I am an amateur photographer who doesn't even own a DSLR. But, I do have a good collection of mobile photgraphy (mainly nature photography) and would like to sell them. Are there any magazines (or anything else) that would be willing to pay me for my work (if they think it's good enough)?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I suggest reading How can I make extra money with photography? - if you still have questions after reading that, please edit your question to be specific about exactly what you want to know. But the tl;dr is "nobody's going to pay you more than a pittance". \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Jun 27, 2023 at 22:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PhilipKendall I'd also add that with the rise of AI generated art, the bottom is going to fall out of the stock photography market. IMHO The only way forward is event photography such as weddings, or high end art (as long as you can prove that it wasn't AI generated) \$\endgroup\$
    – Peter M
    Jun 28, 2023 at 17:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just because in your own opinion you have great snapshots does not mean you can compete with experts in a crowded market place. Your shots must be very good when compared with the competition, in both composition and technical quality. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 28, 2023 at 20:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does this answer your question? How can I make extra money with photography? \$\endgroup\$
    – MrUpsidown
    Jun 29, 2023 at 7:28

2 Answers 2


To put into perspective the challenge

I spent 4 years apprenticed to a master photographer before I went into business. I didn't realize it at the time, but it would take me a further 6 years to progress enough that I can look back on my work at the time as reliably and consistently delivering value to my clients.

At that time, there were no cell phones and no digital cameras, so the barrier to entry to photography in general was much higher. Today, practically anybody can take a "good" picture by sheer luck (you can take thousands of pictures for the cost of a single frame of film). As a result, the supply has greatly increased. To stand out in this market you need to be even better and now you have to compete with AI generated art as well.

You may also find that many (most?) publications will have technical specifications for submission that you cannot meet with a phone.

All that being said

As a self-professed amateur, your best bet is probably to not worry about getting paid yet and just focus on developing your own skills. Push you cell phone as far as it can go, then invest in some better equipment once you can't progress any further without it. (You can learn a tremendous amount without a DSLR or mirrorless, but there is still a fairly low ceiling compared to what you can learn with one.)

If you do have anything that is really good, your best outlet is most likely submitting it to an online source for fine art on demand or a higher cost options is to print and place it for sale directly (many coffee shops and similar venues will sell artwork on commission). But don't get your hopes up too high in either situation.

It is also possible to sell work if you submit it to some competitions, with the added benefit of getting feedback on your work.


You also need to consider that the Dunning-Kruger Effect may be (probably is) at play. Every photographer goes through a period where they have progressed enough to recognize their own improvement, but not yet learned enough to realize just how much they have yet to learn. During this period the self-assessment of their work is wildly skewed. To overcome this, seek out experts in photography who can give you an honest (even brutal) assessment of your work. Your peers are ill-equipped to provide meaningful feedback.

Don't let any of this discourage you. My mentor gave me the same talk when I first came to him for advice on selling my amateur work and—though I didn't like hearing it—it made it possible for me to truly start to grow as a photographer to the point where I could make it my full time living for nearly 25 years.

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    \$\begingroup\$ An additional venue to sell things is to get a stall at your local art market \$\endgroup\$
    – Peter M
    Jun 29, 2023 at 19:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterM, very true, but I didn't mention it because that is likely a much bigger initial investment for OP. It's very difficult to sell prints for later delivery at an art market, so in addition to the stall rental, a variety of artwork in various sizes would likely be required. Even ready to frame (print and matte only) rather than framed could easily run into the $1000's. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 29, 2023 at 21:07

The most important thing about selling photography is that you have to want to sell photography more than almost anything in the world.

Give up on the idea of selling fine art prints. If you want to be paid for photography you have to provide the photography people will pay for.

Anyone can take perfectly good photos with a phone or camera. You have to zealously market yourself, spend 99% of your time trying to sell. You have to withstand rejection from most people you approach.

What needs to be photographed? Obviously weddings and other life-events. Unfortunately you need a lot of equipment and skill to do it. Call every wedding photographer in your town and ask to be hired as an assistant.

Real Estate. Every house and apartment that is sold needs photos of every room. This is much simpler than weddings as all you need is a camera and a flash. Call every real estate agent in town and offer your services. If they say they have someone, call them and ask to be hired as an assistant.

You get the picture.

And, back to selling your photos: Contact every photography gallery, arts group, exhibition promoter, contest promoter in the entire country and find out how to enter photos. Make sure you follow format rules and enter all of them. You might win a prize.

  • \$\begingroup\$ In a nutshell: "If you want to be paid for photography you have to provide the photography people will pay for." \$\endgroup\$
    – dmkonlinux
    Jul 5, 2023 at 11:45

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