Many may think that NFT photography is the newest kid on the block for the recently booming market. But NFTs are not new and, in fact, the very first NFT was sold in 2014 for more than $1 million USD.
The current hype has attracted a slew of creators, big and little, to an arena where they can profit off their NFT pictures within the cryptocurrency space.
NFT photography is mostly known to increase a creator’s revenue, add more art to an investor’s collection, and for the perks related to the cryptocurrency world.
Because the NFT world can be confusing at first for starters and because it isn’t always easy to find the right information, we’ll go through everything you need to know about NFT photography, how to sell NFT images, and the best photography NFT marketplace.
Having started selling photos as NFT myself, I’m confident I can walk you through all the steps to get started in this space. Make sure to read until the end to discover how to sell photos as NFT, the best NFT marketplace for photography, and much more.
CHECK OUT MY PHOTOGRAPHY NFT COLLECTION ON OPENSEA
NFT PHOTOGRAPHY FAQs
WHAT ARE NFTS?
NFTs have suddenly become the most popular acronym on social media and in headlines. With some NFTs selling for millions of dollars, it’s no surprise that the market is booming with new users every day. But let’s go deeper into the topic and see what NFTs are.
The term “Non-Fungible Token” refers to a type of cryptocurrency on the blockchain known as an NFT. A non-fungible token is one that cannot be exchanged for anything of comparable value. A blockchain is a decentralized network where transactions are recorded and verified using cryptography, allowing anyone to view the records.
According to Wikipedia, a non-fungible token (NFT) is data (images, videos, GIFs, and more) kept on a blockchain that guarantees an item to be 100% unique and unchangeable. Non-fungible tokens can be represented by media files such as videos and images in different formats. And this is why selling photos as NFT has become so popular among photographers.
The buyer of the NFT does not have access to any copies of the original file. While copies of these digital objects are available for anyone to purchase, NFTs are kept on blockchains so that the owner may present proof of ownership via copyright.
In plain words, NFTs are photos or GIFs (also considered pieces of art) that are unique, cannot be copied, and that has a different value in the crypto world.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF NFTS & WHAT DO THEY SOLVE?
Because most photographs are digital or can be scanned, photographers have a lot of flexibility when it comes to making money and getting credit for their work. And the fun part is that while the buyer has copyright ownership, the photographer still has copyright and reproduction rights.
For example, Snoop Dogg had published a collection of NFTs called “A Journey with the Dogg” and sold them for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
He still has the right to license the photos and still use them on his social media, as well as a share of revenue whenever they are sold. Photographers entering NFTs may profit from having a large following with an interest in their work.
Be sure to check out this awesome guide: How To Sell NFT Photography – Marketing 101
CAN YOU SELL A PHOTO PREVIOUSLY SOLD AS STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY AS AN NFT?
At this moment in time, there are no laws or norms prohibiting this at the moment. The regulations are determined by the marketplace you use to generate and sell NFT pictures. Some websites have rules, while others do not. Remember that behind NFTs value is tied to the work’s uniqueness and scarcity.
It’s important to remember that NFT buyers are, in theory, collectors. They are the ones who determine the value of a piece by deciding to buy it. For this reason, I personally think that there won’t such a law anytime soon and, therefore, you are free to sell your work both as stock photography and as an NFT photo.
CAN YOU MINT YOUR NFT PICTURES ON ALL THE MARKETPLACES?
Just like selling an image as a stock photo and minting it as an NFT photo, you are indeed able to create an NFT photo on multiple marketplaces. In fact, there are presently no restrictions, but you should ask yourself one question – does it make sense to sell it everywhere?
Think about it this way – the more popular an asset is, the less valuable it is; and not the other way around. It’s in your best interests to avoid duplicating your work on various marketplaces.
This question seems valid since, in stock photography, it’s common to offer the same photos on several platforms (unless you have exclusivity with an agency). However, in the NFT market, this isn’t necessary and you would just be spending more money to mint them.
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WHY NFTS ARE GREAT FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS?
