Photographer

How to Sell Photography Online – Maximize Profit in 6 Steps!

People are visual learners and always have been.  We absolutely love pictures, the first books we read were loaded with them and to this day we best understand things from them.

There is something really special about pictures and some people have the great skill of being able to take amazing pictures, but not everyone who has this skill knows how to take advantage of it.

I’m not all that great at taking good pictures, but if you are, I want to inform you that there are tons of ways to make money taking pictures and you can achieve great success in doing it.

I have created a 6 step process to maximizing earnings from your photography business, but to start you need the proper equipment that will allow you to take some really nice pictures that will sell well.

1. The Proper Equipment

Most people think they have this step covered with their smartphone.  If that’s what you are using now, that is fine, but you will definitely need to upgrade to fulfill later steps.

Canon

The camera that I highly recommend you pick up is the Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera and here are a few pros and cons to it.

Pros:                                                                     Cons:

+ Camera has a Sleek Look.                                No Spare Battery.
+ 18-55mm EF-S f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens.
+ 58mm High Definition Wide Angle Lens.
+ 58mm 2x Professional Telephoto Lens
+ 16 GB SD Card Included.
+ 32 GB SD Card Included.
+ Tripod Inlcuded is High Quality.
+ Comes with Carrying Case.
+ 3 Inch Screen.

Overall, I think it is a very solid camera for starters, the need for an upgrade will come later on, but that will be far down the line.  For now, this should supply you with everything you need in a camera at a quite reasonable price.

2. Take Some Professional Photos

You have successfully invested in yourself and your business by buying a camera, and with your new camera equip, it is time to go out into the world and take some pictures.  Just grab your camera and go.

That approach is fine, but maybe try to find some really cool hiking spots and things of that sort around your area and head on over there.  It doesn’t matter the weather, it all looks good on camera.

Like I said, I’m not really a photographer by any means, but when you arrive, look around for really unique things in nature and really try to take some awesome and interesting pictures to call your own.

I don’t really have much more to say, you’re the photographer here, not me, just go out there and do what you love!

3. Photo Editing

Now that you have some really cool looking pictures, it’s time to edit them to your liking.  All the pictures you have now may be to your liking, but down the line you may have some pictures you don’t like as much and want to (or need to) fix.

In order to do this, you will need some software that will allow you to do it.  A program that I highly recommend you give a try would be Photoshop.  It costs money, but it is well worth it.  If you don’t know much about using Photoshop, here is a full tutorial to walk you through the process of using it.

If you are familiar with a different program, that’s fine, use that, but if you don’t have a lot of experience editing photos, than I think Photoshop is perfect for you.

There are a few free alternatives to give a try that include GIMP, Paint.NET and PhotoScape.

4. Sell Your Pictures on Shutterstock

Now that your pictures are done, the next step is putting them up for sale on a program such as Shutterstock.  First off, you need an account to begin selling, so go ahead and make one.

With your account created, there is a button in the top right corner of the screen that reads “Become a Contributor”, click that.  When you do, you will be redirected to a page where you need to hit “Sign up now”.

Enter your information, verify your account, follow their steps and you’re all set up and ready to start selling.  It is very simple to put your images for sale and once you do that, it’s time to move on to the next step.

5. Get Paying ClientsPaid Gigs

With your photos shared on Shutterstock, you can already begin to make some money, but in this post I promised to teach you to maximize profit from photography, which would include more than just selling on Shutterstock.

Another way to make some money as a photographer would be to get hired to take pictures for people, but right now, you really aren’t that well-known and a good way to get your name out there right now would be to do it free for your friends.

If you do a good job, they will recommend you to their friend and the cycle continues until you have clients lined up.  You can even design a business card and have a ton of them printed.  After you take pictures for your friend, give them a handful of cards and tell them to pass them out to some of their friends.

Just have your phone number somewhere on the cards along with an hourly price and people will reach out to you and ask for your services, rather then you having to find clients yourself.

Another great way to find paying clients would be to put ads on Craigslist, I have a post all about selling on Craigslist that you can Click Here to read.  You could also start some social media pages for your business and promote it there.

But a really great way to stay organized and to look like a very professional photographer would be to make a website for your business.

6. Create a Website

A really great way to promote yourself, stay organized and to really get your name out there would be to create a website.  For help with setting up your website, Click Here to read my post about getting your website set up.

Note that when you read it, it will talk about an “about me” post, instead of doing that, make it a post about contacting you that includes some information about you, your contact information and some pictures you took.  When you are done, be sure to put that post as a custom link on your header, so visitors can easily contact you.

Just read my post on setting up a website and when you’re done, watch this tutorial about making a professional looking photography site.

Keep Taking Pictures!

If you have done everything I explained, you should be ready to get some gigs and start making some serious money.  You have pictures up and selling on Shutterstock, you have clients contacting you left and right and you are beginning to gain popularity and become booked with clients.

The only thing left to do is take pictures!  You are the boss of your own business and get to make your own hours, one of the coolest things about online business.  I wish you the best of luck with your photography business!

Do you have any questions or comments?  Did I forget to cover something?  If you need assistance with anything at all, be sure to leave a comment below and I will reply.

10 thoughts on “How to Sell Photography Online – Maximize Profit in 6 Steps!

  1. Great advice for people who want to earn money on photography! Take many pictures, learn from mistakes, have the proper professional gear are all good tips. If you are keen on photography go for it. Microstocking is an ok way to earn money, but the big bucks is in wedding photography, commercials and magazine photos. Thanks for the info!

    1. Thank you very much for the kind words Andreas! You are right, if you can get a wedding gig, you will make some serious cash. Thank you very much for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed!

  2. Good article. I just bought myself a quality camera. My cell phone just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I was looking at editing software. I think I will take your advice and try Photoshop. Everything I read keeps telling me it is “user friendly”. I had never considered selling to shutterstock. What a great idea.
    Thanks again.

    1. That’s awesome Jill! I’m glad you invested in yourself and got a high quality camera. That shows commitment to your photography business. I highly recommend that you give Photoshop a try. Thank you very much for reading!

  3. Your post has some great advice! I’ve been a long time SLR user, it was a present to myself many years ago, and I agree a quality camera is definitely key to taking great photos. I would like to add that depending on location, the lenses can be sensitive to temperature. Going from one extreme to another, ie AC to humid air can cause the lens to fog up. Not a huge deal, but will require some patience while the lenses acclimate. I may have to check into Shutterstock to make a little extra cash on the side. Thanks for an informative read!

    1. Thank you very much for reading and I’m glad you got a lot of information from it! That is really awesome to hear that you got a nice camera, it really is key to great pictures. Great tip, glad you enjoyed!

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