Selling Your Photos On Ebay
If you believe photography is a costly hobby, you are correct, it can be. But that does not mean that you need pro-quality equipment to make money from your photos! Selling Your Photos On Ebay
In actuality, if you’ve got a decent phone cam and a steady hand, you’re already in with a shot.
But you get your clicks, there are a growing 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 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 bash for yourself!
If you’ve 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 sites 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 nowadays so this isn’t always 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 thoughts below. Continue reading!
It helps to have…
Some kind of editing software can help buff your pics for the best results, so it’s worth sniffing out a decent bundle (and learning how to use it!) So you can make more money with your own photos.
Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are industry standards for picture editing. But they cost dollars! 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 such as color correction, straightening, cropping and contrast.
- Raw Therapee is a Lightroom-like editor with loads of tools for tweaking colors, curves and more.
- PIXLR is a persuasive alternative to Photoshop, and even simplifies the very same shortcuts directly out the bag. You can run it directly from a browser / through the program for free.
- GIMP can do a lot of what Photoshop excels at, though some users reckon it is a tougher 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.
- Don’t forget the bloatware image software bundled into your’puter, telephone or laptop. Most can make light work of the fundamentals.
Selling Through Stock Libraries
Stock libraries buy’n’ sell digital photographs to use on websites, in books, on goods as well as in ads, together with the photographer getting a cut of the sale each time.
Selling photographs through a stock site 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 have to submit a choice of pics (and be accepted) before you can become a stock library contributor. After that, some websites will keep on reviewing all your submissions, and will gladly bounce any they don’t think meet criteria.
What that means is you’ll always need to be on the ball about picking your best shots. Do not get too hung up about rejections, however; join multiple websites and post pics to all of them to find the best possible coverage.
Which Websites Pay Most?
Swing by Alamy first. Their pupil contributor scheme provides 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 loads of UK and US institutions are already on the books. Selling Your Photos On Ebay
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 is not enrolled, the pay-out’s still a fairly decent 50%. Selling phone pics through their Stockimo program (iStore only) earns you a 20% cut.
Other Websites to Check Out:
- Picfair comes with a twist: you decide how much 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 website but, if you want to earn more than’likes’, you could also pimp your pictures through the marketplace. EyeEm divide 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 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’ll earn $5 a 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 money and perks.
Big Name Websites
Dreamstime provide up to 60 percent for exclusives. How much your photograph sells for also goes up the more it’s downloaded: newbie images start at between $0.34 and $2.38 (USD). If you are shooting on a phone, start with the free Dreamstime program (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 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 plans, but say you will get a larger cut as your lifetime earnings pass various levels. To put that into context, as soon as you’ve earned $10,000, you’ll 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’ll need to upload a great deal of quality pics to several sites.
- Photos of people are always in demand, but anyone you pap might 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 submit).
- Assess the account 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 later on?
- You often won’t get a say in how customers use your photographs, so in case you don’t need your selfies turning up in advertisements for STDs or benzoyl peroxide, 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 enhance your camera or editing skills.
- Add loads of keywords when you upload your pictures. It helps people find (and hopefully buy!) your pics.
Promoting Your Prints
There’s loads of liberty in selling prints (i.e., printed copies of your photographs ). 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 print your holiday snaps, there is a little more to it. While you can run off pictures on your home printer or at a high-street lab, better quality means greater profits! Selling Your Photos On Ebay
That means using a proper printing laboratory (one that specialises in art or framed prints), opting for expert 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 provide you with a secure 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 handle the printing and any stamp each time you make a purchase. 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 want to give it a whirl, look out for 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 website or Etsy store and hang onto more of your profit!
Getting prints or gifts to sell 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’t shift it!) .
Sell on Social Media Platforms
Eventually the social media giants will wise-up and start letting us sell photos and other content right from our profiles.
But until then, have a tip from street photographer Daniel Arnold: he provided Instagram followers the opportunity to order 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 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 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 somebody buys’em — so there is no stock to store, lose, or fall over. Even better, there are sites out there that do all of the producing, printing and posting for you, so all you have to do is take the photographs!
Blurb enables you to 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 even advertise books on your own website (if you have one), but have Blurb/Amazon manage the payment. Easy! Selling Your Photos On Ebay
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 allow you to upload your photos (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 choose to have your very own online store 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 monthly, up to a $10 max.
- Zazzle enables you to set your own royalty rate between 5 percent and 99% but, while it is 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 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 start your own store 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 like.
Running a print-on-demand shop is low-fuss and cheap — if you are contented with the occasional sale, it can be a wonderful way to make cash on the side for relatively little work.
The word from successful sellers is that, to earn 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 simple 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 freelancer photographer:
- Know your market . When it’s individuals, 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 may get lucky selling stock if you don’t know 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 make sure it covers your time, your costs and leaves you a little on top for profit. And get insurance to your gear!
- Give to photo events, parties or portraits for family and friends to build up 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 are available, and tell’em how to get connected. 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 photos or pay local events.
- You may have more chance of being 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 become a member of the National Union of Journalists) however, 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 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 are in it for the career, don’t give up. If you’re in it for the money, get your game on with the other ideas 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 which produce the best pics — think roads, food (street food?) , facial expressions, family, pets, sports… anything!
- Back-up your best pics (or some 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’ll save you stress in the long run, and could save you money on your tax bill.
- You might not be able to sell photos should they comprise 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 snaps.
- Don’t just do the same-old or what everyone else is doing. Quirky, cute or weird is always in fashion. Amen to that! Selling Your Photos On Ebay