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Where is the best place to sell my photos online?

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by Michelle Nelson, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. I on't have the money to set up my own website yet so I was wondering where the best place to sell my photos are?
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't get your hopes up. The traditional way to sell images is through the stock photo agencies but unless you stumble upon a specific niche for which there is demand it is a hit and miss business. Some of the hosting services offer a commercial side - I have seen pictures posted on here link through to a site that offers prints for sale. Just can't think of what it is called. The basic fact is that millions of images go on-line every day so to distinguish yourself to the point people will pay for your work is very hard.
  3. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    ^ Also many will not pay for pictures, they prefer to filch them from the internet to avoid payment, aided by the fact that many simply don't actually care when this happens to their pictures.
  4. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    No filching required. The very nicest thing about the internet is that it makes room for those who want to sell their pictures and those who want to give them away, Same with software, same with literature, same even with some types of hardware (if you have access to, for example, a 3D printer).
    EightBitTony likes this.
  5. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Michelle,

    What sort of photos?


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  6. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    As Roger says, a lot depends on what kind of photographs you are trying to sell. If it's a service, i.e. portraiture, or wedding photography, or product photography, it might be enough to have a nicely curated instagram or flickr account or similar such thing curating examples of work you have done previously. If however you are hoping to sell prints of landscapes/still life/abstracts, you will probably find it easier to sell physical hard copies at fairs/fetes/shows/markets where you can engage with customers and let them see what they are buying. The trouble is that even if you take the best photographs in the world, you have to make your work known. Just bunging it on a website and hoping that people will come along and find you is not going to work.
  7. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    I was banned from our local 'Spotted in' Facebook group last week after a kerfuffle when the group administration used a photo without consent (not one of mine) and the person asked for a credit, which seemed reasonable enough. The usual types piped up with the same old argument about if you put it on Facebook it's free to use and I merely corrected them and added some links to advice about copyright. Suffice to say I'm a local legend now and everyone wants to know what you have to do to get actually banned, as the group administration seems to have no limits to what they allow.
  8. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    There are literally many millions of Photographs added to the web each day.
    Why should any one pay to see them.
    Taken to the next step why should anyone want to pay to own a copy.
    There is a vast oversupply of Photographs covering almost every subject.

    Therein is the problem for both buyers and sellers.

    This is a typical needle in a needle stack situation. How can you ensure that a buyer ends up finding your photographs rather than someone else's.
    People spend considerable effort to ensure that their photographs and websites arrive at the top of web searches.
    This is to most of us, very much a Dark Art that we will never master.

    Even if we achieve a Top Spot . unless we are offering some thing "exclusive" and "better" than they can find elsewhere, the chances of them actually buying anything is quite low.

    Quality sells
    Different sells
    Interesting sells
    Beautiful sells
    Emotion sells
    Special interests sell
    Reputation sells
    Something that ticks most of those boxes will probably sell.

    How many photographs do you buy yourself?
    Why? and why not?
  9. The images are of urban landscapes and I was thinking of more a print service so people could use them to decorate their homes. I have seen this is a highly saturated market so I was thinking of targeting the local area where I take the photos because it's more relatable to that audience.

    I love going to fairs and have often wondered about setting up my own stall. Need to save some pennies to get create the stall.

    Thanks guys :)
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  10. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Michelle,

    Great idea. Good luck.


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  11. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine regards himself as quite successful in the field of selling "local" prints - in his case, landscapes. He has an arrangement with three or four local cafés. They display his mounted and framed prints which are offered for sale. It is a win-win situation. The café owner gets free interior decoration and a commission on each print sold (20% I believe) while the photographer gets free exhibition space and 80% of the price of any prints sold.

    I think he reckons to average about 12 - 15 sales per year.
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    It's a good way of doing it. I've not done it myself, largely because a friend of mine has the local market pretty much tied up - local dentists, too, and doctors' surgeries.

