About Picture Stock and What We Do
Picture Stock Worldwide is a picture collection and distribution agency. We are not a stock agency nor do we sell the images we collect ourselves, instead, the images we receive from photographers from around the world are distributed to 53 sales affiliates (stock agencies) around the world, placed on the market and sold to buyers.
Each photographer will be assigned to one of our technicians where he or she will scan, color correct, crop, catalog, categorize, ID, watermark and place each image onto CD's before being distributed to our network of affiliates for worldwide sales.
Since we can make more money for you, than you can make yourself selling your own images, it would be a wise investment on your part to have Picture Stock as your selling agent. By having Picture Stock handle your images and take care of all your picture organizing, marketing and finances for your images, you can concentrate on what you do best, which is create great new pictures. Let the pros (our agencies) do the selling for you. You will not be disappointed with our world-class service.
When images arrive at each agency, they are edited to suit their clientele, cataloged, filed and placed on the market where the selling begins. Your personal photographer ID number is attached to each one of your images. Your images will remain on the market for a period of three years. Those images that repeatedly sell will remain on the market until sales have exhausted.
Stock photos are required and used in newspapers, magazines, brochures, web sites, postcards, calendars, billboards, television, product packages, marketing, advertising, transit shelters and other media sources.
Our agencies distribute picture CD's and picture catalogs to a very specific and targeted list of companies throughout the year that purchase stock photography on a regular basis and aggressively try to sell the images they carry. Twice a year most of our agencies mail out 100,000 plus catalogs and CD's to buyers of stock photography. They will advertise and promote your images through catalogs, CD's, web sites and other media sources ensuring that your images receive the greatest amount of exposure possible.
Prices for stock photos are based on many factors such as type of media, press run or circulation, image reproduction size and placement, duration of use and the number of countries image is used in. Each agency has their own pricing structure and rates however, the average stock photo sells from $300 to approximately $2,500 or more per use.
What Is Stock Photography?
Stock photography refers to shooting images or photo illustrations on speculation and then submitting these images to a stock agency. The copyright owner or an authorized agent defines a stock photograph as one that already exists and is available for licensing.
Some photographers place their work with one or more stock agencies or a picture distribution agency such as Picture Stock while other photographers and/or freelancers may decide to market their own collection of stock photographs themselves, which is a lot more difficult, less profitable and very time consuming.
Marketing and Selling Your Images
Photographers trying to market and sell their own pictures themselves directly to buyers will usually receive about 20-30% of what their images are worth while a stock agency or a picture distribution company like Picture Stock can sell the same image for 4-6 times that amount easily. Even though you will earn 50% (which is the industry standard) when we sell your images through our affiliates, you will always earn more through an agency than trying to sell the same image yourself with no work, effort or time spent on your part.
We ask photographers to do what they do best, which is take great photos and let our affiliates do the selling, which is what they do best.
What Makes A Good Stock Photo?
A good stock photo is one that evokes emotion, tells a story and can stand by itself without a detailed caption. Your set ups and compositions must be excellent but flexible enough to be incorporated into someone else's artistic work. The best stock images tell many stories rather than just one.
Many photos that appear in consumer magazines to illustrate articles are of average quality and sometimes downright boring, however, these photos fit an editor's needs at deadline time and end up being used. Beginning photographers have an equal chance competing against established big name photographers of seeing their own work in print if it fits an editor's or buyer's needs.
A few tips: If you are not shooting people as your main subject but people are in your pictures, avoid shooting faces that are identifiable, as you will most likely require a model release.
Always try to avoid logos or company names in your pictures. When shooting vehicles, license plates or car identities should not be recognizable.
Try to shoot pictures that can be used in multiple ways and/or formats. Before taking a picture, try to think of a slogan or catchy phrase that could be used to promote a product and/or service for a company. Advertising agencies are always looking for that perfect image to promote a pro
Shoot with the best possible film for the event and use the correct ASA or use a digital camera with at least 3.0 mega pixels or higher. The higher the mega pixels, the more often your pictures will be sold and used in larger formats netting you more revenue per picture. Your images should always be sharp, well centered and correctly exposed. duct and/or service for a client. This is where the big money is.
