Hustle Hard: 13 Innovative Ways to Monetize Your Photos
So you have great photos – where can you sell them?
Let’s be frank, we live in a bolder new world of photography. What does that mean? It means that we are swimming in a sea of photos. I think in today's modern world, it is more and more challenging to succeed as a photographer– but, there are more and more opportunities for us to monetize as photographers in unique and creative ways.
But how can you create a one-of-a-kind business where your skills can stand out?
1. Create a MOUSEPAD with your image and Sell It Online
All those stunning pictures that you have can be turned into a mousepad. You would not believe how lucrative the market still is for mousepads. Don't think customized mousepads are sexy, or at least they wouldn't affect the bottom line? Think again – every computer out there with a mouse is likely to have a mouse pad. That's big revenue potential – if you know how to take advantage of it!
You can design mousepads with your stunning photos and sell them online. Who knows, you might even get inquiries from potential clients who would want to purchase licenses for your photos.
Talk about moneymaking while advertising, right?
2. Create A Specialized Photo Book
Do you have a bunch of photos from a soccer (or any sports) team at school? You can use those pictures and make some excellent photo books to sell to the parents. Parents love keepsakes from the successes of their children, and they are happy to pay for a photo book.
The quality of the photo books or journals you are selling will show your potential buyers what they can expect from you as a commercial photographer, and give some examples of the kinds of services you are to provide, so give it you're all.
Always provide value to all, even those who may not yet be your customers. You'd want them to think about you when they need your stuff.
3. Use Your Photos to Create iPhone Covers
You can use your photos to create Ipad, iPhone and other smartphone covers, which is a heavy market right now, like making mousepads.
For many Smartphone owners, phone cases are a popular must-have. There are vastly different reasons for purchasing cases-some people value practicality and security, while others are more interested in a case that reflects their style.
Since your photos are yours alone — make sure they have copyrights — you may provide what most suppliers cannot offer: exclusivity and individuality in the designs of the cases that you would sell.
4. Create and Sell A Calendar
One way to generate revenue for your side hustle in photography is by making and selling calendars. Most people enjoy having a gorgeous calendar on their wall or desk and this way your fans might appreciate the opportunity to buy your artwork.
Creating a picture calendar is very simple; we use them in just about every place we walk into. They are hard to sell in shops, so make yourself an online shop and advertise the store online with your images to generate sales for your calendar.
How Should You Set Your Prices?
Keep in mind, though, that customers who see the calendars in retail stores or calendar kiosks selling for about $5.99 will challenge you. There is no way you can compete with those prices because you're not going to print in the amount they're doing. Your best reason is to say the pictures are picked by hand and of high quality. You could even personalize a calendar for one client to print-on-demand calendars if you want to spend the time!
5. Sell it as a Poster
A custom poster is not only a great product to sell, but it's also a great way to distribute your work and get attention. Anyone who purchases the poster and displays is now also an advertisement for you and your brand!
You should only sell photo prints of the highest quality, so finding a dependable photo printer is important. You can search around for nearby fine art printers or take advantage of an online image printing service and offer your prints. The online printer can ship to your customers directly if you wish, so some of your shipping and handling costs can be minimized. Some printers are specialized in color photography, while others specialize in black and white film, so shop around to choose the option that best fits your requirements.
How Do You Find Quality Printing Services?
If you know any photographers who publish their images, ask them which printing services they use. Having references from credible and trustworthy sources is always a good idea.
On this part of the process, you won't want to skimp, even though the quality you give will influence your whole brand image. Know that happy customers over the years often become repeat customers. Find a printer that you are working well with and develop a good working relationship with them. Make sure they are offering all the services you'll need. Will you print standard size photographs or large prints? It is important to find a printer that is equipped for doing this kind of job.
Where Do You Sell Them?
There are many online marketplaces where you can show your artwork and list it for sale. Platforms such as eBay and Etsy are marketplaces, where hundreds or thousands of other vendors list the artwork. A marketplace creates competition but draws a large volume of shoppers as well. Such online marketplaces are great choices if you do not have time to promote yourself, or if you don't have robust marketing capabilities.
