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Thread: Selling pics km

  1. #1

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    Selling pics km

    Hello all. Not really sure if this belongs here but anyway... I am trying really hard to get into selling pics. I have submitted some pics on various sites- all refused. These were some I considered a few of my best[not great-but adequate]. This seems to be an impossible endeavor. In my opinion it seems as if they are only accepting professional photographers pics although they advertise to everyone. I don't really understand why this is the case. I look through some other peoples pics that were accepted and they aren't professional in appearance. I would really appreciate some feedback on this. Some encouragement would be helpful also because I am ready to give up. Thanks for "listening".

  2. #2

    Re: Selling pics km

    Can we see some of the images - both yours and the ones by others that were accepted?

  3. #3

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    Re: Selling pics km

    Please join me in the "Happy Dance". One of my pics has been accepted!!

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    Re: Selling pics km

    Quote Originally Posted by kidede View Post
    I am trying really hard to get into selling pics.
    It would be great to see your pics, but regardless, I can tell you that it's a really "fickle business".

    Personally, I've reached the conclusion that the only way to do it properly is to do it myself; I've lost count of the number of large canvas prints that have decorated the walls of shops under the guise of being for sale (at my expense), and - frankly - I'm getting pretty sick of it - so I've decided "no more"; if they want them on their walls for sale then they can buy them at a wholesale rate like any other piece of merchandise. The current "master plan" is to build up stock over the next year or so and then have my own exhibition and sell direct to the public.

    Not sure how or if this might apply to you, but if you can give us a pointer as to what your trying to sell then we might be able to get a better feel for your situation.

  5. #5

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    Re: Selling pics km

    I will try to post some pics soon. I have submitted several different types of photos in various categories before actually having one accepted. I am currently using a site titled Dreamstime. I was just checking out some other pics there and none so far are really anything unusual. You may want to check it out. Thanks for responding.

  6. #6

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    Re: Selling pics km

    So has anyone actually had much success selling photos from their hobby, either online or localy IRL at say a market?

  7. #7
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    Re: Selling pics km

    I too have been interested to evolving my hobby into a semi professional, at least break even endeavor.

    Stock Photography

    I have looked into several Stock Photo sites and, for a while, chose to go with Cutcaster, but all Stock Photo sites have little per image revenue potential. Complicating image submissions, many Stock Photo sites have subject matter qualifications ( We're not accepting Sunset photos, we have enough already ) and all images need to be reviewed by their editorial staff. All impose other qualifications limiting submitted photos, such as color and B&W versions of the same image count as duplicates and only one would be accepted. Cutcaster just seemed to have the greatest potential, least obstacles, but never produced any sales. One big flaw with Cutcaster is regarding photos that they accept but deem unfit for their sales plan - They go into a "Free Downloads to all Comers" category. Anyone can use the image and the Photographers gets... Nothing ( Most of what I've submitted to Cutcaster ended up here. )

    Another example which was a bit disheartening to the whole Stock Photo concept, was seeing a display of 2009 calendars in a Hastings book shop late last year where one calendar, selling for about $20.00, listed the credit of every photo to istockphoto.com. Not once did they ever credit the individual photographers, whose names are available from the istockphoto.com web site. Here was a mass produced, potentially a run in the thousands, full color photo calendar whose photo content cost the publisher not more than $324.00. What did the individual photographers earn ? something between $5.40 and $10.80 per image !! What did the companies on the calendar sales side make ? Lets play with some numbers, Retail sale price $20.00, assume a production and shipping costs total $5.00 per calendar. That leaves $15.00 profit to be split between the publisher, wholesale distributor, and retail sales, so split the $15.00 equally three ways, each party makes $5.00 per calendar. Not bad, sounds in line with the Photographers compensation, but we still need to consider the size of the production run, lets say they produced 100,000 calendars. This means each party, the publisher, wholesale distributor, and the combined retail sales, all make $500,000.00 !! Not what I would consider fare compensation for the Photographer's efforts.