Obtaining property releases can sometimes be a real challenge. Try to avoid shooting private properties that will become difficult to obtain a signed property release.
Browse through picture galleries from several stock agencies on the Internet to view thousands of images currently on the market for ideas and styles. You can learn a lot just by viewing images currently on the market.
Getting Started As a Stock Photographer
Equipment for starting out in stock photography is minimal. A good working digital camera or a 35mm SLR camera with a wide-angle, zoom lenses and a flash unit is enough to get started depending on the subjects you prefer to shoot.
In order to start selling your work, you should establish a niche in the market. Your passion for photography will show when you target subjects you enjoy shooting unless you enjoy shooting all subjects. them into digital images which is what most buyers of stock photography are looking for today. Editors today prefer using digital images.
Consumer magazines require photos for covers and to illustrate articles. Specialization is the key and you will have a better chance of getting published if you cultivate a certain shooting style and search out subjects that appeal to you artistically and personally.
Shoot what you know or would like to know and narrow your focus. If you like to photograph horses, study photos that appear in horse type magazines and/or publications.
Browse through different issues of magazines and look at the pictures being used in the ads as well as the pictures used to support stories to get ideas of what editors are looking for and using in their publications. Study the stock photos used on billboards and transit ads for more ideas.
Tip: Shoot vertical as well as horizontal of the same subject to increase the odds of an editor choosing your photo for a specific magazine layout.
Working With Stock Agencies Yourself
It is very difficult for most photographers to be represented by any stock agency on their own or to convince stock agencies to look at their work, let alone accept it. If you ever tried calling a stock agency, you probably got the run around or were ignored altogether. We hear stories like this everyday. Most portfolios are rejected outright, if they do make it through the door.
Stock agencies only deal with a small number of professional photographers leaving out both professional and serious amateur photographers who may have some excellent images but who may not be able to meet their large picture submission requirements. Photographers may not be able to produce enough new images for them on a regular basis, which most agencies insist on before taking on a new photographer.
For most photographers, it is impossible to break into this lucrative market. Most agencies require several hundred to up to 2,500 new images per submission and require their photographers to continue submitting outstanding new images on a monthly basis. All images must also be in transparency format or shot with digital cameras with at least 8.0 mega pixels. The chances of having a stock agency represent you are very, very slim if at all. This can be very discouraging to say the least. We have solved that problem and will help you break into this industry like we have done for thousands of other photographers. We will help you get your images into the hands of stock agencies that would otherwise not even talk to you.
Using Picture Stock to Sell Your Images
At the risk of sounding sensational, we must admit that our services and what we do here could very well be the best kept secret to ever become available to photographers around the world. Your prayers have finally been answered!
We know there are tens of thousands of great pictures out there that will never see the light of day, until now!
By having Picture Stock collect small quantities of great pictures from several photographers, we can submit hundreds of images to each of our affiliates on your behalf everyday. This way, all your great pictures could be considered and viewed by clients and sold through our network of 53 stock agencies earning you 50% in royalties when your images are sold.
We accept pictures from both professional and serious amateur photographers in any format including digital images, prints (up to 8x12 in size), 35mm slides, negatives and all format size transparencies. Our minimum requirement is only 25 images per submission and we ask that you submit at least 25 images per year in order to keep your account open.
Pictures are enhanced by technicians before being distributed to our sales offices
You will be assigned a Photographer Identification Number with your first image submission. With this distinct number, we can easily track and maintain all your pictures for worldwide sales and royalty check payments. A photo editor will edit your images before passing your images on to one of our technicians who will then scan all your images into our state-of-the-art computer system. The technician will then color correct, crop, catalog, categorize, ID, and watermark each image before transferring the images onto CD's which are then distributed to our 53 affiliates.
Our agency has helped thousands of photographers sell their pictures that would otherwise be sitting in boxes or portfolios collecting dust. We have been praised for our services and for helping so many photographers finally see their work published. Clients purchase thousands of stock pictures everyday. Pictures that you may already have could very well be worth hundreds and in some cases, thousands of dollars to you every month in royalties. You will always receive 50% of the price your pictures are sold for.
