How to Sell Pictures and Artwork Online in 2023 – | Transform your financial management with Ottilie Blog Details Blog

How to Sell Pictures and Artwork Online in 2023

online   Usually, galleries and art shops are where photographers and artists sell their work. Even though these ways of selling are still doing well, if you are an artist or photographer, you might want to think about selling your work online. After all, it's never been easier to cut out the middlemen. Plus, selling your art online will let you reach people all over the world, and you'll be in charge of what you sell and how much you charge. If you're an artist first and a businessperson second, this might seem scary. But now, selling art through eCommerce stores and social media is a good way for independent artists to get their work in front of people who like it. If you don't know how to sell photos or art online, this article will simplify the process and tell you exactly what you need to do to start marketing and selling your photos and art online.  

How to Sell Photos Online: Make a Great Website


1. You can sell stock photography on your own website

  Source:   A nice-looking website that shows off your work is the same as gallery walls and windows that show off your art in the best way. Using an eCommerce platform like Shopify is the best way to set up a website to sell your art online. A solution like this lets you set up your online store with just a few clicks, so you don't have to spend too much time on the technical side of things and can get right to selling your art. Shopify has a lot of easy-to-use website themes that you can use to make a beautiful online storefront. (We suggest using a Shopify theme with a white background, like a gallery wall, so that your art can speak for itself.) These templates are very easy to change, so you can make changes to your site even if you don't know how to code. Shopify costs as little as $29 per month, and you can also use it for free for 14 days. The best thing about Shopify is that it has everything you need to sell and promote your art in one place. Check out our Shopify Review to learn more about Shopify and how it can help you build and run a better online business.  

2. Using social media to sell photos

  Source: 500px   You can also sell your art on your social media profiles or through your chosen eCommerce platform on social networks. If you use Shopify to run your online store, you can easily link it to your Facebook Shop or Instagram Shop with just a few clicks. This makes it really easy to sell on social media while still keeping it linked to your main online store.  

3. Selling Photos on Third-Party Websites

    People need to know who you are if you want to sell photos online. Even though a lot of people do well with their own websites, the first few weeks or months can be slow. Putting a few of your photos on stock photography sites and linking back to your own website is a good way to get people interested in your photos. You can help people remember your brand by adding a few free photos to free stock photo sites and a few good photos to paid stock photo sites. A website with stock photos that link back to your main site is also great for SEO. Most of the time, adding your own links from relevant sites helps Google figure out how important your new site is. So this is a good way to go in the beginning. Once your brand is better known, you can decide to take your photos off of third-party sites if you think they would do better on your own domain.  

How to Sell Photos and Art Online: Selling Originals versus Reproductions

  Whether you are a painter, a photographer, or some other kind of artist, you may have strong feelings about selling originals, copies, or limited-edition prints of your work. So, here are a few things you should think about when deciding which of your art pieces you want to sell online:  
  • Do you want to sell originals, prints, or both? Depending on what you decide, you'll have to set the prices. 
  • Do you want to sell work that is framed or not framed? 
  • Will you accept commissions? 
  • Will you print your art on things like T-shirts, phone cases, cushion covers, cards, tote bags, placemats, etc.? 
  • Do you want your work to be sold by other websites? 
  • Will you work with other artists? 
  • Will you sell digital-only versions of your work too?
  You can, of course, change things and sell a variety of different things as time goes on, but it's smart to have a plan for what your main collection will be so customers know what to expect from you.  


  Source:   If you are an artist, photographer, or creator in general, you might be thinking a lot about copyright protection, trademark infringement, patents, and intellectual property in general. After all, it takes time and effort to make something, and if you post it online, it's easy for someone else to take it and use it without your permission. So what can you do to protect yourself? Warning: Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and can't give you legal advice on this or any other topic. Do your own research and ask a qualified professional for advice about this. Check out the website for the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) to learn more. First of all, it's important to know how copyrights, trademarks, and patents are different:  
  • Copyrights: Protect things like writing, art, music, movies, and photos that are works of art. 
  • Trademarks: Names and logos of brands need to be protected. 
  • Patents: Ideas like inventions and innovations should be kept safe.
  If you are an artist or photographer, copyright will probably protect your work. When you make something, copyright is usually applied automatically. However, this may depend on the current laws and/or the laws in your area. This means that you don't have to register your work formally for your copyright to protect it. But that doesn't mean it's completely safe if someone steals it or uses it in a way you don't agree with. Even though many creators own the copyright to their work, it is often stolen, and even if they go to court, they can't get any kind of justice. This is important to know because, even though your work is protected by copyright without you having to officially register it, that doesn't mean it won't be stolen or that you can't sue someone for using it without your permission. You can officially register your work to show that you own the rights to it, but this takes time and money. The same is true for patents and trademarks. Formal registration for copyright, trademark, or patent is not right for every business, but it may be right for some businesses at certain times. If you want formal legal protection, your best bet is to talk to a lawyer who specializes in the type of protection you want. This will help you figure out how much it will cost and when the best time is to register it for your business. We're not experts, but we think that copyrighting, trademarking, and patenting are usually not worth it because they usually only work in the country where you file them, they're expensive, and when you're just starting out, you're still building your brand and don't have much to protect. Your best bet is to focus on your business's brand and find ways to set your product apart from knockoffs, whether it's through quality, price, options, availability, etc., so that people buy from your brand to get the real thing and stay away from fakes. Copyrights, trademarks, and patents are complicated, and in an ideal world, no creator, brand, or business would have their work stolen or used by others without their knowledge and permission. However, that's not the case, as harsh as that may sound. Build a strong brand so people want the real thing and work with a legal team if someone steals your idea (if you have the time and money). Again, we are not experts in this field, so you should do your own research and talk to qualified lawyers in your area for the most up-to-date information. Tip: You can protect your images by putting a watermark on them, and you can show images on your storefront with fewer pixels to stop people from stealing them (but not so many that the quality of the images is completely lost).  

