Is There a Secret to Selling Photography as Fine Art?

Selling Fine Art Photography” is the focus of a free educational resource guide from PhotoShelter. The guide’s authors acknowledge that there doesn’t seem to be a single ‘how-to’ formula for selling photography as fine art. But when they asked art-world experts for tips and profiled photographers who are succeeding in the fine-art world, there do seem to be some steps that might increase your odds of success. A lot of the advice focuses on making the best possible work, then focusing on building relationships with people who respond to it.

Part 1 of this guide includes:

  • Six tips to get non-profit galleries to feature your work
  • Six tips to get your work featured online
  • Insights from the owner of fine-art printing business

Part 2 profiles seven photographers who have found their way into the fine art world.

  • Jimmy Williams talks about building a reputation by starting local
  • Greg Marinovich suggests sharing the stories behind your images
  • Brooke Shaden explains why passion is the secret to getting 244,000 Facebook followers
  • James Bouret discusses marketing tactics that can help your work get noticed
  • Pete Carroll emphasizes the need to strive for the best-quality print
  • Matt Suess describes ways to connect with potential buyers
  • Bess Greenberg talks why she founded the 25CPW gallery

“Understand what makes you unique, what story you have to tell, and then refine your skills to try and communicate the message in the clearest way possible,” says Shaden.


In her essay about working with non-profit galleries, Hannah Glasgow of The Center for Fine Art Photography advises photographers to “Be bold and true to yourself” and make work that matters to you. 

Some of the more seasoned photographers observed that gallerists and collectors are interested in images with historical value or themes that stand the test of time.

In other words: It’s impossible to know if that young musician you are photographing today will turn out to be the next Jimi Hendrix or Elvis Presley. So always do you best work and keep good archives.

The guide on “Selling FIne-Art Photography” is part of a collection of free, educational guides that PhotoShelter has developed to help professional photographers and aspiring pros take a more strategic and focused approach to selling their images. Other guides in the PhotoShelter Library offer tips related to sell more sports photography, event photography, portrait photography, wedding photography, and corporate and industrial photography.

With more than 80,000 clients, PhotoShelter is a worldwide leader in photography portfolio websites and sales and marketing tools for photographers.


PhotoShelter Guide: Selling Fine Art Photography

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How to Sell Prints

Photoshelter Library of Photography Business Guides




Photography Pros and Enthusiasts Are Optimistic About 2014 Earnings

2014outlook-Professional photographers and photography enthusiasts are optimistic about their ability to make more money this year from photography. That’s one finding reported in PhotoShelter’s new report “The Photographer’s Outlook on 2014.”

The report is based on the results of a survey of business goals, aspirations, and priorities that PhotoShelter conducted via e-mail in November, 2013. More than 5,700 photographers responded, with 73 percent from the U.S.Sixty-nine percent of the respondents were male; and 31 percent were female. 

The survey also investigated the differences and similarities between photography pros (those who make most of their income from photography) and photo enthusiasts (those who earn less than 50 percent of their income from photography).

The report notes that because pro-level gear and photographic education is so readily accessible to everyone, it can be difficult to tell whether an image has been made by someone who makes their full income from photography or someone who spend their free time shooting photographs.

“Today, every creative taking professional-quality images is not necessarily doing so as a full-time photographer,” says Andrew Fingerman, CEO of PhotoShelter.

PhotoShelter posed different sets of questions to photography pros and those who categorized themselves as enthusiasts (students, part-time photographers, hobbyists/enthusiasts). For example, enthusiasts were asked what their primary occupation was and if (and how) they ever made money from their work. Professionals answered questions about how they bring in revenue and what tools they use to conduct their business.

Similarities between Pros and Enthusiasts

One key finding was that most professionals and enthusiasts will invest time and money to improve their technical skills and photo-business knowledge. The survey suggests they also plan to attend more industry events and spend more time marketing their work. Both groups said they pursue more than one specialty (96% for professionals and 95% for enthusiasts). The most popular primary specialty is portrait photography (13% for pros; 11% for enthusiasts).

In terms of making money, the biggest challenge faced by both groups was finding new clients. To improve their chances of getting more jobs, many will focus most on word-of-mouth referrals and social media.

