Everyone is a photographer today, with the quality of Photographs drastically improving on the newest smartphones and cameras.
If you are reading this article, it is most likely that you already have hundreds, if not thousands, of photographs taken on your own smartphone or digital camera.
If you have been wondering whether there is any way to make money with your photographs, look no further! NFTs or Non-fungible tokens may be the answer to this. If you are a professional photographer, having invested thousands of dollars in Canon, Nikon, Sony, or other leading camera equipment, this may be another way to recoup your investment. Or even if you are a hobbyist shooting travel photographs on your iPhone, you may be able to make some side income through NFT Photography.
While many of you may have tried to sell your photos as stock photos, NFTs take a completely new route to monetize your digital creations and is on the verge of taking over the digital world as the latest and hottest craze.
If you are wondering how you can make money selling your Photographs as an NFT or how you can get started on NFT Photography, then look no further. This article will explain in simple terms the basic concept of NFT, how popular NFTs are right now, and how you can potentially make money with your photographs with a five-step guide to listing NFTs on a platform to make money right now.
What are NFTs?
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have most probably heard of Bitcoin! It runs on an underlying technology called Blockchain, which is a decentralized cryptographic network that is a trust-based immutable system. While the underlying technology may be a little technically in-depth to understand, you need to know that NFTs are also running on a technology based on Blockchain. Thus, NFTs are already widely accepted and trusted.
NFT stands for “non-fungible token”. They are the newest type of digital asset, and they’re the hottest trend in the Cryptocurrency and digital world. There are many different types of NFTs, such as Digital Art, Music, Digital Creations, and even photographs.
“Non-fungible” means that it is unique and cannot be replaced. This means that NFTs can’t be copied or forged and are not typically bought and sold like regular digital goods we buy online.
While many of you know and even may own Cryptocurrency (which is fungible), NFTs have extended this concept to art, music, digital creations, and many more, including even Photographs.
US$ 69.3 Million for a Single NFT?!
There have been many different kinds of NFTs minted by different creators. Some are very expensive; others are ridiculous.
The most popular types of NFTs are those that celebrate pop culture icons or memes from different social media platforms such as YouTube or Instagram. These types of NFTs tend to be very expensive because they are so sought after by collectors who want to own a piece of history or memorabilia related to them.
Believe it or not, Beeple’s “Everydays : The First 5000 Days” is the NFT sold last year for 38525ETH (approx. US$ 69.3 Million) and purchased by a single buyer. This is one example of the true potential of NFTs and the investments in NFTs.
If you’ve ever bought a digital good, like an app or an e-book, you know how it works: you open it up, read it, and enjoy it. When you’re done, you delete the file from your computer or mobile device. Then you buy another one.
NFTs are similar—but better! Because they’re non-fungible tokens, every single one is different from every other. Bored Ape Yacht Club is a prime example of the wide variety of NFT in a single collection that has been one of the most sought-after NFT collections in the world.
In other words, this means that if someone buys a copy of your NFT file, then that copy gets assigned a unique ID number (called its “receipt”) that cannot be duplicated or shared among other people in any way—even if they have access to the same blockchain network. This makes the item unique and irreplaceable; no one else can claim ownership of it unless they have receipts for each piece.
NFTs are more than just a way to buy and sell digital art—they’re an emerging medium for expression, creativity, and community. They’re also a way to make money by selling your digital creations.
The idea behind non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is that you can use them as the equivalent of physical objects in your life—a keychain, a stamp, an action figure, or even a photo print—and then trade them with other people who might want them.
Your Photographs as NFTs
Taken at a unique location, your photographs carry metadata that proves your ownership and uniqueness of technical settings such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and even geolocation and timestamp. This makes your photographs your own digital creations.
Selling Photographs traditionally involved the process of printing photographs on a canvas and signing to prove your ownership. These prints may be sold and traded. The chances are that such photo prints can be scanned and duplicated without your knowledge or consent. This means that your photographs may not necessarily be unique and or in limited supply.
But with the advent of NFT Photography, the revolutionary technology based on Blockchain, your digital creations inherit all the advantages of Blockchain Technology. There is an inherited trust in the system, and you can piggyback on the rapid adoption of NFTs by monetizing your photographs right now!
