With photographers mushrooming all over the world, it was inevitable that web maestros would not come up with websites to sell photography, making artwork more accessible. This goes for both who want to purchase photos & those who want to sell. Sure, stock photography websitesare a great way to start but the results might not always be mind blowing. There are enough examples but these 10 websites to sell photography on are meant for beginners who are stepping out to do business. With services like these you can boost your sales significantly to focus on bigger clients for expansion. We’ve prepared a list of websites that are drawing a huge amount of visitors every month.
So here’s the list of 10 awesome websites to sell photography on:
1. Photo Merchant (www.photomerchant.net):
Photo Merchant is a company based in Sydney, Australia which gives photographers some great tools to manage their photography business without too many hassles. Founded in 2007, the company has partnered Burrell Colour Imaging (USA) & Nulab Professional Imaging (AUS) for customers who want to purchase photos with high quality prints straight off from the website. This website has garnered attention from all over as compared to other similar startups. The diversified range of user friendly features it offers make it a top champ. Registered users get the option of choosing beautiful, customizable website templates along with freedom to be able to create retail packages for prints & digital downloads. Manual & auto order fulfillment (from the shopping cart direct to the customer), order management tools for easy auto email notifications for customers etc. are just some of the features. The user interface is impressive and sparkly enough to drive you to try it. The pricing however is a tad bit higher as compared to the other popular hosts like SmugMug, ZenFolio, PhotoShelter. We suggest you follow this one closely, it’s sure to become a major market player in the coming years.
2. Zenfolio (www.zenfolio.com)
Zenfolio is one of our personal favorites and we will not budge from admitting our fan-ship for them. It undoubtedly would top our list of being the technically the strongest & most sexy looking portfolio website we’ve come across till date. It might be hard to beat this one easily! This one comes loaded with tons of features like an almost perfect upload system (integration with 3rd party apps, large batch option), selling images as digital downloads, varied pricing structures & plugins for image applications (Lightroom, Aperture). Integration with social media networks & creation of slideshows make it one of the easier websites to sell photography on. This one quite frankly is made to impress your customers with its flashy looks & easy navigation. The site unfortunately lags a little too: complicated pricing structures, force cropping of photos, teeny bit high commission structures & minor overseas shipping issues. Still beats most of them!
3. SmugMug (www.smugmug.com)
Smugmug is perhaps one of the better options for photographers looking to display and sell photographs rather than Fine Art photographers, as from a technical viewpoint, the website is very well maintained. Conceived in 2002 when most internet companies were facing a downfall, the Smugmug team made sure to let photographers around the world be seen for their work & appreciated, alongside earning handsome bucks. Because of the heavy traffic looking to purchase photos that the website displays, it becomes easier for the photographers to showcase their work and be sold more often than otherwise. The support is stellar, however, professional photographers might complain of the more “childish” appearance of the website. The good part is that on the business front, they let you create coupons and also make sales by prints & products AND digital downloads. Flash based galleries & advanced 3rd party apps like Lightroom make life easier. This is definitely one of the better websites to sell photography online.
4. Fine Art America (www.fineartamerica.com)
Fine Art America. There’s little to be read and more to be seen on this one! If professional photographers can put all their weight on one stick, this would be it. Fine Art America is not really the right medium for freelance photographers or for selling stock photographs, it IS however what a pro would look at and instantly buy. Powered with a minimal user interface and features that makes its competition look vintage, this website claims to be the home to profiles of some of the greatest living artists & photographers. With more than 116,000 members & counting, it gives its members enough space to upload their works, get them sold (even in museum quality prints- canvas, art, framed, posteretc.) & setup their own website, free of FAA branding (of course, nothing beats your own domain name!). However, there are some let downs. The website genuinely needs to do something about their uploading system as it is quite poor & not meant for those who want to upload a lot of photographs in one lot. There are no options for sub-categorizing the artists/photographers’ galleries, no plugin support & worst of all, NO digital downloads. Websites to sell photography in our honest opinion cannot be this laid back. So if you concentrate on selling your photography as digital files, try somewhere else. For those willing to boast the confidence of their work in forms of prints etc., this is where you begin. P.S: All those 100,000+ members on the website can be connected with in the “Community” section which has options for chatting, commenting on forums, jobs, graphs, events, contests…the list is long! Websites to sell photography like this one are not easy to come by.
5. Imagekind (www.imagekind.com)
Imagekind is a beautiful looking website that lets you create a “personal store/page” to sell your artwork more easily. The online store helps art & photography art buyers choose their favorite pieces and get them ordered, printed & shipped to them directly. It only falls back a little behind Smugmug, just a little and definitely gives a website like FineArtAmerica a run for their money. The project was founded in 2006 and has since then become one of the fastest growing “art offering” site with over 750,000 plus high quality fine art images for sale. We love the fact that they offer a 100% money back guarantee that works & a variety of options for print where the sellers even get up to 15% commission from the purchase of a frame by a buyer. Discounts are being offered everyday on a limited no. of purchases which “incentivizes” all the more a bigger community of art buyers. What’s more….they’ve even got biggies like Van Gogh & O’ Keefe. Unfortunately, Imagekind also imposes their own logo even when a buyer is checking out from your store front. Since there is no designated way for customers to return to the gallery, it can lead them off to other artists. Bad sign! Also, the support is not something we would bank on & the uploading system is a lengthy process. All in all, among the rather decent websites to sell photography on.
