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by LWO on Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:44 am
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First, let me say I'm so glad I found this forum. My passion is nature photography and it seems NatureScapes has a wide range of topics on it.

I sell my images in two ways.... Stock photography and I'm attempting to sell via prints. 

I have an account with FAA (also use their widget on my website) and I get a decent number of views to my images, but I haven't made the first sale.

I also have accounts with 6 stock agencies, and for the number of images I currently have online I'm happy with my sales numbers.

My yearly renewal for FAA is coming up and I wonder if I'm just wasting my time and money trying to get print sales.  The same images I have available for print are selling as digital.

What are your thoughts on Print vs Digital? Are print sales dead, or am I just doing something wrong?
 

by Jeff Pearl on Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:30 pm
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LWO wrote:
First, let me say I'm so glad I found this forum. My passion is nature photography and it seems NatureScapes has a wide range of topics on it.

I sell my images in two ways.... Stock photography and I'm attempting to sell via prints. 

I have an account with FAA (also use their widget on my website) and I get a decent number of views to my images, but I haven't made the first sale.

I also have accounts with 6 stock agencies, and for the number of images I currently have online I'm happy with my sales numbers.

My yearly renewal for FAA is coming up and I wonder if I'm just wasting my time and money trying to get print sales.  The same images I have available for print are selling as digital.

What are your thoughts on Print vs Digital? Are print sales dead, or am I just doing something wrong?


I've heard FAA only works if you continually market your site. There is lots of competition in print sales. And Pixels ( i think it is) is a sister site to FAA, and basically a duplicate site. Not likely anyone will find you on FAA unless you promote your url. And a % of people prefer to create their own prints and sign them. There are many other sites smaller than FAA that you might want to check out. Many artists and photographers around here will work local galleries, hang some of their prints around, and make some sales that way. Of course, galleries charge 20-40% commission. Two smaller companies we use, which occasionally someone will buy a print from, are Redbubble.com and Society6.com. We sell mostly greeting cards from those 2 sites, but other products sell also. You could try those and compare sales with FAA and see if any of those methods work for you. Good luck. By the way, I know some artists that closed their redbubble accounts, and went with society6.
 

by LWO on Fri Jun 21, 2019 11:23 am
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Jeff Pearl wrote:
LWO wrote:
First, let me say I'm so glad I found this forum. My passion is nature photography and it seems NatureScapes has a wide range of topics on it.

I sell my images in two ways.... Stock photography and I'm attempting to sell via prints. 

I have an account with FAA (also use their widget on my website) and I get a decent number of views to my images, but I haven't made the first sale.

I also have accounts with 6 stock agencies, and for the number of images I currently have online I'm happy with my sales numbers.

My yearly renewal for FAA is coming up and I wonder if I'm just wasting my time and money trying to get print sales.  The same images I have available for print are selling as digital.

What are your thoughts on Print vs Digital? Are print sales dead, or am I just doing something wrong?


I've heard FAA only works if you continually market your site. There is lots of competition in print sales. And Pixels ( i think it is) is a sister site to FAA, and basically a duplicate site. Not likely anyone will find you on FAA unless you promote your url. And a % of people prefer to create their own prints and sign them. There are many other sites smaller than FAA that you might want to check out. Many artists and photographers around here will work local galleries, hang some of their prints around, and make some sales that way. Of course, galleries charge 20-40% commission. Two smaller companies we use, which occasionally someone will buy a print from, are Redbubble.com and Society6.com. We sell mostly greeting cards from those 2 sites, but other products sell also. You could try those and compare sales with FAA and see if any of those methods work for you. Good luck. By the way, I know some artists that closed their redbubble accounts, and went with society6.


Thanks for the reply Jeff.

Pixels is a sister company. I think they bought it so they could do more than just print sales. When I get my weekly email from FAA I am getting views, just no purchases.

I would love to create my own and sign them or even work with some galleries, however, it just isn't feasible for us. We are about to start exploring the country so I can take our nature photography business to the next level. We will be home basing in an area, I'll go out and shoot that area and then we will move again. Not really any time to create relationships with galleries, and why I wanted to keep our website all passive income. It lets us focus on the creation, and to keep moving forward vs. filling orders.

I do have a redbubble account and have sold one of my wolves as a notebook.  Didn't think to do prints there since I had FAA, and I was trying to keep confusion out of my print on demand. I may have to check them out for prints.  I've not heard of Society6.
 

by archfotos on Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:21 am
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LWO wrote:

I also have accounts with 6 stock agencies, and for the number of images I currently have online I'm happy with my sales numbers.

What are your thoughts on Print vs Digital? Are print sales dead, or am I just doing something wrong?


When you say you are happy with your stock sales numbers, may I ask what type of numbers?  Are they paying for your equipment or just fill up your car's gas tank once in a while?