If you are a seasoned photographer, an upcoming photographer, or even a hobbyist or casual photographer, now is the chance to try and sell your photographs as NFTs.
The 5-Step Process to sell your Photographs as an NFT
Whilst there are many marketplaces for NFT Photography, OpenSea is the world’s first and largest digital marketplace for NFTs and other digital creations. This article is not sponsored or affiliated in any way with OpenSea, but it is currently the de-facto choice for listing NFTs, considering its size and popularity. Although there are alternatives, we will discuss a simple five-step process to list your photographs as an NFT.
Step 1: The first and most important step is selecting the photograph. If you already have a photograph (or a series of photographs), you are already set to get started. If not, you can find your inspiration, spark your creativity and try to capture a unique piece of art through your camera lens. Try to be as creative and unique as possible, experimenting with different photographic techniques.
Step 2: Select a Marketplace. As stated above, OpenSea is the world’s largest and most widely known NFT marketplace. Thus, head over to their website and click on ‘Create’. If you wish to explore other marketplaces for your NFT photography, here’s a good resource.
Step 3: You will need to link your Crypto Wallet to get started, as the payment for your Photographs will be in Cryptocurrency. Converting from Cryptocurrency to Fiat Currency (or real money) is super easy, so you don’t need to worry. OpenSea has over 15 wallet options to choose from. If you are a beginner, creating a Metamask Wallet is an easy place to start.
Step 5: Now, you can make (mint) your photograph into an NFT. While the following section will outline the essential information required to create an NFT on OpenSea at the time of writing this article, there may be minor changes to this process with time.
- Upload your Photograph: This will be when you upload your post-processed / edited photograph in High-Resolution JPEG format.
- Give it a Unique Name: This is your own digital creation! So have fun naming it, and be creative and catchy. The more it sounds unique, rare, or exotic, the higher the chances you will sell it faster.
- Add External Links: You can link your portfolio website, Behance, or any other external website for potential customers to visit and learn more about you as a photographer and your work.
- Include Description: Write a short description to be listed underneath your photograph. This can supplement your digital creation and share your creative vision or what you saw through the lens when you captured the shot.
- Create Collections: You can create collections later once you have uploaded more photographs as NFTs. A collection can be a series of photographs that can be logically grouped, either taken in the same place or under the same theme or concept.
- Define Rarity: NFTs are unique digital content/creations that are limited in supply. The uniqueness/rareness is a key factor in purchasing NFTs. Thus, OpenSea provides many ways to make your NFT unique and limited in supply. Some of these features include Properties, Levels, Stats, etc. While you are invited to try out some of the below, you can also input the bare minimum to get started, and after that, experiment as your collection expands.
- Unlockable content: You can also include your NFT to have unlockable content that can only be revealed by the owner of the photograph (after purchasing).
- Be Explicit: If your photograph is explicit or sensitive (such as nude or boudoir photos), you may mark your NFT as Explicit & Sensitive Content.
- Specify the Supply: This refers to the number of photographs (NFTs) that can be created/sold. In layman’s terms, this means you will decide just how many copies of your photo can be sold. If you add a lower number, your photograph will likely be more in demand (being able to obtain a higher price).
- Select a Blockchain: You will need to select the Blockchain on which your NFTs will be listed. While the default is Ethereum, there are other options, such as Solana, Polygon, and Klaytn. Each Blockchain has its inherent benefits and disadvantages. If you are unsure which to choose, you may proceed with Ethereum.
You can now create your very own NFT on an online marketplace like OpenSea. After you list your NFT for sale, sit back and relax until it is sold to the highest bidder. That said, you might need to evaluate your listings against the market and adjust prices and accept bids accordingly, as the NFT market is highly volatile.
So, what next?
NFT Photography is undoubtedly a prime opportunity for you to earn money for your hard work.
Many seasoned photographers and content creators are already making money selling their photographs as NFTs. YouTube has many great videos and testimonials on how many have sold their photographs as NFTs. As the next step, you can also check out the great video series by Adorama on NFT Best Practices for Photographers.
You may also read about NFTs and their applications in other fields.
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