An Intro to Redbubble for Photographers - Digital Photography School
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An Intro to Redbubble for Photographers

A Guest post by Richard Keech.

What is Redbubble?

RedBubble is a user friendly website that facilitates selling your art work, while also establishing a sense of community for artist to develop within, where they can communicate, collaborate, critique and support each other.

From the point of view as a photographer, it provides a great way to sell your photos and artwork in several mediums. It has a user friendly upload page, a simple tagging and description system, ability to set individual mark up prices, and then images are instantly available for purchase.

An important thing to know about Redbubble is that it is not a photo-sharing site suitable for dozens of holiday snaps like Flickr, it is focused towards artists sharing and selling their passion.

One of my most popular images on Redbubble - Regents Park Falls

Uploading

As mentioned above, uploading is very easy on Redbubble. After you have created an account, to upload your first work, simply click on the red button labeled “Add Your Work” on your My Bubble page and follow the prompts. There are very easy questions about what title to give the artwork, 10 main words for tagging (more details later) the media (i.e photography), and product selection. You will also have the choice to set the mark up ranging anywhere between 0 and 999.999% – with the standard set at 20%. At the end you can choose to add the image to groups.

Tagging

Redbubble allows you to apply up to 10 tags to each of your works, which are used to assist searching for artworks on the site.

Redbubble suggests that a tag should be a descriptive word or phrase about the work each separated by commas i.e. a photo of the Rocky Mountains at sunset may have obvious tags (mountains, sunset, Rocky mountains), dominant colours (green, brown, blue), genres of art work (landscape), seasons etc. Importantly the tags should be of the most dominant features as the buyer will search for words in tags, and will purchase the image most relevant to their search.

Tagging on the above image includes dad, fish, fishing, golden, kid, orange, reflection, sunset, warm and yellow.

Products

The product range on Redbubble is directed more towards the fine art end of products with a smattering of pop culture, while using the best quality products they can.

Within the print range, they offer greeting cards, matted prints, laminated prints, mounted prints, canvas prints, Framed prints and posters. Alternatively calendars, t-shirts, stickers and kids clothes are also available.

It is a personal choice to which products suit your images, where some sellers will offer all products and recommend one particular product that suits the image, other sellers will only offer 1 product for sale.

Postage and payment

When a product is bought, a notification email is sent to your inbox from Redbubble, however no action is required, as they print the work, package it, and send it out to the buyer. When creating your account on Redbubble, they allow you to choose your method of payment. 1.Paid into a Paypal account, 2.Paid via cheque, 3.Paid straight into a bank account – each of these options have a minimum amount before payment is made (from US$20.00).

Groups

As mentioned, there is large community on Redbubble – in a similar fashion to Flickr, known as groups. These groups range from subject (roses, sunsets) to colours (black with a hint of colour, between violet and crimson) to location based (art of the Middle East, New South Wales Photography) or even to technique based (Zoom Effect/Zoom Blur, or 1:1 Macro images). Groups really are the key to getting the most out of Redbubble, joining ones about a topic that interests you is a great way of connecting like minded people, seeing amazing art on your chosen subject, as well as getting support, advice and critique from people with a similar passion.

On a regular basis, groups run basis challenges related to the theme of the group i.e your best running water image in the ‘streams and stream crossing’ group. Its a nice way to compete in a friendly environment, as well as seeing what other images other artists have submitted. If you win a challenge, you are able to add comments to your images, stating the win, or the top 10 place etc.

Following people

One of the features on Redbubble is the ability to add people to your watchlist. The watchlist will notify you when one of your followers post an artwork or favourite someone else’s work.

Its a great way of getting a stream of new inspirational work, exciting new artists, as well as interesting news about Redbubble.

