After spending a significant amount of time taking pictures, and accumulating a large library of images, it can be a daunting task looking for a way to sell your work.
With the right approach and a vast amount of hard work you soon may see a return for all the hours spent outdoors.
One of the easiest ways to begin with is holding a local gallery in your town hall, inviting all your family, friends, and especially local businesses.
This first gallery can be used as a learning point. The place where you make mistakes, but you should learn from them. Good friends will understand or even make fun at your mistakes, but will know it’s the start of a new business.
When selling prints in a gallery don’t make unnecessary claims about the durability of your prints. Give advice on how to take care of the prints, such as: don’t store them in humid conditions or don’t expose them to direct sunlight. Try to print on good quality paper.
Choose your time carefully when holding your first exhibition. Don’t hold it in early January; most people spend a lot of money over Christmas and don’t like spending too much in the new year. Pick a time where there’s a lot of visitors coming to your town. Local images should sell well with tourists. Don’t try selling an image that you think is just “OK”. If an image isn’t good enough to hang on your own wall at home, it is not good enough to be exposed to the public.
There are plenty of other ways to sell your photography. Stock Agencies require a minimum submission of 500 – 1000 images, and regular submissions thereafter, with very low returns. There are two kinds of stock Agencies to work with. There are premium stock agencies such as Getty or Alamy where you will need to submit larger portfolios for review and be able to contribute work regularly thereafter. They are harder to be accepted to, however, the return is much larger than micro-stock sites. Microstock sites are places like Shutterstock.com, Fotolio.com and 123rf.com. All these sites offer a great way for to get your foot in to making money with your photography. Keep in mind, payouts are much, much lower and it is quite competitive as there are so many photographers on these sites. You will need to submit images to be reviewed and once they pass, they are ready for sale on the sites. If you are looking to learn more about microstock photography, this site is a great resource: https://www.microstockphotography.com/.
Sometimes it’s better to go it alone promoting your own work, especially if you’ve got the drive to become a salesperson. And no better place to start than in your local town with your first exhibition.
There are no rules to what makes a picture sell. Sometimes having them in the right place at the right time can attract a client or customer. Images are used throughout the world to sell products and ideas, and there’s no better place to start than with your local community.
If your pictures are good enough to be entered in competitions, or hang at home on the wall, they are certainly good enough to sell.
Interested in Learning More?
If you are interested in learning more about selling your work or looking to improve your skills as a photographer, we have a online photography school that you can check out by clicking below. We offer online courses, workbooks and freebies.