How to Edit Your Photos for EyeEm Market

By Lars - 5 min read

Mistakes to avoid when selling your images.

When uploading your photos to EyeEm and making them available to photo buyers, there are a few tips to up your chances of selling. Generally speaking, the photos that sell the most have a clean visual language and are of high quality – meaning they give the viewer something simple to focus on, don’t distract from it, and are uploaded in a high resolution.

I have asked our photo curators to tell us common editing mistakes they see in uploaded images. They told me about a fundamentalparadox: In well-edited images for EyeEm Market, the editing should be invisible to the viewer.

That means the adjustments you make to your photos ideally just subtly enhance their qualities and make them more appealing –but not seem artificial. In fact, more neutral colors sell better because they can be used by a greater range of brands. Someimage buyers might prefer lots of contrast whereas others use only images withvery soft tones. Editing your images so that they can be used by both orlater be adjusted therefore improves their chances of selling.

Here are some images our photo editor picked as examples of good editing:

Scenic view of sea at sunset
High angle view of woman with messy hair lying on grass

Take a moment to look at those photos and think about what makes them great. They avoid the following common mistakes that could easily have made them much less appealing.

1. Over-edited colors

When photos come out of the camera, they can look a little dull – particularly when they were taken under overcast skies. It’s tempting to boost those colors by upping the contrast or saturation, but one can quickly get carried away and create unnaturally colorful photos.

What did the scene really look like when you shot it? Try to remain as close to it as possible while giving the photothe contrast it needs to stand out. The first photo in our list works so well exactly because it’s colors are a bit moody and not too aggressive.

2. Overly faded colors

Over the past couple of years, muted colors and faded tones have become a trend. Popularized by image editing apps like Snapseed and VSCO, this look is undoubtedly pleasing to the eye – but can also become exaggerated quickly and diminish your chance of selling whenthe fademakes the image look overly edited. Consider the fade effect like salt in a meal: A little can turn it from good togreat, a lot will spoil it.

3. Noisy or burnt-out details

Sometimes, photos are too dark and you have to adjust their brightness to bring out details. Or maybe you want to show more shadow details and therefore up the lightness. When doing so, always pay attention to the overall balance of exposure in the image: When changing the brightness, you might lose details in the lighter sections of your photos – or unwittingly bring out noisy parts that had previously been too dark. In editing, you always want to look out for preserving the details that give an image its depth.

4. HDR

Standing for High Dynamic Range, HDR is a technique that gives photos a more vidid range of colors and contrast by merging two (or more) exposure of the same picture. It is particularly popular in landscape photography, since it makes both the scenery and the sky visible.

But while that reproduces the human experience of seeing, it looks quite unnatural in photos. That’s why HDR images don’t sell well and you should avoid taking them for EyeEm Market. Make sure your phone doesn’t automatically take them.

5. Elaborate filters

Digital photo filters became popular back in the early days of the smartphone, when phone cameras still took fairly mediocre images. Adding a filter was a way of salvaging a picture and making it look more interesting – often giving it a retro look through a sepia tint, or even frayed edges. Today, even phone cameras are capable of taking great, high resolution photos and such elaborate filters are no longer required or even desired – retro filters have gone back out of fashion. Avoid using elaborate filters or other tricks that dramatically change your photos’ colors – and rely on the natural colors instead.

6. Too much sharpening

Sharpening can be tricky: It might look great on high-resolution mobile screens but much no so well on desktop screes that commonly have a much lower resolution. Also, sharpening works by emphasizing the edges in a given photo – little artifacts that effectively reduce the quality of your image. Use sharpening sparingly and remember that in some instances, a more washed out or even blurry look can even help support the mood of your photo.