How to sell photos: selling prints to the public

Quick photography tips: fine art landscape photographer Ed Collacott reveals the ins and outs of selling prints to the public to Ben Brain

Selling your photos can be hugely satisfying. However, being able to shoot what you want to shoot and still make cash is, for most people, just a dream. Many photographers end up drifting into a career taking pictures of subjects they’re not passionate about to simply pay the bills. There are, however, other possibilities, and selling beautifully crafted prints direct to the public is one way to artfully combine your passion and business skills, as well as get immediate feedback from your customers!

Sell your photos to the public – Ed’s top tips for success

Shoot what your passionate about

“I’m very fortunate to have found a niche for my work – it enables me to make a living and gives me an independence that I truly value. I only shoot what I have a passion for, which is the landscape, and I hope this passion is reflected in my work. I’m really not interested in portraiture, weddings or studio work and believe that if you stick with what you’re good at you’re far more likely to succeed.”

Start at craft fairs

“I have a stall in Bath from which I sell my work on Saturdays during the year and every day for the five weeks leading up to Christmas. The stall has consent from the council, which isn’t cheap, so it’s a good idea to try art or craft fairs first to assess people’s reaction to your work – the public can be a fickle lot.”

Always think about the presentation

“People will not buy your work if it’s not presented well, and you need to spend a lot of time and effort on getting it right. You also need to think about your pricing – you’ve got to cover all your costs and make a profit.”

Find a printer you can trust

“Modern printing technologies produce superb archival prints on a variety of surfaces, such as fine-art papers and canvases, so give the public a choice. Never show work you’re not happy with. You’re only as good as your weakest link, so if you’re not printing your own images, find a good printer and build a strong working relationship.”

Avoid large retail shows at the start

“In addition to the street stall, I have a range of greeting cards that I wholesale around the country and a few galleries hold my work. I’ve exhibited at large retail shows, such as Grand Designs and Country Living, but the outlays are huge and I don’t recommend this for a beginner. Online sales are also important but this area is very competitive – there are some fine photographers out there and thousands of web galleries.

Give the public what they want

“My best-selling image is Winter Wood, which is very simple but very effective. My favourite image is Misty Pines, sadly not one of my best sellers but it’s one that gives me great pleasure.”

To see more of Ed’s photographs visit