Can I sell my digital pictures?

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starchild

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I've thought of this before, though I've also felt I needed a better camera for this.

I have several years of pictures, pets, scenery, designs I've made in Photoshop (from photos) etc. I've been mainly doing this for myself and learning, and the idea of maybe printing my own notecards to sell.

I've been noticing all the pictures (everywhere around me) and thinking they aren't any better, some not even as good as mine. I got 3 calendars for Christmas. One Astrology with artwork (not too bright and clear) and 2 with kittens (different ones). Looking at the one I just put up, it looks like the pictures are slightly distorted, Like they were wider than the square (for each page) and kind of pushed in on the sides. They also look like they were printed from negatives (enlarged) print film. Same with the other calendar, they aren't anything special and don't seem big and clear (like a very expensive camera took them) I realize they are probably cheaply mass printed. They cost $12.95 each to buy.

I've thought of this before, but never knew where or how to start. All the photos/art used for everything we see (greeting cards, calendars, CD labels, magazines, etc.) must come from somewhere. Taking the pictures must be only part of it. Finding a way to sell them - submit them? I know some will say "stock photo". I've seen CDs of pictures advertised for sale, like $50- something each, for 100 digital photos of flowers or something. They will say what resolution they are and can be enlarged up to, etc.

Same with clip art CDs. Of course I don't know who buys them, seems like there's so much free on the net and if it were me I'd take my own picture.

I've been looking for something I can do from home, with computer (camera)- I know, millions of others are, too. I'm thinking it's more a matter of getting it together and knowing how and where to start.

I've bought books (and ebooks) that don't seem to fit what I want. I bought an ebook about "making money with your digital camera" which was useless (I felt) (I told them this and since they offered a money back guarantee they refunded it). It was mainly making and selling screensavers (I was making anyway, but not sure if anyone really buys them or enough) and had ideas like going to people's homes and taking digital pictures of things they want to put on ebay. I don't have a car, live in a rural area and don't think anyone would pay to have someone take a picture of what they want to sell on ebay. Maybe in a big city (LOL)

Seems like there's something I could do in this field (photos, computer) and I'm always learning and practicing. Learning MS Publisher now, and making flyers and business cards (and address labels) for family and friends.

But, seeing the calendars I got for Christmas, I realize my pictures are as good, or maybe better than those, so why aren't I selling them to people making calendars? Though I imagine ones that are cheaply printed don't pay too much. I could even set up my own calendar and have it printed at some point. (I've seen Cafe Press that does this from your designs/pictures, but not sure it's worth it. Cafe Press makes almost all the profit from it and there's so much on there now, it would really have to be pushed and marketed.

Just looking for leads, how and where to start.... Is anyone doing anything with photos/computer except a hobby and fun? (I agree it is fun and doing what I LOVE and making some money at it seems like a dream come true (LOL)

Thanks,
Carrie
 
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I prepare many formal reports and investigative analysis, in doing so I need and use many images. While many images that would suit are to be found on the web, unless I can get the authors permission to use them, I am unable to do so for reasons of copyright.

Therefore I take my own images at every opportunity and maintain my own library of them.

While mine are somewhat specific and technical in nature, if there was a "royalty free" way of purchasing them I would likely have done so. One organisation was happy to let me use their images but wanted a $ amount per use or per copy made of the reulting document, that process would have required a huge in-house resource just to keep track of the royalties therefore it was abandoned and they received no sales.

Some website owners have given me carte blanche permission in writing to use any of their image content, most simply never reply.

The market for images will often be specific as to genre, but have you actually approached calendar publishing firms with a sample of your work, as they would have a wide range of interest?

With the advent and proliferation of digital cameras and amatuer photographers, the ease of digital photo transmission etc, I would not think images will have a particularly high value these days however.
 
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Photography is a very tough nut to crack. There are so many people out there who make great pictures, but so few make money in the process. I know of several excellent photographers who have set up website to sell their prints----for the most part, they get lukewarm results. If you could find some kind of niche for your work, then perhaps you might be able to profit. Unfortunately, most niches are overflowing.

By the way, you might take your query over to www.fredmiranda.com-----there are a bunch of pros over there and I believe there is a forum where they discuss the business end of their profession.

Anyhow, keep shooting.
 

starchild

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Thanks for the feedback.

This is sort of what I thought too, everyone has digital cameras now, and so much around. I thought there might be something I'm missing. No, I haven't asked any calendar companies, so far I'm mainly beeing doing it for myself, and as a means of learning (mainly PhotoShop and Publisher right now). I take pictures and "do things" with them. Designs, etc. too.

Kiwi, what kind of pictures do you need? Probably don't know till you come to needing them. You could have any of mine if you wanted them. Someone on another board once was looking for a design for a (homemade) CD cover and I put designs up on a webpage. He liked one but then ended up using someone else's- a simple, primative kind of "modern art" thing (LOL)
http://www.angelfire.com/art3/starchild_dreams/designs.html

I don't have hardly any of them on webpages though, mainly because I don't get around to it.

this is one that looks (to me) like 1950- I should have taken the "Tacoma" streak off the truck (LOL) My grandaughter on top.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y212/starchild_dreams/AJ_truck_sepia6.jpg

The interstate in the side mirror

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y212/starchild_dreams/rear_view.jpg

I'm actually interested in doing my own printing, desktop publishing? Like printing notecards. Maybe I could make my own calendars to sell if the printing wasn't too much. I probably couldn't do that myself.

I have made address labels, bookmarks, business cards and flyers for people. I made Christmas cards for someone recently, using a painting someone did of their home.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y212/starchild_dreams/jenhouse_card.jpg

I just keep practicing and trying to learn more, and get materials a little at a time (something per month). I have an idea it's just a matter of getting it all together in some way.

