As some of you may know, I spent a good part of my career shooting commercial lifestyle stock images for stock agencies (or whatever they like to call themselves now) such as Picture Arts, JupiterImages, and Corbis. With the advent of the microstock agencies that basically started the race to see who could charge the least for licensing images, the whole stock photo world basically imploded 8 years ago. This also coincided with the dreadful global economic banking crisis and at that point I decided to change career paths and get into the travel game.
Now, years later, the new kid on the stock image licensing block has a new take on how photographers can actually make money by licensing images. Say hello to ImageBrief.
All the answers you need…
In order to get a better idea of how any pro or talented amateur photographers can work with ImageBrief, I took some time to interview ImageBrief co-founder and CEO Simon Moss. It’s always good to go to the top when you want solid answers to important questions. Check out the full interview below.
I’m still new on ImageBrief but I certainly plan on taking advantage of their multiple ways of working with photographers. Something tells me that they are not through innovating in the stock image licensing game and I’m very curious to see what they come up with next.
Show off and get found… by people that matter
Getting set up with ImageBrief is quite easy. The first thing I did was set up my portfolio. Not only can you license images at ImageBrief but you can also have clients find you for custom work. Nice touch!
Stay up-to-date… Get briefed!
Next step is choosing the categories that apply to you. No need getting briefs about styles of photography that you’re not into.
Once that is done, you’ll start getting briefs on a daily basis.
All about you…
Next, set up your bio, what you shoot, who you’ve worked for, and where you work the most.
Ready, set, go!
As a bonus, I’ve also subscribed to an ImageBrief Premium Account which allows photographers to earn 100% of the earnings in the Marketplace, get a priority listing in the “Find a Pro” section, get unlimited image submissions, be put in touch with actual clients looking to hire photographers, and more.
Take a look at all the different membership options that Image brief offers here.
Interested in joining ImageBrief? Don’t wait… Join Now!
Interview with ImageBrief CEO Simon Moss
What is your background in photography and business?
SM: My wife and I had been running a photography agency for nine years and we realized there should be a platform that incorporated a direct way to request images using natural language, much like the email requests we received from our clients. We figured that it would be nice for buyers and photographers to connect directly using a platform like ImageBrief but it wasn’t available, so we built it.
How long has ImageBrief been in existence?
SM: We launched in Australia in 2012 and moved to NYC to build a team and head office in 2013.
How does ImageBrief differ from a traditional stock photo agency?
SM: The big stock libraries and intermediaries are designed to keep buyers and photographers apart with static libraries searchable by keywords. ImageBrief moves beyond stored images that may not produce what the buyer has in mind. ImageBrief incorporates the entire workflow of searching, briefing and hiring photographers.
With briefing, image buyers initiate the process by posting a brief with a detailed description of what they are looking for visually as well as usages, budget limits and timeframe. Photographers are notified of relevant briefs via email and then hand-pick and upload images that meet that request. Premium photographers are able to promote themselves to shoot the job and their details are passed directly to the buyer where they can initiate direct contact and negotiation.
Photographers retain 100% control over the usage and pricing of their images and the initial transparency between photographer and image buyer streamlines the process into a simple conversation.
There is no cost or obligation for a buyer unless they award the brief and complete the transaction, and photographers keep up to 100% of the image budget.
Can anyone join ImageBrief?
SM: Yes, anyone can join for a free account. Photographers are assessed based on the accuracy of their submissions and quality of their work. This then unlocks additional benefits such as increased upload limits and exposure to buyers as they contribute to the community.
Does ImageBrief also work as a traditional stock photography agency?
SM: Yes we have a marketplace of amazing image content that is available for immediate purchase.
Does ImageBrief work with Rights managed licenses, royalty free licenses, or both?
Will ImageBrief ever use the micro stock licensing model?
SM: We give our photographers complete control over pricing and licensing and have a floor of $250. Lots of companies are competing in the microstock space – Shutterstock, iStock, Adobe etc. It’s not a segment we plan to join.
How do you feel about creative commons licensing?
SM: It depends on the content. I think that for sites like Flickr it’s great.
If I already work with another stock photography Agency, am I still allowed to submit to ImageBrief?
SM: Yes, we don’t restrict our photographers by asking for any exclusivity on relationships.
What are the price ranges that images licensed for at ImageBrief?
SM: Average per brief sale is US2,000, and the average image sale is US$700 this month which has been quite consistent for the past couple of years.
Do any of the ImageBrief clients also hire photographers for custom photo shoots?
SM: Yes. We have our ‘Find A Pro’ search engine which allows buyers to find photographers in locations around the world, contact them direct and hire them direct. Photographers also get hired by promoting themselves in briefs, and submitting content to our marketplace. Every image a photographer submits is linked to their personal profile on our site so they can be contacted and hired.
For those photographers who also sell their work as fine art, licensing images for display can be an issue. Is there a way that photographers can stipulate that their images not be used for prints or display?
SM: When a photographer responds to a brief they can choose whether to accept the licensing terms offered by the buyer. If submitting images to a marketplace it’s a little more difficult because lots of buyers can be searching and buying and need images for a bunch of different reasons. Prints and displays are quite popular so if a photographer wants to keep them away from that usage I would recommend only submitting to briefs that excludes those usages.
Who are the typical ImageBrief clients?
SM: Over 9,000 global brands, agencies and publishing companies including DDB, Ogilvy, TBWA, Publicis, Y&R, BBDO, Conde Nast, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Coca-Cola, Expedia, Google and Visa.
Is there any negotiation in pricing of images?
SM: Large clients who needs to buy in bulk may look for volume discounts from photographers as they are used to getting steep discounts from stock libraries but the photographer always has control of the pricing and the final word.
How does ImageBrief deal with model and property releases?
SM: We require confirmation and sight on request of model releases for all commercial campaigns.
What are the most popular types of photography that clients are looking for?
SM: The most popular genres are lifestyle, concepts and health. Clients are looking for authentic ‘in the moment’ shots that do not look candid or posed.
Is there a limit in the amount of images that photographers can upload per brief?
SM: When a photographer joins then can upload one shot to as many briefs as they like. Ie: choose their best. As they submit content every image is reviewed by our content team to make sure that it meets the brief and quality standards. Photographers are then upgraded to 10, 30 and unlimited shots per brief.
Do photographers ever get in touch directly with clients?
SM: We provide a messaging platform for the photographers to communicate with the buyer. Often a buyer will be keen to know if there are similars in a shoot or alternatives that the photographer may not have uploaded.
If photographers Image is selected and used, does he or she get to see proofs, tear sheets, or any other form of the final product?
SM: If they are in the public domain then yes. We do our best to help photographers collect final artwork for their profiles.
What professional organizations and associations is ImageBrief a member of?
SM: We work with almost every major association in the industry in some form or another on various ad-hoc projects, events and educational seminars.
How does ImageBrief pay its photographers?
SM: We pay photographers up to 60 days after the sale. These are the same (and in some case better) terms that we have with the majority of our big agency and brand buyers.
If you have any questions about ImageBrief, please reach out to their awesome teams in Sydney and New York City.