So as promised….part 2 of where I sell work online. Been putting this off for awhile as it’s so easy to forget all the things I want to do unless I put a big sign on my wall. I’ve added lots of links so you can see for yourself as well. I always try to share a picture with you that is current or relates to my subject and thought this little guy would be a good reminder that even when you post your pictures to remember to be aware of your surroundings and posting where your pictures are protected and resize for social media.
First I want to talk about Flickr, which is where I started putting my pictures online back in 2007. They were just from my little digital point and shoot but I loved them. Flickr has come a long way and so have I. They were purchased by Yahoo and I’ve seen an announcement that they have plans in the future to allow people to sell but so far I’ve only seen them saying that “you can now print from your pictures”. That’s very different… hmmm, perhaps that is what they really meant. Here are their current guidelines and under ‘What not to do’ and then ‘Don’t use Flickr to sell’ they have more good info to stay familiar with. David Pogue wrote a review for the NY Times that is worth the read as well for those of you wondering if Flickr is for you. I had Flickr friends who did not like the changes and went to Ipernity.com which has a nice look as well.
The next place I started putting my work on was RedBubble after comparing it with Zazzle and CafePress. I didn’t do much with it, and soon I found Society6. I decided that I did like it and felt it was more a match for me, and honestly, I liked the fact that it was a company from my own country. Creative Cravings shares a nice tutorial for beginners that will help you get started.
But as so often has happened I got busy with working to pay bills and adding content pretty much got ignored. I really wanted to offer phone covers but I had the hardest time trying to figure out how to upload for the phone templates. There is a page there that tells you what size files but now how to do it, and I’ve been quite challenged in my knowledge of Photoshop. I’ve looked for help before but it wasn’t until last night that I finally put in the right question to Google and came up with a few good articles right away by asking “how to make templates for uploading to society 6?” Hope these help you: JIMIYO, Shine On and from Andre Belaz on Behance. Now I didn’t have as much luck with that search on YouTube, which is kind of my go to since I learn best from videos. So if you know of one I would love if you could share with us in the comments.
Then last year I decided to try Fine Art America, which you can read about in my last post.
And finally this year I began posting to 500px. It took me a long time to commit as I suppose I felt a little intimidated by the excellent quality of of the photos I saw on there. I just needed time. Time to believe in myself and my work and to be prepared should I be ignored. And to tell myself that being ignored is not the worst thing in the world and I bet there is someone whose day, or moment might be a little brighter by looking at a lovely image. Well, what I found is that there are others who feel that way too and that there are many there who like to interact as well.
I really like the interface of 500px and how easy it is for others to see your work. Let’s say someone likes your work by clicking on the big thumbs up button or favorites it by clicking on the heart. Well, then all their followers will see that if they happen to be on the site around the same time. The UI is divided up into sections which you navigate and have other dropdowns to decide where you want to go. The mobile and desktop versions are somewhat similar and on the desktop you have the option of blocking adult content, which sadly there is a fair amount posted by photographers. They are also an evolving site as they learn what works and doesn’t but have been working to make it better. I would like to see them add a tab for blogs, but as it is, when you go to ‘about’ anyone can find all your links that you have posted . Here is a great review by SLRlounge
Flickr and 500px are also very easy to post to if you use Adobe’s Lightroom as you can drag and drop and ‘publish’, or choose old school and add them from your saved files. I’ve gotten into a kind of simple workflow by publishing to these two and then immediately saving in a file I call something like ‘Top Photos’ and then I can easily add from my hard drive file to FineArtAmerica/Pixels.com
The main thing I would recommend with any of these sites is to put a little time into your profile. I love to read about others. I see their pictures and my mind starts churning, “ooh where are they from, what do they do?” I’m always a little sad when I see that space empty. From one who has a hard time talking about myself and am shy in front of the camera I understand how it feels, but take 15 mins. and share. I can attest that it does get easier as you go. I put something on there and I didn’t explode…ok, I’m gonna be ok! :-)
There you go! Just a little bit of the marketing I’ve chosen to use! Whew!! Thanks for hanging in with me through all this as marketing is definitely not my strong point. Let’s get back to a lot of creating now!