Selling Surf Photographs to Surfers

Raw Transcript

one of the topics I did wanna mention is earning money from your Sur photos by selling them to the people who are in them and it’s something I get asked questions about not huge amount of questions but fairly regularly I get questions from people who would like to try and do this as probably not their main job but as a money spinner to make some money out of this hobby of surf photography so there’s a few different ways you can go about it I have experience in just very limited experience in selling photo to people and they’re people that I’ve usually who have contacted me when they see me in the water some of the more popular breaks were near where I live and I’ve dealt with them directly and sorted outcome manually on a one-to-one basis but I think if you wanted to do this seriously then you can have to set up some sort of automated system whereby you can publish your photos make it clear that this there’s a place where you’re going to publish them and then allow people to buy them and have it fulfils digitally automatically so that you don’t you’re not going through several emails back and forth Dropbox links and PayPal payments and things which is what I’ve done in the past so there’s one service which I think might be which has long these lines which is the surf line local Pro I’ve looked into it but I haven’t it’s just it wouldn’t work for me because it’s not my style of photography and I don’t often shooter busy breaks where there’s lots of people you might want to buy their images but a lot of people do do it and essentially you sign up as a photographer and then other people can see you in a directory based on where you are on the location and then if you if they’re interested in having a surf photographer come and take photos of them and the group of people then they contact you via the platform and basically hire you out for a certain fee that’s what agreed and you get paid and the delivery of the photos and things is all up to you between you and that person and like I said look in much detail but I have known I know that that’s a thing and certainly in North America it’s it’s something that you could look into and get up and running I don’t think it would be too much hassle to get that sorted I think you do have to you have to apply to be a local pro and there is a vetting process there but again I’m not 100% on what that would entail but do have a look at that if this is something you’re interested in because it is one way of getting your feet wet if you like in this type of thing without having a full commitment of building your own website or hosting your images or on a paid for service and which I think is the other option so I’ve seen there’s there’s people in the UK and I’m sure there’s lots of people elsewhere who have their own website set up so you go to the beach you might see their their van or their vehicle or stick it up with their brand name and they’ll be on the beach usually we have like a high-vis vest and a big lens so that you can’t miss them and I’ve had a few few photos snapped of myself on these services and I’ve been able to find myself fairly easily you should go to the time and the location and pick yourself out of the lineup basically so usually what all they are is a gallery of images and they’ll be straight out of the camera not processed or anything not to any like significant level anyway and then there’ll be a big watermark or five over the image just to make sure that you can’t just copy copy your location and you know save it to your hard drive and use it as it is so because the idea is obviously you want people the person who takes that photo wants you to buy that image from them and in terms of advice on how to do that I would just look at any one your local area who at Google and surf photography my local area and whoever comes up you’ve got a you’ve got to compete with them and if they’ve got a system in place that looks legit and looks like it’s working really well then you know there’s a market in your area for that type of thing so if you can produce something that’s just as good or better then why not have a go at it if there’s nothing in your area at all and no one’s doing anything similar maybe there’s not enough people who want to buy surfer tastes in your area II never knew so I think in terms of like the advice I give people when they email me and ask about this it’s look at surf line local Pro good way of avoiding getting into the house of the infrastructure and there’s lots of people doing it already that you can build upon look at your local area and what’s available from people who are already doing it and thirdly I mean it’s talk tear literally everyone at the beach the first time you you sell your photos I’ve done it before I’m like wow this person wants to buy these photos I tend to someone if someone I recognises me talks to me in the water or not recognized me but but the sees that I’m notices me taking photos in the water I’ll acknowledge that I’ll say hi and often they would be like oh where do you put your photos and I’ll I’ll give them a my learning surf photography calm and normally that’s quite a long URL so like okay might not look that one up so you need a nice short URL I’ve also got Ben Pasco Koda at UK and that’s a good one because it’s got your name in it as well so I would at least register a decent URL or a memorable email address that you can get in touch with them afterwards I did have some business cards that I would hand out and I’d write you know my number on the back of it and hand it out and if I got a really good one of them so you can do that I just haven’t done that in quite a long time I’m haven’t do something the situation where I had to but generally speaking what I do is if I’m in touch with them afterwards usually by email and I’ll send them the four or five shots that I like the most in a not enough quite a low resolution you know good enough for your phone screen but not something you’d print out so like a thousand pixels on the longest edge something like that um so I I just give watermark them I don’t do anything I just process them do some basic processing to make it to make the colors look alright or look better and then send it to them and say hey I got some shots of you these are the shots I got of you there’s because usually you’ll have taken sequences and picked out the best one so you might want to say I’ve got 150 photos that I think include you from this day here’s five that I liked if you’re interested in the rest get in touch and if they do I personally I would give them low res copies of everything because I just asked them if they put it on social media to tag your your handle in it let’s know me what I do and if I was trying to monetize this more than perhaps I would be watermarking at things but I just I think what those photos going to do on my hard drive and I’d rather that person had them I have set up pages on my site for people in particular who I know my friends and every time I get a photo of them I just put on that page they’ve got URL they go to blah blah blah comm slash joke blogs and it’s got all the photos by Joe Bloggs I went I think I did I put like a little license thing at the top which said free use these free in a non-commercial way I mean it’s just I want to give my photos out to the people I know and friends and get them there’s nothing makes me happier than than them being happy about having a photo of them surfing so if it’s friends like that then I’ll send them high-res if they want them off normally they don’t really need high-res so I’d rather you know they can pick take them off the website as someone but I’m I think there are ways of monetizing surf photography you have to take it really seriously you have to build it up from scratch and it’s not something I’ve done so yeah hard to to give you really solid recommendations on what to do but hopefully this is a good starting point at least if you want to go down that road and if you’ve got specific questions aren’t do get in touch and I’ll do my best to help already I can point you in the right direction for someone who has done what you’re trying to do and will be able to give you firsthand experience and give you advice from that point of view of having first-hand experience





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