Amateur Photography Self Hosted Selling Application

April 13th, 2021
Our digitalized times forces everyone to adapt to new technology and make use of new tools and resources at their best.
As an amateur photographer of my own i know that putting your hobby to make money is not an easy task. After thinking over this idea i came to realize that maybe i was asking the wrong question here. Let me bring some context on this:
These days almost everyone has access to digital camera through various gadgets and devices. So taking a photo not only that is not that hard but it's actually extremely easy and facile. While most of us are usually framing moments of our lives some of us are also enthusiastic photographers that having our DSLR gear out of reach at the moment, will, of course, make use of the nearest gadget with a camera. Usually our phones. While this passion can quickly fill our cloud storage space and most of these photos are just proofs of our work in progress, obviously we don't want to delete any of them.
But here and then, as in my case, some of these photos are pretty decent and often i would want to share these photos in a safe manner that will also give the audience the option to use them as well for a small token of appreciation.

Obviously the financial benefit here is so small that it can't be counted hence the "small token of appreciation". It's about the excitement behind of such "sell". Is the feeling you have that a piece of your work was good enough for someone else to use it in his project and to pay for it, regardless of the paid amount. That amount is the user's way of saying:"Hey! I like your stuff and i will use it on my project!". As an amateur photographer you know that this is priceless :)

"Well yeah but there are so many popular services where you can sell your stuff without going through the hassle of a self hosted application." I hear you dude and you might be right...or not! Of course you can opt in for those platforms and be just fine but for specific cases like mine, after trying these platforms, i ended up building something that would simply suite my needs.

Here are some of the many reasons i chose a self hosted application:

Top Listing

Usually on popular platforms if you don't have a good rank, if your photos have small number of sales or no sales at all, you're listing in the search results at the very and of the collection. Practically you're competing against other several millions of photos with small chances of wining. Having my own gallery means i'm top listing on every search result :)

Self Investment

Any tools i use to promote my gallery will stick and return back to me, instead of promoting or advertising a portfolio on a platform which will actually raise their awareness. Basically any resource i put into my project well it's my project who benefits an not a third party service (just saying) :)

Price Control

Most popular photo selling platform will take 40 to 60 percent of each sale you make. If the buyer has a subscription plan then your profit may be less then a buck though the platform charges the buyer 10 times the photo price for his subscription. With full control over the price of the license i wont make any bigger profit but at least the buyer will pay just that. I ask for 1 buck and only 1 buck will get charged. Even better the buyer will get the full size image and not a crappy low quality image starting from 600x400px which in my opinion is useless these days. I mean seriously you could use that at most for a thumbnail :)

Custom design

Showing off with a good looking portfolio on specific photo platforms requires a monthly fee which grows with the level of customization you need. At the end it doesn't come cheap compared to the cost of hosting your own app!

Of course this just my opinion and my case may not suite everyone else but i bet there are a lot folks out there like me, photography enthusiastic, that just want a mix between an image gallery, a portfolio and a simple selling system they can own and build upon it. Maybe just a starting point that in time, getting more skilled, they can turn it into a successful product.