Photography has become one of the most popular hobbies for creators. With millions of smartphones and digital cameras sold every year, almost everyone takes photos every day. As a result, people are more likely to view images on screens than they were previously.
According to a report by WordStream, 95 million photos and videos are shared every day on Instagram alone. Needless to say, if you’re a photographer, starting out with NFT photography is a must nowadays.
But why is photography NFT so popular if anyone can do it?
Simply put, NFT for photographers is easy and you can make a lot of money as a photographer if you have unique shots. Sure, photographers can also sell their photos on stock photography websites, but the revenue isn’t comparable.
The Los Angeles Times reports that stock photographers earn between $0.33 and $60 per sale depending on the platform as well as the photo.
On the other hand, Vice reported that some NFTs sold for millions of dollars in some cases. Naturally, not all NFT images will sell for such a high amount, but you’ll surely make much more selling photos as NFT rather than as stock photography.
Pricing your images on photography NFT marketplaces is totally up to you, however, at the time of writing (November 2021) the average price for photography NFT in a collection is around 0.25 ETH, and as a standalone piece, I’ve seen photographers pricing their images anywhere between 1 ETH and 5 ETH.
It’s up to you to determine the value of your work and how much you want to price your NFT pictures.
Remember, the longer time passes, the value of your NFT will increase or decrease depending on the price of cryptocurrencies in the market.
Talking from personal experience, NFTs have been a good way for me to gain visibility and earn money as a photographer. With images of my travels to Egypt and its pyramids, the stunning island of Siargao, and even Padar in Indonesia.
NFT PROS & CONS
Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages I’ve come across when considering selling photos as NFT. Things will undoubtedly alter over time as the technology develops, most likely for the better.
THE COMMISSIONS CHARGED & RECEIVED
Every time the NFT pics are sold to someone else, the artist will receive commissions/royalties. To put it another way, imagine a painter who gets commission for each time his or her work sells at an auction to a new owner. When the NFT is created (this procedure is known as minting), the total number of copies and amount of commissions are determined (these payments are usually made in Ethereum).
While it is certainly an advantage for the artist, it’s a drawback for some investors. For instance, if you plan to purchase an NFT photo for a few hundred dollars, the gas fee will most likely be a good percentage of that.
According to Business Insider, some buyers ended up being charged over $200 on the transaction fee alone. While it isn’t probably a big deal for purchases worth thousands, it certainly is for smaller ones.
THE COST OF CREATING AN NFT PHOTO
There is a cost to creating an NFT, as well as minting and listing the file on an NFT marketplace. The sort of cryptocurrency you use is determined by the type of blockchain you employ. In most situations, you’ll be using Ethereum; in others, Binance Coin; and so on.
Keep in mind that there is no assurance that your NFT will be sold. This poses a significant issue since, for example, uploading an image file on the Ethereum blockchain can be very expensive (a single file can cost anywhere between $50 and $500, or even more, depending on the Ethereum gas fees).
The problem stems from the Ethereum blockchain and how it works; despite any improvements coming, there is no assurance that prices to mint and list an NFT photo will be lower.
However, you really don’t have any choice if you want to sell. Blockchains with considerably lower costs do exist, but each file must be paid for. It’s hard to picture uploading hundreds of photographs since this is what traditional stock agencies do; they wait for them to be sold.
We can easily say that this point is a disadvantage but it’s eventually not, since these platforms help creators sell their NFT images, ultimately making a larger profit than simply making images available as stock photography.
Want help getting started with photography NFTs? Follow me on Twitter, send me a private message, and I will be more than happy to help you get started in the space!
THE PROCESS OF CREATING NFTS
The main disadvantage of NFTs is that it’s somewhat difficult for many individuals to know where to start and to mint the images onto the marketplaces.
You’ll need to buy cryptocurrency, first and foremost, and not everyone can easily understand how the market works. Although there are several useful tools available, the notion of purchasing and selling these coins may be daunting for most people.
The process of creating, obtaining, and trading NFTs is not straightforward but it’s not overly advanced either.
- First, you’ll need to create an account with a cryptocurrency exchange. I personally use and recommend Binance, Kraken, and Crypto(dot)com. These are the most widely used and secure exchanges.
