In Part 2 we mentioned a “younger, more economical starlet” that arrived to challenge RF. That starlet was microstock, and by charging less than a dollar per photo, she did indeed steal part of the show from RF.
To meet the growing market demand for good, low-cost images, age fotostock developed easyFotostock, a Low Budget Royalty Free (LBRF) collection . Let’s see what clients think about LBRF…
Why clients ♥ LBRF…
LBRF images are primarily created for the advertising/design industry, so they generally communicate clear concepts and clean compositions/backgrounds that can be easily used by a designer.
The price is right. Starting at 10 Euros for a 500 KB image and peaking at 80 Euros for 50MB, it’s much cheaper than standard RF.
Low priced images allow designers/agencies to create more economical budgets for clients that they might otherwise lose, like non-profits, etc.
It’s a good option for clients who use a high quantity of images.
LBRF images are licensed images, which means that the agency assumes its due responsibility if they have sold a problematic image, so there is no need to give special guarantees on the images.
Clients only pay for what they buy, they don’t have to prepay for credits or a subscription plan. This gives them freedom to shop where they want.
Why clients don’t ♥ LBRF…
A client can’t purchase exclusivity of an image and doesn’t know whether the same image has been or will be used by a competitor.
There is also a greater chance of a client seeing the same image used repeatedly for different uses.
There is an even cheaper option (although with limitations) which is microstock or subscription plans.
In some cases, images shot with “prosumer” cameras aren’t available for large format uses or have other quality limitations.
Often, LBRF has many generic takes on the same concept, and there is little variety of specialized subjects available.
What photographers should know about LBRF
Photographers that hope to turn a good profit from LBRF images must especially focus on quantity. The quantity of sales is usually proportional to the quantity of images available.
Sales of 10 Euros (easyFoto) add up a lot faster than sales of 14 cents (microstock).
Photographers that are accustomed to producing RM and RF imagery will have to lower their production costs for LBRF in order to recover the investment since the images sell at lower prices.
Textures and white backgrounds, a designer’s playthings, have found full expression in microstock and LBRF.
Extremely specialized images of nature, science, medicine, etc. will probably not reach their full sales potential in LBRF.
Many amateurs, eager to participate in the latest crowd-sourcing movement, become involved in stock photography before they understand the legal implications involved in licensing images.
Just like in RF, there is a normal expectation from clients that LBRF images are completely released and free of third party rights. You should never send images of recognizable people to LBRF if you don’t have signed releases and you should also be extremely careful with other subjects that are not free of third party rights, such as artwork.
Just like in RF, in the case of a legal dispute, it is much more difficult for your agency to withdraw LBRF images from the market, and be able to track exactly how they were used. This puts you a greater risk if a legal problem develops.
Any legal complications which arise can be multiplied in LBRF where an image might easily be used multiple times.
Here are some examples of the “designer’s playthings” that can be found in our LBRF collection easyFotostock. And if you are wondering about the difference between LBRF and microstock, don’t worry, that’s coming soon…