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Selling photos online... official MoneySavingExpert.com discussion
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# 1
MSE Lawrence
Old 15-10-2007, 3:08 PM
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Default Selling photos online... official MoneySavingExpert.com discussion

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Selling photographs online


which is part of the Earn wonga on the web section


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Last edited by MSE Lawrence; 16-10-2007 at 12:56 PM.
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# 2
anewman
Old 17-10-2007, 10:58 AM
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Excellent, thank you very much. My girlfriend is a professional photographer but is out of work at the moment. This is worth a good look into and trying out.
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# 3
anewman
Old 17-10-2007, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mogster View Post
Ace idea - I've got a website -but I've not had much (if any!) luck selling stuff online.
There's some very nice pics there but IMO the price is a bit high for the average buyer. I guess you need to advertise somewhere to get exposure to the sort of people who will want to own pictures of the sort you sell and display them, you may get some luck by asking if it's possible to advertise in the Local library (a place where people interested in local history etc may go). You may also have some luck mailing local businesses. There's just one or two ideas.

Good luck!

Last edited by anewman; 17-10-2007 at 2:55 PM.
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# 4
MercilessKiller
Old 17-10-2007, 12:09 PM
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Just to let you know mogster you're breaking rules by posting your website in here I'm afraid as it's advertisement.
"The internet is a great way to get on the net."
- Bob Dole, Republican presidential candidate
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# 5
darich
Old 17-10-2007, 1:13 PM
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anewman - actually mogster's prices are average

My prices are similar - i can't check just now since i'm at work and blocked from accessing the photobox gallery with the prices but i do remember that i charge 40 for a 30"x20".

i've often tried to think of ways to maximise my publicity and had a few ideas
i've tried art and craft shows - limited success
an exhibition with a couple of others has been mentioned but so far hasn't happened.
stock photography is quite good but with so many prople having digicams these days and horrid websites selling images for a few pence, it can be very difficult to make any real money from that. I have managed to sell an image to a German calendar for over 85 though.

i'm always open to ideas and suggestions.

Mogster - if you're up for exchanging links, send me a PM and i'll send you my website - you can then decide if you want to

Keen photographer with sales in the UK and abroad.
Willing to offer advice on camera equipment and photography if i can!
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# 6
darich
Old 17-10-2007, 6:26 PM
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i would add that shutterstock is one of many sites who completely devalue photographer's work and you'd be aswell giving them away.

Bear in mind that if it's good enough to buy from shutterstock then it's good enough to buy from macro stock agency rather than a micro stock.

Claiming that the photographer retains the copyright to the image as a selling point is very underhanded - it is retained no matter which site the image is sold to unless it is expressly sold by the photographer.

Selling images through shutterstock adn other sites like it where you get a measly 10p per image can land you in legal trouble if you receive a real bona fide offer of £100 for an image already on that site.

I've go around 10,000 images on my pc and not one has been uploaded to a site like shutterstock.
I've got around 150 images on photographersdirect.com and with one sale to Germany i made just over £85.

And i think you'll find that most internet based agencies sell worldwide so that's another advertising tactic that sounds better than it really is.

I would suggest that any photographer who can take a decent image doesn't need to sell them for a paltry 10p a time. Why not sell them for REAL money?????

EDIT : Micro stock is shutterstock and the like - royalty free images where you sell the image for whatever purpose the buyer wants - you cannot control where, how often, what product, country or which media it is used in.
Macro stock is www.photographersdirect.com where you control everything - the purpose, the price, how often, how long, which media, which country and for what product it is used.
You cannot sell the same image on both for legal reasons and pd.com will not accept your images if you sell through a micro stock site.

Incidentally - you retain copyright in both cases so don't be fooled by smart jargon!!

Think long and hard before you give away images you consider good enough to sell!!

Keen photographer with sales in the UK and abroad.
Willing to offer advice on camera equipment and photography if i can!

Last edited by darich; 17-10-2007 at 6:30 PM.
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# 7
RichardJohn
Old 17-10-2007, 7:38 PM
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I'd recommend SmugMug: http://www.smugmug.com
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# 8
cbr
Old 18-10-2007, 10:32 AM
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Hi all.

Thought I would add my experiences.

I've been selling prints for just under a year now, through various channels. It all started when the BBC used one of my images on their news site and it was seen by several people who wanted to buy copies.
I do have a web site, but sales directly through that are rare. I've been regularly selling through a Sunday Art Market, and through events such as school summer fairs, craft evenings etc. The web site then comes into it's own as people can take my card and follow up later, which a number have done. Other sales have been though personal contacts, who then recommend me to their friends. I've also just been commissioned for a series of local images and one of my original customers is also talking about a commission sometime soon. I'll also be part of an exhibition of work at a local school in December.

