Who wants birthday cake? This week Warmpicture turned seven moths old!
Time sure flies when you are having fun. It was late April of this year that we sounded the horn, calling the world’s best stock photographers to join an important movement in our industry. It’s hard to believe how excited we were to get those first several contributors on board, and upload those first few thousand photos.
Fast forward to present day, and we now have brand new contributors like Katrina Brown, Edie Layland, Leslie Banks, Sharpshot, Jane Rix and Ron Sumners calling Warmpicture their home. The image database grows by leaps and bounds every week.
I know it sounds wonky, but I cannot tell you how many times my jaw drops when new images roll in. The talent of these photographers is without bounds. These really are my favorite photographers. I am proud to partner with them, and proud to call them friends.
The State of the Stock Photography Industry
In 2010 through the middle of 2011, the state of the stock photos industry was at an all-time low for buyers and artists alike. The leading stock agency dropped commissions for its photographers to an industry-low 15% to 20%. When photographers complained that keeping 80% to 85% of the profit was ridiculously greedy, the agency deleted or locked their forum posts to keep them quiet.
The leading European stock photo agency not only cut photographer commissions to new lows, but also “moved the goal posts” on them. For years they promised when photographers reached a certain number of downloads, they would be rewarded with higher commissions. When a number of photographers approached the download criteria, the stock agency raised the criteria to levels they would probably never approach.
At the same time, stock agencies were raising prices on buyers while trying to keep quiet the truth about the commissions they were paying to their artists. How much profit did they really need?
The power of the internet to move information is immense. It was inevitable the truth would eventually get out about the treatment of artists. You know what the say about karma?
It was also inevitable that artists would take matters into their own hands, and remove the power from the stock agencies. The Warmpicture stock photos model allows artists to come together and sell their images direct to the public. The artists are paid a fair commission of 50%, and can make up to 63% on subscription downloads.
Profit is not wasted on multiple layers of management and company overhead. Because we keep our costs low, we can keep prices low for designers and bloggers.
Growth of Services
Warmpicture continues to provide on demand stock photo downloads to its customers. The ability to download a photo without being required to buy an entire package of credits, has proven to be very popular.
This week we added a new way for designers and bloggers to purchase stock images in bulk at significant savings. We introduced the industry’s first no limit stock photo subscription plan. The new subscription model is transparent, and allows bloggers and designers to download as many images per day as they want, up to their monthly download limit.
This is a significant change because it greatly increases the chances that subscription buyers will “get their money’s worth.” A common practice by stock photo agencies is to promise a huge amount of downloads per month, but put unnecessary restrictions on daily downloads.
The only way for buyers to download their promised photo quota is to download the exact maximum daily amount, every day of the month. Rumors from industry insiders suggest that buyers use as little as 15% or less of their monthly quota, raising the price per photo to nearly $3 despite advertising the price per photo as $0.16 to $0.33.
With no daily download limits, Warmpicture allows bloggers and designers to download photos at a more reasonable pace. They have all month to reach their download quotas. If they skip a day of downloading, they don’t lose those downloads. Whenever a design project or article calls for a few photos, they can download them at their leisure.
We are truly moved by the way the design community has rallied around the Warmpicture model. We find that people appreciate our transparency, and feel good about supporting their fellow artists.
Warmpicture outreach efforts include social connections through Facebook. At Twitter you can connect with me directly, and connect with Jami Garrison who leads our Twitter community.
The Warmpicture Blog has also proved to be a successful way for us to build community. We recognize designers and bloggers as fellow artists, and see them as our partners. Our blog builds a knowledge base for writing effective articles, creating winning designs, taking great photographs, and managing search engine optimization.
As we grow our community in the future, we will introduce new ways for the design and blogging community to partner with Warmpicture.
From all the artists at Warmpicture, we thank you for your support in our first seven months. We cannot wait to see what the future brings!