NFTs for photographers are opening new horizons in this sector. Nowadays, thanks to technology, digital artworks can be sold as unique and original works, in a convenient and safe way. This means great opportunities for digital creators such as photographers.
More and more professionals are considering monetizing some of their works on the Internet. And the fact is that photography, like many other creative works, has its sales peaks. Normally, there are slower months and others with a full schedule. Therefore, it is very common to look for other ways to monetize the works. If you have already thought about this idea, fantastic, because today we are talking about a way to earn extra money every month: selling photo NFTs.
What are NFTs and how can we use them in photography?
Sometimes this topic can generate some doubts, so let’s go step by step. If you are interested in this emerging market and you are considering entering it, read carefully. Today’s post is dedicated to NFTs and photography.
The first thing you should know is what exactly is an NFT. The acronym NFT (Non-Fungible Token) translates as non-fungible token. Therefore, they are unique and unrepeatable digital objects, which cannot be substituted, replaced, or consumed with use.
And what is the need for non-fungible tokens? We see a very clear example, let’s think of works of art.
When an artist paints a painting, he creates a unique work. There is no other in the world like it. Copies can be made, but the authentic one will always have a much higher value. Therefore, when the author offers the work for sale, the buyer will want to be sure that he is getting the original. Now let’s transfer this concept to the digital world.
Surely, the first thing you will think is that in the digital world files can be easily copied, modified or replaced, being practically impossible to differentiate an authentic file from a copy. This is the goal of the NFT. Create through blockchain technology a chain of encrypted data and linked to each other. This way he provenance of the work and copyright can be known.
Now, how can I use NFTs in photography? You probably already know where we are going… right? Just as you can sell your original photos in an art gallery, you can sell them on the Internet through NFTs. You’ll need to convert your photos into an NFT file, upload them to a secure platform and have a digital wallet to receive the money there. Here’s how to do all this step by step.
How to convert your photos into NFTs?
Unlike what it may seem to you, you don’t need a lot of technical knowledge to create your own non fungible tokens, you can do it by following 2 simple steps:
The first thing you should do is to create your digital wallet. There you will store your cryptocurrencies and receive the money securely. For this, you can use platforms like MetaMask, for example.
Now, to associate your images to a cryptocurrency, you will have to create an account on blockchain platforms such as Capture, Open Sea or Ethereum.
Normally, during the process you will have to sign what is known as a “smart contract”, which is nothing more than an agreement through a computer application. This digital document will be signed between the author and the buyer and will be registered in the blockchain.
Actually with this you would already have your NFT created and ready to sell. The question is: where? There are multiple platforms for this, you just have to choose the one that will be best for you. It will depend on how you want to position your NFT for sale, that is, if you sell it as a work of art, if you do it for collecting or investment, or if you sell it pursuing its real purpose, which is to express through a license what can be done with a work.
If all this is still too new to you, we recommend you to read before this other article on how to create an NFT.
How to include licenses of use or exploitation in your photos?
In Spain, according to the Intellectual Property Law, photographs are protected by copyright. Even when you sell it, as the creator of the work, these rights still belong to you. What is sold is the work itself.
What happens when we talk about a photograph turned into an NFT? At the moment, in practice, it’s the same thing. So, when selling a digital image as an NFT you must include the license to use and exploit it in the blockchain file. How is all this done? Through a blockchain license certification service. Typically, this service is offered by the platforms you will use to convert your photo into an NFT.
To sum up. So far, to sell photos with NFTs you have to, one, create an account, on MetaMask for example, to have a digital wallet. And, two, use a blockchain platform, such as Capture, Open Sea or Ethereum, to convert your photos into NFTs. In this process, and this is something that many don’t take into account, you must make sure to include the necessary licenses on the blockchain through a license certification service. Typically, platforms include a license, although they do not certify it.
What happens to the usage or exploitation licenses when you sell your photos?
Once the transaction is completed, the copyright remains belonging to the creator. What the buyer acquires is the original work, not its rights, although the patrimonial rights could be assigned.
As an artist, you should consider what types of rights you are interested in assigning with the sale of the NFT. For example, some authors assign all rights exclusively, including reproduction rights, so they cannot exhibit the work in their gallery. If you are interested in showing the work in your portfolio, you should opt for another type of rights assignment.
How to sell photos with NFTs?