I do advertise locally (only free advertising so far) and my attitude is a slow but gradual widening of people who know about my work.

I haven't yet used stock images libraries at all, but am considering it.

Colin.
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# 9
skintcouncilworker
Old 18-10-2007, 11:50 AM
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Hi, i got this from PC Advisor who rate this website. www.istockphoto.com. Hope this helps. Thanks.
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# 10
darich
Old 18-10-2007, 11:57 AM
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istockphoto is another microsite where you get a few pence per image.

CBR's method is similar to what have done although he's gone a bit further and sounds like he's had a bit more success.
I've sold several prints to friends and work colleagues and had a few enquiries through my site. I also got business cards made up and distribute them where i can.

Colin - if you're interested in exchanging links, send me a PM. I'll send you my website and you can have a look before deciding.

Keen photographer with sales in the UK and abroad.
Willing to offer advice on camera equipment and photography if i can!
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# 11
myato
Old 18-10-2007, 10:17 PM
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hi, can someone please tell me how i go about copywriting a photo to sell online? thank you
Theoretically there is a perfect possibility of happiness: believing in the indestructible element in oneself and not striving towards it
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# 12
RichardJohn
Old 18-10-2007, 11:06 PM
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There is no legal process of copyrighting, if you take a photo, you own the copyright straight away.
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# 13
darich
Old 19-10-2007, 10:24 AM
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RichardJohn is right - once you take the image you own the copyright.

Copyright can be purchased aswell. I could sell the copyright of one of my images and that would allow the buyer to use the image for whatever purpose they please. I could do nothing about it since i'd sold the copyright.
It also means that any profit that buyer makes from that image is entirely theirs and i'd have no claim on it.

Buying copyright should be expensive - whoever owns the copyright can make the money from that image.

That's why i dislike microstock sites so much - you're selling the image for a few pence and have no control over its use. Although you retain the copyright, you get no credit when the image is used, no control over its use, no control over the market or how many times it's used.
If i ever sell an image for a royalty free use then it'll be for a reasonable sum of money if i'm losing the control.
Rights managed is much better since i can sue someone for inappropriate use - not possible with royalty free.

Keen photographer with sales in the UK and abroad.
Willing to offer advice on camera equipment and photography if i can!
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# 14
full-time-mum
Old 19-10-2007, 10:35 AM
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My OH takes good photos, currently only of family related subjects, but I feel sure that he is good enough to make some money out of his hobby.
He is becoming a dab hand at photoshop too.

What can I say to persaude him to have a go?
What sort of images should he take (DDs birthday shots aren't going to sell, obviously)?
Where would be the best place to start?
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# 15
ScattyStudent1
Old 19-10-2007, 5:53 PM
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I found this site
www.fotolia.co.uk
not sure how good it is, but it is genuine.
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# 16
cbr
Old 19-10-2007, 7:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by full-time-mum View Post
What can I say to persuade him to have a go?
What sort of images should he take (DDs birthday shots aren't going to sell, obviously)?
Just ask him to imagine the buzz the first time someone gives you some money for something you've produced.

As to what sort of images to take, - if you're doing it for fun/pin money, then whatever sort you enjoy doing. I would never touch wedding photography, for instance, as it's too stressful. Give me some nice quiet countryside any day.

Colin.
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# 17
jessicamb
Old 19-10-2007, 8:37 PM
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could you take some landscape photos and sell them through local gift shops? Could be good for souveniers/gifts/home decoration.
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# 18
krazyk
Old 21-10-2007, 12:49 PM
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Hi all,

Just to add my thoughts, I think stock photo could be good to get started. To me it's a certain type of photo you put on those sites. If you think you have a really good pic, though, don't put it on stock. Try and get some decent money from it via places such as this site:

http://www.photographersdirect.com/
http://www.britishimages.co.uk/

But could the amount you make be comparable if you uploaded and sold 100s or even 1000s of photos cheap on a stock image site to if you uploaded and sold a handful of photos at higher prices on a site such as Photographers Direct? I don't know. I still think it's down to the type/quality of the photo. One thing to note is that if you upload your photo to one site you can't upload to another site, so pick your site carefully. I can't say any more but once I've tried stock images/etc. I'll post back with my findings. But for a quick description on some stock sites have a look at this page:

http://www.flickr.com/people/eugy/

As for copyright, have a look at the following site which might help:

http://creativecommons.org/

Every photo I upload has a Creative Commons mark and you can select the type, whether it be All Rights Reserved or if you allow your images to be shared, to be used commercially, etc. It's a open standard and many sites use it.

