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how to market/sell landscape photography

Greg Maszyna , Aug 23, 2010; 04:01 p.m.

hi guys,

i have some landscape photos and every week i take some new ones. also i'm planing on starting doing some themed projects... so i would like to try to sell those photos (prints). i was looking at some websites with advice, etc. and definitelly i don't want to do it through stock agencies (you get very little money of it). some people advised me to try zenfolio - and here is my question: what do you think of it, i mean zenfolio? is it any good? would i be able to sell much through it? or maybe is there some other/better place/way that i could use...
thanks in advance for all your advice...

regards,
greg

Responses

Mikael Karlsson , Aug 23, 2010; 05:09 p.m.

Greg:

With Zenfolio, SmugMug etc you'll have to do a lot (all?) marketing yourself. Meaning you need to drive potential customers to your site there and get them to purchase prints.

Why do you think stock agencies generate little money? Well executed landscapes generally sell fairly well if you have something extra or unique to bring to the table. Granted, you're competing with a lot of people and some fairly heavy hitters but don't assume you'll make little to no money licensing as stock either yourself or through an agency.

Have a look around at Zenfolio, SmugMug, and some of the agencies and search for photos similar to you. Find out what is out there and offered already.

Greg Maszyna , Aug 23, 2010; 05:35 p.m.

Mikael,

thanks for your reply... i was just wondering whether they do any marketing for you, or - as you say - you have to do it all yourself... and second thing that i thought about is the name - "zenfolio" - i thought that maybe it's fairly well known "out on the market" and you're in some data base and you can get searched from their engine by category or something...

you see, i'm already registered with istockphoto and after a year (well the last time i uploaded something was in nov 2009, so it might be my fault), having 65 photos in my account, i noticed that if you want to earn (proper) money you have to have hundreds of photos in your portfolio (that means a lot of time spent after post production on uploading, categorizing, keywording, etc and it's only extra income for me as i have "9-5 job", so i'd rather have less hasle)... and to be honest i'm looking for something different - as some people would say "quallity not quantity"...

are there any agents that deal with people like me? just thinking that if i have to do all marketing myself, i'd rather register my own domain/name and try to build brand name...

Mikael Karlsson , Aug 23, 2010; 07:29 p.m.

Greg:

There are also other agencies that license your work for far more than iStock and the rest of the micro agencies, and also let you keep a bigger cut. Have a look at this recent Photo.Net article for more info: http://photo.net/learn/stock-photography/editorial-stock-photography/

I'm sure there are databases that are searchable at Zenfolio and similar places. Just like with stock though you're likely looking at having quite a few images up there before you're seeing much in the way of returns.

James Cook , Aug 23, 2010; 08:45 p.m.

The first thing you need to do is to figure out WHO is going to buy your landscape photos and in what form. Then market and present your work in an appropriate manner.

Stock sales are going to tend towards commercial or editorial usage; reproduction. If you want to sell decorator or art prints, stock agencies aren't going to do as well for you.

No matter what kind of site, or web service, you end up with, it's going to be largely your job to drive traffic to it and convince people to buy your work. If you intend to sell prints, it's very difficult to it that by the web alone. Galleries are a far more appropriate for showing your work and establishing a name.

Kevin Delson , Aug 24, 2010; 12:01 p.m.

All good answers.

Greg, why not take a (2) pronged approach? Personal website and agency websites. By doing so, you will up the odds in your favor.

It is true, you must market yourself, even if you are submitting to an agency; self promotion directing people to that site remains a important weapon in your arsenal. Many of the images you will be uploading are (non-Exclusive), check the fine print though. If a agency requires (exclusivity) as some do, you will not be able to (License) the images on your own website. What you can do is direct potential customers to the agency's website; more specifically, YOUR lightbox.

The biggest problem I see with Zenfolio (I us them myself) is that their SEO is not very good at all.
That alone is not enough of a reason to discount them.

Researching various publishers is a key to selling stock. Publishers don't want pretty pictures, they want and license what they (NEED) at the moment.
Researching various publishers is a key to selling stock. Publishers don't want pretty pictures, they want and license what they (NEED) at the moment.

The above is not a double post, I did it intentionally as it is the single most important element, and the most difficult to understand and execute for anyone new to this.

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