that, to make proper bucks, you’ll want to put in the hours (so the same as a project, sadly). We’re talking uploading lots of photos or layouts, 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 customers of your own, here are some tips to get started as a freelance photographer:
- Know your niche. 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 in case you don’t know your aperture from your elbow, but you can not afford to chance it when someone’s paying you for wedding pics!
- Workout your rate and be sure it covers your time, your costs and leaves you a little on top for profit. And get insurance for your gear!
- Give to photo events, parties or portraits 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 are 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 photographs or cover local events.
- You may have more chance of being adopted by Madonna than getting a press pass, but it’s like a golden ticket that can 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) but, once 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 a great deal of patience, perseverance, good shoes and adequate 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 quit. 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 photographs of daily life and often it is the simple things that produce the best pics — think roads, 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’ll save you stress in the long term, and could save you cash on your tax bill.
- You might not be able to sell photos if they comprise trademarked products, brands or perhaps certain buildings. Check out the terms with your stock library, or contact 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 vogue. Amen to that! Selling Photos Online Business