Inspirational advice to help you achieve your goals with selling your images
- Don't Price yourself out of a sale or undervalue your work
- Be friendly & reliable
- Make buying your images as easy as possible for the customer
- Be organised
- Don't give up
- Keep pushing yourself to get better
There are some best practices you can apply to your photography business, no matter how you sell your images, and we've listed those we feel are most relevant below:
Don't: Price yourself out of a sale or undervalue your work
To you, your photography is priceless. And it can be tempting to put a hefty price tag on your images to reflect that. But remember, the photography industry is incredibly competitive. Look at photographers who shoot similar subjects and see their prices to give you a good idea of the market rate. It also helps to think about the lowest amount you would be happy with for your shots and work your way up from that figure.
The photography world is ever-evolving and changing, so review your prices constantly.It also works the other way. There is no doubt that at some point, someone will contact you about using one of your photos for free with the phrase, “you’ll be credited for it”. Whether you decide to go ahead with that or not is up to you. Avoid undervaluing your work without at least trying to earn some money from it. If even the client says they have no budget, and you ultimately decide it’s a punt worth taking, at least you tried first.
See more top tips like these with holistic advice for your photography practice from industry expert Kav Dadfar.
Do: Be friendly and reliable
As we've covered earlier in this guide, being a pleasure to work with is vital for your reputation and for getting repeat business. If you’re working on a long-term project, keeping the client updated as you make progress will give them confidence that things are moving in the right direction. Always do your best to answer questions, and try and accommodate any (reasonable) request if it’s practical to do so. If it isn’t - explain why and try and come up with some different solutions that might work.Lastly - it might seem obvious, but stick to deadlines.
If something unexpected crops up, clients will mostly be understanding so long as you communicate the problem, rather than simply failing to deliver on time. If you can finish something early, even better.
Do: Make buying your images as easy as possible for the customer
It's natural to be protective of your photography, but realistically you need to be willing to relinquish some control when you're selling your images.
What we mean by that is you shouldn’t be telling buyers where or how they can use your images. Customers will often need to crop or edit your photos within reason to fit their project or house style. This is standard practice, and if you’re difficult with customers, it will put them off buying from you
Be flexible and friendly, understand your customer's needs and be willing to accommodate. If there’s something you genuinely have an issue with regarding their plans for your photography, let them know, but do it in an approachable manner.
Also, do not be fussy over who can buy your images. Giving customers the impression that they aren’t worthy of purchasing your work will do your photography business no good.
See more of the top mistakes to avoid when selling photography.
"Giving customers the impression that they aren’t worthy of purchasing your work will do your photography business no good."
Do: Be organised
To put it simply, the more you're organised with your photography, in all aspects of it, the more successful your business will be. Not only will being organised across all save you a lot of time (after all, time is money), but you'll also increase your chances of landing a sale. Below are a few key ways you can ensure you're always on top of your game.
The best ways to organised with your photography:
- Make sure all of your images are at their optimum technical specifications before uploading them to an online selling environment (make sure they are of good quality and size)
- If you're captioning and keywording (tagging) your images, make sure your captions and tags accurately describe the contents of your images, without any spelling mistakes. This is particularly important when selling your images for commercial or editorial use as customers will rely on the information accompanying your photos to be accurate. Learn more about preparing your photos for commercial use with our dedicated guide.
- Keep an accurate record of all image sales and how much you're bringing in/ spending on your business and regularly review. This can also help you discover any trends or issues with your images or pricing.
- Make sure you've got a solid backup of all your images.
Further advice on photo storage:
See more of our top tips for how to store your photos with our in-depth guide.
Don't: Give up
Selling your photography takes time, patience and above all, dedication. You need to put a lot of work in to get the rewards you want, and there will be many ups and downs.
Naturally, there will be times when you'll feel like throwing in the towel. But the best advice we can give is not to give up. Every photographer, no matter how successful they are, has at one time or other considered giving it all up. And at these times, you need to remember not to be too hard on yourself. Success comes with perseverance - if you don't see the results you're looking for after some time, it doesn't mean you're a failure; keep your head up and keep going.
If you need a break from photography altogether at times, too, that's fine, and in fact, a break can from your photography be very beneficial in the long run.
"Success comes with perseverance - if you don't see the results you're looking for after some time, it doesn't mean you're a failure; keep your head up and keep going."
Do: Keep pushing yourself to get better
Your photography journey is ever-evolving; the more you push yourself and keep learning, the more you'll improve your craft and take better images, which will help you sell more photos and grow your business. With Focus, you've got at your disposal some of the best knowledge the photography industry has to offer to help you excel in practically every genre of photography imaginable.
Philip is the Editor of Focus.View all articles