Everyone seems to be making money online these days. You can turn just about any interest or talent into a side-hustle or even an online business which generates strong, regular income.
Photography is a great example of how you can turn your passion into profits online. Selling your pictures online can be a great way to earn some income on the side, with relatively little fuss! Traditionally, for photographers to be successful in selling their photographs they would need to have a large portfolio and dedicate a lot of time to marketing in order to sell their photos to companies or private clients. However, these days there are a variety of platforms online which make it much easier to sell your pictures.
Wondering how to sell photos online? Check these top tips for making money by using the internet to sell your photos.
Use Stock Photography Websites
These days, there is a huge market for stock photos. These are essentially photos which are taken by a photographer, and then used by an unrelated business, freelancer or original for their own purposes. People could need stock photos to use on their website, social media, in advertising brochures, posters, or for countless other purposes when they don’t have the time or money to hire a photographer to take photos for them.
These websites effectively act as the middle man between you and the end client, meaning that you don’t have to worry about running your own business and drive marketing and advertising in order to make sales. Instead, all you need to do is upload your photo to the site and they will essentially do the rest!
Stock Photography Sites To Consider
There are dozens, if not hundreds of stock photo websites out there, many of which offer the opportunity for photographers to upload and sell their photos. In most cases, your photos will need to go through an approval process before they are accepted onto the site, and then you will receive commission for each time someone is interested in buying it or buying a licence to use it.
Here are a few of the most popular:
- Shutterstock: One of the largest and most established sites for not just photos but also videos and vectors, Shutterstock says it has paid over $350 million to contributors.
- Istockphoto: This stock photo, video and vector site pays 45% royalties to contributors who share their content exclusively with the site. Before being accepted to the site contributors need to submit three samples – so be sure to make them count!
- Dreamstime: This site accepts photos and video content, and pays a bonus 10% commission on files which are exclusive to their site.
You can also sell your photos directly to customers on websites like Etsy or through your own ecommerce store or website.
Be Savvy and Know The Market
Although photography is a creative endeavour, selling photos involves an element of business savvy. Although you can choose to try to sell whatever kind of photos you like, knowing the market and which photos are likely to sell will set you up for the best possible success. Research photo stock websites to see the kind of photos they are looking for. Also keep in mind that photos on plain or white background, or with plain spaces in the middle tend to be more popular as they can be adapted to the customer’s own purpose. Of course, above all else, it is important to follow you passion and take photos you love, otherwise you are unlikely to be successful!
Have The Right Equipment
To be able to sell your photos online you will need to have a proper camera. However this doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank: the price of good quality Digital SLR cameras has fallen drastically in recent years, meaning these are now very affordable for the amateur photographer. Having a reasonable DSLR will make all the difference to being able to take, and sell, great photos.
Know Your Rights
When it comes to selling photos, strict rules and laws around copyright and ownership apply. Before signing up with a site or sites, be sure to carefully check their terms and conditions. In most cases, if your photos contain people as subjects, they will need to sign a model release. If you don’t understand something, consult with an expert. Also check their payment terms to be sure you are happy with how much they pay and how they process payment.
By: John Pearson
John is a serial entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about helping small businesses launch and grow. His work has been featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.