6. Photoshelter (www.photoshelter.com)
Photoshelter in our honest opinion is undoubtedly the top contender for the spot of websites to sell photography on. The reason being we’re WP fans & Photoshelter has partnered with Graph Paper Press to make WordPress based templates for photographers that can easily be integrated with their stores. For all photographers in the professional freelance business, this one is a delight to be associated with. It comes bundled with tons of features not available on one single website otherwise in one go and the Photoshelter branding never interferes in your workspace. With the help of SEO tools you can make sure that your website gets enough eyeballs to sell your photographs & even lets one upload in PSD & RAW formats. When it comes to selling & distribution, Photoshelter is a goldmine. Galleries can be kept private or public, giving you the authority to choose who visits what. The commission structures are insanely low and rewards photographers for their hard work. You even have the option of offering discount coupons to lure more clients. We are however not fan of the cropping it does to the images, the lack of information in shopping carts & a high priced Pro account ($350 for a year + commission). Enough to get freelancers rolling in the business; fine art photographers might want to look elsewhere. Great stage for wedding, journalism & portrait photographers who are sell photography online.
7. Photobox (www.photoboxgallery.com)
Photobox works best for Art, Landscape, Sports & Wedding photographers. You can create a minimal looking Pro Gallery where you can showcase & sell photos online (unlimited storage) at a small commission fee of 10%. The website gives you the option of creating beautiful looking photo-books & getting them delivered right at your doorstep, no matter what the occasion is. What began as just a small conversation between a husband & wife has sprawled into a great place for grabbing sassy arts for your wall, gifting options (cards, stationery, home gifts, clothing & accessories etc.) The deliveries however are slow in pace & can be quite nerve wrecking in case of special occasions. Photographers however can avail the benefits as the website has garnered enough loyal customers till date & continues to grow. We particularly like option of gifting section by price range, something unique for it’s competitors to feed on. Publishing & iploading options are quite user friendly & simple. Not the best, but not bad either in terms of good websites to sell photography.
8. Shutterfly (www.shutterfly.com)
Shutterfly, ever since merging with KodakGallery, people say has dropped a lot in its service. We’ve read many reviews bashing the website for bad customer service & delay in deliveries. However, the truth is far from it. We’ve used their services and found them to be pretty much spot on. All of our deliveries were on time, the quality was good & worth re-ordering. It gives its customers a comprehensive list of features on the website & the one we adore the most is the photo sharing feature which allows you to share the images with friends & family in multiple ways. For people who are not even professional photographers per se will find this website fairly simple to sell their photographs on. You can practically set up your Pro Gallery online & set pricing within minutes. The price ranges from 99$ – 199$ a year. It has an option of selling via digital downloads also, basically increasing the chances of getting sold. The customers are always being offered great discounts which means more customers logging on to avail them, thereby increasing your sales. Not the best place for professional photographers or fine art photographers; the numbers could be disappointing. If you’ve been hunting for websites to sell photography, you should not ignore this one.
9. Instaproofs (www.instaproofs.com)
Our photographer friends have revealed their love for this website more than a dozen times. After a long watchful inspection & following, we realize the secret of all the love they get. To begin with, the site is absolutely free to use- no setup fees & no monthly fee. So the “no harm in trying us” scheme works here. You can setup events here & use them for the next nine months before getting deactivated for practically nothing. Using the photo store front is also relatively simpler than its competitors. As a photographer, you can send automatic email campaigns to prospective clients, do social bookmarking & sell to specific clients. Clients can even refer & send your images in an email if they like what they see. Custom URLs, customizable favicons, personalized notes for customers & independent logo/watermark are just some features that make the lives of photographers easy. Expect amazing customer services & security of transactions, none of our friends ever complain. With tons of other features including some cooler ones like Lightroom & Aperture export plugins, FTP uploading & of course, drag n’ drop uploads, Instaproofs has climbed its way into the photographers’ hearts. Selling images never gets this easy. Of all the websites to sell photography, you should register yourself here for sure.
10. Zazzle (www.zazzle.com)
Zazzle.com like other websites to sell photography on is quite commercial. This only means, more sales for your work. You will find a lot of buyers here who would purchase photos here which might suit their current needs. Its a meeting spot for artists, photographers & their audience which would love to get their stuff printed on their shirts, mugs, photo books, canvases & what not. An excellent platform for getting noticed & selling photography online, Zazzle.com promises to get your custom gifts made within 24 hours generally. Currently, this service is available across ten countries, which makes it’s audience reach all the more larger, giving you as a photographer to sell more photographs online. Unfortunately, since there are so many products & artists coming along, your work could get lost in the middle somewhere without any warning. If you’re not afraid of your competition, this is definitely amongst the best websites to sell photography on. Try it out!
These are just 10 websites to sell photography on, but there’s a new service rising up almost everyday. The love for photography & the use of images as primary content is driving many enthusiasts to take up photography professionally. We will be back with another list of websites to sell photography; the one’s we want to include, but don’t want our readers to involved with just yet. To begin with these are enough. Happy Selling folks!