Week 7: Challenge

For this weeks Forum request, we were asked to think about who our audiences and markets are and to find a way to market and sell one picture.

As part of this module, I was inspired to establish and develop a stock sales account as a test for my photography work. This was for all my work and not just my current practice along the river.

I established a Shutterstock account as I found this to be the most usable forum I could find. I then looked through a number of images and decided on which I wanted to sell.

I chose a stock site following a suggestion from a friend that it would make a good test of my work – I could monitor what sold and what didn’t to gauge what works. This would also help my editing of work as Shutterstock have a rigid test of image quality and won’t allow poor images onto the site.

I am very happy that one of my images has recently sold and is shown below:


I am looking to develop my wildlife and landscape image base and chose this image as part of a batch I have taken this summer.

This sale has given me great confidence as it’s not only a first for me but also indicates that it’s not impossible to sell work this way. However, it’s noted that each image only sells for pennies (I got a whole 25p from this one sale) Whilst it’s recognised that there is some potential that regular sales could mount up in time, it does raise the question of stainability and value in terms of amount of effort and work that’s put into creating content.

I don’t see this method of selling my work as being long-term, rather something that helps me develop my sales portfolio in terms of market response, evaluating numbers of images sold and the type of such image. This hopefully will help me work out what has selling potential and what doesn’t.

Feedback from Krishna on a post I put up on Canvas covering this weeks work was really helpful and has helped me focus my efforts more. Especially the realisation that for this to work, many images need to be regularly uploaded.:

I know its only short term, but when selling wildlife photography the key is they have many thousands of images. Unless you can show work that is sufficiently different to what they already have, there is little point in taking you on. They also require regular submissions, so if you’re not able to send 200 pictures a quarter to them, it’s not worth it either for you or them.  To get in, you need to provide something that compliments what they already have – at the end of the day, you don’t need to have many thousands of images of kingfishers, puffins, willow tits and red squirrels when the demand for them is not that high.

To add to this I am also booking myself into a number of local Christmas craft fairs and shows. Hopefully, these will see a more viable way to sell prints.

I am currently preparing a new set of images for such markets and will look to evaluate as I go.