You’ll have to forgive my silence over the last week.  We took the kids and drove down to our old stomping grounds of Walt Disney World to have a little fun before a hectic summer.  A summer where I’ve got at least four stock photo shoots I am working on for my portfolio over at Stocksy .  So, today, I thought I would list out some reasons why you should head over there an give Stocksy a try for your royalty free stock image needs.

Exclusive Images are Tops

Stocksy is a brand new stock image agency, full of all types of photographers, and every image you’ll find on Stocksy is exclusive to the site.  The only place you will find these image series is on Stocksy.   As a contributor at iStockphoto, I enjoyed the original meaning of exclusivity, where exclusive content was licensed in only one place.  That’s what I’m happy to find again at Stocksy and you’ll enjoy not worrying about whether the image you’re interested in is available for a lower price here or there.

Pricing is Key

Speaking of pricing, at Stocksy, you’ll enjoy a simple pricing system.

Stocksy Image Pricing

Over the years at iStockphoto, the collection was split into numerous tiers: Dollar Bin, Main, Exclusive, P+, E+, Vetta and Agency.  For a while, it seemed like the pricing for these collections changed on a daily basis, much to the consternation of buyers.  And there was no simple way for buyers to determine the pricing of an image without clicking into it.  At one point, I wrote a Greasemonkey script to help buyers see different pricing levels.  They’ve recently announced they are reducing those tiers from seven to four (including a merging of Vetta and Agency, now just being a high priced tier).   No need to worry about navigating even four levels at Stocksy, though.  All content is priced from $10 – $100.  Simple, easy, and an intuitive shopping cart system.  No “credits” to play games with, either.  WYSIWYG.

Less is More

Time is money, and sometimes you don’t want 100,000 images to choose from when you search for “apple”.  Maybe you do better work when searching through a smaller, curated collection for what you want.  While Stocksy is still growing its collection, the goal is never to be a collection with 20 million images.  They are keeping the library small with a certain aesthetic in mind.  Not every image will be accepted just because it is technically perfect.

Recently, iStockphoto announced they were dropping their upload limits, and now, are at the rate of ingesting 500,000 images every month.  Certain communities discussed the reasoning for this was to be able to accept huge amounts of material from “photo factories” that churn out stock photos, but that’s just discussion.

More is More

Back in 2004, we all used tiny monitors to do our work.  Now we are in 2013.  We are using widescreen, 25 inch widescreen monitors.  So, why are you spending time, squinting at tiny 110 pixel thumbnails to find the right image?  Sure, image loupes help when you mouseover individual images, but wouldn’t it be better to be able to take it all in at once?   At Stocksy, you’ll find beautiful thumbnails, up to 325 pixels, to aid you in your quest.  That’s around 250% or so bigger!  These thumbnails have also been processed to have the smallest file size possible, while keeping them sharp and colorful.  The pages load quick, and look great.  Your client will be impressed when they are sitting next to you.

Stocksy Thumbnails

Big?  They’re Huge!

So, does size matter?  Sure it does!  When you’re downloading a comp image to use in a mock-up, you want it as large as possible so your presentation to the boss/client looks the best it can.  At Stocksy, there is no need to resort to a script to sew up numerous zoom images, or to buy a small image as a comp, only to have to request a refund weeks later.  The Stocksy image detail pages present a huge image, that you can use as a comp, and the watermark is specifically processed per image, so as to be visible, but not overly intrusive.  You can read more about these great comp images here: http://blog.stocksy.com/blog/2013/5/8/look-at-those-comps

stock photo: space shuttle

Save more Time

I’ve already discussed saving time by looking through a more tightly edited and curated collection.  Here’s another time-saving tip.  On other sites, if you are looking for a specific ethnicity, age group, sex, or anything related to a model, you have to hope that the contributor has entered that data, like “male”, into the keywording system.  Otherwise, searching on “male” may cause you to miss the right image.  Leave out “male”, and you’ve got females, males, pets, etc. to look through.  Either you’re missing images or wasting time.

At Stocksy, the search filters are connected to the model release system, which contains details about the model(s) in question.  Check out the options in the image below, and you’ll see just how this is going to help you find that right image.  No need for me to go on about this – the benefits are obvious.

Stocksy Search Filters

It’s Sustainable

Lastly, Stocksy is a co-op.  The contributing artists are a part of the company.  The company is built on the premise that contributors are important to the business:

We are an artist owned cooperative that is founded upon the principles of equality, respect and the fair distribution of profits. We built this co-op to pay out all its profits each year in dividends. By design, we built a company to eliminate any threats to our ideals. Created by veterans of iStockphoto and its founder Bruce Livingstone, we provide sustainable careers through profit sharing and co-ownership with our artists. We also pay the highest royalty rates in the industry.

As a buyer/designer, wouldn’t you like to do business with a company like that, instead of one that terminates an artist for, among other “reasons”, trying to inform and look out for fellow contributors?  Heck, you could even use that as a selling point to get clients.  Sometimes you just have to make the choices here and there that make you feel good.  I buy the “cage-free” eggs at the grocery.  They’re $1 more, but at least I feel like I’m doing a little something to better the world.  Wouldn’t you like to be part of a system that is built to be sustainable, and to properly reward it’s contributors, without resorting to behind-the-scenes deals and other questionable schemes?

Why not try it out today?  With this code, first time buyers get $10 off their purchase, which is exactly the price of a small image: FREELOVE (edit: expired as of 2014) .  Or use SJLOCKE20 to get 20% at checkout.  Here’s a link so you can take a look at my portfolio and start shopping – thanks! http://www.stocksy.com/sjlocke

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3 Responses to Seven Reasons To Try Out Stocksy

  1. Debbi says:

    I just found out Yuri has been made exclusive at istock. I’m dumbfounded. He obviously sells images at peopleimages.com
    I’m seriously considerating a big change to a site that treats everyone by the same rules. Not special deals with special people

  2. Tidy Design says:

    Cheers for the link via twitter, looks cool. I will check them out 🙂

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