Selling photos is something only the professionals do, right? Wrong. These days you don’t need years of experience and thousands of pounds of equipment to make a bit of cash, you just need an eye for a unique photo and an internet connection. Sites such as Picfair aim to make the process of licensing your images simple, and open to anyone.
You upload your images to the site, set a licensing price for each one, and wait. If someone wants to use one of your photos – and that could be an individual who wants to put it on their wall or a global corporation looking for a shot for a billboard – they pay that one-off price, plus Picfair’s fee, and the image is theirs to use as they please.
Before you start digging out those Ibiza drunken party snaps, a reality check: there are a lot of very good photographers out there, and as Picfair gets more and more popular the quality will only go up. Set your expectations low, dig out your most unique and interesting shots and polish them to perfection before uploading.
How to sell your photos on Picfair
Step 1. Go to www.picfair.com, click Sign Up in the top corner, and create an account. You an use your Twitter or Facebook login for simplicity, or use your email address as an identifier if you like to keep things safe and separate.
Step 2. Once you’ve received your verification email and clicked on the link, you’ll find yourself at the main Picfair page, with a selection of popular images. Take a look around before you do anything else; you’ll see the quality of the best-selling images is pretty high.
Step 3. The first priority is your user profile. Click Profile in the top corner, then Edit. According to Picfair, users are more likely to license photos if you have a profile picture, so upload one, then add your name and location and some brief bio information.
Step 4. Before you upload any photos, make sure you’ve given your favourites a touch up. That’s beyond the scope of this walkthrough, but you can find plenty of guides to editing photos on our website.
Step 5. Once you’ve chosen a photo, click Upload at the top of the screen and be sure to read the rules in the link on the right-hand side. Any image you use must be your property, you must try to get the permission of any subjects, and it mustn’t invade the privacy of anyone.
Step 6. Choose a photo and give it a title. This is very important, as a catchy name can bring in the clicks. Don’t just type “Dog” if your photo is of a dog, be a bit more creative. For inspiration you only need to browse the most popular images.
Step 7. Add a few keywords and a short (and creative) caption, and then we reach the price. The temptation is to get greedy, but unless you’re a professional you have to be realistic. Your photo will have to be stunning to attract buyers at more than few pounds, so start low.
Step 8. Repeat that step a few more times with your best photos until you have a small Picfair portfolio. On your profile page you can sort your images by price, clicks, whether your image is trending, or just search by name or tag.
Step 9. If you click on any of your images you’ll get a nice photo view, complete with a watermark of your username. On the right you’ll see your camera’s EXIF data from when you took the photo, which can be of interest to buyers.
Step 10. The most important elements are the share buttons on the left. Picfair is competitive, so you need to get your photos seen. Click the buttons to open automatically composed social media messages; spruce them up a bit and start getting the word out.
Step 11. If your photos are interesting and your prices are right, hopefully you’ll get the occasional email to say someone has paid for the license. If not, you can experiment: lower your prices, try different titles and captions, and keep on sharing!