Sales & Pricing
Mar 2020

How to Sell Photography Prints – Get Focused with your Free Guide

18 min read

If there’s one thing that sparks joy, it’s photos. And when photography prints are showcased in albums and books, they’re time machines. They take us to a magical place called memory. Ready to learn ways to sell your photography prints to your clients? Our guide will help you set achievable goals and fine-tune your sales process – for FREE!


Your clients asked you for help printing their photos. You promised your family you’d print more of your own photos. When the stars align, and your kids go to bed early, you might even get some quiet moments to design a family album.

But do you have a system in place for printing photos and selling photography prints online?

 

Learning tips on selling photography prints is an essential skill for photographers. When you incorporate products like albums and books into your offerings, you create additional revenue opportunities for your studio. Choose your product line, establish a sales system, and build a more sustainable photography business.

How to sell photography prints get focused with your free guide

Photos by Laura Martha, courtesy Folio Albums.

How to Sell Photography Prints

If you’re ready to sell prints of your photos, printing is–naturally–a necessary step. Before you offer your images for sale, there are several strategies you need to plan.

Types of Printed Photography

If you’re just starting to consider selling photos online, you can opt for printed copies of your photos–giving your clients lots of fantastic options! You can vary the sizes depending on your preferences, your clients’ style, or based on your favorite lab’s photo albums and frames. 

In addition to standard photo prints, here are several other ideas for printed photography you can offer:

  • Canvases 
  • Mounted pictures 
  • Gallery wraps 
  • Metal prints
  • Photos on novelty items such as collages, calendars, boxes, and folios

Limited Editions

When selling your photos online, you need to decide whether you want to offer open or limited edition images. 

Open edition prints are those you can produce in an unlimited manner or on-demand. Hence, there’s no limit to the number of copies in circulation. This is a great way to print images in bulk and sell them at affordable prices. 

On the other hand, limited edition prints are those that you produce in a fixed quantity. For example, you might only print and sign 25 copies. This creates a sense of urgency among buyers and drives sales, especially if this is the first time you will be printing a particular image. It’s a smart way for photographers to sell fine art prints!

Professional Printing Service Provider

As a professional photographer, it’s essential to partner with a high-quality printing provider if you want to offer photography prints to your clients. Remember, the quality of your prints will affect your business, so your prints must not easily fade or show age.

You have two paths to consider–buying a professional printer or using an online photo printing service (one of ShootProof’s integrated lab partners, for example!). While buying your own printer might initially sound like a cheaper option, keep in mind everything that goes into printing your own photos: 

  • Buying high quality paper
  • Buying ink
  • Setting the printer up
  • Troubleshooting print issues (imagine the headaches!)
  • Continuously buying more paper and ink (that gets pricey fast!)

Prices and Other Fees 

It’s crucial that you calculate production costs and profit margin in your selling price. When you sell online photos, you’ll need to implement additional processes. Not only do you have to consider the time spent on shooting and editing images, you also have to consider the printing costs.

That being said, you don’t want to overprice printed products to the point that no one would buy your photos! Remember that the overall selling price must be enough to cover all of your production costs and still make a healthy profit. 

Framing Resources

Some clients may ask right away if you can frame pictures, particularly if they want to display your work. Plus, adding a frame gives your photos more impact.

If you have the knowledge and enjoy woodworking, you could make frames yourself. If not, you should find a professional partner like a pro lab. While it may cost an extra fee, this guarantees that your clients will receive high-quality and professionally-framed images. 

Most print labs offer framing services, so simply inquire about the types of frames, production timeline, and additional costs. 

Managing Inventory

One of the best parts of selling photographs in the digital age is that you don’t need to overprint and have a large inventory. You can print-on-demand, like many fine art and landscape photographers do! ShootProof enables you to offer on-demand print services for your clients.

Dropshipping vs Self-Fulfillment

Another part of selling photography is choosing whether dropshipping or self-fulfillment works better for your business model. 

Dropshipping means offering your photos on an e-commerce platform like ShootProof and having the pro lab deliver the finished products directly to your clients. In this way, you don’t have to store or maintain inventory, as the supplier will take care of it all.

On the other hand, self-fulfillment is ideal if you want more control over inventory and logistics. In effect, you can also customize the buying experience of your clients. 

