Selling Your Images as Prints or Products through PhotoShelter

Selling Your Images as Prints or Products through PhotoShelter

No matter how far we move into the digital age, there’s still nothing
like having a nice print. You can stick it in your wallet or hang it on your wall, and it doesn’t require a battery or a USB cable to view.

The PhotoShelter Personal Archive has the ability to sell prints and other products either through a completely automated fulfillment mechanism with our partner, EZPrints, or through self-fulfillment if you want to control everything from soup to nuts.

After you’ve uploaded images, you can create a pricing profile — basically, a way to designate a price for each print size that you want to offer to your buying audience. EZPrints offers everything from wallet-sized prints all the way up to monster 30″x40″ prints. In addition, they also offer products like keychains and mugs that you can imprint your photos onto.

Alternately, you can set up your own custom prints or products, and set shipping prices to them. Want to sell a custom 20×30 print on watercolor paper in a limited edition, signed by you? No problem. We have all types of photographers selling images from youth sports to high end art prints from people like Vincent Laforet.

One of the cool features we introduced recently was the ability to also allow the customer to optionally specify a crop. This is useful because a standard digital camera has a sensor with a height:width ratio of 4:3. But a 4×6 print has a ratio of 3:2, so inevitably, something has to get cut out. Before we released this feature, a buyer might order a picture of a football player with his outstretched arms, only to receive a print where the ball was cropped out of the image. That’s no longer a problem.

When the buyer clicks the “Add to Cart” button, they will see the following:

Then when they go to checkout, they will see the itemization of their cart:

You’ll notice an “adjust crop” link below each image. Clicking the link pulls up a cropping utility:

The image is set to a default crop that is determined by the photographer. The buyer can use the default settings to “fit to print” (which might produce white borders), auto-crop (which enlarges the image to fit the entire print area), or select your own crop. The printable area appears completely transparent while the non-printing area appears slightly opaque.

If the buyer clicks and drags the transparent area, they can move the crop area around the image. If they click and drag the little black square in the corner of the printable area, they can resize the printable area. However, resizing the printable area might cause poor print quality (because you are enlarging the image). The user will receive a warning in the lower left corner of the window if we think that the buyer might have some printing problems. The warning is only a warning because the photographer might have ways to maintain the image quality.

Like the other e-commerce features, you can use your PayPal or merchant account to process the transactions, and of course, all of this works pretty well with our Seamless Customization to match the look-and-feel of your existing website.

Combine this feature with the ability to sell digital downloads, and you have yourself a pretty great way to monetize your images. So what are you waiting for? Get your sales going today!

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This article was written by

Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter. He co-hosts the "I Love Photography" podcast on iTunes.

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