Selling Your Own Photos

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  1. #1
    Member bazman's Avatar
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    Selling Your Own Photos

    Does anyone sell their own photos and make decent money from it? I'm not talking about professional photographers, but more the amatuer photographer that snaps away as a hobby. I may be interested in going down this path, but for me the selling of my photos would be a nice small bonus every now and again on top of the general enjoyment I would get from just taking photos. I would be interested to hear anyones thoughts on this.
    Cheers,
    Barry

  2. #2
    Member DragonDan's Avatar
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    Re: Selling Your Own Photos

    I've sold some photographs, but mostly of sporting events. Had a PhotoShelter account set up, it worked quite well, although I don't really invest any more time into it.

    The biggest problem is the proliferation of literally millions of decent-quality cameras out there. The big stock photography houses (Getty, istock, corbis, etc.) are more than happy to receive thousands of images every day and pay pretty much nothing for them. This has hampered the professional photographer (not that I'm one, it's just a fun hobby to me) in keeping his business open. Johnny point-n-shoot is happy to have his name as a byline under a photo in his local newspaper, I doubt he was offered any coin for his efforts.

    Why would a magazine buy images/ rights from Getty when they hold contests all the time for readers to send in free photos and win a coffee mug? That's an over-simplification of the issue, it is far deeper than that - although it does serve to make the point.

    So I just point my camera at what makes me happy, and leave it at that.
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  3. #3
    Member bazman's Avatar
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    Re: Selling Your Own Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by DragonDan View Post
    I've sold some photographs, but mostly of sporting events. Had a PhotoShelter account set up, it worked quite well, although I don't really invest any more time into it.

    The biggest problem is the proliferation of literally millions of decent-quality cameras out there. The big stock photography houses (Getty, istock, corbis, etc.) are more than happy to receive thousands of images every day and pay pretty much nothing for them. This has hampered the professional photographer (not that I'm one, it's just a fun hobby to me) in keeping his business open. Johnny point-n-shoot is happy to have his name as a byline under a photo in his local newspaper, I doubt he was offered any coin for his efforts.

    Why would a magazine buy images/ rights from Getty when they hold contests all the time for readers to send in free photos and win a coffee mug? That's an over-simplification of the issue, it is far deeper than that - although it does serve to make the point.

    So I just point my camera at what makes me happy, and leave it at that.
    Thanks for your views. I think you are absolutelty right, and you've helped make my thoughts much clearer.

    It is so easy to get your images out there for people to see, and as you say, the magazines that have competitions every month allow amatuers to have their photos published even though they may not get paid for it. I realise it is a very tough market/business to get into, and even more so to make decent money from it. One thing I'm not interested in doing is specifically going out to take photos with the sole intention of selling them. I guess it could be a fine line between doing it as a hobby and doing it for money. I find the latter can take some of the enjoyment out of it. It was sites like PhotoShelter I was thinking about. In other words I would like to periodically upload a photo I think may have potential to see if I could make some money from it. That is as far as I would want to go with regards to selling. Well I suppose it is something I can keep on the back burner if I decide to go down that route.

    Also, I am by no means what you would call a good amatuer photographer. I've got a long way to go before I can claim that hefty accolade. I think a lot more practice and dedication is required, but just as long as it remains fun. After all, that is the most important part.
    Cheers,
    Barry

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  5. #4
    Member DragonDan's Avatar
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    Re: Selling Your Own Photos

    Certainly no harm in submitting your work to the various stock photo places. The worst they can say is no
    Pink Floyd. Dark side of the moon. Side one, track four.
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    Re: Selling Your Own Photos

    If you have access to a decent printer/paper you might be able to sell a few prints - a few quid more if you can frame them, either setting up your own site or on ebay. Another option is the stock photo sites, but as mentioned there are hundreds of pictures added daily. Else send some choice shots (2-4) into a magazine editor with a short cover letter explaining the shots and you might see your photos used.

  7. #6
    Sinn Moderator gaopa's Avatar
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    Re: Selling Your Own Photos

    Barry, since you are in Scotland i doubt that what I do will work for you as I live in the USA and use zenfolio to sell my photos. I wonder if there is a zenfolio UK site?

    I'm an old retired guy who has morphed into a freelance writer and photographer. My writing is done for a regional magazine and I do a lot of their photography. In addition I shoot several sports events and need an outlet for sales. With zenfolio, people can click on my site, select a photo, buy it and have it shipped directly to them. Zenfolio then deposits my money into my PayPal account.

