Selling Photos To Google
If you believe photography is an expensive hobby, you’re correct, it can be. But that does not mean that you need pro-quality equipment to make money from your photos! Selling Photos To Google
In fact, if you have got a decent phone camera along with a steady hand, you are already in with a shot.
But you get your clicks, there are a growing 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 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 bash for yourself!
If you’ve got a digital camera (or fancy picking up one 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 nowadays so this isn’t 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 thoughts below. Keep reading!
It helps to have…
Some kind of editing software will help buff your pics for best results, so it’s well worth sniffing out a nice package (and learning how to use it!) So you can earn more money with your photos.
Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are industry standards for photo 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 directly 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 persuasive alternative to Photoshop, and even simplifies the same shortcuts right out the bag. You can run it directly from a browser through the app for free.
- GIMP can do a lot of what Photoshop excels at, though some users reckon it is a more demanding learning curve.
- There are tons of phone editing programs to be obtained for free or a few pence, but Snapseed (iPhone, Android, free) consistently makes the best-of lists.
- Don’t forget the bloatware picture software bundled into your’puter, phone or notebook. Most can make light work of the fundamentals.
Selling Through Stock Libraries
Stock libraries buy’n’ sell digital photos to use on websites, in books, on products and even in advertisements, together with the photographer getting a cut of the sale each time.
Selling photos 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 can 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 standards.
What that means is you’ll always have to be on the ball about picking your best shots. Do not get too hung up about rejections, though; combine multiple sites and post pics to all of 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 the scheme, but loads of UK and US institutions are already on the books. Selling Photos To Google
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 program (iStore only) provides you a 20% reduction.
Other Websites to Check Out:
- Picfair has a twist: you decide to what extent your pictures 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 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 photos 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 built 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’ll make $5 per pic. They also run monthly Missions, where you are able to submit photos on a theme to be in with a chance of winning extra cash and perks.
Big Name Websites
Dreamstime provide up to 60 percent for exclusives. How much your photo sells for also goes up the longer it is downloaded: newbie images begin at between $0.34 and $2.38 (USD). If you’re 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 website. Photos typically sell for #7 or #20 a go, but the sort 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 common subscription programs, but say you will find a larger cut as your lifetime 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
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 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 need to signal a model release form to say they’re OK with you using 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 later on?
- 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 benzoyl peroxide, do not upload’em!
- Sign-up for contributor newsletters, as they can clue you in on what sells, what to snap next, as well as how to enhance your camera or editing skills.
- Add plenty of keywords when you upload your pictures. It helps folk find (and hopefully buy!) your pics.
Promoting Your Prints
There is loads of liberty in selling prints (i.e., printed copies of your photos). 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 little 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 To Google
That means using a proper printing laboratory (one that excels in art or framed prints), opting for specialist paper, or perhaps 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 website hosts provide you with a secure place to store your digital pics, a portfolio (so you can show’em off) and purchasing 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 everybody’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 could always get your own website or Etsy shop and hang onto more of your gain!
Obtaining prints or gifts to sell is also super easy; go for print-on-demand and you won’t have 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 market photos and other content right from our profiles.
But until then, have a hint from street photographer Daniel Arnold: he offered Instagram followers the chance to order 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 the 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 more — often using zero set-up costs.
The actual 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 store, lose, or fall over. Even better, 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 lets you create photo books by simply importing your Facebook or Insta images — and you can 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 To Google
Gifts and Goodies
Turns out you can slap a photograph 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), 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) instead. It is free to set-up and run a store, but CafePress take 10% of your royalties monthly, up to a $10 max.
- Zazzle lets you set your own royalty rate between 5 percent and 99 percent 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 may add a mark-up of $1 to $20 on items sold through the market, or you can open your own shop 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’d like.
Running a print-on-demand shop is low-fuss and cheap — if you’re happy with the occasional sale, it can be a wonderful way to generate cash on the side for relatively little work.
The word from successful sellers is that, to make proper bucks, you will need 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 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 niche. When it’s people, pets, food or something completely left-field, it’s easier to market yourself whether 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!
- Work out your rate and make sure it covers your time, your costs and leaves you a little on top for profit. And get insurance for your gear!
- Offer to photo events, parties or portraits for friends and family to build up a portfolio, and ask them to spread the word for you. Or hunt out your favorite 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 take alternative promo shots for brands, then tag them to get noticed.
- Get in touch with picture editors at newspapers, magazines or sites and ask if you can submit photographs or cover local events.
- You might have more chance of being adopted by Madonna than getting a press pass, but it is like a golden ticket that could get you into sports, fashion and other exclusive events. You will need 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 appears to reckon they’re a pro photographer, the reality is that being a freelancer may be the toughest route you can 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’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 only when you’re 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 make the best pics — think streets, food (street food?) , facial expressions, loved ones, pets, sports… anything!
- Back-up your best pics (or any you’d hate to lose): maintain 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’ll save you stress in the long term, and can save you money on your tax invoice.
- You may not have the ability to sell photos if they include trademarked products, brands or even specific buildings. Check out the terms with your stock library, or get 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 vogue. Amen to that! Selling Photos To Google