Getting Into The Business - Selling Photographs

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Glenn Wolsey, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #1
    I really want too get into the photography business anyway I can, and I also want too collect some money towards a Nikon D70 and my photography Mac setup.

    Photography is a huge hobby of mine and in later life I hope too turn it into something more, possible a career. You have too start somewhere, right?

    I am wanting to start selling my photographs and making some money from them. But I have no idea where, or how to do it, and what the rights are that you send with the image. (reproducing, re-sale, etc.

    Can anyone help me?
     
  2. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location
    #2
    So you went from having a small budget of several hundred dollars towards a camera only a month ago, to wanting a Nikon D200 and spending close to $2000 USD last week, and now you're looking into selling photos because your isht is that good? :confused: That's a quick swing, no?

    I'm reading and listening to more knowledgeable photographers, but am I not "spongy" enough?
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #3
    I wanted something cheap early on as I didn't want to do sports photography, now i do. So I thought too myself, why buy a camera that won't last too long and won't do everything i want too in the next year or two, I will get something good that will last.

    I dont have the cash for it at the moment, so I want to sell some current images to afford a better camera, hence allowing me too take better shots of a wider variety of genres, earning more money and enjoying photography in itself.

    I currently have a point and shoot Canon PowerShot, so I need something better down the road before I can even look into sports. I also didn't know the camera market very well when I wanted something under $500, now I am much more aware of specs and pricing.

    Did that answer your question? :)
     
  4. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    This is a bussiens question is much as a fotography question. What you need to do is make a "bussines plan". That's a one to three year time line that shows expenses and costs and cash on hand shows what you will do each month. Hopfuly the plan will show a profet at some point. Don't forget the cost of marketing your work, taxes, bussesnes licenses, insurace and the like.

    Then you review the plan for any parts where it says "magic happens here" like for example if it syas that "tenr potential customers will call you per month and you expect to get bussines from half of them" That's "magic" unless you can explain how those ten peole got your phone number and how you got the 50% conversion ratio.

    To make the plan you'll need to know the market, who buys images and what they pay and about the competition and how you can be better than them in a competitive market. So far this applies if you want to sell photos or sell shoes. It is absolutly certain that without a plan the bussies will fail

    The best ways to learn is to work for someoe else or go to school

    Of course you could simply put screen resolutions of you best work on the web and offer to except paypal payments for quality prints and hope to make money. Actually a web galery of your best work is kind of a requirememnt. Do you have oone?
     
  5. macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #5
    Perhaps buying the photographic gear before Aperture next time would have resulted in higher quality pictures which you'll need if you're going to sell them. That would have been a big chunk towards that D70 :rolleyes:

    Seriously, if you live in a scenic/tourist area, try taking interesting shots of things in the area, invest in getting some printed and framed and see if any local cafe/bistro owners will let you sell them in their premises for a percentage.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    icloud

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    #6
    I personally wouldnt say that photography is something that one should "look to make a career out of" i mean sure i wouldnt mind getting 150k from national geographic and a ****load of equipment, but ill say this from the get go...if you want a career first youll be dissapointed.

    You will lose the passion for it simply as having it as a "career" in mind
     
  7. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    #7
    Agreed. I'm 16, and while I certainly make a decent amount of money off of my photography, it is fun first, a job last.

    A photographer never has world-class images if he loses the passion for photogrpahy, which almost all do when they jump into it for the money, and not the passion they have.

    Shots like these showcase the atmosphere of the place. This was taken at Cedar Point during the next to the last weekend of HalloWeekends in 2005. It showcases the "impending doom" feeling they try to get you, to scare you. All too often people become corrupted by the almighty dollar :(.

    [​IMG]

    I know that my commercial images, while also excellent, pale in comparison to many of my landscape and wildlife images. While still technically excellent, they lack the flair.

    PS - You use Aperture, a pro application, with a Canon P&S? :confused: Why - talk about mixed up priorities!
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #8
    I am a Macintosh writer, and work for some large publications so I got a nice deal on Aperture. A very good deal.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #9
    I haven't and don't plan too lose my passion in the hobby, its for fun, thats why I do it, because I enjoy it.

    I just thought if I could sell a few images it would help me pursue the hobby further with better gear.
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    XIII

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #10
    Why was it necessary at all? Unless they were giving it to me for free, I wouldn't bother.. no point unless you will use it for what it was designed for.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #11
    What is was designed for? Its designed to store, edit, and catalog your images, cutting down time in post production. No matter what kind of camera you have Aperture will help with that.
     
  12. macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #12
    1. Talk to a lawyer. MacRumors is in no way a legal-advice dispenser. We can't tell you about selling your pictures, etc. mostly because we are just random people on the internet. Whatever you hear from us may be wrong. So talk to a lawyer and get cold facts.

