The online community was almost up in arms a little over half a year ago when the new terms and conditions for Instagram said that pictures taken through the application could be selected by the company and sold to advertisers as stock imagery with no revenue for the uploader. Due to the huge backlash they dropped the change and basically said that they’ll cross that bridge when they get to it, rather than prepare in advance. Because Instagram was even then owned by Facebook, the amount of users they would have lost were significant.
Right now, if anybody wants to use images for their ads or projects, the rule of thumb is that they have to go to a microstock agency and find what it is they need there and purchase it. It’s a business model that has proven itself time and again. We occasionally do it here, the upside is ofcourse that the quality of the files are far better than the free alternatives, and that one doesn’t have to loose significant time in shooting the photos or worry about licensing issues.
There are many microstock websites on the market, and it can be difficult to choose what one to go with. One good example is Stockfresh, they generally take pride in what they do and offer great quality imagery and home some of the worlds best stock photographers/agencies; Monkey Business Images, Wavebreak Media and Irene Kurhan to name a few. The interface of Stockfresh is friendly and uncluttered, making for easy viewing and finding the best image with little to no extra time lost and for you photographers out there, they come ahead of other similar agencies through the commissions they offer to contributors, among the highest in the industry.
As an added bonus, the prices are competitive, if not slightly lower than the rest of the agencies on the market: one can purchase stock photos for as low as $0.20 through the subscription plan. Nevertheless, to make sure that their customers’ needs are met, the founders of the company offer each file in a variety of sizes, with a clear chart what each size is best used for (i.e. blog illustrations/e-cards/posters). Credits are the currency used for downloads and the more purchased, the cheaper they get.
With microstock agencies being all up in your face every time you try searching online for a photo, you need to find the one that best suits your needs. Clean UI, competitive prices and guaranteed quality seem enough for Stockfresh to take spot amongst the top.