Up to now we have been looking at what Redbubble is and how it works. But to gain a true understanding of the website, there are some downsides to mention:

Sales are not regular

Some people (very few) join Redbubble already having a fan base and start selling works straight away. Where as the majority may slowly develop a following and make sales occasionally, or some people upload and are still waiting for their first. Redbubble has a huge number of users, not all are photographers (although they are the majority) some are poets, some are writers, some painters as well as pop culture designers. This means that there is a lot of competition on the site (at last look there were over 6m works on the site). To sell on Redbubble you need to market yourself, there are forums and journals on Redbubble explaining the different ways you can go about this. On a positive note, Redbubble does supply banners and widgets to place on your own site, however it is up to you to do your own marketing.

Why do I use Redbubble?

Personally, I believe it is a good way to offer my works for sale in an environment where I can control the mark up. I like to be able to offer my works printed on quality products that I feel support the quality of my work (nothing worse than having a great print marred by being put in a poor quality frame). I also enjoy having the supportive environment to inspire me, to critique my new works and to learn new techniques from, with the occasional physical meet up to get out and about with fellow artists.

See more of Richard’s work at Richard Keech Photography at at his Red Bubble Account.

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category.

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • http://www.charlesdobbs.com CD

    I have been on RedBubble since early 2007 and have made many sales! I used to host several groups, but I only host the Texas group now.

    And…it’s FREE to join!

    Good Journeys!

    Charles

  • http://www.charlesdobbs.com CD

    Just thought of one of their downsides… Their shipping times are quite slower than some of the other sites around. However, their quality has been outstanding!

  • http://www.redbubble.com/people/wannabecool Ben

    Thanks for sharing… this is exactly what I was looking for… an easy way to share photos with others and allow them to pick them up without feeling like I needed to give the pictures away for free. I really want to venture more into photography if time allows…this seems like a decent way to start moving in that direction.

    I already signed up… and uploaded a few pics…. I like it so far…

    http://www.redbubble.com/people/wannabecool

    Thanks,

    Ben

  • http://thymindseye.com/ chew

    Haven’t heard of this one. Thanks for this great info. And nice pictures. =)

  • Marco

    I would think that it would be a little difficult to sell your work to other photographer who are also trying to sell their own work

  • http://www.arianasart.com ArianaMurphy

    Great article! I love Redbubble, although I haven’t sold anything yet. I have my own website linked to my galleries at Redbubble so I don’t have to do any of the creation. If a client wants to order a print, they just click on the button and it takes them to a similarly designed and laid out gallery at Redbubble and they can order what they want. In theory, of course.

    It is at least as good as Imagekind, Fine Art of America, Dot Photo or any of those others, many of which I’ve tried. So save your money, and go with the freebie!

  • http://www.maupinphotography.com Larry

    I’ve been on Redbubble for a couple of years. Have had no sales.

    I designed and ordered T-shirts that took so long to ship that they eventually gave them to me at no charge. Redbubble is based in Australia but T-shirts come from Germany!

    I like the look and feel of the site, and I’m sure I would have more sales if I were more active there.

  • http://pearlsandprose.com Ms. Pearl

    I’ve been thinking of using Redbubble, so appreciate the article very much. One question: is there any way to sign the photos that have been sold, or does the company just stamp the back with the photographer’s name and date?

  • http://www.tonivaughan.com Toni Vaughan

    I just started a photoshelter account to handle sales of photos but have considered red bubble. What’s the difference in the 2 besides the obvious (red bubble is free)?

  • Kathy

    how large (size/pixels) should photos be to be considered worth selling to others?

    Thanks

  • http://www.arianasart.com ArianaMurphy

    Kathy, Redbubble will let you know if your file is too small. It limits what kinds of products you can make (i.e. you can use to make greeting cards but not posters).

  • Dafne

    I would like to know what’s happen with the intelectual property. I checked the Redbubble web and they say that:

    Intellectual Property Rights and license

    All intellectual property rights in this website and the RedBubble service (including the software and systems underlying the RedBubble service, and text, graphics, logos, icons, sound recordings and software) are owned by or licensed to us. Other than for the purposes of, and subject to the conditions prescribed under, the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) and similar legislation that applies in your location, and except as expressly authorized by this agreement, you may not in any form or by any means:

    * use, adapt, reproduce, store, distribute, print, display, perform, publish or create derivative works from any part of this website; or
    * commercialize any information, products or services obtained from any part of this website,

    without our written permission.

