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Selling Your Photographs

If done correctly, selling your photographs can be a very profitable business. However, you need to decide how much you want to be involved in the selling aspect. Basically, there are three ways to go in selling your work: wholesale, consignment, and showings. There are several things to consider when deciding to sell your photographs, including how much time and money you have to put into this endeavor. The following will discuss the pros and cons of selling through each system.


Selling wholesale involves selling your work to retailers, who, in turn, sell them to customers for a profit. Generally, you would be getting fifty percent of what the photograph sells for. While you may be getting less of a profit for each photograph selling retail, the store, with its larger customer base, may be able to sell more of your photographs than you could on your own. Not only this, when you sell wholesale, you have more time to devote yourself to taking and developing more photographs, instead spending time marketing them yourself or at showings. Sales tax will also be taken care of by the retailers.



Unlike selling wholesale, the store or gallery does not pay you for your photographs. You only get paid when something sells. The upside of this, however, is that they may agree to stock some of your more expensive photographs as they do not have to purchase them first. Again, with someone else selling your photographs for you, you will have the time needed to take more photographs and expand your inventory. The consignment shop or gallery will also take care of your sales tax.


Selling at showings requires long hours and if you already have a full-time job, this option may not be for you. First of all, you have the expense of renting a place for your showing and the time involved of setting up the displays. You also have long hours dealing with the public while showing your photographs. When doing a show, you also want to make sure that you have plenty of photographs in stock, including photos that have been framed. There will be less time to devote yourself to taking more photographs. Selling your photographs on the Internet is also a method of selling them yourself. The downside to this is you may not get a lot of sales for what you’ve put into your website and it can be very time consuming. The other downside of selling them on your own is that you will be taking care of the sales tax yourself.

Whichever way you decide is for you in selling your photographs, you also need to decide why you are selling. Are you doing it for the money or for the prestige? If you are doing this for money alone, the important thing to remember is to take photographs that are saleable. If you only take rare and expensively priced photographs, it may be a long time before you see any profit. If, however, you take photographs that will sell, you may find yourself happily counting your steps to the bank.

Copyright: Penny S. Harmon

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