Shop and Enjoy

Wind-Blown Sunrise

With the release of my new book (thanks for all the kind comments, by the way), this might be a good time to mention that my photo print store is open – even if I don’t give it much love.

I’m on Society6. They make the whole process easy, and give you lots of good options at a reasonable price.

Photography isn’t about making money to me. It’s about making work and sharing work. I get requests often enough that my store becomes an easy way for people to buy my pictures.

Shop, and enjoy. And if there’s anything that’s not up there that you wish was, please let me know.

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.

Marketing, Not Photography

Setting Up A Photography Store

Brooks Jensen on LensWork Podcast ep. 948:

The minute people starting thinking about money—about selling their art work and marketing, etc.—the art of photography was diminished.

Jensen says his wife enjoys gardening, but doesn’t expect to be paid for planting something in her own yard.

So maybe the switch between “I make photos for art/fun/etc.” to “I make photos for money” is what makes so many people take the same kinds of photos.

It’s marketing, not photography.