Photography is big business these days. Webmasters and businesses use images for their websites and marketing materials. People purchase artwork for their homes. All of these photos need to come from somewhere. As a freelance photographer, you have numerous options to sell your photos online.
Sell Your Photos as Fine Art
ArtStoreFronts – Learn how to sell photos online as fine art, and get your own eCommerce website with must-have features to increase your art sales. This is a robust website platform for professional photographers focused on selling their images as art prints. They provide first-class educational resources, and a step-by-step Success Plan to ensure that you follow best-practices. You can print and fulfill your own orders, choose your own lab, or use one of their labs for automated print fulfillment (“print on demand”). There is also a members-only forum where all customers share ideas, sales strategies, and receive guidance from industry experts.
Sell Online Images
There are several websites that sell stock photos and vector images to webmasters and business owners. These photos can be sold over and over again providing long-term residual income.
Fotolia – Earn 20-63%. Exclusivity is not required though some rules apply to pricing once a certain rank is achieve. Payment is made via Moneybookers or PayPal.
Shutterstock – Contributors earn 20-30%. Payments are made monthly with a $75 minimum. Shutterstock does not insist on exclusivity. You are free to sell your stock elsewhere.
Dreamstime – Earn 20-60% from each sale. Has an active community.
iStockphoto – Contributors earn 15% from each download. Exclusive Contributors earn 22-45%. Payments can be requested up to twice per week by PayPal, Moneybookers or Payoneer Mastercard with a $100 minimum balance. Checks are mailed on the 15th and 30th.
FreeDigitalPhotos.net – Keep 70% of your sales revenue. Payments are made via PayPal with a $10 minimum.
Bigstock – Earn 30% from individual downloads and up to $0.38 royalty on subscriber sales. Payments are processed once per week upon request with a $30 minimum balance. Receive payment by check, PayPal or Moneybookers.
Demand Media offers freelance positions to photographers. Payment is like clockwork twice per week. Rates will vary by assignment. These must be exclusive photos and you give up all rights to the work upon sale.
Sell Them Yourself – There are some themes and software that will make selling your photos a breeze without ongoing fees or giving up a percentage of each sale.
Make sure you read and re-read each site’s guidelines and fine print when it comes to requirements, exclusivity (you can’t sell your photos on multiple marketplaces) and property rights.
Sell Your Photos on Tangible Items
There are also a number of websites that will allow customers to print your photos on everything from coffee mugs to canvas.
CafePress offer several options for selling. List your creation on their site or set up your own shop. Regular listings earn you 8%. Payments are made monthly by check or PayPal with a $25 minimum.
Redbubble is similar to CafePress in the items they sell. Contributors set their price, earning everything above the predetermined base price. Payments are sent by PayPal monthly with a $20 minimum for US contributors.
Shutterfly –Pro Galleries run $99 to $199 per year plus 15% commission on each sale. Shutterfly does take care of customer service issues. Payments are made monthly by direct deposit.
Marketing and Making Sales
Most sites recommend the use of tags and keywords to help buyers better find your available photos.
Don’t forget to market your available photos. Social networks, guest posting about photography and getting active in photography forums can all help.