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Unstock Stock Photos with Stocksy

Unstock Stock Photos with Stocksy

Looking for images for a website or blog may sound like fun; but, image shopping is not without its challenges.  Cost is one and selecting the right size (hi Rob!) for things like the slider, so that it looks ‘professional,’ is a second.  And the third is to get an interesting image that doesn’t look ‘stock.’

Bruce Livingstone, the man who can be credited with our modern concept of microstock photography, has for the past year been trying to reinvent his own wheel.

Livingstone a decade ago founded iStockphoto, one of the first online mass-stock-photo sites, which specialized in selling photographers’ images in great quantities (and low prices), and incentivizing artists to post more photos, by linking pay rates to download numbers. He sold the company to Getty Images for $50 million in 2006.

Stocksy screenshot final

Read ther full story here

I found out the hard way, when I designed my first website (it was actually a redesign) that it’s best to pay for images to be on the safe side.  The company I was consulting for kept getting emails from the site owners of the images to pay, take down the image, or their legal team would be involved (yikes!).  So when I did the redesign I thought through a theme for each department, purchased images that supported the theme and that was it!  Well, that and about $500 for images.  Some of the images are tough to find out how to purchase or if they are even available for purchase which adds to the confusion.

Image copyright laws have created and enabled an industry of predatory lawyers. These attorneys take advantage of photographers and artists who make their images available online, as well as the bloggers who don’t know any better and post the wrong content to their sites. The lawyers make money on a contingency basis, usually taking at least 40% of the copyright infringement penalties they “earn” by hunting down unsuspecting bloggers. This is akin to digital ambulance chasing, only with less work required and a slightly smaller stigma attached to it. Leechy lawyers are costing small businesses and bloggers a metric crapload of money every year. It’s impossible to tell how much, because most disputes are settled out of court and aren’t recorded in any sort of official document that’s available.

The Content Factory

Even worse, after the redesign, the same threatening emails were coming into the office.  It was like someone saw the words new website and automatically started to troll even though the images were paid for.  One email indicated the use of a picture that wasn’t part of any theme and was never on the site (before or after the redesign).  When I returned the email asking for a screen shot of the image in use on the actual website the emails finally stopped.

Check out the Stocksy images here

And Dreamstime:

Dreamstime Screenshot Final


I really like (although not this particular one) Getty but those images can be very expensive:

Getty Screenshot finalSo my very unscientific study of three sites turned up that Dreamstimes is the best on price, but I think if Stocksy keeps their pricing moderate it will get some good play.  I think there will be a market for photographers who want to offer reasonable ‘shoots’ for specific designs or themes (not glamour shots) but a layout for a specific idea or theme.


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