How to sell your digital photos online

When I started to shoot wedding photos, and some other events as well, I needed a way to get prints and digital downloads from the events into my client’s hands quickly and easily. Plus, I needed to get paid. After some research, I found there were really two basic options:

1) Upload the pictures to my existing website, come up with a price list, email the client the price list and the website address, then have them send me the picture numbers they desired, plus a check, cash their check, order the prints myself, then finally have them shipped to the client. Phew…that’s a lot of work. Trust me I only did that once.

2) Alternatively, it would be ideal if I could find a website that was both my portfolio and order fulfillment site in one place, or find a service that could integrate with my portfolio and handle the order fulfillment aspects.

A Photography Selling Solution

After a lot of work and research, I finally found two photo hosting sites designed for photographers to sell photos quickly and easily, while still looking very professional. Both of these sites allowed me to set my own prices for prints (and one site, Smugmug, I could even set my own prices for different types of digital downloads), sell my photos directly to my customers, and receive the profits instantly between whatever the wholesale print price is versus the price I decided to charge my clients. Because both of these sites had photo shopping carts included at no extra cost, I never even had to see or handle the prints or the money myself, so it saved me a ton of time. The credit card processing fee was deducted from the profit, and the money deposited into my bank account automatically!

The Services

This service so dramatically changed my work-flow, I started to use it as my portfolio as well as my order fulfillment site. This service was Smugmug Pro, and it was not only a solution to help me sell my pictures, it was also one of the best photo sharing sites I found, with a customizable look and feel that really allowed me to maintain complete artistic control of how my customers could see their photos.

The other service that I really liked was Shutterfly Professional, which although has less customizable galleries, was super easy to setup and integrate within my current portfolio site. If I had wanted to keep my previous site, this would have been my choice (plus its a bit cheaper per year at only $99).

To read more, and see the very detailed comparison I did between the two services, check out my full Professional Photo Selling Site review.