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How to Start an Online Photo Selling Business

Are you interested to earn money selling photographs online? Online photo selling business opportunity is perfect for professional photographers and also for those who love photography and want to turn their hobby into a profitable business venture.

There is always a huge demand for good quality, unique photographs, and many online agencies are ready to pay for them. You can start the online photo-selling venture from home with a small budget.

Here are the 10 Steps to Start Photo Selling Business Online

1. Get the Required Skills

For starting an online photo-selling business, you need to know not only about photography but also about salable photographs and how to create an excellent quality salable photograph. Your photos should be bright, colorful, and sharp, and tell a story that fits the theme.

You can take some tutorial classes for photography online or in person. Also, you will need to have photo editing knowledge.

To create an online salable photograph you need to be equipped with skills in cropping and straightening, levels and curves, shadows, and highlights as Photoshop CS, color saturation, etc.

Suggested Read: Top Photography Business Ideas

2. Select Your Niche

There is a wider range of photography styles and categories. It is essential initially to select a specific category and stamp an authority into it. You can diversify your portfolio when you achieve some success.

Some of the popular photo niches you can explore are People, Food, Places, Nature, Objects, etc. It is advised to explore online and find the current photo trends and demand.

3. Procure Equipment

To sell photos online, cameras and computers are the primary requirements. It is always advisable to use a minimum 8-megapixel camera and shoot with a digital DSLR camera. 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. In the case of portraits/still photos small telephoto lens is a better option. For outdoor/press is telephoto lens is recommended.

4. Select the Business Model

Do some research on 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’s 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 start an online photo-selling business and earn money.

Firstly, You can visit online photo buying and selling marketplaces and submit your photographs there. There are many online agencies that are there globally; that accept photographs and make the deal with the buyer and you will get the price for that.

5. Create a Business Plan

Based on the information collected from researching the online and offline market, start writing a business plan for your photo-selling company. If you are a beginner and starting on a small scale, a short business plan document will suffice. Some of the basic topics your online photo-selling business must include are as follows:

  • Initial and recurring costs
  • Target customers
  • Pricing plan
  • How do you plan to sell photos online?

6. Name Your Business

Find a catchy and easy-to-spell name for your photo business. Also, do not forget to register a website domain URL similar to the business name you have already selected.

Read: How to Name a Business

7. Register Your Business

If you intend to start and run a legally-compliant business, it is advised to register your company. Every country and state offers different types of business formations depending on the size and needs. Select the one that fits you best or take help from a competent professional.

For example, in the United States, lot many startups prefer forming an LLC as it protects personal assets and helps in the easy filing of annual taxes.

8. Get Licenses and Permits

Talk to a local attorney and find out the types of licenses needed to run a photo-selling business. Do remember, images and photos come under copyright law the moment they get published.

Hence, stay protected from someone stealing your published photos without giving due credit to you.

9. Create a Website

If you are serious about making money selling photos online, creating a website is a must. It will not only provide customers with more confidence but also you will have maximum control of your business.

Furthermore, you will be able to sell your photos directly with direct pricing and also add more income streams like photo editing, selling prints and products, ebooks, photography services, etc.

10. Where to Sell Photos Online?

Some of the most popular online photo-selling websites are as follows:

  • Fotolia
  • Shutterstock
  • Alamy
  • iStockphoto
  • Dreamstime
  • SmugMug
  • Flickr
  • 123rf
  • Photodune

Secondly, You can create your own photography website with a blog and upload your photographs with the price. You can read our detailed guide on how to create a photography blog.

We would recommend you go for both if you are serious about making good money.

If you want to start an online photo selling business creating your own website there is a need to do some online promotion of your website. Also, you can go to social media sites like Facebook to start with.