iStockphoto plans to offer editorial images in February yet. iStock decided to join Shutterstock, Fotolia and Dreamstime who already sell editorial images for years. Got fresh editorials? With iStock joining the microstock editorials club you have more options to sell them.
I was lucky enough to meet many wonderful microstock people at CEPIC event in Dublin last summer. Vita Valka, the CEO of Pixmac is one of them.
Pixmac is a newcomer, operated from Prague, Czech Republic since mid-2008. I like these guys because their understanding of the microstock market differs from the traditional “it’s all mine!” policy of the top microstock agencies.
It’s not a secret that the microstock industry has no problem with supply. Oversupply creates tough competition between agencies and between the photographers, and many microstocks do not care too much about their contributors.
No, they do not state that. They simply do it. They reduce photographers’ commissions (iStock Q4-2010, Fotolia Q1-2011), terminates contributors affiliates programs with no notice (Fotolia), and keep changing the rules of the game ‘on the go’, trying to increase company’ profits by reducing their payouts to the artists.
Pixmac’ approach to the microstock fairness is quite different, and I am happy to let Vita and his team to speak by themselves:
– Pixmac Press Release –
Microstock Maturity by Pixmac
Prague, 3rd January 2011
Howdy folks everywhere. A very happy and prosperous 2011 to all our Photographer Contributors and to other friends around the globe.
As we know, it all started a decade ago. A great passion for photography blended with understanding the everyday designer’s needs. It was iStock’s team that launched the best photographer community ever.
Way back in the early days, the opportunity was quickly spotted by other agencies, resulting in a true revolution in the stock photo business. Unfortunately due to changes in technology and market forces the role of the photographer changed somewhat from being the master of microstock to almost it’s ‘slave’, as many of you will remember.
Pixmac is bringing in fair rules
Some of you may notice that we at Pixmac endeavor to respond and explain. We are flexible. We change our minds. We listen and we fix what needs to be fixed. We’ve learned a lot from our competition and you guys and gals contributing to the agencies are a true inspiration to our team!
In the microstock marketplace there are some old customs that we’re going to change at Pixmac. One of those is exclusivity. Exclusivity is something like DRM in music. It doesn’t work long term. The world has changed. So starting today Pixmac removes exclusivity restrictions for its contributors.
Contributors should be partners
There are many things that microstock contributors don’t like. Obviously they don’t like low revenue split. Inspired by Robert Kneschke, Pixmac has decided to guarantee 30% revenue and at least $0.25 (it was $0.10) per sale – FOREVER. And after the first $200 made on revenue it’s raised to 40%. We’re also raising the Extended License pricing from the flat $30 to $40-$120. Starting today, we guarantee a minimum commission – forever.
Pixmac has been open to listening to you since day one. And we hope you’ll be asking us questions first before going to forums. We’re here for you and if we make a mistake (which we are sure we will do – we are people like you), so please let us know because we’re usually quick in fixing it.
Vita Valka, CEO of Pixmac says: “We’re trying to become a true Open Company . And it’s not always easy. But if you have a fair vision and if you know what your Contributors need there’s always a way how to work it out. The problem of a few Agencies is that they just don’t care. We genuinely care about the photographers as well as about our buyers alike.”
Declaration of Fair Stock Photo Agency
We thought it would be nice to have a list of things that an Agency would respect and Contributors would like. We’ve thought about a few points (below), but we’re quite open to discussion about what’s missing or what’s not an issue.
1. An Agency should state proper attribution (Contributor’s name/nickname) next to the images on it’s site and should require the attribution on its resellers’ sites. The Agency should sell the images (even resized) with embedded attribution. The Agency should embed attribution metadata into large thumbnails.
2. An Agency should state the name of each reseller and let Contributors opt-in or out for each of the resellers and from subscription offering on the Agency’s or a resellers’ site where appropriate. The Agency should display the reseller’s name per each sale.
3. An Agency should notify Contributors about commission changes. In that case the Contributor should be able to withdraw his/her images and stop selling through that Agency. In an ideal case the Contributor should be able to withdraw part or the entire portfolio anytime.
“Thanks to David Mail, Lee Torrens & Roberto Marinello to help us with defining what should be mentioned in such a document. Thank you Robert Kneschke for inspiring us. We’d really like to hear and read any ideas you might have. The ‘Declaration’ is a first step to an even better microstock market.”, says Vita Valka.
Sales define contributors’ satisfaction
We love to focus on buyers. It’s the best way to satisfy Contributors and partners like Dreamstime. We’ve decided to try to be the smartest guys and gals in marketing. We design banners while sleeping. We live with AdWords 24 hours a day. We write down ideas when we’re at the bowling alley. We love the job at Pixmac as much as you love being photographers!
We’ve grown already. Pixmac sells thousands of images a month. Pixmac is localized into several languages. And Pixmac is already inspiring others.
