Liam Photography Podcast: Episode15 – Where Can I Sell My Photos?

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In this episode I talk about selling your images on the platform. EyeEm has been around for quite a few years now and one of the nice things about their Marketplace is your images also go into sister marketplaces like Getty Images.

My profile on EyeEm

My Tybee Island Sunrise that has sold over 750 copies!!!

My antique clock photo that sold on there

My lion photo that landed on a NatGeo cover!!!

Show notes transcribed from Sonix, there could be grammatical errors.

[00:00:01] You’re listening to the Liam photography podcast. This is Episode 15. Today’s episode I’m going to talk about a great Web site for selling your photography and hopefully make a little bit of money. Coming up on episode 15 of the Liam photography podcast

[00:00:42] You’re listening to land photography podcast I’m your host Liam Douglas and this is Episode 15.

[00:00:47] I want to thank all my listeners for subscribing rating and reviewing and I tunings in any other pod catchers that you might be using and also be sure to join the Liam photography Podcast Facebook group.

[00:01:00] You can find show notes and links to any of the outside sites that are mentioned in today’s episode at Liam photography podcast dot com so in today’s episode I wanted to talk about a subject that I get emails about on a regular basis from student photographers especially and that’s where can I sell my photography. Aside from having my own Web site that has some sort of e-commerce platform as part of the Web site where I can sell prints or something like that. What are some other ways that I can sell my photographs. And while I’ve used a few different sites I’ve got my my images on a few different photography sites that allow photographers to join either for free or maybe can join for free.

[00:01:52] But you have your limited to how many uploads a month or a week you can do and then you can upgrade for a certain amount of money a month or a year and you can upload unlimited limited photos you can submit them to marketplace and stuff like that and try to make some money off your photos.

[00:02:09] And like I said I’ve used quite a few of them over the years. I’m still on probably about three or four Web sites where I have some of my photos in those Web site marketplaces and a couple of them I’ve had success with in a couple of the others I haven’t really sold anything with. So those ones of course I don’t pay for the upgraded membership since I’m not making any money. It’s kind of silly to spend money if I’m not making any money in return. So I stopped doing that I stopped going with the paid membership on a couple of sites but one of the sites I really wanted to talk about today because I’ve had so many photography students ask me where I’ve had the most success selling my images is a Web site called I Am and I am is e y e e m dot com. Now I am is a photography hosting Web site that’s based out of Germany. You can go to.

[00:03:14] and join for free and you create a profile you can set a cover image for your profile similar to what you might do on Facebook. You can upload a logo or a picture of yourself as an avatar for your profile.

[00:03:34] And you can also upload your images. Now whether or not you want to sell your images that’s completely up to you. I’m not saying you have to.

[00:03:44] I am there’s still a great Web site photography site just to upload some of your photos and share them with the photography community at large. It can be a great site for doing that. If you’re not sure if you want to sell your images or you’re just starting in your photographic journey and you don’t feel that you’re experienced enough yet to be able to sell your images and expect to make any kind of money with it.

[00:04:11] Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that I’m getting rich off of any of these Web sites hardly but it is cool to sell some of your images you know make some money off them know that you know you have images that have a certain amount of demand in the commercial world.

[00:04:28] You know people are interested in buying them so once you create your profile on I am you can follow people you can follow other photographers just like you can on Instagram or follow people on Facebook or friend them on Facebook or whatever the case may be.

[00:04:42] You can do the same thing on Amazon Web site and like I said once you have your you create your free account set up your profile you can start uploading images and when you go and upload a new image you’ll select the image from your computer or you can also grab images that you already have in your Dropbox or Google Drive or Flicker account or Google. Google Photos and you can import them right into your I am profile out. Once you add an image to your I am profile you can you’re going to their software is going to scan. They have an A.I. system that’s part of their Web site and it will scan your photo and it’ll come up with a bunch of keywords that you can tag your photo.

