BrandCamp By Cavan Images

Posted on 4/19/2018 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

As more and more photographers with experience at putting together high production value shoots are leaving the stock photo business major brands are beginning to have trouble finding the images they need in stock photo files. There are plenty of cheap images and plenty of candid, “real life” images, available as stock photos, but often they don’t fit the concepts brands have in mind.

About 18 months ago Cavan Images launched BrandCamp with the idea of bringing together a global community of experienced photographers to create custom content solutions for brands. While Cavan started out about 8 years ago as a stock photography company they see this as an opportunity to provide a service for top photographer that may not be interested in stock photography.

Often major national and international brands have projects that requires multiple experienced photographers, in multiple locations, that can deliver images that will work together around a single concept. Usually, these images need to be delivered in a very short time frame and they can’t be found in stock photography. Often money is not the issue.

Cavan has brought together over 2,600 photographers with proven experience from more than 80 countries. These photographers are prepared do take on custom shoots on an as needed basis.
When a brand comes to them with a project, Cavan chooses the photographer, or photographers, from its contributor list that they feel are best qualified for the particular project. (Cavan has a little over 1,000 additional photographers who supply them with stock images and they may call on one of them for a BrandCamp assignment if their skills seem appropriate for a particular job.)

If the photographer is available for a particular project the photographer will be offered a guaranteed fee plus expenses to shoot the job in the same way as traditional commissioned photo assignments have always worked.

Some projects require multiple photographers. Gross fees paid by the brand for such projects often range between $5,000 and $100,000. Individual photographers may only receive a portion of these amounts because multiple photographers may be involved and Cavan takes a share of the gross paid by the brand. However, the photographer will know upfront exactly what he/she will receive before accepting the job of doing the work.

Cavan is actively seeking additional photographers who might be available for such work. To date they have reviewed applications from over 250,000 photographers.

While Brand\Camp photographers may also contribute images to Cavan’s stock image collection many have chosen not to do so. When searching the “contributors” list on the Cavan Images site only photographers who have contributed stock images will be found in that list.

With the demise of ImageBrief there is an increasing need for this type of resource. Unlike ImageBrief, Cavan doesn’t post open requests and invite everyone on their list to respond. Rather they choose specific photographers for each given project and guarantees that everyone who accepts the job and does the work will be paid.

OnRequest Images founded in 2002 offered a similar service but ceased operation about a decade ago.

Shutterstock Custom and Getty Custom Content Brief have recently started offering similar services, but in both cases their offerings seem to be aimed at much smaller projects priced at a level that make it almost impossible for experienced professional photographers trying to earn a living from their photography to take on any of the assignments.

Cavan Revenue Sources

BrandCamp is only one aspect of the Cavan’s revenue stream. Cavan first came on the scene in early 2013 as a major supplier to Offset when Shutterstock began offering its premium brand with prices of $250 and $500 for image licenses. Cavan has about 54,000 images on Offset and is the first or second largest collection on Offset. (ImageSource also has a large collection on Offset.)

Sources have told Selling Stock that Offset currently has about 650,000 images in its collection and gross annual revenue is in the range of $12 to $14 million.

One unique thing about the Cavan site is that it only offers 1,000 returns with any search rather than showing every image with the keyword requested. Many of the larger sites will return tens or hundreds of thousands of images with a particular set of keywords, but of course no customer ever looks at more than a few hundred at the top of the search return order.
CEO Peter Hannet says there are “a bunch of other factors that effect the results, but most importantly, a large portion of our sales are from galleries made by our curators so the client side search results don’t have a direct correlation to what clients are seeing or to sales. Customers also don’t search for simple terms like “people.” Unfortunately, clients have the opposite tendencies and usually go for a way too specific approach. Additionally, we can see, in real time, what everybody’s searching for and we do go in and help them out.”

Last month, for the first time revenue generated by their own site and BrandCamp exceeded the revenue they earn from Offset.

In addition, they have and started distributing images through other distributors including: Adobe, Amana (Japan), Gaopin (China), Alamy, Plain Picture and footage through Dissolve and Pond5.

Copyright © 2018 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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