I can honestly say having thousands of unique images on some stock sites (RM) for over ten years I (my bank account - not the stock agencies) made way more money selling an occasional print locally that ten years of stock licensing.  I see FAA or any online entity as more of a stock agency and feel print sales are best made locally.  

The problem with having both stock and print options is stock really devalues the work as a piece of art and for what a $100 check every once in a while with the bulk of the money going to the agency.  I saw my stock being licensed for world-wide advertising and me getting a $36 credit.  I've removed all my images from the agencies yet I still saw images being licensed.  

I really believe the best option for making side money with photography is having shows at local galleries, coffee shops, libraries and selling prints as a unique piece of art. Priced high to reflect your commitment to your art,  > $400 for a 16x20
 

by LWO on Sat Jun 22, 2019 4:00 pm
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archfotos wrote:
LWO wrote:

I also have accounts with 6 stock agencies, and for the number of images I currently have online I'm happy with my sales numbers.

What are your thoughts on Print vs Digital? Are print sales dead, or am I just doing something wrong?


When you say you are happy with your stock sales numbers, may I ask what type of numbers?  Are they paying for your equipment or just fill up your car's gas tank once in a while?

I can honestly say having thousands of unique images on some stock sites (RM) for over ten years I (my bank account - not the stock agencies) made way more money selling an occasional print locally that ten years of stock licensing.  I see FAA or any online entity as more of a stock agency and feel print sales are best made locally.  

The problem with having both stock and print options is stock really devalues the work as a piece of art and for what a $100 check every once in a while with the bulk of the money going to the agency.  I saw my stock being licensed for world-wide advertising and me getting a $36 credit.  I've removed all my images from the agencies yet I still saw images being licensed.  

I really believe the best option for making side money with photography is having shows at local galleries, coffee shops, libraries and selling prints as a unique piece of art. Priced high to reflect your commitment to your art,  > $400 for a 16x20


I currently only have around 200 images online at this time. I make sales every month with those 200 images.  While not enough to pay the bills, it is respectable for the amount of images I have online.

Coming up soon, I will be focusing on my photography full time.  I have 30k images to sort through, keyword, and upload.  In time, and with luck my photography (along with our other income steams) will be able to support us.

I can see your point at having both stock and print options for the same image.  My question is this.... if someone is always on the move to a new location to shoot, then how would you go about building a print business? And what I mean by on the move... living in an RV and traveling the country.
 

by archfotos on Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:26 am
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LWO wrote:
archfotos wrote:
  My question is this.... if someone is always on the move to a new location to shoot, then how would you go about building a print business? And what I mean by on the move... living in an RV and traveling the country.





My honest opinion it is nearly impossible to build a legitimate business with either stock or prints in today’s market.  So you might as well have fun and do what you want.  Anyone selling formulas - I’d be highly skeptical 

But giving your time and work so a stock agency gets 90% of the licensing fee that’s just silly  imho
 

by Jeff Colburn on Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:13 pm
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Hi,

It's tough selling prints online, unless you are a well known photographer who has a loyal following. Most people want to see a print in person before buying it.

Unless you market yourself to business clients, it's really tough to make a living as a photographer now.

Check out my articles at www.JeffColburn.com and ebooks in the link below to get some ideas on making money with photography.

Have Fun,
Jeff
Fine Art Prints and Stock Photography of Arizona www.JeffColburn.com See my ebooks in the NatureScapes Store 25 Places To Sell Your Photographs And Photography Skills and The Vanishing Old West - Jerome
 

by LWO on Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:39 am
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Jeff Colburn wrote:
Hi,

It's tough selling prints online, unless you are a well known photographer who has a loyal following. Most people want to see a print in person before buying it.

Unless you market yourself to business clients, it's really tough to make a living as a photographer now.

Check out my articles at www.JeffColburn.com and ebooks in the link below to get some ideas on making money with photography.

Have Fun,
Jeff



Thanks Jeff, I'll check them out.
 

by Bill Chambers on Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:44 am
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I make occasional sales on FFA but not as often as I would like to. I have had the same thoughts as you concerning keeping or withdrawing FAA but I always sell plenty more than the measly $30 annual charge. That said, I know someone who sells between $2,000 to $5,000 a month on FAA, depending on the season (Christmas time being the $5K months). A big difference between him & me is that he strictly treats FAA as a business entity separate from his fun, personal photography. He is a retired Air Force pilot so he has been all over the world and has taken many beautiful sunset pics of many cities' skylines, historical spots, vacation spots, patriotic stuff, etc., the kind of stuff I don't care to shoot at all, but he sells the crap of it. Like I say, it's a business to him, he shoots what sells, not just what he loves to shoot. Also, he has A LOT of images on FAA, like 4,500 or so whereas I have only a couple of hundred; again, it's a business to him and he really works it. He has also written several articles/blogs on how to sell on FAA. If you would like, I can send you his FAA link and you can contact him. If you do, please don't mention I said anything about how much he sells per month. I don't think he would care, but I didn't ask him if I could share that info either.
When life deals you lemons, make lemonade; when it deals you tomatoes, make Bloody Mary's.
Unattributed

