Landscape photography can be a popular (and profitable) niche for amateur and professional photographers alike. In a State of Photography report from 2022, landscape photography was the second most popular specialization in the industry at 11.4%. According to Comparably, the annual salaries of landscape photographers in the US range from $31,786 to $328,761, with the average being $70,883.

But, while making money through direct commissions and clients is possible, diversifying your income stream is the best way to make this vocation profitable. Many landscape photographers have the skills, drive, and stunning photography portfolios, but they’re missing one crucial piece of the puzzle: a proven strategy for monetizing their work online – such as selling prints, licensing, digital downloads, and so on. By leveraging the right online platforms and tools for selling landscape photography, you can ensure maximum profitability. 

However, as a landscape photographer, you may face challenges when trying to sell your work online. This might include not knowing how to sell your photos, which platform is right for you, or how to stand out from the competition.

Image by enriquelopezgarre from Pixabay

We’re going to take an in-depth look at this, so whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, this guide will help take your landscape photography business to new heights using the below platforms, solutions, and strategies.

Effective Strategies to Boost Your Landscape Photography Sales 

While landscape photography can be profitable, success often depends on your strategy. This can include identifying a unique selling proposition (USP), creating a solid business plan, and building an impressive portfolio, all of which are covered in detail below:

Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition 

A unique selling proposition is what makes a product or service stand out from the competition. For landscape photography, having a clear USP is crucial because it helps attract customers by showcasing what’s special or different about the photographer’s work in a saturated market.

As a landscape photographer, you can identify your USP by looking at what makes your work different. This could be a unique shooting style, specialized equipment, exclusive locations, or specific themes. Max Rive, for example, primarily focuses on mountain photography. His signature style revolves around dynamic and epic landscapes, often featuring towering mountains, rugged terrains, and adventurous compositions.

Once you’ve discovered your own USP, it’s useful to articulate and promote this in your marketing materials, on your photography website, and in your social media profiles. If you look up Max Rive in Google, you can see how he uses ‘Landscape and mountain photography by Max Rive’ in his website description, helping to set him apart from other photographers in this niche.

Max Rive Photography on Google

Create a Business Plan

A well-structured business plan is essential for any landscape photography business. Creating such a business plan involves several key components:

  • Start with a market analysis to understand your target audience and the potential demand for landscape photography.
  • Conduct a competitor analysis by identifying your main competitors, evaluating their strengths and weaknesses, and determining how you will differentiate your business. This could be through your USP, your unique style, or even exceptional customer service.
  • Outline whether you’ll sell prints, license images, offer workshops, or a combination of all of these. You can then develop a pricing strategy that considers your costs, market rates, and the value you offer (we look at this in more detail below).
  • Outline your marketing strategy, including social media, website SEO, and possible collaborations. Detail your financial projections by listing initial costs for equipment, website setup, and marketing, and estimate your expected income from selling prints, licensing images, and/or offering workshops.

Using a structured approach like this ensures you cover all aspects necessary for a successful landscape photography business.

Price to Sell 

When it comes to pricing your photography, it’s best to start by researching the target audience and what they are willing to pay. For this, you can look at prices set by other landscape photographers with a similar skill level and reputation, which will help in setting a competitive price.

Prices for landscape photography on Artfinder

You’ll also need to calculate all costs involved in creating the photographs. This would include photographic equipment, travel, editing software, the time taken to edit, and any print or framing costs. The price you charge should not only cover these costs but also include a profit margin.

Offering a range of pricing options can be helpful, as it caters to different customers. For instance, limited edition or signed prints could be priced higher, while open edition prints would be more accessible. Similarly, you can sell mounted, canvas, or framed prints for a higher price than digital downloads. This strategy can help attract a wider customer base while ensuring a steadier income.

You can also employ psychological pricing. For example, prices ending in .99 are often perceived as better deals, making customers more likely to purchase. This strategy can potentially lead to increased sales.

Finally, it’s advisable to monitor which photos sell the best and adjust their pricing accordingly. If certain prints are selling quickly, consider raising the price slightly or printing more editions. This can also give you valuable insight into which type of photos sell best, allowing you to focus your offering.

Market Your Landscape Photography 

Once you have a price point, you can start to promote your photos to potential customers. There are various marketing strategies for landscape photography, including:

  • Social media marketing: Here you can post regularly to stay visible and use relevant hashtags on Instagram or Twitter to reach a wider audience.
  • Email marketing: Build a list of interested subscribers and send regular updates with engaging content and promotions. 
  • SEO: Optimize website images with descriptive alt text and keywords to improve SEO.
  • Content marketing: Create engaging blog posts about landscape photography tips, locations, and personal stories to boost website traffic. 

