Selling Photos Online Etsy
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 make money from your photos! Selling Photos Online Etsy
In actuality, if you have got a good phone camera along with a steady hand, you are already in with a shot.
However you get your clicks, there are a growing number of opportunities to monetise photos you have already taken. And when photography’s already your luggage, you will find 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 one up 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 necessarily the case).
Got a camera phone? A growing number of stock libraries are catering for cellular snaps, and you still have a shot at the other biz ideas below. Continue reading!
It helps to have…
Some type of editing software will help buff your pics for the best results, so it is well worth sniffing out a decent package (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 dollars! Do not crack open your wallet until you’ve checked out the freebies:
- FastStone Image Viewer can open RAW files directly out of your digital camera and save them as JPG, TIFF or PNGs. OK for basic edits like 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 persuasive alternative to Photoshop, and even recognises the very same shortcuts right 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 reckon it is a tougher 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.
- Do not forget the bloatware image software bundled into your’puter, phone or laptop. Most can make light work of the fundamentals.
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 each time.
Selling photographs through a stock website 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 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 don’t think meet standards.
What that means is you’ll always have to be on the ball about choosing your best shots. Don’t get too hung up about rejections, though; join a number of websites and post pics to them to find the best possible policy.
Which Websites Pay Most?
Swing by Alamy first. Their pupil 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 Online Etsy
Alamy reckons images typically sell for $90 (USD) each, but you could get anywhere from $20 to $500 depending what it is used for. If you’re not a student, or your uni is not enrolled, the pay-out’s still a fairly decent 50%. Selling phone pics through their Stockimo program (iStore only) provides you a 20% reduction.
Other Websites to Check Out:
- Picfair comes with a twist: you decide how much your pictures 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 want to earn more than’enjoys’, you could also pimp your images through the market. EyeEm split every sale with you 50/50, with photos 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 web or phone.
- Foap is built around telephone photographers, with everything handled through the program (Android, iTunes, free). Foap sells pictures for $10 each and divides it 50/50, so you’ll earn $5 a pic. They also run monthly Missions, where you can submit photos 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 start at between $0.34 and $2.38 (USD). If you’re shooting a phone, start with the free Dreamstime program (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 website. Photos typically sell for #7 or #20 a go, but the type of licence or subscription program the customer purchases determines how your piece is calculated.
Shutterstock coughs up $0.25 (USD) per sale on the most frequent subscription plans, but say you will get a larger cut as your lifetime earnings pass various levels. To put that into context, once you’ve earned $10,000, you’ll be bumped up to the heady heights of 38 cents a picture…
Playing the Stock (photo) Market
Earning money with stock photographs 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 several sites.
- Photos of people are always in demand, but anyone you pap may want to signal a model release form to say they are OK with you using it (your inventory library will have template forms you can print, sign and publish ).
- Assess the accounts 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 in the future?
- You often won’t get a state in how customers use your photos, so if you don’t want your selfies turning up in advertisements 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 plenty of keywords when you upload your images. It helps folk find (and hopefully purchase!) your pics.
Promoting Your Prints
There’s loads of freedom in selling prints (i.e., printed copies of your photos). You decide what to take, who to sell to, and for how much and, like selling through stock libraries, it can be a nice 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 pictures on your home printer or at a high-street laboratory, better quality means greater profits! Selling Photos Online Etsy
That means using a proper printing laboratory (one which specialises in art or framed prints), opting for specialist paper, or even selling restricted 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 give you a secure 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 postage each time you make a purchase. 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’s not everybody’s cup of cocoa! If you wish 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
As an alternative, you could always get your own site or Etsy store and hang onto more of your profit!
Obtaining prints or gifts to market is also super straightforward; go for print-on-demand and you won’t need to store some 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 start letting us sell photos and other content directly from our profiles.
But until then, take a hint from street photographer Daniel Arnold: he offered 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 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 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 more — often using zero setup 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 someone 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 submitting for you, so all you have to do is take the photos!
Blurb enables you to create photo books by simply importing your Facebook or Insta pictures — and you can sell your final novel on Blurb or Amazon.co.uk. You can also advertise books on your own website (if you have one), but have Blurb/Amazon manage the payment. Easy! Selling Photos Online Etsy
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 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 marketplace, but you can choose to have your very own online store and add a mark-up to the cost (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 enables you to set your own royalty rate between 5% 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 might 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 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 low-cost — if you’re happy with the occasional sale, it can be a nice way to make cash on the side for relatively little effort.
The word from successful sellers is that, to earn proper bucks, you will need to put in the hours (so just like a project, 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 niche. Whether it’s individuals, pets, food or something totally 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 understand your aperture out of your elbow, but you can’t afford to chance it when someone’s paying you for wedding pics!
- Work out 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, parties or portraits for family and friends to develop 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 take alternative promo shots for brands, then tag 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 may have more chance of being adopted by Madonna than getting a press pass, but it is like a golden ticket that can get you into sports, fashion and other exclusive events. You will want to apply each time (or be a member of the National Union of Journalists) however, once you’re in, you’re going to 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 can 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’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 everywhere — and not just when you are doing something or going somewhere special. Loads of companies and brands are after photos of everyday life and often it is the simple things which produce the best pics — think roads, food (street food?) , facial expressions, loved ones, pets, sports… anything!
- Back-up your best pics (or any you would hate to lose): keep copies on an external drive or in cloud storage (Dropbox gives 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 term, and can save you money on your tax invoice.
- You might not be able 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 need permission to hawk your snaps.
- Do not 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 Etsy