Mobile Images At iStockphoto

Posted on 5/2/2013 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Since the fall of 2012 iStockphoto had been accepting pictures taken with mobile devices. Currently they have 7433 images on the site. So far, they do not allow contributors to upload their photos directly from their mobile devices. It is not clear whether they are accepting images from contributors who only shoot with a camera phone, or whether they are just encouraging their regular contributors to also submit some images they shoot with their phones.

One photo has been downloaded more than 200 times but most – if they were used at all – have been downloaded fewer than 10 times. Of the 7433 images only 438 have been downloaded more than once, 1003 have only been downloaded once and 5992 (over 80%) have not been downloaded at all.

It is interesting to consider the quality of the mobile images they are accepting. To give creators an idea of what they need they have created a lightbox of image for Editorial use only and another classified as Creative with images that are available for Commercial use. Customers can look at the whole collection by searching with the keyword “mobilestock.”

iStock doesn’t seem that you are holding mobile images suppliers to the same standards as they outline in their Training Manual. They seem to be willing to accept images with more of an Instagram feel and the editing seems looser. This could be a function of trying to build a collection and they may become more particular as they the volume of camera phone images submitted increases. In their Training Manuel they say you will not accept images with borders, but they have included quite a few in the examples of what to shoot.

iStock has also published an infographic that provides some interesting statistics on the potential explosion of pocket photography. There are 6 billion mobile subscribers in the world and 1 billion of them have smartphones, an increase of 46.6% from a year ago.

One of the points the infographic makes is that it has been calculated that from the invention of the camera to the year 2000 a total of 85 billion photos had been produced. Thirteen years later that figure is now 3.5 trillion. With camera phones the explosion of content is just beginning.

Copyright © 2013 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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