Stealth Stock Photo Producers

Posted on 12/17/2013 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Many microstock image producers keep a very low profile. Recently we came upon a list of the top 100 individuals and companies with the largest portfolios on Shutterstock.

Leading the list is Africa Studio with 366,454 images on Shutterstock. One reader asked “who is Africa Studio?” so I decided to try to find out. It wasn’t easy.

I was able to determine that at least some of the images are credited to Olga Chernetskaya. She sometimes goes by the name Yastremska. On iStock where she has only 13,948 images she uses the name Belchonock. She only has 6,670 images on Dreamstime. On DepositPhotos there are 334,386 images credited to Africa Studio and on Fotolia 362,395.

It is unclear, but I suspect that Olga is only one of many people producing images for Aftica Studio. The organization appears to be located in the Ukraine, not Africa. In fact, if you search for the keyword “Africa” in the Africa Studio collection on Shutterstock there are only 194 images of three situations shot in the studio. They include a cup of coffee, pineapples and an origami elephant. The number of similars of these three situations may be an indication of how Africa Studio has managed to get so many images into the collection. There is nothing of African wildlife, cities, people or scenery.

With some detective work I was able to locate an email address ( and asked if they would tell me a little about their organization. I received a short, friendly email from Leonid Yastremskiy (note the similarity to Yastremska) who said, “I represent Africa Studio.” He added, “We are not interested in publicity, writing interviews, etc., at least at this stage of our development. But I think in the future it will begin to interest us, so then we will contact you.”

Look for more from Africa Studio and this corner of the world.

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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