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How To Make Money With Photographs

Updated on November 22, 2011

This is only my opinion on different methods in which you can try to make money using your photographs.

Law and Regulations

Before I begin to explain the different methods, I will warn you it is not as easy as it seems, you may be the next David Bailey but there are a few Restrictions you may like to check up on prior to attempting to selling your photographs or other person’s photographs.

Do you own or take the Photograph or Image

· If YES you own the Copy Rights to the Image and can sell it to others.

· If No you need permission to use the photograph or image from the owner before you can use it for any purpose, placing on websites, blogs or attempting to sell it.

· Some photographic webhosting sites like flickr allow 3rd party users to use photographs or images from there site providing the owner of the photograph or image is notified and accredited with the work.

If you use a photograph or image without consent on a website, blog or other online site, the owner or copyright owner can ask you to remove the photograph or image. If you then fail to comply with this request the owner has the rights to approach your webhost and instruct him (not ASKING, INSTRUCTING) to remove the photograph or image.

Do you have the following

· Model Release-If your photograph or image contains individuals and children, some agencies require proof or consent from the individuals or the child’s guardian prior to the photograph or image being allowed to be sold within these agencies.

· Building Release-If your photograph or image contains views of a building (Focus of the image is the building only) belonging to a 3rd party owner then they have to give you permission prior to the photograph or image being made available to be sold, but if the image contains 3rdparty views of the building only as the background then no release is required (Not the Focus point of the image).

· The LAWS change from county to country so you really have to check your own area.

· In the UK, with the War on Terror on every ones minds, photographers where put under constant restrictions by organizations and the police on what could or couldn’t be photographed, Police where using Section 44 of the terror law to STOP AND SEARCH Photographers (me I was stopped and searched 4 times in London). Building owners where telling security to stop people taking photographs because they as owner of the building had copyrights to the building or Health and Safety didn’t allow the use of a camera.

· The police no longer use Section 44

· As far as im aware, there is no copyright ownership to a building in the UK. No Law has ever been passed by any British Government.

· Owners can restrict you taking photographs within their building or on their land as part of their entry conditions to their buildings, but you can take a photograph of the same building if you are on a public footpath or public road. This was highlighted when the National Trust stopped photographers using photographs or images of their building on stock image sites. If you prove the image was taken off their land it could be used.

· As for security using Health and Safety, I usually ask them which part of the health and safety law I have apparently broken. The response is usually the health and safety at work act, well that’s easy I don’t work for them and am on a public footpath. (I am also a qualified Health and Safety Advisor, so I usually ask them the year for the H&S act they mention, that usually works they don’t know.) Never be pressurized by uniforms and words, ask for specific acts or sections of the law.

Where to Start

There are many places on the internet to display and sell your Photographs and Images. Like everything else it depends on the time and effort you are willing to put into this project, to be successful takes time and a lot of research.

Some things that have to be done, you need people to see the photographs and images, so be prepared, below is a small list that will give a quick overview of the tasks ahead.

  • upload to websites
  • make blogs
  • sign up to agencies
  • join social web 2.0 sites
  • make videos
  • write articles
  • join forums
  • bookmarking sites
  • have basic SEO knowledge

this will not make you a millionaire over night, but it is a requirement if you want individuals to see your work.

Websites Site for displaying your photographs, join groups and now getty has joined up with flickr, you have the chance to get you images displayed on getty's site quicker. There has been a lot of noise about this from the Pro's. Getty under paying flickr users for image rights etc.

Imagekind-upload your images direct from flickr and sell as artwork as posters, fine art prints, custom framed prints or greeting cards.

Redbubble- allows you upload your images to sell as artwork as posters, fine art prints, custom framed prints or greeting cards.Redbubble lets you make calendars to sell using your images.Redbubble also lets you make a website of your own to promote your images in a gallery.

Zazzle- allows you to upload your images to place on clothing and mouse mats etc.

Youtube- Now this a must, i will be posting a few of my youtube videos below. Using only your images use a video editor to make the video, add a piece of music and upload to Youtube.

Video editors that can be used.

Windows Movie Maker


Youtube now has its own editor on youtube where you can do this plus add royalty free music they have on site.

Blog Sites

Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs,The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art, photographs, videos, music, and audio is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts.

Some that are popular





Web 2.0 Social Websites

The term "Web 2.0" is commonly associated with web applications that facilitate interactive  on the WWW.  A Web 2.0 site allows its users to interact with each other as contributors to the website's content, in contrast to websites where users are limited to the passive viewing of information that is provided to them. 

These sites are really a must, you can post your blogs via links to your web 2.0 sites and most can be interlinked. So if i post a link in to Twitter it goes to FriendFeed--->linkedin--->digg--->stumbleupon etc

Typical Web 2.0 Websites






Social Bookmarketing

Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to share, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web resources. Unlike file sharing, the resources themselves aren't shared, merely bookmarks that reference them.

Descriptions may be added to these bookmarks in the form of metadata, so that other users may understand the content of the resource without first needing to download it for themselves. 

Some Useful Social Bookmarketing Sites I use most, there are hundreds, do a google search for more

After Effect Video


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    • mike1242 profile image

      mike1242 7 years ago from London

      thankyou Versatigon

    • profile image

      Versatigon 7 years ago

      Useful! Bookmark it.

    • profile image

      aleks good 7 years ago

      Great notes!

    • profile image

      Peter Phun 7 years ago

      Thanks Mike for so generously sharing this with us.