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Could you really make money by snapping off a few pictures and uploading them to some website or another? I have been looking into this possibility lately and one thing is clear –- not just anyone can make money in this way because you need to have some degree of skill. If you take a blurred photo with someone’s head cut off, the chances are you can expect to make zero sales.

But with that said, there are possibilities for you if you can take reasonable photos. There are lots of websites that allow you to sell your photos through their platform, and they take a small cut of each sale to keep going. Some of them are very well known and are best left to the professional photographers, but others are not so intimidating and can be good for the more casual crowd.

One thing I have noticed is that most people are known for favoring a particular style of photography. For instance, some folks are known for shooting landscapes. Others are known for taking unusual angles and snapshots of mundane and everyday subjects. And there are those who concentrate solely on taking photos of people. The possibilities are endless but it certainly seems to pay to be recognized as a photographer who specializes on a particular style of photography.

I’ve also noticed that when it comes to sales, the people who’ve had the most success with selling their images are those with the most images and photos up for sale online. Well, this makes sense since it’s a simple numbers game, for sure: the fewer photos you have available, the less chances you’ll have of someone coming across your work and appreciating what you’ve done. If you have a thousand photos available for sale though, you’ll get some pretty good benefits as a result:

  • You stand more chance of your photos coming up in search results.
  • Once people find your work, they will probably spend more time looking through what you have to sell.
  • The more photos you have on sale, the greater your chances of having a buyer come back as repeat business.
  • With a bigger portfolio, you have a greater opportunity to make more sales and income on an ongoing basis.

Most sites will let you sell different rights to your photos. For instance I went on the Fotolia site the other day and they have three different types of rights you can sell. For many sites, the simplest one you can charge is a one use only fee. This is a cheaper option that allows you to retain the main rights to your photo so that you can sell it repeatedly. Just imagine -– one good photo could earn you a lot of money if you never sell it outright.

Another type of fee is one that permits the buyer to buy the photo outright. In this situation, you no longer retain the rights as the photographer. You may or may not want to do this, depending on how popular the photo is with other buyers. But if you do let these rights go, you can do so at a much higher price.

This seems to be a great way for hobbyist photographers to enter this market. You could be making some nice additional cash by selling your photos online if you have a talent for taking them.


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