Who is the Biggest?

Which on-Line Photo Source…

Ever wondered which is the largest stock photo agency in the world?

The answer might surprise you.

Did you know you are a member of the largest stock photo agency in the world? Wise photobuyers have learned to check this “agency” out first – before turning to any other stock photo agency.

When buyers seek a specific-content, hard-to-find image, they know not to turn to Getty, Corbis, et al. These agencies do a great job serving up generic and standard pictures, but for real-life specific action and location images, buyers know to go to this other “agency.”

While the familiar large stock agencies have been laboring to keyword their images for access to Internet searches, they’re woefully behind the precision and extensive nature of the keywording being done by many independent photographers.

Getty, Corbis, et al have not been keeping up. And none of them is the largest stock agency in the world. They represent only a small fraction of the number of stock photos that reside in the files of the Internet’s worldwide database of independent photographers.

The largest stock agency
is comprised of the Internet
+ Search Engines + You.
PHOTO: Brad Whitt

Increasing numbers of photobuyers are finding out they can easily locate the source of the exact photo they need by simply using a search engine such as Google, and typing in several specific words describing the photo they need. *


You’ve no doubt experienced it: “the Google Experience.” You needed to know the name of the village where Michaelangelo was born… or the name of his father. You typed your question into the Google search bar and your answer was available to you in seconds. A text search on the Internet for photos is no different. If you were a photobuyer researching the making of violins in Italy, you would have found that Cremona is famous for its violins. But you need an aerial view. Your search request on Google or Yahoo would read like this: Cremona Italy violin aerial. Presto, the name of a photographer (or photographers) who has this photo comes up. Try it.

How large is this Internet directory of photographs?

You be the judge.
Estimate how many individual photographers now have digitized and labeled their collections and currently make them available to photobuyers via the Internet. If your calculations are similar to mine, you’ll figure there are presently at least 450 million images search-available on the Internet.. Getty, Corbis, and the other agencies can never catch up.

*Do photobuyers use Google Images as a source for images? No, they don’t. The Google Images system directs them only to sub par images, that also often present complicated copyright issues. More and more buyers know instead to use the “text-centric” option of the Google search bar, (such as the PhotoSourceBANK)and type in their photo-need description, to locate quality stock photos that offer ease of transaction.

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As an editorial stock photographer you are going to find much more enjoyment when you are photographing subject matter that you like to take. Learn more about how to sell those pictures at PhotoSource International and the PhotoSourceBANK, Pine Lake Farm, 1910 35th Road, Osceola, WI 54020 USA. Rohn Engh is director of and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. E-mail: info@photosource.com Fax: 1 715 248 3800; www.photosource.com