Interview: Madeline Dignadice

There has been a lot of talk about self portraits this week (check out the Ultimate Guide to Taking Self Portraits and enter our recent Challenge: Self Portrait) so we thought we would dig a little deeper and sit down with one of our creators who specializes in self portraiture, MASTER | Madeline Dignadice.


Tell us a little about you. Where are you from? What are you passionate about? What do you do when you are not photographing? 

I am a fine art photographer currently based in San Francisco. I am originally from Santa Clarita, CA but moved to the city to study fine art photography at the Academy of Art University.  

I am passionate about experiencing life and sharing it through art. I'm aware of every emotion I am feeling so I can capture it and share it, hoping to connect to others through my art. 

 When I am not photographing myself or nude friends, I am outside walking around or indoors watching films. I believe watching films help photographers understand putting emotions into the visual. For a simple shot in a film like "In the Mood for Love" that has an amazing composition can say so much without the words to guide you towards a feeling. 


How did you get started in photography? 

I thankfully fell into photography, first as a hobby but soon became a passion and a way of self-expression for me. I received an athletic scholarship for cross country and track from the Academy of Art University, and I chose to study photography because it sounded the most interesting to me. Years later, I am very happy I made that choice because this medium has shaped who I am today. I use photography as a way to understand myself. I have trouble verbally communicating how I feel and so I turn to photography to just document what I feel. It isn't until after, I can start to see and understand what is really going on within. 

Playing with light, color, and movement your self portraits are emotional and curious. What is your inspiration?

My biggest inspiration for self-portraits is Francesca Woodman and Nan Golding. Two very different styles but both very impactful. Francesca Woodman created this dark and intimate world within her images. I feel as if she really documented her emotions, often using motion blur. Her images carry this sadness you can feel within yourself as if we are getting an intimate view of her mind. For Nan Golding, her style was more documentary but just as intimate and emotional. Showing you more details that were easier to understand on the surface but challenges the viewers to take a real look into someone's life.


Why self portraits? Why use yourself instead of a model?

I tend to photograph myself when I feel like I'm losing myself; when I'm forgetting who I am. It's odd, but when I photograph models it is when I am trying to express how I feel but when I photograph myself it is in search for myself. I believe that we are all highly influenced by the people the social media we surround ourselves with. I have to remind myself of who I am and I go back to my "roots", setting up my camera and self-timer creates a space that is totally free and allows me to be totally vulnerable.


Do you have any advice or tips for fellow photographers who want to take self portraits?  

-Photograph yourself alone and make space for yourself. Move the furniture around, follow the natural light that is leaking into the room and set up your camera. 

-Play with the space around you. Due to my small SF apartments, a lot of my self-portraits were in a corner next to a window. That confined corner let me be creative with the two walls around me. Challenging me to try new things for different shots. 

-Use your wardrobe or not at all! I like to photograph myself with loose and flowy fabrics. This is another element for you to interact with and adds to the simple details of your image. Or use your body in various poses from different angles, don't be afraid to get close to the camera. 

- I usually put on some of my favorite records when shooting anything! When I am taking self-portraits I usually listen to slower music that helps me slow down and work through the process. 


The Ultimate Guide to Taking Self Portraits

Self portraits are easily dismissed when there are nothing but “selfies” on Instagram and Snapchat, but it truly has been a popular form of expression ever since man first saw his own reflection (Oh hey - Narcissus!)  From Van Gogh to Ansel Adams, to extreme conceptual artists like Cindy Sherman, self portraiture has become a way to express personality, share your story, explore one’s self, or to play the part of someone else.

Left to Right - Self Portraits by: Ansel Adams, Cindy Sherman, Frida Kahlo

Photographers often use the excuse that we are awkward in front of a camera and that is why we are behind it. For some of us, this is definitely true… just kidding! :) Self portraiture does not have to be glamorous - it simply has to be you. And if you are “awkward” be someone else in your self portrait. Be honest, we’re all a bit self-conscious about having our photo taken, but with self portraits you are in complete control.

Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started:

Vivian-Maier - Self Portrait in New York City 1950’s

Vivian-Maier - Self Portrait in New York City 1950’s

Location & Composition:

What does your location say about you? Like taking a photo of someone else, composition and location are just as important. The best part is you already have so many spaces that are particular to just you - your bedroom, your bathroom, your favorite park, any place you find personal already exists. Maybe you are a private person and do not want to share those spaces, conceal it with anonymity and use that as part of your expression.  

Composition of your image will help make it stronger than just a “selfie.” You do not need to be directly in front of the camera. Experiment with different angles and positions. Are you completely in the frame? Or only a piece of you? Maybe you are not there at all. Play around with a variety of looks, but remember you will have to reset your own camera and focus every time you change. Don’t let that hinder you, just be aware.

Self Portrait by: Rosie Hardy

Self Portrait by: Rosie Hardy


You have your location, composition, and modeling skills all ready, but how do you actually take the photo? There is absolutely no right or wrong way to do it and in some cases you may have to get really creative. (I had a classmate in art school who taped his DLSR to the ceiling with duct tape - I do not recommend that) I suggest starting with these three options: tripod, human tripod aka friend/sibling/life partner volunteer, or handheld.


When you take self portraits, prioritize safety by not placing your camera on risky platforms. Use a tripod to keep your camera in a consistent and safe position. Once you have your camera facing where you want it to be, it can be tricky to gain focus on you while you are behind the lens playing with settings. Put something in your composition where you will be posing. Focusing on this object will help the camera focus on you when you trade spots.  Height of the object is not as important as distance, but try to match it to yourself as best as you can for accuracy.

You can also try focusing with a remote or autofocus while you are in front of the frame. This may take a few tries, but once it is established it can save you time an energy of getting up, focusing, and going back to position.

If you do not have a remote, try using the timer and burst mode on your camera. This will at least give you time between your pose and pressing the shutter. The burst mode will give you multiple options in one sitting (so you can guarantee your eyes will be open!)


If you decide you want to handhold your camera to take your photo, remember that your distance between you and the lens is relied solely upon the length of your arm. Naturally, you may also shake which could result in blurry images. On the other hand, this may be the exact kind of framing and effect you are seeking.

Using Assistance:

You are not cheating if someone assists in taking the photo for you, but use them only as a human tripod and remote. You still need to have full control of the image and how it is taken. Set everything up and direct your human tripod to stand and focus where you want.

Take Your Time:

You may not be a professional model, so getting into a pose and finding what feels/looks good to you may take some time. Self portraits are filled with infinite possibilities, but has some limitations. It is exhausting. When losing energy, you’ll feel very impatient, irritated, and uncreative. Take breaks, have snacks, listen to your favorite music, and treat yourself like you would your best model. Are you getting discouraged? Call it a day and try again later.

Self Portrait by: Raffaello Faniuk

Self Portrait by: Raffaello Faniuk

Capture You:

A self-portrait should be a very personal expression, not a mirror of something you've seen somewhere else. Think about who you want to be and how you want to say that. What does using yourself as the model say differently than what you would say with someone else? Sometimes the self portrait may not be about you, but rather using yourself to depict another person. But why use yourself, instead of the other person? What is the narrative?

Self Portrait by: David Uzochukwu

Self Portrait by: David Uzochukwu

Lastly, Do Not Be Afraid of Judgement.

It can be intimidating to use yourself as a subject. Self portraiture is not vain and narcissistic. It is more widely accepted today with the social media promotion of selfies and sharing your life. You have every right to experiment and evolve as an artist. Self portraiture can teach you patience, independence, and feeling comfortable in your own skin. It is the ultimate opportunity to get to know yourself better. Remember, if you ever receive unnecessary negative criticism, it is simply a reflection of that person’s closed mindedness.

Self Portrait by: Omar Victor Diop

Self Portrait by: Omar Victor Diop

Here are some examples of self portraits to get you inspired:

Francesca Woodman

Liu Bolin


Diane Arbus


Andy Warhol


Genevieve Gaignard

Lee Friedlander


Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Robert Mapplethorpe


Fumiko Imano

Ready to create? Submit your self portraits to the newly open Self Portrait Challenge!