Please visit my web site, Enchanted Light Photography.
Bill Chambers
Gulf Breeze, Florida
 

by LWO on Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:46 am
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Bill Chambers wrote:
I make occasional sales on FFA but not as often as I would like to.  I have had the same thoughts as you concerning keeping or withdrawing FAA but I always sell plenty more than the measly $30 annual charge.  That said, I know someone who sells between $2,000 to $5,000 a month on FAA, depending on the season (Christmas time being the $5K months).  A big difference between him & me is that he strictly treats FAA as a business entity separate from his fun, personal photography.  He is a retired Air Force pilot so he has been all over the world and has taken many beautiful sunset pics of many cities' skylines, historical spots, vacation spots, patriotic stuff, etc., the kind of stuff I don't care to shoot at all, but he sells the crap of it.  Like I say, it's a business to him, he shoots what sells, not just what he loves to shoot.  Also, he has A LOT of images on FAA, like 4,500 or so whereas I have only a couple of hundred; again, it's a business to him and he really works it.  He has also written several articles/blogs on how to sell on FAA.  If you would like, I can send you his FAA link and you can contact him.  If you do, please don't mention I said anything about how much he sells per month.  I don't think he would care, but I didn't ask him if I could share that info either.



Thanks Bill. I would love to read his articles on how to sell on FAA if you have those links. I won't mention the financial aspect if I contact him directly.
 

by Bill Chambers on Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:20 am
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LWO wrote:
Bill Chambers wrote:
I make occasional sales on FFA but not as often as I would like to.  I have had the same thoughts as you concerning keeping or withdrawing FAA but I always sell plenty more than the measly $30 annual charge.  That said, I know someone who sells between $2,000 to $5,000 a month on FAA, depending on the season (Christmas time being the $5K months).  A big difference between him & me is that he strictly treats FAA as a business entity separate from his fun, personal photography.  He is a retired Air Force pilot so he has been all over the world and has taken many beautiful sunset pics of many cities' skylines, historical spots, vacation spots, patriotic stuff, etc., the kind of stuff I don't care to shoot at all, but he sells the crap of it.  Like I say, it's a business to him, he shoots what sells, not just what he loves to shoot.  Also, he has A LOT of images on FAA, like 4,500 or so whereas I have only a couple of hundred; again, it's a business to him and he really works it.  He has also written several articles/blogs on how to sell on FAA.  If you would like, I can send you his FAA link and you can contact him.  If you do, please don't mention I said anything about how much he sells per month.  I don't think he would care, but I didn't ask him if I could share that info either.



Thanks Bill. I would love to read his articles on how to sell on FAA if you have those links. I won't mention the financial aspect if I contact him directly.
When life deals you lemons, make lemonade; when it deals you tomatoes, make Bloody Mary's.
Unattributed

Please visit my web site, Enchanted Light Photography.
Bill Chambers
Gulf Breeze, Florida
 

by LWO on Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:31 am
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Bill Chambers wrote:
LWO wrote:
Bill Chambers wrote:
I make occasional sales on FFA but not as often as I would like to.  I have had the same thoughts as you concerning keeping or withdrawing FAA but I always sell plenty more than the measly $30 annual charge.  That said, I know someone who sells between $2,000 to $5,000 a month on FAA, depending on the season (Christmas time being the $5K months).  A big difference between him & me is that he strictly treats FAA as a business entity separate from his fun, personal photography.  He is a retired Air Force pilot so he has been all over the world and has taken many beautiful sunset pics of many cities' skylines, historical spots, vacation spots, patriotic stuff, etc., the kind of stuff I don't care to shoot at all, but he sells the crap of it.  Like I say, it's a business to him, he shoots what sells, not just what he loves to shoot.  Also, he has A LOT of images on FAA, like 4,500 or so whereas I have only a couple of hundred; again, it's a business to him and he really works it.  He has also written several articles/blogs on how to sell on FAA.  If you would like, I can send you his FAA link and you can contact him.  If you do, please don't mention I said anything about how much he sells per month.  I don't think he would care, but I didn't ask him if I could share that info either.



Thanks Bill. I would love to read his articles on how to sell on FAA if you have those links. I won't mention the financial aspect if I contact him directly.




