Advice on selling your photographs on Etsy

Use one of the best platforms to sell your work

Selling photographs on etsy

If you’re a photographer, you understand that making a living at your craft can be very difficult.  Because everyone with an iPhone can take a photograph, people are generally spending less money on portraiture, wedding photography and other services that were once lucrative opportunities for photographers.  

Fortunately, selling photographs on Etsy is a great opportunity for photographers.  The online marketplace provides a space where you can have your work seen by photography enthusiasts and potential customers.  Learning how to sell photographs on Etsy can be challenging, so we’ve outlined a few tips to help get you started.


Make your photographs stand out 

Because platforms like Etsy attract so many aspiring artists, building an audience will require you to stand out from the crowd.  Remember that your potential buyers are browsing through dozens and dozens of photographs, searching for something that catches their eye.  

In order to attract customers, you’ll want to add a personal touch that buyers can’t find anywhere else.  This may mean that you shoot locations specific to your area, you edit your photos in a specific style or that your photographs feature handmade frames.  Whatever you do, make sure that your photographs are interesting and unique.


develop a plan

Like any businessperson, you’ll have to do some planning in addition to selling your photographs.  Logistics and distribution are all part of your job.  This means that you’ll have to understand how to reach your customers, how you will print the photographs and how your customer will receive them.  Some photographers selling through Etsy, for example, don’t print physical copies of their photos.  Instead, they send their customers a digital file that can be printed wherever and whenever the buyer likes.

When your photographs start to sell, you want to make sure that you’re prepared for the orders.  Get your envelops, packaging and postage ready ahead of time so that your clients receive their product promptly.


Market your photographs

As an artist, you should develop a voice for advertising yourself.  After all, if you can’t get the word out about your artwork, your clients will never be able to find you.  One mistake that photographers selling on Etsy often make is overlooking the importance of  descriptions, thumbnails and keywords.  These are tools that the platform gives you to market yourself and should be utilized as best as possible.  

Make your thumbnails look just as amazing as your photographs.  You may want to shoot your prints against quirky backdrops to catch the browser’s eye.  Additionally, make sure that your descriptions feature any words relevant to the photograph that a user might be searching for.  If the image features a ferris wheel and a lollipop, make sure that these words are written in the description.

At the same time, do not limit yourself to straightforward, boring descriptions.  Think of the text as an element of the photograph that can be used to sell it.  Remember, your potential customers are looking for photographs they can see themselves living with and the text that surrounds it can help you attract them.

About the Author

Jake Smith living in Chicago, illinois and works as a design and retoucher, heading the design team at Productviz.
After 10 years of working for a marketing agency as a re-toucher and design guru, he started ProductViz to help artists show the world how beautiful their work is.

You can email Jacob directly at