Showing Your Artwork and Photography Products

  Source:   Your customers need to get a good idea of how your work will look in person. This is the only way for them to be able to see it clearly in their homes or offices. This means that you need to upload high-quality pictures of your art or photography. Besides that, you should also include the following:  
  • The dimensions of your artwork or photography piece 
  • Whether it’s an original or a print (and if it’s a print, whether it’s a limited edition) 
  • The material of your work 
  • The printing process you use 
  • Print sizes 
  • The price 
  • The shipping costs 
  • Best-sellers or Featured collections 
  • Any special offers to upsell your customers (such as buy 2 get 1 free, get 20% when purchasing a print and a frame, etc.)
  If you want to sell a lot of your work, you might want to divide it into different collections. For example, if you're a photographer, you could put your photos into collections like nature photos, people photos, travel photos, or anything else that makes sense for your business. You can easily put your products into different collections on Shopify. If you sell lots, this makes it easy for customers to find what they want. There are much-augmented reality (AR) apps that you can download from the Shopify App Store. Most people will hang your art on their walls, so having an app on your website that lets them see how it looks in their space can really improve the user experience and help them choose the best photo or art for their space. You can also use 3D apps to make things like canvases so that people can see how thick they are in real life. Having AR and 3D apps can help cut down on returns and boost sales. A lot of sites that sell stock photos have collections of their most popular or featured photos. If you have collections based on this, new visitors to your site will be able to find the photos that best show off your style. If you recently went viral for an awesome photo, having it featured will help people find that photo or piece of art quickly so they can buy it. It's easy to sell photos online if you make it easy for people to look around your site.  

Taking photos of your art and photography products

    It's harder than it might seem to take a picture of an original piece of art or photograph because the light can make the colors look different than they are. Also, when photos are taken of art or photos, they can look very flat. And don't forget that we live in a world that is dominated by photos, so good photos of your products are crucial to the success of your business. If people who come to your website can't see what you're selling, they probably won't buy from you. It's simple: If your product photos are good, your audience is more likely to want what you're selling. Since you already have a lot of photography experience, it should be easy for you to take high-quality photos of your products. If taking pictures of products doesn't come naturally to you, here are some tips:  
  • Have Enough Light: Shoot near a window so that your art is well-lit and even, and photograph it against a white background, laying it flat if possible, to get a clear shot of just the art. Always take pictures of your work at the same time of day so that your pictures don't have darker backgrounds or different shadows because you took them at different times. 
  • Add Dimension: To get a good picture of your art "in action," hang it in a stylish room with lots of light. Make sure the background isn't too busy so that it doesn't take attention away from your work. 
  • Don’t Use Any Filters: You want your piece's colors and tones to be as true as possible.
  Scanning can be a good and cheap alternative to photography for photos, prints, and some artwork that isn't too three-dimensional. If the work is too big for a scanner, you can scan it into pieces and use Photoshop to put it all together. This method works best with paintings on canvas or paper. As a last piece of advice, don't forget to show different shots of your art on the product pages. Your customers want to see more of each piece, not less. You can also give them different ideas for how to hang or style your work. If you want to sell more art, you could show which pieces go well together in a trilogy or in a way that looks like a professional home decorator did it. This can help a lot when you're trying to sell photos online. You can sell more stock images if they have the same color scheme, design, or look good together. Show pictures of your art in people's homes or offices. This helps customers imagine your work on their own walls and gives them a better idea of the size and scale of your work. You need to lead your customers and convince them to buy your art, so paint a picture in their minds (no pun intended).  

