If you’re a photographer looking to promote and sell your work via online platforms, you may have stumbled across Picfair.
This online marketplace provides photographers with the opportunity to create an account and immediately start selling their original work.
Sounds too good to be true? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out.
In this Picfair review, I’m going to tell you what you can expect when you sign up.
Can you make money from Picfair? Is it a viable way to make money as a freelance photographer?
We’ll also look at the website’s highs and lows, delve into its policies and discover whether you can make any real money selling your images on this website.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
What Is Picfair?
- Creating a profile and market stall is quick and easy
- Gives photographers freedom over designing their stores and pricing their work
- Photographers are given a large percentage of sales
- Also acts as a social media platform with competitions and a community-based vibe
- Picfair adds a temporary watermark to products displayed on their website to prevent anyone from using them for free or claiming them as their own
- The free version has limited customization options
- Users are required to put in a lot of effort marketing their products to make sales
Picfair is a lot like any other marketplace that sells stock images, like Shutterstock, iStock, and 123rf.
Yet, Picfair manages to take things a step further by putting more emphasis on the photographer rather than the images.
While all these other marketplace platforms offer millions of free and paid beautiful and varied stock photos, they put a lot of limitations on the promotion and sale of photographers’ work.
Picfair came along and changed all that.
It provides users with an impressive amount of control over how their products are presented and promoted on the site, as well as pricing.
Before we get in too deep, let’s start at the beginning.
Benji Lanyado created Picfair in 2014. As a former journalist who had spent decades working in the British media, Lanyado was painfully aware of how limited the resources were for high-quality, natural-looking photographs.
One reason this was happening was that if you weren’t a big-shot, world-famous photographer, magazines and newspapers rarely reached out.
You’d have to spare no effort and bend over backwards just to have your work shown and maybe even get some fleeting recognition.
Lanyado was sick of working his butt off and having nothing to show for it. Even if he did sell one of his photographs, he knew that a large part of the sales would go over the photo-selling platform, which left him feeling exasperated and defeated.
However, those feelings didn’t last for very long.
Soon, Lanyado was brainstorming ideas for his new stock image marketplace in which he vowed photographers would get control over their work.
He also wanted to provide photographers with a higher percentage of sales, with only a small percentage being allocated to the site.
Picfair: An Inside Look
While the idea behind Picfair is noble and pretty awesome from a photographer’s point of view, we’re here to find out if it can deliver what it promises its users.
Let’s take a closer look.
How Picfair Works
Picfair is a marketplace platform that allows photographers to create a personal market where they can promote and sell their photographs. It’s a professional, well-run setting.
At the same time, the website manages to remain fair to all parties involved. You won’t find any hidden fees or loopholes after you’ve signed up. As a photographer, you have autonomy over how your work is presented and how much it’s sold for.
The site has become so popular in recent years that it’s become one of the go-to image resources for highly sought-out publications, including big names like The Guardian, Elle, National Geographic, and Amateur Photographer.
The one thing that makes Picfair even more enjoyable to use is that it’s more like a community of photographers rather than just a cold, faceless marketplace. You can scroll through other photographers’ market stalls and profiles to check out their latest creations.
The website also offers photography competitions for all its users. They can be an exciting way to get you inspired to create something original and unique.
Another perk is that users also have access to a library of photography tutorials. So, you can go in and get a few tips on how they can take their photo-shooting skills to the next level.
Plus, the people at Picfair know it takes more to sell images online than just creating an account and uploading a few images. That’s why they’ve added some general selling dos and don’ts to help give your store the competitive edge to stand.
You’ll also find several marketing guides full of free tips and techniques to help you better market your products and promote sales.
Signing up for Picfair is quick and easy. After clicking on ‘sign up for free,’ you’ll go through a series of user-friendly set of instructions. Then, after a few clicks, you’ll have your store ready for business.
This is a good time to mention that there are two versions of Picfair: free and paid. As you’re signing up, you’ll notice several pop-up notices to entice you to subscribe to the paid version: Picair Plus.
If you prefer not to pay just yet—or ever—you can continue with the free version for as long as you like.
The free version offers a few basic and somewhat limited customization options to modify your home page. You can only choose either a white or dark theme. You also need to use the branding provided by Picfair rather than create a personalized watermark and logo.
Of course, you’ll have more creative freedom to design your store using any color scheme and style of your choosing.
Uploading Your Work
Following this initial setup, Picfair will ask you to upload photos to your store. While this is another pretty straightforward process, it’s better to read the rules first.
Luckily, you won’t find any rules that sound surprising or unexpected. Then, if the rules apply to your photos, it’s time to upload them.
