20 Tips to Start Online Photo Selling Business in Nigeria

Photography is big business these days. Webmasters and businesses use images for their websites and marketing materials.

People purchase artwork for their homes.

All of these photos need to come from somewhere.

As a freelance photographer, you have numerous options to sell your photos online.

And this can be a great way to create passive income that earns while you’re working on other things.

 Online photo selling business opportunity is perfect for professional photographer.

And also for those who loves photography and want to turn their hobby into a profitable business venture.

There is always huge demand for good quality, unique photographs and many online agencies are ready to pay for it.

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Online photo selling business can be initiated from home location with small investment on necessary equipment.

Years ago, the only way to make money selling your pictures was with your own photography studio.

Nowadays, anybody, amateur or professional, can find a buyer for their photos online by using stock image sites.

Learning how to develop your products, promote your photos, and choose a buyer will help you get started making money fast

Online Photo Selling Business

1. Skills For Online Photo Selling

For online photo selling business you need to know not only about photography.

But also about the salable photograph and how to create an excellent quality salable photograph.

Your photos should be bright, colourful, sharp, and telling a story that fits the theme.

You can take some tutorial classes for photography online or in person.

Also you will need to have the photography editing knowledge.

To create an online salable photograph you need to be equipped with skills of cropping.

And straightening, levels and curves, shadows and highlights as Photoshop CS, colour saturation etc.

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2. Choosing a Stock Photo Site:

Look at several different sites’ pay rates.

Basic stock photo sites like Dreamstime, freedigitalphotos.net, and Shutterstock are popular choices for amateur photographers, while the pros often choose Getty Images or Corbis.

Each of these sites has a different pay rate, but most sites offer at least 30% commission. Be sure to check each site’s commission rate before you sign up.

3. Equipment For Online Photo Selling

To start online photo selling business camera and computer are the primary requirement.

It is always advisable to use a minimum 8 megapixel camera and shoot with a digital SLR.

Buy appropriate lenses according to your camera and what kind of photo you want to shoot.

For interiors/architecture and landscape it is recommended to go for a wide angle lens.

For portraits/still photo is standard or small telephoto lens.

For outdoor/press is telephoto lens is recommended.

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4. Online Photo Selling Business Model

Do some research with the advertising or marketing materials that are available in the market.

Checks out what kind of photos are being used in what type of advertisement.

Whatever you want to shoot view the object from a photographer point of view.

Always carry a release form with you.

You will need to submit the signed release form, from the people in the photos.

There are two ways you can go to start online photo selling business.

You can go with an agency like flickr.com, gettyimages.com, dreamstime.com, freedigitalphotos.net etc. by submitting your photographs there.

Or you can create your own website and make available your photographs with price.

So many online agencies are there globally; who accepts photographs and make the deal with the buyer and you will get the price for that.

If you want to start online photo selling business through your own website there are need to do some online promotion of your website.

Also you can go with social media sites like facebook to start with.

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5. Check the site’s requirements and themes to avoid rejected images.

Every site has its own requirements for download quality and its own focus on themes.

Your images won’t be accepted if you don’t follow the site’s specific requirements.

Make sure your photos meet the requirements and fit the site’s theme before you submit them.

  • For example, Dreamstime requires a minimum of 3 megapixels for download size, and they also prefer business-oriented photos.

6. Register for an account.

Registration with the site that you choose is usually free.

If the site isn’t free, you may want to reconsider using them unless the fee is pretty cheap and a one-time payment.

Be sure to read the site’s instructions carefully, because there’s often important information about payment and copyright issues included.

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7. Review and complete the payment portion of your account.

Most sites will pay you via Paypal, although a few sites may pay via check through the mail.

You will need to provide the email address associated with your Paypal account, along with any additional information they require.

If you don’t have a Paypal account, set one up.

When you’re paid varies from site to site.

Some only pay you when you request a cash-out, and others pay on a specific day of the month.

  • Make sure you are registering with a reputable site before giving them your account information or home address.

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8. Consider registering for multiple sites.

Registering for multiple sites can let you make more money.

But be careful! If you sell an image on one site.

You may have to remove it on all your other sites.

Also, some sites will offer exclusive contracts that pay you more if you only sell your photos to them.

Read all the fine print before registering to multiple sites.

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9. Develop a diverse portfolio of digital images.

If you only have 4 or 5 main subjects in your images.

They will only appeal to a certain kind of customer.

While you can still make money this way.

It’s better to have a diverse collection of images with many different subjects and tones.

The more people your images appeal to, the more money you’ll make.

10. Choose generic images to make the most money.

Generic images appeal to the largest audience, so these photos will sell more often than niche or unusual images.

Go through your digital portfolio and pick out generic images with mass appeal.

For example, images of flowers and landscapes work well.

  • Single-subject shots, like a bookcase of old books, a windmill, or a wine bottle, also work well.
  • Anything business or office-oriented usually does well.
  • Generic tones also sell well on stock sites. For example, images that look vintage.

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11. Select images that are high quality for the best results.

