November Newsletter 2016

November Rain

(Queue Guitar Solo) Maybe? Sorta? No? Fine.

Never mind. Moving on. Yes the weather can be a little cold and wet, but you can still take advantage of the nice days by using the atmospheric conditions or to create beautiful long exposure images. Two fine examples of this are Steve Cowe's exceptional image of Storm Force or for a more recent upload - Mark Leader's image of Welcombe Mouth

News from the community

Congrats to Steve Clark who, in one order, sold his image of 02 Bristol Balloon Fiesta for a record 18 times. Great job, client was really happy with the final result!

Stephen Mole is hosting an exhibition at the Fairhaven Gardens from November 19th to November 27th. Pop-in and say hi if you're in the area! 

Well done to Tony Murtagh who's picture of the Hungarian Parliament at night has been selected in the final 12, out of an entry of nearly 1000 photos, in the Viking Cruises calendar competition for 2017. Now Viking ask for the public to vote for their favourite photo. The winning picture will feature on the cover of the calendar as well as inside. Now you can help and vote for Tony here.

What's happening?

Our American friends will celebrate their Thanksgiving on November 24th which kicks off the Christmas shopping holiday on the 25th; we'll get into that a little later.

This month we have "Bonfire Night" or "Guy Fawkes Night" and of course Remembrance Day.

Most of us know or are familiar with the story of Guy Fawkes however for those in other parts of the world who may not be so familiar, a quick history. On November 5th 1605, Fawkes (and others) had planned to blow up Westminster because he opposed King James (who was Protestant) and wanted to replace him with Princess Elizabeth, (who was Catholic) so to pull off their plot, the plan was to assassinate King James by blowing up Westminster -- makes sense right? His plan however was foiled by someone who wrote an anonymous letter and the Kings Guards captured Fawkes in the basement of Westminster guarding a stockpile of gunpowder. So on the day of his capture, November 5th 1605, to celebrate the King's escape from assassination the population celebrated by lighting bonfires, a tradition which continues to this day. -- The story was romanticised in the 2005 movie V for Vendetta staring Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving and Stephen Rea, if you haven't seen it, I recommend it.

There will be plenty of opportunities to catch a great photo of the bonfires and fireworks. Please however refrain from taking pictures of your TV during the BBC telecast (or any other TV program/station) and trying to sell the images. They are the copyright of the media outlets and cannot be sold. In case you are wondering - yes that has been attempted before.

Remembrance Day. A day of reflection and thanking all the veterans and soldiers who have fought and are currently fighting in war, combat or peace keeping missions. Although we have images for sale depicting poppies, World War's, other combats and remembrance, it is not to profiteer off death, but to give artists a platform and the general public a chance to express their gratitude and so that we never forget those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our way of life.

If you know anyone who is suffering for the effects of PTSD, please get them to contact the good people at The Veterans' Mental Health Charity

Lest we forget... From us here at Photo4Me, Thank you.

The big shopping event this month is the Black Friday and the Cyber Monday specials. Started in 1932, it is considered to be the beginning of the Christmas shopping season although now we're getting advertisements before halloween. -- You can already buy Christmas pies in some stores, do they keep that long?

Anyways, moving on. Most major retailers open very early as the date follows the day after American Thanksgiving as they have a long weekend, Friday and Monday off work and school. Now Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become more of a global phenomenon and we've jumped onto the spending spree over here.

I still remember what happened a few years ago, on the news, the chaos... Yes... So we have that to look forward too, maybe do your shopping online. Which you can also remind your followers that it's easier to buy a beautiful canvas online than go out in the cold and buy it in a shop. =)

What's new this month?

Most of the month has been dedicated to working on the uploader and working on the social sharing functions so that you can add hashtags for each image you upload. 

For more of an explanation, same as before you can share it right away on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest but now you'll have a cap of 90 characters you can add on Facebook and 31 for Twitter to create your own hashtags or jump on to popular hashtags of the day. We have also dropped the countdown from 10 seconds to 5 seconds.

Second thing we have done, was we have found a way to lower the prices of Framed Prints so we hope that this will create interest in the product and which will increase overall sales. Good news for all!

Top effort everyone!

A couple things crept up this month so best to address them here.

Someone asked us about their accreditation when we sell one of their images. On every sale that we make, we send a 8 x 11 piece of paper with the product -- like a letter of authenticity. It will give a quick thank you to the customer, the photographers name, title of the image, a description of the image and a small bio of the photographer. This is why we say it is important for you to fill out all that information when you've signed up.

Avatar and Bio can be found here.
Title and description - that's when you upload, so give it something more than, "It's a nice picture I took." People want to know where the image was taken, what car they are looking at, what shipping lane the ferry takes, etc etc.

Regarding the decline of images, we are given a dropdown menu that has pre-loaded text written in. If we had to write up each decline, we would be there all day doing just that. If you have a question, please feel free to ask and we'll reply the best we can.

One decline that gets disputed a fair bit are blown sky's and digital noise.

Blown Sky: Also includes blown highlights or blown area. We know there is no sky in your picture, but that area in the water, that has no detail or texture and is still "blown" will cause problems in print.

Noise: Also includes grain texture added to the image. We know that it's been added and it looks great as a thumbnail, but when we blow that up to size and print on a product, it looks really pixilated and takes away from the image -- it looks like you're looking at a TV from the 50's with static interference. Adding grain is possible to achieve, but you must walk a really fine line when applying the texture.

Last thing we've seen a lot of is flowers. We'll be the first to admit that we are no flower experts here, but we have seen a lot of "point, shoot and upload" of flowers recently so we have no choice but to be tougher on them during the upload process, they can't be just a picture in a garden with distractions in the back ground. Images for the most part that have already been uploaded will be grandfathered -- unless of course there are some serious issues with the image, but going forward we will be tougher on flowers. (A sentence I never thought I would have to write).

