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Selling your photographs

There are several ways to sell your photographs, one of the most popular ways is by selling them as stock photos. Another way is to have your own gallery and or website. Before we start there is one very important point - is your work what people want?

Stock Photography

In terms of return per image stock photography is probably at the bottom of the food chain. In terms of selling images it is probably nearer the top of the food chain. In other words you won't make a lot per image if you go into stock photography but collectively you should realise some return. There are many galleries on the web of budding photographers who sell nothing. Once they are famous the story is different.

Most image stock photography sites will not be interested in pictures of your pets or children on the beach last summer - no matter how good the pictures may be. The stock images that sell are concepts, objects, travel destinations and what is known as vectors. Images of the view of your street balcony or an abstract shot of flowers are not what will tempt buyers of stock photos. If you want to explore stock photography and find out the best way to start selling your pictures visit some of the most popular sites like shutterstock, dreamstime, bigstock or fotolia.

Example image - aligned to the right

Image Quality

Whatever you do IQ or image quality is paramount, noisy, grainy, or poorly focussed photos from low-end digital cameras will have limited use. If you intend to sell the largest market (both web and print) then you will need good image quality. That means a nice picture which is well-lit, sharp, and has a high-resolution - usually above 3 Mega pixels. Stock photo sites will reject photographs that are not up to scratch - they will usually offer free advice which you should act on and try again.

Example image - aligned to the right

Sell your portfolio online

Many people these days have a portfolio of their best work online. You could create your own website or get someone to create a website for you. Alternatively you could pay to upload images to one of several companies who specialise in hosting photographers' portfolios -some will also sell the images for you. Your portfolio should include a personal and creative statement along with detailing how your images can be bought. You should also describe the equipment you use, and what you specialise in shooting. The selection of images you decide to use should be specially picked to display all aspects of your work including specialist shots which will display your technical merit.