I always thought stock photography was a bit boring. But then I discovered Zamurović Brothers and changed my mind. They bring playfulness and fun into stock photography, making it creative, artistic, and wonderfully quirky. The brothers kindly shared their work with DIYP, so if you also find stock photos boring: keep reading, and let’s change that opinion!
The “free” image website Unsplash – a site that remains as controversial as it is popular – has released what it describes as “the most complete high-quality open image dataset ever”. The “dataset” in this instance is essentially the keywords and search metadata of a whole bunch of images that can be downloaded in one big lump.
There are two datasets available. The “Full” version contains information for over 2 million images from more than 200,000 photographers around the world and is available for non-commercial use only. It covers over 5 million keywords and 250 million+ searches. The “Lite” dataset is limited to 25,000 nature-themed images and keywords and 1 million searches.
Unsplash has in a short time become a major player in the photo-sharing industry. 174,000 photographers have uploaded images to the site. The platform this month boasts 5,000 views and 27 downloads per second. (PER SECOND!) People download images for blogs, classes, and other purposes, but also for commercial use. There is a big debate in the industry asking if Unsplash is good or bad, but it is not what I want to talk about today. Today I want to talk about the legal risks you face when you upload work to Unsplash. Not as the end-user, but as the photographer.
Photographers use Unsplash for exposure because of the enormous traffic the site generates. A company may hire a photographer for commercial assignments or simply want to license a high-resolution version of an image it found on Unsplash.
I have warned people multiple times to do their research before hiring a wedding photographer. However, it seems that sometimes even that isn’t enough. A UK couple reportedly hired a photographer based on her portfolio only to discover that she had used stock photos in it. Their wedding photos apparently turned out so awful, that they had to restage the wedding for another shoot.
Even though it’s not their primary purpose, stock photography websites can be a source of hilarious images. But the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) made a stock photo gallery with the sole purpose of being funny. The gallery is filled with photos that poke fun at most common stereotypes about Canada, and it’s absolutely hilarious.
Getty Images has announced that after poring over sales data and customer research, they’re ditching the rights-managed licensing options and going over to royalty-free for their “creative” images. Announced over email, the news makes sense from a business standpoint. This will make it a better deal for customers and make Getty more money. But, it’s not necessarily such a great deal for photographers.
Many photographers argue that Unsplash is a disaster for the industry. But it seems that it can also be harmful to those who download and use photos from the website. Photographer, cameraman, and presenter Simon Palmer recently got into legal trouble after using a photo from Unsplash on his blog. Although the photo was from the “source of freely usable images,” Palmer got a copyright infringement notice from Copytrack requesting him to pay a license fee.
While looking at my own images on Shutterstock, I noticed the Shutterstock algorithm was suggesting my photos as “similar” images. I thought it was a bug on the Shutterstock website until I noticed that others had downloaded my photos from other sites then uploaded them to Shutterstock. Shutterstock’s similar photos algorithm then noticed this and suggested the stolen photos along with my photos.
Are you thinking about starting shooting stock photography? There are different opinions whether it’s a good move or not, and the experiences of photographers differ. If you’re still trying to make up your mind, I believe this video from Rachel Lerch will help you. After three years of shooting and selling stock photos, it’s time for a recap: is it really worth it? Listen to Rachel’s experiences and thoughts about both good and bad sides of stock photography.
Canadian photographer and filmmaker Michael Stemm recently sold an image through Shutterstock, earning $1.88. Little did he know that it would end up on Walmart products: 500,000 of them! A friend let him know when she noticed his image at Walmart, and the photographer believes that the company is taking advantage of him.