Instagram is the go-to platform for many photographers, both amateur and professional. Photographers use Instagram to establish a name for themselves, gain recognition, build their community and connect with other creatives.
Instagram is also an excellent platform for selling photographs and is a lucrative medium. In fact, according to this article in Pexels, photographers can make up to $25 per photo sold on Instagram.
But how do you sell photos on Instagram? In this article, I’ll share some tips on how you can earn money by using the platform.
Reasons Why It’s a Great Time to Start Selling Your Photos on Instagram
Here are the top reasons to sell your photos on Instagram 2022:
The Instagram Community is Full of Potential Customers
With millions of people using the app every day, it’s a great place to share photos with friends and family. But it’s also a fantastic tool for selling your work directly to potential customers.
You might not think of Instagram as a sales platform, but it’s full of potential customers. More than 400 million users are active on Instagram each day, and many of them are willing to buy your photos if you market them correctly.
You Don’t Need Middlemen to Sell Your Photos
But many photographers who use Instagram for business are opting to sell directly to their followers, cutting out the middleman and eliminating or significantly reducing fees.
This is no small thing for professional photographers. The growth in platforms like Instagram has coincided with a massive decline in revenue from traditional sources like stock photography. So in the process of growing their audiences, photographers are finding ways to make money off those followers — and they’re doing it while building a personal connection with their customers.
It’s Easy To Market Your Photos Once They’re On Sale
As you grow your Instagram feed, you’ll start to build a following. People will become familiar with your work and the style of your photography. This is great because it means that your audience are potential buyers of your images. You’re already building a relationship with them as they follow your work.
Marketing your photos on Instagram is easy. Once you have a few images up for sale, you can post them to Instagram, market them via hashtags and stories, and even create true highlights for the best photos on purchase from your account.
You Don’t Have To Rely Entirely On Organic Traffic Anymore (Thanks, Algorithm)
The company has just launched a new tool that will allow you to tag your photos with a product name and link directly to the product page.
This means that Instagram users will be able to tap on a photo, click on the checkout button, and buy the item from the brand. It’s just like how some posts have a link in the bio that takes you directly to the product page (but better).
Participating brands include Zara, H&M, Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Uniqlo, and Warby Parker.
You don’t have to rely entirely on organic traffic anymore (thanks, algorithm), but you need to let your followers know what they can buy by tagging it.
Photos that Sell
Here are tips for taking photos that sell on Instagram
Clarity and Composition
The most critical factor in taking a photo that sells is the clarity of the image. It’s not enough to take a picture of your product; you need to take a good shot. And by good, I mean clear and properly composed.
As you probably know, Instagram has filters that can enhance or change the look of your photos. However, we suggest against using them for your product photos so that your potential customers see what they are buying.
So what makes a good photo? A few simple tips:
- Step back from your product and use the zoom feature of your camera instead. This will ensure that your photo is clear and crisp.
- Focus on the color and composition of your photo, using props and lighting to create contrast.
- Take several pictures from different angles to choose from later.
Do Your Research
Do some research before you start shooting by scrolling through popular accounts in your niche and seeing what kinds of images get the most likes and comments. For example, your research might reveal that women like soft images while men prefer bolder ones, or it could show that warm colors are more popular than cool ones.
Keep Your Camera in Your Pocket
Many people think they need fancy camera equipment to take great photos on Instagram — but that’s not true! In fact, many successful Insta photographers prefer to use their smartphone cameras because they’re so easy to carry around. So keep your phone in your pocket, so it’s always ready to go when you see a fantastic shot.
Selling Photos on Instagram
Follow the tips below to ensure you make maximum returns by selling photos on Instagram.
Find your niche
Selling photos on Instagram is an art. It requires a unique eye and a great deal of creativity. To be successful, you need to find your niche or area of expertise and stick to it.
For example, if you love taking pictures of animals, you should focus on building a community around animal photography. If you have a passion for travel photography, build a following around that niche and share your images from different countries worldwide.
It’s essential to pick only one niche because it will make you stand out among the millions of other Instagram users sharing their photos every day.
Find what makes your photo style unique, and remember that this will take time and practice.
Know your Gear
If you’re new to photography and want to sell your Instagram photos, it’s important to know your gear. Of course, you don’t need the most expensive or complicated camera equipment out there. Still, you need to be familiar with what your camera is capable of and your editing software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.
If you don’t know how to use a camera, I recommend reading through the user manual or taking a class or workshop at a local photography school. If you’re not in a position to take on more expenses right now, check out YouTube for free tutorials on how to use your camera.
Suppose you’ve been photographing for a while and are confident in your abilities. In that case, it’s still important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in photography and social media platforms like Instagram. Something that may have worked for you five years ago may not work today. We must keep reinventing ourselves and our style over time.