We cannot wait to see YOU!

Interview: Nailya Bikmurzina

Snapwire Creator MASTER | Nailya Bikmurzina’s lifestyle work is warm and inviting while her personal work has colder tones and focuses on isolation and graphic lines. After working with her on multiple projects, we sat down with the Berlin based creator to get to know a little bit more about her and her photography.


Tell us a little about you. What are you passionate about? What do you do when you are not photographing?  What is your favorite color? You know, the important things. 

I have been fascinated with the photography world since childhood, as my first memories are playing with my dad's mechanic film photo camera, just making snaps with different shutter speeds and opening the back of the camera. I came in to being a full time photographer unexpectedly from science after deciding that I don't want to do a PhD after completing a master program. It was a frightening decision, especially when people around you don't understand. However I've made a right choice. Now I'm in the photo and video making world, developing a personal project connecting art and science. 

My favourite color: All shades of blue, or better the color palette of the ocean and the color palette of the sky. They are always making me feel like magic.

Another passion of mine is movement in any forms, connection between mind and body and visual beauty of it. You can call it a lifestyle, but I'm sure it's much deeper than that. 


How did you get started in photography? 

When I was 17, I took my first analog photos just was because I was curious about it. Then I've got a digital compact camera. It before social media, so I shared the photos only with my friends and in my live journal blog. At some point people start to reach me out to take photos for them and for different events. This is how it all started.


Your work has is bright and inviting, while still hanging out to the beauty of shadows. How did you develop your style? What inspires you? 

I'm a visual person and hungry for movies and visual art. Color wise, of course, nature inspires me the most. Nothing could be more beautiful. I think I'm still in the process of developing my style and I would love to keep it as an ongoing process. 


You have worked with us for a variety of buyers, such as Google, Canva, and Ubrands. Tell us about a  project (or two!) you enjoyed working on. Were there any surprises, successes, or struggles? 

I liked the projects with Google Maps because I love to explore new places, locations, perspectives and the way to see new things within familiar streets. I love to be lost in some sense in the places, because then I can see a lot from different angles. 

Do you have any advice or tips for fellow photographers? 

Heh I need a lot of advice for myself. The only suggestion which I surely can share is: no matter what, keep on working.


Complete Guide to Environmental Portraiture

With a recently launched Challenge, I decided you might need a little background help to make sure your submissions are strong visually and will dynamically tell a story.

So what is environmental portraiture? Extremely popular in editorial and documentary photography, environmental portraiture is the art of capturing someone in a location where the setting plays an important part of expressing the narrative of the subject - maybe more than the subject themselves. Utilizing props and composition, you can intricately illustrate details that a simple headshot could not capture.

Although most environmental portraits look effortless and natural, there is a lot of thought and studying that goes behind capturing the entire essence of your subject. Here are some tips & tricks to get you started.

Peter Holliday.png

Who is your subject?

Photo by: Peter Holliday

Headshots, you do not really need to know much about your subject. They are clean cut simple portraits that are used purely to illustrate base level personality. With an environmental portrait you want to study your subject. Why are you photographing them? What are you trying to say about them? What is their story? Dig deep and really hone in on the purpose of this photograph. You have a chance to share a story of someone, do it justice.

Héctor Mireles.jpg

Choosing a location

Photo by: ADVANCED | Héctor Mireles

Make your sure your location choice fits your subject and the narrative you want to share. Think of your location as your main subject. What is in the background? Where is the light coming from? How does it relate to your subject?  

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Photo by: Xavier Goins

Clean it up or make it dirty. Props can be incredibly helpful for story telling, but can also easily distract or clutter your photograph diluting the narrative. Go through everything in the background before taking your shot. If it doesn’t add to the story, take it out. Everything in your composition needs a purpose.