Differences between Pros and Enthusiasts

Not surprisingly, photographers who make a living from photography are more focused on marketing their work.

  • 92 percent of professionals have a website dedicated to showcasing their photography, whereas only 65 percent of enthusiasts do.
  • 48 percent of professionals use Facebook as the primary social network to market their photography business, whereas 64 percent of enthusiasts do.
  • 93 percent of professionals plan to make investments to improve their photography skills in 2014, compared to 79 percent of enthusiasts.

One stat worth noting is that 84 percent of the enthusiasts said they had made money from their images. Of the enthusiasts who made money, 87 percent said the money was earned through print sales or commissioned assignments.

The Photographer’s Outlook on 2014 is the latest in PhotoShelter’s ongoing series of free business guides for photographers and marketing professionals. PhotoShelter’s library includes 30+ educational guides including topics such as creating a successful photography portfolio, email marketing, and starting a photography business. All can be downloaded free.

About PhotoShelter

PhotoShelter helps people and organizations who are passionate about their photos do more with them. From creating beautiful websites and securely backing up their best images to building an audience and selling photos online, PhotoShelter is trusted by over 80,000 enthusiasts, freelancers, and established pros worldwide.


The Photographer’s Outlook on 2014 Survey Results

PhotoShelter Library of Business Guides


Guide Explains How to Grow Your Sports Photography Business

GrowingSportsPhotogBizPHOTOGRAPHERS. If you are serious about making a full-time living from photography, it’s essential to have a realistic understanding of the market as it exists today.

One great source of information about all facets of the current photography business is PhotoShelter, which specializes in portfolio websites and online selling tools for professional photographers. They have researched and written an excellent series of educational guides in which they interview both successful sellers and current buyers of different types of photography.

“Growing Your Sports Photography Business” is the focus of the newest educational guide from PhotoShelter. Providing an in-depth look at the sports photography industry today, it includes tips for sports-focused storytelling and advice on how to corner a market, build relationships, and get hired.

“Sports photographers face unique challenges in the marketplace,” said PhotoShelter CEO, Andrew Fingerman. “In this guide, we wanted to give aspiring and seasoned sports photographers alike insights about how they can shoot the sports they love and make a living doing it,”

The guide notes that a lot has changed in the sports photography market over the past decade. While the technology has made easier for everyone to capture action shots, many sports clubs and associations already have exclusive contracts with large photography agencies.

To succeed in sports photography, you may need to diversity and excel in multiple niches. In addition to being skilled in capturing action shots, you may need to perfect your techniques for shooting environment portraits or arena architecture.

Growing Your Sports Photography Business includes business and marketing insights from seasoned sports photographers and buyers such as Rich Clarkson, Brad Mangin, and the Director of Photography at Sports Illustrated, Brad Smith.

In this guide, you can learn how to:

  • Build a sports photography brand
  • Find potential clients
  • Attract attention from those looking to hire
  • Get smart about licensing and image rights
  • Master a workflow from the field to a client’s inbox

PhotoShelter’s e-book library includes 25+ educational guides including topics such as social media, email marketing, Google Analytics, SEO for photographers, and starting a photography business. Other titles related to growing a photography include:

Growing Your Event Photography Business

How to Grow a Wedding Photography Business

Selling Nature Photography

Selling Fine Art Photography

PhotoShelter offers professional, reliable and innovative online tools that can help you  build and grow a successful photography business. Its latest release, Beam, offers a suite of portfolio website templates built with the latest technology to showcase images at their best.


Growing Your Sports Photography Business

PhotoShelter Educational Guides

Introducing Beam: A New Platform for Cutting Edge Portfolio Websites

About PhotoShelter


Guide Describes 11 Secrets of a Great Photography Website

PHOTOGRAPHERS. A free guide from PhotoShelter provides a quick, easy-to-read overview of “11 Secrets to a Great Photo Website.” They point that your website must quickly convince visitors that they have found exactly what they are looking for: If your website helps them do that, and clients are impressed with with your professionalism, “there’s a solid chance they will do business with you, come back again, and tell their friends to do the same.”  Paying attention to a few commonly overlooked details could result in more jobs.

The experts at PhotoShelter recommend evaluating your website once a year, especially as your business grows and evolves. Does it continue to provide the tools, features, and flexibility you need to help grow your presence online and beyond?


