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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 12 Jul 2013 (Friday) 13:26
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Selling My Photos (Help!)

 
sullivanrp
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Jul 12, 2013 13:26 |  #1

Hey POTN community,

(I hope this is the right place for the questions I am about to ask)

I recently have decided I want to start selling my photos. For the first time I had an overwhelming response to one of my photos on 500px, and have several emails asking about prints, and also emails saying people want to buy it through their store (which I have not enabled, I hear it's not that great anyhow to sell through...)

So, my question is -

How do I go about selling prints effectively...

Do I need a business license? (Would it be a good idea to get one regardless at this point)

What site is best to sell images through? (I hear smugmug is good)

How does ownership rights of the photos work once prints are sold - what can people do with my photos/is there anything on these sites that protects me...

And finally, because the photos people are interested in are star/milky way photos, I am concerned about noise. I haven't made prints of my work before mainly due to cost (being a college student without a job, money is hard to come by). However, I do know that digital publication vs an actual print of these star photos are two completely different things - especially when you blow them up.
So, I definitely want to go through a site where I do not hurt from someone receiving a print and maybe sending it back if they aren't satisfied - whether or not its star photos honestly.

Hope you guys can help a young photographer out!

Thanks.


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dmitrim
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Jul 12, 2013 13:50 |  #2

Lol and 500px store prices!
I get messages about someone wants to buy my pictures there every week. It doesn't mean they will actually buy it- but more like, "hey, I can see myself buying it someday,sometime,maybe​, possibly,hopefully....​but I have no money"

You can not control prices and what they give you for a print is a joke. I rather not sell any images at all than sell it for peanuts. Maybe if you can sell a few thousand of those, than perhaps I'd consider it. Otherwise it's an insult to any photographers.

They should introduce a system where whoever sells a photo, can control how much to charge.


Student or not, you should be able to afford to print say 11x14 at wall-mart of Costco since those(crappy quality) prints are really cheap. That can give you an idea about how it will look like.
You can also use Photoshop to smooth out a picture and get rid of most of the noise.

I've printed 20x30" at ISO 6400 and they look great!


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sullivanrp
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Jul 12, 2013 13:54 |  #3

dmitrim wrote in post #16114256 (external link)
Lol and 500px site and their stores.
I get messages someone wants to buy my pictures there every week.

You can not control prices and what they give you for a print is a joke. I rather not sell any images at all than sell it for peanuts. Maybe if you can sell a few thousand of those, than perhaps I'd consider it. Otherwise it's an insult to any photographers.

They should introduce a system where whoever sells a photo, can control how much to charge.


Student or not, you should be able to afford to print say 11x14 at wall-mart of Costco since those(crappy quality) prints are really cheap. That can give you an idea about how it will look like.
You can also use Photoshop to smooth out a picture and get rid of most of the noise.

I've printed 20x30" at ISO 6400 and they look great!

I mean I understand that just because I have messages from people doesn't mean they would follow through - and yes I agree about 500px, which is why I am not selling through them. Regardless - I'd like to set up a way to sell my photos... and that didn't help at all.

I am not going to go to costco and print things myself when people want prints and then send it to them. I have used costco for prints before just for small projects - not to sell photos and not to hang on a wall of anything - the quality is decent, but I'd rather go through a more reliable place as far as quality goes (such as adoramapix, mpix, nationalphotolabs, just to name a few I've heard good things about) but once again - I don't want to be printing these out myself to sell to people that want them.


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skippix
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Jul 12, 2013 14:11 |  #4

first, congrats on producing images that people think they might like to buy! that's always a buzz :D

some people think that "selling photos" would take the fun out of their photography. i've always felt the opposite, that when someone is willing to part with their cold, hard-earned cash to buy something of mine, that means they *really* like it and aren't just say something to be nice.

second, if you want to get some money out of this, you've got some options. you don't have to take on the overhead of starting a business (getting a license, etc), but you do have to do two things: 1) you have to have a means to show people what you have and then to collect their money and get them their goods, and 2) you have to collect and pay whatever sales taxes are required for where you live and sell.

there are some places that will handle all of the details for you and their prices range from reasonable to atrocious. the more you do for yourself, the more you make - but that does require you doing work (like sending order to a lab, picking up prints, putting them in the mail, etc). it's all a matter of finding that happy medium that works for you.

you might want to check out www.dpchallenge.com (external link) . their annual membership is only $25 and they have a print service backed up by a national lab. you set your own prices and they handle all the details, including handling the sales taxes, and you get a cut. the only gotcha with them that you'll want to check out is whether they have a minimum payout before they'll cut you a check.

good luck!


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dmitrim
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Jul 12, 2013 14:26 |  #5

sullivanrp wrote in post #16114267 (external link)
I mean I understand that just because I have messages from people doesn't mean they would follow through - and yes I agree about 500px, which is why I am not selling through them. Regardless - I'd like to set up a way to sell my photos... and that didn't help at all.

I am not going to go to costco and print things myself when people want prints and then send it to them. I have used costco for prints before just for small projects - not to sell photos and not to hang on a wall of anything - the quality is decent, but I'd rather go through a more reliable place as far as quality goes (such as adoramapix, mpix, nationalphotolabs, just to name a few I've heard good things about) but once again - I don't want to be printing these out myself to sell to people that want them.

Dude, I told you to print a photo there so you could see how it will look like in big print since you are concerned about quality of a large photo and noise showing up. Nobody told you to print there and then sell the images


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digirebelva
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Jul 12, 2013 14:31 as a reply to  @ dmitrim's post |  #6

Have a look at Fine Art America
http://fineartamerica.​com/ (external link)

But understand, you cant simply put your images up for sale and hope folks will know where to find them...you still have to market yourself & your images.


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sullivanrp
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Jul 12, 2013 14:37 |  #7

digirebelva wrote in post #16114383 (external link)
Have a look at Fine Art America
http://fineartamerica.​com/ (external link)

But understand, you cant simply put your images up for sale and hope folks will know where to find them...you still have to market yourself & your images.

Ya, thanks!


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revluke
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Jul 14, 2013 14:15 |  #8

Nice, I really like what Fine art america offers. Great way to get my feet wet as well, I've had people hassling about where to buy a few of my pics. Thanks OP!


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sullivanrp
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Jul 17, 2013 03:01 |  #9

Based off research and my needs thus far, I really like the idea of choosing a place like Zenfolio where I can combine a website and print service into one service.

I am looking at a few other options as well, but that looks the best to me RIGHT now.

So back to one of my original questions - Do I need a business license to start selling my photos?


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SoldierStape01
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Jul 17, 2013 10:59 |  #10

As per a business license it depends on the state you are in and your local laws. Each state is different. I know in FL where I am, if I sell a product online and the only thing transferred is a digital file, there is no sales tax required, but the minute I have something printed or even give them something in the form of a USB or DVD/CD of images I have to charge tax on the product and 'photography service'. It is different everywhere you go. The best person to contact would be a 'Small Business Hub' in your area. They might be called something different but that should get you started on Google. They are a bunch of people looking to help small businesses and individuals stay legal and know the law, and the biggest plus, the advice is usually always free.


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Jet915
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Jul 20, 2013 22:20 as a reply to  @ SoldierStape01's post |  #11

I'd recommend fineartamerica as well. I started it maybe 6 months ago and have sold several prints. All you do is upload your photos, do some promotion, putting it in contests etc....and if you sell a print, they do all the work and send you the money!


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