Photographers are finally well compensated for their hard work. Stockbo, a just-launched stock photography agency, is shaking up the industry by promising fair treatment and compensation to photographers.
Eugene, Kevin, Hung and Ranjeev are four close friends that have known each other for more than 6 years. The four were always looking for ways to collaborate on a project together, initially thinking of opening a trendy cafe in Perth. The group instead discovered an opportunity to become involved in the global stock photography industry.
Having already used stock photography platforms it was apparent that they were overly complex and required an excessive time to find the right image. The four also became aware of the diminishing commissions paid to stock photographers, and as a vision, they wanted to bring back equality to the stock photography industry and ensure that photographers were being rewarded fairly for their efforts. And it was from here that Stockbo was born, with a clear mission to provide exceptional, usable stock images delivered via a simple platform, with a focus on a strong partnership with photographers worldwide.
The primary goal is to ensure fair photographer treatment, with photographers treated as business partners and earning at least 50% of each sale. Contributing photographers are also welcomed with transparency and personal interaction.
What is fair? Most other agencies pay contributing photographers much less, from around 15%. Some agencies even place photographers on a tier based earnings system that increases their commission rate based on sales to a set maximum. Then there’s the high volume image deals a lot of agencies make with buyers that sees photographers getting a very small amount for their images.
“When we started developing Stockbo there was a lot of outcry amongst the photographic community. They were not happy being treated the way they were, and decreasing commission rates meant that many could not afford to sustain stock photography as a full time career. That’s why with Stockbo we set it up from the start to be a partnership based arrangement with the commission share being 50-50. the photographer provides the images, we sell them. A fair 50-50 partnership in which one can’t exist without the other.”
“When we approached photographers initially they were adamant to not have a tiered reward scheme and naturally wanted an even share. We even re-worked our terms and conditions with feedback from our photographers to ensure they were well looked after and that their 50% share was secure.”
“When we decided to start Stockbo and tackle this huge industry, the objective at the forefront of our minds was supporting our photographers. We have seen them as partners from the start and wouldn’t have it any other way. Photographers have even had a strong hand in the direction of the business and we have incorporated a lot of their feedback along the way” says founder Ranjeev Sidhu.
Photographer Michal Bednarek says “Stockbo brings in the soul factor to photography marketplaces. I chose Stockbo for the ease of use and great perspectives. But above all because they treat their contributors like good colleagues in a friendly office, and not like remote suppliers. I will support and will be supported by Stockbo.”
The other core focus is to maintain a high standard of quality. Stockbo provides a curated image collection, meaning that each image goes through a rigorous screening process.
“The feedback we gathered from image buyers is that existing platforms make it time consuming and challenging to find photos that stand out and truly captures what they want” Ranjeev says. “That’s where we are directing our focus. We don’t want to be just another agency that churns out millions of images.”
“We have a two-phase review process: firstly, to approve photographers to ensure our style and quality standards match; secondly, each contribution is reviewed carefully for the following key attributes: Inspiration, Beauty, Quality, Usefulness; and Legal implications.”
“It may be a long process, but this ensures that people go ‘wow’ every time they visit the site.” Said Mark.
Marketer Brendan Collins from Bang Online Marketing agrees: “Stockbo has been a blessing for us, finding the right photo for clients is easy and the team is always there to support”.
Stockbo’s founders are excited about the future:
“We’ve had some fantastic feedback and interest, and it’s always great to put Perth in the spotlight. We’re excited to be spearheading the drive back to quality and fairness in the industry”.
For more information visit http://www.stockbo.com