Picfair is a fascinating platform. Backed by several high profile investors including Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, it started out as a fair trade photography marketplace, created in response to the extortionately high cut that traditional agencies like Getty and Shutterstock take from photographers.

It struck a chord. Those of us relying on the traditional agencies for our income have grown increasingly furious over the years as the agency cuts grow and ours dwindle. It’s still completely standard for agencies to set image prices and keep up to 85% of a photographer’s royalties for themselves. Picfair was launched to change that – they allow photographers to set their own prices, add 20% to the buyer’s total, and that’s it.

Full disclosure: This article was sponsored by Picfair.

Picfair lets you choose your own prices and get 100% of what you ask for, adding 20% to the buyer’s total checkout price as commission.

But in 2018, Picfair evolved. As well as listing photographers’ images on the central Picfair marketplace, they also started giving every photographer their own free store.

A selection of personal stores, which every photographer on Picfair gets for free

Picfair Stores have all the same image selling options as the marketplace – digital downloads for editorial, commercial and advertising use, and high-quality prints that Picfair produce and ship to customers for you. All the photographer needs to do is upload, name their price, and cash out when they make a sale. And unlike anywhere else, you get a fully functioning store for free.

The response has been huge. Over the course of 2018, the number of photographers on Picfair tripled, hitting 100,000 by the end of the year, and now growing by thousands every week.

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The huge demand for Picfair Stores is largely due to their simplicity. Launching a portfolio site, then plugging in e-commerce add-ons, then working out how to scope and sell image licenses, then producing and shipping prints… is complex and expensive. Picfair does it all for you. Your images will also be jostling for position on Picfair’s central marketplace, where photographers of all experience levels have sold images to The Guardian, Time, Ogilvy, and numerous international brands and publications. Contributors’ images have even been used on the covers of multiple National Geographic titles.

The Picfair marketplace – as well as a personal store, your images are pooled into the global marketplace, giving you two different ways to sell from one platform.

Picfair Stores are free with the option to upgrade for £4.99/€5.99/$6.99 a month if you want to unlock advanced features like using your own domain — see the foot of this post for an exclusive Petapixel discount. Considering many portfolio-builder sites charge more just to display your images, it’s a very compelling deal.

A selection of stores created with Picfair Plus, which lets you use your own logo, layout, watermark, domain and more.

As photographers, it can be seriously frustrating trying to decide what to do with the photography we worked so hard to create. But starting with a fully functional free store, with the option to seamlessly upgrade if you decide to take it more seriously, feels like the solution many of us have been looking for. The added bonuses of the marketplace, free marketing guides, and industry-low commission make it a no-brainer.

We’re fascinated to see how Picfair develops over the next few years as more and more photographers discover the platform.

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