“Pixmac is one of the few agencies doing SEO right.” – Yuri Arcurs, speech at CEPIC 2010
“I LOVE your one-stop-shopping idea! It has always been a missing element of microstock agencies.” – Lee Torrens, microstockdiaries.com
“I am impressed by the determination of Pixmac to treat photographers fairly. They have just set the bar to a new level.” – Tyler Olson, microstockgroup.com
“I like the Pixmac team’s open approach, the responsiveness, the attention to the Contributor side perspective, the focus on marketing our products – for example, have you seen how many contests they have been running in the last months?” – Roberto Marinello, mystockphoto.org
“Pixmac’s agreement changes capture each of the best things from other microstock agencies into a great deal for contributors.” – Bob Davies, picniche.com
“Pixmac is a living proof that a newcomer can compete and succeed on a modern crowded highly competitive microstock market. Differentiation is the key. And Pixmac got it right.” – David Mail, prostockmaster.com
See? Yes we are a relative newcomer. But we have been doing things differently since beginning and it is working. Check out the Alexa (link below) or Compete (link below) for ranking of www.pixmac.com and read some forum threads where we were active. Even our blog would tell you a lot about our philosophy. We love companies like Zappos & Apple and we know that we’re in the same boat with each of you. We’re partners. United we stand.
If you don’t know the story of Pixmac yet, please check out these two resources:
We believe no other microstock Agency is as successful as Pixmac since those old fellas launched in 2005 or earlier. As you can see on Microstock Diaries (link below) at least 10 microstock Agencies have closed in the last two years.
We see ourselves as a sort of ‘Food Court’ in the microstock arena, providing a rich smorgasbord of choices. A place where buyers can go to find all kinds of top brands and names, as well as the creative work of smaller players. Fun, fast, diverse, efficient, and easy to use.
We wish the best of luck to all the other competitors that we love such as YayMicro and BigStock with their focus on easy use. Photocase and StockFresh have a great passion for photography. Shutterstock with their highly respected business model. And Dreamstime with their focus on photographer community. Guys, please motivate and inspire us! The good old days when the user base grew instantly are gone. Pixmac has a challenging 2011 ahead – there is no doubt in that.
Let’s sum it all up
To summarize the long list of changes and improvements at Pixmac, this is a shortlist of the positives arising:
1. Commissions at least 30% / $0.25 forever
2. Raised prices based on downloads. Raised prices of EL.
3. Removed exclusivity lock-in
4. Declaration of Fair Stock Agency
Vita Valka, the CEO of Pixmac and a former designer, knows exactly what the buyer needs. He also identifies wholeheartedly with the company’s Contributing Photographers. Without your creative input there’s no microstock! No Pixmac!
Pixmac’s dream team, situated in Prague, Czech Republic, is a flexible group of experienced professionals always willing to help you. Pixmac managers are active in 15+ countries around the world including the Americas, Europe, Asia & Africa. And there’s always a tasty cup of coffee or tea ready and a cookie at the office for any Contributor who is in our neighbourhood. If you come to Prague, please let us know!
Feel free to contact Pixmac on twitter.com/pixmac or Facebook. Or via any of the standard methods such as email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +420 296 566 268.
New free microstock submission service LightBurner keeps adding new functionality. The latest update includes more new stuff in the Analytics sections of the subscribers account.
In this post I will review the first group of LightBurner’ Analytics tools, discussing how they cgoan help you to sell more photos via microstock photography sites.
Disclaimer: all numbers, stats and graphs in this posts are used for illustrative purposes only. They may or may not be based on the real statistical data.
LightBurner Analytics: The SEO Group
This group of graphs shows the current status of customer’s LightBurner portfolio from the SEO perspective. Microstock is a part of the Internet domain and online stock photography agencies play the Internet game following the common SEO rules. If you want your images to sell well you also have to know these rule and to follow them. For a large and quality online portfolio SEO-compliance is probably one of the most important success factors, particularly on the highly competitive microstock market.
Microstock agencies use image metadata in searches, and embed it into dynamically created web pages when showing images, categories, authors portfolios and similar.
Most online stock photography agencies will use a stock image title as the title of the dynamic page, created for that image. See “Beautiful blonde woman” text in the browser’ title bar on the top of the image above? This is the image title taken by iStock system from this image’ IPTC/XMP metadata on upload, and saved in iStock database. Now this title is displayed each time a page for “Beautiful blonde woman” is viewed. The title is also repeated on the web page itself, describing the image to the buyers and to the search engines.
Search engines pay special attention to pages titles because this is what they display in search results as hyperlinks.