New members help
We see it all the time, and we will keep repeating this.

When it comes to primary key phrase and keywords. This should be 2-3 words that describe your image. When we say “describe,” it means what would someone look up. Don’t say, “sun” or “blue” or “sea” or any general word. We also see nonsensical gibberish like "snowdonia wet sun drive." Ask yourself, “What are you looking at?” Better yet, put yourself in the customers shoes, what are they looking for and what would bring up your picture with their specific search? Rarely will we see someone in our traffic search for something so general looking for the examples given above. A customer knows what they want and they want a specific thing.

Where - Where is this picture taken?
What - What are they looking at? 
Be as specific as possible.

If it's a beach, which beach? What town? Put all that into the keywords, mix it up, combine these keywords. What is in your description? Add those wordings into your keywords. String 2-3 words together.

I would highly recommend you go through your pictures to avoid just generalities. If your keyword is to general, customers will never find your lovely images.

We have instructed our moderators to be very observant and will kick back images which are too general in their keywords.

For more help with keywords, see the FAQ here.

We’re always looking for something to report or to announce, anything that would interest the community. Would you like to write up a blog? Start a photography club in your area? Have any tips? Locations? Advice? Let us know and we’ll be more than happy to read and even put it into the newsletter.

Have a great month everyone, and thank you for being part of the community. 

Best wishes,

Jon & Mike

October Newsletter 2016

October Sky

Unknowingly referencing the 1999 movie about a coal miner's son, this title was more to do with the beautiful sky's and settings October has to offer. A foggy morning with a hint of frost over a golden sunrise, what more can you ask for! -- Well maybe no rain if you're out on a shoot -- that would help.

Some great pictures already starting to come in depicting this setting.

News from the community

Congrats to Nick Jenkins who has managed to sell 2 pictures in just over 2 months of being a member, one of them being The Malvern Hills. His secret to his success? He's uploaded great pictures with the appropriate keywords and descriptions. Nick also self marketed his work heavily on social media using hisTinyURL (which is found in your settings page) which also helped spur interest. Great job! 

South Eastern Trains had a competition with TimeOut Magazine for "SE Hidden Gems" this summer so Dan Davidson entered his image of the Herne Bay beach huts. The image didn't get shortlisted for the final but for some reason they used the image when advertising the shortlist. The Marketing Dept at SE Trains asked if they could use the image to display on a feature wall at the train station.  It went up in mid August and should be there until close to Christmas. Congrats Dan!

Tom Hard had a photograph appear in the August edition of Digital Photo Magazine which is sold nationally. It is accompanied by an article called 'Bucket List Locations.' It was a double page spread and the photo was taken of theWest Pier in Brighton, Sussex at sunset. Well done Tom!

James donating to great causes.

Last month we heard from Bel Menpes regarding her contribution to helping Kelly Turner raise £1.2 million to fund life saving surgery in the US. This month our attention turns to James Biggadike.

We all know James as "Airpower" and sells a lot of pictures on Photo4me. What a lot of people don't know, James puts his work and commissions toward charities and great causes.

Last year around Remembrance Day, James donated roughly £250 of his commissions from his sales of his Tower of London Poppy pictures to the RAF benevolent fund.

A few months ago, James donated a canvas of "Vulcan Farewell" to a local business called "the Sentry Post". The RAF Waddington base has been re-surfacing their runway for the past 2 years, and the owners are struggling to keep the business afloat. - As the cafe sits right at the end of the runway making it a prime sitting spot for plane spotters, the bidding for this canvas is currently at £200. You can bid on it yourself on Facebook.

James has also donated images and a number of prints to "The Peoples Mosquito" to help them raise funds to build a De Havilland Mosquito from scratch. Details of which can be found via their website.

Moreover, he has also donated a number of prints to "The Happy Gurkha", a business set up to get retired British Army Gurkhas back to employment.

Well done James!

What's happening?

To our friends in North America, there is Canadian Thanksgiving (Oct. 10th). Food, family and friends sit around to have a nice get-together, appreciate the summer past and enjoy the yearly harvest. Our American friends will celebrate their Thanksgiving a month later in November.

On this side of the pond, there are a few things going on, in and around the UK.

In London there is the NFL international series on October 2nd, 23rd and 30th. Go and take in the sights and sounds around Trafalgar Square and Regent St on those weekends.

If men in spandex running into each other isn't entertaining, try the sixth annual Bristol Cocktail Week 2016. It will take place from 17th to 23rd October at venues across the city with Bristol’s finest mixologists indulging in seven days of blending and mixing for your sipping pleasure.

In Nottingham, there is the Goose Fair which is one of Europe’s largest travelling fairs and is one of Nottingham’s oldest traditions, dating back more than 700 years. Legend has it that it that Goose Fair got its name from the hundreds of geese, which were at one time driven from Lincolnshire and Norfolk to be sold in Nottingham. -- Cheeky!

Hull will also host a fair with an expected attendance of over half a million visitors throughout its week long run. The fair starts the Friday closest to the 11th October every year.


Take a weekend country break. Treat yourself to guided walks across the Isles of Scilly.

The autumn is a very special time of year on Scilly – the days are still warm, the softer hues give rise to stunning sunrises and sunsets, and of course the islands are alive with wildlife.

What could be better than Halloween? As everyone with a calendar knows (or at least checked), Halloween falls on a Monday but that's not stopping a couple of events happening around the UK. I'm sure there are others, but this is what we've come across.

Just outside of Bath, there is Longleat’s infamous Halloween Spooktacular Festival and fireworks show. - A quick Google should bring up times and dates.

Margate will have it's second annual "Dreamland's Screamland" 

Screams will be heard across Margate this Halloween, not from screams of enjoyment, but the scariness of Dreamland's Screamland.