Consistent branding across all channels, including logos, color schemes, and messaging, reinforces your identity and builds trust with your audience.

Follow Others to Spot Growing Trends 

Staying updated with rising trends in landscape photography can be invaluable, in that it can inform your own work and your marketing strategies. You can stay current with popular trends by following renowned landscape photographers on social media, joining photography forums, and subscribing to photography magazines. Other ideas include attending workshops and photography events to both learn and network. 

Landscape Photography Magazine

However, it’s important to balance trend-following with maintaining your unique style and USP. Use trends as inspiration, but ensure your work remains authentic and true to your vision. This approach helps you stand out in the competitive landscape photography market while staying relevant.

How Do I Sell My Landscape Photos Online? 

As we’ve discussed, diversifying your income stream is the best way to make this vocation profitable, and selling online is a great way to create income from your photographs. In this section, we’ll discuss several different strategies for showcasing and selling your landscape photos online. 

On Your Own Website With FooGallery 

There are numerous benefits to having a professional website as a central hub for showcasing and selling landscape photography prints, as well as other products like calendars and books. As such, a website is indispensable for photographers and it serves as a tool to showcase your work, market your services, engage with your audience, and drive sales.

Photographers can use WordPress for their website and combine it with plugins like FooGallery to easily create visually appealing, organized galleries that enhance their professional brand. In fact, FooGallery comes with a number of features that make it ideal for photographers:

  • It has a range of customizable gallery templates, allowing you to tailor your galleries to suit your needs and your brand. 
  • Drag-and-drop reordering, or the various Sort options, lets you showcase your images in your preferred order. 
  • FooGallery works with popular SEO plugins, like Yoast or RankMath, to ensure your gallery images are included in the image sitemap. Other features, such as lazy loading or pagination (in the PRO Expert plan), help improve gallery performance for faster page speeds.
  • FooGallery PRO Expert also allows for media tags and categories to be added to images, providing an easy solution for media categorization and management. Plus it allows you to add filters to galleries for improved functionality and user experience. 
Filtering in FooGallery PRO expert
  • You can also add EXIF data to your gallery images with the PRO Expert plan, which can be useful when professionally showcasing your photographs.

Importantly, you can use FooGallery to sell your landscape photography on your website, which gives you full control over branding and design, and enhanced photo presentation. It also means that you have control over pricing, and you don’t need to pay out commissions. For this, the FooGallery PRO Commerce plan is best for photographers and entrepreneurs who want to make money online, due to its WooCommerce integration.

WooComemrce Product Gallery Demo
  • The Master Product feature makes it even simpler to sell digital prints, as you only need to set up a single product for each gallery. 
  • The Product Gallery template comes with category filters, buttons, and sale ribbons set up by default, to make it as easy as possible for you to set up your galleries to sell. 
product gallery
  • With this plan, you can add Add-to-Cart buttons to photos in the gallery and control the shopping behavior, such as by determining whether the user’s cart is updated or if they go right to checkout!

Selling your work directly from the gallery is a game-changer in streamlining checkout for customers and maximizing earnings.

The Best WordPress Gallery Plugin

FooGallery is an easy-to-use WordPress gallery plugin, with stunning gallery layouts and a focus on speed and SEO.

Use Third-Party Websites 

Showcasing and selling your landscape photography through online platforms using third-party sites can be an effective way to reach a global audience and generate income. There are several online platforms that offer services to sell and/or print your photography. Popular options for online marketplaces include:

  • Fine Art America: Offers a wide range of print products, from framed prints to home decor items. They also provide marketing tools and a large marketplace.
  • Society6: Specializes in artist-driven designs and offers a variety of products, including photographic or art prints, furniture, and lifestyle products.
  • Etsy: Known for handmade and unique items, Etsy also allows photographers to sell landscape prints directly to customers.

Using third-party platforms to sell and showcase your photography has several benefits over managing your own website. There is the ease of setup and maintenance (which is good for beginners), plus you get access to an existing customer base, and there is usually a lower initial investment.

However, it also comes with disadvantages, including higher fees and commissions, stricter guidelines, limited control over the look and feel of your online store, and you’re competing with many other artists on the same platform.

Open a Social Media Store 

Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest now give you the potential for not only showcasing but also selling landscape or nature photography. Photographers can use these platforms to direct traffic to their personal website or online store or set up shops directly on these platforms.

According to Hubspot’s Social Media Trends Report 2024, 25% (1 in 4) of social media users have bought a product directly within social media apps in the past three months. Different platforms will have different regulations, but this is still an avenue worth exploring, even if only in conjunction with other platforms. 