    That’s mean you give to them the property of the pictures? All my pictures are in Creative Commons by-nc and I don’t want to change that.

    Thank you!
    Daf

  • Umberto

    Dafne, your comment is misleading. That refers to the software used by the website and any parts of it.
    For the ART section it’s written a few paragraph above what you cited:

    You keep the copyright of any content you submit or upload to the website. In order to receive the RedBubble services you grant RedBubble a non-exclusive royalty free license to use and archive the content in accordance with or as reasonably contemplated by this agreement.

    When you submit or upload content on the RedBubble website you represent and warrant that:

    you own all copyright in the content, or if you are not the owner, that you have permission to use the content, and that you have the right to display, reproduce and sell the content. You license RedBubble to use and sub-license the content in accordance with this agreement;

  • Katrina

    Ive used redbbubble for a number of years and have had nothing but good value in products and great, positive feedback from those involved. Not that Ive sold anything yet either but Ive bought things from other artists and some of my own to give as gifts and all I had to do was allow a week or two for delivery. Its also a great place to see how others view the world and places that I would never get to see otherwise. :)

  • Jeremy

    I’ve been on Redbubble for a while now and I find it to be quite a good site. The main downsides I find is that uploads take ages and when you start exhibiting your work you can easily drift into the dreaded photo sharing downward spiral of getting people passing unconditional positive feedback expecting you to go on their page and do the same. The site is slowly gathering momentum for people looking to buy art but it is still mostly frequented by other users of redbubble rather than potential customers, and the canvases that they sell have white (blank) sides, not the border of the picture which I believe is nicer. The other prints look nice though. I have not used my account for a while due to the slow uploads but I need to rethink that. If you intend to upload your work, be wise with your tagging and if you do wish to sell your work, be very proactive with self-marketing, because it is the only way people will find you, apart from if you join lots of groups and put your pictures everywhere.

  • http://www.lenzphotoshop.com George

    I have been on RB since 2007 with some sales. It’s a good site to post your images for honest feedback which is what I mainly use it for. The more you participate the more exposure you get. There are many, many groups and lots of challenges you can enter.

    I enjoy meeting new artists and getting ideas from them. As far as I’m concerned it’s the best site for showing your best work.

    I also use RB to print cards of my art that I sell at shows. The quality is wonderful.

    So if your not on RB go there now. http://www.rebbubble.com

  • http://www.arianasart.com ArianaMurphy

    I’ve heard that RB has really good quality stuff. Does anyone know how quality on greeting cards etc. compares to Zazzle for the same products?

  • http://ibjennyjenny.blogspot.com/ Jennifer

    Redbubble is a wonderful site, I have been there a while and I have been fortunate enough to sell my work there as well. I have also had the opportunity to actually see the final product that they ship and the quality is outstanding. I used my challenge vouchers to order a canvas print for my Mother and I am impressed with the result.
    As a community, Redbubble is the finest, I enjoy the site very much.

  • Yuv

    I am troubled by Redbubble’s promotion of Neo-Nazi material. Redbubble’s own lawyer’s resigned in protest. Do you want your photos displayed next to this stuff

    http://firmspy.com/law-disorder/5613/exclusive-oh-heil-arnold-bloch-leibler-represents-company-spruiking-neo-nazi-propaganda

  • Antonio

    Redbubble promotes Neo-Nazi t-shirts. Redbubble’s lawyers resigned in protest over the issue

    http://firmspy.com/law-disorder/5613/exclusive-oh-heil-arnold-bloch-leibler-represents-company-spruiking-neo-nazi-propaganda

    Watch out

  • Will

    Understand first that I believe that expression that in any way supports the Nazi point of view or puts Adolph Hitler in a favorable light is horrible. At the same time if I support censoring that expression I fear that some day someone will come censor my expression of my own thoughts. With that, horrid as I think this neo-Nazi material is, I support the right of those individuals to express that. I’m not afraid of the marketplace of ideas where all can express their thoughts, beliefs, and ideas.

