Let’s face it – as fun as photography is, you aren’t in the business of taking photos simply to enjoy yourself.
You need to make money, too.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of ways for you to improve your business’ bottom line.
But with all those options comes the question, “What’s the best way to share and sell photos?”
Let’s see if we can’t answer that question!
The Good Option: Stock Photography
Stock photography has long been a good option for sharing and selling your photos.
Not only are there plenty of stock photography sites you can join to sell your images, but there are also millions of people looking for quality stock photos each and every day.
With all those people seeking images, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to make some sales.
The trick, of course, is to give the people what they want.
On the one hand, that means staying on top of current trends in stock photos and setting aside time to create images to fit that trend.
For example, with the “Great American Eclipse” happening earlier this year, people were searching for photos of solar eclipses.
On the other hand, that also means understanding how to properly keyword your images. After all, if you don’t include the keywords people are searching for, they’ll have a tough time finding your images.
One negative about stock photography is that it just doesn’t pay much compared to other sales methods.
Sure, you can make a great deal of passive income off your images if they become popular, but for most photographers, stock photography translates into nominal side income – not a full-time job.
Nevertheless, it’s still a good way to promote your work and make a little money at the same time!
The Better Option: Etsy
Etsy is a popular selling platform for a lot of artists, not just photographers.
You can have your own little online shop where you can sell prints, albums, photo books, framed images, and so forth.
The nice thing about Etsy is that it’s become an increasingly popular place for consumers to shop. Like stock photography, that means there’s the potential for a lot of people to see your images, and hopefully, buy something.
What’s more, it can easily become part of your larger marketing strategy.
By that I mean that you can use it as an online store for your work and reach a much larger audience. You can also put your Etsy shop link on your website, business cards, and other marketing materials to try to drive more traffic to your shop.
As a result, Etsy has better upside than stock photography because the items you sell are likely worthy of a higher price tag.
Of course, unlike stock photography, Etsy is not a source of passive income.
That means that you have to constantly update your product offerings, and if you sell something like a framed print, you have to make it, box it, and ship it.
Granted, you’re probably already doing things like that out of your brick-and-mortar studio, but still, it’s added work.
The bigger problem is that Etsy takes a cut of your earnings.
Not only do you have to pay a fee to list something in your shop, but you also have to pay a fee on every item you sell. There’s also fees based on where buyers live.
While Etsy has the potential to be a lucrative means of sharing and selling your photos, you don’t get to keep all those earnings.
The Best Option: Do It Yourself
So, stock photography bends to the whims of what’s popular, which means you have to try to adapt your images to what people want.
Online shops like Etsy have great potential as a complement to your brick-and-mortar store, but the fees can add up.