Describe Your Art & Photography in Your Product Descriptions

  Source:   Yes, photography can and often does speak for itself. However, when buying art, some customers need a bit more information. In the product description for each item, you should include as much information as you think shoppers need to make a purchase. For instance, if you are a painter, explain what you use and why. If you're a photographer, tell us what you used to take a picture of and how you did it. If you make sculptures, tell us what they are made of and how they are put together. Try to look at your art as if you were a viewer. You might also want to explain where you got your ideas from. You know your art the best, so tell your visitors how you made it and what you were thinking. A few interesting words can make the difference between a shopper buying an item and not. Here are some tips to help you get started writing product descriptions:  
  • Be Descriptive: You're not just selling your paintings or photos; you're selling how it will make them feel every time they look at them. Tell shoppers what inspired you to make the work, what it reminds you of, how long it took to make, etc. 
  • Be Technical: People who want to buy it will probably want to know how you made it and what materials you used, so tell them. Show off your technical skills and your artistic skills. Don't forget to tell people how big it is so they can figure out if it will fit in their space. 
  • Be Helpful: Tell customers how to care for the item (if they need to) and how to wear it. Don't forget that this is a great way to sell more stock photos. If you want to sell photos online, showing off a group of photos that go well together can help you sell more. 
  • Be SEO-Savvy: Google's SEO Starter Guide is a good place to start. Simply put, you need to include keywords in the titles and descriptions of your products so that people who are looking for work like yours can find them through search engines. Add keywords that people who want to buy art are looking for to the title and description of your piece, but make sure the keywords are relevant to it. Find keywords with a tool like KWFinder (KWFinder Review). For example, if you take pictures while traveling, you might call them "Tuscany Framed Art," "Tuscany Art Print," or "Tuscany Art."
  If you don't know where to start, look at the websites of some of your competitors to see what they're doing. You shouldn't copy them, but you can use them as a guide.  

How to Price Your Artwork and Photos

  When you have your own website and digital storefront, you are in charge and can set prices that are competitive. If you use an eCommerce platform to run your store, they may take a small cut of each sale, but you're in charge of everything else. When you sell a large number of copies, you usually charge less than when you sell a signed limited edition print. The same is true for something that is made just for you. So think about what you're selling and how much of it you're selling, and set your prices accordingly. If you sell mostly original works, for example, you could figure out how long it takes you to make each one. Then, agree on a price per hour. Before deciding on a price, add up the cost of the materials and see what similar pieces are selling for. People usually charge three times as much for something. The price of labor and the price of goods should be added together and then multiplied by three. If you take commissions, be clear about how much you charge for them so there are no misunderstandings. Most artists will charge more for a commissioned piece than their normal rate. Don't be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to special offers. For example, we talked about giving a discount when a piece of art is bought with a frame. You could also sell your photo print on a canvas, a phone case, and a tote bag altogether. If you sell to both people and businesses, you could offer discounts for large orders. Make sure you look at your work honestly and compare it to the work of other artists who do similar things or work with the same materials. If you really need help figuring out how much to charge, ask other artists how much they're selling their work for and have an honest talk with them about why they're charging that much.  

How to Sell Your Artwork and Photography Online

  Here are some ideas for promoting your photography and art so you can sell photos online. Almost anything can be marketed online by following the same steps. Just change them to fit your products and audience.  
  • Figure out what your Message Is: What is unique or different about your art? What do you believe in? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)? 
  • Know Who Your Customers Are: Who are you selling to (demographics), where do they come from (websites they visited before they found you or a physical location), and what do they do for a living (home decorator, work-from-home employee)? You can't sell the same thing to everyone, so figure out who your main customer is and market your products in a way that will attract them. Google Analytics can tell you a lot about who is looking at your website and where they are from. You can also check your social media to see who follows you and interacts with your art content. 
  • Set Realistic Goals: If you set goals before you try to sell your art, you'll be able to tell if your methods are working or not. Among other things, you could try to: 
    • A certain number of sales in your first three months. 
    • A set number of new email subscribers 
    • Net profit made on your pieces after costs 
    • The number of visitors to your website
  • Choose Your Marketing Channels: Where do your main online customers hang out? Find out where they are and use those places as your main online marketing channels to get the word out about your business. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Etsy, festivals, conferences, shows, etc. are all examples. Also, word of mouth is still a great way to market, even in the digital world, so ask your customers to tell their friends about your work, post pictures of it on social media, etc. You could try running a contest or giving them a discount to get them to do this. 
  • See What Works: When you find marketing channels that work, use them as much as possible. Keep the momentum going by putting as much time and effort as you can into them.