  • http://www.jaxonstudios.net/ sherman

    this is the first time i have heard of Redbubble sounds like a cool sit i’ll check it out here is a few pics from us here at jaxon studios http://www.jaxonstudios.net/index.php?p=1_4_Photography

Some older comments

  • sherman

    June 28, 2011 02:55 pm

    this is the first time i have heard of Redbubble sounds like a cool sit i'll check it out here is a few pics from us here at jaxon studios http://www.jaxonstudios.net/index.php?p=1_4_Photography

  • Will

    June 20, 2011 08:01 am

    Understand first that I believe that expression that in any way supports the Nazi point of view or puts Adolph Hitler in a favorable light is horrible. At the same time if I support censoring that expression I fear that some day someone will come censor my expression of my own thoughts. With that, horrid as I think this neo-Nazi material is, I support the right of those individuals to express that. I'm not afraid of the marketplace of ideas where all can express their thoughts, beliefs, and ideas.

  • Antonio

    May 23, 2011 01:16 pm

    Redbubble promotes Neo-Nazi t-shirts. Redbubble's lawyers resigned in protest over the issue

    http://firmspy.com/law-disorder/5613/exclusive-oh-heil-arnold-bloch-leibler-represents-company-spruiking-neo-nazi-propaganda

    Watch out

  • Yuv

    May 22, 2011 11:02 pm

    I am troubled by Redbubble's promotion of Neo-Nazi material. Redbubble's own lawyer's resigned in protest. Do you want your photos displayed next to this stuff

    http://firmspy.com/law-disorder/5613/exclusive-oh-heil-arnold-bloch-leibler-represents-company-spruiking-neo-nazi-propaganda

  • Jennifer

    April 27, 2011 04:57 am

    Redbubble is a wonderful site, I have been there a while and I have been fortunate enough to sell my work there as well. I have also had the opportunity to actually see the final product that they ship and the quality is outstanding. I used my challenge vouchers to order a canvas print for my Mother and I am impressed with the result.
    As a community, Redbubble is the finest, I enjoy the site very much.

  • ArianaMurphy

    April 21, 2011 11:45 pm

    I've heard that RB has really good quality stuff. Does anyone know how quality on greeting cards etc. compares to Zazzle for the same products?

  • George

    April 21, 2011 09:11 am

    I have been on RB since 2007 with some sales. It's a good site to post your images for honest feedback which is what I mainly use it for. The more you participate the more exposure you get. There are many, many groups and lots of challenges you can enter.

    I enjoy meeting new artists and getting ideas from them. As far as I'm concerned it's the best site for showing your best work.

    I also use RB to print cards of my art that I sell at shows. The quality is wonderful.

    So if your not on RB go there now. www.rebbubble.com

  • Jeremy

    April 15, 2011 08:44 pm

    I've been on Redbubble for a while now and I find it to be quite a good site. The main downsides I find is that uploads take ages and when you start exhibiting your work you can easily drift into the dreaded photo sharing downward spiral of getting people passing unconditional positive feedback expecting you to go on their page and do the same. The site is slowly gathering momentum for people looking to buy art but it is still mostly frequented by other users of redbubble rather than potential customers, and the canvases that they sell have white (blank) sides, not the border of the picture which I believe is nicer. The other prints look nice though. I have not used my account for a while due to the slow uploads but I need to rethink that. If you intend to upload your work, be wise with your tagging and if you do wish to sell your work, be very proactive with self-marketing, because it is the only way people will find you, apart from if you join lots of groups and put your pictures everywhere.

  • Katrina

    April 15, 2011 03:40 pm

    Ive used redbbubble for a number of years and have had nothing but good value in products and great, positive feedback from those involved. Not that Ive sold anything yet either but Ive bought things from other artists and some of my own to give as gifts and all I had to do was allow a week or two for delivery. Its also a great place to see how others view the world and places that I would never get to see otherwise. :)

  • Umberto

    April 15, 2011 09:20 am

    Dafne, your comment is misleading. That refers to the software used by the website and any parts of it.
    For the ART section it's written a few paragraph above what you cited:

    You keep the copyright of any content you submit or upload to the website. In order to receive the RedBubble services you grant RedBubble a non-exclusive royalty free license to use and archive the content in accordance with or as reasonably contemplated by this agreement.

