Are you a professional photographer or capture images for fun? Whether it’s your hobby or career, let’s look at how to make extra money with your pictures and expand your photography business.
We’ll cover how to sell photography prints online effectively and discover the diverse range of photo products you can offer.
Sell Prints Instead of Digital Photos
There are two formats when selling photos – digital images and physical prints. While the digital route seems more convenient, it’s likely less profitable and may not provide you with the desired recognition.
Although digital photography has been on the rise since the invention of smartphones, prints remain a popular choice. In fact, the global photo printing industry is expected to grow from $20.41b in 2022 to $29.19b by 2028.
To help you understand why it’s worth selling printed images, let’s check the main differences between selling digital photos and physical prints online.
|Platforms to sell on||
|Production needs||None. All you sell is a digital file.||You need to print the images yourself or use a printing service.|
|Production time||No production is required.||It depends on whether you make the prints yourself or outsource the printing.
Print partners usually make the final product within 2-3 business days, and you also need to factor in the shipping times.
|Demand||With the stock photography market growing consistently, the demand for stock photos is high, but your images could get lost among millions of others.||The global wall art market is expected to grow from $48.50b in 2021 to $72.61b by 2028, driving demand for high-quality prints.|
|Platforms to sell on||
|Production needs||None. All you sell is a digital file.|
|Production time||No production is required.|
|Demand||With the stock photography market growing consistently, the demand for stock photos is high, but your images could get lost among millions of others.|
|Platforms to sell on||
|Production needs||You need to print the images yourself or use a printing service.|
|Demand||It depends on whether you make the prints yourself or outsource the printing.|
Print partners usually make the final product within 2-3 business days, and you also need to factor in the shipping times./td>
|JetPrint||The global wall art market is expected to grow from $48.50b in 2021 to $72.61b by 2028, driving demand for high-quality prints.|
Although selling photographs in a digital format doesn’t require production and allows you to sell images on the spot, physical prints bring bigger profits.
Selling photography prints with Print on Demand is a hassle-free and straightforward way to expand your photography income. We’ll cover print-on-demand services a bit later.
How to Sell Prints of Your Photos
Assuming you already have a catalog of beautiful images to offer, let’s find out how to begin selling photography prints.
1. Establish Your Photography Business and Brand
There’s a reason why you got into photography – expand on your story and build a connection with your target audience.
Most photographers choose to build their brand around their persona. Link your photography business to your own story or the images you shoot. For example, focus your brand on landscape or street photography, or black-and-white photos.
While it may not seem important initially, buyers will start associating your images with your brand as your sales grow. Make sure to develop a solid brand name, logo, and visual identity.
Whether you sell your photography on an online marketplace or a stand-alone store, use your brand assets consistently and build your business around your target customers.
Learn more about growing your photography brand in our article on how to build a strong and unique brand identity.
2. Create Photography Prints
Next, determine how you’ll create the prints to sell your photography.
Print on Demand.
Print on Demand is the most convenient option for new print sellers. It lets you print all your photographs per order, and you don’t have to handle the items yourself.
Why choose POD for your photo printing needs?
Order in bulk.
Another option is to find a local print shop and print your images in bulk, which could save you a lot of cash. But there’s a risk of being stuck with inventory if all the items don’t sell.
Do it yourself.
There’s also the option to print the images yourself, but even the simplest printer will set you back at least a couple hundred dollars. If you want to do large-format prints, expect to pay several thousand for equipment.
Although this route gives you complete control over the printing process, there might be more lucrative options when starting.
3. Find Where to Sell Your Prints
Although online sales allow you to reach a wider audience, let’s also expand on offline options.
Sell prints in person.
If you choose to print the images at home, print them in bulk, or use Print on Demand to order them, consider selling the prints in person.
Where? At art fairs, art stores, photo and art galleries, and local stores.
The main advantage of choosing this route is that your buyers can see the photography prints in person and get a feel for how they’ll look in real life. Meeting your customers makes the experience personal and allows you to expand on the story behind each picture.
Sell prints online.
The internet can give your photography the recognition it deserves, reaching fans of your art all over the world.
The best places to sell photos online include:
- Your own website/store. Many photographers run blogs or portfolio websites to showcase their work. Use platforms like Squarespace and Wix to create a website and add a store function, or create your online store with Shopify, or PrestaShop.
- Online marketplaces. While stand-alone stores give you more personalization tools, marketplaces already have a solid customer base. Try out sites like Etsy, eBay, and Walmart for your photo prints, but remember that you’ll be competing against other photographers.
- Art marketplaces. In addition to the sites mentioned, you can also sell photos online via art-focused platforms. Check out Fine Art America, Saatchi Art, and ArtPal.
Consider how you want to manage your online business to determine which platforms best reach your target audience.
4. List and Price Your Prints
Once you’ve chosen a platform to sell your photos, it’s time to start listing and pricing your prints.
Follow these steps to increase the odds of selling your art.
- Apply the right keywords. Include relevant keywords in your product titles, meta titles, and descriptions to rank higher in search results. Tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, and eRank help you find the most suitable keywords for every image.
- Use high-quality mockups. In addition to displaying the actual photo print, include mockups of the picture in different interiors and provide close-ups of the finished product. If you’re offering canvases and frames, showcase them too.
- Provide details on all features. Be very clear about all print dimensions, finishes, and any additional details that might be important.
When it comes to pricing, you’ll need to do some research. Photo enthusiasts new to the game might want to keep their prices low, while established photographers tend to offer their pictures for more.
