You've got your images and now you're ready to showcase and sell them, but where should you do that? Here's our top tips and advice
- Portfolio websites
- Photography store builders
- Traditional stock photography sites
- Print-on-demand art sites
- A combination
Several options are available for selling your photos; we've listed them in 3 general categories below.
You might decide the option(s) you choose based on a range of factors, for example, how much control you want over how your site or store looks online and how much time and money you want to invest.
These types of photography sites are traditionally the place for photographers to showcase their work in a clean, professional format. In fact, some are so sleek and stylish that portfolio sites can often be considered works of art in themselves.
A portfolio site may typically follow a template or be created from scratch from a photographer's design. It allows ultimate creativity in how you can showcase your work. Still, a portfolio site-builder usually won't cover the basics like an in-built ability to handle payments, which will be something that has to be plugged in additionally -usually at more cost too.
Due to their bespoke nature, photography portfolio sites can be expensive when you're first starting to sell your photography. You'll likely need to invest in additional e-commerce tools. That's not to say you shouldn't consider one, but some other options may be better starting.
Photography store builders
Photography store builders (like Picfair Stores) combine the elements of a portfolio site while including in-built e-commerce solutions. So you have a fully-fledged place to display your photography while offering an easy solution for customers to buy your images.
For those starting in photography and those wanting the best of both worlds, the all-in-one solution can be the most effective and budget-friendly solution for selling photography.
""For those starting in photography and those wanting the best of both worlds, the all-in-one solution can be the most effective and budget-friendly solution for selling photography."
Traditional stock photography sites
Traditional stock sites allow you to upload your images to a stock marketplace where you'll receive royalties for image purchases (or licensed photos). The stock photography model has been around for decades but has also changed significantly.
Once upon a time, you could earn a good amount of money, but not anymore. With stock photography, you can get as little as $0.10 (or even less) for your shots, and stock sites might take up to 85% (and more) of the income generated from the sale of your image.
We aren’t saying to bother with stock at all - it may be worth adding a handful of images to sites, but certainly, don't rely on these as your primary income stream for selling your photography.
Going out independently gives you complete control over how much you can make from your photography. To put into perspective, if you sell one image for a chosen price of $10 on your store, you'd need that image to sell 100 times on a stock site giving out royalties at $0.10 per sale.
See more tips on navigating stock photography with our guide.
Print on demand art sites
If you're particularly interested in selling your images for print-on-demand consumer products and prints, several portals give you that option. You upload your pictures, which can then be purchased for mugs, t-shirts, photos, etc.
Like stock sites, the final amount from any sales might not particularly outweigh the cost in terms of time and money you put into adding your images to the site as the price to make the product is usually deducted from the total amount.
A combination of the above (and more)...
If this Internet has taught us anything, it moves fast, and websites and platforms will change in the blink of an eye. One moment you could find that your traffic predominantly comes from one channel, then overnight, it can stop. This is why it's beneficial to think about how you can diversify your online presence. What we mean by this is showcasing your photography in several different outlets. For example, you could consider having a store, along with a portfolio website, and maybe a handful of images on a stock site. This would increase the reach of your photos, and make you less reliant on one channel.
We have many more tips on how to diversify your online presence as a photographer.
Philip is the Editor of Focus.View all articles