[00:05:33] You know if it’s a landscape that might come up and landscape sunrise or sunset nature ocean if it has a large body of water in it or lake or something like that. And you can choose to add all of the keywords that the A.I. has generated or you can just pick and choose a few of them. I usually will use all of them because they’re generally their A.I. is fairly accurate. So you can get some really good tags without having to sit there and think of them off the top of your head and type of man and so on and so forth.

[00:06:05] But once you have the you know once you’ve uploaded the photo into the queue and it generates the keywords for you and you add then to your photo you just give the photo subject a title whatever you want to call it.

[00:06:19] One of my most popular ones on I am I simply call Tybee Island sunrise and it’s a beautiful landscape shot that I captured on the beach from the beach on Tybee Island Georgia in 2014. And I didn’t do any post-processing. My girlfriend and I were staying at a hotel probably about 30 40 minutes from Tybee Island that weekend and we got up at four thirty in the morning and had some quick breakfast and coffee and we drove out to Tybee Island from cities from the Savannah area and we got out there probably 20 30 minutes before the sun came up and I set up my camera on a tripod right there on the beach and as the sun came up over the Atlantic I snap a shot and it just turned out fabulous.

[00:07:16] I mean the everything in the image has an orange glow. Sunrise glow to it. And I did not do any post-processing to the image at all. And I’ll have any link to the image on my I am profile in the show notes for this episode so you can check it out yourself but I didn’t do any doctoring of the photo. I haven’t done any post-processing at all.

[00:07:38] That’s straight out of the camera and the entire scene like I said had a nice really warm orange glow to it. You’ve got the sun big in the sky coming up over the Atlantic Ocean and into very very far distance.

[00:07:53] There was a couple of seagulls or something like that but they they more or less just show up specks in the background. If you even notice them.

[00:08:01] And you can see the water you know you can see the a little bit of the Atlantic Ocean from the beach a little bit of sand. And that’s pretty much it.

[00:08:09] It was just a nice quiet useful Sunrise morning and I got a fabulous shot in that has hands down been my most popular photo on I am now getting back to what I was saying a moment ago.

[00:08:24] Like I said you upload your photo to the queue you tag the keywords you give it a title or a subject.

[00:08:31] You can also specify the location where the image was taken and there’s a little checkbox that you can check to say I want to submit this photo to the I am marketplace if you do that then your photo it gets uploaded immediately but it doesn’t go into the marketplace immediately because they have curators on their side that have to review the images first before they’re allowed to be passed into the marketplace.

[00:08:58] So if you let’s say you uploaded a portrait shoot you did with a model whether it’s a professional model or just a person in general you’re your teenage daughter or son or something like that or whatever the case may be.

[00:09:14] If you’re going to upload a photo like that and want to sell in the marketplace and of course you’ve got to have a model release you can still get images in the marketplace without a model release under certain circumstances but then they can only be sold for editorial use where a model or property release is not required. So anyways once you get the images uploaded you tag them and all that good stuff you submitted to the marketplace and it’ll take a little while.

[00:09:44] I’m not sure exactly how many curators they have on their side but I know from the time you submit a photo for the market to be considered for the marketplace until it actually gets in the marketplace it could be a week or two.

[00:09:56] I know I’m just being honest with you but the nice thing is is I am has some really great partnerships with other photography sites marketplace sites and one of their biggest ones is Getty Images and I’m sure all of my listeners have heard of Getty Images.

[00:10:16] Most listeners especially if you’re into photography at all you’re probably already familiar with Getty and Getty is one of those entities that you either love or hate. I don’t know if there’s really a happy medium. They are probably the biggest photography marketplace in the world. There’s millions if not billions of photos in their online marketplace.

[00:10:39] And but you know there’s a lot of people who say you know they undercut the photographers. They pay in extremely little and blah blah blah.

[00:10:47] I don’t want to get into any of that. I don’t care about that. That could possibly be a subject for another episode of the podcast. But all I’m talking about today is how you can sell your photographs as a photographer especially if you’re just starting out you’re a novice or a hobbyist and you’re not looking to be a full time professional photographer but you’d like to make a few extra bucks here and there were some of your images especially as your skills improve. So a great way to do it is using the I am Web site and marketplace and like I said you’ll submitted the marketplace to get reviewed by a curator you will get approved or denied or whatever the case may be and then it can get passed off to what’s known as the I.M. collection at Getty Images and once it gets passed off to Getty Images If you actually go to Getty and you search under the I.M. collection chances are you’ll be able to find your photographs there.

