How can I make money from my casual photography?
February 28, 2013 9:33 AM Subscribe
I'm a photographer by hobby and by interest, but not for money. I'd like that to change, but just a bit. What are some good ways to sell my photos?
posted by filthy light thief to Work & Money (13 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
I've been taking digital photos for over a decade now, starting with the silver brick that was the Canon PowerShot G1, and most recently getting a Nikon D3100. I have also dinked around with Photoshop for over two decades, though I've only focused on image correction in the last 5 years. In short, I have a LOT of photos.
I'm not looking to become a professional photographer, or make a living selling my photos, but it would be nice to earn a bit of extra money by selling prints. I've thought of printing up a collection of my photos and going around to see if I could get some stuff shown in coffee shops, but I moved this summer, and I don't know if there are that many little places that would show art like that around now. I also checked out local art shows, but there were a number of photographers everywhere I went, with a booth full of mounted images for $25-50 each. I image that they made some money, after paying for printing up all those photos and renting the space, but it seemed like a decent online shop could do better.
But looking online, there are lots of places to sell images. I don't think I really have stock-type images, as they're more of interesting places and views and less of common events/emotions, and stock shops seem to be full to the gills with any sort of image you'd want already. Then there's Etsy for making (and possibly mounting/framing) my own prints, or Smugmug and the like, where you pay some money to host images and have them handle the sales and printing mechanisms. But I'd still be worried about how to get found amongst the mass of what's already out there.
In short: I'm looking for feedback and experiences from more casual photographers with selling your work, either online or off, how much effort it takes to set up shop and what I could do in my spare time to promote my little shop in the immensity that is the internet. Thanks!