When a client is interested in one of your images, we will send you a 'Picture Release Form' by e-mail with all the details pertaining to that picture including the client who will be purchasing your picture, where your picture will be used and the price. If you agree with all the terms, you simply reply to the e-mail with 'Agree.' This allows us to release your picture to the client. You will know exactly where all your pictures are being used. On the 10th of the following month, we will send you a royalty check and a detailed statement for all your sold images the previous month.
You will also be advised of the publications and cover dates your pictures will appear in so that you can obtain copies for yourself. These tear sheets end up being a photographer's most valuable asset at job interviews for 'Photographer Positions' or when registering for 'Photo Assignments' at Picture Stock or other establishments.
Our company logo is watermarked on each image to prevent any theft or unlawful use of your images. We electronically remove this watermark when a client has paid in full for the image or we ask the photographer to FTP (upload) a high resolution image to us at that time.
Many photographers have already quit their existing 9-5 jobs and are doing what they have always wanted to, which is taking pictures every day and earning a living doing what they have a passion for. We encourage you join them and us today!
Picture Subjects We Are Looking For
The following list includes picture subject categories we distribute to our affiliates which are always in high and equal demand. If you have pictures that fall into any of these categories, we would be more than pleased to represent you. We will distribute your images to our 53 picture affiliates for worldwide sales. If you have other picture subjects not listed here, we encourage you to submit them as well.
Flowers, Plants & Insects
Scenic & Landscapes
News & Weather
Business, Industry & Technology
Artistic & Still Life
Animals & Marine Life
Sports & Leisure
Image Formats We Accept
We accept prints, slides/transparencies, negatives or digital images in color or black & white. Dupes are accepted.
Digital Images: You can submit your digital images on a CD, DVD or diskette(s). All digital images must be in PC format. We will accept MAC format, however, they must be JPEG's only. The resolution of each image should be 300 DPI and 1MB per image in file size.
We only require low resolution digital images for viewing purposes. We will contact you for a high resolution image when a client is interested in purchasing one of your digital images. You will be able to FTP (upload) the high resolution image to us at that time. Do not submit any digital images with your own watermark, name or copyright logo on them.
We prefer you save your images in the following common file types: JPG (JPEG), BMP (Windows Bitmap), FPX (Flashpix), PNG (Portable Network Graphics) or TIFF (Tagged Image File Format).
We will also accept your digital images in the following file formats: BIN, CAM, CPT, GIF, KDC, PBM, PCD, PCX, PDD, PGM, PPM, PSD & TGA.
Notes: We do not accept images via e-mail since we do not open any e-mails with any attachments. All images must be sent to us by mail. (No exceptions).
Print sizes: Any print size up to 8x12 including panoramic images. Do not send mounted prints, albums, binders, plastic boxes or portfolio cases.
Slides: 35mm slides must be mounted and inserted into protective plastic slide sheets (20 to a page). All images must be right side up and faced the correct way.
Negatives: 35mm. Cut 4-6 frames per strip.
Transparencies: Any size format mounted or un-mounted in protective plastic sleeves or sheets.
Please ensure your images are clean and free from dirt and dust. Do not submit prints that have any crop marks or grease marks on them. Our technicians will crop your images if required once they are scanned in.
Each photographer who submits images to Picture Stock must be the full copyright holder and owner of all his/her work unless the actual photographer has conveyed the copyright to you in a written and signed agreement. You will always retain the full copyright to all your images while they are on the worldwide market. By sending us your images, you are simply granting our affiliates permission to sell your images on your behalf.
You are free to sell or license the same images you submit to us to whomever you like or to have other stock agencies keep your material in their files during the same time period.
According to the US Copyright Office, you do not have to apply for Copyright protection to ensure that your work is protected: 'Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created and a work is 'created' when it is fixed in a copy for the first time.'
'Copyrights can be valuable intangible assets. The Copyright Act of 1976 made clear that photographers are the copyright owners of their images except when those images were made as an employee or when the photographer has conveyed the copyright to another party in a written and signed agreement.'
Copyright protection arises automatically when an original work of authorship is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. In the case of photographers, this means when you click the shutter. Registration with the Copyright office is optional (but you need to register before you file an infringement suit).