[00:11:39] I’ve actually got a subsection of the I am collection of Getty Images where my photos are I have that bookmarked so I can pull it up anytime I want to and right now I’ve got about a hundred and thirty four photos submitted to the that are in the marketplace actively and I’ve had a few of them that I’ve sold here and there. I did a beautiful photograph of an antique clock that actually shot in a local antique mall in Monroe Georgia a few years back. I just thought it was a really cool looking clock.

[00:12:15] It was a big round clock and it was hanging from a wrought iron frame kind of like it would outside a building like maybe a bank back in the day or something like that and it was analog style clock of course.

[00:12:32] And I thought it was just really beautiful looked really cool so I snapped a picture of it during my first trip to Ian Henderson’s antique mall and rode Georgia and I used my eighty five millimeter one point eight US canon lens which gave me fantastic Boca in the background behind this clock and because it’s an antique mall there’s a lot of people selling you know their antiques and their tchotchkes ease and all that stuff there. If you’re not familiar with an antique mall it’s basically usually a large one or more storey building.

[00:13:07] Ian Henderson’s is three stories altogether where people can rent a space or X number of dollars a month and for and by renting that space you’re allowed to sell whatever Chomsky’s or antiques or vintage items you want in your space. So it’s kind of like a flea market only endorse and you don’t have to be there to man your space all the time. You put your items in the space and they have a special label and tagging system and all that good stuff and the full time employees that work there you know they make sure that when somebody buys one of the items from your space area when the customer takes it up the register they pull the special tag off it it identifies who it belongs to as well as the price and you know and your stuff gets sold and I’m sure the antique mall probably gets a small commission off each sale in addition to the few dollars a month they charge you to rent the space but anyways getting I’m getting off track there a little bit too much so I’m sorry for that.

[00:14:06] But anyways this clock was just viewed it was a beautiful antique clock analog on a wrought iron frame and I thought it looked really cool so I shot it with my eighty five millimeter one point eight lens and got fantastic Boca balls in the background because of other lighting that was other lights that were at the other end of the aisle from where I was shooting at the far end of the building so it created a really cool effect and I’ve sold a couple of three copies of that clock on Getty Images be the I.M. collection and I’ve got a one or two other photos that I’ve sold a few copies of but by far hands down the most popular image I have on the platform is my Tybee Island Sunrise seems to be extremely popular.

[00:14:54] I’ve had that photo I’ve been on the I am Web site for probably about four years now or maybe maybe going on five years.

[00:15:04] I kind of lost track to be honest but anyways I shot that sunrise shot in 2014 and I think I uploaded it. That same year to I am or it might have been early 2015 so maybe I’ve been on there for years not quite five.

[00:15:19] Whatever the case may be but that particular sunrise I call I just call a sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. It has been super super popular on I am and on Getty Images and to this date so far I’ve sold probably around seven hundred and fifty copies of that image.

[00:15:40] Now I know you’re probably out there here in this and you’re thinking Oh my God. He sold 750 copies of one photograph.

[00:15:45] He’s gonna be rolling in the money now that’s not the case because there they offer different versions of your photograph once it’s in the marketplace so in other words I could potentially have a client that buys a copy of it because they want to use it for a blog post on their Web site.

[00:16:03] You know they just need a low rez you know small version of the image you know and in that case you know if I sell if they sell you know a low rez small version of that of that photo to a client for use on a one time use on a website or a blog or something like that then you know I might only make two bucks or five bucks or whatever the case may be. But clients can also buy a high res version. They can buy it printed on a canvas stretched canvas and they can buy a frame and all that stuff. Then yeah you can make considerably more money per sale that way. And I’ve actually had a few of the sales that know my my cut of the money was about a hundred and fifty two hundred dollars which is pretty good. So I made some decent money with the image on there but I haven’t by any means you know gotten rich by selling the photos on the I am in Getty Images marketplace.

