Selling Your Images - Gateway Camera Club

How to Sell Photographs Online
We all like to take snaps don't we? Even those of us
who aren't very good at photography love to have a go
at capturing a few special moments with our cameras
and phones.
But did you know that there are ways to make money
from your photographs by selling them online?
Now, truthfully, unless you are a really exceptional
photographer then you probably aren't going to make
your millions selling your photographs online - but for
anyone with a bit of spare time, a decent camera and a
good eye for a photo opportunity, selling photographs
online can be a good way to make a bit of extra money
without a great deal of effort.
How Can I Make Money From My Photographs Online?
There are a few different ways you can make money online from your photographs
and each method has advantages and disadvantages. Some people make money by
building up a popular online portfolio of photographs and selling advertising space
next to them. Another method is to sell your photos for use on merchandise such as
t-shirts, cups and calendars.
Other photographers build up a gallery and sell photographs directly to private clients
- or make money from doing photo shoots once their name becomes well known.
The disadvantage with most of these methods, though, is that you usually have to
have quite a lot of experience in photography - and a large portfolio of images to
So ... what if you don't have thousands of fantastic quality photographs at your
Well, one of the best ways for you to get started making money from photographs
online is by taking advantage of stock photography websites.
Once you've signed up with one of the stock photography websites, you simply
upload some of your photos and submit them for approval. If some of your
photographs get accepted and someone spots one of your photos and wants to buy
it - or at least a license to use it - then you will get a cut of the sales value from the
stock photography website.
Which Photography Websites Can I Make Money From?
There are tons of websites dedicated to buying and selling stock photography online
- but a few of them stand out from the rest for a number of reasons.
These are some of the most popular stock photography websites.
It is free to register with all these sites to sell your photos.
Each stock photography website has slightly different rules and guidelines about
what photographs they are looking for and what they will be willing to accept. For
example, there are strict rules about ownership and copyright issues on any
photographs you submit.
If there are any recognisable people in your photographs then you will have to ask
them to sign a Model Release allowing you to use them in the image for commercial
purposes. Similarly, there are rules which will prohibit you from using photographs
which contain certain building, logos and brands.
Also, all of the different stock photography websites have their own commission
rates and payment structures, so it's worth taking some time to read the small print to
see which stock photography websites would most suit your style of photography and which will make you the most money...
How Much Can I Sell My Photographs For?
The simple answer to that question is ..... it depends!
Sometimes payment for photo downloads via a subscription can earn you just a few
pounds. But, the pounds can add up quickly if you manage to upload a substantial
set of quality stock photographs over time. And some websites pay more for
photographs after reaching different levels of downloads. For example, you could get
more per download for a photograph that has been downloaded 5 times than one
that has had just 1 download.
One thing to consider is that some of the stock photography sites will pay you much
more if you agree to submit photographs exclusively to their website and are
accepted onto their exclusive programme.
For example, iStockphoto pay up to three times more commission to their exclusive
photographers. In addition to paying more per download to exclusive photographers,
Dreamstime also pay an additional bonus for each and every photograph that their
exclusive photographers successfully submit to the site.
One of the great things about stock photography is that your portfolio can grow and
bring you a residual income while you aren't even active on the website. The first
photo you successfully upload could still be making you money in 10 or more years.
Which Photographs Sell Well?
You'll probably have to learn to deal with a bit of rejection at the start of your stock
photography career. Many of your photographs could well get rejected, but it may not
be because your photography just isn't up to scratch.
All of the stock photography websites have a very good idea which types of images
their customers are looking for - so they won't just accept all of your photos if they
don't think many people from their typical user base will buy them.
Many people who purchase photos and images from the stock photography websites
are looking for photos they can easily republish elsewhere. Lots of the most
successful stock photography can involve very simple images on white backgrounds.
For example, lots of people look for very simple photos or images of dogs or cats
which they can Photoshop onto a different background. Quite often, the simpler the
photograph, the more successful it will be on the stock photography sites.
Over time, you will start to learn which of your images are selling in the highest
volume - and for the most money - so you can start to build up your portfolio in a
more targeted way.
Top Tips To Get Your Photographs Noticed - And Sold!
More and more people are finding out about how you can make money by selling
photographs online - which means that you could face a lot of competition to get your
photos noticed ... and sold!
So, what can you do to help YOUR photo rather than someone else's photo get
spotted and downloaded?
Here are a few tips and tricks of the trade to help put you head and shoulders above
some of the other contributors to stock photography websites:
If you have your own website, blog, Facebook page, Tumblr, Twitter etc, then
use those channels to promote your stock photography portfolio
Use good keywords to tag your photos and make sure they get found in
Check what your images look like at 100% before submitting them
Learn from failed submissions. Most websites give reasons why a particular
photo was not accepted to their database. Take note and work on improving
future photos
Touch up your photos with editing software - but not too much!
Use any blogs or communities on the sites to interact and promote your
Read the onsite blogs of photographers who are selling well on a particular
Don't submit dozens of substantially similar photographs
Use Photoshop or similar software to remove backgrounds from some images
Join the stock photography website forums and make useful contributions
Go exclusive if you are happy to work with just one stock photography site
Add a few photos for free download just to get buyers into your portfolio
Give it a go…its worth a try!!