Make money with your camera – Part 4: Selling your photos

(Image credit: Future)

It’s easier than ever to share your images with the world on social media, but the feeling you get from seeing your photos on physical media like a fine art print is hard to beat. Luckily, there remains a strong demand for people looking to adorn their walls and office spaces with art.

Decide whether you want to produce your own prints or have them made by a professional printing company. Printing is somewhat of a dark art, requiring lots of equipment like screen and printer calibration tools to set up correctly, not to mention picking the best photo paper and inks for your shots, matte or glossy finishes and so on. If you want to produce prints larger than A3+ you’ll almost certainly want to consider outsourcing this to a reputable firm.

Looking for the best photo printers?

There are a number of options when 
it comes to selling pictures. Some photographers opt for the exhibition route, often sharing the space with other photographers in order to split costs. These can be considerable when you factor in your time, along with the cost of printing, framing and suchlike. Budget well and don’t undervalue your work. The good thing about exhibitions is that you’ll attract people interested in pictures and more likely to be in a buying mood.

(Image credit: Canon)

Alternatively you could approach shops, cafes, pubs and so on and ask them to provide wall space on a consignment basis, meaning they get a cut of the sale. If you go down this route it’s a good idea to get some form of contract in place containing contact details of both parties, plus the retail price and how the selling price will be split and paid. 

It’s also a good idea to get something in there concerning insurance: who covers the repair of any damage to the prints while they’re in the retailer’s possession. Don’t forget to include links on your website so that the general public can purchase online, too. 

Pricing is one 
of the most challenging decisions to make. Don’t underprice yourself and always make sure that each print will turn a profit. Try seasonal discounts eg for Christmas or Valentine’s day.

(Image credit: Erika Valkovicova)

"Making money from selling prints is easier than you think! First, you need to find your target audience," says Erika Valkovicova, who has worked for over a decade as a professional travel and landscape photographer. 

"Ask friends and family what type of images they like. You can be pretty sure they will be your first and most loyal clients! People enjoy decorating their walls with similar themes, so offer collections of photos that work well together and create a bundle. You’ll need a website to link to various print-on-demand services. Create mockups of your work or take photos of your prints on the wall so you can display your work on social media."

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Erika Valkovicova has been a professional travel and landscape photographer for over a decade and is brand ambassador for VFFOTO filters (Image credit: Erika Valkovicova)

"Order a sample first to be sure about the print quality. Don’t overdo the printing options, having less will make it easier for your customers to choose without getting bamboozled. Selling prints can sound daunting at first, but knowing that your work is being displayed on someone else’s wall is very rewarding!”

(Image credit: Future)

What are NFTs?

Non-fungible tokens, called NFTs for short, are a new way of buying and selling digital art as an investment with everything from the transaction to the ownership stored on the Ethereum blockchain. ‘Token’ simply means it’s a digital item, whether it’s a digital photo or graphic design, it can be transferred between people, buyers or collectors on the blockchain. 

The ‘non-fungible’ part means that the art can’t be replicated or divided into sections as you could with a more common token like Bitcoin, this gives your NFT digital art a limited edition quality making them more scarce, sought after and more valuable too. NFTs could well be the future!

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PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine is the world’s only 100% Canon-focused title on the newsstand. Launched in 2007, for 14 years it has delivered news, reviews, buying guides, features, inspirational projects and tutorials on cameras, lenses, tripods, gimbals, filters, lighting and all manner of photography equipment. 

Aimed squarely at enthusiast photographers who use the Canon DSLR or mirrorless camera systems, all content is tailored to Canon users – so everything from techniques to product tests are tailored to those using the EOS camera system.

Editor Peter Travers brings 14 years of experience as both a journalist and professional photographer, with Technique Editor Dan Mold shoring up the magazine with his 6 years of expertise.