So you’re thinking about selling your photographs? Has your hobby reached a level where people want to buy photography prints from you? There is definitely a market for photography art prints, and you can be a part of it with a few simple tips. Whether you specialize in street photography, landscape photography, fine art photography, avant-garde art or any other type, you can put your camera to work and learn how to sell photography prints online.
How to Sell and Market Photography Art Prints
- Find a Printing Source
- Sell Your Photographs on a Marketplace Platform OR
- Sell Photographs on Your Personal Website or Blog
- Listing Your Photography for Sale
- How Much Should You Charge?
- Use Social Media to Promote Your Work
- Sell at Local Art Stores
- Display Your Work at Local Businesses
- Sell at Art Fairs
- Use Email Marketing Campaigns
With a few basic tools and some information, you can get started selling your prints. You don’t need a bachelor’s degree or a photography program to get this business going. You can set up a personal website selling directly to your clients, or join a collective of photographers that sell their photos online. Another option is to sell your prints in local stores. There are various ways to market and sell your photographic art.
If you are already a professional or freelance photographer, you may already have an established niche and developed your own style of photography. Do you specialize in street photography, or are you an architecture photographer? Do you prefer black-and-white images? Maybe you specialize in double exposure photography, long exposure, fine art photography portraits, or contemporary art. No matter your art form or subject matter, it’s always a good idea to establish your own style when you go to market. If you stand out among the other thousands of well-known photographers who are selling their art online, you will most have much better success.
Defining your style is a great start. Now you need to get your work seen and purchased. Treat this as you would any other start-up and your chances of success will definitely climb.
Find a Printing Source
Professional Photography Prints
You should only offer top-quality photography prints for sale, so finding a talented photo printer is essential. You can shop around for local fine art printers, or use an online photo printing service and have your prints delivered. The online printer can ship directly to your clients if you wish, so this can minimize some of your shipping and handling costs. Some printers specialize in color photography, and others in black-and-white film, so shop around and choose the option that best suits your needs.
If you know any photographers who print their images, ask them which printing services they use. It’s always a great idea to get references from reliable and trusted sources.
You won’t want to skimp on this part of the process because the quality you offer will impact your entire brand image. Remember that happy customers often become repeat customers over the years. Find a printer you work well with and establish a good working relationship with them. Make sure that they offer all the services that you will need. Will you be printing standard photo sizes or large photographic prints? It’s important to find a printer who is equipped to do this type of job.
Types of Printed Photography
You may want to look into offering framed photographs or mounted pictures, in addition to standard photo prints. Decide on what price points you want to offer, and look into all the available possibilities. Some clients prefer to purchase a ready-to-hang framed photograph over a basic print.
An interesting alternative to printing on photo paper is to print your photographs on canvas, and then mount them like modern photography art. This is quite popular with home and business owners who want interesting wall art, as it resembles a painting. You can even join the triptych photography artists who form a single image by printing on three separate canvases.
Sell Your Photographs on a Marketplace Platform
Many online marketplaces exist where you can showcase and list your artwork for sale. Platforms like eBay and Etsy are marketplaces, where you list your artwork among hundreds or thousands of other sellers. A marketplace increases the competition, but it also attracts a high volume of shoppers. These online marketplaces are great options if you don’t have time for self-promotion or if you don’t have extensive marketing skills.
Do some research and look at the different fees and options for each marketplace. Most have a flat-rate monthly fee, plus they take a small percentage when your artwork sells. With the right exposure and order volume, these fees are usually worth the cost.
Sell Photographs on Your Personal Website or Blog
Building your own personal business website will let you have complete control over your sales and client interactions. This will require a little more time for building, maintaining, and marketing. With a platform like Shopify or BigCommerce, you can quickly create your own exclusive, branded online store. You can use your own domain name to look more professional. These platforms make it easy to create your own online store, but it’s up to you to attract buyers. Like the marketplaces, these hosted do-it-yourself online stores usually charge a monthly fee plus a small percentage of each sale.
Some websites, like Wix, offer free and easy photographer websites templates to get you started on your personal website. Make sure to choose a template that has integrated sales options, like a photography print order form and payment processing. It’s a good idea to eventually purchase your own domain name and upgrade to a paid service. This will provide you with more selling options, remove ads, and give a more professional look.
If you don’t have the time or the skills, you can also hire a website development company that creates websites for photographers. They will teach you the basics, like how to take and process your orders, and they will maintain your website for a monthly fee. A good website developer can also integrate keywords and optimize your site for search engines so that you are easily found by prospective buyers.
