A Guide to NFT Photography & Best NFT Marketplaces
Last Updated on May 6, 2022
Are you a photographer in 2022? If you’re looking for the best NFT marketplaces for photography, then you’ve come to the right price.
With the invention of the camera phone, many wrongfully assumed photography was a dying art. But, they couldn’t be any more wrong. Like every other industry, photography is learning how to adapt and carve it’s place in a digital world. Digital photography is now bigger than ever before.
So, if you’re looking to get in on the ground floor of NFT photography, then I’m here to show you what the best NFT marketplaces are, as well as a step by step guide on how to turn your photograph into an NFT.
Today, I’m here to spill the beans on what is NFT photography, how do you turn your photography into a booming NFT business, and what are the best NFT marketplaces for photography.
Table of Contents
What is NFT Photography?
NFT in photography is simply attaching an NFT to your photograph and selling it on an NFT Marketplace.
If you’re unclear about what NFT’s are in general, I’ll do a quick breakdown, but you can head to 8 Best NFT Marketplaces in 2022 to get a full explanation.
Here’s how it goes: You’re fortunate enough to have taken one of the last photos of Notre Dame during sunrise on the day it caught fire. Now millions of people have photos of the Notre Dame, but you have one of the last sunrise photos the morning it would change forever. Something like that can hold significant value.
So, how do you monetize on it? You add an NFT backed by blockchain technology and sell it on the NFT marketplace.
An NFT (Non Fungible Token) is something you mint (like printing out a dollar), except it is UNIQUE and is attached to a one-of-a-kind digital asset. So, you go to an NFT platform (we’ll discuss this in depth later), you create an NFT token for your photo, and voila. You have created an NFT which serves as ownership to that photo. No one can replicate this ownership as it is written on a public blockchain.
So, you have an NFT for your photo (or proof of ownership). You can then go to an NFT Marketplace (think of this like Ebay or Etsy), and you place the NFT for auction or sale (the ownership rights to the photo) where collectors buy them.
I HAVEN’T EVEN GOTTEN TO THE BEST PART.
Most often, these sales allow for royalties. So every time it sells YOU get a percentage!!
NFT’s allow you to claim ownership to YOUR photo AND you can sell it AND collect royalties every time its sold UNTIL THE END OF TIME.
How do you sell your photographs or digital art as an NFT?
Alright, so now you have the scoop on what NFT’s are. Now what? How do you sell an image as NFT?
Here is a Step by Step guide on how to get your digital masterpiece ready for the NFT universe.
Step 1: Capture the Moment & Assemble Your Photographs
The first step is to of course whip out the digital cameras and take inspiring photographs. Then it’s time to organize them. Do you want to display your photographs individually? If you’re as well-known as Beeple, you can pull off releasing one photo at a time.
If you’re starting out, more often than not you will start by displaying a collection of works. Think of this like an art gallery would display an artist’s work.
For inspiration, you can check out OpenSea. Click Photography. You’ll find a ton of photography NFTs to get inspired. Browse through the photography NFTs to see how other photographers are organizing their collections. Maybe it’s sunset scenes, rooftop views, or cats.
Once you have the digital files (your photos) ready to go, you’re ready to choose an NFT Marketplace.
Step 2: Choose an NFT Marketplace based on Your Preferred Blockchain
Now there are a LOT of NFT Marketplaces to choose from. Think of a hard copy photograph. You could sell it on Etsy, Amazon, or Ebay. If you’re selling one copy, you can likely only sell it on one platform (you don’t want to sell your one copy to two people on accident).
Choose carefully because sometimes, once you mint with a specific marketplace, it has to stay there. Some allow you to sell it on a larger platform like OpenSea. To learn more about what NFT marketplace to choose from, see below.
But there’s one critical factor to consider: What blockchain do you want to back your digital asset to?
Now, the most popular blockchain by far is Ethereum. It’s a very secure platform, using a proof of work (PoW) model, but that also means it requires a lot of processing power. The processing power COSTS MONEY. I’m not going to get into all the nitty and gritty of the crypto world, but for you to make money, this matters. Whenever you buy or sell something on blockchain, that transaction has a fee, (called gas on ethereum).
PoW Model blockchains require a LOT OF POWER. Therefore, YOUR FEES to mint your NFT will fluctuate based on the blockchain’s ability to do work and meet the demand.
However, Ethereum is moving towards ETH2, or a proof-of-stake model that dramatically reduces it’s energy consumption. Now there are pros and cons with both models, but that’s not the topic for this article.
The TAKE HOME POINT: You need to decide which blockchain you want your NFT on (Ethereum, Tezos, Solana, etc) and then choose an NFT Marketplace that supports it. The MAJORITY of NFT’s are done using Ethereum. Also, consider if you would like to sell “one copy” or multiple editions.
Step 3: Purchase Cryptocurrency & Set up Your Crypto Digital Wallet
So first thing, you need to own cryptocurrency. Typically this is Ether, but it can be many different types depending on the platform you choose. TO buy cryptocurrency, you need to get on a cryptocurrency exchange platform such as Coinbase or Gemini. Once you’ve purchase. your crypto, it’s time to get a wallet.
