With the enormous rise of social media and new websites being born almost every second of the day, photography has become big business. Businesses, websites and bloggers have realised that consumers respond incredibly well to perfectly curated photos.
With this rise, photographers themselves have seen that either their career or hobby can now earn them money through new avenues. To do this though, you need to know where to sell your work online.
We first need to discuss what types of photos do people or businesses want to buy and that are in demand.
- Photos of people
- Travel photos
- Photos of cities
- Photos of work situations
- Close up and detailed photos
- Photos of objects (books, tools, furniture etc.)
- Photos of nature and landscapes
- Photos of animals
If you are already a photographer who’s niche is one of these topics, brilliant, you are already halfway there, if you aren’t, you may want to start exploring these categories as they are the most popular a the moment.
Before you can even start thinking about selling your images, you need to make sure the image itself is up to scratch and on par with your competition. Nobody wants to buy low-quality images, they want the best of the best.
Here are a few tips for taking the best photos possible.
- Make sure you have the right equipment. You aren’t going to sell any images if your competitors are using up to date DSLRs and you are using your smartphone. A DSLR is a worthy investment and one you should definitely make.
- A tripod and zoom lens are also a necessity. You want to keep your camera steady as well as be able to take detailed shots at any distance, this will widen what you can photograph as well as keep the quality consistent.
- Having one, or multiple backup hard drives is essential. Losing weeks, or even months of work can be soul destroying. Make sure you have a way to backup your data, as well as making sure to do it regularly.
- A light tent is a great way to create light and to give you the best possible conditions for stock photos. They are relatively inexpensive and will add another layer to your photographs.
- If you are wanting to create scenes for static objects, animals or people, invest in some backdrops that can create the scene for you. If you are very adept at photo editing, a green screen will allow you to create any scene you want.
Now that we have covered what photos people and businesses are wanting nowadays and how you can take the best possible photos, we are going to discuss the best sites to sell your photographs and where they will get the most exposure.
Fotolia can earn you between 20% and 63%. Exclusivity is not required but payment rules do change as a certain rank is achieved. Fotolia uses Moneybookers or PayPal for making payments.
Alamy will offer you a 50% royalty and there is no exclusivity clause.
With Shutterstock, photographers can earn between 20% and 30% royalty and payments made monthly with a $75 minimum. There is no exclusivity clause allowing you to sell your stock anywhere you want.
Dreamstime allows you to earn between 20% and 60%. The site also has a very active community with photos being bought and sold regularly.
Contributors to iStockphoto can earn 15% royalty from each download, while exclusive contributors can earn between 22% and 45%.
With FreeDigitalPhotos.net, you are able to keep up to 70% of your sales revenue.
With BigStock you can earn 30% from individual downloads and $0.38 royalty on subscriber sales.
Selling your photos yourself
Considering nowadays it is very easy to set up, run and manage your own website, creating a website to sell your own photos is definitely not a bad idea. It does require more work as you will need to build an audience and client base, but you are able to keep all the money and you will basically be working for yourself.
There are multiple steps and considerations to take in when wanting to sell your own photographs, but with the number of resources available online you can easily find a site that will sell them and allow you to earn some really good money, or allow you to make a site yourself and start an online photography business.