Another option is to create a simple blog where you display your work and write occasional photography articles. Invite your clients to email you for more information and shipping details. You can use a service like PayPal to accept payment.
Listing Your Photography for Sale
What Should You Print?
The sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can sell online. You may want to focus solely on photographs printed on fine-art paper. Or you may try to diversify the items that you offer. It’s up to you-you are the artist! If you notice that one of your prints is more popular than others, you may want to try offering it on a variety of items.
You can print on mugs, pillows, t-shirts and many other novelty items. You can print in color or stick to black-and-white photography. Some photographers are doing well selling fine art tapestries. Take a look at how other photographers are succeeding to help give you some ideas.
How Much Should You Charge?
How to Price Photography Prints
How much should you charge for your prints? This is a very important question to research before selling your photographs online. You don’t want to overprice your items and drive away potential customers, but you also don’t want to sell yourself short. What is a fine art photograph worth? If you have never sold your photographs before, this will require a little research and experimentation so you can be competitive with other fine art photographers who are selling online.
The best way to find your price range is to look at what other photographers are charging for similar work. Try to position yourself in the average price range and plan to make adjustments and modifications. Keep your eye on the market prices so that you remain relevant and competitive.
Offering occasional promotions and giveaways is a great way to get potential clients interested and interacting with your work. Grow those potential clients into real buying customers!
Keep in mind that packing and shipping costs are part of your pricing structure. Try to find a balance between economic rates and reliable services. You need your artwork to be delivered undamaged and on time, at the lowest possible cost.
Look into your local delivery services and also make sure to research international export laws and regulations if you decide to ship worldwide.
Use Social Media to Promote Your Work
Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are great platforms for marketing your work. Your followers are all potential customers.
Instead of selling through your personal page, create a business page to feature your photography prints. Take advantage of all the business strategies that these social media services offer. There are advertising options that can help you promote your page. Research the different advertising packages they offer to help increase your exposure.
Be sure to ask your friends and family to like and follow your page, and ask them to share your page with their own friends. As more people realize you are selling photography prints, word will quickly spread.
Read up on ways to gain followers and start interacting with the people who are genuinely interested in your work. Write photography-related posts about industry news, photo tips, photographer quotes, and be sure to let people know when you’ve created new artwork. Do everything you can to keep your followers interested. Post regularly to ensure visibility. This can become time-consuming, so try to plan and schedule posts that are written beforehand.
Sell at Local Art Stores
Depending on what type of city or town you live in, you may have the option to place your photographs in a local fine art store or modern art gallery. Some art shops will work on consignment and only charge you when your artwork is sold.
Whenever possible, try to leave business cards at art stores so customers know how to contact you. It’s a great way to pick up commissioned photography work from locals in your community.
Display Your Work at Local Businesses
Sometimes a local restaurant or business will be willing to hang your photograph on their wall. It’s a win-win arrangement since they get “free” artwork while you get free advertising. Just make sure your contact information is readily available so that interested buyers can get in touch with you. This can be great exposure!
Sell at Art Fairs
An art fair is another great way to expose your photography and network with other fine art enthusiasts. Research the art fairs in your area and ask what the procedures and fees are for becoming an exhibitor.
Make sure to bring your photography prints for immediate sale, along with business cards and flyers to hand out to people who are interested in your artwork. This is a good opportunity to collect email addresses, so consider offering a raffle or contest of some kind. Invite people to sign up for a chance to win one of your prints.
Use Email Marketing Campaigns
If you’re able to collect email addresses through a raffle or giveaway, an email marketing campaign can be a very effective way to increase sales. Try to collect email addresses whenever you can, using Facebook, Instagram, advertising campaigns and local contests. Don’t forget to include the email addresses of your previous customers. It’s a great way to stay in touch with people so that they don’t forget you.
You Can Do It!
Are you ready to jump into the game and sell your photographs? While it’s a lot of hard work, it’s also a rewarding experience. To be successful in selling prints online, you’ll have to stay on top of your orders and client communications.
Marketing your photographs and getting noticed will certainly take additional effort on your part. Try to focus on the sources and outlets that you know are manageable. You may want to go all in and invest full time to earn a profitable wage. Or you may want to take it more slowly and start out selling as a hobby to earn a few extra bucks. With some work and determination, you will be selling your artwork online, and you’ll feel proud to know that people are purchasing your photography to hang in their homes or businesses. It’s a great feeling!
Good luck with your new business!