We’ve come to the point we’ve all been waiting for: selling photo NFTs. Let’s do a super quick review. You already have your digital wallet to store your cryptocurrencies and receive the money securely. You’ve converted your photo into an NFT using a blockchain platform. Now, where can I sell it?
You can do it through large platforms to obtain greater visibility, or opt for other independent platforms such as Creators, Safe Creative’s platform that allows you to monetize a work through full licensing.
When NFTs started to gain popularity, it became one of the largest platforms in the world, as many creators mint their works there. It also allows buying and selling in different cryptocurrencies – Ethereum (ETH/WETH), SOL, AVAX, USDC, BNB and DAI.
It is a similar option to the previous one, although more oriented to be a social network. This platform also offers a lot of visibility, built on Ethereum, so transactions are only made in Ether, their own currency. It is worth mentioning that they only work with artists selected by their own internal process.
If you would like to sell your NFTs on any of these platforms, we recommend reading their guide or user manual first to make sure you do it correctly.
Selling your photos with NFTs on Creators, the Safe Creative platform
Creators is one of the easiest and safest platforms to sell the licenses of your works, due to its reliability and transparency in the transaction, as well as the traceability of the property. In addition, we are the only ones who include in the NFT the copyright information of the work.
- The first thing you will need to do is log in or create an account if you don’t already have one. You can do both from here. If you don’t remember your login, we recommend following the password recovery process.
- Once inside, publish your NFT. This functionality is exclusive to Safe Creative subscribers (available from 6,5€ per month).
- Indicate the rights of use or exploitation that you are selling. It can be a complete assignment of the work, an exclusive assignment of all rights or a license for certain uses.
- Finally, set the price for each type of license and that’s it! It’s as easy as that.
Then, the buyer interested in your photograph will select the license or rights he wants and even request a custom-made one and can pay using a common payment method, such as a Visa or MasterCard. Even if he pays with a regular method, he must also have a digital wallet, as this is where he will receive the purchased NFT. At the end of the transaction, the buyer will see in his wallet the NFT with the license to use or exploit the work. At the same time, the author will receive in his account the amount of the sale.
How to price the NFT of a photo?
It seems that we have left the most “complicated” for last. And we say complicated because this is perhaps the most subjective part: the price of a work. You may be asking yourself right now if a digital work is worth more or less than a physical one, and the answer is that it depends.
When the NFT boom exploded, some of them sold for many millions of dollars. One of the most famous cases is that of the artist Beeple, who sold his digital work “Everydays: the first 5000 days” at auction for almost 70 million dollars. Yes, you read that right. Almost 70 million dollars. Which, evidently, caught the attention of the media.
Does this mean that all NFTs are worth millions? Sadly, no. It’s up to the author to set the price. Here we have to think of the work as a traditional, physical work of art. Is a painting worth a million euros? It is possible, and more. Is a painting worth 15 euros? It is also possible.
When we talk about art, the range of figures is very wide. The technique used or the rarity of the work are some parameters that could define its value and, therefore, its price. Although what will really set the cost is the artistic reputation of the author. Normally, the better known the author is and the more followers he/she has, the higher the price of his/her work will be.
In addition, an NFT guarantees that you are buying the original file, so the price can be whatever you decide, there is no other work like it. The rest will be copies and will not have the same value.
How much you get for the sale of an NFT
Here is another important question that we could not miss. And that is that as a photographer you will not only be able to earn money with the sale of the NFT, but there is the possibility that you will continue to receive income from it afterwards. Let us explain.
When the artist mints the NFT from a photograph, he has the possibility of activating the option of receiving a percentage of money every time the work changes hands. That is, when the owner of the NFT sells the work, the artist receives the agreed amount. This option is only available on some platforms and, when activated, it will be applied programmatically on the blockchain through the “smart contract”. The percentages can vary and range from 4 to 15% approximately. This is a way to support artists, since if the work is revalued the creator will benefit greatly.
To conclude, our final recommendation is that after reading this article you should investigate on your own the photo NFT market to see if it could be good for you and your business. Here we have explained how you can turn a photo into an NFT and how you can sell it on a secure platform to earn extra money. Now you need to decide if this could be interesting for the genre of photography you work in and if you feel comfortable creating and selling this kind of digital art. Because, of course, you should not lose the essence, which is to express emotions and enjoy the process.