This is Troy, a car breaker in South Wales..jpg

Posing your subject

Photo by: Colin Dutton

Again, what are you trying to say about your subject? Camera angle and position of subject can change the perspective of who your subject is. Shooting from a lower angle can give your subject power and strength by making them look larger than life. The opposite happens when shooting down at them, humbling them or making your subject seem meek. Shooting at eye resonates humanity because it is a perspective we would normally see.

In environmental portraits, posing is usually pretty simple because the environment is expressing more of the story than the subject. With that said, place your subject intentionally. Where are they in the frame? Are they facing camera or looking away? How are they framed within the background composition? Pay attention to body language and cropping. How much of your subject do you need to show?


Lens choice

There is no rule to what lens you should use, but give your photograph room to breathe. Since you are utilizing a location as a main subject, you want to show it off. Consider using a wider lens, such as a 35mm. This will give you the space to express the environment and the clean depth of field to really showcase your subject’s narrative.


Inspiration: Gregory Crewdson

Known for his cinematic captures, Gregory Crewdson creates gorgeous narrative through single scenes. Obviously, I do not expect you to whip out a Crewdson level photoshoot, but what I want you to pay attention to is his intentional location, props, and composition. There is nothing in the imagery that does not have a reason to be there.


Now go create. Pick and choose what resonates with you from above and photograph an environmental portrait that tells a story stronger than any words. Always remember, what are you trying to say about this person? Be intentional and do not forget to submit your images to the new challenge.

Winter Photography: Tips & Tricks for Shooting in Cold Weather

Winter brings in shadows, gorgeous snowy landscapes, Northern Lights, and holiday portraits, but it also blows in extremely cold temperatures that can do more harm than just frostbite on your finger tips!

Photo by: ADVANCED|  Rebecca Rajkowski

Photo by: ADVANCED| Rebecca Rajkowski

Follow these tips to protect your equipment (and your nose!) before going out to explore over the bridge and through the woods to all the winter wonderlands.

Bring Spare Batteries & Keep the Warm

Ever gone skiing with your phone in your pocket only to get to the top of the mountain to get that perfect selfie to have your one hundred percent charged battery to be dead? Same goes for your camera batteries. The cold kills batteries, even if they are not being used. To avoid being stuck with a dead camera, bring extra batteries and keep them close to your body. They are sensitive and like to snuggle close to your heart.

Avoid Instant Frostbite on Your Nose on Your Camera

You read that and laughed. I can hear you all the way from here. But you won’t be laughing when your nose gets stuck to the metal of your camera like a tongue on pole in A Christmas Story. Wear face masks and shoot with tripod while looking at your camera’s screen instead of the viewfinder.

Take Care of Your Hands

In the spirit of frostbite, wear good gloves and use hand warmers. If your fingers are cold, your whole body will feel miserable (that is what my Grandmother told me) so keep them toasty! Fingerless gloves are perfect for snapping shots, but keeping warm on your palms.

Photo by: EXPERT |  Evan Sheehan

Photo by: EXPERT | Evan Sheehan

The Magic of a Ziplock

Take it from someone who has been shoulder deep in snow with all of her equipment, you need an airtight plastic bag! This will protect you from obvious snowflakes melting (or unexpected drowning in mounds of snow) but as you move from freezing to warm temperatures moisture can form inside of your equipment if not complete dry. No one wants condensation (that will turn to mold!) on their favorite 50mm. Before you head inside after your adventure, seal the bag with some of that cold air trapped in with your camera. Let it warm up slowly for a couple hours without forming water droplets! Take out the battery and memory card beforehand to give you the ability to start downloading and editing immediately.

Pay Attention to Your Settings

Yes, yes, all that white can be beautiful, but it can also cause your camera’s exposure meter to go crazy due to confusing glares from the snow resulting in underexposed imagery. Bracket your images by shooting one stop higher and one stop lower than the initial meter reading. This will insure that you have the perfect shot when your eyes are no longer frozen and you can actually see what you are editing.

Photo by: EXPERT |  Vrushali Lele

Photo by: EXPERT | Vrushali Lele

 Now bundle up, find Frosty the Snowman, and create some beautiful imagery! Upload them to your profile and open challenges - we cannot wait to see your winter wonderlands!

