Are you an aspiring or professional photographer with dreams of making money from your art? Selling photography prints online is a way to monetize the hard work you put into your art.
There are various ways to profit from photography. We have a previous article on starting a photography business that is certainly worth your time.
When you sell photography prints online, you not only share your work with the world, but you may make extra money at it. And once it’s set up, it can be a source of passive income.
In this article, we’ll explore how to transform your photography passion into an online print business. From selecting your best work to setting up an online store to marketing your images, we’ll walk you through the process of how to sell photography prints online.
First of All: Create Stunning Photos to Sell Online
There’s a difference between a nice photo and a print that someone wants to hang on their wall. Anyone can point a smartphone at a tree and come away with a good snapshot. But with an understanding of the art and craft of photography, you can produce photos worthy of space in someone’s home. So, produce great photos. That’s the first part of the process. Join our community to start your journey today.
Establishing a strong photography brand is important to attract potential buyers. Building a recognizable brand helps you stand out from the competition and attract a loyal following. Investing time and effort into producing stunning and captivating photographs is essential. It increases the perceived value of your prints, and you appeal to a larger audience.
Selling Photography Prints Online can be a Lucrative Business
Selling photographic prints online presents a tremendous business opportunity for photographers. Even in this digital age, the demand for high-quality photo prints is steadily increasing.
Let’s not sugarcoat this: the online marketplace is highly competitive. Professional photographers with years of experience are vying for the print dollar with high-quality photos. But don’t be discouraged. With the ability to reach a global audience through the internet, photographers can showcase and sell their artwork to a wide range of customers and increase their opportunities to make money.
By selling photos online, photographers can tap into the market of individuals who are looking to decorate their homes or offices with beautiful and unique artwork. Additionally, many people appreciate the value that comes with owning a physical print rather than just a digital photo.
Online Options to Sell Prints
Let’s look at two options for selling photo prints online.
- Launch your own website
- Start a print-on-demand online store
Either of these allows potential buyers to browse your portfolio and purchase prints from you.
With a personal website, you have full control over the pricing and presentation. You have your own shop, and you keep all the money. The downside of this is the time it takes to build and maintain the site. Or incur the expense of hiring a developer. Also, you need a payment gateway, such as a Stripe account, Authorize.net, or PayPal. And you’ll need a print shop and materials to package and ship the print products. That’s a lot of extra work, time that you could spend on photography.
With print-on-demand services such as Fine Art America, Printful, Society6, Zazzle, Zenfolio, and Pictorem, the website is already in place. You create a gallery. Upload files, add descriptions and keywords, and set the price for photography prints. With each purchase, these companies package and ship the physical prints straight to the customer. They either charge on a monthly/annual basis or take transaction fees, or both. But they handle the website hosting, printing, and drop shipping.
Setting Up Your Own Online Store
Let’s take a look at setting up an online print store and turning your photography passion into a thriving business. With the right tools and strategies, you can create a professional-looking, user-friendly online storefront that attracts customers and maximizes sales. Here are some key steps.
1. Choose a platform. A number of e-commerce platforms are available to provide user-friendly interfaces and a range of customizable features. Take the time to research and compare different platforms and find one that best suits your needs and budget. Here is a list of the best platforms:
2. Design and customize your photography shop. Choose a visually appealing layout that showcases your photography prints effectively.
3. Incorporate easy-to-navigate menus to make browsing simple and easy.
4. Upload high-quality images, only your best.
5. Write compelling product descriptions and appropriate keywords to enhance searches and generate more sales.
6. Implement search engine optimization (SEO) with informative blog posts, titles, and meta tags to improve search engine rankings.
7. Optimize your store for mobile devices. A significant portion of online shopping is done on smartphones and tablets.
8. Integrate social media sharing buttons and encourage customers to share with their networks.
Payment Options to Sell Printed Photos
To sell prints online, you need a convenient and secure payment method to collect payment for your products. Offer a variety of payment methods – credit cards, PayPal, gift cards, bank transfers, and Apple Pay. Try to accommodate as many payment preferences as you can.
An online store needs secure sockets layer (SSL) certification. This protects customers’ personal and payment information. It adds to a site’s credibility and customers’ peace of mind. At this point, you may want to hire a web developer to make sure you get this part right.
Setting Up a Print on Demand Store
Building a website requires extra work, plus a skill set that many photographers lack. Print on demand services presents an attractive option. These companies host the website and handle the printing, packaging, and shipping. That frees the photographer to focus on photography.
Several of these companies were listed above.
Look for a company that produces top-quality prints with high-grade materials and professional printing techniques that render vibrant and long-lasting prints. Most of these services will send you free samples to compare.
The variety of print sizes and formats offered is another consideration. From small prints for desk display to large prints for wall art, offering a wide selection attracts more potential customers. Today’s photo print buyers can choose from archive paper and canvas prints, along with acrylic, metal, and wood finishes. Also, they have the option of having a photo printed on almost anything – clothing, phone cases, tote bags, puzzles, coffee mugs, photo books, greeting cards, calendars, and on and on.
Factors to Consider in Pricing Prints
If you operate your own website, you must weigh many components of your online business when you set pricing. You must account for expenses such as website hosting, printing, shipping, and any taxes that may apply.
