Thoughts on PhotoShelter Collection

Tonight I was working on adding some photos to my PhotoShelter Collections account (you can view them on my PSC page). The PhotoShelter team has done a great job with their service. As a photographer, the hardest part of dealing with stock is the work load of uploading and working through the needed steps to get your photos submitted into their system.

Some of the more valuable features they have include:

  • The fact that they support IPTC metadata is a huge time saver, thought I am surprised that they don’t use the location fields in their system.
  • The batch update tools also helps you speed through your uploads.
  • Their ‘Sets’ feature allows you to group similar photos (like those take in a burst to capture action) and submit them as a group. You never know which one a photo buyer will want.
  • Stats, Stats, Stats! It’s great to be able to view details info about how many of your photos were not just hits in searches, but looked at in varying levels of detail. This really helps to understand what is working and what is not.

Some of the areas that they could improve the service:

  • A batch upload is needed. Uploading photos one at a time is a royal pain in the ***, but I guess they had to start somewhere.
  • There seems to be some inconsistency in their approval process. I uploaded a number of similar travel photos and some were accepted while others of similar quality were not. Even stranger, was how some ‘creative’ photos were approved, but as ‘news’. They don’t really fit as news; so do I just accept them like this or re-submit them? I guess this is the down side of the human editors…consistency is always a challenge.

There is another stock agency that I belong to which I’m highly considering leaving. The key reason is the cost…they keep 50% of the stock fees (versus PSC 30%) and charge me a quarterly fee! Compared to the much more open environment of PSC, this other agency doesn’t quite stand up. Especially consider PSC is investing serious money in marketing my photos while the other agency…well, I don’t know if they market my images at all! All this, and add the lack of any serious stats from the other agency…and well…

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