- Once you’ve signed up to one of the cryptocurrency exchanges listed above, you’ll first have to fund your account by transferring fiat currency (USD, AUD, EUR, etc) from your bank account to the exchange.
- When you have some funds available in your account, you’ll then be able to purchase cryptocurrency, in this case, Ethereum. You may also skip the bank transfer process and purchase Ethereum directly with a debit or credit card.
- After you’ve purchased some Ethereum, you then transfer your Ethereum to a digital wallet such as MetaMask (more info on this further down in this guide).
- Then connect your MetaMask wallet to one of the NFT marketplaces so you have access to the platform and can start creating your NFT pics.
- You may then upload your digital file (known as minting) and list it on the marketplace by paying the gas fees via your MetaMask wallet that you connected to whichever NFT site you are using.
The technology behind this system is a little tricky to get started, however, it’s not too advanced.
There are many benefits to creating NFTs for photographers, and once you understand how the whole system works and start selling, you’ll be able to earn good value for your art.
WHERE TO BUY & SELL NFT IMAGES?
For creators, NFTs provide a new market where they can sell their art and set up an automated way to earn a portion of resales through royalty contracts.
On the other hand, investors who are excited about the technology – a group that usually includes cryptocurrency enthusiasts – see NFTs as a method to financially assist artists, and flex their digital art collections.
It’s critical for newcomers to enter the market with their eyes wide open, knowing that assessing marketplaces, including occasionally inconspicuous FAQs and service agreements, is essential.
Keeping all of this in mind, if you’re looking for a place to start, the most popular NFT photography marketplaces to sell and purchase NFTs are:
Naturally, these aren’t all and there are other platforms out there but these are the most used ones for both beginners and experts.
Buying NFTs is pretty easy – simply connect your digital wallet to one of the NFT marketplaces available (more about this later in this guide) and start buying – that’s basically it.
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WHAT IS THE BEST NFT PHOTOGRAPHY MARKETPLACE?
All things considered, in terms of reputation and convenience, the best overall NFT photography marketplace is OpenSea.
And then you have Foundation, which is just as popular as OpenSea among photographers. Although, something to note with Foundation is that you need to first be invited by another artist to be able to create NFTs on their platform which makes it a little more exclusive.
So, with that said, feel free to play around with different options available.
Make sure to check out this awesome guide: The Best NFT Photography Marketplaces In 2022!
OpenSea and Foundation are where I personally sell my own photography NFTs and it’s quite easy to get started in just a few easy steps – whether you’re buying or selling.
The image below is my collection of images that I have minted on the OpenSea marketplace.
IS NFT PHOTOGRAPHY A GOOD INVESTMENT?
Cryptocurrencies and other digital assets have soared in price, attracting artists, collectors, and speculators alike. The jury’s still out on whether this is a bubble that will collapse soon or if it’s the start of a new long-term investment asset class.
However, NFTs are very promising for creators and this could be the ultimate way to promote their work and make a great living out of it.
According to NFT Stats, there are over 26,000 sales per day and this number is likely to increase over time.
All in all, yes, selling photos as NFT is a good investment right now. But is it stable for the long term? Only time will tell.
As mentioned previously, the first NFT was sold in 2014 for millions of dollars and they’ve been around since, and with the increasing adoption rate, it is safe to say that NFTs are here to stay.
HOW TO GET STARTED SELLING NFT PHOTOGRAPHY?
You can buy NFTs on the marketplaces listed above. But how to sell them, if you’re a professional photographer? Let’s go through the different steps.
For this guide, we will use the most popular photography NFT marketplace, OpenSea.
SIGN UP TO A CRYPTO EXCHANGE & BUY CRYPTOCURRENCIES
The first and most important thing to know is that to get started with NFT photography, you’ll need to “mint” (term used to create) your NFT, and the only way to do this is to first have cryptocurrency.
To get started, you’ll have to sign up to a crypto exchange of your choice (more on this in the next section), in order to be able to exchange fiat (USD, EUR, AUD, etc.) to cryptocurrency.