What's new this month?

As mentioned in the previous Newsletter we were working on a new sharing function. This will allow you to share your images instantly (Once you have 30 approved pictures in your account) with all your followers and friends.

This will happen at the end of the uploading process, you'll be brought to a sharing page.

The tool is simple. The second you upload a picture, you can share it instantly on 3 major platforms. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. We have implemented this function because the more you share your image, the more people see it, the better chance it can sell.  These functions may be automatically selected after you've added your account to the uploading process. If you do not wish to have these options selected, simply unclick the box. These options can be turned on and off whenever you upload next.

I know some of you are a little skeptical of Pinterest, we hear you loud and clear. The Pinterest option will only be possible through the uploading process which you will be able to select or not. We have no plans on adding a Pinterest button on the commercial site or the members site.

Unexpectedly we needed to switch servers mid-way through the month due to a technical glitch. No high res files were compromised and they still remained encrypted. We treat image security with the upmost importance. When we moved the thumbnails across, some images didn't make it so we resolved that issue which has been completed. As always, if you noticed anything out of the ordinary, email customercare with a link to the image and the portfolio and a screenshot. 

So thank you for the emails and the posts concerning the missing pictures and many thanks for your understanding and continued patience. Much appreciated.

Apologies for the inconvenience this caused.

Top effort everyone!

This newsletter is going to cover a few things.

First one is keywords; now you’re going to say, “Guys! Enough of the keyword talk, we've heard it all before!” Hear us out. A lot of you get a little confused with the primary key phrase. This should be 2-3 words that describe your image. When we say “describe,” it means what would someone look up. Don’t say, “sun” or “blue” or “sea” or any general word. We also see nonsensical gibberish like "snowdonia wet sun drive." Ask yourself, “What are you looking at?” Better yet, put yourself in the customers shoes, what are they looking for and what would bring up your picture with their specific search? Rarely will we see someone in our traffic search for something so general looking for the examples given above. A customer knows what they want and they want a specific thing. Make your keywords specific then work you way to general, avoid keyword phishing.

Second topic is something that as we all know. We’re getting ready for the Christmas rush (already? - Yep!) What we need from you more than ever is that when we sell a picture, specifically, you're picture, please check the high res file on your end right away and if you notice a dust spot or any imperfection, please email us with an updated file. This will greatly help us in manufacturing and sending things out in a timely matter and ensures everyone has a happy holidays. Please make sure your images are perfect. Remember, you're picture is going on a customers wall, you don't want to be remembered as the artist with a dust spot right?
A couple of questions regarding copyright this month that we went over in theFacebook Group but I'll put it here. 


Mike contacted LEGO earlier this month who pretty much said photographers and artists can generally use them for your personal project or if nobody is making any money from it.

If it is something you would be making money off of (like selling on Photo4me), it goes against their fair play policies. Therefore, no LEGO images can be used on the site to sell, unless of course, you have permission from LEGO.
On the flip side of things, Mike also got in touch with the Powerboat P1 SuperStock (Powerboat water racing) which said they were happy to have people take pictures of their boats and sell them as the exposure is good for the sport. - Just remember to take pictures from public land and you'll be alright.

We’re always looking for something to report or to announce, anything that would interest the community. Would you like to write up a blog? Start a photography club in your area? Have any tips? Locations? Advice? Let us know and we’ll be more than happy to read and even put it into the newsletter.

Have a great month everyone, and thank you for being part of the community. 

Best wishes,

Jon & Mike

September Newsletter 2016

Schools in from summer.

Yes, it is that time of the year again. The start of Autumn or “Fall” as Mike says, that crazy Canuck, eh. The beautiful summer days are numbered, a time of year when the days get cooler, the leaves start to change colour and winter (gasp) is around the corner. In saying that, lets be positive! With this, you have a great opportunity in taking some amazing pictures of the change in season and we’re looking forward to seeing what you upload in the next month – not all that bad right?

News from the community

Lots happening this month so lets get to it shall we?
Stephen Mole is hosting an Exhibition with Paul Macro Exhibition at Blickling Hall (National Trust) from September 20th to October 2nd and yes he did receive permission. The manager even bought a picture off Stephen of the hall. (It was shot from the road side)
Liz Alderdice is opening up her Studio for the North East Open Studios 2016event where artists and makers open their studios for 8 days so that the public can meet the artist and gain an insight into the way they work. Dates are 10th - 18th  September. She can be found here.
Thank you to Roger Green. With excellent research Roger spoke with the Senior Counrtyside Access Office for Cumbria regarding pictures of the Castlerigg Stone Circle, who informed him that,

"It seems safe to assert that purposes 'reasonably incidental' passing and repassing includes such things as stopping to look at a view, to talk to passer-by, to take photographs, or to have a picnic on the verge'.

So in my view there would be two questioned to be answered, was your passing 'reasonably incidental' or had you gone to the site to take the photograph for commercial gain.

The other would and I would think the most important were you on the public right of way or had you strayed off it?"

Therefore, if you feel that above applies to you, please reply to the declined image, email a link, or just re-upload.

Bel, donating commission to a worthy cause.

Bel Menpes is going to give all commission payments from the sale of her work to help Kelly Turner raise £1.2 million to fund life saving surgery in the US.

Who is Kelly Turner?
Kelly is a 16 year old from Dover who has a rare form of soft tissue cancer. Tragically, Kelly has been told that without surgery she has just two years to live.

Without surgery Kelly will not have a chance to achieve all she had hoped to. She would like to help others by becoming a radiographer, and to develop her passion for art. Surgery could give her the opportunity to fulfill her hopes and dreams, and allow Kelly to live her life to its full potential.

Bel is trying to spread the word and help raise money to fund Kelly's surgery in the US, surgery she can not have in the UK.