Use Online Tools to Sell Photo Prints Directly to Clients

The key to selling photos successfully is to make the ordering process as seamless as possible for your clients. By using online tools such as ShootProof, you can simplify the entire sales process and work towards selling photography prints to every client you have. Bonus points, it’s easy for your clients to buy packages of prints, photo albums, and custom photo books from your ShootProof galleries!

The online platform you choose should let you customize prices and packages for each gallery to help sell your photos. That means clients won’t need to leave their galleries when placing their orders. Additionally, look for automated processes for ordering and delivering prints to remove the hassle both for your business and your client. (Pro tip: integrated lab partners often have beautiful boutique packaging you can use when shipping your prints!)

Choose a Print Lab

For photographers who want to outsource their printing to professional labs, most gallery platforms have partner labs that can do the printing and delivery on your behalf. 

For instance, when ordering through ShootProof, you can choose to use a partner lab to easily fulfill print orders, including these world-class options:

    • Bay Photo Lab
    • Miller’s Professional Imaging
    • White House Custom Colour
    • Black River Imaging
    • Mpix
    • Richard Photo Lab
    • Loxley Colour

 

 

  • Technicare Premier Photo Lab

Of course, if you have your own preferred lab or want to print the photos yourself, you can choose to self-fulfill your client’s order. Your work, your way!

Prepare Prices and Consider Packages

Before you can actually sell prints, you need to decide how much you plan to sell them for. When it comes to print orders, there are a few ways to figure out the best pricing for your business. You can choose to sell photos a-la-carte or through packages

There’s no “one right way” to set up your pricing for this; however, remember that less options can be better. When clients see a long price list with dozens of things they can purchase, it can often lead to confusion. And if they’re confused, there’s a chance that they won’t end up buying anything at all. 

Also be mindful about how you set up your pricing structure in terms of providing discounts, minimum purchase orders to get free shipping, or other freebies after a certain purchase price. While these can be great strategies to help increase your print sales, if they’re not clearly worded, it can also introduce a lot of confusion for your clients.  

If you use ShootProof as your online store for selling photos, check out the Package Builder features, which gently encourages clients to buy photo packages instead of a-la-carte prints. There’s even a Markup Tool that guarantees the final price covers your costs of goods sold and shipping fees when you sell photos.

Simplify your client’s buying experience by showing a single up-front cost. This means clients won’t need to do math–yay! You can also present top-selling products in a single pre-bundled package, which clients can modify depending on their personal preferences.

Offer Convenient Payment Methods

There are several good payment methods available, and your goal here is to make it as simple as possible for your client. You don’t want them to go through and select prints and products, and then end up cancelling the print order because your checkout process was complicated. The most common ways for clients to pay for their orders at checkout are by using:

  • Debit cards
  • Credit cards
  • PayPal

Once you receive payment from your client, you can review, change, and approve the order. As a tip, do this immediately once your customers pay you! Don’t let their photo print orders be held up because you took too long to review and approve their purchase.

Watch your Sales Report 

Prepare a weekly or monthly sales report to monitor the progress of your photography print business. While reviewing reports might be a mundane task, it’s crucial to giving you insights on your sales and areas you can improve. A report should contain: 

  • Total sales
  • Client sales tax
  • Client shipping
  • Lab product costs
  • Lab add-on costs
  • Lab shipping
  • Payment processing sale
  • Payment processing fees 
  • Payment withdrawal fees 
  • Refunds and voids

Where to Sell Your Prints

Whether you’re still learning marketing strategies or don’t have the time to self-promote, using e-commerce sites is an excellent way for beginners to enter the world of selling photos. 

There are several e-commerce platforms for selling photos. While a marketplace means there are many photographers you’re competing with, these sites also attract a high volume of clients and photography print collectors. If you’d like to sell fine art and landscape photography, you can use ShootProof and also consider the following sites to maximize your audience.

Fine Art America

Fine Art America is among the most popular and reliable marketplaces for many photographers who want to sell photos. It’s also one of the biggest platforms that use algorithms to influence how pictures show up in search results. 

After uploading your work, you can then choose the pictures you want to sell. Fine Art America will handle the shipping even if you need to send images across the world. 