[00:16:58] But like I said at the top of this episode I have new photographers and especially photography students ask me all the time where some of the places that I sell my images that they might be able to do the same thing and especially because one of the things I really like about I am is any time one of your images sells in their marketplace you get an email you know you get an email basically. Jane you sold a photo this is how much you made Click here to pay out and you have to sign up to receive your money. You could do it one of two ways you can either do it via a pay pal and have the money wired to your PayPal account or you can have a paper check mailed to you which you know if you’re in the United States like I am and I am is based in Germany it probably take a while to get a paper check and I’m not sure but they might I’d have to go back and read the terms and conditions but they might only Mail a paper check after you’ve earned a certain amount of money.

[00:18:00] In other words you the money gets held in a queue until you hit like a fifty dollar mark or a hundred dollar mark or something like that.

[00:18:06] Then they’ll cut you a check normality but I’m not hundred percent certain on that because I haven’t looked at that aspect of it for quite some time.

[00:18:13] But you know most people are going to want to use PayPal because PayPal is fairly common these days. You know a lot of people at PayPal accounts whether they do a paying or not because a lot of Web sites and a lot of companies take PayPal as a payment method or allow you to you know you can run your credit card to buy something online through PayPal instead of just strictly through visa or MasterCard or whatever because you know with PayPal you get a certain amount of buyer protection if you will so you can get your money you know deposit in your PayPal account once you click the link to cash out your earnings the money are usually being your PayPal account within three to five business days. So they’re pretty quick on that which is one of the things I really like because one of the other sites that I have some of my photos in the marketplace actually I think I’ve taken most of them out now because I just got frustrated with them and I’m not going to mention them by name because I don’t want to I don’t want to bash anybody but I sold a beautiful photograph that I captured of a male lion at Zoo Atlanta.

[00:19:20] He was the male line that they had lion habitat at the time back in 2014. And I got a great capture of this male lion laying at the top of his habitat. There was like a hill on the backside of the habitat and he could climb up there and he had this massive round kind of roundish shaped but flat on top rock that they referred to as his pride rock and he would lay up there and and kind of survey his little kingdom there and I snapped an amazing image of that male lion back in 2014 the same year that I took the Tybee Island sunrise shot and I uploaded that one and put it in the marketplace of this other Web site and I actually sold a copy of it and you know I made a couple of hundred dollars for my share of the money my my cut of the profit from the sale. But the thing I didn’t like was number one they wouldn’t tell me who bought the image. And I can understand you know these these Web sites probably they have to offer their client their buyers a certain amount of anonymity I guess. But it just really frustrated me that they wouldn’t tell me who bought it or what they bought it for and then later when I found out by doing a google image search of that lion photo of mine and it popped up on a Web site and I sent the company a cease and desist because I thought they were illegally using my photograph. That’s when I finally found out who actually bought it and it turned out it was National Geographic. And like you know like I said I made a couple hundred dollars selling that lion photograph to Nat Geo I beat out ten thousand other photographers and actually got the cover of their 2015 Big Tex cats textbook for doing her public schools.

[00:21:13] That’s a public school textbook which is really cool. I mean a lot of photographers especially if they shoot wildlife thought you know a lot of photographers that’s their dream in life is to one day get a National Geographic cover.

[00:21:25] Now granted I didn’t get the cover of The Monthly National Geographic magazine but I still got an NGO cover it’s still a pretty prestigious thing. And they not only bought my lion photo for the cover of this text book but they’re using my photo as the cover rack for this textbook. So in other words My Lai and photograph they wanted it you know full size because they actually they’re actually using it as the wrap cover for that text book. So my lie and photo is on both the front and the back because it’s a wraparound of the entire book. And I’m also the first photography credit that’s mentioned on the inside cover of the book so let’s pretty cool as well.

[00:22:09] But the thing that upset me was the Web site that sold that image to National Geographic for me really should have kind of pushed or forced Nat Geo to buy an exclusive license which would have made me a lot more money and my dad.

