Licensing images

Buying and selling photographs on stock sites.

For some time now I have listed my images with stock sites.  I hunted around and chose two that looked good: PicFair and EyeEm - it has taken quite a while but now I have sold images on both sites.


I chose these two particular sites for specific reasons. EyeEm is linked to Getty images and if your images are chosen for 'Premium' they get to be sold via Getty, the largest and best known photo stock site in the world. 


Be patient because the review process takes a little time.  


I chose PicFair because you get to set your own prices and if your image sells you get a good price, not just the pence that some sites give you. Also PicFair run a referral scheme so if you help market the site, you can earn a payout from sign ups.


Many a time you will hear that photographers don't get fairly paid for their images through stock photo sites and on the whole it's true.  What photographers don't always realise though is that it's not enough simply to upload your best pictures, you need to be consistent with doing so.  Selling can take months, sometimes years and you need to be active with promoting your work too.


Among some there appears to be the attitude that they've taken the pictures, surely that should be enough.  It isn't.  It's like any business, if you want to earn from it, you have to put in the graft.  


Then of course there is the type of picture.  Stock photos are bought by companies, bloggers, and people using social media who all understand about copyright and licensing.


You need to do some research as to what kind of images are currently popular.  EyeEm do a good job with educating their users on this score with regular blog posts, missions and interviews with sucessful sellers.  Be diverse, keep uploading, be consistent and interact in the community. It all helps. 


Did you know that it's illegal just to copy and paste an image from Google images or anywhere on the internet without asking the photographer's permission or licensing the image?


Not many people do.  If you were to walk into a shop or gallery, just pick up a picture and walk out with it, you'd expect repercussions, with the internet you should expect the same. 


Photographers can check where their pictures are being stolen via sites like Tin Eye.


So, stock photo sites are the best place to find images, pay for them fairly and choose the way you want to use them - legally. 


I find these stock sites fascinating, the breadth and quality of images is breathtaking.  The subject matter endless in creativity and diversity.  Whether people are trying to sell their images or are hobbyists, the one thing that screams out at you is that photography is a passion. 


We live in an amazing, beautiful world and contributors to these sites are from all countries.  If you want to see travel pictures that aren't just out of brochures, these sites are the place to go.



You can find my galleries via the links below.  Please note that prices for images vary site to site because of how the sites are set up. 

Sally Lloyd at PicFair 

S Lloyd at EyeEm

If you would like to join PicFair (it's free to sign up) my referral link is here: 

Sign up to PicFair