    Photo Sharing

    Photo sharing sites have their place, but do nothing to protect your images or provide a source of revenue. Remember, their only goal is to get every uploaded image to as many people as possible. If you upload an image with a resolution large enough to achieve a perfect 24x36 print, anyone could just download to print and many photo sharing sites provide printing services. I have had a free account on Webshots for a fairly long time and though Webshots also sells photo products, none of the revenue goes back to the photographer. Right now, I only use Webshots as a photo server so I can include "less than ideal" images in forum posts when discussing "How to's".

    On Demand Print Sales

    After searching through a number of On-Demand Print web sites, I decided to go with one who limits their "photo products" to prints, and decided to go with Imagekind. Many also do T-Shirts, Mouse Pads, Coffee Mugs.

    An advantage with Imagekind, regardless of having a free or paid membership level, is no limit on the number of images. They produce on-demand Giclée fine art prints, offering optional matting and framing, Canvas Prints, and greeting cards. On the images I've uploaded, I have disabled the option of greeting card sales for no reason apart from my desire for a greater earnings potential. Imagekind is not limited by medium and accepts photographic and other art forms as well. They also allow the photographer or artist to set their own print profit margin, which can be a percentage markup of the Imagekind print cost or a flat sum added to the Imagekind print cost. A big plus goes to Imagekind for not imposing all submitted work to an editorial review. They leave it up to the photographer or artist to determine what they want to submit. ( Yes, you can flag images as being Adult, if needed. ) Plus, it is in the photographer or artist best interest to upload the highest quality image possible. Unlike photo sharing sites, the up loaded images are stored on an secure server and the web site only gets thumb nail and presentation sized reductions.

    Imagekind also provides a community with Groups where a photographer can add links back to their specific images which matches the groups theme. If you shoot, for example, Railroads - you can put your images in the Railroad group to get recognition by other railfans. They also provide their own forums. The subject content is less about "how" and leans more towards sales. I've seen many threads that fall within the themes of "How to sell", "Do you sell", and "Yay, I sold". I've learned that non-producing potential buyers and past customers have the ability to join the site and participate in the community, but I've never seen any evidence of this. Apart from this, it has a nice professional look and feel.

    Photographic Fine Art

    This past weekend, when I made my weekly stop at the book store, instead of looking through the usual photo equipment and photo how to magazines, I looked through a couple magazines for fine art photographic collectors. These are those high priced magazines which look like you can put them in a frame "as is".

    Well, this looks like it may have potential, but I need to point out that I'm only starting to explore these possibilities. When back home, I did a google for "Photographic Fine Art" and found a completely different world, the one where Ansel Adams still lives. A wonderful resource that I'm only starting to read through is Art-Support.com - Fine Art Photography and Photography Resources.

    I'll just have to augment this thread when my walk about in the Fine Art world has more experiences to share. ( From their listing of Art Galleries, I picked and sent an email off to one in Dallas )

    I hope this is a help.
    Last edited by Steaphany; 28th September 2009 at 12:13 PM.

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    Re: Selling pics km

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    The current "master plan" is to build up stock over the next year or so and then have my own exhibition and sell direct to the public.
    I can't believe you have not already done that!

    Also, I think corporations, at least in the US buy a lot of this kind of office decorations and have a lot of money to pay for them. I know one of them has a link to OfficeMax and employees can order not that great pictures from OfficeMax at a discount rate but it is I am sure a very good business for them.

  9. #9
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    Re: Selling pics km

    Photo Sharing

    Photo sharing sites have their place, but do nothing to protect your images or provide a source of revenue. Remember, their only goal is to get every uploaded image to as many people as possible. If you upload an image with a resolution large enough to achieve a perfect 24x36 print, anyone could just download to print and many photo sharing sites provide printing services. I have had a free account on Webshots for a fairly long time and though Webshots also sells photo products, none of the revenue goes back to the photographer. Right now, I only use Webshots as a photo server so I can include "less than ideal" images in forum posts when discussing "How to's".
    I'm interested in this since I upload full size images; this is because I've been burgled three times and what wasn't taken was destroyed.