How to: Shooting Lifestyle Stock Photography

As the landscape of stock photography changes, it’s important to be aware who is purchasing stock photos and what you, as the creator, can do to create a more successful stock portfolio. With sales transitioning from a single image to larger orders containing multiple images from a single set.

Photo by: Master |  Maureen Im

Photo by: Master | Maureen Im

By following these five steps; Theme Selection, Talent and Location Acquisition, Choosing equipment, Engaging Direction and Cohesive editing, your stock photography sets are sure to rise to the tip in quality and value.

Theme Selection:

Choose a theme broad enough to grant you the ability to create multiple scenes from. For example, if you’re going to photograph Millennials and Technology, you should be looking at the photographing millennials using technology in school, millennials using technology in social settings, and millennials using technology in start-up settings.

If a buyer is looking for multiple images of technology and millennials, this will offer plenty of variety. The theme should allow for you to dive deeper, being transferrable to multiple locations and translate across a diverse cast of models. An additional tip is to be attentive to the world around you, photograph themes that are relevant in today’s society and predict what could come next.

Photo by: ADVANCED |  Gavin Carter

Photo by: ADVANCED | Gavin Carter

Talent and Location Acquisition:

It’s 2018, your models need to be extremely diverse  - all themes can be relatable to any group of people. Sets of images containing multiple models hold a higher value. Prioritize scenes in your shoot where you can have 4-6 models in one frame. Buyers who are looking for sets of images, will look for consistency of models across the sets of images. The best way to find talent is through your friend circle, social media, and casting calls. Facebook is a great place to start and many regions have groups for model castings.

Choosing the Right Equipment:

Equipment isn’t the most important aspect but certain equipment will create more engaging images. 24-50mm is the sweet spot as wide angle lens allow you to get more information in the frame and when photographing activities, can make the viewer feel as if you’re right there and have a more organic feeling to them. 50mm lenses give you the option to isolate emotion and actions while adding a portrait element to the set. Choose lenses that are fast, shooting around F2.8 to F4 can highlight the actions, pulling the viewer in. Traditionally, lifestyle stock is not photographed with anything higher than 50mm as the depth compression gives the images more of a product/staged feeling. Remember that all lifestyle stock should be photographed with natural light. Artificial lighting can be used, but it should be used indirectly, bouncing a diffused light off a wall or ceiling.

Engaging Direction:

Block out your scenes before you start shooting, this will give you confidence in placing your models correctly in the scene and giving you grounds to begin. Once you’ve set your scene, let your models act it out while being you shoot. Be attentive to what each model is doing, you’ll want models to repeat certain actions and understand what sequence they should do to get your desired result. Having a variety of models will allow you to direct them to cycle throughout the scene, giving everyone a chance to be the centre of focus and play out different roles - this cycling will not only give you a large volume of images with variety but it will also boost fo the confidence of your models by giving them an opportunity to learn and try other roles. Actions should never be forced, what you might want is in the middle so run through the actions a few times, shooting from multiple angles. Tethering is a great way to help directing your models and blocking your scenes in real time.

Editing Process:

The first step in the editing process is to cull your images. Select the best 2-3 images from a burst, any more will saturate the set and cause the buyer to have difficulty selecting one. Once you’ve selected your images, begin editing out any logos visible in the shot (yes, that includes Apple’s little apple.) These images should feel bright and organic, and light contrast. Consistent saturation with no grain or noise will give you clean, cohesive look across a whole set. Batch editing can be more efficient, but make sure to spot check images as you go along!

Photo by: MASTER |  Marjan Apostolovic

Photo by: MASTER | Marjan Apostolovic

Happy STOCK Shooting!