License Stock Photos

Photo licensing involves granting permission to individuals or businesses to use your images for a fee, which can provide an income stream for photographers. Depending on the platform, you can earn around 15-45% commission for licensing your images. 

Adobe Stock

Selling photos on third-party websites like Shutterstock, iStock, Adobe Stock, or Getty Images offers additional benefits such as access to a large audience base and the potential for passive income, as stock images can be sold multiple times without any extra effort. However, there are potential drawbacks including lower profit margins due to commissions and high competition. So it can be challenging to stand out and generate sufficient earnings.

Aubrey Westlund, a stock photography expert, also suggests lesser-known sites on her Instagram, such as Wirestock, Stocksy, and Cavan Images.

Photography Magazines 

An alternative platform worth considering is photography magazines, which can be useful for showcasing and selling landscape photos. As an example of where to get paid for photos, Outdoor Photography magazine offers £100 for ‘Lie of the Land’ article submissions, which feature up to 5 accompanying landscape format images.

Getting published in these magazines can enhance a photographer’s reputation and reach, so even if you don’t get paid you can increase the chance of someone visiting your professional website. This would also make for good content on your social media platforms and your website, helping to boost your brand.

Photo Contests 

Similar to having your photo published in a magazine, participating in photo contests can result in increased exposure, cash prizes, and publication opportunities. One example is the Natural Landscape Photography Awards, which has a top prize of US $5000.

Natural Landscape Photography Awards website

To find and enter landscape photography contests, start by researching reputable competitions online, like those hosted by National Geographic, Outdoor Photographer, or local photography clubs. You can also follow photography forums and social media groups for possible announcements. Read the contest rules carefully to understand themes, deadlines, and submission guidelines, and prepare and submit your best images that showcase your unique style. 

Other Ways to Make Money Online 

So far, we’ve looked at several different platforms that you can leverage to make extra money and grow your reputation. However, it’s worth mentioning a few additional avenues for landscape photographers to generate income online beyond selling their photos directly: 

Brands and Affiliations 

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting products through special affiliate links. Landscape photographers can collaborate with brands that sell photography gear, travel packages, or editing software, as these products resonate well with their audience. 

An example of an affiliate program like this is Nature TTL, one of the best resources on the internet for nature and landscape photography. The affiliate program offers partners the chance to work with them and sell digital products at a rate of 20% commission per sale.

To promote affiliate products effectively, consider writing blog posts, conducting product reviews, or sharing them on social media. However, it is important to maintain transparency and trust with your audience by clearly disclosing your affiliate partnerships. This honesty helps build trust and ensures your followers feel confident in your recommendations. This approach not only helps to generate additional income but also keeps your audience engaged and loyal.

Tutorials and Presets 

Tutorials and presets are valuable resources for both novice and full-time photographers. Tutorials, available in various formats such as eBooks and video courses, provide useful knowledge and insights and can cover a wide range of topics, from basic camera settings and composition to advanced post-processing and creative techniques. These resources can help anyone improve their photography skills, explore new styles, and stay updated with industry trends.

Presets are custom filters developed for photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. They allow photographers to apply a specific look or style to their images with just a few clicks, saving time and effort in the editing process. Presets can help enhance images quickly, while ensuring consistency across a series of photos, making the editing workflow more efficient. Joe Hall’s Original Preset Pack, for example, offers photographers the chance to edit their landscape images on Adobe Lightroom in the same style as this well-known outdoor and lifestyle photographer.

Joe Hall Original Preset Pack

If you’re already editing your images, you’re likely creating your own presets to streamline your workflow. These presets can be packaged and sold, providing an opportunity to generate passive income. By sharing your unique editing styles, you not only help others improve their photography but also provide an additional revenue stream. 

Grow Your Landscape Photography Business With FooGallery 

Creating your own WordPress website and using FooGallery is a simple solution both for landscape photographers looking to monetize their work and amateur photographers wishing to transition into professional realms. Photographers can use FooGallery to showcase their portfolio in an organized and visually appealing way. Plus, the tag filtering feature allows you to categorize your photos by theme, location, or style, making it easier for potential buyers to browse your work.

FooGallery’s PRO Commerce plan is particularly beneficial for photographers who want to sell their work directly from their galleries. In particular, the integration with WooCommerce allows for direct sales from the gallery, eliminating unnecessary steps in the sales funnel, and the ribbon feature can be used to highlight promotional items or sales.

Discover the numerous benefits of this plugin and start selling your landscape photos online using FooGallery PRO Commerce.

The Best WordPress Gallery Plugin

FooGallery is an easy-to-use WordPress gallery plugin, with stunning gallery layouts and a focus on speed and SEO.