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Author Topic: Has anyone here sold any of their pictures?  (Read 278 times)

donnieclark

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Has anyone here sold any of their pictures?
« on: May 19, 2017, 03:08:41 AM »

Hello,

Has anyone here sold their pictures? If so, how? I've often had friends tell me I should sell my pictures - some just assumed I already did. Is it even realistic for a hobbyist to make money of their photos? Would I have a real shot at selling something if I built a portfolio?

I think my pictures are reasonably good compared to other pro photos - but for every good picture I can take of something like the Eiffel Tower - there's 100 other equally good pictures of it out there. It seems like the path of entry is to do stock photos - but how much money can one really make on those? I've been on 500px - got about 14k view - but never one sale. Not sure if that's typical.

Thoughts?
Thanks in advance.
I didn't find the right solution from the internet.
References:

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Stephen Girimont

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Re: Has anyone here sold any of their pictures?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 08:06:23 AM »

Alain Briot's "Marketing Fine Art Photography"

Alain Briot's "How Photographs are Sold"

And the answer to your question is yes. Many here sell their images (myself included).

Are you looking to sell your images as stock or as prints? I, personally, can't recommend stock, and unless you already have a reputation, the only way to sell prints is by physically getting them in front of potential buyers. I highly suggest reading the two books linked to above.

Otto Phocus

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Re: Has anyone here sold any of their pictures?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 08:22:38 AM »

I have given some of my photographs away to good organizations, but never sold one. To be brutally honest, I don't think anyone would pay any appreciable money for my photographs, but that's OK as I shoot only for myself.

Maybe I should start selling my photographs to myself.  But then I fear I might have a jerk for a client  ;D  He is such a cheap bastage.  ;)
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Has anyone here sold any of their pictures?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 08:59:26 AM »

Has anyone here sold their pictures?... Is it even realistic for a hobbyist to make money of their photos? ...

Selling is one thing, making money is a completely different one. In other words, you can sell a picture or two (or even a dozen) and still end up losing money. Depending, of course, how much money you invest in selling efforts, and how much effort you invest in selling.

MattBurt

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Re: Has anyone here sold any of their pictures?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2017, 12:15:26 PM »

I sell some but I can't quit my day job yet. It pays for my photo and outdoors gear and an interesting trip every now and then which helps a lot.

My sales are some landscape prints (usually just 1-3 a month), a few annual events (bike and ski races, concerts, community events), and commissions for real estate and portraits. Specific stock (not with an agency but direct to publications, usually tourism-based) has also been a money maker but demand seems very inconsistent.

I shot only for myself until the frame shop I use wanted some images to hang in their gallery and they sold. It's been slowly growing from there for about 10 years but I still need a more reliable and plentiful income to live on from my other job.
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nirpat89

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Re: Has anyone here sold any of their pictures?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2017, 01:07:17 PM »

Hello,

Has anyone here sold their pictures? If so, how? I've often had friends tell me I should sell my pictures - some just assumed I already did. Is it even realistic for a hobbyist to make money of their photos? Would I have a real shot at selling something if I built a portfolio?

Do you print your images?  It would be a good idea to enter local competitions and shows so you start being visible to potential buyers.  Most people would buy something if they relate to it somehow (could be that particular picture of Eiffel Tower of yours even though there are thousands others of the same subject.)  The problem with sites like 500px that most people who frequent those are photographers like yourself.  How many photos have you bought of others?  So you have to target non-photographers.

How about submitting for a solo show in a gallery or arts center or just the neighborhood cafe.  I have sold several of my pieces in solo and group shows, a lot of them to friends and people I know, but still quite a few to people I have never met.  None of that paid enough that can be remotely called making a living.  But they did pay for some of the materials costs.  Not to mention the satisfaction of making something that someone liked enough to pay money.  It's a good ego boost!

Overall though, I approach this as first and foremost being interested in creating the photographs and sharing those with others who might appreciate - not for the strict purpose of selling.  That way I am pleasantly surprised when a sale does occur.  I am not willing to change my photography so I can make more sales (as in stock photography, though I am sure that is a perfectly reasonable thing to do if you enjoy taking loads of generic pictures and are primarily living off your photography.) 
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 06:56:33 PM by nirpat89 »
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Mjollnir

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Re: Has anyone here sold any of their pictures?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2017, 01:12:30 PM »

Yes, I have, but they're usually from unsolicited inquiries or gallery showings.  And this isn't my straight gig.
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aboudd

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Re: Has anyone here sold any of their pictures?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2017, 06:36:27 PM »

Assignment photography (architectural) is my main source of income, but I have sold quite a few prints in the past few years. The first sales were to friends, then a client bought a number of images of Washington, D.C. for an installation in a residential building. Since my book came out last year I have sold a few more. Now, that I wrote all of that, I would say selling prints depends on your expectations. First, is your work strong, would someone want to buy it? Flattery from friends is nice, greenbacks is better. Second, you can't sell your prints if you are shy about it. Be willing to talk about your work when someone expresses an interest - and for God's sake do NOT show images on a phone or small tablet. Make an impression with the biggest image you can. I would recommend picking 6 of your strongest images and printing 13X19 samples to show. It isn't a large print for a wall, but held in hand as a sample it is quite impressive.  Third - The biggest problem for those new to selling prints is pricing. "How do I put a value on my work?" The short answer is, you can't, the market place does, but you have to start somewhere. If you do build a good reputation, pricing will be easier. In one of the previous replies I think someone said you have to make money. That is true. A lot of this depends on where you are trying to sell, the demographics of the area (income, etc). The same print in one market may only get $200 and in another market $2,000. So, if you live in a middle-income market, you are going to most likely sell on the lower end, which means you have to produce your prints at a modest price. If you are not printing yourself, use a company like Adoramapix. You can make a 12X18 print for about ten bucks. On the high end, a lab like Bay Photo will make fine art prints in that size for $47.00. Assuming, when starting out, you want to mark the print up 4X (don't forget you have the cost of your gear and time to compensate for) the Adoramapix print can sell for $40 and the high end fine art print $188. Again, what your market will bear is very important. Around here I sell a framed 13X19 for quite a bit more. A lot of people advocate the use of social media to market. I can tell you that with 2 web sites, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (since dropped), I saw very little interest. I'm of the opinion that selling from a screen is really hard. I've even tried using Apple TV to mirror my screen on a 50" TV. The idea was cool, but the reproduction wasn't. There is the distinct possibility that I am not doing social media properly, after all, I am a geezer in this business. Most of my sales now come by word of mouth.  I hope this helps.
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