Yesterday I posted a word cloud showing the most popular subjects to be found on fotoLibra.  Alan Myers commented that he’d like to see a word cloud for the top selling categories on fotoLibra.

It’s a good idea, but I imagined I’d have to gather the info manually and it would take me months.

Not a bit of it. Damien, our Technical Development Manager, dashed off an SQL script that delivered the data in 0.0091 seconds. Then of course I had to spend 24 hours printing out each word in different colours and sizes and carefully glueing them into place.

Here’s the result. Of course I know this means everyone is immediately going to go on holiday and photograph historic churches in the landscape. Please don’t do it. This is done for fun and there’s no real significance to it. I’ve also limited the number of categories appearing to 150, as we have 255 categories in total and the resulting Wordle was very messy.

The reason PEOPLE don’t loom much larger as a category is that we are constantly asked for photographs of people, and we can’t always provide them, as many fotoLibra members show a marked reluctance to photograph other humans. As a result we don’t sell them. And we could.

So please try and overcome your understandable inhibitions and let’s see photographs of people chatting, eating, drinking, interacting, working, playing, talking, laughing — doing People things. All ages, all races.


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15 Responses to “fotoLibra’s Top Selling Categories”

  1. Once again, fotoLibra appears to be the most popular subject. Amazing! Who publishes all these pictures of you?

  2. Debashis Paul says:

    This is really impressive ! the message about people pictures – fully appreciate . I am motivated to get cracking on this now ! hope I find takers for it .My particular interest is in Photographing children and young adults with Autism /Asperger Syndrome . They never fail to puzzle you and are remarkably interesting people !

  3. Martyn Franklin says:

    Thank you for taking the time to extract this information.
    All information is greatly appreciated to help me target the type of image that may sell better.

    Thanks Gwyn!

  4. peta ward says:

    nice one 🙂

  5. Alan Myers says:

    WOW!!! Thanks for listening and the quick turn around on getting this done!

    Thank you!

  6. John Horton says:

    Interesting comment on photographing people, the main reason i havnt put many people shots up is the model release form, most people wont sign them, unless u offer loads of money which then makes the episode unprofitable, still waiting for me first sell, but least i have a better idea of what the buyers want, God bless, John. xx

  7. Keith Erskine says:


    If only you had asked me – I could have extracted this info on sales in a fraction (of a fraction) of the time it took your technical people!

    Fascinationg stuff. I like clouds. Thanks Fotolibra!

    Keith Erskine

  8. Keith Erskine says:

    Sorry Gwyn


  9. Mark Ferguson says:

    Interesting stuff!

    The best selling categories seem to correlate with the most popular subjects which is probably not surprising. Therefore can we assume that the less popular subjects including people are all game as regards making potential sales?

  10. Bryan says:

    Thanks for the great effort!

  11. Gwynn,
    I love taking photographs of people and I’m sure many other photographers do also. What puts us off submitting them is the need to provide model release formes and these are totaly impractical in most candid off the cuff situations when taking photographs in public places. Ed

  12. Mike Mumford says:

    Hello Gwyn Headley,
    Your email like many more was treated like spam in my unverified.
    By chance I opened it, to my pleasure reading your blog was like being on top of Cadair Idris, taking in the view, seeing and breathing in the fresh air. The visual media has been highjacked, long live our individual freedom to show the best visual images to the public directly. Educating the world not to dumb-down, but to raise standards. Our institutions need “us” to show what can be done to restrict visual expression is to take away our heritage. We have the visual tools to fight back, the visual quality skills they have not. With these skills we are born with, live trials help us to hone them to perfection, I know I have been there and done it.
    Still need convincing, I am about to publish a whole series of e-books, judge for yourself give me 6-12 months, then see if images can stir those brain cells into action.

  13. Gwyn Headley says:

    Model releases. There’s the crux and the nub of it. You CAN take and sell pictures without model releases; it simply depends on how the image will be used. If it’s to be used editorially, which the vast majority of images on fotoLibra are, then the problem doesn’t really arise.
    I know of one well known educational publisher that gets at least one letter every month saying “You have used a photograph of me in one of your books without my permission. Pay me compensation.” The legal department has to go through every such claim with scrupulous care; it takes time and costs money. That’s why the publisher, given a choice, will choose the image which has the model release. Incidentally none of these claims has ever succeeded.
    You cannot offer a Royalty Free image for sale without a model release.
    You’ve probably seen a photograph of Lady Gaga recently. Or Barack Obama. Do you think they signed model releases? No? Then don’t let this requirement hold you back. You can rely on fotoLibra not to sell your uncleared image to Coca-Cola for $100,000.

  14. John Horton says:

    Hmm food for thought but if the publisher prefers model release forms then we have no choice but to get model release’s, unless there famous celebs of course and in a public place, or have i got that wrong? thanks John.xx

  15. Rob Wyatt says:

    The most popular subjects and categories are interesting. Would it be feasible to do a similar analysis on buyers’ most used keywords. Any help we can get on what emotive keywords work (as opposed to “physical” keywords which are relatively easy) would be very useful – always assuming we can photographically capture those emotions!!