I’m going to try something new. I’m going to try and sell some of my photos. Or rather sell the rights to use my photos. I will remain the copyright holder. To do this I’ve joined ClusterShot, a newish web company who have taken a slightly different approach to selling photographs. They offer both a free account, or a $20 a year Pro account, which lets you set up a more professional looking and featured web shop for your photography. The site is slick, easy to use and stylish to look at. First impressions count, and the first impression ClusterShop made on me was…well, I signed up, didn’t I?
The big plus points for me so far. Dead easy to join. As it should be, but I’m forever amazed at the hoops some web sites want you to jump through for the privilege of joining up with them. Getting your photos into the site is easy too. Anyone wanting me to upload a worthwhile quantity of photos to a site is asking too much, although they do have the ability to do just that if you so wanted to. ClusterShop have an easy Flickr integration tool, which I imagine will be a boon for a lot of users. They also just take 12% from any sales, leaving you with the vast majority of the revenue.
But I went for the RSS feed integration tool. I don’t want all my photos on Flickr to go into my shop, and although you can choose which sets you want to add I got the impression that they’d automatically add all photos you uploaded to Flickr from that point on. I could be wrong, and maybe they add only photos that you add to those sets you originally chose.
I’ve simply created a set on Flickr, called ClusterShop appropriately enough, and am added photos to it before adding the RSS feed to ClusterShop. I do have one concern, although I think it may be an unfounded concern. I have 43 photos in that set, yet ClusterShot brought only 20 of them over. I think I may have added more photos to the set after adding the feed. Hopefully, when Clustershop refreshes the feed next, it’ll bring those photos over too. I have no idea how often they refresh the feed. I would imagine daily. I’ll have to wait and see.
What do I hope to get out of ClusterShop? Some sales would be nice! I’m not asking for a lot for my photos – they’re all listed at just $50 a piece. I’m an eternal optimist, but the evidence I have before me doesn’t bode well though. Thomas Hawk, a reasonably well known photographer/blogger/photographer has almost his entire Flickr collection available, more than 30,000 photos, taken with professional grade equipment and a more talented eye than I, and has made just three sales.
But I’m going to give it a go. I intend to have 500 of my best shots in my ClusterShop account within the next few weeks, and perhaps with my lower pricing and a little luck I’ll make some bucks. Will I go Pro? Yes. If I sell a photo. I’ll use my profits to buy a Pro account.