Selling photos online

I’m  giving a little bit of thought to start selling photos online for a profit (hopefully). Several sites offer such services, such as Smugmug, Zenfolio, and Exposure Manager. Those three are the ones I’m looking at.

Smugmug seems the most full featured, but the pro set up is 150 a year (but if you use the discount code “flickr” you get 50% off). Smugmug charges 15% commission.

Zenfolio is 100 a year, but I can’t find their base photo pricing. It’s highly recommended online, but I can’t find any real information on their site, so I’m a big hesitant there. Zenfolio offers international shipping. Zenfolio also charges a fee of $3 each time they send out a payment. That seems iffy to me….

Exposure Manager is 65 or 100 dollars a year depending on the storage and bandwidth I’d plan on using. I could also order photos at cost from them, which I don’t easily see on Smugmug or Zenfolio. They also charge a 10% commission. Sutterbug is another site that is owned by the same company. Same core software and prices, just a different appearance and most likely core audience. It’s also a magazine, so it’s a bit more commercialized. Exposure Manager also supports international shipping.

Smugmug offers the cheapest 4×6 photos ( but I can find them cheaper if I order elsewhere, like with Kodak), but their prices increase over Exposure Manager at the larger size. Smugmug will have your photos available in photobooks that are done by Blurb, up to 11×13 in size.

Both Smugmug and Zenfolio have direct plugins from iPhoto, Aperture or Lightroom, but Exposure Manager requires you to upload via ftp. Somewhat simpler, but you lose a lot of control.

So what would I actually sell? Mostly scenery and landscape photos. I’d not plan on making any profit on family photos or similar, but I might have those available to order. I haven’t made any decisions yet, but I’m thinking about it. Hopefully I’ll have lots of good shots from Lake Powell, and that will work well with my photos from the Sierras

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