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Thread: Selling Photos

  1. #1

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    Selling Photos

    Hi everyone, I took some photos at a mountain bike race on Sunday and some of the riders would like to buy some of my photos. How do I go by showing them the photos fist and then selling them to them. How do I share a low resolution photo just so that they can decide which ones to buy?

  2. #2
    thatguyfromvienna's Avatar
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    Re: Selling Photos

    Do you have a website?

    And whatever you do - put a HUGE watermark over everything you hand out for free.
    Big. Center. Obnoxious.

  3. #3

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    Re: Selling Photos

    unfortunately I do not have a website. Thanks for the watermark tip

  4. #4
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    Re: Selling Photos

    You can easily join a photo sharing website (www.flickr.com) and show them the pics there (best low resolution images, such as 800 pixels wide, with watermarks and all).
    They are free for up to 200 pics, and you can even choose whether your pics will be public or private...

    Re. selling... will you accept cheques?... if you don't want to give them your bank details you could open a separate bank account for them to make payments...

  5. #5

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    Re: Selling Photos

    Already have a flickr account, thanks for the tip. Paying isn't a problem its just how to show the pics without accidentally giving them away.

  6. #6
    thatguyfromvienna's Avatar
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    Re: Selling Photos

    If you have plans to make money with photography, I'd really consider buying some webspace and put up a Wordpress portfolio as well as a site to purchase the photos online.

    Webspace is way cheaper than most people think; mine is under 100 US$ per year for 20 GB of storage, a domain and unlimited traffic, for example.

  7. #7

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    Re: Selling Photos

    Yeah I am planning on doing that this year, its just that I actually just went to shoot for fun and now people are liking my work so they are asking for some of the pics but I really don't want to give them out for free and without any recognition

  8. #8
    thatguyfromvienna's Avatar
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    Re: Selling Photos

    Watermark.

    If you need advice regarding webspace and whatnot, please feel free to drop me a PM if you need assistance.

  9. #9

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    Re: Selling Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by thatguyfromvienna View Post
    And whatever you do - put a HUGE watermark over everything you hand out for free.
    Big. Center. Obnoxious.
    I'd suggest being a little cautious with that approach; for sure, it stops them being stolen, but it can very well also stop them being sold.

    A client of mine went to the trouble of setting up a website to sell a variaety of photos (everything from landscape to "slice of life" type photos). All photos for inspection were low-resolution with a big obnoxious watermark ... to the best of my knowledge, not a single photo was ever stolen ... or sold.

    So what do I think is the ideal solution? ...

    ... Haven't found one to be honest. Personally, I put images on an iPad that I loan out to clients, but although that approach works exceptionally well (they can't copy them easily, they get a consistent presentation, they get to play with an iPad etc), but it really only works for a single client at a time.

    Probably your greatest chance of success would be to print them out - put them in a nice album (or better still, on an iPad or similar) - then go and see each and every rider interested. It's a time-consuming approach, but you'll get the best conversion rate. Failing that, perhaps publish the photos in a contact sheet format (either in print or electronically) - with contact & pricing information (say, 2 x 3 inches - multiple images on a sheet).

    Will be great when we can digitally set images to "self-destruct" after a given time.

  10. #10

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    Re: Selling Photos

    I think it would be the big ugly watermarks that would turn most of the riders off and not pursue the matter. Even photographers who understand why it's there don't like looking at those. I'd go with the low resolution samples on your site with only a couple of each rider. Explain that they are low quality and that any purchased would be guaranteed to be a better option and possibly pull in some sales. Good luck.

  11. #11

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    Re: Selling Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew1 View Post
    I think it would be the big ugly watermarks that would turn most of the riders off and not pursue the matter. Even photographers who understand why it's there don't like looking at those. I'd go with the low resolution samples on your site with only a couple of each rider. Explain that they are low quality and that any purchased would be guaranteed to be a better option and possibly pull in some sales. Good luck.
    I have a theory that some peoples brains are wired certain ways - mine's one. When I see a watermark - or someone bounces a basketball a few times - or rides a skateboard down the footpath - it just draws my attention right too it - conjuring up an "annoyed" emotional response that that event has just "ruined something" ... ie a potentially good image - or the "peace and quiet".

    If someone is expecting the photo / art to be beautiful - and it has a obnoxious watermark - then we have to ask the viewer to "look past" that - and that's something I don't believe that many can do. In fact I'd go so far as to say "seeing the potential in an incomplete image is something that takes a trained eye, and lots of practice"; it's something I see in the studio all the time ... often the shots that come out the camera need work -- they may well need levels adjustments - colour correction - cropping etc ... and sometimes the customer is seated alongside me as we make the initial selects ... I'll say to them "don't worry about things like how bright it is - the colour - acne - other things in the scene etc - ONLY disqualify a photo if there's something in it was can't fix easily eg goofy expression - hand cut off etc". But even after the briefing, I'll find that they're STILL disqualifying shots when they don't need to. I think it takes a conscious effort for our brains to "look deeper into the photo" and if we photographers assume that because we can do it easily, our customers can also do it just as easily ... and that's a dangerous assumption".

  12. #12

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    Re: Selling Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    ...

