ImageBrief’s Photographer Search

Posted on 12/30/2014 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Early in December ImageBrief introduced a Photographer Search feature. It’s a great idea and something photographers need, but it seems to still needs a little work.

Anyone looking for a photographers would want to do one of three things – search by photographer name, specialty or location. While it is possible to search by locations and genre (specialty) the search box can be hard to find.  I often open 2 or more windows at the same time and size them less than full screen so I can quickly move between various actions. (Maybe I’m the only one who does this.)

When the window area is wide enough to see two columns of photographers it is impossible to find the search box. Only when you open the window wide enough to see all three columns (almost full screen) does the “Advanced Search” box appear. Try it.  Maybe I’m the only one with this issue, but it doesn’t seem to be that user friendly.

When a user is in Basic Search mode it says they can search by “Names, Locations, Genres or Clients,” but when they go to Advanced Search there is no option to search by Name. (This may be coming in January.) Of course, searching by name could be difficult anyway since many ImageBrief photographers use only their first names.

Another thing that bothers me is that there is no apparent way for the buyer to contact a photographer they want to use. Simon Moss, Image Brief CEO, tells me that “if the user is logged in as an ImageBrief Buyer they can either hit ‘Request Contact’ (if the photographer is not premium) and IB will coordinate an introduction, or if the photographer is a “Premium” member the buyer can hit “Contact” and be connected immediately with the photographer. In all cases the photographer keeps 100% of any assignments with clients IB brings to them.”

It is unclear why buyers are not allowed to automatically send an email to any photographer they choose, not just the Premium photographers.

Another thing that is confusing is that IB shows a maximum of 63 photographers with any search (3 pages of 21 photographers each). At first glance that seems reasonable, but in many cases a lot of photographers may be getting left out. Are there only 63 Premium Photographers, or are some not being shown?

When I searched for photographers in New York City there are no matches. However, a search for New York, New York gives 93 matches, but buyers can only view 63 of them. One of the biggest problems is California. It isn’t possible to just search for all photographers in California. You have to narrow the search to: Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, SF, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Sacramento, Long Beach or Irvine. That might not seem so bad, but I wanted to search for Jim Erickson. He lives in Petaluma (North of San Francisco). He’s doesn’t come up when I search San Francisco. A search for Petaluma produces nothing. I know he submits regularly to briefs and has sold several images. I can’t believe he is not there.

The problem may be that there is no consistent system for photographer to supply address information, but there ought to be some way to solve that problem.

Searches for clients don’t include all clients. For example Premium Photographer Fernando Decillis has listed Bayer International and Capitol One as clients, but a search for either of these clients doesn’t produce any results.

When it comes to the order in which photographers are listed Simon Moss says, “they are organized in a very specific way based on an algorithm that measures the completeness of their portfolio, quality metrics (based on briefs entered), speed of response, awarded rate and a whole bunch of other metrics relevant to their engagement on ImageBrief.” I’ve only talked to a few IB photographers, but some who are listed fairly high up don’t appear to have had a lot of success with ImageBrief.

There are 65 curated collections listed in alphabetical order. Simon Moss says they have “over 4,500 micro-collections that we will be opening up in the first quarter of 2015.” It will be interesting to see how they organize the search of these collections to make it possible for a buyer to quickly find a collection of interest. With the current list some of the subject categories are not exactly where one would expect to find them. For example there is “The 20 Somethings” under “T” and “Ooh Baby Baby” under “O.”

One of the collections that could be very useful for photographers is “What’s Selling?” under “W.” It is a long list to go through and there is no organization as to subject. Hopefully, as they sell more images they will produce a series of “What’s Selling?” categories such as: Nature, People, City Scenes, Travel, Animals, Asia or Scenic. This would make it easier for photographers to get a sense of what’s in demand in certain subject areas.

Copyright © 2014 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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