RELATED ARTICLE: HOW TO GET STARTED IN NFT PHOTOGRAPHY
There is a bit of KYC involved when creating an account on a crypto exchange, but once you’re all set up, buying your first cryptos will be very easy.
Most platforms will accept Ethereum which is where NFTs were initially introduced. And in order to acquire Ethereum, you’ll need to purchase Ethereum on a cryptocurrency exchange then transfer your Ethereum to a “digital wallet” such as MetaMask and then connect your digital wallet to your preferred NFT platform.
WHAT ARE THE BEST PLATFORMS TO BUY CRYPTOCURRENCIES?
There are numerous elements to consider when selecting the best cryptocurrency exchange for you:
- Trading costs
- Simplicity of use
- Security precautions
- The number of cryptocurrencies available
To assist you in finding the best crypto platform for your needs, here are six crypto exchanges to choose from that are the most widely used:
All in all, if you’re just starting out, your safest bet is Binance. It’s easy to set up, to use, and they have both a mobile app and a desktop version which makes it extremely simple to understand.
SIGN UP TO A NFT MARKETPLACE & CONNECT YOUR WALLET
First and foremost, create an account on OpenSea and connect your digital wallet. You will be prompted to connect your MetaMask wallet upon signing into OpenSea.
UPLOAD YOUR FILE TO CREATE YOUR NFT IMAGES
You’re now ready to upload your file and create your NFT. In this next window, you’ll have to choose the NFT images you want to sell and upload the file onto OpenSea. This is as simple as it gets.
Most NFT platforms accept many file formats. In this case, on OpenSea, you’re able to upload JPG, PNG, GIF, SVG, MP4, WEBM, MP3, WAV, OGG, GLB, and GLTF.
Lastly, you can upload files of up to 100 MB.
CREATE AN AUCTION & FILL IN THE DETAILS
You may now add a title and description to your NFT image listing. Select the type of auction (bid or fixed price), the privacy preferences, the price you want to sell it for, and if you want to sell it immediately or schedule a future sale.
Of course, the more details you fill in and the most precise you are, the more you can eventually sell.
In addition, you can include an external link for the buyers to see more details about you or the photo itself. For instance, for my personal NFT photography collection, I’ve included a link to my website in order for the interested collectors to know more about my NFT pictures, my background, and more.
Now that you have completed the description, click on the “Post Your Listing” button.
PAY THE LISTING FEE & START SELLING
When listing your first NFT image on OpenSea, you will have to pay a one-off gas fee (service fee). Before you do, just a word of caution, the gas fee can range anywhere from $10 USD to $600 USD depending on the time and day.
My recommendation is to list your NFT images really early in the morning or late at night when there are fewer people on the server and gas fees are likely to be much lower.
Simply connect your digital wallet and pay the one-off “gas fee” upon listing your first NFT.
Once you’ve listed your first NFT, whether as a standalone image or in a collection, it will now be free of charge to list as many images as you want on OpenSea moving forward. This is known as “Lazy Minting.”
However, this is merely the beginning of the costs you’ll be charged. Just like all the NFT-selling platforms, OpenSea charges a fee for other things.
According to their Help Center, the fees that you will pay as a seller are:
- Buying NFTs
- When accepting offers
- Canceling previous bids
- Canceling previously listed NFTs
- Converting your cryptocurrencies
- Transferring and gifting NFTs to other users
On the other hand, you won’t pay for every single thing on the platform. You can do all the below without paying gas fees:
- Starting your collection
- Reducing the price of previously listed NFTs
- Creating your NFT using the “Lazy Minting” option
WHAT WILL YOU RECEIVE WHEN PURCHASING AN NFT?
When you purchase an NFT, you will, in essence, receive the file with the certificate of ownership. This may be a single edition, one of many editions, part of a collection, or something else.
In most situations, you are not buying the copyright to the image; as a result, the NFT creator retains full control over their digital asset. It does not provide restricted access to the digital asset.
NFT images are unique because they contain copies of the original photographs that can be seen by the general public, yet only one of them is actually owned by the asset.