    If someone is expecting the photo / art to be beautiful - and it has a obnoxious watermark - then we have to ask the viewer to "look past" that - and that's something I don't believe that many can do. In fact I'd go so far as to say "seeing the potential in an incomplete image is something that takes a trained eye, and lots of practice"; it's something I see in the studio all the time ... often the shots that come out the camera need work -- they may well need levels adjustments - colour correction - cropping etc ... and sometimes the customer is seated alongside me as we make the initial selects ... I'll say to them "don't worry about things like how bright it is - the colour - acne - other things in the scene etc - ONLY disqualify a photo if there's something in it was can't fix easily eg goofy expression - hand cut off etc". But even after the briefing, I'll find that they're STILL disqualifying shots when they don't need to. I think it takes a conscious effort for our brains to "look deeper into the photo" and if we photographers assume that because we can do it easily, our customers can also do it just as easily ... and that's a dangerous assumption".
    Well, there's also that you know that reducing acne, correcting colour, removing the odd background object, etc., is easy. The client probably has no idea what happens between you taking the shot and delivering the final image, so for him (her), what he sees is what he's going to get, and any improvements occurring are close to magic ('any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic', Arthur C. Clarke ).

  13. #13

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    Re: Selling Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by revi View Post
    Well, there's also that you know that reducing acne, correcting colour, removing the odd background object, etc., is easy. The client probably has no idea what happens between you taking the shot and delivering the final image, so for him (her), what he sees is what he's going to get, and any improvements occurring are close to magic ('any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic', Arthur C. Clarke ).
    Exactly.

    I try to give them a quick "magical tour" of a post-processing / retouching workflow - but it's still very hard for them. Yet another reason to get the images looking as good as possible in camera.

    In reality I batch process the basics (levels, colour, quick crop) - then let them make initial selects from there. Seems to work well enough - just looking to find that balance between not wanting to spent too much time pre-processing images just for initial selects.

  14. #14

    Re: Selling Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I have a theory that some peoples brains are wired certain ways - mine's one. When I see a watermark - or someone bounces a basketball a few times - or rides a skateboard down the footpath - it just draws my attention right too it - conjuring up an "annoyed" emotional response that that event has just "ruined something" ... ie a potentially good image - or the "peace and quiet".
    Just for the sake of knowing " What would you call an acceptable watermark if any and do you have an example? Say of one that you use on your images if any.

  15. #15

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    Re: Selling Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl in Louisiana View Post
    Just for the sake of knowing " What would you call an acceptable watermark if any and do you have an example? Say of one that you use on your images if any.
    Hi Carl,

    Personally, I don't use them - and to "put my money where my mouth is" my website is crammed full of images for sale - and at typically 1000 to 1200px resolution too (long side). My theory is that anyone who steals the images to make a 6 x 4 wasn't going to pay for them anyway (so I haven't lost any hard $$$), and the images are too low res to make a big canvas (which is how most are sold). It's my philosophy not to ruin the image for 100% of people, just to thwart the 0.01% dishonest ones.

    If one really MUST do it, then the only place I can suggest is in the matte surrounding an image. Some on the image are somewhat subtle (but still annoy me) but others are so "in your face" that the instant I see the image I just think "ok - done with this - next image please".

  16. #16
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    Re: Selling Photos

    Hi Tobias,

    Websites can be free now and are simple enough to make with content management systems in-build. Mine is a free site from www.weebly.com. Another free web site is www.wix.com I load all pictures at very low res and can add a page within half an hour and send the link to anyone. Good luck with your sales.

  17. #17

    Re: Selling Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Carl,

    Personally, I don't use them - and to "put my money where my mouth is" my website is crammed full of images for sale - and at typically 1000 to 1200px resolution too (long side). My theory is that anyone who steals the images to make a 6 x 4 wasn't going to pay for them anyway (so I haven't lost any hard $$$), and the images are too low res to make a big canvas (which is how most are sold). It's my philosophy not to ruin the image for 100% of people, just to thwart the 0.01% dishonest ones.

    If one really MUST do it, then the only place I can suggest is in the matte surrounding an image. Some on the image are somewhat subtle (but still annoy me) but others are so "in your face" that the instant I see the image I just think "ok - done with this - next image please".
    Hey Colin thanks for the reply,

    and I like your approach! I too have opened sites that have pictures with hugh watermarks and closed them right away. Even the small ones are very noticable and draws the eye from the image or at least it does for me.

    At the present I just give the photos away with some PP. I have had some people come and ask me to take photos of their family's and family events which is okay by me. I get the practice and they get their pictures. But I will never want to put any kind of watermark on them now or ever. People will remember who took their photos, thats my thinking anyway. I have a ways to go before I will be able to sell any photos. My skills and PP has to improve considerably.

  18. #18

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    Re: Selling Photos

    Hey all, thanks for the great advice, the watermark tip seems to be doing the job at the moment, I just put it right across the picture and then lower the opacity so that it is still visible but doesn't really affect the pictures. I think for now that's ok. One I really get into selling photos I'll make plans for websites and so on, at the moment its more to just earn a pit of extra pocket money.

  19. #19

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    Re: Selling Photos

    Interesting thread.
    I too would be hesitant to place a large watermark on the photo. If anything, just some copyright info in a lower corner (that would removed when sold), and provide a low res image. Since the riders have offered to pay for the images, you can probably trust that they will honor their word and take your work seriously.

    I believe those that are out there to "steal" photos, are browsing the web for stock-type of stuff and not images of themselves.

    Now, I'm curious to know how you are goign to base your price for the photos. Can you give some insight?

    Thanks

  20. #20

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    Re: Selling Photos

    For sale ...

    Selling Photos

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