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How To Sell Photos Online - The 3 Must Know's

Aug 17, 2007
The expansion of the Internet and the corresponding growth in Internet based commerce has created an unprecedented demand for digital images. This in turn has created a great opportunity for photographers (and not just professional photographers) to sell their photos online.

As with any new field, it's not always easy to know where to start. This article will act as a guide in that respect.

There are three basic things you need to look at when considering at how to sell photos online:

1.Where should I sell my photos?
2.What are the best sort of photos to take? and
3.How can I ensure that my photos prove popular to buyers.

Let's deal with each in turn.

1.In terms of where to go to sell your photos online, the basic rule here is to find out where your prospective clients go to buy their current photos and make yourself visible there. Your choices are (a) to sell your photos yourself using software designed specifically for the task or by creating your own custom site and html code to protect your images; (b) to sell your photos on eBay or other auction sites or; (c) sell them to online stock photography sites where you get paid a portion of the sale each time your photo is downloaded. Shutterstock.com, PhotoStockPlus and iStockPhoto.com are popular examples of such sites (though there are many, many more). The fact that a photo taken once can then be downloaded by buyers over and over again, makes this a very popular avenue for selling your photos online.

2. "Think commerce" is the mindset you need to have when considering what sort of photos you should take. Most of the people that are buying photos online are doing so because they want their websites to produce more sales. The old adage of "a picture is worth a thousand words" is as true in the digital age as it ever was in the past.

Bearing that in mind, there are certain categories on stock photo sites that are very popular with buyers; those being: photos of electronics, photos of businessmen and women, photos of money and other photos that may be beneficial to their website or business. You can add to this well taken nature shots as a very popular online seller.

You'll find that any photo, regardless of category - with an element of real "uniqueness" could also prove to be a popular online seller, particularly if it's a shot of someone in the public eye.

3.To ensure that your photos prove popular to prospective buyers you will need to combine two of the elements that we've already spoken about. You'll need to take photos in categories that we know to be popular with buyers, yet you'll need to make your photo stand out from the crowd. To do this you need to provide some sort of twist on an already established theme. Go to the stock photography sites that I mentioned in the first section and do some research in the popular categories: electronics, pictures of money pictures of businessmen and women. Look at what is there and make a decision on how you can come up with something a little different. If you have any Photoshop skills, then you have a powerful tool to add an element of real uniqueness to your photos.

When answering the question of how to sell photos online, your best bet is to first visit the marketplaces in question; auction sites such as eBay and online stock photography sites and do some research. This will give you a feel for the photos that are popular as well as start stimulating you with ideas on how you can start to put your own unique spin on the photos that you take.
About the Author
Scott is a successful freelance photographer who makes the bulk of his income by selling his photos online. To learn how to sell photos online go to http://www.money-for-photos.com
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