Thanks for the link.

~ Carrie
 
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You definately have talent----I dont know where you live but many people in NYC sell their photos at local street fairs, outdoor art shows etc. In fact, if you go in front of the Metropolitan Museum there are a ton of people selling their own work.
 

Gabriel

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Hi Starchild.
I do all my own photographing of the leatherwork I make and sell on ebay. This I have all printed out into hard copies and set in albums. This is my bread and butter work.
That got me interested in photographing other things, and I have created photo art of things for friends. Even portraits of family members. They like framing it for their homes.
They're like mini-projects that I do, and keep a good portfolio in both the PC, backed up on disc, etc. of my work. I especially am learning to keep the original of all the digitals, as I lost some very needed ones, and suffered for my ignorance.
I print out much of my other work...like if I do a drawing, I photograph it, and print it out maybe 4 prints of various sizes, and embellish the prints even further. Like maybe adding color to the pencil drawings with color pencils, or acrlics, or pastels. This has expediated my learning.
Another project is a comic book that I am creating with photographing my own pencil drawings, tweaking them in PS7, printing them out, framing them in a scrapbook, calligraphing the dialogue in with ink and quills.......
Another project is the creation of a cookbook with the recipes to hand down through my family
Also I belong to a digital photography group on MSN....well actually two of them. Many of the folks there are photographers from the old school that have gotten digital cameras, and the other tools, and pass on information very well. They have encouraged me to not only learn some very basic stuff, but also play
And LJ is very accurate about people selling their own work. I see it everywhere too. And people will share their marketing skills to do this all................................You never know when a project can be profitable
 

Gabriel

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Oh some other things that came to mind Starchild......I use what ever camera and photoediting stuff I have to the max that I can push both it and myself.
That way I don't have say 4 large programs to learn and be overwhelmed. Right now I have PS7, and Paintpro...that is all I can handle learning. My camera is a puny Kodak DC3200, and I've had it for almost 4 years now....
...I am to the top with what I can do with it, but it was well worth it for me to learn with an obviously inferior camera, as I had to do a lot to compensate for what it could not do pixel-wise....
..Two of my photos have won photo contests that were voted on by peers in the photo-groups, and our identities were not given, so it was not by popularity, but for the photos themselves...
I was ecstatic that mine would be picked...one took third place, and one took second place.......
I tell you this because there is so much that can be done, and I never touched a camera before my little DC3200.
I am certain that people can add a little cash to their pocket by using the awesome technology, and a little imagination......I hope your endeavor pans out for you:)
 

starchild

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Thanks, everyone.

If I can get a better camera and printer (which is a possibilty) maybe printing and framing pictures, or even printing them (also my idea about notecards) and selling them on ebay would be something. I also have a good screensaver program, which my camera works pretty good with, but I only have a small (13" I think- the old style) monitor. I started out learning about screensavers with the idea of making them to sell. But, after looking on ebay and seeing all there are, with so many SSs on a cd for low prices, I got discouraged. And, do people buy them all that much? I think so many are free (though they usually come with ads and spyware).
I live in Northern Vermont- out in the country (and don't have a car of my own) so, no selling on street corners, BUT maybe tourist places. This is big tourist country, on the way to Canada, and skiing in winter.
Thus, good camera and printer- maybe some big (framed or matted) pictures of the area. Same with the idea of notecards, people looking for something to bring home to remember their visit. City people buying on ebay. I could set up thumbnails on webpages, low resolution, and people could pay (if they want) and get either a larger picture via email, or CD or a print of it? (I've seen websites like this) If and when I get the better camera and printer.

I have dabbled in printing notecards, but either my printer isn't good enough or I haven't found the best paper for this yet. Seems like the pictures print too dark and dull. I had some paper (had to order it and pay shipping) that was semi gloss on one side, which was better.
Having to learn and practice the setting up (using MS Publisher now) and cutting them even, etc.
I've always loved art and photography (but limited by finances, the family needs came first) and computers- digital cameras- art programs now seem to have all this combined.

I have limited areas (usually) to take pictures, where I can't drive around too much. So, I make the best of what I have, different seasons, lighting, angles, etc. Like some of the designs on that webpage are made from one daisy from my back yard.

In a way I think this has been good because I've learned from it. Still so much I don't know, but lots of help online. Computer people are the best.

Oh, as to comic book I, I have a comic book artist living here (daughters' boyfriend) he's very talented (I think) but didn't get into doing this for a living (much competition and we live out in the country, and he now works at a "real" job to support my daughter and their child). It's too bad so many love doing something, but think they have to do something they don't like, just to earn a living. And fit what they LOVE to do, into spare time.

I made this website about 3 or more years ago, when I was still learning. To put some of his art up then. He sold one (Rusted Angel) for $200 on ebay.

http://www.angelfire.com/vt/flakes/page2.html

More of mine (not too recent) at the time I was learning PhotoShop (which I still am (LOL) and had the idea of affirmations and sayings to put on the desktop- and someday print as cards.

http://www.angelfire.com/magic/under_the_rainbow/affirm01.html

According to the counter 222 people have come there. I don't advertise it, sometimes give it out on boards.

I've got inspired again and have some new ideas since writing on this thread.

~ Carrie
 

Gabriel

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Yes, Those are very well done...both the cartoon drawings, and the photos with sayings. i would definitely not give up if I were you. And the young mans drawings....I do hope that he can keep doing this. Art for me has been a great source of growth. I think I would shrivel up and dry out if I couldn't at least dabble, so I suppose it is that way for many. He seems to have a passion for his art......
 
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