If you opt for a print on demand service, you’ll have to account for the company’s fees. For example, Fine Art America sets a base price for each product. You add your markup as a dollar amount or percentage on top of that price. A 24″ x 36″ canvas print may have a base price of $50. If you set your markup at $50, the buyer would pay $100 for that canvas print.
Pricing to sell photo prints is crucial to your business’s success. Research the photography print market and compare price lists to ensure that you are competitive. Find a sweet spot between high prices and looking cheap.
Establishing Your Photography Brand
Establishing your brand is essential for creating a successful online print business. It’s not just about taking great photos but also about developing a unique style and voice that sets you apart from other photographers. This attracts a loyal following, makes your prints more desirable, and leads to more money selling photos.
Creating a consistent and recognizable visual identity is one way to establish your photography brand. This can include elements such as your use of colors, composition, and subject matter. By using these consistently across your website, social media profiles, and promotional materials, you create a cohesive and professional image for your business.
Find a Niche and Produce Awesome Prints
In addition to your visual identity, it’s important to define your niche. This helps to zero in on a target audience. By specializing in a specific genre or subject matter, you appeal to a more specific audience and stand out from the competition. For example, if you’re passionate about landscape photography, you can focus on selling stunning prints of natural landscapes.
To create high-quality stills, invest in the right equipment and learn how to use it effectively. This doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune on the latest gear, but having a good camera and a few high-quality lenses makes a big difference in the quality of your photos. Take the time to learn about different techniques and composition principles, and shoot regularly to improve your skills.
Don’t forget about post-processing. Editing your photos can take them from good to great. Experiment with different editing software and develop your own editing style to enhance your images and reflect your brand. Don’t over-edit. You want your prints to look natural and authentic.
Marketing to Sell Photography Prints Online
Marketing is critical for your success. Here are some tips to help you maximize your sales and reach a wider audience.
1. Utilize social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to showcase your best photos. These social media channels provide a visual space for you to engage with potential customers and build a following. Create hashtags relevant to your niche and interact with followers to create a sense of community.
2. Collaborate with influencers to expand your reach. Partner with those who align with your brand values to expose your work to their audience.
3. Find common causes with local businesses such as interior designers or galleries. Tap into their customer base and gain credibility in their industry.
4. Collect email addresses through a raffle or giveaway and begin an email marketing campaign. Collect email addresses using social media, advertising campaigns, or local contests.
Marketing your photography prints and getting noticed takes additional effort on your part. So, focus on the sources and outlets that are manageable. With some work and determination, you will be selling your artwork online.
Research Top Sellers in Photography Prints
Are you wondering what types of prints are in high demand in the wall art business? Researching what sells leads to an understanding of current trends and consumer preferences. By staying informed, you tailor your photography prints to meet the demands of your target audience and increase your chances of selling photos.
Surveys conducted by several art business firms found these styles are top sellers:
- Traditional landscapes
- Local views
- Modern or semi-abstract scenes
- Seascapes and beach scenes
Browse online marketplaces and galleries that specialize in selling prints, such as Etsy or Redbubble. Look for popular categories or themes that consistently attract buyers. For example, landscapes, abstract art, and cityscapes are often sought after by customers looking to decorate their homes or offices.
In addition, pay attention to popular styles and techniques. Minimalist designs, vibrant colors, and unique compositions are often in demand. By incorporating these elements into your photography prints, you appeal to a wider audience.
Study successful photographers and artists in the industry. Look at their portfolios and observe the types of prints they offer. Take note of their pricing strategies and how they market their prints. This provides valuable insight into what is selling and what strategies are effective in attracting customers.
Tips for Selling Photo Prints
Here are some essential tips for expanding your online photography print business.
1. Expand your business
Offer prints on a variety of materials, which we discussed above, as well as an assortment of products, from greeting cards to phone cases. Include digital downloads for people who use e-frames to display digital photos.
2. Collaborate with other artists
Partner with other artists to cross-promote and reach new audiences. This not only helps you tap into their followers but also brings a fresh perspective on your work.
3. Customize for personalization
Personalization is increasingly popular in the art and decor industry. Offer framing options and include text. This allows customers to create unique pieces that resonate with them personally.
4. Engage with potential clients
Social media platforms are essential for marketing and growing your online print business. Share behind-the-scenes content, sneak previews of upcoming releases, and insights into your creative process. Ask questions and respond promptly.
5. Show up
Leverage the power of in-person connections. Participate in local art fairs, exhibitions, or gallery shows. Hand out business cards with contact information and your online URL. Meet potential customers face-to-face and build meaningful relationships.
6. Improve your skills
The photography industry is constantly evolving. Stay on top of the latest trends and techniques.
The worldwide art market in 2022 was $67.8 billion (US), according to research by Statista. Total sales continue to rise steadily as demand grows. In simpler terms, you can make money selling photography prints online.
It takes time and hard work to set up an online print business and establish a customer base. But it pays off with a revenue stream that can grow as you expand your art and business.
Both the global art market and the photography industry continue to evolve. Invest time in improving your photography skills, and experiment with marketing strategies and sales techniques to help you stay relevant and maintain a competitive edge in the market.
If you’re looking to sell photography prints online, I hope this article helps. If you have any comments or questions, please submit them in the space below.