    2. If you are going to be doing this professionally, start learning the rules of spelling and grammar. (to, too, two). Nothing is worse than a 'pro' talkln like day now everry thaing. ;)

    3. Are you actually good at taking pictures? When people look at your pictures do they say, "Wow." or "That's neat." or "Nice picture!" or "<insert positive remark here>" Frankly, there are a lot of people I know who are 'decent' photographers for their home albums but wouldn't make it up the next few levels to 'pro'-- but they don't take bad pictures.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #13
    1. I wanted tips on where to sell my photos, no Lawyer needed.

    2. I think my spelling and grammar is fine, as would many others. Want to link me to one of my posts where I use "MSN" talk?

    3. I understand.
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    #14
    That is very, very good. All too often people lose sight of what got them into photography in the first place :(.
     
  15. macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #15

    You asked for help on what the rights were that you 'send with the image'. You did not just ask for 'where' you could sell the pictures.

    Your grammar was worse than your spelling, true. I was just telling you that if you did this in the future, more professionally, as you want to do, that you can't mix up to/too along with the other bolded mistakes above. (I just did a fast edit; I've been doing proofs a lot recently)

    What is your skill level in photography?
     
  16. macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #16
    I don't think anyone was accusing you of MSN talk; more of an informality which, although appropriate on these forums, won't be in the real world.

    Just looking at your post immediately above that of Mechozmo, there's a lack of apostrophes and bizarre usage of commas. Nothing so dreadful as txtspk but not perfect either. I wouldn't usually point it out since I'm not a big fan of grammar Nazis but you asked. ;)
     
  17. macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #17
    First of all, do you understand exactly what "stock photography" is all about? Not to burst your bubble, but most stock photography agencies have specific requirements, including the equipment used. Let's just say that you're not going to be selling anything to stock agencies when you're using a P&S camera.

    Are the images you are currently getting out of your present camera of sufficiently good resolution that they'd look fine when blown up to sizes beyond 8 x 10? Someone making a purchase to put on his or her wall expects a high-quality image with high resolution and usually decent presentation (ie, matting/framing). Are you familiar with the printing process and matting/framing processes required to sell prints? Most photographers who sell prints of their work do NOT print them out on their own printer at home.

    Are the images you are currently getting out of your present camera well composed, intriguing, with a certain "something" that catches the viewer's attention and definitely has a "wow!" factor?

    The photography business is a highly competitive one and very difficult in which to get a foothold. Starting out by taking courses and by assisting a professional photographer out in the field or in the studio can be one way to learn more about the art and the business of photography. Many photographers start out as apprentices to others long before they finally are ready to take the plunge and establish their own business.

    Go to the library and/or bookstore and grab some books on photography -- not just the "how-to" techniques books, but those which include many photos by famous photographers. Look at those photos, study those photos...appreciate them for the art that they demonstrate. For example, right now I've just brought home a new book from the library, HARRY BENSON'S AMERICA. When I look through the images there, I won't just be looking at the famous people present in many of his photos, but will be studying the lighting, the angles of the lighting, the way in which he composed the picture....and I'll try to guess at how he interacted with his subjects during those portrait sessions in order to get the results displayed on the pages in front of me. You can learn a lot from studying the work of others before you ever pick up a camera.

    After spending some time in really looking at photographs, THEN go out with your own camera and play around with some of the concepts and ideas you've just seen, work with your camera to see what kinds of images you can produce. Shoot in black-and-white, see how there is a different thinking process there than when shooting in color. Try and figure out why one photo excites you while another leaves you thinking, "ahhhh...."

    Again, while at the bookstore or library, be sure to pick up some books which give clear descriptions of the business of photography. As has already been mentioned, it IS a business, and like any other, requires legal advice and support (tax laws, y'know), a good business plan, and an investment of money. For most people, yes, the investment is going to be in the equipment, but also in the time one puts into this. Many photographers continue to hold a day job while doing their photography "on the side" at weekends and such until they reach the point where they can afford to be a professional photographer full-time. And by the way, the definition of "professional" photographer is that one earns income from his or her work. It has nothing to do with the quality of said work. I've seen work from professionals and from so-called amateurs which is equally outstanding.

    Since you're still in school, if there's a photography club, you'd probably get a lot out of joining that, or if there is a local community photography club, go to some of their meetings and chat with people who are approaching photography from various levels of expertise.

    Most importantly: get out there with the camera you have and use it. Learn from it....
     
  18. macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #18
    I like it quite a bit. I've played with long-exposure work (Canon PowerShot S2 IS) and I like the neat effects but it doesn't always work as well as I want it to... I just need to play with it more, I think.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    Coolnat2004

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #19
    Glenn, you're 13. I don't think you should be worrying about getting into ..much of anything at this point. If I were you, I would use the equipment I have (Powershot) and try to learn all about photography with that. True, you won't get pro-looking photographs, but you won't go broke either (You're a millionaire though, aren't you?). Learn about exposure, lighting, positioning, etc. If you find that you really enjoy photography and you want to be more professional at it, then go from there.

