When I first started taking photos, I was always very excited when I had mastered a new technique and gotten a great shot. I would go to public events such as block parties, downtown gatherings, farmers markets, street fairs, etc. to practice all of my new found skills. The only downside was, that I would get great pictures of families playing with their children, friends caught in a special moment, or a new couple holding hands for the first time. I would review my photos later when I was editing, and always felt bad that I couldn't send the pictures to the people I was photographing. There were such great moments captured that the people on my screen would never get the chance to see. I looked up photo sites, journals, blogs, and could never find a good way to save my images in a place that the public could see later.
UNTIL... I attended a Nikon Photography School in Cleveland Ohio and learned about a website that soon became my best friend! The website was called PhotoShelter. PhotoShelter is a professional website platform just for photographers that allowed me to set up my own website where I could upload photos from public events. So before I would go out to "The 2012 Art Fair in Penney Park" I would create a folder on my website called "The 2012 Art Fair in Penney Park" and then copy the url from the new gallery and paste it into a word template for business cards. I would then pass out the business cards at the event to everyone I took photos of, and viola, I started making money right away on the events I was attending, and people were able to download photos from the event at a fair price. I usually charged anywhere from $5-$10 per image download and found that people bought more because I was thinking about their budgets as well. Thanks to PhotoShelter I started making DECENT revenue from small events and street fairs. I then put this into practice with the rest of my photography jobs and saw after event sales explode. PhotoShelter offers you the ability to not only sell digital downloads, but offers printing service providers that allow you to instantly sell photo products like regular prints to canvas prints, and mouse-pads to photo blankets. They have many different companies that offer all kinds of products that you can have on your site. It's very clear what the wholesale prices are, and you can mark up each product individually, and exclude certain products you don't think will fit with your desired audience.
If you are just starting out in photography, and need 60GB of online photo storage and a great website with the ability to sell your images, try PhotoShelter you will not regret it.
If you are a professional photographer, and you are not already using PhotoShelter, then I don't know what you have been doing, but you need to get your eyes on PhotoShelter's website. It's $29.99 a month for a pro account, and you can't ask for anything better!
I hope this blog entry helps you realize some profit from your hobby, and remember, cameras and lenses aren't cheap, so don't be afraid to sell your work. Everyone loves to get new photos of themselves. Remember who your audience will be when pricing your photos, and you will be able to connect with more people and make greater sales. Don't be greedy, be generous, and try to help bring happiness to your community through your work.
I'm using a PhotoShelter website to handle online sales, high resolution file distribution, SEO and more. It's a great way to attract new clients, show my work professionally, and do business with clients online. And I think it might be a great fit for you too.
You can use the link below to save some money on sign-up, and I get an account credit too!
I think you're really going to like what you see, so come join me on PhotoShelter!
Sincerely, Jeremiah Ilges - SMB Photo