    This is as Michelle says a highly saturated market, but it's also perhaps the easiest way to actually sell prints.
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  13. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Other places you might consider - local fleamarkets - the one near us only insists that products to be sold are either 'home made' or 'second hand' - your prints would sit in the homemade category. You mgiht need a table, chair and gazebo if it's an outdoor venue. Schools sometimes have tabletop sales. Near us there are a couple of shops open now which will sell your stuff for you if it fits with their product lines and you pay a commission. We also have a Summer and Winter Festival and you can book a stall - they provide the framework/covering/awning and a table, you provide the stock and pay a pitch fee. If there are empty shops in your area it's often worth phoning the letting agent to see if they could do you a deal on a pop up shop - if it's more than you can afford alone you could join forces with a couple of other enterprising souls and do it together, splitting the costs.
    Michelle Nelson likes this.
  14. HSB

    HSB New Member

    Greetings Michelle,

    I realize my comment is a bit late in the day but, sometimes better late than never right?
    Anyway, I wanted to change the stale air of discouragement, offer some encouragement and a few resources that I hope you find useful.

    first, it is entirely possible to sell your work and not have to pay a small mint, I know, because I have done so using the resources I am going to outline for you, if you are willing to think outside the box of traditional methods.
    Your #1 task should be watermarking each and every one of your photos, because, as remarked in an earlier post, there are many unsavory types who will steal your work. I also recommend tagging your photos with your name and your website URL.

    Which leads to task #2, even if you decide not to build an e-commerce site at this point, it is imperative that you create a portfolio online, because these days without it, not many of the outlets I list, will be willing to take you seriously.

    #3 your portfolio I recommend Weebly.com or Wix.com as they are free platforms for building very powerful websites, in addition, they do not require a degree in rocket science, so as long as you have the where-with-all to create a facebook page, you can create a website.
    Now, the free package includes only 6 pages and you can not sell thru the site unless you upgrade, however, you could use the contact form for customers to place an order and collect payment thru paypal offsite.
    Your portfolio will be an indispensable tool for getting more eyes on your work, more so, than if you went door to door in your general area.

    So the first RESOUCE is ETSY, I'm sure you've heard of it and how crazy competitive it is, but with a bit of work, you could really make it work.
    Once you create your site on etsy, which depending on how many pieces you have for sale, would only end up costing you a few dollars to list, you will have to advertise it yourself as it can be really hard to make the front page of the site in the coveted "curated " sections. But if you are already on social media, this shouldn't be too much extra work. Etsy really excels at having an extremely extensive collection of blog posts, tutorials, and manuals on how to sell on their site, but could also be used for selling on your own.
    One of the most important factors that they stress is beautiful photography of your work, but don't worry, there's also a whole manual on that.
    Finally, etsy has just rolled out its wholesale section, it does cost a bit to get in, but it might be worth a look.

    Another great RESOURCE is HARO.com ( Help A Reporter Out).
    This site essentially connects reporters looking for anything from, products for sale to be listed in magazines to stories or photography for all manner of media outlets, with creatives. It's so simple and easy to use, you sign up, and they send emails to your inbox from reporters listing their needs, that's it, they gigs come to you. You will want to have a good pitch outline that you can tweak for each gig you are interested in and for that I recommend launchgrowjoy.com .
    The owner of this site Andrea, has a wealth of resources to help creatives start from the ground up. Most of the resources are free and can be found on her blog and some are not, but her site will no doubt open up new avenues of thought on who to sell your photos, and that is priceless.
    Another great, free RESOURCE for pitch writing is called clementine.com. This is actually a small boutique that buys handcrafted from etsy wholesale. She did a blog post once on ohsobeautifulpaper.com, about how to pitch to shops, I found this post VERY useful and effective.
    Now, lets switch gears here for this last part. If you are just looking to start small for the moment, you could create a professional looking portfolio on vistaprint, have a few printed up, look up the shops in your area, contact the shop owner, and take it in ( or send it ahead of your visit) and work to get your work sold locally.
    In this somewhat saturated area, we must be willing to think outside the box and do what everyone else is NOT doing. If you have a look thru these sites, I'm sure it will open you mind to so many new opportunities that you had not thought of before.
    Michelle, I sincerly hope something in my post helps you on the road to doing what you love so you never work another day. Best of luck!
  15. Wow, absolutely amazing info thanks so much.
    HARO sounds like such an amazing tool to use, I bet it makes the hunt for publicity that little bit easier. I know that to have a full on photography business with the ecommerce side of things there's more to it than build a site. It is very overwhelming but I guess to take things a step at a time is the best way to approach it.

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