[00:22:30] The flip side of that is I wouldn’t be able to sell that same photograph to anybody else for X amount of time or maybe ever depending on what the terms were. So I was a little bit miffed that they didn’t push them to buy in an exclusive license. But on the other hand it allowed me to upload that same lion photograph to other market Web sites and sell it on other platforms so and I believe I’ve also sold a couple of copies of the image on I am in the I am marketplace so. But the big thing I didn’t like about this other company is they not only I personally felt they they undercut my value of that work as a photographer by not asking Nat Geo to buy an exclusive license where you know I could make as much money as possible from that image especially if it’s gonna be on book cover for goodness sakes that particular photography marketplace site even after you sell a photograph you have to wait 90 days to get your share of the money.

[00:23:34] And I thought that was kind of messed up because you know Nat Geo is paying for the photograph upfront.

[00:23:40] You know they’re paying up front to get a copy a high resolution copy of my photo so that they can you know printed on the cover of their big cats textbook and the company that’s selling the photo for me is getting their cut of the money immediately. But I have to wait three months to get my share of the money and so I thought that was a little bit messed up so between the fact that they make you wait three months to get your share of the money when they get theirs up front and the fact that I didn’t feel that they were looking out for me enough as a photographer you know especially with a big multibillion dollar company like National Geographic they they really should have pushed them to buy an exclusive license so that I could have made a bit more money off the photograph you know in an exclusive license I’ve probably made a couple thousand dollars for the photo instead of owning a couple hundred bucks. But hey I still have the prestige of being able to say that one of my photos is on a National Geographic cover and not a lot of photographers can say that so that that part of it is pretty cool but getting back to I am like I said I am is by far my favorite outside Web site for selling my photographic work. I’ve been on their Web site for like I said four to five years now and I don’t have hundreds of my photo photos in their Web site and marketplace. I’ve got a hundred and thirty two photos total one hundred twenty six in the market and fifty five of the ones I submitted to the market are in partner markets as well.

[00:25:19] So my images can actually sell on multiple they get their submitted to multiple marketplaces where where people can buy them whether they want to use them for a book cover or they want to canvas sprint to hang on the wall in their living room or they want to use it for article on their Web site or something like that you know.

[00:25:40] So I get more exposure that way which which I really liked with the other company I mentioned a little bit ago with the the whole Nat Geo thing when you submitted an image you were only in their marketplace and there are a good sized site and I’m not saying that they don’t have you know a decent number of clients for all I know they could that particular sites based out of Canada but you’re only submitted to their marketplace and one of the things I do like about I am is you get submitted to the I am marketplace and your stuff that gets approved not only goes into their marketplace but it also goes out to Getty and some other partner marketplaces that you know other companies that they’re partnered with. So that is pretty cool and get you more exposure for your images and a higher chance of selling.

[00:26:30] So that is one of the the Web sites that I would recommend for most of you out there want to maybe test the waters a little bit on whether or not you could sell some of your photographs that could be a really good way to do it.

[00:26:46] And like I said it doesn’t cost anything to join I am as a matter of fact I don’t even know. I don’t think I am even has a paid membership. Now they do have they do offer a magazine that they sell and I think they also do have photography contest at different times. They eat and pay a fee to get your your photo are too.

[00:27:14] You pay a fee for a subscription to the magazine.

[00:27:17] I don’t know how many issues they publish a year I’m not sure on that and they do run some photography contests.

[00:27:24] I don’t think you have to pay to do have your photos in the MA in their contest.

[00:27:38] I’m not sure if you do or not and you can win some prizes and stuff like that. That’s pretty cool.

[00:27:45] But just I am to me is just a really great site. I like it a lot. I think they are doing some really cool things to help out photographers and it’s nice to have the marketplace.

