Best Practices for Selling Images
Many members have expressed interest to learn about what they can do to improve marketability of their images. We have compiled
an easy to follow list of suggestions that may help you get the best results out of your membership with us.
More of What's Selling
- Submit photos with subjects that have highest chances to sell. According to our statistics, most of the photos that sell are in the category of Business World and Technology. Try to follow the "What's Hot" list found in the Selling Help.
- Before you upload, make all necessary digital corrections to the photos using image processing tools. At the very minimum, verify and adjust levels and color balance, and any other aspects important to your own workflow. Examine your photos at 100% magnification to identify any focus or noise problems, and try to correct them using many of the software tools available.
- Submit each image in its original resolution. If you downsize, you reduce the chance of selling by limiting its usability for larger prints. On the other hand, if you upsize, you introduce softness and the overall quality deteriorates.
- After you upload, assign appropriate keywords and place them in the right order. Start with the ones that define your photo in the best way and go on with others that are less descriptive and more generic. Do not forget to separate keywords and key phrases with commas.
- Place a watermark on the photo and make sure it obstructs key elements of your subject. Remember, watermarks are meant to protect your image from any unauthorized use.
- Make sure you accept numeric ratings to allow your photo to be better positioned in searches and categories. Keep in mind that even the lowest rating is more beneficial than no rating.
- Send us model or property releases whenever necessary shortly after you submit your photos. For best chances of selling, your photos should be available for commercial use.
Our "What's Selling" section serves as a great learning tool by helping you understand what sort of images can make sales on the site.
As photo sales keep climbing, our members have been asking for a way to view a larger sample of selling photos. To accommodate these
requests, we have extended our "What's Selling" section to show 20 images at a time. To view the extended section, click the
"More" link next the to the section's title on the home page. Images
shown in the "What's Selling" section are randomly selected from a pool of all photos that were recently sold.
Lightboxes are great tools found on many stock image sites – they serve as a place where a customer can organize images for further review.
Images placed in one's lightbox remain there indefinitely until a lightbox owner deletes them or moves to the shopping cart from which
they can be purchased. Traditionally stock photo buyers use lightboxes as their "wish lists" or the "to buy later lists". We are excited to
report that now ShutterPoint offers lighboxes too! Images can be moved between a lightbox and a shopping cart, and a link to one's lightbox
can be e-mailed to a third person. This is another step in making purchasing images from us a little easier.
Pre-Sale Activity Reporting
As we have recently mentioned in the forums, we have been working on giving you an ability to monitor buyer activity that precedes
sales of your photos. Understanding dynamics of a sale and types of activity that may lead to it may be very helpful for fine-tuning your
keywords, prices and other information photos.
To better understand the nature of the new report that we are introducing today, let's review how sales usually take place.
One way to buy photos is we refer to as a "quick sale". The "quick sale" normally occurs when a buyer comes to the site, runs a search,
finds a photo meeting a certain criteria, adds the photo to the shopping cart and pays the cost. The "quick sale" may take only 5 minutes
to complete from start to finish and the new pre-sale report will let you see events that have lead to the sale.
From time to time, there are also "slow sales" when a buyer may find a photo or several photos he/she likes and add them to the
lightbox or cart for future review. In the meantime, a buyer may download small resolution comp images and discuss them with a designer,
get an expense approval, etc. By the time the buyer comes back to the site to purchase images (let's say in 3 weeks), it is important that
these images remain on the site and their prices and preferably titles are unchanged. The new presale report will help you see events that
precede sales even before actual purchases take place. You can also assess when a pre-sale event did not lead to any sales, or a shopping
cart with your image in it was abandoned.
Based on some of the early feedback we have received on the pre-sale activity reports, we noticed certain confusion about comp images.
The site allows downloading of small images that can assist designers in many ways before a purchase is made. The comp images are:
Downloading comp images definitely does not guarantee a sale, but it may be one of the steps towards it. In the pre-sale activity report,
you can view certain information about a person who downloaded the image and how the person came to the site. This information can help
you guess the likelihood of a sale and may be interesting if you wanted to see how our marketing efforts pay off to bring customers to
- of smaller dimensions than regular preview images;
- watermark-protected against theft just like the main preview image with the watermark of your choice and position of your choice;
- used as the standard way for designers to evaluate images.
In order to view Pre-Sale Activity, go to "My Account", "Sales, Pre-Sale Activity & Payouts" and choose
We hope the new report can be a valuable exploration and learning tool.