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November 26, 2012


Replies: 16

How can I get something out of my photography?

JoseAvilaPhotography Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I took a short photography class in high school and I've been a hobbyist photographer since then, I've built up a decent amount of shots from it and from what I can tell, they're at least decent enough to start selling (I hope). I'm going to university for business and psychology so I'm not looking to go all out on this but I need some advice.

Could anyone tell me about a good service where it'd be effortless to have prints up for sale with more visibility than dA? Is there anything I could do as a side project while in school that wouldn't require too much time?

PS: If you'd like to critique on my actual work, that's always welcome. How else would I improve without criticism? haha

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Devious Comments

Svenler Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Professional Photographer

How to prepare your pictures: [link]

Where to sell them: [link]

Euterpe-The-Egret Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Your gallery has some good pieces but you must continue to work. What you have now won't get you very far or very much money. You need to keep branching out and keep experimenting to get completely out of the realm of cliche. Studying art history (specifically the history of photography as an art means) will strengthen your composition as well as your subject matter.

Have you considered being a photographer for senior portraits/couple portraits/pet portraits/etc? It can help you grow and widen your variety of shots while bringing in money.
JoseAvilaPhotography Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Yup, I'm looking to slowly gain more visibility within my campus to offer headshots and photoshoots. Still need to practice before I'm comfortable with charging people for it. Combining shoots and some print sales I think I'll get what I want out of my photography for now. I'm completely full of credits for the next 4 years (already taking up an extra year) with my business/psych double major.

I'm definitely looking to keep improving and practicing my photography. Do you have any tips/critiques for my work?
LDFranklin Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Professional Photographer
If you're serious about making money with photography, you absolutely must get this book [link]

It's called Photographer's Market. As one reviewer explains, "This research and resource book outlines most, if not all the places that purchase pictures from free-lance photographers and other types of shutterbugs. From greeting card companies to art galleries to text book and paperback novels, this resource guide lists plenty of companies in need of your photos. it outlines the needs of each company, what they produce, and information about their specific needs and prices paid for services rendered. This book also has training materials to help you become a better entrepreneur to market your product to the various companies."

If you're interested in selling microstock photos online, I've had a lot of success with this website [link]
WilljCreations Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I have not done this my self but I have had friends that have sold some of their prints to people. By like framing them and selling them that way. If you can you should probably like try getting in touch with some store owners who sell photos and artworks in store and maybe if you could sell yours there with some commission.

but yeah as rcooper said the only way to really make any money from photography is by doing weddding or commercial photography. Even then you have to have a good portfolio online and a good online presence to get noticed.
JoseAvilaPhotography Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Not a bad idea. Wouldn't take much time to print and frame a few prints and drive to a couple stores. Thanks!
WilljCreations Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I hope it works out for you :)
rcooper102 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
There are a bazillion print selling services out there, society6, zazzle, 500px, etc etc

The reality is that every single one of them is completely useless for making any money without much effort.

In order to even have a hope of making much money off print sales your work has to be both: A) Stunningly spectacular, like world class level amazing and B) you have invest an absolute boatload of time into marketing and building awareness of your work.

Selling prints online is bad business. Period. You de-value your art, throw away any hope of a decent margin while putting yourself in competition with millions. I one time talked to vitally alexiuss ([link]) on this subject ( who has had work that had made it to the very top of the "all time" most popular list in DeviantArt, his profile has MILLIONS of views) and he said that he makes a "pittance" off of print sales even though he has such widespread internet fame.

Even making a single sale is tough online and when you finally do you will realize you just earned $2 in income or some similar tiny number.

Another good friend of mine ([link]) is a fantastic artist and she is always trying to make money using this method and really struggles to. She spends upwards of 4-6 hours per DAY promoting her art and she creates at least 1 new piece of work per week and she also makes very little from print sales. One good commission job can exceed the value of months worth of print sales.

The reality is that just like always, making money off fine art is damn bloody hard. It isn't a part time gig, it isn't even a full time gig. It is like having 2 or even 3 full time gigs if you seriously want to make a career for yourself. If your goal is to make some money off your photography I would suggest looking into other photographic methods such as product, event, wedding, etc.
JoseAvilaPhotography Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
So there's (basically) nothing I could do with the pictures I've already taken to produce even minimal income?
FallisPhoto Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
You can try going the stock agency route, but in order for it to be even remotely worthwile, you'd need literally a hundred thousand photos. You'd also need to shoot the kind of stuff stock agencies are looking for. Most of that will be illustrative photography. You need to shoot stuff thinking "Will this make a good magazine cover?" or "Will this be good in an ad?" and so on like that.
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