April 15, 2021
By Hillary K. Grigonis

The acronym NFT is more than just a buzzword, especially for artists starting to see some cash from the quickly expanding digital art marketplace. The blockchain-based limited-edition digital art and collectable system, however, is confusing, to say the least. Getting started isn’t as simple as uploading a photo online—it involves cryptocurrency, a crypto wallet, gas fees, minting, bidding and more. Fashion and beauty photographer Lindsay Adler recently shared a step-by-step guide for photographers selling their first NFT, as well as insight into how the process went for her, in a video published by AdoramaTV.
[Read: What Are NFTs Anyway? A Photographer’s Guide to the Digital Art Craze]
The video is the second installment in a three-part series by Adler, “NFT 101 for Photographers.” Part 1 explains (in video and in a published article) what an NFT is and covers the essentials for photographers including the physical vs. digital artworks, the value of collectible art, photo copyright, and other essential considerations for photographers. An upcoming segment (part 3) will detail more of Adler’s experience selling her first NFTs and include her best practices for NFT art as well as a look at her very first NFT minting, including learnings from that process. Part 2 breaks down the process of selling NFTs into 10 steps (outlined below), explains some of the most common terms, and discusses how much Adler invested and how much she got back in return.
1. Learn more about NFTs. While NFTs have been around for awhile, the limited-edition digital files are just starting to explode in popularity thanks to recent record-breaking NFT art sales. Adler says understanding what NFTs are and how the system works is an essential first step.
2. Purchase cryptocurrency. You can’t pay the fees associated with selling your own NFTs with cash. Adler purchased ethereal on Coinbase. She suggests new artists may need between $150 and $250 for the first NFT. You’ll need to purchase cryptocurrency with either a debit card or bank transfer. The first usually has a low limit, the second can take up to two weeks. This is also where you’ll see your first fee in the form of an exchange fee.
3. Choose a crypto wallet. Crypto isn’t enough on its own; you need a place to store it, called a crypto wallet. Adler explains that a wallet is sort of like a PayPal for crypto, a system that makes it easier to spend and track your crypto. Metamask is one of the more common options, but she suggests doing your own research to find the best fit for you.
4. Make the transfer. Once you have a wallet and crypto, you need to put your crypto in your wallet using Coinbase.
5. Choose a marketplace. Adler equates an NFT marketplace with a gallery, just for NFTs. There are several options, and artists should research to find out which is the ideal fit for them. Adler chose Foundation for its community of artists, but it’s invite-only at the moment. Some of the other options include MakersPlace, SuperRare and OpenSea.
6. Mint your work. Finally, halfway through the process, you actually create your NFT. You’ll upload the piece and add a title and description. Be careful though, Adler warns—once you mint your work, you can’t change any of it. You’ll see the first gas fee here, which is a fee that covers the blockchain computing costs. Gas fees vary based on how much traffic the network is getting at that time, so it’s difficult to estimate how much you’ll pay.
7. List your NFT. Once your work is minted, you need to actually list it for sale. There’s a second gas fee here.
8. Share your listing on social media. With your work listed, Adler suggests hitting the social networks to promote your work for sale. Twitter users tend to be more interested in NFTs, Adler says, but other platforms and chat groups are good as well.
9. Get bids. NFTs are an online auction, so the next step is to simply wait for bids to come in. Here is where the risk of NFTs lie: You may get no or low bids after already paying those gas fees.
10. Get paid. Once your work sells, you’ll get paid in crypto currency. That crytpo can be added to your wallet, or exchanged for traditional currency for a fee.
[Read: 10 Random Questions for Lindsay Adler]
NFTs contain both a lot of potential in sales and a lot of risk. Creating an NFT isn’t free—you’ll pay exchange fees as well as gas fees that vary based on traffic to the network. You pay those fees regardless of whether or not your work sells. Adler says she spent $135 for two gas fees and the exchange fees involved in selling her first NFT. The work sold for one ETH, which at the time was around $1,600 USD.
Lindsay Adler has risen to the top of her industry as both a photographer and educator. Based in New York City, her fashion editorials have appeared in countless publications including Marie Claire, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and more. She is also a veteran WPPI speaker and judge for WPPI The Annual. For more a deeper look at her NFT process, be sure to watch the full video from Adler and Adorama.
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