    Just my two cents..
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    G4scott

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #20
    I was gonna say, you don't need an expensive setup to start getting good pictures. I have a Canon PowerShot S50, with a dent on the back, and a battery door that's kinda awkward after being dropped. I use a tripod that's probably older than I am. I am a student first, and I have another job that requires my time, but when I can, I like to go and be creative with my camera. I've taken quite a few nice photos here and there, but most importantly, I'm "practicing".

    I'd love to have a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II and all the lenses in the world to go with it, but I don't have the means, and I know that better equipment won't necessarily make me a better photographer.

    Start out with the camera you already have, or upgrade to something better with good photographic controls (Canon PowerShot S70 comes to mind for a small, somewhat decently priced camera with aperture and shutter priority modes that shoots RAW) and get out more with it, and take all the pictures you can. You want to make sure it's something you really want to do before putting lots of money into it. I don't want to sound harsh, but you also want to make sure that your photography is something people would want to buy. I hate to see people spend tons of money, only to find their photos are still what they'd get with their point and shoot, just with 3 times as many pixels.

    Hopefully the advice on these boards can help you make a sound decision.
     
  21. macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #21
    Glenn, some nice credentials you've got yourself there. Linkety Although your "About" page needs another run-through (just an FYI). Impressive, nonetheless.

    I'd like to point out a few things though: G4Scott is right, you should play with your camera more and think less about what equipment you have. Aperture is nice software but you don't NEED it. You don't NEED an SLR to take amazing pictures. You DO need a good eye and a fast finger.

    You've gotten some good advice here. Personally, if you are just starting (as it sounds) with photography, an SLR would make your pictures worse with all the confusing settings. Take classes, join clubs, read books. Get good at it before you take the jump.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #22
    Okay guys, here is my plan:

    - Learn how to use all the features on my current point and shoot, and learn what kind of settings I need for different image types and shots.

    - Practice, Practice, Practice

    - Learn all the photography terminology.

    - Research SLR cameras and make the best choice for ME, not based on features, but based on what camera suits me best.

    - Purchase new camera

    - Shoot, Shoot, Shoot
     
  23. macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #23
    Let's re-arrange this list a tad...

    - Practice, Practice, Practice

    - Learn all the photography terminology.

    - Learn how to use all the features on my current point and shoot, and learn what kind of settings I need for different image types and shots.

    - Learn how to use all the features well.

    - Practice, Practice, Practice

    (In a few months... maybe even a few years)

    - Research SLR cameras and make the best choice for ME, not based on features, but based on what camera suits me best.

    - Purchase new camera

    - Learn how to use all the features well.

    - Practice, Practice, Practice

    - Shoot, Shoot, Shoot

    There's my suggestion, with just a hint of sarcasm and 31 minutes past midnight wackiness. But I'm feeling pretty sane so that should be a nice timeline.
     
  24. macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location
    #24
    I highly highly suggest that you learn about photography first before pursuing a career in it. I mean, I like a lot of things, photography included, but I know where I stand, and I'm not a professional photographer. Far from it. :p

    I actually think you should get an SLR. The faster you get it, the earlier you can start practicing with it. I just got a D50 3 weeks ago and after shooting what I think are some nice shots, even I can now point out some major flaws, an out-of-focus subject being one of them. ****, that always happens (see EXAMPLE 1). :( I'm probably around the same level as you, but you know what? I'll probably progress faster because I have something to play with that is CAPABLE of taking the photographs that I want. Now, even when I have complete control over the camera, I still don't always take the photo that I want, and I can work on "Why not?"

    Some photos I'm happy with right now, but i still want to find a flaw anyway, because I'm sure I made one somewhere, even if I don't know what it is yet (see EXAMPLE 2). :rolleyes: A DSLR allows me to make minor adjustments that I can't make otherwise.

    However, selling your photos? Nobody is going to buy the photos you're taking right now. You just need to work on it, THEN re-examine your skills and make a decision regarding a possible "career" in photography. Or just be a hobbiest. Just know your current limitations, that's all. ;) Re-examine later, but for now, just take some photos, save some cash for a DSLR, and then go from there. You still have lots of time.
     
  25. macrumors regular

    revfife

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    In a far country
    #25
    I would also recommend attending all the seminars/school/classes you can. Check into Nikon School for one (an excellent place to learn basics and more). You can never learn too much. I would say even pro level photogs still are learning new angles/techniques.

    Also knowing your strengths and weaknesses helps a lot. Know where you are good and play to your strengths. Not all people are cut out for wedding photography yet they might be great at still life. Find your niche!

    Finally know your market. Photos are a dime a dozen. I see average/subpar photos at every arts&crafts show, flea market, expo, etc... Chances are if you see a photo and think you could do that you and 500 other people probably could. This leads me into the most important quality...EYES!
    Imagination and sight make up 110% of photos that I like.

    Hope some of this helps
     

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