There are two terms you’ll often hear: crypto and NFT wallet. Some wallets are both (can hold crypto AND NFTs) but not always. You’ll want to make sure you have an NFT wallet. A digital wallet or crypto wallet or in this case an NFT wallet, is a software that you use to transfer cryptocurrency, just like you use a bank.
Now there are TONS of wallets like MetaMask, CoinBase, TrustWallet, and more. MetaMask is by far the most popular option if you are going with an Ethereum NFT platform. Choose one that is compatible with your NFT Marketplace.
Step 4: Customize Your Profile
Now that you have your wallet ready to go, link it to your NFT Marketplace account. You can than customize it as much or as little as you want.
Step 5: Create your NFT
This part is going to be specific to the NFT Marketplace you choose. Simply follow the steps to attach the image, set your price, royalties, and sell features. And you’ve done it!
Depending on the platform you chose, you either pay for the NFT to be minted upon creation, or some have features where this occurs when the NFT is purchased (and buyer can pay for it). Either way, this is the time to shine and make your best NFT.
Step 6: Market Your Product
Once you’ve created the NFT to your product, it’s important you get as many eyes on this as possible if you’re needing to drive some profits. Remember, you’re a photographer and an artist first, and people appreciate that. It’s what drives them to support you in the first place.
So be sure to have a Twitter account and share as that’s the main NFT Photography community.
What is the Best NFT Marketplace for Photography?
In choosing an NFT photography marketplace, here are some factors to consider:
- The blockchain you wish to use
- Barriers to entry (is it open access? do you need an invite?)
- Transaction fees and royalties
- Lazy Minting Options: Some platforms allow you to wait to mint until you sell your NFT. This minimizes the upfront costs, which is particularly helpful for new artists.
I have a full review of the most prominent NFT Marketplaces here. But I’ve compiled a list and quick overview of the BEST Photography Marketplace.
OPEN ACCESS NFT MARKETPLACES
Here are the list of the top open access NFT photography marketplaces. These marketplaces are available to the public, have very large volume of buyers, and are a great place for the new NFT photographer to start.
OpenSea is perhaps one of the most well-known and largest NFT marketplace out there and great for the starting NFT photographer. As the biggest NFT marketplace with nearly every type of NFT displayed, it’s also a great photography NFT marketplace.
How To Become a Creator: Open access, anyone can join, peer to peer marketplace
Photography Rules: Max file under 100 MB
Multiple Editions Allowed? Yes
Blockchain: Multichain (Ethereum, Polygon, Klatyn)
Minting: Lazy Minting available or up-front minting
Royalties: Set by the creator up to 10%. Applies to primary and secondary sales
OpenSea is like the Amazon of the NFT world. It’s the largest marketplace, anyone can create or collect, and is a great starting point for new NFT photographers.
Rarible is a popular platform for digital artists due to its user-friendly interface. They boast all types of digital assets including collectibles, photography, and videos. If you’re a new, tons of YouTube videos are already available to walk you through minting your first NFT.
How To Become a Creator: Open access to all creators
Multiple Editions Allowed? Yes
Blockchain: Multichain (Ethereum, Flow, Tezos)
Minting: Lazy NFT minting available, but your NFT will be part of a Rarible Collection, not your own
Royalties: Set by the creator up to 30%
Rarible is a large, multi-chain platform like OpenSea. This would be a great option for the photographer that wants to use an alternative blockchain like Flow or Tezos, or wants to have a higher Royalty fee.
Objkt is going to be your largest open access NFT platform for those looking to use the Tezos Blockchain. It has many of the features you may love about other NFT marketplaces with it’s easy to use minting process, and open-access platform. They showcase a unique digital image collection which may be perfect for you.
How To Become a Creator: Open access to all users
Multiple Editions Allowed? N/A
Minting: Now possible, also can have ‘collections’ which is not available on other Tezo platforms
Fees: Transaction Fee 2.5%
Objkt is the largest marketplace using the Tezo blockchain. I almost think of this as the “OpenSea” of Tezos as it allows users that minted on other NFT platforms to auction on their site (like popular HEN and Kalamint)
Many people have been impatiently awaiting this new arrival, which just launched on January 10th, 2022. It’s claim to fame is being a “community-first” platform. They have a great collection of photography NFTs.
How To Become a Creator: TBD
Multiple Editions Allowed? TBD
Fees: 2% Transaction fees
LooksRare is a brand new platform that is set to compete against OpenSea by recruiting it’s audience with lower transaction fees. Only time will tell its place in the NFT photography space, but it is looking very promising.
Mintable prides itself on being one of the most comprehensive digital marketplaces. It’s a multi-chain platform, and you can sell with no upfront crypto necessary.