Bel will continue donating her commission until at least the end of Feb

How can you help?
Please search on Facebook for getkellytotheUS for more details and a link to her crowd funding page can be found here.
Also follow the hashtag, #doingitforkelly

What's happening?

As all parents and grandparents are probably well aware of, school’s return is coming up or for some, has just begun. Last month we saw the conclusion of the Notting Hill Carnival and the amazing performances of all Olympians. Speaking of which, please let us not forget the Para-Olympic games start soon (Sept. 7th to the 18th), so please do your best to watch, cheer and support  these inspirational and amazing people.

What else is? There is the London Design Festival which goes from Sept. 17thto the 25th. Might be worth popping by to see and get inspiration for your own work.

Also in the city there is Proms in the Park (Hyde Park), which takes place on September 10th.

Moving away from London, you can test your fitness levels at the Great North Run, which is taking place in New Castle where more than 54,000 runners will pound the pavement. If running is not your strong point, I’m sure the spectating support would be greatly appreciated.

None of those your cup of tea? (Excuse the pun - you'll see why) There is the Autumn Steam Gala Beer Festival in Yorkshire (Sept. 30th to the 2nd of October) See trains and have a pint, we can think of worst things to do on a weekend. – Google the event for more info.

Not to be outdone, Blackpool will light up the Lancashire skies for “Blackpool’s Light Fantastic” where over a million bulbs will light up over six miles of Blackpool’s iconic Promenade – this runs until November. Below is a picture from Jason Connelly who took the opportunity to take a picture of the event a few years ago. I’m sure there will be some great photo opportunities like this.

What's new this month?

Due to the annual holidays it’s been a quiet time for development work over here. What I can tell you is that we're working on a sharing function for the site that will make sharing your pictures a lot easier. Bigger audience, bigger chance someone sees you work, bigger commissions down the road.

Top effort everyone!

We have found out the reason why when you share your images/portfolio on Facebook, and the image doesn’t come up as your own and your name is not mentioned. This is due to Facebook “scraping” the information from Photo4me is incomplete. To fix this issue, please go to your Settings page, at the bottom under “Commercial profile” add your own unique TinyURL. Once saved you can share your portfolio on Facebook without problems. Not only that, it will also make your link a lot more professional when sharing it among friends in print. For example,{whatever name you chose}

We’ve noticed an influx of declines because of wrapping issues/cut subject. Remember when cropping and taking your great pictures you need to give about 1cm (on all sides) of clearance on the screen to avoid a wrapping issue.

A few of you have been a little confused when we give an explanation for a declined image, which is understandable. To clarify, we are given a list from a dropdown menu, most explanations are very general, therefore, if it is not obvious, kindly feel free to ask us to clarify and we can be very specific. Now the reason why we have dropdowns rather than the need to type each reason – it’s a time saver. Imagine having to give a specific detailed explanation for every decline, we wouldn't have time to go anything else.

With all these flags, people may feel that they are being picked on – I know getting flagged isn’t fun, but it’s for the best, and no one is picking on you. Yes, you may be getting 3-4 images flagged, it happens, no sweat. Overall we get about 100 – 200 flags over a 24 hour time span, some images are from recent uploads, some are from images uploaded 5-6 years ago. If there is a problem with the image, it’s best that we know about it now, than if a customer purchases the image and we need to stall the order or cancel the order outright. Then it becomes a little embarrassing for us and the photographer because we can’t fulfill the order on something, which we should have been able to avoid.

The flag system is to keep the quality of the images on the site to the highest standards possible.

We’re always looking for something to report or to announce, anything that would interest the community. Would you like to write up a blog? Start a photography club in your area? Have any tips? Locations? Advice? Let us know and we’ll be more than happy to read and even put it into the newsletter.

Have a great month everyone, and thank you for being part of the community. 

Best wishes,

Jon & Mike

August Newsletter 2016

Dog days of summer.

These are the days and months that we dream about during those grey, cold winter months. Hot cloudless days turn into long and festive nights. Whether you’re traveling abroad or within the UK remember to take/bring your camera and take that stunning picture that you thought you could only dream of. As always, we’re constantly getting new pictures uploaded on a daily and it’s always exciting to see what the members will upload, keep them coming!

News from the community

Congrats to the 2 newest members of the Photo4me century club.

Oxon Images and Simon Wrigglesworth. It goes to show that success can be achieved if you take the right pictures, have a strong portfolio, do a little self-marketing and have the right keywords and description.

Congrats on the milestone!

Also Congrats to Mark Fraser who sold his first image after waiting about 2 years. It goes to show that patience pays off! Only 99 more to go!

What's happening?

The Olympic spirit will dominate the news cycle and the beautiful country of Brazil will engross the world just like London did 4 years ago. Tower Bridge at Sunset was captured by Phil Clements. Whether it on top of Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer) by Brian MacDonald down the valley to Copacabana Beach or other parts of Brazil such as Iguassu Falls by Yvonne & Paul Carroll. The world will hopefully the beautiful side to Brazil and not some of the negative aspects of the games which the media is leading us to believe. We wish all the athletes in the Olympic and Paralympic games all the success the in the world and to have a great games!

Closer to home, let us not forget that there is the always entertaining Notting Hill Carnival which takes place on the August Long weekend (August 28th). Go out and see the amazing costumes, taste the great food and experience the vibrant music and atmosphere. As always, don't forget the camera!

What's new this month?

Early in the month of July, we completed on the member search from the commercial homepage dropdown and also the search engine. Putting your photography name into the drop-down will give the customer the ability to look up your portfolio. If the customer puts your name into the search engine images will come up but also the photographers head shot along with the images to go to their profile. Please note that if you do NOT have a unique avatar, your profile will not show up. To update your profile or just double check, go here.

We’ve redesigned the Printshop landing page to fit in more with the overall design of the site.

