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Photography is a very rewarding hobby – one that allows you to capture moments and relive them whenever you want. It's also one of the few hobbies that you can actually make back the money you've invested in gear, create a nice side income or turn it into a full career. Here's a look at 12 places to sell your photography.
Friends and family. The first place you should always start is with them. Even if you offer to shoot them for free and then sell them prints after the fact, it's a start. Once the ball is rolling, they will be telling their friends and family and so on.
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Cafe's and coffee shops. Independent businesses, specifically cafe's and coffee shops are usually very open to the idea of displaying and selling your work, some will even help promote and host an artists night and stay open later. They usually only ask for a very small percentage.
Doctor offices. Family doctor practices are often a great place to display photography and doctors are notoriously cheap about wanting to spend money to decorate their own space. Approach them about putting some of your work in on consignment.
First Fridays. Many cities have a First Friday event where local businesses stay open a little bit later, usually retail establishments, and have acoustic music or a DJ play music and some even have art shows inside of them. If your city does a First Friday, talk with the businesses that are involved about doing an art show.
Summer festivals. Most cities have some sort of summer festival that involves live music, art and live performances. Rent a table and display your work.
Etsy. Etsy is a place to buy and sell all things handmade. This includes photography. It's simple to setup an account, receive payment and their fees are really low.
Stock photography. It's possible to make money selling digital photos by using sites like iStockphoto or Getty, both of which sell your digital files and you'll get a percentage of each download. Because they are buying downloads, once you have the images uploaded and key-worded, it can become a nice passive way of earning income.
DeviantArt. Deviant Art has a huge community, it's one of the largest places to display and get critique on your work, but they also have a prints section. You can allow prints to be made from any of the photos you upload, they'll handle the credit card transaction and printing then mail the print to whomever bought it. They then pay you a percentage of each sale.
Your own shopping cart / website. While this can be much more time consuming, requires specific knowledge of how to setup a site, blog or shopping cart, and doesn't already have established traffic going to it, running your own website with shopping cart can work. With WordPress themes become more and more creative and companies like ECWID offering true shopping cart solutions with both Paypal and merchant services for transactions, the doors are now open for everyone.
A Gallery. Art galleries are a bit tougher to get into and usually require a specific theme, but the opening receptions along with the traditional 1-3 months your work is displayed is a great way to get your name out and sell some prints.
As a service. One of the newest trends for photographers is during meetings or group activities. Say you have a local political party get together once a month, work with them to setup a small on-site studio and take professional head-shots for them to use on their business cards, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. Think corporate photos that are more approachable. This can work with the aforementioned group, local clubs and even small businesses. You can decide to do little to no post production and / or automate some of your post on the spot, burn a master copy to disk and leave, payment in hand. Typically you could expect to charge $5-10 per person for 2-3 shots and with the proper workflow could easily do 30-45 people or even more in an hour.
Real Estate stager. Staging a house is making an empty house for sale on the market look like someone lives in it, to better give buyers a feel for what it could look like when they move in and not just a big empty space. Both agents and specialized stagers often need to borrow or buy furniture, rugs and wall decorations to use in the staging. Either selling the work directly to them to use, or having them resell it to the new buyers could be a new revenue stream for you.
Selling your work can be a completely rewarding feeling, knowing that someone likes your work and is willing to pay for it has a feeling like none other. To better your chances at selling, only sell your best work and explore as many of these options as possible, don't focus on just one.