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Picfair Review 2023 (Can You Really Make Money on It?)

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Picfair provides a new opportunity for photographers to promote and sell their work online. It’s a cross between a stock image site and a sales profile. And any photographer can create an account and start selling their work. Picfair sounds like an excellent development for professional photographers. But can you really make money using Picfair?

This Picfair review looks at what you can expect when signing up for the program. We’ll tell you what Picfair is and why it exists. And we’ll investigate whether the reality meets their promises for working photographers.

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What is Picfair?

Picfair is an online marketplace where photographers can sell their work to individuals and publications. It’s similar to a stock image website, but Picfair puts the photographer first. The photographers keep control, while Picfair facilitates the promotion and sale of their work.

Picfair was founded in 2014 by former journalist Benji Lanyado. While working in the British media, he was aware media publications used very limited resources for images. There was very little outreach to photographers, meaning they struggled to have their work shown in newspapers and magazines.

Other photo-selling websites were operating before. But they were often exploitative, with large percentages of the sales going to the platform. The photographers were left with very little to show after selling their work.

That’s the reason Picfair exists. It allows photographers to sell their photography work in a professional and fair environment. Any photographer can set up an account, creating a personal market stall to promote and sell their photographs.

Your profile is your shop window. And Picfair is now used as an image resource for publications like The Guardian, Fstoppers, and Amateur Photographer. The photographers reap the rewards of selling their work. There’s transparency and autonomy for photographers on Picfair.

Picfair is also a photography social media platform and community. You can browse other photographers’ profiles. And it even has photography competitions for its users. And all users have access to their photography tutorials if you feel that you could use a few tips.

Screenshot from the Picfair signup process

How Does Picfair Work?

The idea behind Picfair is to make a fair and accessible global marketplace for photographers. That’s a noble idea. Making money as a photographer isn’t easy, and they need all the breaks they can get. But does Picfair deliver in practice?

We’ll break down the Picfair platform and experience, looking at all the different facets of the website. We’ll take you through the signup process and the user interface. Then there are the pricing and the account management options.

Signing Up for Picfair

The sign-up process is incredibly easy. You’re essentially creating your own website and online store. But it only takes a few clicks to complete. In less than a couple of minutes, you have your own domain and a store home page.

Signing up to Picfair is 100% free. There is a bit of a push to get you to sign up for Picfair Plus—the paid version. But you can continue without much trouble to set up the free version of Picfair. It then prompts you to upload your photos to your new Picfair store.

What Kind of Photos Can You Upload to Picfair?

Uploading photos is another easy and accessible process. But there are some rules about the photos you’re allowed to upload. There’s nothing too surprising. But it’s best to be aware of them before creating an account.

They advise you to use high-resolution images, which is wise if you want to sell your photos to print media. But there is a limit on how big each image file can be. The limit is 30 MB per image, which is plenty.

Your images should not have watermarks, signatures, or timestamps. And there’s a rule against images with overlaid text. These types of additions will put off potential buyers. They’re buying your photos for use in media, so watermarks and timestamps will damage their market value.

But don’t worry about security or online theft. Picfair adds its own watermarks during the moderation process so your work can’t be stolen and used for free. It’s a temporary watermark only displayed when people view your photos in your Picfair store.

Picfair has nothing against lightly edited photos or photos with filters. They understand most modern photographers like to touch up and tune their work in Adobe Lightroom or Luminar Neo.

There are limits on edited work. They insist Picfair is a platform for photography. And you can’t upload heavily edited photos, digital collages, illustrations, or CGI pieces. This will be inconvenient for multimedia artists. But it ensures a level of authenticity in photography. And photographers know their photography won’t get lost in a sea of other digital art.

Examples of photo tags in Picfair

Uploading Photos to Your Picfair Store

If your photos meet the rules above, uploading them is easy. You select the photos you want to sell from your library and add it to your sales page. You need a title and a brief description. And you add custom tags to make your photos easy to find within Picfair’s giant catalog.

Picfair moderates all uploaded photos. They check to make sure the images meet their standards and guidelines. The moderation process takes no longer than 24 hours. And then you can sell the images on your own Picfair-powered store.

Picfair Photo Licences

Photo licensing is a complicated topic. It can be difficult to get your head around the different licenses and what they mean for your photography. But Picfair makes it easy to understand. And their license rules favor the photographers.

You keep the copyright to your images on Picfair. There’s no exclusivity agreement, so you can use the photos elsewhere while still advertising them in your Picfair store. And Picfair claims no ownership over the images uploaded by their users.

Picfair’s licenses are non-exclusive and single-use. When buyers purchase images as digital downloads, they do not take ownership of the copyright. They purchase the image on a license basis. That means they can use the image once and only within the terms of the photo’s license.

There are three main licenses that determine how the buyer can use the photos. There’s editorial & personal, commercial, and advertising. And they list the terms for each license on their website.

The best thing about the Picfair licensing is their transparency. They take care of the licensing of the image for you. But they give you all the information you need to understand each license. This means that photographers can make their own informed decisions.