For some reason your post didn't have your comment.
 

by Bill Chambers on Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:54 pm
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LWO wrote:
Bill Chambers wrote:
LWO wrote:
Bill Chambers wrote:
I make occasional sales on FFA but not as often as I would like to.  I have had the same thoughts as you concerning keeping or withdrawing FAA but I always sell plenty more than the measly $30 annual charge.  That said, I know someone who sells between $2,000 to $5,000 a month on FAA, depending on the season (Christmas time being the $5K months).  A big difference between him & me is that he strictly treats FAA as a business entity separate from his fun, personal photography.  He is a retired Air Force pilot so he has been all over the world and has taken many beautiful sunset pics of many cities' skylines, historical spots, vacation spots, patriotic stuff, etc., the kind of stuff I don't care to shoot at all, but he sells the crap of it.  Like I say, it's a business to him, he shoots what sells, not just what he loves to shoot.  Also, he has A LOT of images on FAA, like 4,500 or so whereas I have only a couple of hundred; again, it's a business to him and he really works it.  He has also written several articles/blogs on how to sell on FAA.  If you would like, I can send you his FAA link and you can contact him.  If you do, please don't mention I said anything about how much he sells per month.  I don't think he would care, but I didn't ask him if I could share that info either.



Thanks Bill. I would love to read his articles on how to sell on FAA if you have those links. I won't mention the financial aspect if I contact him directly.




For some reason your post didn't have your comment.

I'm sending you a PM with the links.
When life deals you lemons, make lemonade; when it deals you tomatoes, make Bloody Mary's.
Unattributed

Please visit my web site, Enchanted Light Photography.
Bill Chambers
Gulf Breeze, Florida
 

by Tom Reichner on Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:02 am
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People aren't going to find your work online, like it, and buy a print.  That is not how print sales work on sites like FAA.

The way online print sales work is that you make the sale offline - in real life - and then direct your real-life customer to FAA to make the purchase.  Using FAA saves you the never-worth-it hassle of ordering the print, having it shipped, matting or framing it, shipping it to the buyer, collecting payment, etc.  FAA does it all for you and dumps your portion of the sale into your bank account or PayPal account.

But don't make the mistake of buying into the myth that there are customers out there surfing the internet, looking for images so that they can buy prints for their home or office.  It really doesn't work that way ..... but of course sites like FAA want you to think that it works that way, because their whole business model is set up to feed off of these unrealistic hopes and misperceptions that artists and photographers have about the online print market.

I've sold over $14,000 of prints on FAA, and received commissions of over $5,000 on those sales ..... but only $300 of that $5,000 was via a stranger "just finding" my work while surfing the net.  

The vast majority of all profits will come when you work face-to-face with local people that you actually know, and they tell you that they want to buy prints of your photos.  At that point, you upload the photos they've selected to your FAA account, and set the price to what you agreed on with the customer, and direct them to make their purchase on FAA.  Then FAA does all of the work for you and in about a month and a half you will get your "profit margin" deposited into your bank account or PayPal account.  

That is how it works.  And that modus operandi would work just fine with the lifestyle you want to lead - living on the road with no "home base" to work from.  You never actually see the print, nor do you have to pack it, ship it, mat it, frame it ..... nothing!  You just get the money.  Perfect for anyone without a viable way of receiving shipments.
Wildlife photographed in the wild

http://www.tomreichner.com/Wildlife
 

by LWO on Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:13 am
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Tom Reichner wrote:
People aren't going to find your work online, like it, and buy a print.  That is not how print sales work on sites like FAA.

The way online print sales work is that you make the sale offline - in real life - and then direct your real-life customer to FAA to make the purchase.  Using FAA saves you the never-worth-it hassle of ordering the print, having it shipped, matting or framing it, shipping it to the buyer, collecting payment, etc.  FAA does it all for you and dumps your portion of the sale into your bank account or PayPal account.

But don't make the mistake of buying into the myth that there are customers out there surfing the internet, looking for images so that they can buy prints for their home or office.  It really doesn't work that way ..... but of course sites like FAA want you to think that it works that way, because their whole business model is set up to feed off of these unrealistic hopes and misperceptions that artists and photographers have about the online print market.

I've sold over $14,000 of prints on FAA, and received commissions of over $5,000 on those sales ..... but only $300 of that $5,000 was via a stranger "just finding" my work while surfing the net.  

The vast majority of all profits will come when you work face-to-face with local people that you actually know, and they tell you that they want to buy prints of your photos.  At that point, you upload the photos they've selected to your FAA account, and set the price to what you agreed on with the customer, and direct them to make their purchase on FAA.  Then FAA does all of the work for you and in about a month and a half you will get your "profit margin" deposited into your bank account or PayPal account.  

That is how it works.  And that modus operandi would work just fine with the lifestyle you want to lead - living on the road with no "home base" to work from.  You never actually see the print, nor do you have to pack it, ship it, mat it, frame it ..... nothing!  You just get the money.  Perfect for anyone without a viable way of receiving shipments.


Thanks Tom!
 

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