by Howard Butterfield Published 01/08/2007
As more and more photographers ‘Shoot for Stock’ alongside their regular portrait and commercial work, Howard Butterfield of theimagefile... offers advice on these extra channels of income.
Q...What would you say is a typical user of your site?
We have three main users of theimagefile.com website.
Our members – Professional and semi professional photographers who use our web application to present their work (which includes stock imagery) to the web in a variety of ways.
The photographers’ customers – buyers of the images that the photographers have loaded. This is nearly always achieved transparently from the photographers own website. Their customers are generally unaware we are involved.
Image buyers – publishing houses and advertising agencies for example searching for and purchasing images for a wide variety of uses.
However the buyers for images are getting more and more diverse members of the general public for example wishing to use an image as a piece of art or to even supplement holiday pictures!
We don’t keep this information secret though, each search run for images by potential purchasers is entered into a database along with the results and made available for our members to view.
Q... How many images are submitted to your site every day?
Our membership currently adds between 10,000 and 20,000 images a day, though we often see that rate go much higher over the weekends. The majority of those images are destined for events galleries but the stock library is growing very well. We currently have nearly 3.5 million images online. For each of those images we create and watermark 7 thumbnails. Our members and customers rely on the constant availability of those images, so the IT infrastructure has to be very robust and is often the source of our major challenges!
Q... How much does it cost to submit?
We do not have submission fees, image creators simply have to be members of theimagefile.... Membership rates depend on what options the photographers choose from the system and whether they are members of affiliate organisations who receive discounts but if members are primarily interested in the stock element membership only costs five pounds per month. That gives them the ability to run a stock library from their own website with unlimited images and inclusion of those images into theimagefile stock library. Commission on stock sales is only 25%.
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