Ten U.S. Cities Spots To Take Your Holiday Cards This Year

For lots of families, taking a holiday photo to send out on snowflake marked cards is a cherished tradition. Pull out the matching plaid, Santa hats, and say cheese smiles. Whether you are a family photographer or a couple looking for a perfect spot, here are ten locations sure to make your holiday cards stand out:

SHOOTER |  James Ngo

SHOOTER | James Ngo

  1. Maui, Hawaii - Haiku Mill

  2. Brooklyn, New York -  Dumbo view of The Manhattan Bridge

  3. Seattle, Washington - Creek Tree Farm

  4. San Francisco, California - Mount Davidson Park

  5. Los Angeles, California - Marvimon

  6. Salt Lake City, Utah - Pierpont Avenue

  7. Stonington, Connecticut - Saltwater Farm Vineyard

  8. Dolores, Colorado - Dunton Hot Springs

  9. North Yarmouth, Maine - Barn on Walnut Hill

  10. Morrow, Oregon - Boardman Tree Farm

Leveling Up on the Platform

Whether you have been on the platform for years or simply signed up an hour ago, I am sure you have noticed the different levels labeled on your profile. Level’s are our way of keeping the quality of imagery on Snapwire at it’s best. New levels unlock perks that give more exposure and the ability to work directly with buyers.

How leveling works:

Buyers nominate photos on Snapwire submitted to requests or challenges. Once you are marked as a Shooter or above, you'll earn points when your shots are nominated by buyers, licensed by buyers, or marked as Premium by the Snapwire team. Points unlock levels and the higher your level, the more you can submit.

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Let’s dive into what each level means and what you need to do as a creator to move up!

Maile Marie Photography_PRO_maile_marie_photos.jpg

Get to Know the Levels

Photo by: PRO | Maile Marie Photography


This is the first level where all creators start! Submit your best shots to Challenges for a chance to get nominated. If your shot is nominated, you'll level up to Shooter and can submit to higher paying buyer Requests.


You're in the game and can now submit shots to higher paid buyer Requests. Get a shot nominated to level up. From here on out, you'll earn points for every nomination or purchase!


Once you have earned 1,000 points, you can now get invited by buyers to shoot their Requests and gain access to selected requests created by the Snapwire team.


You've now had a few shots nominated or sold earning you 5,000 points! It is clear that buyer’s are loving your work. Once you have hit this level, you are featured on our platform as a top creator!


15,000 points! Woohoo! Your work is exceptional, and your shots are nominated and purchased regularly. You can also be invited to Direct Requests from our high paying clients!


After earning 50,000 points it is clear you know what you are doing. Buyers can commission you directly to shoot their projects!


Specially invited, this level is the best of the best of our creators. We have created a master list of our top photographers that have priority access to Buyer’s incoming projects.

Learn more about each individual level

Photo by: Shooter | Mike Yorke

Snapwire's Basic Guide to Image Licensing

Snapwire makes it easy for you to sell your photos, but through industry jargon and special clauses it can be hard to tell exactly what happens when someone purchases your image. Don’t stress, we are here to sort all that out so you can feel confident about where your work is going and how you are compensated for your talents.

On Snapwire’s site, this is all listed out in detail and fancy lawyer language through our copyright and licensing tabs. For those of us who don’t understand legal talk, here are:

Eddie Rios_PRO_eddierios.jpg

8 Licensing Topics You Should Know

Photo by: PRO | Eddie Rios

Copyright & Copyright Buyout

The basic definition of copyright is: a form of protection given to the authors or creators of original works of authorship. What you create is yours! You own your work and what happens to it. Yay! We won’t sell your work unless you give us permission! (So make sure your settings in your content manager on your profile are up to date on all your uploaded images!)

I hate that I even have to say this, but as Snapwire respects the intellectual property of others, we ask our users to do the same. Do not upload photos that aren't yours. That is stealing.

So what does it mean for you when a buyer seeks copyright buyout? It seems threatening and a lot of photographers steer away from it purely cause it sounds like you are selling your soul and giving up your creative rights. This is not the case. When a client asks for a copyright buyout it means you no longer own that photo and can no longer sell it or make money from it.

