You don’t have to be a professional photographer in order to make money selling photos online. You do not even need to have a top of the range camera, as you can take photos from your phone as long as you have a steady hand. You may even be able to monetise photos that you have already taken. The following guide will tell you all you need to know about making money from selling photos.
What Equipment Do You Need?…
Although you do not necessarily need a DSLR camera, you will have more opportunities for making money if you have one of these cameras. This is because they produce higher resolution images which are more suitable for print-on-demand products amongst other things.
You can take high quality photos on smart phones though, with the Huawei P30 and Samsung Galaxy 10+ Note gaining particular recognition for the quality of their cameras. There are sites that will only buy photos which have been taken on phones so there is certainly a demand for these types of photos.
In order to get the best photos, you will need to use photo editing software. There are plenty of options for free software you can use and the best of these options are listed below.
FastStone Image Viewer allows you to open RAW files directly from your camera from where they can be saved as JPG, PNG or TIFF. You can also do basic editing such as cropping, correcting the colour and straightening the image.
Raw Therapee basically works in the same way as Lightroom does. It provides you with a lot of tools for tweaking your photos until they look the way you want them to.
PIXLR is one of the best alternatives to Photoshop and the short cuts that it uses are the same. You are able to download the app for free or it can be accessed from your web browser.
Gimp is also very similar to photoshop, but some reviews have suggested that it is quite difficult to learn how to use.
Snapseed is an app that consistently features in the best photo editing app charts for both iOS and Android.
The most important thing when choosing editing software is that you find it easy to use and that it does everything that you need it to. The best way to do this is just to download the software and start practising.
How Do You Sell Photos Through Stock Libraries?..
Stock libraries buy and sell digital photos that can be used anywhere from a website, to being published in a book. The photographer will get a cut of the fee every time that a photo is sold. Stock libraries provide a passive income because you only have to upload a photo once, but it can be sold many different times.
Some sites may want to see a range of photos before they accept you as a contributor and there are sites which will evaluate every photo you submit to ensure that it meets their guidelines.
This means that you will have to be consistently producing high quality shots. Try not to take it personally if any of your photos are rejected. You can sign up for as many stock libraries as you like and this will help to increase your income.
Tips For Earning Extra Money From Selling Photos Online…
If you want to increase the money that you make from selling your photos to stock libraries, then the following tips can help…
- Upload your images to as many sites as you can and ensure all images are of a good quality.
- Do not be afraid to have people in your images as long as you have their permission. The stock library should have templates of agreements that you can get the subject to sign to say that they are OK with you using the photo with them in it.
- Check the terms and conditions before you upload for details of rates and how you will be paid. You may find that you can get a better deal on another site. The Ts & Cs should also give you details of what will happen to your photos if you choose to leave the site.
- Contributor newsletters can give a useful insight into the kinds of photos that are in demand at the moment. They also have a lot of tips that can help you improve your photography.
- If you include relevant keywords when you upload your photos then it will be easier for people to find them. The more people that see your photos, the more you are likely to sell.
How To Sell Print Versions Of Your Photos…
If you are going to sell print versions of your photos, then these need to be printed in a professional lab rather than at home or from a machine in a shop. This will cost more but you will be able to charge more for your prints. Other options for selling printed photos can be found below…
- Use a photo hosting site. Zenfolio and Smugmug are two examples of this type of site. You can upload your photos and people are able to choose the media that they want to order them on such as wall art or framed prints. They will take care of all the printing and post the items out on your behalf as well. The downside is that they will take a cut of the price you are paid for your items.
- Sell photos on social media. If you have a large following on social media then there are a couple of ways you can use your photos to make money. You can give your followers the chance to buy a signed copy of some of your most popular photos.
- You can also take a photo of yourself using a particular product and then direct your followers to the website where they can buy it for which you will get a commission for every sale that is made. You will need to make it clear that the post is an ad. This whole process is known as affiliate marketing and it can be very profitable.
- Open an online photo store. If you do not want to pay a site a percentage of your earnings, then you could always open your own store. Etsy is a good option for this.
How To Sell Print-On-Demand Products…
Print-On-Demand products include things like mugs, bags and mouse mats where the buyer can choose the image that will be used. This is a good option if you don’t want the outlay of setting up a website or buying stock because the products will only be made when someone orders them.
If you want to sell personalised gifts then there are several websites that you could use to do this. You will be paid royalties for all products that you sell. The one thing that you will need to bear in mind is that you will have to put the hours in, both with taking and editing the photos and also marketing the products. Some of the most popular websites of this type are listed below.
Cafepress – This is free to set up but the amount of royalties you receive will vary based on a number of factors.
Zazzle – You can set your own royalty rate with this site but it is recommended that you set this rate at between 10 and 15% as it will be added to the cost of the item and people won’t buy if the price is too high.
Spreadshirt – They have royalty rates that depend on the items that are being sold and so the amount you earn will vary from item to item.
RedBubble – You can add your own royalty rate to the base price of the product. 20% is the default rate but you can change this if you want. They have a payment threshold of £16 that you will need to reach before you can cash out.
Tips For Becoming A Freelance Photographer…
If you want to make a career out of photography then becoming a freelance photographer is an option. It is not easy but it is something that can give a lot of job satisfaction. You may find the following tips useful.
- Decide upon a niche. If you have a specific subject matter that you want to focus on, then you may find it easier to market your services.
- Continually improve your skills. If you are constantly working on your photography and improving your skills, then it will be much easier for you to find work.
- Work out your rates. When you are working out the rates you will charge make sure to include all your costs and time so that you know you are making a profit.
- Build up a portfolio. Ask to photograph events for family and friends for a discount to build up your portfolio.
- Use your social media account. Display your best work across all your social media accounts and let people know you are available to hire.