Lastly, we’ve done some backend housekeeping which should speed up the site and therefore rank higher in site SEO for all the great pictures we have for sale. Not very glamorous but it was a must in order to keep the site running efficiently and smoothly.

Other newsworthy info: Photo4me’s sister company (Splat Web Works), who you might have noticed in payment notification to those who were fortunate to sell a picture, “Splat Photo Limited” is hosting an event in October, all 100 tickets have sold out in 10 days. It’s not too late to get your name on the waiting list. Sign up here.

Top effort everyone!

This month we didn’t really see any general issues with regards to pictures and questions about the site, so not much to report here, but if you do have a question, please feel free to ask and we might address it in the following newsletter or on our social media channels.

Not to let space go to waste we’re going to start a new section called “heard around the office.” Now you’ll get more familiar with what goes on behind the keyboards and screens, with our philosophical wisdom such as these beauties last month.

Mike: Looking very serious, “I hear all the music I listen too.”

Jon: "Mike you look a little blurry today."
Mike: "I've always been a little blurry."


Can’t wait to see what we come up with in the next few weeks!

We’re always looking for something to report or to announce, anything that would interest the community. Would you like to write up a blog? Start a photography club in your area? Have any tips? Locations? Advice? Let us know and we’ll be more than happy to read and even put it into the newsletter.

Have a great month everyone, and thank you for being part of the community. 

Best wishes,

Jon & Mike

July Newsletter 2016

Summer Solstice

As sad as it sounds, the summer solstice has come and gone but summer is here and in full swing for another 2-3 months. Currently we’re in the middle of great events and celebrations, last month saw the annual Glastonbury Festival, the start of Wimbledon, the Queen’s birthday, the Euro’s tournament (Sorry English Fans). I’m sure I’m missing a whole bunch of other things I didn’t think of at the top of my head.

News from the community

Janet and Richard Burdon currently have an exhibition running at the Dalby Forest visitor centre in Dalby, North Yorkshire. The exhibition is 50/50 mono and colour landscape and runs until the end of July. If you’re in the area, pop in and say hi!

David Wilkins received an award this year and is listed as one of the top 30Best Wedding Photographers in the UK (no19). Congrats on the achievement David! 

Sandra Cockayne is giving a presentation at the Townswomen Guild in Low Row on Tuesday the 21st at 7pm to 9:30pm and inviting the ladies to be a judge for an evening, and will be given a transcript and guidelines to do so. Best of luck and we hope its a great success!

What's happening?

As mentioned above, it’s been a busy month and busy time of the year. For all you music lovers Glastonbury has come and gone and for the lucky people that went, memories that lasted forever. Very muddy ones but I'm sure fun none the less! Now that these emotions are still fresh, find some sort of music inspiration photography and promote like Anne Macdonald's image of Antique Mandolin. You never know who’s looking. Be aware that if you do take pictures inside festivals or venues you need permission to sell them and need to provide us with proof.

Currently “The Championships, Wimbledon” is causing a racket (excuse the pun but it was too good to foul on) with excitement and is easily the most popular ticket in The City. Now would be a good time to promote any type of photography involving tennis like David (Dai) Meacham's picture of Point of impact or racket sports due to the public awareness and again, promote to help increase the odds in selling. 

** Editors Note: Apologies for the confusion regarding last newsletter. The 75thanniversary of the Battle of Britain was last Summer/Fall, although the message remains the same regarding our commitment to replicated and air-show pictures. Guidelines can be found here.

What's new this month?

This month we have been busy tightening up the Printshop and Home Page making it look slick and fast. Moreover, we have completed an overhaul of a backend API that will help market your images throughout on various paid advertisement platforms. (This won’t cost you a penny and we foot the bill to promote your work). We’ve been doing this for a couple years but it was using old technology so a complete rebuild was in order. These new and improved technologies will also help with the SEO of Photo4me images on major search networks. It’s not very fancy/flashy that you’ll notice directly on the site, but hopefully you’ll notice in your pockets sooner rather than later. 

Although we do promote your work with paid adverts, we do ask that you also do your part in promoting your pictures to give yourself that extra exposure. The more people know, the better the chance you have in selling.

This month we have hired a new employee by the name of Liam Hind. He’s going to help with the administration of the site when Mike is on annual leave or during the busy times of the year. Please make him feel welcome, understanding and patient with him as he is still new and still learning the job. 

Top effort everyone!

Although no request this month was made to cover a part of the website, I would like to recap a couple things. 

We at Photo4me do watch the social media boards and see that there is a common concern about the “substandard” images that are uploaded. As you all know and have gone through, we have the 30 approved images vetting process. Once a member hits over 30 approved images, it goes live instantly when upload is complete. Unfortunately we cannot police all these images, we don’t have the time to do that, therefore, before you hit those “likes, loves and exceptional” ask yourself if it is wall art and it is substandard or have any technical issues. If so, flag it and we’ll take a look, simple as that and takes just a few seconds. When an image is flagged, it just means that someone wants us to have a second look, 99% of the time, within 24hours a decision will be made (on business days). Flagging an image is completely anonymous and has no effect on the commercial site. The flag will remain because we don't want to see the same image multiple times after we've seen it once.

Remember if you want to see and the site to show off the best possible pictures, we need your help in achieving that =).

Now what happens if your image is flagged and declined? Rather than write us angry emails or take to social media to start a mob, write us a nice reply, make a case, show us of examples of similar images, we’re more than happy to explain more in depth, reinstate your image and admit we were wrong or flag the other images still on the site. Remember, you catch more bees with honey than vinegar. 

As per a suggestion to cover – Rather than upload your images to the site and think you’ll win the quantity battle, it’s not so much the case. Quality will always trump quantity. ? I remember looking at someone’s profile a month ago, which had 5 images but sold 3 of the 5.