How To Become a Creator: Open access, anyone can join
Photography: Can be JPEGS, PNG, MP4s, PDFs
Multiple Editions Allowed? Yes
Blockchain: Ethereum, Immutable X, Zilliqua
Minting: You can start a “store” where you sell items.
Royalties: Determined by the creator
Fees: Transaction fee of 2.5%, 10% fee for printable series, your own store will cost $500
Mintable is a great multi-chain platform and the ability to defer upfront gas minting fees.
APPLICATION PROCESS NFT MARKETPLACES
Now, if you’re looking to get into a more “exclusive” NFT photography marketplace, then an application process one might be a better fit for you.
1. Nifty Gateway
Nifty Gateway is a proud platform boasting high-end digital art. They launch new drops every few weeks and only keep them open for a limited time. They’re are a premiere photography NFT marketplace among a few others.
How To Become a Creator: Complete an application process and interview.
Photography: Allows creators to move work to their platform.
Multiple Editions Allowed? Unclear
Royalties: Creator chooses royalty fees
Nifty Gateway is a great space for photographers to mint their NFT’s as they pay a lot of the gas prices.
KnownOrigin was one of the first and still a prominent NFT marketplace. They’re goal is to sell rare digital artwork and claim to be very artist-driven.
How To Become a Creator: You must create a profile page, attach your digital wallet, and then apply via the artist application form.
Multiple Editions Allowed? Yes
Royalties: 10% on secondary sales
KnownOrigin has a nice collection, but there fees are much higher than the market average.
3. Magic Eden
Magic Eden is one of the largest platforms to buy, sell, and mint NFT’s on the Solana blockchain.
How To Become a Creator: You must fill out an application form, which will be reviewed in a few days.
Photography: PNG format only, but you can go through Mint Authority for other formats
Multiple Editions Allowed? Unclear
Royalties: Yes, determined by the creator.
Magic Eden is the leading platform on the Solana blockchain & has some of the lowest fees in the entire NFT market.With no listing fees, it’s lowered the barrier of entry for artists but maintains quality through its application process.
INVITATION FROM A MEMBER
Now these options are for the NFT photographers that have some amazing networking skills. If you want to get in on limited edition digital artworks and be part of a more exclusive club, then these might be for you.
Foundation is an exclusive NFT platform in which members recruit other members. If you want to get on this one, it’s best to start networking to get that coveted invite.
How To Become a Creator: You must be invited by a Foundation member
Photography: images, video, 3D artwork (JPG, GIF, SVG, MP4), 50 MB max, 3000 px is ideal
Multiple Editions Allowed? No, unique single editions only
Minting: Must mint photos up front, no “lazy minting”
Royalties: 10% for all secondary sales
Foundation is similar to SuperRare and Nifty Gateway in that is “curated” by it’s own community. This reflects the higher service fees, but it attracts a lot of great buyers.
THE DIGITAL ART GODS MUST CHOOSE YOU
Now, these are the best photography NFT marketplaces in the business. And the only way to make it in this club is to be chosen. If you’re looking to sell photography at top dollar, then let your digital artworks shine to get in.
SuperRare is like the Sotheby’s or Christie’s of NFT Marketplace. It’s where the most exclusive works are carefully curated and presented to the public for purchase. If you can make it here, you probably aren’t reading this article, as the are a photography NFT marketplace dream.
How To Become a Creator: You must be invited by the SuperRare team, but you can fill out a form to get on their radar.
Photography Rules: Must be original to you, created digitally, not tokenized elsewhere
Multiple Editions Allowed? No, single editions only.
Creator Commissions: Primary sale or “Mint sale”, the creator keeps 85% of the profit
Royalties: 10% for all secondary sales
Transaction Fees: All sales have 3% marketplace fee paid for by the buyer
SuperRare curates professional photographers with new artists recruited by the handful per month. You can fill out a form to get on their radar, but ultimately it’s up to the SuperRare Gods.
Well, let’s just say that MakersPlace made quite the splash when it sold Bleeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days for 69.3 million. They specialize in rare digital art, each piece signed and authenticated by the creator. This NFT market is pretty exclusive.
How To Become a Creator: You must be invited to become one of their NFT creators.
Multiple Editions Allowed? Unique and limited editions.
Royalties: 10% on all secondary sales
MakersPlace like some other high-end boutique NFT platforms is a curated marketplace.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much do NFT photographers make?
Like with anything else, the skies the limit! Photographers have already made hundreds of thousands of dollars on the NFT market, it just depends on if you have the business mindset to sell NFTs.
But like any artist knows, there’s some fierce competition and a lot of great talent out there. You’re competing globally among the best NFT creators out there, just like you are on the traditional market.
So the best way to sum up this photography NFT guide is to continue following your passions, as the community around you supports your unique artistic talent first and foremost. Photography NFT’s just allow you an easier way to monetize on this passion than through selling photography through traditional avenues.
How do you display your NFT photos?
The best way to display your crypto art is in the digital NFT world. You can do this with social media platforms. You can also “physically” display your photographic print with digital frames. I’ve dedicated an entire post on how to display your NFT art.