t shirt

Gumroad: selling images easily

For the majority of people who take photos, it isn't nearly about money; it's just something that we enjoy. Wouldn't it be cool, though, if there were an easy way to sell the odd photo here and there to make some pin-money without having the hassle of online stores and distribution and any other potential source of headache related to selling something? Turns out, there is. It's called Gumroad.

Gumroad's a simple idea with a simple execution: create a link to your work so that people who want to buy it, can. You don't have to set up your own store, you don't have to worry about processing payments, and unless you're selling a physical item–for example a t-shirt, something for which Gumroad does cater–you don't have to concern yourself with getting the product to the consumer.

Say that you have photos on your website that you'd like to sell. You create links to the individual images on Gumroad and set a fee; then you upload the images to Gumroad (it allows people actually download them, rather useful); finally you embed the links on your website along with huge 'For Sale' signs and wait for people to saunter by and think to themselves: 'Golly! I'd quite like a copy of that rather idyllic looking beach photo. Well, well, I can purchase it for $5!' They click the link that takes them to Gumroad, part with their pennies in exchange for your stunning creation, and Bob's your uncle. (Okay, Bob might not be your uncle; insert appropriately named male relative here.)

Gumroad takes a 5% cut of the sales price plus a ¢25 fee of every sale; sell something for $10 and $9.25 is deposited in your account. You can set prices between $1 and $1,000, or have them in Sterling, Yen, or Euros.

You don't have to embed the link on a website and Gumroad isn't just about photos, though. Your link could be for a video you shot or a Photoshop preset that's kinda-interesting but one you rarely use, and it could go out in an email or on Twitter. Gumroad is a simple mechanism to sell anything for which there might be a market; just think of all that latent money in your harddrive!

Of course what someone does with a photo (or anything kind of intellectual property) after you've sold it to them is down to good faith, but the Gumroad team have built in some safeguards to help prevent people from downloading multiple times from one link, or redistributing the link after they've paid for it. It's interesting to note, though, that people trying to cadge the system hasn't been a terrible problem for the Gumroaders. If it's easy to buy something, people will spend their money.

As for the Gumroaders, they're based in San Francisco and are headed up by one of Pinterest's early designers, Sahil Lavingia. For them, Gumroad–which only lanched in February this year–is about empowering creative types to sell and distribute their work online, simply and easily. It's worth checking out.

tl;dr? Here's a video:

An introduction to Gumroad. from Gumroad on Vimeo.

MoPho - your own mobile photo factory

You've just snapped the most adorably perfect photo of your three year old niece curled up asleep against your dog, using your iPhone. The lighting is just right, the dog is actually still for once, and your niece is looking uncharacteristically angelic. Now what?

Well you could email it to your sister, your Mum, your best friend, and your girlfriend's mother's cousin (who was the woman who gave you the dog), but it's far too good to leave it languishing in a digital format in someone's inbox. If only there were some easy way to turn it into something tangible, like a print, or a postcard, or a t-shirt, so that everyone can go 'Ooh!' and 'Ahh!' and a few others can ask what camera you used because of course, it's all about the camera. Guess what? There's an app for that.

It's called MoPho. (How much did the developers, Penguin Digital, enjoy coming up with that name?) It allows you to take a photo or select one straight from your camera roll and then see what it looks like on a bag, as a re-stick-able poster, or as a mousemat, keyring, or iPhone case - amongst many other things - and adjust it as necessary. Then you decide which you like best, enter your billing and shipping details, and leave them to deliver it.

To give you an idea of prices: mugs come in at $13.99, t-shirts are $22, and aluminium art starts at $12.99. So it seems pretty reasonable as well as convenient.

It doesn't end quite there, however. MoPho is based on Penguin Digital's Penguin SDK, which is something that they're opening up to other developers. If you've your own photo-based app, you can integrate Penguin SDK, and allow your users to turn their photos into products direct from your app. Interested? Sign-up is here.

Right now, MoPho only ships to the US and Canada. So there are no re-stick-able posters to be made on the fly for us Brits quite yet, but they are working on it. Just as they're working on an Android app too. And if the SDK takes off, who knows where it might go.

Super-groovy grey cards from Photocritic

Grey cards

Obviously I’m in a slightly spend-thrift mood at the moment. Following on from yesterday’s t-shirt, these much cheaper and probably more useful (unless of course I had no clothes, or something) grey cards have just caught my eye. Just what we need for making sure our white balance is spot-on.

There’re three A6-sized cards – one matt black, one white, and a neutral 18% grey – all neatly stashed in an envelope. The corners are rounded, there’s drilled hole for lanyard-securing purposes, and on the back of the cards there are instructions for how to use them as well as a rather useful cheat sheet of the aperture scale, zone system, and a pre-shoot check-list. How rather nifty!

All of this for only £6.99, which is bargain-tastic, methinks. Shipping in the UK is free; Europe costs €1.60 and the USA US$2.25. Available here!

Even more – if you want a swift introduction into how use a grey card, take a look at this video.