Start by choosing the photos you want to sell from your library. Next, add them to the sales page, then give each image a title and a brief description.
Don’t forget to add custom tags to promote your photos and make them easier to find on the website.
After you click on ‘submit,’ your products will go through a 24-hour inspection period. This is where the people at Picfair work behind the scenes to moderate all uploaded images to ensure that all pictures meet the website’s regulations and standards.
Once Picfair has cleared your images, you can start selling your photos.
Uploading Rules and Regulations
Here are some of the rules I mentioned earlier:
- High-resolution images only with a maximum size of 30 MB
- Images should have no signatures, timestamps, watermarks, or overlaid texts
- Lightly edited photos are allowed, as are those with filters
- No digital collages, CGI pieces, illustrations, or heavily edited images are allowed
Photo licensing can indeed be a difficult topic to navigate. Nevertheless, Picfair does a decent enough job of simplifying all the jargon so that you fully understand what you’re getting yourself into.
You’ll be happy to know that they take care of all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into licensing images, so there’s no need to worry about any legal jargon or fine print.
One way Picfair deals with this complex topic is by drafting three license agreements: commercial, personal/ editorial, and advertising. Once a buyer determines how they’ll use the photograph, they then sign one of these agreements.
The best part is that all three are designed to work in favor of the photographer. For example, each user retains the copyright to all of their images. So, neither Picfair nor buyers can claim ownership of your photographs.
Plus, there’s no exclusivity agreement. In other words, you can promote and sell your images on Picfair while continuing to use them elsewhere.
One critical feature all licenses have is that they’re single-use, which means they can use the image only once. Another nice feature is that the licenses are non-exclusive, which prevents buyers from taking ownership of the photograph or its copyright.
Instead, they buy each image based on the license that best fits how they plan on using the photo. Then, they can use it one time and only according to the terms of the photo’s license agreement.
Pricing Your Images
According to Picfair’s pricing rules, the user has complete control over the price of their photos. They get to set their own prices, knowing that, with each sale, they receive whatever they charge.
Yet, being a marketplace, or a middleman of sorts, Picfair has to benefit from these sales. It adds a 20% commission on each image charged to the buyer and not the seller.
Here’s an example.
Say, you sell one of your photographs for $15. That means the price in your store will appear as $18, which is the initial $15 you set, and that you’ll receive once the sale goes through with the extra 20% commission of $3 added by Picfair.
So, you get your money, the buyer gets their image, and Picfair receives their piece of the pie. It’s a win-win!
Selling Printed Products
In addition to selling digital downloads, Picfair offers the option of selling high-quality printed versions of your work on canvas or photo paper.
The best part is you don’t have to do anything except sit back and cash in your profit. Picfair does everything from providing the materials and printing to shipping and delivery.
Picfair Plus: A Brief Run-Through
As previously mentioned, Picfair Plus is the paid version of this online photo-selling platform. You can access it by paying a monthly subscription fee to enjoy a more customizable store.
The primary difference between the free and paid versions is that Picfair adds no commission to your products. The most exciting part about this feature is that it makes it easier to set lucrative prices that will entice buyers to stop by your store and make a purchase.
The other difference is that with the paid version, you get a wide range of options to help you personalize your online marketplace, not just the plain black or white backgrounds that come with the free version. You get access to numerous store templates, library layouts, and a wide variety of color themes.
Another terrific feature is that you can create your personalized watermark and logo to promote your store further. In addition, you can add some of your marketing materials to get the word out.
Also, you have no limit on the number of images you can upload, and you also get to use the fullscreen slideshow function.
How Does Picfair Measure Up Against the Competition?
Going up against stock photo giants like iStock and Adobe Stock isn’t easy. Buyers often flock to platforms like these for their fully packed libraries brimming with an endless array of images.
Their subscription plans allow users to download a set number of images each month. Hence, they’re not limited to buying individual images as they are on Picfair.
Still, many think they’re more staged and don’t feel like real photos taken in their natural settings.
On the flip side, Picfair prides itself on having a vast library of natural-looking photographs. Add to that the transparent, wholesome approach that it brings to the industry, and you have a recipe for success.
It may still be small compared to other platforms, but it’s still standing strong thanks to its steady stream of followers.
The silver lining is that there are hundreds of thousands of publications worldwide in need of high-quality images. So, the demand is high and there are plenty of opportunities to sell photos online to go around.
So, based on our Picfair review, what do you think of this modest photo-selling platform?
I recommend you sign up for free and see how long it takes to make some money.
It’s worth a shot! Also, if you’re looking for a similar platform for selling your images, read our ClickaSnap review.