These five sites are the perfect starting point for making money from your photography, selling photos online for beginners.
Selling photos online for beginners
Are you taking stunning photos that demand attention from your friends and followers? Do you shoot dramatic landscapes, craft breathtaking portraits or capture quirky wildlife images?
If the answer to any of the above is yes, there are a number of routes you can take to make your best shots pay via image selling websites.
We’ve identified a handful of the best sites designed to allow you to sell your images direct to the public.
To use these, you upload your images, set the prices and turn your passion into a potentially lucrative online business.
Of course, success isn’t guaranteed and it can take a lot of hard graft spent honing your portfolio and promoting yourself, but the more work you do, the greater the rewards can be.
Many of these websites will require you to fill in proof of your tax certification before allowing you to claim earnings. Check out the laws regarding self-employment on the government websites.
Best Places to Sell Photos Online
Well by utilizing the excellent websites you can make money selling photos of yourself.
- Fine Art America
- Photoshelter Standard Plan
- Zenfolio Pro Plan
- SmugMug Portfolio Plan
1. Redbubble (Free)
Redbubble is a free-to-join marketplace that allows you to plaster your photos on everything from traditional wall art to mugs, clothes and phone cases.
Of course, the final say over which products you want to feature your work is down to you, and each will have a base price that covers Redbubble’s services.
On top of this you add your own profit margin – the amount of money you wish to make from each sale – and that gives you the final overall retail price.
One of the great things about this site is that it’s well known and so it already receives a large amount of traffic daily, giving your work the potential to be seen on a grand scale.
You’ll be given your own page, which you can link to on your social media channels. Once you’ve made a sale, Redbubble will create the chosen product, take the money, arrange delivery and provide any customer services, taking any hassle out of the process.
2. Fine Art America (Free)
One of the most respected store fronts for photographers selling prints online, Fine Art America is free to join, operating entirely on commission.
Despite the name, it’s far from limited to fine art, and you’ll find many different genres and skill levels of photography catering to a wide range of consumers.
Getting started is as simple as joining and uploading your shots. The free account gives you 25 photos, though you can pay $30 per month for unlimited storage.
From here the website sets a base price depending on the type and size of product you want to sell. You can then add your own mark-up to this price and work out your profit margin.
Once you’ve dialled in your preferences, Fine Art America does the rest, from printing to shipping, and handling transactions and customer service should anything go wrong.
It’s a great risk-free way to dip your toes into a large targeted audience.
3. Photoshelter Standard Plan ($10/month)
This option gives you your own website with the ability to sell on the back-end. The web templates are clean and contemporary, and you don’t need to know coding to get great results.
For $10 a month you get 4GB of storage, though you can increase this with the higher tier plans. You also get SEO and social media tools, the ability to use a custom domain URL and a choice of nine mobile-ready web templates.
Photoshelter takes a transaction fee of 10% on sales, though does give you the option of using PayPal for simplicity.
You can then choose from a range of printers across the globe, including UK-based Loxley Colour. They add a charge for print and delivery services, so remember to factor that in to pricing.
It’s a more flexible option than those that only offer a selling platform, and gives you a professional-looking site from which to sell your finest work.
4. Zenfolio Pro Plan ($16/month)
Much like Photoshelter, Zenfolio is an all-in-one package that allows you to create a website with an e-commerce section to sell your work.
You will get unlimited storage space, a 64MB maximum file size limit and range of web templates for your portfolio. You can even create a blog to help with SEO and keeping customers up to date.
There’s a range of marketing and analytic tools, and you don’t need knowledge of coding for the best results. You can even upload files directly from Lightroom.
Orders can be printed from a range of labs, including One Vision for the UK, and you can sell a range of products, from prints to photo albums and books.
The shipping is handled by the print labs, which takes the strain out of it. Zenfolio charges a flat 9.9% for your choice of selling method. It also gives you access to client galleries and PayPal for a hassle-free experience.
5. SmugMug Portfolio Plan ($24/month)
Similar to the previous two entries, Smugmug gives you full creative control over your store front and web presence in a convenient package with 21 website templates and the ability to use your own domain name.
You get unlimited image uploads with a 150MB maximum file size, as well as password-protected galleries and pages – ideal for client proofing.
The commission is a bit complicated. Your profit is calculated as 85% of your mark-up. Which means SmugMug takes 15% to cover transaction fees and its customer service.
You have a list of trusted print suppliers that will handle your orders and shipping. As with the other sites. These offer print services across the world, as well as the UK’s Loxley Colour.
While the Portfolio plan allows you to create a professional-looking website and sell your work from it. It is the most expensive of our options by a good margin.