NZ Photo Info - Photography Tips and Techniques - Photography Directory

Sell Your Photos Online - Introduction

An Overview...

This is the first in a series of articles about selling you photos online! Over the coming weeks we will explore in greater detail what we have discussed here.

So, you're a photographer? You want to sell your photos online? But, you don't know where to start!

When it comes to selling your images on-line or anything else for that matter there are a few things that need to be understood and lots of questions that you need to research and answer:

  • Know your target audience.
  • Find your niche. Don't try to be everything to everybody.
  • Know your opposition who they are, what they can offer and how they do it. What are they doing that you can do better? How are they marketing their products or services?
  • What makes your product or service better than theirs?
  • Have a business plan and marketing strategy.

You're probably thinking that this all sounds a bit cliche right now. You might be right! But, the above points are all very important!

The list could go on and on and on. But, I think you've probably got the point. Differentiate yourself from everyone else and do what you do better than you competition.

Now, lets get down to business! You have an image portfolio ready but don't know how to get started. Depending on what you are trying to achieve and your budget there are a number of different strategies available.

  1. Put your photo portfolio on a Stock Image website or websites. If submitting to multiple agencies be sure not to break the terms and conditions of one agent by listing with another.
  2. Build your own website or have one built for you.
  3. Create a pre-built album on someone elses website. Some are free, some are not!

You may wish to employ either method 1, 2, 3 a couple of the above methods or all of the above. Each method has its pros and cons.

Think about what you want to sell, prints, canvas prints, other printed products or do you want to license your images for reproduction? If your answer is the latter you will need to consider your licencing model. Do you want to sell your prints as Royalty Free or Rights Managed?

If selling prints or other products how are you going to produce them? Are you going to send your images off to a pro-lab to be processed or do you intend to process them yourself?

If you are doing your own printing you will need a good quality wide format printer and know how to use it (not a consumer level printer). All of your equipment will need to be properly calibrated to ensure accurate colour reproduction.

You will need to develop a marketing strategy. Don't expect to build a brand new website and have the masses flocking to buy you pictures - it just won't happen. It takes a structured approach, tenacity and time.

Start thinking about what we have discussed here. Formulate a business plan, define what you are trying to achieve and set yourself some short term goals to help you achieve it.

Next time we will be discussing how we can get you images online...

Submitted by Mark (not verified) on Mon, 04/06/2007 - 13:46.

I have read through and agree with most of your comments, but thought I would also let you know about our model which also allows for free image hosting, but adds the ability for a professional photographer to sell those photos online.

At Findapic ( we believe that this is a cost effective way for professional photographers to find out whether it is worth spending the money involved setting up their own ecommerce enabled website, or utilising our system as
an additional tool to their traditional services.

Having said that, it is sometimes hard to differentiate between amateur and professional photography, in that I have seen some very good work from so called "amateurs" and some not good work from "professionals."

Our model does in some instances make it easier for a photographer to be found on the Internet without having to have their personal website optimised and money spent marketing to reach a new audience.

I am not trying to write these comments as an 'advert' but just to let you know, and many others who visit this forum of the opportunity to test the marketplace with an ecommerce website in New Zealand before deciding whether you wish to spend a lot of money on a website designer and donate
$$ to the banks to set up an online shopping cart.

Submitted by Janice O'Brien (not verified) on Fri, 28/11/2008 - 19:43.

Hi, I just wanted to comment on how interesting and helpful your articles are for those thinking of maybe selling their photos. I had never really considered it till now and I thank you for the inspiration you have given me.
Over the last 30 years I have been actively taking shots of interest covering people, landscapes, skies, seas throughout NZ and Australia. I have sometimes used my photos for paintings or for designs on ceramics.
I've often thought of holding a display of some sort to show my work, or even adding pages to my website. Now I am going to work on that and it's all thanks to you for giving me that shove I needed. Thank you! I will definitely be watching your website for future articles.
Kind Regards


Submitted by photo-info on Sat, 29/11/2008 - 21:27.


It's good that someone has got some benefit from my aricles.

It would be good to see some of your images once you get them online.

Submitted by Nicki (not verified) on Mon, 30/09/2013 - 13:36.


I am all new to this but I LOVE the website They have a stock side of their website but also allow me to sell event photos through their website. This has allowed me to do some friends weddings and put their photos online for their friends and family to order from - and best of all they take care of the boring stuff, payment, printing of the photos and sending.

Submitted by visit the site (not verified) on Tue, 05/11/2013 - 23:42.

A perfect page that will help us to sell our images online. This will make a very good page for all those who are around to make a lot of people out there who are interested in photography in publishing their images. Great work