If you’ve decided to sell your photos on a marketplace, research the prices of photography prints that fall into your niche. Aim for a similar price range to stay competitive or go a bit lower to get those first sales and reviews and start growing your personal business.
Check out different photographer accounts on social media – find out where they sell photographs and their prices.
Since you’re looking to sell art prints, the quality of your content and its relevance to your target audience will also dictate your pricing and how much you can earn.
See our detailed product pricing guide for valuable tips.
5. Market Your Photography Prints
You need more eyes on your photos to sell more prints. Let’s review effective marketing channels to achieve this and help grow your photography brand.
Social media marketing.
These tips will help grow your brand on social media and remain relevant:
- Keep a consistent style throughout your photos.
- Post regularly and keep up the quality.
- Use the right hashtags.
- Engage with your followers.
- Do giveaways and run contests.
If you have a personal website to sell your prints, utilize this channel to market your art. Running a blog is one of the best ways to drive organic traffic to your site.
Write photography-related posts, create travel diaries with your snaps, and publish content relevant to a specific photography niche. Look into making videos or running a podcast – the possibilities are endless.
Remember to optimize your content to appear higher in search engine results. Use relevant keywords, meta titles, descriptions, and alt texts for images.
Email marketing is another excellent channel for growing an online photography business. Use tools like Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, and HubSpot to collect email addresses and segment your audience into personalized groups.
Send emails to showcase your portfolio, offer prints for purchase, and provide special offers. As your email list grows, fine-tune your content and segments to get more people to purchase prints.
Make It Happen Today!
What to Consider Before Selling Photography Prints Online
Now that we’ve covered the main steps to start selling photography prints, let’s review three more aspects to help you narrow your focus and start making money with photos.
Your Niche and Photography Type
While you might enjoy shooting various subjects and settings, consider focusing on a specific niche. It can be anything from portrait, street, and landscape photography to architectural, travel, or aerial photography.
Think of it as perfecting your craft rather than putting yourself in a box. It’s especially true when selling from your website, as customers appreciate professionalism. Your print offering will look more coherent and help you develop a stronger photography brand.
Cross niches if it makes sense for your photo business. For example, landscape or street photography goes hand in hand with travel photography.
Open-Edition Prints vs Limited-Edition Prints
The more prints you sell, the more money you make, right? Perhaps – but it’s also possible to increase your prints’ value and profit margins by making them exclusive.
With open-edition prints, you sell as many copies of a given image as possible. Limited-edition prints are restricted to a specific amount. This way, the buyer owns a rare image, making it feel unique and potentially increasing in value over time.
Start selling prints without restricting availability, then look into limited edition runs as you begin to make a name for yourself.
Printed Product Selection
Have you considered the different products you can use to sell photos online? Printify’s Product Catalog offers a variety of items to help your photos stand out the way you want – let’s explore.
Posters are the perfect foundation for any image. They offer the most cost-effective way to sell your prints, and customers can frame the posters how they want.
If you want to kick it up a notch, try canvases for your photos. They offer a premium finish, allowing buyers to hang your photo art straight from the box. For an even more high-end look, give the framed canvases a go.
Many buyers don’t want to worry about framing images themselves, making these the perfect solution.
Look into acrylic prints, aluminum composite panels, and gallery boards to sell photos online. They offer buyers a unique look and could potentially capture new customers.
Other printed products.
Do you want to expand the range of items showcasing your photography? It doesn’t only have to be wall art – photos look great on many different products and materials, including:
- Apparel. T-shirts, hoodies, and sweatshirts.
- Accessories. Phone cases, mouse pads, and stationery items.
- Home and living items. Mugs, postcards, ornaments, and blankets.
Limiting your photography prints to more traditional products or expanding with apparel and accessories is up to you. Make sure the products align with your brand identity and have a clear target audience in mind.
How to Sell on Different Platforms Using Print on Demand
Whether you open an eBay or Etsy store or run your own stand-alone shop, Print on Demand is the perfect option for selling photos online.
There’s no need to keep an inventory since each product is created per order, and you don’t have to worry about shipping.
Follow these guidelines to sell photos online with Printify.
Start by browsing Printify’s Product Catalog and choosing a product for your photo.
As noted earlier, posters and canvases are perfect for displaying images in any interior space, but also try other home decor items, apparel, and accessories.
Next, use Printify’s beginner-friendly Mockup Generator to apply a photo to your chosen item.
Printify supports JPG, PNG, and SVG files, and you’ll see the print-file requirements for each item in the bottom right corner of the Mockup Generator. Just drag and drop your image on the product – it’s super easy.
Use the Mockup Generator to see real-life previews of your photography prints and order a sample to check if you’re happy with the final product. This way, you’ll know what your customers are getting, and you can also use the sample to snap some images for your listings.
All that’s left now is to start selling photos and products. List your prints in your store from Printify, choose your mockups, adjust the title and description, set your prices, and publish.
Spread the word about your photography brand and prints to start making money.
How to Sell Photo Prints Online: Final Thoughts
Selling photography prints is a fantastic way for experienced and aspiring photographers to make money with their craft.
You don’t have to wait for the next local art fair or photo exhibition to get your work noticed. Display and offer your photos online to reach a global audience and increase profits.
Develop a strong brand around your photography, focus on a specific target audience, and research the competition to see what sells best and what price range you should aim for. Sell online with Printify and start making money with your photos.
Make It Happen Today!
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