Low cost microstock images that damage your company

Published on Wed Apr 14, 2010 by

Rather than commissioning new photographs, many businesses go down the route of sourcing images from various stock libraries online. In the past these agencies provided a way to let photographers make some extra income from previous shoots, while allowing businesses a more affordable way of getting high-quality photography. Then along came micro-stock.

Microstock works on the ‘pile them high, sell them cheap’ model and opened up the playing field to all sorts of different photographers around the world from amateurs to full-time pros. On average their fees to buyers were 20 times less than traditional agencies like Alamy and the returns to the photographers similarly small - many pay just 20 cents for a photo!. This means a lot of people are drastically underselling themselves and in turn many photographers who rely on taking and selling images for a living are going out of business.

Boo-hoo for the poor photographers, I hear you cry.

However the royalty-free (buy them once, use them many times) model of microstock can drastically effect the businesses that go for the cheap option, when it comes to using images on websites and marketing materials. New technology enables people to identify photographs and where they appear very easily – this blog show how TinEye works and easily demonstrates where using microstock could be bad for you.

Microstock - why would a reputable company do this to themselves

Obviously if you don't want to damage your business, need a professional photographer or some exclusive Liverpool stock photography please get in touch.

UPDATE - September 2010 - Microstock: how to avoid Poisonous Pictures

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Tags: stock, business, commercial, microstock

Author: David J Colbran
Liverpool photographer David J Colbran features in a digital festival with his pandemic art work and project.

Presentation at Digifest 2021 Festival, Durban, South Africa

A couple of weeks ago I was honoured to be asked to present and exhibit some of my artworks at the “Unmasked” Digifest and annual research conference 2021, based in Durban, South Africa

David has been shooting construction photography for over 15 years producing images for clients across the UK. He is always happy to chat about your photography requirements.

Construction Photographer Liverpool

A lot of my recent commissions have been as a construction photographer in Merseyside and beyond. I've worked for both development companies and directly for manufacturers as their products are being installed on site.

Positive Vibration is a reggae festival situated in Liverpool's Baltic Triangle - music photography by David J Colbran

Positive Vibration reggae festival in Liverpool

Positive Vibration is an award-winning reggae festival here in Liverpool and I was covering it for my agency ArenaPAL

"I have employed David for conferences, presentations, social engagements, marketing materials, open days, portrait shots, official document signings amongst many others. David has always been amenable to our sometimes short notice and has delivered our photos in a quick time frame as agreed and sometimes much quicker depending on our needs. He has always been very helpful, he follows and delivers on the brief and is able to give additional value to jobs with minimal briefs. I am more than happy to recommend David and he will no doubt deliver the same quality he provides us."

 

Michael Humphreys

Development Officer at Liverpool John Moores University

Liverpool photographer - image example for a University client

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