Random Thoughts 153

Posted on 7/5/2007 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

July 5, 2007

Sierra Stock Offers Photographers 70% Commission

Open to the public since last November, the Reno, Nevada-based Sierra Stock has just passed the 10,000 image milestone and is nearing 200 contributing photographers. While these numbers alone are unremarkable, Sierra Stock's contributor commission of 70% is the highest in the image-licensing industry.

Sierra Stock has positioned itself somewhere between microstock and traditional agencies. As micro-payment sites, Sierra Stock markets royalty-free photos and does business solely on the Internet. It also bills itself as a community stock-photography site and accepts contributions from both amateur and professional photographers. Its pricing, however, is more in line with traditional stock. Images are priced based upon the largest pixel dimension, ranging from $59.95 for 600 pixels to $699.95 for 10,200.

The technical aspects of SierraStock.com are also noteworthy.

Unlike many newcomers that launch with partial capabilities in the name of beta testing, SierraStock.com went to market fully enabled after four years in development. In addition to indexing images by keyword and category, advanced search features include sorting by feeling, ethnicity and technical criteria, such as camera perspective or lens type. The site also incorporates a color search, "loupe view" that allows image zooming and "tagging," a simplified alternative to light boxes.

This technology is also scalable. "We've built in the capacity to grow to 500 million images before we need to do a major re-think on how the site is structured," said company founder Greg Campbell. For the moment, however, Sierra Stock is focusing on raising awareness among designers and photographers.

Sierra Stock is trying to appeal to photographers who are concerned that microstock is undermining the value of their work. Offering such high commissions on sales puts the company in an excellent position to attract contributors; still, sales of traditionally priced images have lagged for even the largest, most established brands. But Campbell, who believes there is a buyer for every image, says that Sierra Stock is seeing the pace pick up. "Although most folks don't know about us yet," he says, "those who do have been creating a lot of buzz."

Fotegrafik Launches to Focus on Asian Content

By: Julia Dudnik Stern

Fotegrafik is a new stock agency established to provide Asian photography and illustration. Operating out of Singapore, the agency is expected to open to buyers by the end of the year. It is currently focused on building its library of commercial and editorial images of Asian topics and interests. Fotegrafik reports demand for such content, as evidenced by the region's growth in advertising expenditure. Contributors will earn 50 % to 70% of the sales, depending on the amount of photos uploaded, total sales generated and referral traffic resulting in sales.

Copyright © 2007 Julia Dudnik Stern. 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


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