Selling prints online

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by marie_lepage, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. My fiance are running our side business without it being business. We aren't charging anything. Now we're moving into a phase where either we charge $ and the client donates that $ to a charity OR the client and we do a service exchange. This keeps us away from the whole accounting, actually having a business thing.
    However, is there a way to make a little money on this? Like is there a website where we could post all the pictures from, say, a birthday party, and then we can give out this site to all the attendees and they can order the prints from there, resulting in us getting some kind of cut? This also fixes the problem of everyone wanting a disc of all the photos from us.
    We are very new to this. So feel free to state the obvious and redirect my efforts if I am doing this backwards or something.
  2. Marie
    I am very pleased with Smugmug. They offer 2 printing companies. One for custom printing and product gifts and another company for even higher quality printing. I have always used their basic printing company (EZ Prints) and clients have been satisfied. For superior printing they offer Bay Photo. You post the images and Smugmug does all the paperwork. Later, you just let them know that you want your check:)

    At Smugmug you can customize your website to your desire. Here is my site which I made very basic. I have just never got around to making it fancy but it works well for my clients. Smugmug also appears high in search engines. Using yahoo or google I am at the top of the page of both. You can do a free trial sign up with Smugmug. They also offer unlimited photo storage. Always nice to have an extra place to store your images. Another nice feature of Smugmug is, if you decide to use them, they offer a referral program. If you sign up please give them my referral number and it will save you $5.00 off the annual subscription fee. My referral # is fd0V82DyzX4lw. Website again is Shoot me an email if you have more questions. Search Smugmug on here and you will see it recommended often.
    Thanks, John
  3. There is no way to run a business without having to do all that "running a business" stuff. Subject to local tax laws any money you earn (either from direct sales or from sales by a 3rd party web site) will have to be declared for tax.
    As John says, using a site like Smugmug makes image hosting/sales easier but if you earn money that still has to be reported for tax purposes.
  4. I use SmugMug. They will collect whatever price you specify from the customer via credit card, send them the print and send you a check for the difference after the cost of the print plus their service fee. But Dan is correct. Once you start charging, it's taxable income like it or not. The upside is once you start reporting the income, all of your business expenses -- cameras, lenses, accessories, computer equipment, travel costs, photo magazine subscriptions, cell phone so your customer can reach you, etc. -- become deductible. Talk to your accountant.
  5. I recommend that you also check out Zenfolio for selling prints. Both Zenfolio and Smugmug have a free trial period. I've used both, and prefer Zenfolio for better uptime and ease of use. If you decide to go with Zenfolio, my referral code will save you a few dollars: DUQ-C5J-MB8
  6. I went with smugmug because I really liked the quality of prints that Bay Photo offers and I found their interface to be very user friendly. They also allow me to offer Print Credits and Percent off coupons to my customers. They also happen to be one of the cheaper online ordering sites so it was a win/win for me.

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