    So is it the case the license is useless? I know it would be hard to enforce but without the knowledge of who I am would hope it to be a deterrent.

  10. #10
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    Re: Selling pics km

    arith,

    Are you thinking the terms of use and other photo sharing licenses/restrictions are a deterrent in a world where 90% of all the music downloaded annually is stolen ?

    When you upload your photos, do you save them to a public album or private and does your photo site provide for private albums ?

    If any of your work is in a public album, then there is nothing to stop anyone from taking a look, followed by clicking "save image as..." in their browser.

    To prove my point, just see if you can down load the "Full Size" version of anything that I have here on my WebShots pages.

    I'll even tell you how,
    1. Open any album on My WebShots.
    2. Open any image
    3. Click on Full size, located just right of the Prev and Next thumb nails
    4. Now right click on the image and choose "Save Image as..."


    and tell me if you were blocked in anyway from saving the image.

    Now to the Terms of use. The Webchots Terms of Use has two relevant sections. The section Use of Webshots and the Webshots Content states:

    All of the Content available through Webshots is protected by our copyrights and the copyrights of our partners and/or users. You may not use, store, display, publish, transmit, distribute, modify, reproduce, create derivative works of, participate in the transfer or sale of, publicly perform, or in any way exploit any of this Content, in whole or in part, outside of the specific usage rights granted to you by Webshots as part of the services we provide.
    Now, did these wondrous and magical words stop you from down loading an image from any of my public folders ?

    Once you have the image safely saved on your computer's disk, do these words stop you from doing anything that you please with the image ?

    Plus, here is a scary one, the section Grant of License states:

    When you post or transmit Content on or through Webshots you grant Webshots, its parent company AG, their affiliates and partners a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, sub licensable, royalty-free license to use, store, display, publish, transmit, transfer, distribute, reproduce, create derivative works of and publicly perform that Content on and through each of the services provided by Webshots...
    It continues on, but it basically means that as long as I have content up on Webshots, they can use what ever I have there how ever they choose and I get paid Nothing. I should point out that the Grant of License never qualifies any distinction between content contained in public or private albums, so this means they have access to everything for what ever advertising,promotions, or money making they care to do.

    You never said which photo sharing site that you use, so I can't tell how they differ from my experiences with Webshots. I have no problem saying these companies by name since I can back up everything that I have said.

    Check the Terms of Use of your photo sharing site carefully and see just how vulnerable you and your photos may actually be.

    For a bit of contrast, go to My Imagekind page and see what you can save off from there. I know the answer, small to moderate web page sized images and thumb nails. Yet, most of the images that I put on Imagekind has the long dimension of 10560 pixels. Those full sides files are inaccessible.
    Last edited by Steaphany; 28th September 2009 at 10:02 PM. Reason: Adding a last minute thought

  11. #11
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    Re: Selling pics km

    Quote Originally Posted by Steaphany View Post
    arith,

    Are you thinking the terms of use and other photo sharing licenses/restrictions are a deterrent in a world where 90% of all the music downloaded annually is stolen ?

    When you upload your photos, do you save them to a public album or private and does your photo site provide for private albums ?

    If any of your work is in a public album, then there is nothing to stop anyone from taking a look, followed by clicking "save image as..." in their browser.

    To prove my point, just see if you can down load the "Full Size" version of anything that I have here on my WebShots pages.

    I'll even tell you how,
    1. Open any album on My WebShots.
    2. Open any image
    3. Click on Full size, located just right of the Prev and Next thumb nails
    4. Now right click on the image and choose "Save Image as..."


    and tell me if you were blocked in anyway from saving the image.

