The Dos and Don’ts of Selling Photos Online for Beginners

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If you love sharing your photography with the world, it’s time to consider selling online. The development of eCommerce has changed how businesses are running with the rise in online ventures. Unlike when photos were printed and compiled into albums, online photo sales have become a thriving profitable business in the digital age. However, if you enter this field be prepared to face the competition.

With numerous online platforms, selling your photos has become more accessible than ever. However, success in this area requires knowing the A to Z of how to sell photos online – both patience and knowledge. To guide you, here are some essential dos and don’ts for selling your photography online effectively.

The Dos of Selling Images Online

  • Minimize Distractions:

When taking photos for selling products, especially the main image in search results, it’s essential to instantly grab your customer’s attention. You want them to click on your listing among hundreds or thousands of others. To achieve this, keep the background simple so your product stands out clearly.

  • Capture Marketable Shots:

A common mistake photographers make while they sell images online is focusing solely on subjects they love or find interesting. While these photos might be artistically satisfying, they may not attract buyers. Aim to capture images in high demand to boost your online sales.

For instance, while gritty urban photos might earn praise, they’re less likely to appear on the cover of a travel magazine. In contrast, vibrant beach scenes with clear blue skies are frequently featured, making them more marketable.

  • Stay Organized for Success in Photography

Being organized is key to running a successful photography business. Not only does it save you time—which is valuable—but it also boosts your chances of making sales. Remember to upload any photos to sell online, and ensure they meet the best technical standards. This means they should be of high quality and the right size to attract potential buyers.

Additionally, be precise and error-free when adding captions and keywords to your images. Your captions and tags should represent what’s in the photo, helping customers find exactly what they’re looking for.

  • Set Up Your Website for Selling Photos

Having your website to sell photos offers several advantages:

1. Complete Control: You have full authority over your business operations and how you present your work.

2. Showcase Your Skills: A personal website lets you create an impressive portfolio, highlighting your photography skills to potential buyers.

3. Build Your Brand: It allows you to establish a unique brand identity, setting you apart in the market.

Platforms like FooGallery provide the tools to display your photos in the best quality. This enables you to sell your images’ digital and print versions without any commission fees. Additionally, having your site makes it easy for repeat customers to find and purchase from you again.

  • Understand Copyright Laws 

It’s important to know that you can’t sell just any photo you’ve taken. The person taking the photo owns its copyright, a legal right protecting their work. Before selling your pictures online, understand copyright and how it affects your photography. Ignoring these rules could lead to legal issues. However, legitimate ways to earn money from your photos without breaking copyright laws exist.

  • Utilize Keywords and Hashtags for Visibility

Incorporating hashtags into your posts can significantly boost your visibility. Hashtags connect you with users with similar interests, increasing the chances of others discovering your photos. This simple strategy enhances your online presence and helps you reach a broader audience.

  • Set the Right Prices for Your Photos

While it’s tempting to put a quick price tag on your images, it’s crucial to consider the effort and skill invested in each photo. Pricing too high can deter potential buyers. To determine a fair price range, explore other photographers’ websites to see their pricing strategies.

If you offer lower-resolution files or prints, make it clear to customers that these options differ in quality from full-resolution versions. Consider incentives such as discounts on multiple purchases or complimentary prints to attract budget-conscious buyers without undervaluing your work. This approach can help balance profitability and customer satisfaction.

  • Watermark Photos for Protection

Watermarking photos is a very useful practice to protect them from unauthorized use or distribution. A watermark is a visible overlay on the image that typically contains text, a logo, or some other identifier. Every photographer should know why and how to watermark photos. Though watermarking can deter casual theft, it may not prevent determined individuals from removing it. However, it still serves as a visible deterrent and a means of identifying your work.

The Don’ts of Selling Images Online

  • Focus on Every Style or Niche in Photography

Avoid stretching too thin by attempting subjects or styles outside your comfort zone. For instance, if you’re unfamiliar with wide-angle landscape photography, it’s best not to specialize. Aim to capture high-quality images that appeal to a wide audience yet have a distinctive touch that sets them apart. Concentrate on what you do best to ensure your confidence and work’s uniqueness shine through.

  • Do Excessive Editing in Your Photos

While editing can enhance any photo, it’s essential not to go overboard. Some images may only need minor adjustments like white balance correction or straightening. In contrast, others might require more intensive editing, including retouching. Remember, your style and preferences will influence your editing choices. Strive for a balance that enhances your photos without overshadowing their natural appeal.

  • Focus on One Payment Stream

So, it is rather difficult for photographers to live just by selling their photos online because of high competition and limited demand. If you want to succeed in this field, having more ways of making money is important.

  • Don’t Quit

Practicing selling photos online requires some time, patience, and dedication. On the way, you will meet challenges and sometimes feel disheartened. But one should not despair. Even the most successful photographers have felt this way. Remember, setbacks don’t define your worth as a photographer. Keep pushing forward, stay positive, and continue pursuing your passion.


Selling images online offers a lucrative opportunity for photographers, but success requires strategy and dedication. Prioritize marketable shots, maintain organizational discipline, and utilize platforms like FooGallery for optimal presentation. While understanding copyright and pricing sensibly, avoiding common pitfalls ensures a thriving online photography business.

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