Selling photographs as NFTs: a pro travel photographer gives his top tips

NFT from Wanderlust series by Marco Bottigelli
During the pandemic, Marco Bottigelli looked at ways to make his photographs more unique combining different images to create fantasy scenes he could market as NFTs. This piece entitled Oriental Escape sold on Foundation for 3ETH ($9,848) (Image credit: Marco Bottigelli )

''Photography still occupies a small niche in the NFT market space. In situations such as this, you must decide whether to remain a spectator waiting for the interest to increase, or invest your time and resources on being a pioneer of a movement. Thanks to the excess of free time resulting from the travel restrictions due to the pandemic, I decided to go for the latter. 

Overall, as a creator, I strongly believe a skill that should never be lacking is curiosity. Despite a decade of experience as a professional in commercial travel photography, I found pleasure in sitting back and learning something new from scratch. 

In the art market one of the main elements for defining the value of a work is scarcity, so the first paradigm I faced was how to make my photographs ''more unique''. I came up with the idea of going through a brand-new avenue; blending some of my favorite photos from recent years into surreal, evocative and intriguing composites, albeit with elements that are recognizable to an attentive audience. 

Part of a travel photographer’s job is based on finding the best viewpoint over a landscape or a city based on elements from the real world. In the same way, the freedom of art (or rather cryptoart) has unleashed my imagination in finding new viewpoints over recognizable landscapes, in much the same way I search for a better imaginary viewpoint in the wideness of the Metaverse. 

In May of last year my first series ‘Wanderlust’ was born – three works that project the observer through the subject on an iconic and dreamlike journey. Two of the three works were sold to collectors in the first two weeks of their publication. The third sold in November for 2ETH ($6,571).

Then, at the beginning of July I published my second series ‘Gondola Fairytales’, a two-piece epic tribute to the explorers, myth and legends from the history of Venice.''

Winter Fairytale, from Marco Bottigelli’s first series, Wanderlust that sold for 4ETH ($13,131) on NFT platform Foundation (opens in new tab)  (Image credit: Marco Bottigelli)
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Marco's top tips for selling NFTs

  1. Showcase your absolute best
    You have limited chances to showcase your skills, thus you want to focus only on the very best. If a piece doesn’t fully convince you, no one else will be convinced either. 
  2. Be scarce
    Scarcity raises the value. Limited editions and rare releases lead to an overdemand of your works, which in turn leads to higher prices.
  3. Care for the community `
    There are lots of artists out there doing what you’re doing. Engage with them, exchange ideas, and learn from others’ experiences. This will also widen your reach to collectors.
  4. Promote your work
    You’re doing freelance. You must learn the best practices to promote your work. Don’t spam, don’t rush and be patient.
  5. Be in it for the long term
    Like every new technology, it takes time to take root in the market. Enjoy the process and be in it for the long term and not quick gain.

This article first appeared in Digital Photographer magazine (opens in new tab)

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Marco Bottigelli is an acclaimed travel photographer and leader of international photography workshops spending his working life photographing some of the most beautiful locations in the World. With over ten years in the field, he finally turned a part-time job into a full-time travel photographer freelance career in 2015, focusing exclusively on producing high-end commercial travel images and accompanying customers across nearly every continent to experience the beauty and the challenging of the travel and landscape photography. He is the co-owner of clickalps.com, a Premium Travel Photo Agency based in Italy. Since 2021, he has been successfully selling his photographs as NFTs.