The question we get asked more than almost any other here at 500px is a deceptively simple one: “What kinds of photos sell?”

People want to take advantage of the 500px Marketplace to start making cash from their photography, but they don’t want to waste their time submitting work that doesn’t sell; so they ask us great questions like “what do buyers actually want?” and “how do I capture photos that sell?”

Simply Sellable is our attempt to answer these difficult questions…weekly.

Since the answer changes week in and week out as trends, seasonality, and other factors continue to shift, we are answering the questions regularly. Every week in fact. Each week one of our expert Content Editors picks one of their favorite photos that has sold recently, and explains exactly WHY it sold—what makes that photo “simply sellable.”

Simply Sellable #14 features a lifestyle photo that has all the qualities of an image that anyone can relate to, from its composition to post-processing. To reveal exactly why this photo has sold well is 500px Content Editor Brian Wilson. Scroll down to find out what he has to say!

Simply Sellable #14: How to Sell a Lifestyle Photo

by Brian Wilson

This is a perfect example of a very current lifestyle image. The urban industrial setting juxtaposed with an environmentally-friendly mode of transportation makes this shot eye-catching and appealing to many audiences.

The subject isn’t looking at the camera, which makes him easy to relate to. His fixed gear bike is free of logos. Plus, this bike is a popular choice among bike enthusiasts who would find this kind of image appealing. The way this photo portrays a candid moment — one that is not so staged — gives it an appealing vibe that anyone can relate to. It’s basically a guy, taking a break from biking to stop and enjoy the scenery. The tones and post-processing technique on this image are subtle and cool, giving it a very current and modern look.

With Earth Day coming up this month, this image will make a very popular choice for buyers. There are many use cases the photographer has provided. First, it has lots of room to add some copy and messaging. The off-centered subject draws the eye and attention of any viewer. The photographer has made sure that his subject is model-released. Most importantly, the photographer has made this image searchable by adding in appropriate and relevant keywords.

Content editors like me love to see images like this submitted to Marketplace. They are sellable, and they appeal to a variety of buyers. Having a human element in any image increases its ability to sell and its marketability exponentially. One extra tip? Uploading a few other angles from the same photo shoot can also help a potential buyer understand and identify the look they are going for.

And that is why this photo is ‘simply sellable.’

If you have any more questions for Brian about the photo above, don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments below. And don’t forget to check back in next Monday for the next installment in the series!