How To Mint And Sell Photography As NFT

A simple guide to selling your first photo NFT

Perhaps you’ve heard that you can now sell your photos online as limited edition NFT art. It is truly an exciting time in the future of art. But this also means that the selling of the said art involves some complicated elements. We are going to teach you how to create and sell your very first piece of NFT photo art. 

The process is not as easy as picking a photo and slapping a price tag on it, however, it’s not rocket science either. The entire cycle involves crypto wallets and minting gas fees. When you set up your first piece, it’ll take some time and effort to sell it. We will provide you with basic information, but you definitely need to do more research on your behalf.

Based on what platform/marketplace you choose to sell your photos, and when you decide to sell your piece, you know, there are going to be slightly different approaches.

  1. Do your research!
  2. Purchase Cryptocurrency (ETH or SOL)
  3. Choose a CryptoWallet
  4. Make a Transfer
  5. Choose a Marketplace
  6. Mint Your Work
  7. List Your NFT 
  8. Share Your Listing On Social Media
  9. Get Bids
  10. Get Paid

Do Your Research! 

The first step to creating minting and listing your first photo NFTs is to learn more about what NFT is in the first place. There are a lot of photographers and artists that are hearing the hype about this being a quick way to make money so they dive in straight away. As with anything else, you’re going to want to do research first, before listing any of the items on the marketplace of your choice. 

One of the things you may not have realized yet is that minting and listing your first NFT actually costs you money upfront, it’s not free. But you’re going to have to begin by purchasing some cryptocurrency that you can pay for the process. Mostly it’s most convenient to purchase Ethereum or Solana for NFT minting purposes.

Read More: What is an NFT? 

Purchase Cryptocurrency

Ethereum, aka ETH, is a specific currency used for creating, buying, and selling NFTs and you can do other things with it as well. NFTs are created and recorded on the Ethereum network, which is why you need to have this particular type of currency.

A cryptocurrency exchange is where you can buy and sell these digital currencies in exchange for fiat money or other cryptos, like Bitcoin – it’s the same idea as a normal currency exchange. This process is very similar to what you experience when you travel, you need to get the “local money”, except in this specific case the “local money” is cryptocurrency. 

Read More: How to buy Ethereum?

If you currently hold Bitcoin, Dogecoin, or anything like that, it’s like trying to buy something in Thailand with Euros – you got the wrong currency for the job. 

Now, there are a few ways you can exchange your fiat money for cryptocurrency. Typically, you’ll either pay via a debit card, PayPal, or bank transfer. But beware: if you use a debit card, there’s usually a limit on what you can spend. And sometimes it’s not enough to be able to upload and sell your first photo NFT. 

If you decide to go for a bank transfer, it could take up to two weeks. So if you plan on creating your NFT soon, you should probably do this part of the process right away, to have some time in reserve while you’re waiting for the transfer to complete. You’re also going to need to decide how much money you want to exchange.

Many experienced creators recommend starting with $150-$200 to make sure you cover the necessary fees and create your photo art, you might end up getting away with less, but you don’t want to be short because it takes a while for these transactions to process, so being $5 short will mean that you might have to wait another two weeks for the transaction to go through.

As for the fees, if you’ve ever gotten money at a currency exchange, in a different country, you realize the service is not free, you will be charged a fee for the transaction. It works the same way with crypto exchanges and here are the best ones which you can register your account with: 

Choose a CryptoWallet

You’ve purchased some crypto to spend and now you need to get a wallet to put it in. The crypto wallets allow you to interact with different platforms to buy and sell things. This might not be a perfect analogy, but you know how on a lot of websites you can easily one-click pay with Pay Pal. 

Your crypto wallet will allow you to do the same thing. It’s just a click of the button and then you can pay for services without having to do a transfer that takes a lot of time. There are many different wallets out there. One of the most common and reliable wallets is MetaMask

Read More: Top 5 Crypto Wallets for NFT Transactions

MetaMask has a browser extension that makes it so easy to use Ethereum (ETH). When you sign up for MetaMask, what you’ll need to do next is create a password and you get a special code called a “seed phrase”. It’s a series of random words that you need to keep safe since that’s the only key that unlocks your account in case you forgot your password or lost access to your mailbox.

