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Image sharing sites have come a long way from the basic 90s platforms. If you have the photography bug it has become super easy to set up your own sites for selling your photos online. I have seen the technology come so far and I am amazed by how gorgeous you can display your photos now. Many companies are making it MUCH safer to store your pictures.
Tips & Tricks for Selling Your Photos Online
One of the major issues of using the internet to share pictures, including social media sites, is pretty much whatever you put up is free for anyone to
use steal. There are quite a few people who either don’t understand the rules or just blatantly disregard them. I know that I have been scouring my site because even though I have always tried to follow the rules, I am sure that some pictures have slipped through the cracks. Mistakes happen. Rules change quickly.
I have a few rules and tips how to protect yourself and your pictures.
- ALWAYS ask permission before you use a photo that you have not taken yourself.
- If you don’t have time to photograph an item use a quality stock photography site. I use picjumbo a lot.
- NEVER just grab a photo off of Google no matter how temping. Pretty much 85% of what is on there is attributed to someone else. People can sue you. I have a few blogger friends that have been sued over something really ridiculous but they had no recourse but to pay. It was from when they first started out.
- Find safe, secure places to store/sell your pictures that provide passwords like SmugMug.
- If you are a blogger WATERMARK everything. Another blogger friend has had pictures stolen mostly because she wanted the picture to look pretty instead of an ugly watermark across it. It’s a hard lesson to learn.
So how do you go about selling your photos online safely ?
If you are a photographer it’s essential that your photos can be accessed by your clients but not to the world! There are a few options.
- Sell using stock photo sites like Dreamstime. It’s commission based and is a huge site. I have been using this site since I started this blog in 2009. One of my favorite pictures I purchased from them was the very first logo I used. If Dreamstime seems overwhelming you can Google other sites. They are just the one I have experience with and can personally vouch for. Deposit Photos is pretty cool too. I have been using them lately too.
- Start a business on SmugMug. It’s the prettiest platform I have found. Making your site striking is key when marketing a professional photography business. They have excellent security. You can select a password for specific folders and only give it to people you want to have access to that folder. It’s super easy to use. Plus you can set up your store really quick, no coding needed, and use your own domain name.
- Set up your own site using WordPress. This involves a fair knowledge of coding or access to someone who does. If you are willing to roll up your sleeves and work on it you can purchase a specialized theme to feature your pictures and there are a few plugins that you can use to provide purchasing options. My favorite themes are run on the Genesis Framework platform from Studiopress. They have a beautiful, responsive theme called Atmosphere Pro Theme that would be perfect to use for selling. I have used them on all my blogs and websites for over 7 years and they have the best customer service and even The Genesis Guide for Absolute Beginners (PDF – 1.4 MB). Most WordPress sites also have a password feature but it’s not always super user friendly.
If you are looking for a SUPER simple photo editing site take a look at Picmonkey, I use it daily.
PicMonkey: crazy-awesome photo editing