This aspect of NFTs may be tough to comprehend from a traditional assets viewpoint, but it indicates a shift in consumer value.
So, how are NFTs taxed?
If you’re curious to find out more about the taxation aspect of NFTs, I highly recommend reading this NFT Taxation article written by Kathy from Wanderers Wealth.
Kathy is a true tax expert and innovator in the tax industry who knows her stuff. With her global network of accountants and tax lawyers, she can make sure that you’re best served and that you find a competent professional effortlessly who will prepare your tax return.
Kathy’s social media and online platforms are a massive wealth of knowledge when it comes to taxes. Make sure to check out her website wandererswealth.com and be sure to follow Kathy on TikTok and Instagram.
CONCLUSION – SELLING PHOTOS AS NFT
This was everything you needed to know about NFT photography, how to buy, how to sell NFT pics, and the best photography NFT marketplace. All things considered, if you want to sell photos as NFT, this is all you need to get started.
It’s impossible to convey, simply and clearly, how to calculate the potential cost of creating and selling an NFT because blockchain technology’s perplexing nature, wild cryptocurrency fluctuations, and lack of transparency on the platforms themselves make it difficult.
Moreover, as an NFT photographer with experience in the space, my inbox is always open and I am more than happy to help other photographers and artists get started in the space.
Please feel to reach out to me via Twitter or simply leave a comment on this post below and I will get back to you as soon as I can!
NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE: The Information in this guide and on this website, Jonny Melon Adventure Travel Blog, is provided for educational, informational, and entertainment purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness, or fitness for any particular purpose.
The Information contained in or provided from or through this website is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, investment advice, trading advice, or any other advice.
The Information on this website and provided from or through this website is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else. You should not make any decision, financial, investment, trading, or otherwise, based on any of the information presented on this website without undertaking independent due diligence and consultation with a professional broker or financial advisory.
You, the reader, understand that you are using any and all Information available on or through this website at your own risk. The reader agrees that Jonny Melon will not be liable for any loss, damage, or expense caused by using this guide.
The trading of NFTs, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and alternative cryptocurrencies has potential rewards, and it also has potential risks involved. Trading may not be suitable for all people. Anyone wishing to invest should seek his or her own independent financial or professional advice.
10 thoughts on “All You Need To Know About NFT Photography – The Ultimate Guide”
Great summary really and very detailed.
My question please, say a photograph of a landmark rock I took, can I mint it to art or just leave it as it is in the photograph and list it?
Glad you liked this article. There are no rules so you can mint as you wish 🙂
thanks for the article, I really enjoyed learning about this new marketplace. If I understood well, I can keep all of my photos on Shutterstock and other photography websites and still put it as a NFT? I thought selling a NFT means letting go off all your author rights…
Hey Lucas, glad you enjoyed reading this article. Yes, that’s correct. No, you still own all the IP rights to the images, you are just selling a copy of the image to the collector.
What do you think about promotion of your work? I’ve got a NFT opensea account myself with many photographs that I’ve taken throughout few years.
How do you think I should do? Create a website and thru it get organic visitors and potential buyers? Or should I stick only to a platform like twitter and beg for attention, scream around, etc. The 1st option gives me hopes, but the second one gives me creeps. 🙂
Hi Marin, thanks for reading this guide and hope you gained some value from it! I have created a separate post on NFT photography marketing which you can view here: https://www.jonnymelon.com/how-to-sell-nft-photography/
I personally use Twitter, discord, and this blog to market my NFT photo collections.
I hope this helps and best of luck!
Hi. what happens when an NFT does not sell? is there a charge for it just sitting there?
No, there is no charge for it just sitting there once it’s minted.
Thanks for the comprehensive article!
Based on your own experience so far, has it been profitable to list your images as NFT?
For a complete beginner to crypto and NFT, is it worth the trouble to learn and go through the process?
I’m not a professional photographer but only a hobbyist.
Hey mate, it’s a pleasure, glad you enjoyed the read. Yes, I’ve had a great experience in NFTs so far. The space is still new, and although somewhat saturated, there is room for emerging artists. If you put in the work, you’ll have success in the NFT photo space 🙂