To sum it up, you take a photo for a client and no one else can use it. Imagine you take a photo of your fluffy pup Snowflake for a company. If they buyout your copyright, only that company can use the photo for promotion. This means you cannot post it on multiple stock photo sites, let the random pet food instagram repost it, or even print it as a gift for your sister in law who owns a “wigs for pets” salon.

No one can buy your copyright without your permission and you should be compensated higher for full buyouts.

Marketplace vs. Challenge/Requests vs. Profile

Snapwire is multi-dimensional. This makes it fun and creates a variety of places to earn, but it can also get a little confusing about what it means when your photos are uploaded or selected for different areas.


The Snapwire Marketplace is a selection of the best shots submitted to Snapwire offered to buyers through a subscription. Shots chosen for the Marketplace are flagged as Select or Premium and are only made available for download for buyers who subscribe. It is an easy way to not only sell your photos (Creators earn 50% when shots are downloaded from buyers in the Marketplace,) but for buyers to accumulate specific unique shots within their subscription period.

If you would like to remove any shots from the Marketplace Subscription, you can simply change the licensing status on your file or delete them from the Content Manager section of your account.

Challenges & Requests

You are all signed up on the platform! Now what… Challenges and Requests are ways to work directly with brands and push your creativity to produce work through specific concepts.

Challenges are hosted “competitions” that focus on a specific theme with one winning photo selected at the end of the allotted time. Challenges are open to any level and a great way to earn points through nominations and submissions.

Once you've reached the Advanced level, you'll be eligible to be invited to Requests by buyers. These are higher paying and give you the access to work with some of our top clients. They are handled the same way through nominations and final selections.


You can submit shots to your profile and build a great portfolio at anytime. All shots uploaded directly to your Portfolio are available for buyers to purchase a license. Remember, you can control whether or not your images can be purchased or selected to the marketplace through your content manager on your profile.

Upload your best shots to your profile to give Snapwire Creative Recruiters and Buyers a chance to see what you can do. Think clean, commercial, bright, and diverse.

Premium Content

Premium shots are curated to the top of search results due to their commercial potential. This provides more opportunities for your shots to be sold. AKA you shot a rad image and we want to promote to our buyers!


Exclusivity guarantees the buyer that no one else can purchase the image during a pre agreed period of time. On average, our buyers ask for a two year exclusivity. You will be compensated extra for any exclusivity purchase.

Photo by: MASTER |  Israel González

Photo by: MASTER | Israel González

Royalty Free

On Snapwire, you will only find royalty free imagery purchases through our Marketplace. But what does that mean exactly? A buyer will pay a one-time fee for a royalty-free image license and can then use the image as many times and in as many places as he chooses. The "free" in royalty-free does not mean there is no cost for the license, but instead refers to being able to freely use the image without paying additional royalties. A small-business owner, for example, may opt to pay a one-time fee for RF images for his website, but can also use it for social and promotional value. Being royalty free does not mean you cannot sell your photo to another buyer - there needs to be exclusivity contract involve to pull it completely off the market.

Permission Releases

Releases are important because they protect you from potential lawsuits where people claim invasion of privacy or defamation after you’ve photographed them.

Model Releases:

In order to submit a shot to Snapwire, you agree you have the permission from any identifiable people in the submitted shot in order to sell it. Imagine you sell a photo to a major brand featuring a recognizable person, but the model didn’t sign a release. If that person sees their face on a huge billboard and becomes upset, they can sue because you never got written permission to use or sell the photo. There have been a number of high profile cases like this, and they can get messy and expensive. You can use our model release app; Releases.

Public spaces

Do you need a property release? If your shots contain recognizable trademarks or personally owned property (like a identifiable store sign, branded product, logo, or other identifiable private property) it is best to have a property release as most buyers look to license shots for commercial use. As this is not always possible, be sure to capture shots that mitigate this issue.

Photo by: ELITE |  Andrii Sarymsakov

Photo by: ELITE | Andrii Sarymsakov

Have some questions that you didn’t find the answers to?

Read more on our FAQ page and always feel free to reach out to the Snapwire Team.

As always, Happy Shooting!