Screenshot of focus articles store enable search

Pricing Your Work on Picfair

Picfair puts the power of pricing in your hands. You set your own prices. And you can sell every photo at a different price. And the price you charge is the amount you receive when you make a sale.

Picfair does charge a commission. It adds 20% to the price you’ve set for that image. If you set a price of $10, the advertised price on your site will be $12. But you still receive the full amount of the price you set. And Picfair also gets its commission. But this system means the commission is charged to the buyer, not the seller.

This pricing system demonstrates that Picfair means what they say about being a fairer marketplace for photographers. The pricing is in your hands. And they’re honest about their commission. What you charge is what you receive.

A screenshot of how Picfair displays image prices

Modifying Your Account and Picfair Plus

The options for modifying your store are very limited if you’re a free Picfair user. You have the option of a white theme or a dark theme, and that’s about it. For all the other modification options, you need to sign up for Picfair Plus.

Picfair Plus is the paid version of the website. You pay a monthly subscription fee for a more personal and advanced Picfair store. But other than the payments, what’s the difference?

There’s no added commission when you sell images from a Picfair Plus account. You set your own prices and receive every penny in the sale. That’s not dissimilar to the standard Picfair pricing. But it’s easier to set attractive prices while making money for yourself.

You also have far more options for personalizing your Picfair store. There’s no limit on how many images you can upload. You can choose from the multiple store templates. And you can add custom color themes and library layouts. You also get full-screen slideshow functionality.

A Picfair Plus account makes it easier to create a unique photography store. You don’t have to use the Picfair branding included in the free accounts. You can create your own logo and watermark. And you can add your own marketing materials to make a bigger splash in the photography world.

The Picfair Plus accounts are excellent. They give photographers a professional website for e-commerce. But it’s a shame that most of the custom design options are hidden behind a paywall.

screenshot of black theme account page

Additional Features of Picfair

Selling Your Prints on Picfair

The main method of selling images on Picfair is via digital download. But Picfair also offers buyers high-quality printed products of your work. You can sell prints on photo paper or canvas.

That might sound like more hassle for you, but Picfair takes care of everything. The printing, resources, and shipping are all arranged by Picfair. There’s no additional cost in time or money for the photographers. It’s just another buying option for people looking to purchase images.

Use the Marketing Guides to Boost Your Sales

Picfair understands that creating an account and uploading a few of your top images isn’t enough to create a business. They don’t make promises like that. They’re honest about the fact that making a living by selling images isn’t easy. And Picfair has material to help you out.

They offer free marketing guides to all their users. They have separate guides to help you sell images through all the main social media channels. You can turn your social media profiles into a sales funnel, giving your followers store access to your Picfair profile.

They also have more general guides for photographers. Some have dos and don’ts for selling photographs online. And others have helpful photography tips. Picfair’s global marketplace set of guides gives you a helping hand in a competitive environment.

Focus guide from Picfair website

Who is Picfair’s Competition?

Picfair has stiff competition in the stock photo market. There are tens of thousands of publications globally that need images for their media. And while Picfair has an honest and wholesome approach, it’s still small compared to some of its competitors.

Adobe Stock and iStock are two of the big hitters in the microstock market. They have extensive libraries full of varied images. They are excellent resources for publications that need images.

Unlike Picfair, they have subscription plans that allow their users to download a certain amount of images per month. Buyers don’t purchase individual photos, which makes their life easier.

One problem these stock websites often have is the quality of their images. They’re often staged and very “stocky.” They look like stock images, not natural photographs. That’s where Picfair has an advantage. The overall standard of the photography is excellent.

Picfair is also better from the photographer’s point of view. No other website gives the photographers so much transparency and control. And the amount of money you make is determined by the prices you set. Others offer very little return, even to productive contributors.

Screenshot of Adobe Stock website

Our Verdict: Can You Make Money on Picfair?

Yes. But don’t give up your day job just yet. Picfair offers an excellent platform for you to display and sell your work. The free version is limited in terms of customization and design. But it still gives you the power to set prices and sell your work.

Picfair is the best option for photographers in terms of transparency and rights. You don’t need a law degree to understand the photo licenses. There’s no funny business when it comes to prices and commissions. And your work is protected from theft.

But despite their noble philosophy, making sales on your images is still difficult. You can be the best photographer in the world, but you won’t sell anything unless you put some effort into marketing.

Picfair is honest about this. They don’t make any outlandish promises. And they don’t claim their platform is a get-rich-quick solution for photographers. They advise their users to market their work. And they even provide guides to help you navigate the rocky road of online photo sales.

Picfair has its heart in the right place. But that doesn’t mean all their users will become rich from their Picfair domain. They provide the best opportunity for photographers to sell their work online. And it appears their intentions are genuine. But you can use this Picfair review to improve your chances of making money from the platform.

Check out our Effortless Editing with Lightroom course to master editing so your photos stand out and still qualify for posting on Picfair.

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iStock Stock Photos
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Looking for answers on how to make money selling your photos online? Check out a top-rated store with millions of high-quality, affordable options.
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