Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Creative Ways to Sell Your Photos

This is where I am at this early morning.  Over the years, especially this past 365 days, I have been getting bits and pieces of ideas on how to sell my photos.  Considering that those of us who are creative are super hard on ourselves is one problem.  Another problem is that maybe I am correct in assuming that my work is not going to sell the way I actually want it to sell.  However, I do want to make that sale!  How fantastic it would feel to know that someone wanted to purchase one of my photos as an enlargement to put on their living room wall!  Wouldn't that be amazing!!  (I feel that way about my painting, also, but that's a different story.) 

Some of the ideas I have read about in the past year have included creating some of those objects with my photos on them and selling them on an Etsy site.  You know, those things like coffee mugs, greeting cards, mouse pads, and more?   I have seriously been considering these ideas and I do have an Etsy account; however, I haven't gone so far as to set up an online store.  Another idea has been to rent space at art fairs, and other places to sell the same things, especially the greeting cards, because people will surely buy those when they are marketed well.  The problem with this last one is that to effectively do this, you have to have enough money to get your space, canopy, tables, chairs, and most of all, pre-printed cards all ready ahead of time.  This would have to be very low budget for me and I am not sure just how much it would all cost and how many cards and prints to have made up ahead of time.  What to do if you run out?  Or worse, don't sell enough to break even?

What I do know is that I am tired of being afraid of taking this step.  I am tired of just reading about it without doing it.  It doesn't help that with my disability issues involved, remembering from day to day that I am pursuing this path can get in my way.  Whether it is truly the disability, or whether it is all the normal distractions that come with living in a household with seven of my grandchildren, ages 3-13, keeping my mind going off in tangents all the time, I'm not sure.  But right now, it is 4 AM and there are no distractions.  I went to sleep early last night and now I am up and wanting to work, even though I am still sleepy.  This is my best computer time because everyone else in the house is sleeping.  It isn't a great time for actually doing my photography, but for creating my graphics, or researching, etc., it's the perfect time. 

So, this being my research topic for today, here are some of my favorite ideas on creative ways to sell your photos that I have been able to find.  But first, I want to include this article from Creative Live that speaks about what creatives like me are afraid of.  This is just one reason I am working on this right now.  I am tired of letting my own personal fears continually holding me back.

Okay, here are the ideas I came up with this morning:

More Creative Ways to Sell Your Photos
Short article with a few ideas, but several other links at the bottom of the article for more ideas.

Top Ten Ways to Sell Your Art and Photography
Just what it says, this is a listing of ten ways you can sell your work.

Okay, just want to interrupt myself here for a moment.  There are so many factors we can get ourselves bogged down with as we contemplate selling our work.  One of the major ones is the idea of license.  All the legal mumbo-jumbo of dealing with license can get so confusing that we back down because of lack of understanding.  Obviously a topic for another post, selling the license to use our photos is one thing to think about before deciding how and when and where to sell.  Who gets which rights?  UGH!  (One of the many "words" I've picked up from the grandkids.)  First North American Serial Rights.  All Rights.  So many legal things to think about when we think about selling our photographs.  However, what I am talking about here does not require licensing.  We are the ones using our photos in the products we are selling.  We can even use our watermarks on the products (which I suggest.)  Sure, if we are talking about selling to magazines, newspapers, and to individuals or businesses for those big wall photos, we are going to want to discuss licensing.  A good source for information about this is the annual Photographer's Market.  Another good source might be Artist's Market Online which is more geared to the painter, but also has information about licensing that applies to painting and photography as well as other art forms.  Then there is this source which goes into great detail about licensing your work.  It is American Society of Media Photographers Licensing Guide.  If you are considering selling your work in this way, knowing what you are doing in regards to licensing your work (like copyright for authors) is very important.  You need to know how your work is going to be used and make sure you retain the rights you want to keep.

Now back to our search results.

Tips on How to Make Money With Your Photography Skills

So You Want to Sell Your Photography
This is a good article by Digital Photography School, which has lots of great tips and tutorials. 

15 Places to Sell Your Photography
If you want to try the stock photo route, here is a great listing of places to try.  There are pros and cons to this route and there are many professional photographers who do not like stock photography.  The choice is yours, however.  Do your research before you make up your mind.

12 Places to Sell Your Photography
This is a listing by one of my favorite photography websites.  Even if you don't use any of these ways to sell your work, check out Lightstalking as a great source for tutorials and examples of some really fantastic photography.

Okay, well this is enough for this post.  Check into some of these, as I will also be doing.  Selling your photography might not be happening the way you dreamed of, but if you are hoping to make enough money to at least keep your gear list growing, this is one way to do it.  Who knows what will happen from here?  One thing is for sure, nothing will happen if you don't try something.  I know I am going to get busy with some of these ideas.

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