Selling Photographs

Fancy yourself as a professional photographer?

One of the easiest ways to get some financial return on your photographs is to sell them via an image library. While the returns can be relatively low and, with the plethora of images that image libraries hold, sometimes difficult to get spotted it could well be worth thinking about.

As an example an image which appeared in the Daily Mail one Saturday in 2021.

Selling your photographs example

This was available via the Alamy library website:

Alamy pricing example

Prices start at £11.99 for personal use going up to £179.99 for use in a marketing package. The Daily Mail would have paid somewhere in the region of £126 for the image. Alamy currently (2021) give 50% to the photographer for an exclusive licence. While not a fortune possibly better than a kick in the pants? And, if you don’t mind a reduction in commission and retain the option of selling your images direct to customers, who knows where it might lead…

There are obviously other photo libraries out there – istock Photos, Getty Images and Shutterstock to name a few and there’s no reason you can’t put your images on a few of them other than you’d get less commission.

The most difficult thing is getting your images to appear at the top of search terms. So you need to choose your key words as carefully a possible. Search words for the photo above are – 1960s, 1966, 60s, automobile, awning, blue, britain, british, british car, british culture, camping, car, caravans, cars, culture, detail, england, english, festivals, historical, kitsch, man, mobile home, motor car, motorcar, motoring, nostalgia, nostalgic, old fashioned, people, restored, retro, retrofestival, sixties, striped, summer, summertime, tradition, traditional, transport, triumph herald 1200, uk, vintage car and caravan, vintage caravan, vintage retro festival, white, window, woman.

Alamy example 2
Image taken by the same photographer (incidentally, taken at the same event the previous year). But in portrait, which could work well as a cover or full page image.

If you’re looking to sell your photos for commercial use in brochures etc (the most profitable) bare in mind where you think these might appear and how they might be used by a graphic designer. Provide portrait versions to enable it to be used over a full page and don’t forget to give an option with plenty of space for text so it can be used on a front cover for example.

You’ll as need to make sure your camera has a high enough resolution. To give an idea an A4 cover at 300dpi will need a pixel size of roughly 2550 x 3580.

For more information on selling through Alamy take a look at their website.