PicFair is an image platform and library based in the UK but with global reach. It was set up by a former Guardian and New York Times journalist, who noticed that newspapers and magazines appeared to use a very limited pool of photographers. He was also keen to get a fairer deal for photographers who submit shots to image libraries and see the majority of the fee taken away in commission.
Consequently, PicFair is available for use by all photographers and you set the fee that you want to receive. If an image sells, PicFair adds 20% on top of your fee.
What’s more, it’s free to set-up a standard PicFair account. Once that’s created, you can upload Jpeg images to a maximum size of 30MB (minimum of 800 pixels wide) and start selling. PicFair handles all the licensing and markets the images like other image libraries. However, you also get your own shop that displays only your images.
Images can be licensed for digital download, personal, editorial, commercial and advertising use. In addition, clients can order your image as a print – there’s a small range of formats available.
It looks like a simple, clean website.
Hovering over an image in your store reveals its price, which is 120% of your fee. Clicking on an image opens a larger preview and gives the purchasing options.
By default, images with people in them are assigned as editorial only, but it is possible to make them available for commercial use if you have a model release.
While the standard PicFair account gives a reasonable amount of functionality, PicFair+, which costs £49.99 per year, lets you customise your store with your logo, a bespoke watermark and additional navigation options in the menu. You can also organise your images into albums of up to 100 files.
Crucially, it enables links to your social media channels and website.
If you own a URL, you can transfer it to your PicFair+ store. However, PicFair isn’t able to create custom domains for you, they need to be purchased from a registrar.
It’s easy to customise the layout of your store via the Store Settings options. It’s just a case of selecting the feature you want to edit and then following the direction.
PicFair offers just two layout themes, light or dark, and three layout styles. The first controls the background colour (white or black) while the second controls how images appear in the store. They can be arranged in rows with images tessellating together, full-screen or displayed as squares. I chose the first option.
Inevitably with an image library, you have to tag your images to make them searchable by potential clients. Each image needs a title, a short description and at least five tags before it can be uploaded to PicFair. An indicator bar turns green when you’ve added enough information to upload the image.
Thankfully, you can copy and paste titles, descriptions and tags between images.
If you have a PicFair+ account, you can arrange your images into albums after they’ve been uploaded. Again this is very easy, in your profile view, you just need to select a few images by clicking on the + that appears when you hover over any of them. Then click on ‘Actions’ to reveal the option to add them to an album.
While there’s not an extensive array of themes for PicFair’s stores, they are elegant. It’s also incredibly easy to get started on PicFair and begin selling images to a global market as well as your own clients.
I’m not a fan of adding titles, descriptions or tags to images (who is) but it’s essential to getting your images seen by potemtioal buyers. If find the best approach is to just add a few images at a time and try to have a particualr theme so that I can cut and paste the information, just tweaking a little here and there.
I plan to make uploading to PicFair part of my workflow. When I edit images, I’ll output my favourites and upload them as soon as I can.
As a PicFair account is free and can make you money, I recommend giving it a try.