[00:27:56] And like I said once you create a profile you can only upload your photos and submit them to be considered for the marketplace but you can also follow other photographers you can view other photographers work when you go to their home page you get in kind of like a massive photography timeline new speed if you will. It’s in a nice grid grid format so it’s easy to view and you can see some really amazing work on there. I mean there’s a lot of talented photographers all over the world and some of them just have some really amazing work that are on the IAM Web site and and sometimes it’s just fun to go and scroll through the home page and look at what other people are working on what they’re posting personal projects or you know if they’re working on children’s portraits or wildlife or whatever the case may be it can just be a lot of fun to look at what other photographers are doing or their passion projects or for a living. So that part can be really cool and of course when you find somebody is photograph on there that you like you can give it a light by clicking a little hard you can leave a comment as well like you can almost any other site that people commonly share photographs and you can build it a little bit of an audience on there. If you submit photos regularly and put some of your best work on there of course you’re gonna build up a following. I’m not as heavily on the site the last year or so as I was maybe in the past just because I’ve been so busy with so many other things. You know I work two full time jobs right now. So between that and doing this podcast and trying to build up my youtube channels I’m stretched pretty thin. Although I did finish my bachelors at the end or beginning in November of 2018 so at least I’m no longer going to school full time and working two full time jobs.

[00:29:49] So that’s a little bit better but there you have it. There’s an idea for a Web site. Did any photographers any of you out there that loved to take photographs. You can go to e y m e y e m dot com I apologize. And like I said I’ll have the link in the description show notes area as well. You can go there and you can sign up for free and you can start uploading your photographs and submitting them to the marketplace. And if you do decide to join I am you can.

[00:30:23] You’re perfectly welcome to follow me on there and I’ll be happy to follow you back. Well listed on there is Liam Douglas and my profile name on there similar to what you would have on Instagram is at Liam photography and you could find me on there. I’ve currently got only one hundred and forty followers and I’m following a hundred and fifty five but I’ve got several hundred liked photos so I guess that’s something.

[00:30:50] But anyways like I said if you decide that I am is something you want to try out. I definitely highly recommended it’s a great company a great site.

[00:30:59] And you know I think they treat photographers photographers fairly well there with what they’re doing with their platform and I definitely recommended for any of you out there that might want to try to make a little bit of money with your photographs see you know if what you’re doing is popular enough that people are interested in buying you know copies of your photos because you’d be surprised. You know I’ve got friends and people that I’m in Facebook groups where they consider themselves only novice photographers or hobbyist photographers.

[00:31:31] And it’s funny because someone that’s a Facebook friend of mine Jeff Harmon is the host of The Master photography podcast as well as the photo taco podcast and and he’s been doing. He’s been doing photography podcasting for four or five years now and he’s like me. He works in I.T. full time and he does photography as well but he considers himself only a hobbyist even though he has some amazing sports photography work. He does a lot of high school basketball sports photography and he does amazing work. He’s very very talented but he considers himself a hobbyist. I tell him all the time that I think he’s crazy that he’s that he’s pretty serious and he’s definitely good enough to be to be considered pro because his work is just amazing and that’s another thing I want to mention. Jeff Harmon will be joining me as a guest on this podcast in the near future probably during the month of May or possibly June. We’ve got he and I are going to hash out the details yet and that’s going to be very exciting and the reason why I wanted him to come on the show is because I personally feel he’s extremely talented as a sports photographer and that’s the subject that he’s going to be my guest for is sports photography.

[00:32:50] So if you have any questions that you would like to ask a sports photographer feel free to post them under that subject on the photography Podcast Facebook group. There is already an announcement post where you can submit questions that you would like me to add when I have Jeff on the show as my sports photography guest in the near future. So be sure to stop by the Facebook group. You do. You can join the facebook group. You do have to answer a question. But the question is what is the name of the host of the leading photography podcast and that of course is me William Douglas or you can just put Liam and I had the question as a requirement just to keep out the spam spam and the robots and all that stuff to keep all that garbage out of the Facebook group to keep it just real people that enjoy photography enjoy learning more about photography and enjoy sharing photography. That’s what the Facebook podcast group is all about all right. So I am going to go ahead and wrap up this episode. This is Liam Douglas you’ve been listening to Liam photography Podcast Episode 15 and I will see you next time.