You could also do the old trick of putting your photos onto CD/DVD (or prints) and posted it to yourself and not opening it. If there is any dispute then you can use this posted version of your photos in court/at solicitors. This goes for anything I believe, so you could copy the contents of your web site onto CD and post it to yourself.

Also, you might want to consider watermarking your images, for example if you upload your images to deviantART at http://www.deviantart.com they let you add a Da watermark automatically. I don't particularly like watermarks as they ruin the photo (at least the one other people see) but certainly helps protect your photos online. Copyright is very hard to protect though. On Flickr alone (http://www.flickr.com) there have been many cases of people and companies using other people's photographs to make profit and/or use in an inappropriate way. Several of made the BBC news and has tended to lead to legal action.

As for making money from your photos, well I've been asking this on other forums, such as Digital Camera Magazine's at http://www.dcmag.co.uk/. People have said yes you can make money from stock image sites but not enough to live on. Other suggestions: promote your photos, such as on photo-sharing sites and link back to your photo site that sells prints, etc. I've uploaded thousands of my photos to photo-sharing sites (mainly Flickr) and have had many people use my photos for blogs, news articles (NowPublic.com for example), etc. Plus I've had priceless.com (Mastercard) pay me for 3 of my London Eye photos for 2 years, a French publisher is trying to get a booklet of my London pics that he has "miniaturises" to be publish and a design agency is paying me for one of my Wimbledon 2007 photos. None of these photos were taken with selling them in mind - basically they are 'snaps' or holiday pics and all I did was upload them to Flickr, add a few tags and add them to a few groups. On photo-sharing sites and the like tags are very important. If you add tags it allows them to be found via searches. No tags mean they won't be found and thus less people seeing them.

Basically start by promoting your photos and getting them seen by as many people as possible. The best photo-sharing site is Flickr but the most visited by far is photobucket.com at http://www.photobucket.com/ (though is very poor quality compared to Flickr). These and other such sites are free (though can be limited to how much you can upload) and easy to use. Perhaps create your own site too. Mine was made from a 'photoblog' service:

http://www.pixelpost.org/

Yeah it's handy to have a bit of computer knowledge when using such services but they make setting up your photoblog as easy as possible and have user-friendly instructions to guide your not too computer-savvy. I also have a blog which I'm going to use to document my progress from happy snapper to photographer (well hopefully) but you could use a blog to promote your own photos. There are many blogs out there but the one I used that gave me the most flexibility was Serendipity at:

http://www.s9y.org/

Very similar to Pixelpost and once either are set-up it's dead easy to blog and upload photos plus it's all free! So whenever I upload a photo to my blog I can select from a list of 'announcement sites' where my post will be re-posted to. This means that a picture you blogged on your site will be posted to other generic blog sites and thus lots more people see the picture and will visit your site. From Doing this my blog now gets about 15,000 hits a month but the trick is to turn this visits into money and that is something I'm still planning.

In regards to prints, if you want an idea for prices try this site:

http://www.londonfreelance.org/feesguide/photo.html

It lists prices for different types and sizes of photos and for different lengths of time. Very handy for a starting point. For selling prints, DeviantArt and Photobox (at http://www.photobox.com) might be good places to start. Basically you register, add a few details about yourself (and thus have your own page) and then upload photos where you select what type of items you want to sell. The prices are selected automatically but you can change them if you wish. I've personally not sold a thing from this so (perhaps don't expect the World) but then I feel my photos are not good quality atm.

Other things to try us entering competitions, perhaps you want get money but you might get a bit of promotion which might lead to money. Networking is good for anything and it's no different for photography. Perhaps joining groups online and off and clubs might lead you to people who could help promote your photography. And as mentioned before get your photos at some local markets, local papers and local shops and go from there.

Sorry, long message and perhaps not written well. Get back to me if I can help any further but I'm no expert?

KrazyK
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# 19
darich
Old 21-10-2007, 2:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScattyStudent1 View Post
I found this site
www.fotolia.co.uk
not sure how good it is, but it is genuine.
none of the other stock sites are any less genuine but this is still what is known as a micro site - selling images for a maximum of 3 is a poor return although better than the 10p that some give!

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# 20
krazyk
Old 21-10-2007, 3:44 PM
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As a quick addition to me previous comments, have a look at this blog:

http://blogs.photopreneur.com/

It's mainly aimed at telling people how to many money and promote your photography.

Krazy K
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