How Photo Challenges Help You Sell More

How Photo Challenges Help You Sell More

Did you know that Challenges are the best way to get your photos discovered and purchased? This is because Challenges are based on customer demand. When a customer requests certain types of photos, a Challenge is created to help the Editorial Team and the customer discover the best photos of a certain topic. At the end of a Challenge, all entries in the Top 20% are automatically added to a corresponding Collection that is then featured to interested customers.
Photo by @francesco_schettino

Read the Creative Brief & Check the Photo Requirements

In order to help you sell more photos, each Challenge has a Creative Brief with photo requirements to communicate exactly what customers need. You may have different interpretations and ideas about what to enter in a Challenge so the Creative Brief includes certain photo requirements to help steer you in the right direction. Photos that follow the Brief are more likely to be purchased. Setting you up for success in the most fair way possible is important, which is why entries that do not follow the Creative Brief will be removed from the Challenge. If the customer can’t find the photos they need, they won’t purchase any photos and you will make fewer sales. (And if the Creative Brief isn’t clear, send us an email at

Example: In the most recent “People Using Laptops & Computers” Challenge, one of the photo requirements stated that your entry must include at least one person or human element. Below are 3 photos taken by Twenty20 Insider Justin Helmick (@howwls). Although they are all great photos, they are not all great entries for this Challenge. See why:



Enter Different Photos in Recurring Challenges

dadf97eb-bd5c-48e2-b041-4ff57bb0e5e0Submitting the same photo to recurring Challenges may be causing you to lose out on photo sales. You might have noticed that many of the Challenge topics are repeated every month; that is because those topics are constantly in high demand. Entering a new or different photo in recurring Challenges is the best way to get another chance at selling! For example: If your photo has already been collected into the “Young Mothers” Collection, it is best to enter a different photo in a Challenge about young mothers. The more of your photos that are in the “Young Mothers” Collection, the more chances you have to make a sale.

If you read our last post about 2 Ways to Get Your Photos Purchased, then you already know that the most successful photographers use Challenges as inspiration for what to shoot on an ongoing basis. Whenever you snap photos for a Challenge, enter your best one and then upload the other photos from your shoot (and add keywords, of course). That way, you can enter a different photo next time the Challenge runs. Or if the photo editors like your entry, they might check your gallery for other awesome photos to add to Collections. Either way, uploading new content for Challenges each week significantly increases your chances of selling more photos!

Customers want to see fresh, new content every month. Challenges clarify what type of content they want. More happy customers on Twenty20 means a wider range of buyers and more money in your pocket over time. So, who’s ready to enter a new Challenge?

Photo by @iJakeSays


Header Image by @ryanmoreno
  • MargJ

    It would be EXTREMELY helpful if we were notified when one of our photos
    is marked “not cleared” for editorial and/or commercial use. I have had
    to request a reevaluation of at least 10-12 photos this week. None of
    them had anything wrong with them and all of them were switched to
    “cleared” after I made inquiries. I have over 900 photos on Twenty20. If
    I hadn’t gone through all of them this week to update keywords, I never
    would have found those photos. Having them marked “not cleared” is
    keeping me from making sales.

    Also, it seems unfair that those
    of us using the website to load photos are limited to 10 keywords. The
    folks using the app are apparently allowed to add as many keywords as
    they want. I don’t understand why there is a difference.

    Thanks for listening! (And, hopefully, thanks for responding!)

    • Hi! Thank you for your feedback regarding the clearance of photos and limitations on keywords.

      First, photos that are not cleared will eventually be reviewed by the Editorial Team. This means that even if you didn’t notice and didn’t ask for immediate review, your photo would still be corrected eventually. These photos go through the same review process as all others. Also, if a buyer is interested in a photo that isn’t cleared for editorial use, they can request an immediate review. We appreciate your patience as we work to improve this process.
      Secondly, photos with 5-10 relevant keywords have a much higher advantage than those that have 11+ keywords. Photos with 10 or less relevant keywords show up higher in search, which increases the chance of those photos selling. We understand that is feels unfair but the 10 keyword limit is actually in the photographer’s best interest.

      That said, I have passed your thoughts & suggestions on to the rest of the Twenty20 Team. Contact us at if you have any other suggestions or questions!

  • Jainam Shah

    This would be extremely helpful to take the photos. One can also capture the photos through Canvas Prints and get your Photos hang on the wall. This is also a one point to take care while taking a perfect photography…