Build an Instagram Following
As with any social media platform, the key to making sales is to grow your following. To do this, you’ll want to post high-quality content regularly and engage in conversation with people who comment on your photos.
Instagram’s algorithm favors accounts with many followers, so the more people who follow you, the more of your followers will see your posts.
Here are some tips for building an Instagram following:
Create a profile that reflects your brand and adds personality to your business. Include a link to your website in your bio.
Include hashtags: Instagram allows up to 30 per post – with each of your posts so that people who don’t follow you can find you by searching for a hashtag or topic they’re interested in. In addition, you can use tools like Iconosquare (formerly known as Statigram) or Websta to research the most popular hashtags related to photography, travel, and other topics relevant to your brand.
Include calls-to-action (CTAs): In posts that encourage people to tag friends, leave comments or visit links in your bio. This helps increase engagement, which is vital for growing an audience on Instagram.
Create A Website/Portfolio And Start Selling Prints
Once you’ve built a following and are ready to start making money selling photos on Instagram, there are three main methods:
Create a website/portfolio: You can do this by linking out to your own site or portfolio in your Instagram bio, creating a profile on an external website that allows Instagram integration, or connecting with other selling platforms such as Etsy or Shopify.
Offer prints: You can use the website mentioned above/portfolio to offer prints of your work, perhaps the most popular method of monetizing Instagram photography. There are plenty of online print shops that make this easy, such as Society6 and Fine Art America.
Sell licenses: If you’re not keen on making physical copies of your images, you can also sell licenses for others to use for their purposes.
Places to Sell your Instagram Photo
People who take photos with their Instagram accounts can sell their pictures online. There are many marketplaces to sell your photos online.
But they don’t pay much!
There is no doubt you have to invest a lot of time to select the right image, edit, and upload it. But it’s worth it if you’re using your phone anyway.
You can earn money by selling your images on the following websites:
Shutterstock is one of the largest stock photo websites in the world. It has a dedicated contributor app that allows you to sell your photos directly from your Instagram account. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
You can download this app, create an account, and upload your photos right away. The app will allow you to upload up to 10 images every week. Once approved, these images will be available for sale on Shutterstock.
The best thing about Shutterstock is that it offers a commission of 20% on all sales. And if you are a regular contributor, the commission increases to 30% and 40%.
Foap lets you upload your images as a set (minimum five, maximum 50) and then allows buyers to license individual pictures or the entire collection. You retain the copyright, and licensing fees are split 50/50 between you and Foap.
You can also sell your images through Foaps Marketplace, which allows brands like Visa, Mastercard, Volvo, and Absolut Vodka to browse the collection of pictures and buy them directly. Again, the fee split is 70/30 in your favor.
123RF is a popular stock photography website that offers various ways to earn money from your images. You can sell photos, vector graphics, video clips, and even illustrations through the site. The pricing structure is based on the type of license purchased by the buyer.
The standard royalty rate for photos is 33%, which means that you’ll get paid $0.33 for each download of one of your images under the standard license. However, if you are the exclusive author of an image, you can earn a 60% royalty rate.
Selling your Instagram photos through Getty Images is a great way to make money from your Instagram account. The way it works is that you sign up for an account with Getty Images, which will then review the content of your Instagram. Then, if they like what they see, they will invite you to become an Instagram partner and join ‘Instagram Collection.’
Once you have been accepted as a partner, you will be able to mark any photos on your Instagram feed that you want to sell. Getty Images will then promote these photos on their website and social media platforms to help them gain more exposure. If a customer likes one of your photos that Getty Images have promoted, they can purchase it through Getty Images.
You will receive a 25% commission for each photo sold, although this can vary depending on the type of license purchased by the customer.
Twenty20 is a community of photographers who have been selling their images on their platform since 2012. The company boasts over 12 million images, and they are currently accepting new contributors.
When you sign up to become a contributor, you get access to their community and forums where you can interact with other photographers and curators.
Twenty20 works on an invite-only basis and only accepts the best work. So just submit your portfolio for consideration, and if accepted, set your prices for the images you upload. Twenty20 takes 20% of each sale, while the photographer keeps 80%.
Their pricing structure is a little different than most as they offer three options:
- The Single Image License: This allows a buyer to use an image once in any project or product
- The Multiple Image License allows a buyer to use an image multiple times across multiple products or projects.
- The Extended License: Gives buyers all the rights of the Single and Multiple Image Licenses plus some additional usage rights for things like web templates or video production.
Make Money Selling your Instagram Photos!
Instagram is a powerful tool for photographers to build their audience and market their work. You might be surprised to learn that many successful photographers regularly sell their work on Instagram.
Their strategies vary, but most of them use similar tactics to engage their followers and offer them the opportunity to purchase their work. This article looks at some of the best practices when it comes to selling your photography on Instagram.