    Here is a link to my zenfolio site to give you an example of how it works. Just click on any of the folders and you will see individual images and prices. Zenfolio | Powell Photography

    Good luck with your photography. Cheers, Bill P.

  8. #7
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    Re: Selling Your Own Photos

    Photography as a business model is pretty much dead. The only real money in photography any more is with weddings. Established photojournalists and the few new photographers graduating with photography degrees and have contacts with editors or other photographers make up the ranks of those snapping away for the sports sections and magazines. Niche photographers can still make money but, as a whole, the industry is suffering...mainly due to the reasons cited above.

    Personally - I was a travel photographer in the Asian area in the early 2000s and was able to pay my bills with it. Then digital SLRs were born and everybody had a decent camera and was not only happy but excited to give their work away for free to newspapers, websites, and magazines - if only the publication would give a byline. I did weddings for a while but it's not the kind of photography that interests me so I sold my business, lapsed on my licenses, and took up another career.

    Try selling your photos on stock websites. I know someone that makes 1000 US Dollars a month doing. He's retired and spends a great deal of time taking very high quality photos of almost every genre. If you can live on 1000 US Dollars a month then great. If not then I think you know what's going to happen.

  9. #8
    Member bazman's Avatar
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    Re: Selling Your Own Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Addie View Post
    If you have access to a decent printer/paper you might be able to sell a few prints - a few quid more if you can frame them, either setting up your own site or on ebay. Another option is the stock photo sites, but as mentioned there are hundreds of pictures added daily. Else send some choice shots (2-4) into a magazine editor with a short cover letter explaining the shots and you might see your photos used.
    I have thought about printing and framing them myself, but I don't really have the time to do that. I would only do that for myself, family and friends. Setting up my own site is another option I considered about a year ago, but again there is too much time involved. The stock photo sites seem to be the best option for me, as 90% of my photography time will be a hobby, and 10% or even less would be set aside for selling. The magazine side of things could be an option, as I have been thinking about entering some competitions in magazines such as Digital Photo. Thanks for your help.
    Cheers,
    Barry

  10. #9
    Member bazman's Avatar
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    Re: Selling Your Own Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by gaopa View Post
    Barry, since you are in Scotland i doubt that what I do will work for you as I live in the USA and use zenfolio to sell my photos. I wonder if there is a zenfolio UK site?

    I'm an old retired guy who has morphed into a freelance writer and photographer. My writing is done for a regional magazine and I do a lot of their photography. In addition I shoot several sports events and need an outlet for sales. With zenfolio, people can click on my site, select a photo, buy it and have it shipped directly to them. Zenfolio then deposits my money into my PayPal account.

    Here is a link to my zenfolio site to give you an example of how it works. Just click on any of the folders and you will see individual images and prices. Zenfolio | Powell Photography

    Good luck with your photography. Cheers, Bill P.
    Thanks for the link Bill. A site like Zenfolio is the type of thing I'm after. Somewhere I can upload photos to and then forget about them, and if they make money that's great but if not then it's not a big deal. I'm a long way from selling photos anyway, so I have plenty of time to ponder my options. Thanks again for your help.
    Cheers,
    Barry

  11. #10
    Member bazman's Avatar
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    Re: Selling Your Own Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by JustinD View Post
    Photography as a business model is pretty much dead. The only real money in photography any more is with weddings. Established photojournalists and the few new photographers graduating with photography degrees and have contacts with editors or other photographers make up the ranks of those snapping away for the sports sections and magazines. Niche photographers can still make money but, as a whole, the industry is suffering...mainly due to the reasons cited above.

    Personally - I was a travel photographer in the Asian area in the early 2000s and was able to pay my bills with it. Then digital SLRs were born and everybody had a decent camera and was not only happy but excited to give their work away for free to newspapers, websites, and magazines - if only the publication would give a byline. I did weddings for a while but it's not the kind of photography that interests me so I sold my business, lapsed on my licenses, and took up another career.

    Try selling your photos on stock websites. I know someone that makes 1000 US Dollars a month doing. He's retired and spends a great deal of time taking very high quality photos of almost every genre. If you can live on 1000 US Dollars a month then great. If not then I think you know what's going to happen.
    Thanks for your advice. Weddings are one side of photography I just don't want to get into, as it has never really appealed to me in any way. I've always known that it was a tough business to get into, and I want to be as far away from it being a business as possible. Thankfully I wouldn't need the money to live on. It's more like having some extra money once in a while would be a nice bonus. I guess I'll wait and see how my skills progress before I try selling anything.
    Cheers,
    Barry

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