Just yesterday, I received a disheartening e-mail. As I mentioned here, I was recently accepted to a second stock photography agency. While it was a relative new venture (as far as stock agencies go), it had great potential and a wonderful community of photographers. Sadly, Photoshelter is gone. It’s really too bad.
I think the best summation of the whole event is on Vincent Laforet’s blog (yes, the same guy who blogged for Newsweek during the Olympics this year).
Frankly, I’m a bit disheartened by this whole turn of events not because of the closure so much, but how it was handled. These agencies work because thousands of photographers take the time to upload, organize and keyword photos. This is not a quick process folks. It takes a great deal of time and research sometimes to get the photos labeled correctly. Especially locations and nature. If they have the wrong keywords, they won’t sell. Not to mention the time it takes to go out and physically visit locations to shoot. That’s a lot of man hours invested in creating an image library for them to advertise and sell to agencies, magazines, newspapers. And sure, Photoshelter took it’s cut of the profit (30% — relatively small compared to most agencies), they did minimal work compared to the photographers.
So a year into this venture, they have thousands, possibly millions of photos. There are thousands of photos waiting for quality control to review them and many more thousands being actively keyworded. Instead of giving the photographers a heads up, a warning, any indication that they weren’t in it for the long haul, they simply send out an e-mail that they are closing shop. And it’s not like they are going to keep the existing photos up and continue to market them for a while in an attempt to make some money for the photographers (and themselves I must add). They’re removing everything on October 10th. One month.
Not to mention that in order to add insult to injury, this New York based company decided to make this announcement on September 11th. Now that’s just really poor taste.
So ya. Thankfully I had just joined and hadn’t spent more than 20 or so hours working on photos for them. The show must go on. I’ll be submitting to Alamy with a renewed focus and keeping my eye out for other venues!