Top-selling freelance opens stock photo site

A veteran freelance photographer fed up with the low commission rates from stock agencies has launched his own royalty-free photo website, predominately populated by his own images.

Yuri Arcur, oft-hailed as the ‘world’s top selling stock photographer’ opened last month, where his entire collection – plus 20,000 ‘unseen’ images – is available for use.

As it sells his work directly to photographers and other parties, average image prices on the site are reportedly lower than those on any other major stock site selling the same images.

And although only in beta version, the site is already serving as the Dane’s rebuttal to big stock agencies pushing commissions lower and lower – down to 15% last year, “making it almost impossible for photographers to gain a profit”.

“This can be seen in comparison to Apple’s iTunes store where the artists receive a 70% commission for their work,” Arcur added.

“Furthermore, with the introduction of micro prices in 2005, the stock industry has been under enormous pressure and few photographers have been able to survive of their meagre earnings.”

Underlining his salvo against the big stock photography providers, the Danish photographer said PeopleImages offers additional services to photographers that would be useful for their clients, but which large agencies would have a problem providing.

For example, custom retouching is on offer through his site, as are image exclusivity options and ‘time-exclusive’ licenses, plus the add-on of photographers being able to request more images of a specific model or particular style.

Stock photography reporter for microstockdiaries, Lee Torrens, reflected: “The hard work and smart decisions of Yuri's stock photography career [have] come together in a lucrative business model that no other stock photographer is positioned to pull off. What's more, it pulls market power back from stock photo agencies who have been dropping photographer royalties for years.”


6th July 2012

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