Most stock sites have rules about resolution, size, file format, and so on.

Make sure your images adhere to those rules so they won’t be rejected.

If the site you’re using doesn’t have set requirements, customers are much more likely to purchase high quality images with good resolution.

  • Use only your very best work. Choose images with crisp detail and balanced color.
  • For example, images that are blurry or high contrast wouldn’t be appropriate choices.

12. Upload your photos to the stock site.

Make sure your chosen images follow all of the site’s rules and requirements, such as image size, resolution, file type, and so on.

If your site lets you post images in specific categories, make sure your photos match the categories to increase sales.

13. Tag your images with relevant tags to appear in site searches.

When you upload your photos to websites, they’ll be among thousands of other pictures.

Thinking of tags for each picture will help them come up first in searches.

Pick multiple tags for each picture.

  • For example, if you upload a picture of the beach, your tags might include words like “beach,” “fun,” “sunny day,” “sand,” “surfing,” or “tropical.”

14. Experiment with using a mix of generic tags and specific tags.

Generic tags are the most popular ones because they’re the most searched for.

Using generic tags will get your photos in front of the most people.

Specific tags can get your images in front of a different group of people.

Use a mix of both, so people searching for something specific can find you, and so can people searching for general terms.

  • For example, if your beach picture is of a boardwalk in New Jersey, use generic tags like “beach,” “boardwalk,” “ocean view” and so on.
  • Then include specific tags like “New Jersey,” “Asbury Park,” and “South Point Boardwalk.”

15. Avoid using images with visible or recognizable brands in them.

Using images like these can get you into trouble, because you’ll be making money off of someone else’s brand without their knowledge or approval.

Most stock photo sites have rules against using images like this.

Avoid them altogether to avoid running into problems.

  • For example, an image of a Ford Mustang convertible or Campbell’s soup can would be inappropriate to upload and sell.
  • Avoid using images featuring corporate logos, stills from movies, or anything else originally made by something else.

16. Avoid using images with people or properties in them.

Any person that appears in your stock photos must sign a release form before the image can be sold.

The same goes for images depicting someone’s personal property, such as a local storefront or your neighbor’s barn.

You would need to track down the correct legal forms and get them signed each time you used an image like this, which would be a hassle.

In some cases, it may even be impossible.

  • You can download model release forms online, or write up your own.

17. Take all your photos yourself to get an automatic copyright.

According to international copyright law, the photographer automatically owns the copyrights to anything they take themselves.

You don’t have to register or sign up for the copyright if you were the one operating the camera.

One exception is photos taken while you were employed by a company as a photographer.

For example, if you are a photographer working for a newspaper, the newspaper owns the photos you take on the job.

  • Registering your copyright isn’t required, but it’s often a good idea–it can prevent people from stealing your work.

18. What Kind of Photos Do People Want to Buy?

Right now, one of the biggest consumers of online photography is bloggers and website owners.

Every piece of content created from blog posts to social media updates needs an attractive image.

Here are a few categories that are in demand.

  1. Photos of people
  2. Photos of work situations (at the office, carpenter, steward, etc.)
  3. Photos of travel
  4. Photos of cities
  5. Close-up photos
  6. Photos of things (screws, medication, signs, books, computers, tools, bags, cables etc)
  7. Photos of nature
  8. Photos of animals

That doesn’t sound too crazy. Right? You can totally do this. And on a budget. I’d also suggest taking a look at the most popular images in each category on the sites on which you intend to list your photos. This will give you a good idea of what’s hot at the moment.

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19. Marketing and Making Sales

Most sites recommend the use of tags and keywords to help buyers better find your available photos.

Don’t forget to market your available photos.

Social networks, guest posting about photography and getting active in photography forums can all help.

You probably aren’t going to get rich selling photos online.

But you can earn some extra cash passively.

We all like that. Many estimates state sellers earn on average $1 per month for every image listed.

That means if you have 100 images available for sale.

You may be earning around $100 per month. More images = more money.

20. Integrate eCommerce into your portfolio

Most photographers have a main portfolio site to showcase their work and let clients hire them.

But by adding eCommerce to it, including the ability to accept payments, you can open several more doors to monetization, like selling courses, physical products, and services.

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You can build your portfolio or store on Shopify, install the relevant apps to customize it to your needs and monetization strategies, and start sharing and selling your photography in different forms: online or even offline through POS.

Check out some of the Art and Photography themes, or choose a free theme to start (you can always switch later).

You might also want to consider installing apps to add more functionality like Digital Downloads (free), an Instagram gallery, and more.

There are a lot of reasons your own ecommerce site can be a best place to sell photos online, many of which we’ll explore below.

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You could have a website up and running complete with a fully automated online store for selling stock images or prints within minutes if you use Visual Society.

Selling photos online is not only a great way to make some extra cash.

But also brings extra exposure for your brand and your business.

And could lead to bigger things further down the road.

Creating your own photo-shoots for the purposes of creating stock images or art prints is also an excellent way to hone your photographic skills, experiment with styles and provide a welcome change from your normal client work.