Shopping Season

Shopping Season

This time each year, all the major camera and lens companies put their products on sale, along with the rest of our consumerist-crazy world. You can get some seriously great deals from Thanksgiving to the new year.

Rebates, bundles, sales – if you’ve waited all year, and you’ve been a good boy or girl, now is the time to grab your gear.

Six years ago, it’s exactly what I did. I bought an older-model Canon Rebel T1i with a lens bundle, and it changed my life. Here I am today, a hobbyist photographer, because I jumped on a great deal during the holidays.

Here’s a tip to help you feel better about your purchases: If you shop through Amazon, use their AmazonSmile program to help your shopping dollars give back to a charity or cause you care about (my dollars support our local nature center). Or shop through the affiliate links of an artist you enjoy.

Give back to others, and those in need. And then be good to yourself, if you really mean it.

How to (Maybe) Make Money Selling Photos

Make Money Selling Your Photos

Here’s the deal: money shouldn’t be the main reason you make photos. The reality is, you probably won’t make very much.

But it is possible to make some gas money selling your photos online. Take this old chestnut:

  1. Make photos
  2. Post them online for sale
  3. ???
  4. Profit!

Step three is the tricky one. Here’s what I’ve found in the few short years I’ve had an online store.

For one, don’t expect any sales. Start there. No one will buy your photos.


Okay, accepting that, keep doing what you’re doing: Instagramming, sharing your photos on social media, giving prints away to friends and family, and keep shooting.

Then, when someone asks, “Hey, do you sell your stuff? Can I get a copy of this-or-that photograph?” you say, “Sure do!” And send them a link to your store, with a link to the photo they’re looking to buy.

Boom. There’s your profit. And be grateful for it.

You may get a few sales through searches or people stumbling on your stuff. But that’s what all those question marks in step three are: dumb luck.

It’s different if you attend art shows, or do wedding photography, or shoot on commission. Those all involve hustle, investment, and time. If photography isn’t your main gig, it’s more difficult to make a buck.

I have a few sales here and there every month or two, and then it’s only a few bucks – enough for a coffee. If that’s as ambitious as you get, you probably won’t be disappointed.

Me? I put almost every dollar I make from photography—online sales, wedding gigs, etc—right back into my hobby. Because I’m not doing this stuff for money, I’m doing it for fun.

Make the photos you want to make. Post them online for people to buy. And when people do want to buy your photos, make it easy for them. One, two, three.

I can’t think of a better, less sleazy, way to do it than that.