    Now to the Terms of use. The Webchots Terms of Use has two relevant sections. The section Use of Webshots and the Webshots Content states:



    Now, did these wondrous and magical words stop you from down loading an image from any of my public folders ?

    Once you have the image safely saved on your computer's disk, do these words stop you from doing anything that you please with the image ?

    Plus, here is a scary one, the section Grant of License states:



    It continues on, but it basically means that as long as I have content up on Webshots, they can use what ever I have there how ever they choose and I get paid Nothing. I should point out that the Grant of License never qualifies any distinction between content contained in public or private albums, so this means they have access to everything for what ever advertising,promotions, or money making they care to do.

    You never said which photo sharing site that you use, so I can't tell how they differ from my experiences with Webshots. I have no problem saying these companies by name since I can back up everything that I have said.

    Check the Terms of Use of your photo sharing site carefully and see just how vulnerable you and your photos may actually be.

    For a bit of contrast, go to My Imagekind page and see what you can save off from there. I know the answer, small to moderate web page sized images and thumb nails. Yet, most of the images that I put on Imagekind has the long dimension of 10560 pixels. Those full sides files are inaccessible.
    Some very nice photo's. I'm only an amateur in fact have only owned a very old dslr since august this year, and although I was taught photography at school over 40 years ago are still learning. I am disabled and my doctor suggested I should exercise and so I thought walking around with a camera would be nice, I used to enjoy doing just that at school but it was too expensive too follow then, now not so.

    But even though my images a far from perfect I wouldn't like anyone else to profit from them without giving me credit.

    I'm unusual since I don't download anything I don't intend to pay for unless it is free, I don't think it fair to do so.

    I'm on fotki because it gives unlimited space and you can choose private albums but I haven't chosen to do so except for one I use for forums; if I edit somebodies image I want to hide it from the general public because it isn't mine, using it to post in the forum only, plus one or two school photo's.

    Something to keep in mind when I get better I suppose, cheers.

  12. #12
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    Re: Selling pics km

    I use smugmug for photo galleries. I pay $20.00/ month for unlimited storage, direct links to three good printing companies, and decent security features. The site allows photographers to get a custom domain name ($10.00) and provides good support for selling. It will watermark your photos with a watermark you've created or the sites default watermark. It offers right-click protection, which makes it tougher for someone to download your images. Right click together with the watermark should deter most people. You can customize each gallery with the security features you want. You can create unlisted, private or public galleries, password protected or not. For public galleries I use right click, watermarks and a display size that's not too big. For proofing galleries (portraits etc.), I assign passwords. One drawback is that although you have an unlimited amount of storage for files up to 50 megabytes, smugmug doesn't store images in RAW format.

  13. #13
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    Re: Selling pics km

    Quote Originally Posted by kidede View Post
    Hello all. Not really sure if this belongs here but anyway... I am trying really hard to get into selling pics. I have submitted some pics on various sites- all refused. These were some I considered a few of my best[not great-but adequate]. This seems to be an impossible endeavor. In my opinion it seems as if they are only accepting professional photographers pics although they advertise to everyone. I don't really understand why this is the case. I look through some other peoples pics that were accepted and they aren't professional in appearance. I would really appreciate some feedback on this. Some encouragement would be helpful also because I am ready to give up. Thanks for "listening".
    You'll get the same feeling of rejection when submitting images to contests, keep trying especially with stock agencies or get out there and exhibit your works locally and let the buyer decide.

  14. #14

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    Re: Selling pics km

    Did anyone notice that this post is 5 years old? Maybe better to start a new one on the topic instead of picking up one that is that old.

    Cheers: Allan

  15. #15
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    Re: Selling pics km

    Quote Originally Posted by Polar01 View Post
    Did anyone notice that this post is 5 years old? Maybe better to start a new one on the topic instead of picking up one that is that old.

    Cheers: Allan
    I noticed right after I posted.

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