I’ve been selling my photos through Getty Images for about six years. They initially recruited me via my Flickr account and in those early days the process of selling images was quite an easy one. The Getty team monitored your Flickr uploads and specifically requested to licence those photos they liked. Then you just had to fill in an online form and your photos were on sale.
When the Flickr/Getty deal came to an end, us contributors switched over to a new slightly less intuitive system and as a result the number of new images I was licensing tailed off, although the sales continued and every few months I’d get a nice surprise payment in to my bank.
After getting to grips with a few problems I’ve had with Getty’s system I’ve decided to be more proactive this year and spend time uploading new images to licence, whilst making more of an effort to analyse the kind of photos that are selling. So as part of this process I thought I’d start an occasional series of posts about the images I have sold recently. This latest batch cover the last six months, but as I have doubled the number of photos I have listed this week, I am expecting the number of sales to increase over the year.
Bella The Beagle Shot From Overhead – This photo was taken last summer as part of the Home Life Project. It’s one of a very small number (15) of photos I licensed last year (due to problems with the system). It sold for the first time in January for quite a large sum to an advertising agency in San Francisco. Unfortunately I have no idea who or what they used it for, though looking at their client list my best guess is that it may have been used by their client Rover.com. Although it may look a little unremarkable, I think part of the reason it sold is because it’s got a lot of good space for text and would therefore work well in an editorial piece or as an advert. Photos with Bella in seem to sell well, so I’m taking a mental note to upload some more!
Crying Boy – This is my best selling photo and is licenced nearly every month for a wide number of applications. It was taken in 2014 when Theo was about 18 months old, I’d just woken him up from his afternoon nap in the room which was his bedroom and is now my office. The walls of the room were magnolia coloured and the original photo was quite dull, so I had to brighten it up. Theo (who is now 6) is aware this photo has been sold a few times and thinks it’s quite funny that his grumpy face has appeared all over the world. One of the most recent sales was to Global Radio who strangely enough, I used to work for, but it also gets used a lot by newspapers when they do a piece about crying children!
Curium Ampitheatre – This photo was taken in 2009 when I was just starting to understand what to do with a camera! We were living in Cyprus at the time not far from this spot, in the tourist season the undergrowth near the beach dies back in the heat, so in order to get a photo of it looking green you have to be there in early spring. It was licenced by a large holiday company.
Portable Barbecue – I borrowed this barbecue for a blogging collaboration in 2015. I often hear bloggers moan about how they aren’t interested in borrowing things if they can’t keep them, but this is one collaboration that has certainly proved worth doing! Not only did we get a barbecue to test out on holiday (it was so good we bought one of our own) but I’m still making money from the photos I took. This picture was licenced by the same holiday company as the photo above.
Painted Wicker Chair – This chair was about to go to the dump when I found it and bought it for £5 in 2016 and it truly has been the gift that keeps on giving! Originally part of a collaboration with Pinty Plus UK, I painted it with spray chalk paint for a blog post and two years later I’m working part time for the company, the chair tours the UK going to exhibitions and the photo sold to mamamia.com.au, an Australian lifestyle site.
Plastic bottles of cider – Sometimes there really is no predicting what images people will want! This photo of a load of plastic milk bottles filled with homemade cider was taken at our local Apple Day event and sold recently to Legal & General Investments!
Me & My Doggy Friend – Another one with Bella in from about 4 years ago. My statement says it was licenced by a publishing company, but I know no more. I had to retouch this photo before I could licence it to remove the brand name and design from the Wellies. I’ve had to do this a few times now which is why my kids wear a lot of plain or striped clothing… it helps them earn their keep!
I hope you found this post interesting. It does show that it’s not the most exciting or beautiful photos that sell, but often the images that are unusual or capture a concept in a unique way. It’s certainly been good for me to analyse what gets licenced and by whom, I’ll do my next update in about three months.
If you liked this, you might also like..