Photo editors look at hundreds of photos per day, even scanning multiple pages at once. So what can you do to help get your photo noticed? Michiel Meyboom, a photo editor for an online travel company, shares his expert tips to make your photos more appealing to buyers.

1. Don’t get too creative with editing

I know you want your photo to stand out against all the other sunset photos, but too much creative editing can have a negative effect. If you add a superficial sun flare or heavy filter, it might stand out amongst other photos, but simpler is often better for photo editors. If we want a heavily-filtered photo or sun flares, we can add that ourselves.

The same goes for black and white photos. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have found the perfect composition and subject but the photo is in black and white, not color. If we need a black and white photo, we can easily convert it ourselves. If you really want a black and white photo in your portfolio, upload the color version, too. That way, prospective clients have options.

Summer morning by marina weishaupt on

2. Provide multiple orientations

Speaking of uploading two versions, also try to upload both a landscape and portrait version of the same subject if you have it. Often as a photo editor, we will be asked for a specific orientation to fit a web layout or printed page. The more options you give, the higher the chance that someone will choose your photo for a project.

3. Only relevant tags matter

Also critical to remember when uploading: adding the correct tags to your photo. This can be boring if you’re uploading a lot at once, but it’s just as important as the photo itself. Without the appropriate tags, your photo won’t even be found in the first place.

But don’t go overboard: that doesn’t mean you should add every tag you can think of. They need to be relevant. If I see a beach photo tagged as Bermuda, St. Lucia, and Cuba, I won’t buy it because it’s clear the photographer is just trying to get maximum exposure and I can’t guarantee it’s accurate for the location I need.

Reynisfjara Rocks by Fritz Bacon on

4. Take trends into account

Also look into current trends to inform your work. What kind of tones/colors are popular: soft pastels or more vivid colors? What type of composition are people looking for? POV style, or more observational? Many sites publish current trends each year, so it’s important to keep an eye on this.

5. Always start with a solid foundation

Of course, make sure the fundamentals are there with every photo you submit: ensure the images are sharp, in high resolution, with no recognizable logos, and if you are photographing people, make sure you have a model release form signed.

Ready to sell your marketable photos? Learn how to get started at the Licensing information hub.

Follow Michiel Meyboom

Instagram: @meyboomphoto

Sunset in Mollösund by Johannes Blümel Photography on