You want have pictures so that someone will stumble onto it, but it doesn’t help if you have thousands of mediocre images, make sure your images are stunning and be honest with yourself. Ask yourself, would someone buy this picture? We’re all here to sell images, lets make it the best possible outcome for the customer.

We’re always looking for something to report or to announce, anything that would interest the community. Would you like to write up a blog? Start a photography club? Have any tips? Locations? Advice? Let us know and we’ll be more than happy to read and even put it into the newsletter.

Have a great month everyone, and thank you for being part of the community. 

Best wishes,

Jon & Mike

June Newsletter 2016

Warmth and leave

With the summer started, most of us are longing for a day out by the beach, coast or where ever their heart is during those long and cold winter days. Vacation time has started! Don’t forget to bring your camera and take some fantastic pictures, which may turn out be great wall art – you never know!

News from the community

As always there is plenty of buzz around Photo4me with many contributions, remember that if you want to featured, send us some relenvent P4M news and we’ll be happy to put it into the news letter.

This month brings us the news of:

Steve Purnell will have his art on display at the Rhymney Valley Literature and Arts Festival at St Gwlady’s Church Hall in Bargoed from July 1st to 3rd. Pop-in and say hi!

Congrats to Craig Preedy who made his first sale on the site, “The River Wye”.

Congrats to Lynn Bolt who finished 2nd in the RSPB's 2017 calendar competition. Her entry of "Two Gannet" will be in the calendar, goes on sale in July.

June Happenings!

We’re not going to run any promotions this month, but that shouldn’t stop you from promoting your work and trying to think of fun marketing ideas to get people interested in your work.

Keep in mind there are a few dates in the calendar. June 14th to 18th is the Royal Ascot and June 19th is Fathers day (don’t forget!). 

It might be a good occasion to take or promote your pictures of Horses like Camargue Horses By David Tyrer and nature and fishing like J.Tom L.Photography of Llyn Nantle Uhaf.

You can then promote them on social media and follow the trending # to show off your work to a larger audience.


Next month is the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. There will be a lot of air-shows and photography relating these air-shows. We have little doubt that these air-show pictures will grace the Photo4me website.

A word of caution: We will accept air-show pictures but they can’t be just a picture of an airplane and a sky. They need to have a second level or artistic merit to them. They need to have something that anyone with camera could not capture.

What makes a airplane picture special? Look at the great portfolios of well known and respected members like James BiggadikeKen BrannenColin WilliamsNigel HattonGary Eason and apologies in advance for those who I did not mention. These 5 are a good start on what it takes to be successful and a good example of what people are looking for. Notice that all 5 deal with planes but each artist has their own unique feel to them, please don’t copy their images or they’ll be flagged and removed – but find your own unique feel and artistic flare.

To find out more on the plane guidelines, click here.

What’s new this month?

As you all know, we launched Printshop with the help of Splat Web Works in Mid-May. 

What does this mean? This means that you can upload your pictures and print them yourself with our high quality products at a much reduced price(commission taken off). This will also give you discount than if you, your friends and family if they or you were to purchase through the Commercial site.

To do this, you will notice share buttons on the Printshop home page (only you will be able to see) after uploading, this means that you can share them with Friends and Family on Facebook, Twitter or through Email giving them deals on your work and you sort your commission out on the side. You always have the option of deleting the image after it is uploaded.

To make the Printshop more visible to everyone, we’ve also redesigned the home page, which should go live in the very near future, we’d love to let us know what you think by sending us a nice little tweet @photo4mecom or through the Facebook group.

To go to Printshop, click here.

Top effort everyone

I know it’s been the focus of a few last newsletters but please keep in mind the customer when you do your write and description. Remember to focus on the customer and not yourself. I hate to be blunt, but no one will care if you took your beautiful dog out to the beach. “My lovely Lola on the beach.” This might evoke a lot of emotion with you, but to the customer, they won’t have that connection. A better way of writing about the picture would be, “A beautiful Border Collie, sitting on Blackpool Beach after a long and beautiful sunset stroll down by the water.” Generalise. Take them to the place of remembrance.

When it comes to keywords, remember the FAQ from the past month, the search will look up keywords or phrasing that you’ve put in between the commas. For the full review go to the FAQ located here.

We’re always looking for something to report or to announce, anything that would interest the community. Would you like to write up a blog? Start a photography club? Have any tips? Locations? Advice? Let us know and we’ll be more than happy to read and even put it into the newsletter.

Have a great month everyone, and thank you for being part of the community. 

Best wishes,

Jon & Mike

May Newsletter 2016

Has summer arrived? We certainly hope so. 

After a long wait, I think we can all agree that summer is here to stay. With those warm and extra long days of sunlight there is no excuse to not get a beautiful sunset or if you’re and early bird, a fantastic sun rise.

News from the community

With the warm weather, exhibitions are popping up all over the place. Liz Alderdice has an exhibition in the John Lewis store in Aberdeen until May 13th and Phil Wareham has an exhibition in Moordown Community centre on June 2nd.

Congrats to Sean Foreman on a sale on his birthday, a nice surprise and a very happy birthday!

Big shout out to Nick Wardekker who donated all his commission from all his sales(7) to the St. Andrews’s Children Hospice. Well done and an amazing gesture Nick.

What’s happening?

The biggest news recently has been Leicester winning the Premiership and not only that, they were they were the first new team in 38 years to win top flight English Football after starting the season at 5000 – 1 odds! To put that into perspective, that's the same odds as finding Elvis alive. 

The 21st May is the FA cup final. Who’s going to take home the cup this year? Man U or Crystal Palace?

