Conducting the appropriate marketing research is the most important way to find the perfect place to sell nature photography. Magazines and other consumer publications are one place to sell nature photography. Specific trade publications may also accept and purchase photographs of nature. In addition, one of the best, but most difficult, arenas for the sale of nature photography is in art galleries. Art fairs may also be a good way to break into the business of photography.
When trying to sell nature photography to a magazine or consumer publication, it is important to find the perfect fit between the photograph and the publication. Some publications may want only landscapes, wildlife, or environmental photos from a certain region. For example, Adirondack Life is a magazine that only accepts photos taken in the Adirondack Mountains. Sending Adirondack Life a photo taken in the Rocky Mountains would not be acceptable, and would cause the magazine editor to think twice about additional photos submitted from that photographer.
Trade publications are similar to consumer publications; however, they focus on a particular trade. Oftentimes, finding the perfect trade publication can be challenging; however, with the proper research, selling a particular photo can be easy. One of the best ways to find the right trade publication is to head to the local library. There, a photographer can peruse through past publications and find the one that fits. For example, if a photographer has amazing photos from a trip to the Northwest Territories in Canada, perhaps the Northwest Territories Explorer’s Guide would be a great match.
Art galleries can be very lucrative; however, the income may be slow. The type of nature photography that a gallery would accept is more thought-provoking and awe-inspiring than the type that would be submitted for most consumer or trade publications. Finding the right type of gallery is important: retail galleries, co-op galleries, nonprofit galleries, rental galleries, and even museums can be considered. It is important to thoroughly research a gallery to find out what its commission is, how much the rental of space for the photo is, and whether the piece of nature photography needs to be framed.
Photographers often find art fairs to be a great source of income, as well. Since art fairs can be found across North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, it is perfect for those who like to travel. They can be held both indoors and outside, so there is a constant opportunity to display and sell photos. Selling nature photography at an art fair may take some preparation. Photos should be pre-wrapped in plastic to prevent damage from overhandling, a canvas tent may be necessary to protect the items from rain and sun, and a display wall should be constructed to show off the best of the best photos.