Do a little analysis, and look at the different marketplace fees and options. Some have a monthly flat-rate fee, plus if your artwork sells, they take a small percentage. These charges are typically worth the cost with the correct visibility and order frequency.
6. Make a Coffee Table Book
Would you wish to show a solid portfolio? Maybe you have a good collection of pictures from your area or a specific location? If so, put a book on a coffee table together!
Don't worry if you are a bad writer; there isn't really a need for any words when showing your photos in a novel! Although writing a few words about your job or the specific picture may be helpful, it's not necessary.
So, what do you do when you print out a handful of books? Sell them!
How Do You Sell Your Coffee Table Books?
Easier said than done, right? But there are really a myriad of ways to market a coffee table book. It's a great start to visit your local café, tourist office, or perhaps a local studio. Keep in mind that nearby cafeterias and shops will most likely prefer a book that includes photos from the city.
You can reach out online to your fans, friends and family, and let them know about your latest book. They may be interested in owning a signed copy of your book because they already enjoy your work.
7. Create Desktop Wallpaper
Desktop background is still a booming business, and you'd love to buy some desktop wallpaper you've made with your pictures. Check out Vlad Studios, for an example of an individual already doing this. With a good, premium WordPress theme, and a PayPal account, you can start quickly.
8. Create an Online Portfolio
This is not a way to make money directly, but you can create an online portfolio that highlights all of your work and points the visitor to various sites that have stuff you have created with your photos for sale. If nothing else, host your work on Flickr (after you watermark it, of course).
9. Sell Your Photos Online
Demand for quality images is growing continuously. For their content, websites need beautiful images, graphic designers need specific images for their layouts, authors require book covers and the list goes on.
Do you have a substantial collection of high-quality photographs? Why not send them to public photo sites? It is a good way to earn a passive revenue stream! Become a contributor to sites such as iStock, BigStock, and ShutterStock or upload your images to your Flickr account and make sure you license them using Getty Images.
Selling Your Photos as Stock
1. Register as a seller. To prove your identity, you'll be expected to provide some basic information about yourself and identification documents.
2. Read and become acquainted with the Instructions for Submission.
3. Upload your images and add metadata, details of pictures and related keywords.
4. Send in photos of your stock for review.
10. Join photo a contest.
Not too confident that your skills can win in a photo contest? Think again! After all, it is not just the experts who are attending those competitions. The competitors you’d compete with are typically an interesting mix of photographers with different levels of experience and knowledge, so don't be afraid to venture out and try your luck.
What should you lose? Even if you're not winning any of the cash prizes, photo contests can help to gain some publicity.
There are a lot of photo competitions out there, and the prizes can go as high as some thousand dollars! Not bad, huh?
11. Start a photoblog or a channel on YouTube
Bloggers make money from commercials and sponsored content. If you're an excellent photographer, then starting your photography blog is another way to make money. You can make guides, share tips and tricks, or write reviews on photography equipment and apps of all kinds.
Likewise, starting a photography channel on YouTube can also make money. It is basically the same content, but in video form, (tutorials, reviews, etc.) Although before you can really start making money from it, your blog or YouTube channel needs to gain a good following.
12. Sell Your Photography Gear
There's a continuing joke among photographers that selling your camera is the best way to make money from photography. And it's true, it can be hard to earn money from photography, but I'm sure there's plenty of photography equipment you've been sitting around that you're no longer using. There is no reason in having these lying around, gathering dust, you might just as well trade them to make some money, or if you are feeling generous, you can give them to a buddy who needs it.
Another excellent way to make money is by going to flea markets and searching for old cameras, then selling them to stores, or eBay, and making a profit. However, it helps to know what you are talking about when potential customers ask about your products.
13. Promote Products
Companies have started to see great value in teaming up with influencers in their niche during the last several years. If you have a strong following online and rad photography skills, you may be a good fit to become an influencer.
Whom Should You Work With?
Instagram has become a wonderful place, especially for promoting your photography. When you see your following online start to grow, you will soon begin to see a greater interest from companies that also want to work with you.
Nonetheless, I suggest you consider which brands or companies you choose to work with because I agree that working with anyone who approaches you could have a negative impact on your followers. Try to work primarily with photography-related companies or brands that share your ideals.