Building off the above, take pictures of football stadium or team related like Red David has of Theatre of Dreams / Old Trafford. There is a massive emotional attachment with a team and everyone has some sort of allegiance to one club or another. Remember you need permission or accreditations to take pictures inside the stadium, however as long as you’re on public property you should be fine. You're responsible for finding that out and checking before uploading. Find something that has a lot of emotion and attachment to that fan base.

Also remember that between the 24th and the 28th is the Chelsea Flower show - so there is potential to take pictures of a lovely garden or memorable place with great foliage likeDawn Cox has of this Country Manor House! Just keep in mind being on private property when and if you do take these pictures.

Last minute edit: Keep your eyes open for The flying Scotsman. A quick Google search will give you its voyages for the month in and around the UK. From what we understand, it will be running on the fife circle on the evening of May 15th. This might be a great photo opportunity to see it crossing the Forth rail bridge and getting a once in a lifetime picture.

What’s new this month?

Over here, we’ve been working a couple new projects. Our sister company Splat Web Works, who you may have noticed on your payment’s called “Splat Photo”, has launched a new version of their website

We’ve been working hard on updating the uploader with a new technology, which has made it a lot more stable and easy to use, and on top of that, we gave it a facelift with a sleek and modern design. The test group (a massive thank you to those kind people) has come back with some positive feedback and results. A link is on the Facebook group or email and we'll send you a link if you want to try it out before it goes live on the site. (If it hasn't already).

We’ve also been working on the Printshop. Customers will be able to upload their pictures and purchase their own work. Also, this means that YOU can also upload your own picture through the Printshop without your commission. In the future, we will be working on a function where you can take your image from your portfolio and put it into the printshop. This will be a feature we upgrade to later on in the year.

Top effort everyone

It was requested that we list our most popular keywords, now we can give you all a massive list, but in reality, we don’t want to over saturate the site with people forcefully using these words.

What we see from out end. People want colour or a stunning black and white picture, they want a beautiful sunrise or a sunset, they want to see the sea, the beach, they want the picture to take them away to a place that brought them happiness or a place that has significant meaning. Taking a picture of an object is OK, but what does this object do, what is this significance to someone? Why would they purchase it?

On the other hand, we do see themes all the time, we see people searching for bell bells, London, Liverpool Skyline, Manchester, beach huts, Highland Cattle, Tyne and Wear the list goes on – these are trends. If you happen to spot an early trend, jump on it, make it look professional, upload, and self advertise.

We’ve also released a new Consumer Blog, which might be helpful in what trends are taking place and what people are looking at. You can read it’s entirety here.

We’re always looking for something to report or to announce, anything that would interest the community. Would you like to write up a blog? Start a photography club? Have any tips? Locations? Advice? Let us know and we’ll be more than happy to read and even put it into the newsletter.

Have a great month everyone, and thank you for being part of the community. 

Best wishes,

Jon & Mike

March Newsletter 2016

April showers bring May flowers 

Spring has arrived in England with a force and we’ve seen all extremes of weather, from major storms to beautiful sunshine, a perfect opportunity to get some fantastic pictures! Which we’re already starting to see uploaded to the site.

• Congrats to Kayleigh May Meek who sold her first canvas this month, a lovely picture of The Island of Halki.

• Some great winter pictures by new member Alexey Trofimov who has been very active on social media, joining in on discussions.

• Thank you to all who have been positive and have created content on the Facebook page. Particularly, long time member and always positive and a great personality on the social media, thanks for making the new members feel welcome Mary Fletcher, check out her photos

Thank you as always to the community who are active on our social media but also to those who just want to upload pictures. The community continues to grow as we now boast 6,900 members and having 357,000 pictures and counting. We have sent your artwork from Auckland New Zealand to San Francisco, which is to us and hopefully you, an amazing accomplishment. Well done to everyone!

We’re not going to run any promotions this month, but that shouldn’t stop you from promoting your work and trying to think of fun marketing ideas to get people interested in your work. Keep in mind there are a few events going on around the country, in particular the London Marathon April 24th, so it might be a good occasion to take or promote pictures of London or some sort of athletics.

Top effort everyone!

This month in our regular info-sharing, for P4M member, which we bring you hints, tips and advise.

We’re going to cover keywords. Lately it has become a question from our members as to why pictures don’t show up in search.

Say you look up the keyword, "New York Taxi" and we didn't come across your image. It is very possible that is because "New York Taxi" is not part of your keywords. You have: New York City Collage, New York City, Manhattan, Taxi, Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, Collage, art, abstract, modern, decorative, colourful, geometric

The keywords or phrases are exactly what customers would look up word for word. So you would need to add "New York Taxi" to that list to be found. You want to come up with common keywords but not broad enough that the customer finds 1000 pictures.

Try to avoid words that will yield a lot of results. For example, I see members all the time write in only 7 keywords (the minimum) but don't put anything specific in them. They'll write, beautiful, red, art, sea, blue, sky, sand. Be specific to the location or subject and type in all variations of and what people might look up. Then start putting in very generic and common terms. Start specific, then go towards common.

An example for wording variation -- a Park in Montreal. The actual spelling for Park in French is "Parc" so to cover all your bases, you would write both versions -- "Parc LaFontaine" and "LaFontaine Park"

We’re always looking for something to report or to announce, anything that would interest the community. Would you like to write up a blog? Start a photography club? Have any tips? Locations? Advice? Let us know and we’ll be more than happy to read and even put it into the newsletter.

Have a great month everyone, and thank you for your patience and help once again regarding the uploader. 

Best wishes,

Jon & Mike

Photo4me Consumer Blog - May 2016.

Photo4me Consumer Blog

Spring is finally here, and no doubt you’re thinking about giving your home a bright new look ready for the sunny season.

Whether you are looking for guidance into new ideas, or you have your own that you just want to refine further: we have been bringing you all the latest in wall art trends to inspire you to maintain your interiors ‘a la mode’. So, let’s get a pair of scissors and some glue to start our mood boards!