We do try to stress you out deliberately because if you lose the seed phrase, there is no password reset, you will lose access to your wallet account, and the money you have there will be stuck in the cloud forever. So be careful at this step of the process to make sure you have stored your password carefully. 

Make a Transfer

So to be able to spend your cryptocurrency, for example on minting your first photo NFT, you have to connect your crypto exchange account to MetaMask. Remember, crypto exchange is where you exchange your fiat money for Ethereum, after which you use your crypto wallet MetaMask for all further transactions.

Your wallet (in this case MetaMask) contains a unique address, it’s like your Bank Account Number, where the funds can be placed. What you need to do is copy that address, sometimes it’ll go under the name of “Account” or “Wallet Address”.

After that you go back to your Crypto Exchange account, go to the section where it says “send” or “receive” money, plug in the address, the amount you want to send, and then simply click “send” and wait a few minutes for the transaction to get approved. You can try with a low amount first, just to make sure you don’t mess it up. 

Choose a Marketplace

When you display your photos in the real world, typically you’re doing it in a gallery, museum, on your very own website, or on social media. Think of your NFT platform or marketplace, as a gallery. Basically, it’s the place where other artists are selling and displaying their work and there’s usually an existing loyal group of interested art collectors. 

These platforms help you in the process of putting your NFT on the blockchain, in other words, “minting” it, listing your piece for people to see, and selling it eventually. Again, the collectors are already on those platforms. And there is a huge selection of different platforms to choose from. Each one has a different type of art, features, protocols, and rules. 

Some platforms list still photographs, and others are exclusively animation-based. You will definitely want to look into that as well before deciding. Foundation would be the best option for selling photo NFTs, according to many photographers who are a part of the Foundation Community. However, it’s invitation-based, so you are given 

Now, the community I like this, it’s invite-only. And so the invites are given to a creator once they sell a piece of artwork. So it’s artists curated. And I love that idea. And so it was pretty cool because after selling my first piece of art, I got to invite an artist that I really admired.

There are many other marketplaces, and you will have to do your research to figure out what fits you best, but by the time you’re done, there’s a chance of new marketplaces emerging by that time. So always look out for new projects in the world of NFTs.

Makers Place is another famous marketplace for NFTs. It allows you to choose different editions, there’s another one called Super Rare, where you can apply to list the photo NFT items you want to sell eventually. It’s very, very exclusive and highly curated – thus if your pieces are really good – chances are the right buyer will pay a pretty penny for them.

Read More: How to sell NFT for a pretty penny

Then there are more mainstream platforms like OpenSea, which is one of the oldest and biggest NFT marketplaces. And it’s not just for art. There are digital collectibles, like trading cards and 3d objects, but there’s no screening process or curation for the art. 

If you want to get started right away, you can do so on OpenSea, without having to wait for approval from the community or selling your first artwork. The minting fees are also relatively lower compared to other marketplaces. Of course, there are others, for example, there’s Wearable and Nifty Gateway, so you have to assess all of them and find the right fit for you and your artwork. 

Once you select your marketplace, you need to connect your crypto wallet. For example, with Foundation, you aren’t even creating an account, you simply connect your wallet (e.g MetaMask), and this becomes your account on Foundation.

If you have Metamask, there’s a little browser extension, and all you do is hit “connect”, and the rest of the setup happens automatically. This process does vary from platform to platform. But the general guidelines are: 

  1. Get your cryptocurrency at the crypto exchange
  2. Set up your wallet
  3. Selected your marketplace
  4. Connect your wallet to that marketplace

Mint your work

So now it’s time to mint your first photo NFT, all of that leading up to the creation of that first piece. Minting is when you actually create the NFT that lives upon the blockchain. It can’t be edited, it cannot be changed – whatever you mint is out there for collectors to see and appreciate, so make sure your photo is edited and ready to be sold in its final form. 

It’s time to pick out which photo you want to turn into NFT. Once you choose your creation, you give it the title and the description, after which you upload the piece to the marketplace. And depending on the marketplace you chose, this is where you decide how many versions of your NFT photo will be available.

Here you want to double and triple check to make sure you don’t have any spelling errors or mistakes. Because once the piece is minted, it can’t be changed and minting costs money. So if you have to delete it, or “burn” it (NFT lingo), the action destroys that piece on the blockchain, and then you have to pay to mint it again. Simply put: check your work carefully before you mint it. 

