Today I signed up to a new picture agency - the recently launched British company PicFair.com. I've been following their progress over the last few weeks and the time now seemed right to take the plunge.
Founded and run by British journalist Benji Lanyado (who writes for The Guardian newspaper amongst others) the agency specialises in licensing images for both Editorial and a variety of commercial uses. (Edited -please see the comment below from Benji on the licensing).
The exciting thing about PicFair is that you get to set your own prices and receive 100% of that amount if they are sold. PicFair make their money by adding a modest percentage on top of your price (as well as a transaction charge to the client for each sale). It's not unlike FineArtAmerica where you also set your price and receive all of it.
Images are licensed for single use each time (unlike the Royalty Free Microstock model where clients pay once only and can keep using your image without further payment). There is only one size available (i.e. the maximum) so that needs to be kept in mind when setting your prices and there are no Extended License options available either. I have initially set my prices at the £10 per license level. All prices are set individually on upload so you can vary the price of your images and also change your pricing at any time in the future. If there is a way of bulk editing your prices across your portfolio I haven't found it yet (but it is only my first day there!).
One thing that takes some getting used to is that you add your title/description/keyword info before uploading the image - the complete reverse of what I am used to.
At present there is only the facility to upload one image at a time -something that will put some off I imagine. That said, images uploaded very quickly so with a bit of determination (and time) you can build up a decent size portfolio.
Downsides? Apart from the one at a time upload there is certainly an issue with the security watermark -it is barely visible and I hope this will be addressed going forward. There was also a strange quirk when after uploading you get a nice "thank you" message pop up and a reminder that you can share news of the upload with social media (the site seems well integrated with Facebook and Twitter). My problem at this stage was that there was no way of losing the message let alone sharing anything. The only way I found to move on was to hit the back button on my mouse to take me back to the upload page. This did throw up one unexpected benefit though -the info entered previously was still there, so where I wanted to upload several images of the same subject I just had to add the next image and click upload again. It may just be my browser though (IE9) causing this. I've sent them an email asking about this issue and will post further when I get a response.
So far I've just put up 11 images to get the feel of things but it is certainly an interesting proposition. It's also nice to be working with a British agency again following the demise of PictureNation. First day images included (of course) Margaret Thatcher and also Phil Lynott. You can see my little (so far) portfolio here PicFair . Feel free to comment by clicking on the comments link below this post. Regards, David.
Back in the Seventies and Eighties I founded and ran several Fleet Street photo agencies specialising in stock images of celebrities from pop stars to politicians. These were syndicated to the National and International press and Television. These days I am active in the Microstock world and this blog charts my journey as well as, hopefully, providing inspiration and ideas to others. Image buyers should also find this blog useful with links to my portfolios and regular updates on new uploads. Unless otherwise stated all images are my copyright and may not be reproduced or copied. Comments are very welcome but will be reviewed before publication. Enjoy your visit. Regards, David.