It is 2008.
So I'm this guy, trying to make a buck.
Frankly, hoping to create a retirement income.
Really, more than that. I am in love with images. Emotional, magnificent, charged, soothing, sad, raucous, precious images. It is the resonating frequency of my life. My reason for being.
So, with a deal of passion and a little understanding, I begin to form an idea of selling my images to, well, people who want to USE these images I'm so passionate about.
But I know I can't do it alone. And I think I have a great idea.
This all began when a graphic artist asked me if I had a photo of .. something, it doesn't matter, except she said she really wished that there was a stock agency for Ithaca.
Stock. Ithaca. Stock. Ithaca. IthacaStock!
That was 2008. I thought about all of the thousands of beautiful photos I had on my hard drive and how they haven't sold - probably because nobody ever saw them.
I also had tried to get in with iStock and Shutterstock, and the experience was less than wonderful.
So here is, on the computer, my idea. A collection of regionally linked photographic artists, each with their personal vision and a style unlike anything else.
I give my contributors a place to market their images with no headaches. All they do is upload them. If they sell, great. If not, they still have a gallery of images that they can point their friends and potential clients to.
We have been on line since May 2010. Sales have been flat (like poor) until this past October. All that marketing and networking is beginning to pay off. Web designers have begun to contact me, interior decorators are calling and all because of persistence (with a local flavor), and personal customer service.
So today, we have 70 photographers, almost 5000 images, and clients calling. With continued persistence, it can only get better.
I have always tried to be open handed with our contributors. They get 60% of the proceeds of each digital sale, and 50% of the net from a hard copy sale. We sell a batch of 24 X 36 images on canvas, framed, and you have a fairly respectable paycheck. There is also no exclusivity - you can sell your image to any stock agency if you like. I don't mind.
Anyway, I would appreciate your feedback, and hope you and I can enjoy a long and profitable business relationship.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or click here if you want to join the photographic artists who make up Ithaca Stock Photo. You will be in awesome company!