The 20-page guide discusses 11 ways your website can be adjusted to attract more clients and photo buyers, encourage word-of-mouth referrals, and grow your business. It also previews PhotoShelter’s newest portfolio offerings, which can help your photos look their best, whether they are being viewed on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

“These days, people are viewing your website on all kinds of devices, and technology is allowing for sites to automatically scale to the appropriate size without the need for an app,” the guide explains. With responsive website design, images will literally resize to fit the screen they are viewed on. Responsive website designs offer SEO and social media advantages and eliminate the need to update content in multiple locations.

The guide includes 10 questions to ask when choosing a photo website provider and advice for photographers who fear image theft if they display large, full-bleed images on their sites.
The guide “11 Secrets to a Great Photo Website” is the latest in PhotoShelter’s ongoing series of free business guides for photographers and marketing professionals. PhotoShelter’s e-book library includes 25+ educational guides including topics such as social media, email marketing, and starting a photography business.


11 Secrets to a Great Photo Website

About PhotoShelter

PhotoShelter’s Free Business Guides for Photographers

Guide Explains How to Create a Photography Portfolio

PSCreatingaProfessionalPortfolioPHOTOGRAPHERS. Creating an online portfolio that knocks the socks off prospective clients is an art form. That’s the premise of PhotoShelter’s new educational guide, Creating a Successful Photography Portfolio. Your portfolio not only showcases your work, but also your work ethic, commitment to photography, and ability to deliver the type of work your dream clients want.

To start choosing images for your online portfolio, the guide suggests asking yourself three questions:

  • What is your best work?
  • Will these images get me the type of jobs I want?
  • How many great images do I have?

Answering these questions isn’t easy, because it’s hard to be objective about your own work. Getting reliable feedback is important.

Throughout the guide, seasoned photography consultants and photographers suggest how to build an online photography portfolio that helps attract potential clients and win jobs.

This guide includes:

  • Eleven secrets for creating a successful photography portfolio website
  • Tips for setting the right tone for attracting dream clients
  • Ideas for showcasing personal projects to help win jobs
  • Five common myths about portfolio reviews.

Photo consultants interviewed in the guide include Neil Binkley, Jasmine DeFoore, Stella Kramer and Amanda Sosa Stone. They share tips on preparing portfolios for client meetings, following up with clients, and locking job after presenting your portfolio.

Win a Website Image Edit

Photographers who download the guide before May 1 will be entered to win a Website Image Edit with top photography consultant Amanda Sosa Stone, courtesy of the photographer-marketing firm Agency Access . The winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 1, 2013.

“Creating a Successful Photography Portfolio” is the latest in PhotoShelter’s ongoing series of free business guides for photographers and marketing professionals. PhotoShelter’s e-book library includes 25+ educational guides including topics such as social media, email marketing, and starting a photography business.

PhotoShelter offers reliable and innovative online tools to build and grow a successful photography business. Over 77,000 photographers use PhotoShelter’s websites, social and SEO tools to show their work and attract new clients. PhotoShelter’s online image archives can help you stay organized and access images on the fly. Their image delivery and e-commerce tools can help you sell work easily and securely. Free 14-day trials are available.


Creating a Successful Photography Portfolio


PhotoShelter E-Book Library

Creating a Successful Photography Portfolio

New Copyright Guide Explains Photographer’s Rights

PHOTOGRAPHERS. For a clear explanation of how U.S. copyright law applies to photographers, download “The Photographer’s Guide to Copyright.”  The free, 37-page educational guide was produced jointly by PhotoShelter and The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP). The guide lists the six exclusive rights associated with copyright and how to:

  • Safeguard your photos and avoid infringement.
  • Register your work through the U.S. Copyright Office.
  • Take action if you discover that your copyrighted work has been infringed.

PhotoShelterCopyrightGuideThrough interviews with photographers and ASMP experts, the guide addresses topics such as major trends in copyright today, how to incorporate copyright registration into a daily workflow, and the risks of joining social networks.

The book points out that “Understanding the ins and outs of copyright is an asset to your business. As the world of professional photography continues to move online and photographers delve into motion or multimedia projects, it will become increasingly important to understand what rights your creations are granted and what options you have in defending those rights.”