Etsy

Etsy is another great option for selling photos online if you want a user-friendly e-commerce platform, yet you prefer to work on printing and shipping. 

The website has over 30 million buyers who are looking for bespoke or unique items. This is a good way to introduce your pictures to the world and incorporate other things such as handcrafted goods or novelty products. 

Your Website or Blog

If you prefer to have total control over your photography business and sales, then building and managing your own photography e-commerce site might be the way to go.

Aside from using it as a one-stop-shop for selling photos, your website can serve as an online portfolio and marketing tool. You can add e-commerce widgets like Fotomoto to handle printing, packing, and delivery. 

Another advantage of using a website is that you’re in complete control of the terms and conditions, rates, and client communication. 

Physical Shops or Events

If you want to sell in real life, you can work with local businesses or join art fairs. Festivals attract like-minded people who are hunting for collectibles, unique prints, or other creative products. While some events require an exhibitor fee, this is a great opportunity to get yourself in front of prospective patrons and clients.

On the other hand, there are probably businesses in your area (like coffee shops) that need photos to spruce up their spaces. Some may enthusiastically display your work for sale to the public, while others would even buy your prints directly.

How to Boost Print Sales

Once you have your processes in place, make sure you’re planning ways to encourage clients to purchase their photography prints online.

Promote your Work on Social Media 

Use your social channels  like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to sell your photos online. Take advantage of the free business strategies from social media services. Social platforms allow you to schedule posts and instantly reply, so you can consistently update followers and potential buyers about your services. 

Don’t be afraid to post sales or discounts that you’re currently offering on photography prints. Even if clients didn’t purchase prints right after their session, there is still plenty of opportunity to encourage them to have their photos printed. For example, as the holidays get closer, create posts on social media reminding families to get photos printed for holiday cards. 

Use Email Marketing Campaigns 

If you want to elevate your marketing campaigns beyond social media, sending email campaigns is the way to go. You can send newsletters to inform customers about your services, available photo products, and promotional offers.

Taking the holiday card example we shared above, you can go one step father using the email campaigns feature in ShootProof. Personalize email campaigns for each client and include links to their galleries. You can also create more advanced campaigns that trigger follow up emails based on actions that each email recipient takes, such as opening the email or clicking on a specific link.

By spending time building out your email campaign workflow, you can exponentially increase your print sales.

Show and Sell

For some clients, it’s hard to imagine how photos or framed images will look in a living room or on blank walls. Don’t let this be the reason that clients don’t buy prints! 

If you have an in-person sales meeting with clients after their session to present them with their gallery, you can use ShootProof’s in-room sample views to visually show clients what certain images will look like displayed on their walls.

If you only sell photos online, ask your clients to send you a photo of the room where they envision hanging prints. From here, you can use an app to mock-up different options for them so they can still get a great visual of your work in their home!

Learn How to Sell Photos With a FREE Printing Guide!

You can interact with the Printing Guide online, but we recommend printing it out. (See what we did there?) Hand-write product ideas, sketch in margins, and dream up albums.

How to sell photography prints get focused with your free guide

Get your free guide to selling photography prints. Photos by Laura Martha, courtesy of Folio Albums.

Get Focused: The Guide to Printing Photos.

Get the guide, and we’ll email you a booklet dedicated to:

  • Sales Scripts: Learn how to sell your prints online – albums, books, canvases, and more.
  • Inspiring Content: Fill your content calendar with topics that will inspire your clients to buy more photos.
  • Return on Investment: Discover data that proves the value of printed photos.
How to sell photography prints get focused with your free guide

Photos by Laura Martha, courtesy of Folio Albums.


Conclusion

How will you paint a picture of possibility for your clients’ memories?

Use the Photographer’s Printing Guide to create products that will stand the test of time – for you and your clients. Share your favorite photo products in the comments below. Remember, if you’re expecting people to pay for your work, you’ve got to showcase it in the best way possible. To learn more about how online galleries can boost your print sales and your brand, check out this ShootProof review.

Maybe your experience will inspire someone else’s!


Written by RACHEL LACOUR NIESEN | Photographs by LAURA MARTHA | Printing Guide Written by RACHEL LACOUR NIESEN


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