How One Photographer Made $15,000 In A Day On Instagram

How One Photographer Made $15,000 In A Day On Instagram

Daniel Arnold may already be known to some of you. With over 30,000 followers on Instagram he has certainly built an audience for his work. He has even been called the best photographer on Instagram...after his account was shutdown when he uploaded a topless photo of sunbathers one fateful day. Arnold has since returned and it seems his plans for notoriety on Instagram may have hit a new high when it was reported he made $15,000 in a single day using the platform.

Daniel Arnold is best described as a street photographer perusing the streets of Brooklyn for up to 8 hours a day snapping images on his iphone so that he may later upload them to his wildly successful instagram account. That success however did not translate into any real income for the avid photographer. In fact he has said that the sheer absence of work is what drove him to spend so much time photographing the streets of his hometown.

We have written about using Instagram to find work before, here and here, but Arnold took a slightly different approach. Recently Daniel Arnold celebrated his 34th birthday and it occurred to him that he had no clue how he would pay for rent the following month. So Arnold did what Arnold does best, he took to instagram, and posted the following message for all his followers:

"Hello, I just turned 34 this second. For one day only I am selling 4×6 prints of whatever you want from my Instagram archive for $150 each. I swear I will never sell anything this cheap again. If you’re interested, send a screenshot of the photo(s) of your choice to (one d) and I will send a paypal invoice, followed by a signed print. Easy peasy. Happy my birthday. I love you"

Daniel Arnold embodies a true street photographer. One look at his work shows us that he is extremely skilled at capturing split second moments and serves up a good dose of humor from a hectic and fast-paced environment. He is seemingly able to extract the emotion in a single moment and capture it eloquently for the viewer. Thus when Arnold made the one time offer on Instagram many of his followers jumped at the occasion. What Arnold did not expect was that he would sell nearly $15,000 worth of his photography in a single day.

Though the offer was intended for a mere 24 hours, due to its success, Arnold has not yet decided what to do about the extra orders which are still pouring in.





[Via Forbes]

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E Port's picture

It took years to make that collection. A more accurate title would be, "Popular Instagram photographer sells his catalog for one day to make $15,000" Doesn't sound as interesting though...

I follow a lot of photographers who post topless and uncensored photos... Maybe its just because he has so many followers. :(

Okay, some of his pictures are quite cool but "Daniel Arnold embodies a true street photographer"

I am sorry but I really cannot find anything interesting in the first pictures you shared. It's blurred, grainy as hell, just a random stranger - everyone can take this picture when the light is getting low.

JOE DDD (Daniel Dalin Drechsler)'s picture

that guy made 1/3 of my YEARLY income before taxes.
:) CONGRATS to him.

And he did it in 3 years... I wouldn't consider this successful in any way.

JOE DDD (Daniel Dalin Drechsler)'s picture

for him to do that in one day, to me, is impressive. :) How long it took him to get to the point he was able to do it in one day, doesn't matter, to me.

Yea right, it is impressive. But it's not like he would earn a 15k a day EVERY day. It was more like a once in a lifetime event, which still is impressive. Still the point of my comment is that this is not an indicator for a successful photography career

Guy works 8 hours a day for three years. Total remuneration: $15k
Only on the internet is that considered 'successful'.

Either way, he takes some cool shots. No doubt there will be a flood of tards yelling about TEH INSTAGRAMS LOL HIPSTER and so on, while showcasing their derivative landscape photos or snapshots of their grandkids.

"It took years to make that collection." (Eport)

Just to reach 100 requests or a little more after 3 years? It speaks for itself: quantity over quality.

He's just a glorified snapshooter. I refuse to "consume" this kind of photography.

Sounds like a lot of jealousy in the comments here. Whether or not you think his photos are good or not, he is getting a lot of free promotion and it sounds like he made more money with an instagram account than the rest of us did. I'm sure this will pay off for him in other ways as well.

All I could think were congrats to him! Instead everyone seems to whine about how much they could care less or don't think it's "worthy." Oh well, people will be.

There was a time when you needed to either work in a lab, or have access to one, get prints made. blah blah blah... The world, HAS CHANGED. And with it, the consuming public. If this guy has an income of 15K off of iPhone images on an account as this.. Good for him. He's managed to stride into the 'dolt' market of people that think this kind of thing is actually good. The fact is many '20 somethings' have a LOT of disposable cash, and very little brains behind using it.

But I'm happy for the git. As P.T. Barnum said... "there's a sucker born every minute". This guy fell into a bucket of them.

Why would anybody spend 150.00 on a crappy 4x6 taken with an iPhone? It's also probably printed on average office store inkjet photo paper and printed with a regular low budget printer.

It amazes me to see the race to the bottom play out this way in front of us. We have really great pro cameras and great glass. We spend time with our craft striving for better and better results. We have some great platforms for sharing our art. In the end, this average crap becomes elevated based on nothing more than trend whoring. It's cool to talk about Instagram and it's cool to tell people that they can be an artist with little to no investment.

This is what you get when you tell a generation of people that they don't need quality equipment or skills to create art. They believe you.

'I have a better camera, and PRO LENSES.... therefore I make heaps better arts'.

john pritchett's picture

It's really about what a buyer likes and will spend cash on. The expensive camera and lenses don't add to the value of an image.

If you know what you're doing you'll naturally desire tools that allow you to speak with refinement. If an iPhone is what allows you to speak, I don't care what you have to say.

The best photographer on Instagram?? You simply don't know the network then or understand the meaning of top tier photography. I repsect all types of photography including his, but to deem him as "the best" is blasphemous and not even remotely accurate.

Its teaching people to aim low.feeding the sheep.

Vladimir Ladev's picture

I say, make a permanent shop and sell prints of your work. I don't think that is selling out, that is what we do. Sell our service, not even the greatest of greatest artists weren't going to be in a museum now if they didn't sell their work.

Too much dedication for a hipster. Hipsters need a reason to complain.

Even though he now made a $15k (congrats for that), he didn't know how to pay his rent. That does not sound like a successful career. I prefer my "normal" income, which of course is below 15k a day but still enough to pay my rent every month.

It's still worth an article on this site I think because it is interesting to see the potential of the web and instagram but still - this does not sound like a successful career or a good business plan for photographers.

photos are not good at all. People are idiots.

I hope he saves some of that money to pay for lawyer fees after selling photos without model releases...

You're all also forgetting IF he is shooting with instagram you could never print 4x6 since they would be square.