By Misti Sandefur
If your hobby involves taking pictures, I have some good news for you! You may love capturing the most beautiful scenes on camera, but what do you do with all those photos? Do they just sit there and take up space on your hard drive, or are they placed inside folders and picture albums? No matter where these photos are, get them all out, organize them, and start making money with your love for photography -- you deserve something. Besides, you should share those breath-taking photos with the world, and your talent should be rewarded.
Before I reveal how you can make money with your photo-taking abilities, I'm going to help get you organized. Organization should be the first step, because knowing where to find what you need will make the whole process much easier.
Let's begin with all those photos you have scattered about -- the images on your hard drive, in folders, in photo albums, in your digital camera and etc. Take all these photos and place them in one pile in front of you. Next, separate each photo into similar groups (family, nature, animals, places, etc.). Once you have all your photos separated in groups, place each photo into photo page sheet protectors, and put the sheet protectors into a binder. As you place each sheet protector -- with the photos -- in your binder, still keep the photos in related groups in the binder. To keep them in groups, buy lined paper and plastic tabs, then, place a tab (with the group name) on each sheet of lined paper. Finally, place the lined paper with tab before that group of photos. Later, I'll tell you why you should use lined paper.
Now, set your binder aside and focus on organizing the photos you have stored in your hard drive and digital camera. To organize the photos on your hard drive and digital camera, burn them onto a CD-RW or CD-R using Nero 7. Following are step-by-step instructions you can follow to burn the photos onto CD using Nero 7. The instructions that follow are the way I burn my photos using Nero 7. If you use a different software program for burning CDs, then check your program's help manual for instructions.
- Start Nero 7, next click "make data CD" and open with Nero Burning Rom.
- Drag and drop your picture files from the "my documents" folder (or whichever folder your pictures are stored in) to Nero Burning Rom. Hold down CTRL to select multiple files. To select all files in that folder, click edit, then click select all.
- After you have all the files you want to burn, click "burn" from the top of Nero Burning Rom.
- Once you click "burn," you will have to set the options to what you desire. (See glossary in the help menu for an explanation of each term.) Here's what I use for my settings: Under the multisession tab, I select start "multisession disc."
Under the ISO tab, I select "mode 1" for "data mode"; "ISO 9660 + Joliet" for "file system"; "Level 1" for "file name length (ISO)"; "ISO 9660" for "character set (ISO)." Under "relax restrictions," I usually check the following: "allow path depth of more than 8 directories," "allow more than 255 characters in path," and "allow more than 64 characters for Joliet names."
Under the label tab, I select "automatic," and in the field for "disc name" I enter a name for my disc (e.g., family photos, animal photos or etc.).
Under the dates tab, I select nothing for "volume creation," but for "file dates," I select "use the date and time from the original file."
Under the misc tab, the only thing I check is "cache files from disk and network," but if you don't want to cache your files you can leave both tabs unchecked.
Finally, under the burn tab, for "action" I select "write," and for "writing" the "write speed" I select is 48x, and for "write method" I select "Disc-at-once/96." Next, I enter the number of copies I want to make, and then I check "BURN-Proof," "use multiple recorders," and "do a virus check before burning."
- Hit burn and wait.
See, that wasn't so hard, was it. And now -- since your photos are all organized -- finding what you need to make money will be a much simpler task.
Moving on. ... To turn your abilities into cash you will begin by finding magazines, newspapers, businesses and etc. who will buy your photos. Yes, writers make up the content for these publications, but artists make up the covers and photos. Furthermore, to be honest, the greater part of these publications pays more for photos than they do for the written content. How do you find these markets? Being with a few searches on Google. Search Google for keyword phrases such as we pay for photos, photo guidelines and sell your photos. When you enter the keyword phrases, place quotation marks around them -- this searches the exact phrase.
Other than Googling search terms, another place to find a market for your photos is the current edition of "Writer's Market." "Writer's Market" is not only for writers, but photographers can use this resource guide as well. The "Writer's Market" specifies if the publication accepts photos, and most of the time it will also state how much pay is given for each photo. Updated more frequently than the print edition is the online edition of "Writer's Market," therefore, in my opinion, I think the online edition is the best way to go. A yearly subscription to the online edition of "Writer's Market" is $29.99 -- a small price to pay for over 100 markets.
Remember when I said to put lined paper in your binder; this is where it comes in play. On the lined paper, you will write the name of each market you find that will take photos in that group. Not only will you write the name of the market, but you will also list their Web site URL, the submission information, how much they pay, and the rights they purchase. For example, on the lined paper separating the animals group, write down all the information specified above on the markets that accept animal photos. Then, for the family group, write down all the information on the markets that accept family related photos, and so on. Finally, when you're ready to submit your animal photos, using your tabs, you can flip to the animal group in your binder, choose the animal photos you think are best, and submit those photos to the markets listed on the lined paper in this group.
There are many other ways to sell your photos, but you must build a portfolio first, and the techniques mentioned above are the best way to get started. After you have established your portfolio, refer to my article on marketing your photos to discover the many other ways you can make money with your photos.
Go ahead and start selling your photos using the system in this article today, and in no time your photo equipment should pay for itself!