    When you submit or upload content on the RedBubble website you represent and warrant that:

    you own all copyright in the content, or if you are not the owner, that you have permission to use the content, and that you have the right to display, reproduce and sell the content. You license RedBubble to use and sub-license the content in accordance with this agreement;

  • Dafne

    April 13, 2011 08:53 am

    I would like to know what's happen with the intelectual property. I checked the Redbubble web and they say that:

    Intellectual Property Rights and license

    All intellectual property rights in this website and the RedBubble service (including the software and systems underlying the RedBubble service, and text, graphics, logos, icons, sound recordings and software) are owned by or licensed to us. Other than for the purposes of, and subject to the conditions prescribed under, the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) and similar legislation that applies in your location, and except as expressly authorized by this agreement, you may not in any form or by any means:

    * use, adapt, reproduce, store, distribute, print, display, perform, publish or create derivative works from any part of this website; or
    * commercialize any information, products or services obtained from any part of this website,

    without our written permission.

    That's mean you give to them the property of the pictures? All my pictures are in Creative Commons by-nc and I don't want to change that.

    Thank you!
    Daf

  • ArianaMurphy

    April 11, 2011 08:20 am

    Kathy, Redbubble will let you know if your file is too small. It limits what kinds of products you can make (i.e. you can use to make greeting cards but not posters).

  • Kathy

    April 11, 2011 07:25 am

    how large (size/pixels) should photos be to be considered worth selling to others?

    Thanks

  • Toni Vaughan

    April 10, 2011 02:05 am

    I just started a photoshelter account to handle sales of photos but have considered red bubble. What's the difference in the 2 besides the obvious (red bubble is free)?

  • Ms. Pearl

    April 9, 2011 11:39 pm

    I've been thinking of using Redbubble, so appreciate the article very much. One question: is there any way to sign the photos that have been sold, or does the company just stamp the back with the photographer's name and date?

  • Larry

    April 9, 2011 12:26 am

    I've been on Redbubble for a couple of years. Have had no sales.

    I designed and ordered T-shirts that took so long to ship that they eventually gave them to me at no charge. Redbubble is based in Australia but T-shirts come from Germany!

    I like the look and feel of the site, and I'm sure I would have more sales if I were more active there.

  • ArianaMurphy

    April 8, 2011 10:54 pm

    Great article! I love Redbubble, although I haven't sold anything yet. I have my own website linked to my galleries at Redbubble so I don't have to do any of the creation. If a client wants to order a print, they just click on the button and it takes them to a similarly designed and laid out gallery at Redbubble and they can order what they want. In theory, of course.

    It is at least as good as Imagekind, Fine Art of America, Dot Photo or any of those others, many of which I've tried. So save your money, and go with the freebie!

  • Marco

    April 8, 2011 01:13 pm

    I would think that it would be a little difficult to sell your work to other photographer who are also trying to sell their own work

  • chew

    April 8, 2011 11:34 am

    Haven't heard of this one. Thanks for this great info. And nice pictures. =)

  • Ben

    April 8, 2011 09:53 am

    Thanks for sharing... this is exactly what I was looking for... an easy way to share photos with others and allow them to pick them up without feeling like I needed to give the pictures away for free. I really want to venture more into photography if time allows...this seems like a decent way to start moving in that direction.

    I already signed up... and uploaded a few pics.... I like it so far...

    http://www.redbubble.com/people/wannabecool

    Thanks,

    Ben

  • CD

    April 8, 2011 06:36 am

    Just thought of one of their downsides... Their shipping times are quite slower than some of the other sites around. However, their quality has been outstanding!

  • CD

    April 8, 2011 06:32 am

    I have been on RedBubble since early 2007 and have made many sales! I used to host several groups, but I only host the Texas group now.

    And...it's FREE to join!

    Good Journeys!

    Charles

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