The digital world is here and there’s no turning back. The pandemic propelled platforms like Zoom, TikTok and NFTs, the novel cryptocurrencies. I remember hearing about Bitcoin in 2013 and thought, ”this doesn’t make any sense…this is worthless!” Truthfully, I just did not do enough research to understand digital economy nor did I know anyone personally playing in the space. Fast forward to 2022, had I invested just a small amount, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this blog post and perhaps be on a yacht somewhere on the coast of Croatia. But here’s all our second chances, let’s not miss the bandwagon this time on NFTs. In just the past few months, there were already several record sales!
Here is an article listing the top NFT marketplaces where you can buy & sell (I use OpenSea)
SO WHAT ARE NFTS?
NFT is the abbreviation of “Non Fungible Token” that it’s unique and can’t be replaced with something else. It means that we can trace the history of ownership, when or by whom it was purchased and of course who created it in the first place.
Transforming a digital good into a token (tokenizing), gives it a unique value. Each NFT has its own identity, but also its own authenticity and traceability.
In other words, a NFT is nothing more than a unique and secured digital certificate/signature that can be attached to any object, physical or virtual.
WHY IS THIS GREAT FOR STREET PHOTOGRAPHERS
I’m not here to educate on what NFTs are, because heck I’m still learning, but I want to shed light on how this is a great opportunity for street photographers because it allows them to monetize their original work. NFTs are available to everyone but is definitely ideal for photographers who 1. have a following and 2. Are already in the game of selling their prints/zines from time to time to pay off the utility bill. Monetizing on your NFT will bring in much more income than selling hundreds of prints, plus you don’t have to deal with printing, shipping, and condition. You can make royalties if your buyer resells your NFT. Like on OpenSea for example, you can get up to 10% royalties because you still own the copyright of your NFT. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Here’s a video on a street/event photographer making some big bucks from his NFTs.
Even if making money isn’t your motive, I think it’s still cool to list your work as an NFT project. You don’t necessarily need to list it for sale, but just having it up for others to discover and be inspired is pretty cool to me. Personally, I have my street photographs listed for sale with the understanding that I probably won’t get a buy anytime soon (or ever LOL). So while my sales expectations remain low, residual benefit of listing my photos is for SEO. Let’s say no one purchases any of my NFTs but perhaps someone does come across my collection, then my website and reach out for other opportunities like a street workshop, or a speaking engagement, etc.
DIGITAL OWNERSHIP IS REAL
Take for example Bitcoin, the digital currency is not a tangible object but look how much it has blown up. People just want ownership of anything, whether it be for bragging rights, for sheer need, or for the pure love of it. Personally, I think this new Metaverse helps bring everyone back on a level playing field no matter your socioeconomic status. As mentioned above if you digitally own something on the blockchain you will have 100% proof that you are the sole owner. The NFT concept is really nothing new, for example I remember back in high school with the EA Sports Madden video games, every time you achieve something you get a trophy or reward. That ribbon of certificate is displayed to your user profile and every time you play online your competitors can see how good you are and how much time you spend on Madden. It’s like showing off your level of experience and play, no different than when you do well in an actual pop warner football game the coach awards you with a physical trophy or medal. There’s a sense of pride and uniqueness to it.
Again, this is still a new booming space but for all street photographers and artist that want to try to monetize their work, should consider entering the NFT space.
Here’s an article on how to create and sell NFTS for free – https://petapixel.com/2021/11/24/how-to-create-and-sell-nfts-for-free/
My NFT collection – https://opensea.io/Tim_Huynh_NFTS
Other street photographers in the NFT space as well –
Kevin Icabales https://opensea.io/kevinicabales
Ian Datz – https://opensea.io/collection/anotherdayinla
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