As you’re going through the minting process, you do have to upload your file. But to clarify, you’re not uploading the piece on a blockchain directly, as that would just take up way too much information.

So what you do is upload your piece through a platform of your choice. And usually, your photo goes to something called IPFS, which really stands for Interplanetary File System. It’s just a safe place to store your file, it’s connected to that photo piece you uploaded but only the NFT version of it goes up on the blockchain.

After you’ve double-checked everything now you hit “mint NFT”. And then you will be prompted to sign your NFT on MetaMask, similarly to signing a piece in real life. It’s, like authenticating that it is yours. The phrasing and buttons may vary based on the platform, but the general idea of the process is universal. 

You’ve reached the part where you have to pay money for minting your work. This is where your first gas fee comes into place. A gas fee is basically a payment to cover the computing power needed to process your NFT up onto the blockchain. In other words, you’re paying the people who are doing the work to make the system organized and valid.

Fundamentally, these fees are not consistent because it depends on supply and demand. And there are certain times a day or times a week when it costs more or less money to mint your photo NFT. The cost of minting your work will depend on the time, business of blockchain, and many other factors.

In some systems, you can actually select the amount you’d prefer to pay for a gas fee, input that into the system, and only mint it when the gas fee reaches an acceptable range for you. A few minutes after processing, your first NFT will be up on the blockchain. 

List your NFT 

You need to list your photo NFT for sale. Listing means making it available for a sale or a live auction. This is where you determine things like your reserve price, in other words, the minimum that you’re willing to sell your piece for. Depending on the platform, this could also be where you’re deciding how much you want to receive in “royalties” on future sales of your images. 

Unfortunately, when you list your piece, there is one more gas fee to pay. And again, gas fees can vary dramatically. 

Share Your Listing On Social Media

Congrats! Your photo is out there in the NFT world. But it’s time to let the world know about it. You need to promote your artwork, share it on social media, let your audience know, and consider being more active on Twitter. At the moment, it seems like the NFT collectors are most active on Twitter, so it only makes sense you begin your networking adventure there. 

Also, there are a lot of discussion groups in Clubhouse, where you can meet and connect with other collectors and artists. Furthermore, many NFT marketplaces, including Foundation, OpenSea, and others have their own Discord channels, which is a group chat platform that has a lot of different content. But you can join the conversation with collectors and share your work, engage, network, and create a general buzz around your photo NFT. 

Get Bids

Now you’re waiting for your very first bid. And we recommend promoting your work further on various channels while trying not to bite your fingernails off when waiting for your first sale to happen. If the process gives you anxiety, just dwell on the realization that some pieces might sell instantly and others might never sell at all.

Just like in the real art world, the success of your work is highly dependent on your exposure, quality of work, the right audience to deliver your artwork, and luck to some extent. And you may have some pieces that you love that never find the collector who will feel the same way about it. Or suddenly, three weeks later, your photo NFT has been sitting silently on the marketplace, and suddenly it sells. 

Get Paid

All right, we’re at the end, your piece has finally sold. Your NFT photograph caught someone’s attention and they bought the piece at or above the reserve price. Now when the piece is sold, the money is immediately transferred into your wallet minus a transaction fee from the platform. You can choose if you want to mint another piece, cash out the money, buy someone else’s NFT, or let the Ethereum sit there and hopefully gain value over time. 

You’re ready to mint sell and make money from being a photographer who turns their pieces into NFTs and sells them on NFT marketplaces. But before we wrap things up, we encourage you to continue with your own research. 

In the futuristic world of NFTs technology is constantly changing. And some of the elements in this article may shift around. Depending on advancements in tech, new platforms, and new community standards, things will change.

 For example, there’s some talk about dramatically reducing or eliminating gas fees. So in a few months, there could be a totally different step added to this process. You’ll also need to do some research on the specific marketplace or platform that you choose to work with. 

Because there are so many different rules on additions, royalties, and how gas fees are paid. There are some ethical elements to NFTs: people raise concerns about intellectual property, environmental concerns, and equitability. 

Wait, how does a digital thing have an impact on the environment? All of this technology around NFTs consumes a lot of energy with computing and processing power. And in fact, some research suggests that the environmental impact could be pretty significant. So if this is important to you, you should do some research to figure out how you feel about it and what role selling your photo art plays in the process.

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