Turning Your Photos To Cash - How Can Your Photos Make Money For You

Posted by nick_niesen on October 26th, 2010

If you are an amateur or a semi professional photographer then chances are that you can make some money out of your photos. In this article you will get tips on how to turn your photos to cash. This article is for you only if you’re looking to turn your photos into some extra cash on top of your main income source. This is not for you if you are looking to live off your photos this is not for you.

There are plenty of ways to make money from photography. Some are very easy and only require an Internet connection while others require more legwork and directly dealing with customers. Following are five options:

  • Sell your photos on photo stock web sites: there are many sites that let people trade and sell photos. They vary in their terms and the way they do business but the foundation is the same: they let you upload your photos, showcase them and set their prices. The site users can browse through your photos and purchase the ones they like. While some of these sites are free to use and only collect a commission from the proceeds other sites charge a setup fee or a membership fee. Examples of such sites are: http://www.photostockplus.com and http://www.smugmug.com


  • Build your own site attract traffic and sell advertisements: Many sites today generate revenues from advertisements placed on their pages. To generate such revenues the site has to attract visitors. If your photos are unique and can attract viewers you can create a blog or a site with your photos alongside with some text describing them and the story behind them. Spread the rumor about your site to your friends and family and post information about it in forums and chat boards. Once you generate traffic add advertisements to your site. To create your site you can use tools such as http://www.blogger.com and http://www.typepad.com. To place advertisements you can use advertisement syndication networks like http://www.google.com/adsense and http://publisher.yahoo.com.


  • Sell your photos yourself: If you created the site mentioned earlier you can also sell your photos on that same site. The photos published on your site are highly compressed low resolution versions of the original ones. If your visitors want to use the photos for prints or other photo processing they will have to buy the original high resolution photos. To easily collect funds from your visitors you can use tools such as http://www.paypal.com. The original photo can then be emailed to the buyer.


  • Photographer for hire: This option is more traditional and requires some more legwork. If you are willing to do some work for hire you can post your services in a local classifieds web site or paper. Many web sites such as http://www.craigslist.org let you do that for free. Make sure that you provide details about the work that you can do and your experience. It is also recommended to post examples of your work. Also – if you have a site with more of your photos post a link to that site. To get a better sense of how much you can charge try to contact other photographers in your area and get quotes for their services


  • Sell your photos in coffee shops and galleries: This option requires even more legwork and a more significant upfront investment. Print and frame a few of your best photos. Go to local galleries and try to convince them to showcase your photos. It is best to start with just a few prints to minimize both your risk and the risk the gallery takes. Another option which can work better for amateur photographers is to visit coffee shops and restaurants and convince them to hang your photos on their walls. It is very common today for such places to hang “photographs for sale” on their walls. This is a win-win option for both the coffee shop or restaurant and you. They get high quality free photos and provide their customers with an extra service buying photos that they really like. You get free exposure while most often only paying a commission from the proceeds.

  • One issue to remember when turning photos to cash is copyright. Copyright laws change from state to state and country to country. Make sure that you check beforehand that you have the rights to sell or post the photos that you take. For example taking photos of commercial symbols and logos usually requires a written permission.

    There are many other ways to make some extra cash from your photos. Hopefully the ones mentioned here will give you ideas for what more you can do. Good luck!


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