How to Sell your Photography with WooCommerce

Update: January 27, 2015

Exciting news, everyone! WooThemes now offers a WooCommerce Photography plugin, which is built FOR photography, so much less work than this solution. If for some reason the plugin isn’t an option, though, then the method below should always still work 🙂


One of the most common requests we get at WooThemes is involving Photography – how to sell your photos online with WooCommerce. This can actually be achieved with just the core WooCommerce installation and the Product Add-Ons Extension – read on to see how to set it up for your site 🙂

Demo Site

A demonstration can be found at . It is password protected to demonstrate how you can pull this off without exposing all of your user files – to enter the page, the password is: lily


Text Walkthrough

First-Time Setup

  1. Using the Product Add-Ons Extension, you would create a Global Add-On that only applies to Photography products, which could be your entire catalog. The setup I used for testing can be shown here: This is an important step, because to get the pricing structure we’ll make each image have a base cost of $0.00, but each option they want will be an additional fee.

Setting Up a Product (1 shoot = 1 product)

  1. Photographer takes pictures, adds watermarks, edits, etc.
  2. For each set, the Photographer will make a Variable Product. The product will get the same password protection I mentioned before, with the client’s last name as the password for an example.
  3. In the “Attributes” tab, add an attribute for each image. Be sure to check both boxes and hit “Save Attributes” – you can either use numbers (i.e. “1 | 2 | 3”) or image names (i.e. “Sleepy | Playful | Christmas”).
    For the example, I have 7 images I want to upload, so my attributes tab will look like this: .
  4. In the Variations tab, select “Link All Variations”. This will make each variation appear – in the correct variations, upload the image in the image area and set the pricing to zero. You can also set a default variation to appear here – the cutest would always be good 🙂
  5. To finish up and make the page shine, you can add photos to the gallery.

You can see a demo of the final setup here. It is password protected so you can see it in action: (Note: The password protection is currently inactive so it’s easier to access)
    Password: lily

I hope this helps, and of course if you have any questions feel free to ask!

Update: How to Protect your images with Watermarks

Evan Fraser asked a very good question in the comments about how to protect your images with watermarks – although the gallery slideshow doesn’t allow direct dragging off of the browser, the images can very easily be obtained and you’ll be out a sale. There is a solution, though! Here’s a follow up on a few tweaks to make that allow you to display watermarked images all the way until after checkout.

Text Walkthrough

The process is the same as the above, only before starting you’ll create two sets of images – one of the full resolution final files, and one of a watermarked or downsampled version (which can and will help with bandwidth, too). In any instance where you would have used the full resolution picture above, instead use the Watermarked image.

As an additional option, if you want to give a user access to the digital files immediately after payment, you can mark each variation as a Downloadable Product. In that box, add a name and the full resolution picture – this will allow the user to download the full res picture from their Accounts page.

Note that this would mean any purchase would give the full version – so, if you still want to manually send the files or printed images, then you can skip the downloadable product fields entirely and just use watermarked images. Due to the nature of the workaround, there isn’t a way to have it only appear if digital downloads have been checked, at least without a huge overhaul of the process 🙂

Enough chatter, let’s see it in action! In this product, choose “Digital Downloads” and in the Cart page, enter the coupon code lilypicfree  so you can see the checkout process from start to finish:

Keep the questions coming 🙂


6 thoughts on “How to Sell your Photography with WooCommerce”

  1. This video was helpful! Thanks!

    One more thing though…. I ahem been trying to find a way to add watermarks to all of my photos when they click to open the lightbox, but on download, the watermark still shows up. Is there a plugin that provides the feature of adding a watermark while not damaging the actual downloadable photo?

    • Hey Evan!

      Great question. I added a video that should help you there – essentially, you need two sets of images, one with watermarks and one without. In place of all the images in the first video you would use the watermarked image, but in the new Downloadable File box you would use the high res image – they would only get the non-watermarked version after they have paid. You can check it out with this alternate version of the product here: . Select Digital Download as an option and use the coupon code `lilypicfree` so you can see it from start to finish 🙂


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