Photography has been considered an art form for many years, as a result, interior designers will often choose to use photographs and wall art to aid their creative expression. During the early 20's, avant-garde artists started engaging with it for its association with technology and science- initially the reason it was disapproved of by many artisans, half of a century earlier.

This continuous link with technology, science and art has seen photography evolve throughout the years influenced by art movements, engaging a diversity of styles, materials and subjects on trend.

As you may have seen in our recent Style4You email newsletter series, It’s all about the 70's theme this season. Here we can delve deeper into the elements to be found within the 70’s trend, characterised by the variety of colours, shapes and materials that are hot right now.

We want you to feel inspired to experiment with these current state-of-the-art trends and get creative yourself as you choose a palette and materials for the look of each room.

One trend that hasn’t been referenced in our previous communications is the use of fabrics and texture. This theme has inspired some photographers to take pictures of fabrics or simply, textures that resemble woven materials, manipulating images to create abstract effects not possible using fabric alone.

The infographic mosaic below reflects the range of styles relevant in the broad 70’s concept and featuring a few photographers who have identified and adopted contemporary trends here at Photo4me.

Among these photographs we found funky, abstract and saturated images that can provide statement pieces for your interiors. Some of them combine complex textures, movement and reflection, creating retro and dynamic compositions.

We have also featured some photographs composed by the use of warm metals and materials, which would give a sharp and elegant finish to your interior space. But there are many more to choose from within the 350k + images to be found in Photo4Me so get exploring to find something Unique and Stylish for your home!

A photograph can transmit serenity, nostalgia or joy. It can express something meaningful to you as well as your taste in art. It has the power to add value to a room and play with emotions that sometimes cannot be described with words. It is important to choose photographs correctly as energy will be transmitted through into the interior space. It is essential then, to above all, choose photographs that you can stop and admire and feel connected with.

Getting Started and Not Stopping, the key to selling photos!

Getting Started and Not Stopping, the key to selling photos! by Frank Irwin


I don’t make that many sales, one here and one there and given my age of 75 the income is not important to me but, of late within the space of a few weeks I managed to make several sales.


A lot of you will know of course that Photo4Me aims for the wall decorative market, which is becoming more popular by the minute. The requirements for printing must be pictures which people are able to live with on the walls of their homes and offices without getting tired of them. Pictures uploaded for sale on the site must also be of sufficient resolution that they will not pixelate at the sizes to be ordered. Historically Photo4me requires them to be uploaded as a JPEG 3000 to 4000 x 5000 to 6000 pixels range and in sRGB.

Editors note: Example - If you send us an image 4,000 pixels by 3,000 pixels the biggest that will print before pixelation starts to become unacceptable is 30 by 40 inches. If you send a file for a square image that is 2,500 X 2,500 then 25 inches square would be as large as we go before pixelation. So in short - the more pixels you can send us the better however it has been best when one side of the image has been between 3000 to 4000 pixels.


Now then in order to fulfil the market requirements on Photo4Me, in my opinion it is essential that the photographer knows what he is doing as far as equipment is concerned. I certainly feel that as far as new photographers are concerned, a course on basic photography is a wise investment - where camera owners at a similar knowledge level, study together, the aspects of lighting, apertures, shutter speeds and of course ISO values to be able to understand the relationships between these aspects and how they work together. Leaving a camera set at “Automatic” will not help in this regard and indeed although it may well work for a lot of photograph taking, it will never work all the time. I would highlight as a good example, “contre-jour” work where some exposure compensation will be always be required.


Composition is a crucial factor when taking photographs for the Wall Art market.  There are rules of composition, which will stand the photographer in good stead as a starting point, in particular the “rule of thirds.”  Notice how the lighthouse is right on the 3rd line, also the horizon is on a line of thirds. 

People will always say “Rules are made to be broken” but it is my belief that before knowing when to break the rules one needs to fully understand the basics otherwise one will never know when the time is right to break them. One of the most important rules is to ensure a level horizon. Remember the sea runs neither up nor downhill! One thing that will definitely greatly decrease a photographer’s chance of a sale is when the sea and the horizon are prominent within a picture but the horizon is not level. If there is no horizon to level off of, use an object that should be vertical.


Levelling can be achieved either within the camera using viewfinder grid lines, live view on DSLRs or a spirit level on the tripod, but a final check and correction if necessary within software, is essential. If you’re having problems with levelling the tripod on sand or an un-even surface, a great suggestion was given recently by John Farnan is to use 3 plastic flowerpots which hold the tripod steady and prevent it from moving or sinking into sand.


Generally, these photographic rules make a picture look better and far more natural, with leading in lines and the attitude and direction of the subject matter being very important. It is these rules that creates the ‘balance’ of a picture which could well be what attracts a person to want to own the image after the location or subject matter has first led the purchaser to the search for it, making tagging essential.


See the tips in the Photo4me FAQ section:


After a short while, inexperienced amateur photographers will have to learn to process the pictures on their memory cards, therefore some software will be required and I would recommend something cheap and cheerful at first.  It will soon become obvious when the time is right to invest in better software like Adobe Lightroom to be introduced including the ability to also process RAW files. Basically, RAW files are needed when a picture contains a high range of light and dark, which is too great for the camera to handle. A typical subject would be a wedding on a sunny day when the dress is brilliant white and the groom’s suit is black.


At this time I do believe the photographer just now needs experience. This cannot be taught but comes with time - as long as the learning curve has not come to an end. There is a lot more information to be gleaned, lots of tips to be squeezed out of old photographers.  Perhaps one answer is to buy a subscription to a good Photo Magazine. A few should be sampled as they differ in content so the final purchase should be one that the photographer is comfortable with and which helps the level of photography achieved to be constantly improved.



Frank Irwin