The use of a copyright notice is optional for works distributed after March 1, 1989. A copyright notice can be in any of these forms:
- Â© followed by a date and name.
- 'Copyright' followed by a date and name.
- 'Copr.' followed by a date and name.
Note: Although the Berne Convention no longer requires that a copyright notice appears on a slide or photograph, we recommend that you stamp your images with a copyright notice or you can purchase Picture Stock ID copyright labels from us to protect your work against unauthorized use of your pictures.
When Is A Model Release Required?
Whenever an image of a recognizable person is to be used to advertise, sell or promote a product or service, a written release is required. Even editorially you may need a written release, specifically if the photo is used out of context. Obtaining a signed model release will only help us license your pictures.
Important Business Details about Releases
The photographer accepts all liability for any model release issue that may arise from a recognizable individual in the image. Please do not submit images which you do not have a current 'Model Release' for in your files. Otherwise, those images can only be used for 'Editorial Purposes Only' and not for advertising or marketing purposes. Picture Stock will take the necessary steps to prevent the unauthorized use of any images that do not have model releases, however, Picture Stock and our affiliates are not liable for any misuse of the images that may result from the use of the images. Photographers should be fully aware that although all images have a watermark, digital images can be transferred and manipulated and any liability related to the digital theft of an image is removed from Picture Stock and our affiliates.
You do not need releases for large crowds however the danger of a claim grows as the size of the crowd diminishes.
Public personalities are fair game editorially, assuming there is no libel involved. Advertising use is a whole other matter since the possibility of 'endorsement' by the personality comes into play.
Also, like any contract, model releases do not prevent models from suing; it should prevent them from winning provided you were honest at the outset. If you are shooting for stock, don't give your model(s) a line about this being 'an assignment for a well known publication and the release is just a formality.' That's misrepresentation and can get you into trouble.
If you are unable to provide us with a signed model release for any of your images with identifiable people, we will still accept those images however we would edit them and decide if they should be used for 'Editorial Purposes Only.'
Do not send any model releases with your images. When a client is interested in one of your pictures, we will ask for the model release if necessary when we e-mail you the 'Picture Release Form' at that time.
Any standard model release form is acceptable. You can download three different release forms (model, property & minor) free of charge from our web site by clicking on 'Site Map.'
How We Handle Your Material
We will handle your material with the greatest amount of care. Our employees wear white gloves when they handle your images or when your material is scanned into our computer system by our technicians.
All images are returned in strong cardboard boxes, bubble envelopes or cardboard mailers to prevent any damage in transit. You can trust us to ensure that your material will be returned to you in the same condition as we received it. Your images will be returned back to you by regular air mail or by FedExÂ® if you pay the extra shipping charges or, you can use your own FedExÂ® account number and pay for the charges at your end. Just include your FedExÂ® account number when you submit your images to us if you prefer.
We will make every effort to ensure the safe return of your images, however, Picture Stock and its employees waive all responsibility for any damage that may occur to your images.
Photographer acknowledges and accepts that Picture Stock does not maintain insurance for any loss, damage or deterioration of its photographer's images from any cause including fire, theft, water and accident.
Photographer recognizes that Picture Stock recommends delivering images by a traceable shipping service such as FedExÂ®. Photographer should maintain personal insurance coverage for their images from the time it leaves Picture Stock until it is returned back. We recommend photographers submit digital images, copies of their prints or dupes of their slides and/or transparencies to avoid any problems, should images be lost or damaged.
Please Read Before Submitting Your Images
Picture Stock will use reasonable efforts to return material sent to Picture Stock. Please allow approximately 2-4 weeks of receipt to have your images returned. Picture Stock urges all photographers to maintain backup versions of all material sent to Picture Stock to guard against losses of any kind. Picture Stock is not responsible for any loss of slides, photographs, film, data and/or digital images or files.
In no event shall Picture Stock, its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents co-brand partners, licensors or employees have any liability for any loss, expense, damage or cost whether based on breach or contract, tort (including negligence) or any other legal theory resulting from misplacement, loss, damage, destruction or any other adverse consequence to slides, photographs, film, data and/or digital images, files or other materials that you submit to Picture Stock.