Selling Photos Online And Offline: Don’t Be a One-Trick Pony

  There's no reason why you can't sell your work both online and in person. You can still sell at festivals, art galleries, markets, pop-up shops, cafes, restaurants, and gift shops, for example. Any of these ways to sell can work, especially if you use your online store and blog to tell customers where they can find your work in the real world. Both online and offline sales should always work well together. So, have printed marketing materials that point to your online store and tell people who you are and what you do ready in these places. If your town or city has art festivals where artists let customers into their studios, this is another great option to look into. Promote your open studio days on your online store and your online store at your studio. Taking great photos isn't the only way to sell photos online. To sell yourself, you need to know how to sell. As you add to your collection of photos, talk to businesses, stores, and other places that sell art often to see if you can sell them as B2B sales. Remember that when you sell to a business, the orders are usually bigger, so you can sell more products. When you only sell to the end consumer, you have to do a lot more work to find customers. Most of the time, if you want to sell photos online, you will need a wider audience, which you can get from other businesses.  

Shipping Your Artwork & Photography Products

    As an artist, you know that your work needs to be packed and shipped carefully, whether you do it yourself or pay someone else to do it. The safest way to sell posters and prints is by rolling them into cardboard tubes. Or, if the prints or photos are small, you can use rigid mailing envelopes. Don't forget to protect the inside of the cardboard packaging as well, using something like clear cellophane or grease- and water-resistant paper. Putting a "do not bend" sticker on the package can also help the person delivering it. But if you want to ship bigger things like canvases and frames, you'll need to use bigger boxes and more protection. Specifically, cardboard corners and boxes are made just for art. You can get these kinds of packaging supplies from UPS, Uline, and other companies listed in our Shipping & Packaging Suppliers Directory. But shipping can be expensive if you're sending canvases or original artwork. Some artists make their pieces on canvases that aren't stretched and then roll them into a cardboard tube. The customer can then take it somewhere nearby to have it stretched again. Talk to a few companies that specialize in shipping art. They can tell you how they handle value, safety, and cost. If you have something expensive or valuable to ship, you should use a private freight company that is properly insured. You can also sell digital copies of your art that people can print themselves. But if you really need to ship something, don't skimp on this shipping insurance. What would happen if your work was lost, stolen, or damaged and you didn't have insurance? Your customer will want a refund, you'll have to pay for shipping, and you can't make the same thing again. Most shipping companies, such as UPS or FedEx, offer basic insurance. If you're sending more expensive items, though, you should find out what your carrier protects you against and, more importantly, what it doesn't. If you need to, look into getting your own full-coverage insurance to cover the things your carrier won't pay for. This might seem like a lot of work when you first start selling your art online, but if something goes wrong, you'll be glad you did it. Tip: It's a nice touch to thank customers for their order in a personal note that comes with each delivery. You could also ask them to write reviews about you online, follow you on social media, and tag your brand when they hang your art. This is an easy way to get to know your customers, so give some thought to how the unboxing experience goes.  

Best Online Places to Sell Photos


1. Etsy

  Source: Etsy   Etsy is a good place to start if you want to sell photos online because it is very artist-friendly. Etsy is cool because you can actually sell digital downloads to customers. So, if a customer wants to print one of your photos, they can get a digital copy and print it themselves. Most stock photo sites only let you sell the digital image, not the print. But on Etsy, you can also sell photos on things like framed art, posters, calendars, and other things that work well with stock photos. If you want your own stock photo website, hosting it on Etsy could be a good idea because its marketplace will help you find customers without you having to do much marketing yourself.  

2. Stock photo websites

  Source: Shutterstock   Popular paid stock photo websites like Shutterstock, Dreamstime, Getty Images, and so on are all great places to sell your stock photos. Keep in mind that they will be easy to sell, but you won't make as much money as you would if you put your photos on a physical product and sold that instead. But since you own the rights to the products, do some research to see if you can keep your rights to sell products with your photos on them and put your photos on multiple stock photo sites. So, you can sell photos online and make more money at the same time.  

3. Amazon

  Source: Amazon   On Amazon, you can sell photos online, whether you make a photo book, postcards, art prints, or something else with a physical form. Most people won't buy a digital image on Amazon, but they will probably buy a product with that image on it. Think about what kinds of things people buy because of the pictures on them, and then make those things using a print-on-demand website or a manufacturer overseas. You can quickly sell photos online by sending your email list to your Amazon listing, which will boost the rank of your product. You can also use social media to promote your Amazon link and sell photos online.  

Are you ready to start selling your Artwork and Photography online?

  So, that's all you need to know about how to sell photos and art online. If you didn't know how to sell stock photos or art online before, you do now. Start by making a beautiful online storefront where you can sell your amazing art and photos.

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3 Responses

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