What Are Photography NFTs? A Beginner’s Guide


Photography NFTs provide photographers with more control over their work and new avenues to monetize their art form.

Posted July 27, 2023 at 5:00 am EST.

Traditional ownership and copyright laws meant to protect a photographer’s work don’t cover enough bases to benefit the artist. Photography NFTs are addressing some of these issues by giving photographers complete control over the distribution and revenue of their photos.

Read on to learn what photography NFTs are and how photographers can create and sell their photo NFTs. 

What Are Photography NFTs?

Photography non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital assets recorded on a blockchain that represent a unique photograph and act as proof of ownership and authenticity. 

Photography NFTs allow photographers to track copyright ownership and monetize their work digitally. Every NFT has unique identifying metadata, making it an irreplaceable collector’s item.

How Can Photographers Use Photo NFTs?

Traditional photography distribution faces challenges when it comes to monetization and image copyright. Copyright protection laws still follow old legal frameworks that don’t fully reflect the digital age.

NFTs give photographers a lot of flexibility when selling or distributing their work. Even after the buyer purchases the NFT, the photographer retains the copyright, and they can add conditions about reselling or commercial use. The digital ledger records all the NFT transactions so that the photographer can follow the ownership journey of their work.

Moreover, photographers can tap into different monetization avenues to supplement their income. They can sell their NFT and code the smart contract to retain secondary sale rights, giving them a percentage of the income every time the photo is resold. Photographers retain copyright and distribution rights so that they can lease their photos for commercial use even after sales.

NFTs are stored digitally, which makes them easy to transfer and share online. Photographers can display their NFTs online for promotional purposes. They can also use NFTs as a certificate of authenticity. NFTs can validate that photos are one of a kind and protect your work from replication by using blockchain, making them more valuable.

How to Create and Sell NFT Photos

Many photographers struggle with finding a starting point for their NFT journey, which can be overwhelming for beginners. Here are simple steps you can follow to make, list, and sell your photo NFTs;

  • Pick a photo or collection you want the NFT to represent. You must be intentional with your choice of photo regarding themes, quality, and target audience. Your collection should resonate with your audience and have unique elements that make you stand out. Photograph NFTs can vary from random pictures like selfies to detailed traditional photographs; there is no set formula for what will sell. Once you have your photographs, convert them into the right file format, like JPEG or PNG.
  • Choose a marketplace. NFT marketplaces come in two categories; curated platforms and self-service platforms. Curated platforms are often highly reputable and feature photos and artwork that are high quality; therefore, they have higher transaction fees and are not flexible with royalties. They vet and approve photographers who want to sell their NFTs on the platform. Self-service platforms have flexible royalties and are open to anyone who wants to sell or buy NFTs. Most marketplaces have a transaction fee at different stages of minting and uploading projects.
  • Create a digital wallet account. All NFT marketplaces require buyers and sellers to have a cryptocurrency wallet. Payments on the platforms are made with cryptocurrency. You also use cryptocurrency to pay transaction fees when creating and uploading your NFT. Fund your wallet with cryptocurrency and connect it to the NFT marketplace.
  • Upload your photographs to the NFT marketplace and list them. Different platforms have varying requirements for information you can include during upload. You may need to come up with the piece’s name, specify the supply, add a description, and set the price of the NFT. 
  • Promote your photograph NFTs on social media. You’ll receive a notification once a buyer purchases your NFT, and the cryptocurrency payment will automatically go to your digital wallet.

Photography NFTs come with many benefits for photographers. They give photographers control over their work and provide a novel opportunity to monetize photographs without intermediaries. While the recent decline in interest in NFTs has made it more difficult to sell photography NFTs, high-profile photographers can still use this avenue as a compensation alternative for their work. 

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