Preparing a Submission and Editing Your Images
Your images must be clear and sharp in order for them to appear in print unless you have images that were shot with a blur effect which sometimes make great stock photos. Do not submit any washed-out (too light), dense (too dark), out of focus or poorly composed images. It is important that you edit your own work before submitting your images to us. This will save you some money. You can ask a friend or family member what they think of your submission before submitting your images to us.
All your images will be distributed to our agencies. Sorry but we cannot critique your work.
Although we will scan and distribute all your images to our affiliates, each agency will edit all images once they are received to suit their clientele. All images not selected by our agencies will be deleted.
Our affiliates do not report which images are selected for their files and which are deleted, due to the large volume of images that are being handled every day.
How to Package and Ship Your Images
A cardboard mailer, bubble envelope or a small box is the safest way to send your images to us. If using a box, use one large enough to allow adequate cushioning material on all sides of the contents. Use enough cushioning material to ensure that the contents won't move easily when you shake the box. Close it securely and use quality-sealing tape. Do not use masking tape, cellophane tape or string.
If the box had already been used, remove old labels, bar codes or other shipment markings from the box. Never exceed the maximum gross weight for the box, which is usually printed on the bottom flap.
When submitting slides, use clear plastic slide pages that hold up to 20 - 35mm transparencies. This will protect your images from obtaining scratches while in transit as well as being passed around our offices. Always sandwich the slide sheets or photographic prints between two pieces of cardboard for extra padding and protection.
If you are sending your material by courier, clearly print our address as well as your own on the courier waybill. If the post office or courier is unable to read your writing, they will be unable to deliver the package.
If you are sending your images by regular mail or by courier, send your package to:
Picture Stock Worldwide Inc
2 Toronto Street, Suite 210
Toronto, ON M5C 2B5
Receiving Royalties for Your Images
Photographers submitting their images to Picture Stock will receive a competitive 50% in royalties on all images licensed. All royalty payments are in US funds and sent out by regular air mail on the 10th of each month or the next business day should it land on a weekend or holiday for the previous month's picture sales.
All images are licensed as a one-time use only, which means if the same image is licensed multiple times to the same buyer, you will earn royalties each and every time the image is used.
Royalty checks are attached to a detailed computerized sales report statement that clearly explains all the information pertaining to the sale of your images.
Tax forms are not issued since you are not an employee of Picture Stock. You will be responsible for your own accounting and taxes when they are filed. Picture Stock does not report any income to anyone at any time.
Image Submission Fees
It costs .50c per digital image or .75c per image if we must scan in your prints, slides, negatives or transparencies. The fees we charge per image are to help offset some of our up front costs involved in preparing, scanning, color correcting, cropping, cataloging and distributing your images to our 53 affiliates as well as ensuring that photographers are more selective when submitting images, since we only require your best work and prefer quality over quantity.
You must include the return shipping charges to have your images returned. Current prices can be found on the 'Image Submission & Order Form.' If you submit digital images and you would like us to discard your CD/DVD once we are done with it, we will do so saving you on the return shipping fees. We must return all non-digital images.
Once your third image is sold, we will waive off all submission fees
Some of your images may be printed in catalogs and CD's, which are mailed out by our affiliates to 100,000 plus buyers of stock photography twice a year, by most agencies.
While many stock agencies charge a monthly fee to have your images posted on their web sites, we do not charge anything.
Our .50Â¢/.75c per image fee is only a fraction of what it actually costs to bring your images in front of stock photography buyers. We make all our money when your images are sold. Since we will actually be putting money up front on your behalf to place and distribute your images on the worldwide market, it is important that you submit your best images only.
We accept personal checks, business checks, money orders, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and PayPal. All payments must be in US funds and made payable to Picture Stock.
How To Get Started Now With Your Free Kit
|How To Get Started Now With Your Free Kit
|Download your free 'Photographers Registration & Welcome Kit' in PDF by clicking here.
|Order by mail
You can send a check, money order or bank draft drawn on a US bank for $25 US (shipping included anywhere worldwide) payable to Picture Stock along with your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address to:
Picture Stock Worldwide Inc
c/o Registration Kit
2 Toronto Street, Suite 210
Toronto, ON M5C 2B5