In one of the featured profiles, architecture and interior design photographer Liz Ordoñez explains what it takes to bring an infringement case to court and the best way to avoid it. Because our lives are pretty much ruled by online markets, Ordoñez says at some point your work is going to be used without your permission. She recommends having a strategy in place before it ever happens: “Filing a case should be the absolute last thing you should do.”

“The Photographer’s Guide to Copyright” also demystifies what counts as “fair use” and discusses copyright for video and motion pictures.

“ASMP is a leader in copyright education, and we have continually stressed the importance of persistent attribution and registries,” explained ASMP Executive Director Eugene Mopsik. “We are pleased that our work with PhotoShelter has produced this important resource which is available to the entire imaging community.” In addition to the guide, ASMP’s website offers a wide range of downloadable information and videos on the subject of copyright, licensing, releases and more.

“Professional photographers rely on a strong online presence to grow their business and attract new clients, which is why it’s vital to proactively register and protect images from infringement,” said PhotoShelter CEO Andrew Fingerman. “We’re excited to partner with ASMP to provide a robust resource that will help photographers break down U.S. copyright law and understand their creative rights.”

The Photographer’s Guide to Copyright is the latest in PhotoShelter’s ongoing series of free business guides for photographers and marketing professionals. PhotoShelter’s e-book library includes 25+ educational guides including topics such as social media, email marketing, and starting a photography business.

PhotoShelter is a worldwide leader in photography portfolio websites and sales and marketing tools for photographers. More than 77,000 photographers use PhotoShelter’s websites, social and SEO tools to show their work and attract new clients. Many also use PhotoShelter’s e-commerce tools to sell their photography easily and securely.

ASMP is a premier trade association for imaging professionals.  A well-known leader on current issues, ASMP regularly represents the imaging industry on legislative matters nationally and internationally and provides its members with state-of-the-art information and education.


The Photographer’s Guide to Copyright

PhotoShelter Business Guides



Survey Shows How Photographers Plan to Grow Their Businesses in 2013

Photographers_Outlook_on_2013PHOTOGRAPHERS. PhotoShelter recently published the results of a “2013 outlook” survey they conducted in November, 2012.  The report “The Photographer’s Outlook on 2013” offers an in-depth look at photographers’ top business and marketing goals, investment plans, and revenue expectations for 2013. It also talks about some of their anticipated challenges.

The 46-question survey was sent to photographers who use PhotoShelter products as well as members of the photography community at large who receive PhotoShelter’s monthly newsletter.

Over 5,000 photographers responded to the survey. Sixty-nine percent live in the United States; 35 percent live outside the U.S. The respondents included full-time professionals (34 percent), part-time professionals (31 percent), aspiring pros (23 percent), hobbyists (10 percent) and students (2 percent).

Key Findings

Although 74 percent of the respondents said their top business challenge was finding new clients, many feel encouraged about their business prospects and plan to dedicate time and resources to marketing, solidifying their online presence, and growing their bottom lines.

Revenue and Spending

  • 93 percent plan to invest to improve their photography
  • 69 percent expect to make most of their revenue from new clients
  • 74 percent say finding new clients will be their biggest challenge


  • 54 percent say word-of-mouth referrals are the greatest marketing channel for finding new clients
  • 68 percent will focus on social media to market their work
  • 73 percent will use Facebook to promote their photo business

Business Tools and Planning

  • 90 percent plan to improve their websites
  • 76 percent will use Google Analytics to track and improve their website
  • 79 percent plan to attend more network and industry events

Along with the survey results, the report includes business-growth tips and resources on marketing, business strategy, and revenue-building.

About PhotoShelter

PhotoShelter offers professional, reliable and innovative online tools for growing a photography business. PhotoShelter’s websites, social, and SEO tools enable photographers to show their work online and attract new clients. Online image archives help photographers stay organized and access images on the fly. Image delivery and e-commerce tools help photographers sell their work easily and securely.

The Photographer’s Outlook on 2013 joins PhotoShelter’s ongoing series of free business guides for photographers and marketing professionals. PhotoShelter’s e-book library includes 25+ educational guides including topics such as social media, email marketing, and starting a photography business.



The Photographer’s Outlook on 2013

PhotoShelter’s E-Book Library

About PhotoShelter