How I sell my photos: In conversation with photographer Joe James

First published:
August 9, 2023
Updated:
February 14, 2024

How I sell my photos: In conversation with photographer Joe James

First published:
August 9, 2023
Updated:
February 14, 2024

Photographer Joe James discusses how he got started with his photography journey & gives us insights on how he's made a success of selling images with his Picfair Store

Tell us some of the background behind your work and what drives you as a photographer?

In 2018 I was suffering from depression and I took up photography to get me out of the house and into nature. The more I did it, the more it healed me, and eventually I came to rely on it for my wellbeing and good mental health.

What drives me is a need to find peace, and my photography combined with editing does exactly that.

What initially got you interested in selling your photography?

I was posting my photography on Facebook and people started asking to buy it. Initially I didn't want to sell it as it was mine, but after a while I gave in because I knew my photos made people happy.

Joe James uses his most commerically-successful image (see later in this feature) for the Welcome Splash Page of his Picfair Store
"I didn't want to sell it as it was mine (my photography) but after a while I gave in because I knew my photos made people happy."

You've sold an impressive amount images on your Picfair Store! What's your general strategy for selling images?

I don't really have any, I just post my photography on social media,
(
Facebook and Instagram) and people ask to buy it and I send them a link. Most of the time I don't promote that I even sell it because that's not what my photography is for. I take photographs to showcase the talents of Neurodivergent people and show the world how creative we can be.

Joe James's images are all displayed at full-screen size in his Picfair Store

What has been your most commercially-successful image?

Probably Lonely Dawn, a photograph of the lonely tree at Llanberis in Snowdonia (see below).

Lonely Dawn by Joe James

What's your favourite image (and it is the same as your most commercially-successful image, usually it isnt!)?

My favourite image is of Lauterbrunnen valley, it is the most incredible place I've ever been and the light and colours were perfect (see below).

Heaven on Earth by Joe James

What are your top pieces of advice for other photographers looking to sell their work that are just getting started on their journey?

Don't take photographs for other people, take them for you. If people like what you do then great, but photography should be about capturing a memory and bottling it to enjoy over and over again. If you are good enough people may want to buy it, if you're not, then they won't.

"Don't take photographs for other people, take them for you."

Have you any plans to expand your photography in different way (books, exhibitions etc).

I have had exhibitions but don't really like doing them as they are a lot of work and hassle. I have a book out called The Autistic Experience which is available on Amazon, it is a collection of over 85 Autistic people's thoughts and experiences and is maybe one of the most in depth books ever created about Autistic people. My photograph of Ashness Jetty in the lake district is the front cover image.

The Autistic Experience by Joe James, available on Amazon
Ashness Jetty by Joe James
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