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PicFair Plus Review

Stuart Fawcett reviews PicFair Plus - a website designed to help photographers sell photographs, Picfair Plus is the enhanced version of the Picfair personal store for the photographer.


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Features, Handling and Performance
Verdict
Specification

PICFAIR Logo

 

ePHOTOzine asked me to review the Picfair Plus paid-for offering to see how the features they offer might be of interest to ePHOTOzine members and other photo and image makers.

 

PicFair Plus Features, Handling and Performance

PICFAIR Get Started

 

Picfair jostles for position amongst a crowded arena of stock photography sites, each with their own varied terms of use and potential commission payment structures for photographers.

“Picfair’s mission is to help any photographer, from any background, make money from their creativity.”

It seems to be true that Picfair targets ease of use for photographers and there are minimal barriers when it comes to getting your uploaded work into the stock photography market place. Picfair also offers you a personalised image store from which you can sell your work and independently promote your own image portfolio.

In essence, it’s very easy to start selling images with the basic subscription being free. You can set up your own storefront to sell your existing work at any price you choose - with PicFair taking a modest (for the stock industry) 20% of your sales. Picfair does not stop you reselling the same work to multiple buyers, nor does it ask you to prove up front you have the image rights of people or property to sell any of your images. They do review your images before making them available in the market place and then they suggest a relevant licence offering for your image.

As well as this, you also have the option of purchasing Picfair Plus which, for just under £50 per year or £5 per month, allows you to enhance your Picfair store with a number of potentially compelling features.


Free Features:

  • Images listed on Picfair's global marketplace for sale
  • Set your own prices you can set any price from £1 to £1000
  • Sell digital downloads, Full advertising licences are sold at 10x the price.
  • Sell high-quality printed products - giclee prints, framed prints & canvases.
  • Your own Picfair-powered Store 

£49.90 for the year or £4.99 per month:

  • All the above and
  • Multiple Store display options
  • Customise the position of images on Store
  • Display albums in Store
  • Completely remove Picfair branding from your Store
  • Add your own logo and bio on Store
  • Full-screen slideshow functionality
  • Receive more for prints - add your own custom margin
  • Welcome splash page functionality - A full-size image to greet customers
  • Add social media profiles to Store - Instagram, Twitter etc
  • Use custom watermarks on Store upload your own branded watermarks
  • Enable search on Store - so your customers can search by your tags
  • Use custom domain with Store
  • Access to Picfair Plus Customer Service
  • Immediate access to new features - as new features are released you get them
  • Guaranteed access to Picfair's FTP uploader

 

I built my own paid for Picfair Storefront to see how the site performs in a review and the first stage is to sign-up for a basic free account. Fill in your username, email, a password and confirm your email address. Then you are in. There was for me a quick sign up discount code and you are straight in and can start uploading your images to your profile:

 

PicFair Plus

 

After uploading your images, and while waiting for them to be reviewed and accepted for licencing, you can set up your account details. This includes the basics of name/contact email and a bio for your customers to read. Plus, you can add your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and a custom URL here if you want to. Also in this section, you can set a default overall price and enable the advertising sales option. 

 

PicFair Manage Your Account

 

Managing the actual look of the store is split into a number of simple pages covering Themes, Headers & Design, Headers & Navigation, Content and Organisation, the Domains, Watermarks etc.

 

PicFair Theme

 

The 'Theme' section allows simple choices for the overall look of your site, this is where you get to add the splash page image and set how you would brand the store using the splash image, your main image/custom logo or just your name. I tried, and you might want to also try, each of the options and keep refreshing the view as it's not always obvious which bit you are changing. This ‘Multiple store display options’ although useful was less interesting as the controls seem quite clunky and simple. If you choose the white theme and your images have white edges then there is no frame to define the image edge. I would not like the square image display option as the overview would crop your images unless all your images actually are a square format. You do, though, as a plus member, always have access to the latest releases as they become available.

 

PicFair Header

 

On the 'Header' and 'Navigation' section, you get to add a header logo and bio; and you can add links to other sites as you see fit. You also get to enable search here. Your Own Bio and splash image or name will help differentiate your site but the frame seems quite rigid and lots of sites will, I think, look quite similar. It’s not a bad look, you will either like its ease of use or not like its useful but limited display options. On a positive note, the tagging search is a helpful feature in quickly finding your images, and the store does scale well on the phone to show off your images anywhere.

 

PicFair Albums

Under Content and Organisation, you really only get to choose whether you use albums or not, and if so how you want to introduce these via the home page. The main Picfair+ feature I liked was Albums; Without this, your images in your store are just a random sequential presentation of all your images on the one main page. The interesting part of albums is that you can sort your images to present them in the order you wish to show them. This allows you to curate the images and guide the potential buyer through a chosen path. Of course, albums themselves also help you order and present your site; choosing your preferred album cover image helps too, and within albums, you can also present your images as a full-screen slide show.

 

PicFair Albums

A view of albums presented on a dark themed site.

Perhaps the next most important feature set for the brand conscious photographer wanting a dedicated photography store is their own domain without the Picfair branding and URL. Not having a spare URL I could not test this but would certainly consider it important for the more professional photographer. Picfairs FTP uploader will help with uploading larger catalogues. Other useful brand additions are links to your Instagram and Twitter accounts as well as extra links you can add to any other site you like. There is even a referral programme if you link back to Picfair. All in all, I see it as an inexpensive integrated store possibility worth looking at for budding professional photographers.

Customisable watermarks will also help brand and protect your images though you can turn this off as well. Having a personal branded initial ‘splash’ image of your own displayed when entering the site could be used very well too; It moves you on to your store after 10 seconds or when you click on it - see https://jackalltog.picfair.com/ for an example of the splash image of a girl before seeing the albums view underneath.

Picfair can also print out and deliver your images worldwide on either Canvas Wraps, Framed Prints or Giclee Art prints in a variety of sizes and finishes. They also advise you on the effective DPI at different sizes and prevent you from printing out below 150 DPI, 300 DPI is recommended for Art Prints.

Their customer support email worked well with questions I asked even as a basic site member, and as they are a growing site they should be responsive to member requests. Personally, I wonder if a wider selection of sized fonts would be desirable as well as image borders for the light themes.

 

Value For Money

PicfairPlus at £4.99 a month is an inexpensive, easy way to have your own store and with the right type and sized collection of photographs you should easily recover this if you start making sales through either their marketplace or your store.

 

PicFair Plus Verdict

Picfair is simple to use and fairly quick to learn. If you like how it looks then, I think, it has the potential of offering you a pain-free way into owning your own online store as well as selling in a global market place without out needing to market those images yourself. Being able to say you have your own store comes with great bragging rights and it's easy to set up. It seems to pay good margins to photographers and quickly allows you to promote your own brand and style. It does not, yet, allow textual content to be added to pages so your images themselves need to do the talking.

Overall, Picfair is worth trying out if you currently don't have your own store or are simply wanting to try something new. In fact, Picfair Plus may well help you look more professional and better present your work alongside your existing photography contact website.

PicFair Plus Pros

  • Simple to use
  • You can get a good looking, well-presented site with albums
  • Your own personal branded store is easily possible
  • You can use your own custom domain
  • You are part of a large global stock photography site
  • Good commission margins for photographers

PicFair Plus Cons

  • Not that customisable
  • No font control
  • No text page, blog area etc

Features4/5
Handling3/5
Performance4/5
Value5/5
Overall Verdict


Review for ePHOTOzine by Stuart Fawcett (JackAllTog) based on a trial version of the Picfair plus site.

See https://www.picfair.com for more details about Picfair and Picfair Plus.

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