Keywords are probably less visual on this iStock page, but definitely not for the search engines. Keywords come at least twice on a stock image page at major microstocks: once as HTML metadata, and the second time as visible hyperlinks helping to perform a search by that keyword. Here are the keywords for this page embedded into HTML metadata:
<!DOCTYPE html><html><head><title>Beautiful blonde woman | Royalty Free Stock Photo Image | iStockphoto.com</title><meta charset="utf-8"> <meta name="language" content="EN" > <meta name="title" content="Beautiful blonde woman | Royalty Free Stock Photo Image" > <meta name="description" content="Royalty Free Stock Photo, Beautiful blonde woman, copyright gruizza, iStockphoto LP" > <meta name="keywords" content="Beauty, Beautiful, Blond Hair, Blue Eyes, Carefree, Caucasian, Close-up, Copy Space, Color Image, Cute, Looking At Camera, Human Face, Female, Human Finger, Ring, Earring, Teenage Girls, Women, Human Hand, Human Head, Horizontal, Head And Shoulders, Make-up, Candid, Nature, Mouth Open, People, Photography, Purity, Sensuality, Naked, Sex Symbol, Studio Shot, One Woman Only, Young Adult, One Person, Expressing Positivity, Young Women, Only Young Women, Front View, Touching, dark background, stock images, royalty free images, stock photography, stock photos, inexpensive, istockphoto" ><!--[if lt IE 9]><script src="/static/1293128469/js/html5.js"></script><![endif]--><link href="/istock_news_rss.php" rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="iStockphoto.com - Latest News" > <link href="/feeds/newest/" rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="iStockphoto.com - Latest Images" > <link href="/istock_forums_rss.php" rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="iStockphoto.com - Latest Forum Threads" >
I would not say that iStockphoto does a great SEO here since very similar keywords like “Young Women, Only Young Women” will be typically considered as duplicates and the list of keywords in this HTML meta tag is way too long. Anyway, it’s good enough to illustrate my point.
Keywords you select play an important role in SEO, used at least once, and typically twice on each stock photo page. Keywords help search engines to index microstock content with proper tags, and help microstock buyers to easily search by clicking a keyword link.
And here LightBurner comes to help. New SEO analytical tools available with any free LightBurner account help microstock contributors to properly index their stock photos with metadata before submission, optimized for the search engines and for the online use.
Let’s review a few samples.
The graph above shows that this LightBurner portfolio got 586 titles shorter than 30 characters. It is a a serious warning, since we typically will try to keep our titles reasonable long and keywords-intensive. The graph suggest to target the ‘long titles’ group, which has no image in this specific portfolio at the moment.
In fact, the above iStock image of blond woman is a good example of a bad title
Here is why – the title has only 3 words, and the total length is 22 characters only. Even knowing that iStock’ cannibals always eat up about 60-70 title characters by adding most searched general terms like “stock photo” and “royalty free”, we still can easily have our own 50-chars title, getting much more sympathies from the search engines.
Do that. Try 50+ characters length titles. I am sure you will see the difference in your stock photos sales quite soon.
And here is another graph, showing how many images carry keywords in their titles.
And here we are getting the red flag again!
Less than half of the portfolio has a keyword in the stock photos title.
We specify the keywords because it’s a good way to describe the stock image. Furthermore, buyers search by the keywords. If no keywords are used in the title it simply means that that title is non-descriptive and it should be replaced.
Non-descriptive titles are really bad for SEO. With no keywords in the title images will not be found in the search engines. An image by another microstock photographer, who reasonably used keywords in the images titles will be preferred by the search engines.
Yet another graph below shows the distribution of the stock photos portfolio by the keywords groups depending on the number of keywords.
It looks like the images in the reviewed portfolio are heavily ‘over-keyworded’. Indeed, 35-50 keywords are typically enough to describe an image for any microstock agency. We need even less than that for the proper SEO. 35-50 keywords per image will typically give the best performance for our stock images portfolio.
In the next post I will review other microstock portfolio analytical tools coming with you free LightBuner account.
Get a free LightBurner account now, check out how your portfolio looks to the search engines. Maximize the portfolio’ visibility and sales.
I am glad to invite you to try LightBurner Beta, our new free microstock content distribution and analytical service.
LightBurner customers can submit images to the following pre-integrated microstock photography agencies:
Also you can define unlimited Custom FTP Channels, delivering your images wherever you want to, for instance your blog’ FTP server or your backup FTP site.
I plan to have at least 20-25 pre-integrated microstocks supported in December yet. Your suggestions for more destination are warmly welcome.
The famous keywords suggestions + translations, first introduced in ProStockMaster in 2006 (wow, 4 years ago – who can believe it), is now a part of LightBurner too.
Other interesting features include built-in search in your portfolio, Similar Media area, cataloging by Lightboxes, Folders and Categories, notes on images and sales balance for each channel. Of course, LightBurner reads IPTC for any uploaded JPEG, so you get your files with all the metadata – searchable and cataloged, at your fingertips.
The service is still far from being completed, however I believe that existing functions work quite well and have a great value to any microstock contributor. More agencies and more features will come in the next weeks. Without getting into the details, you can expect nice surprises in your LightBurner account.
How to get started
- register for a free account. In a few moments you will get a Welcome email with your credentials, including SFTP access.
- upload your files by SFTP (FileZilla will do)
- login and go to My Account -> My Portfolio -> Channels/Edit and select your sales channels / agencies
- select what files go where. Multiple options available, including “Assign” X files to Y channels, “Edit” of multiple files or simple drag-n-drop a file to a channel
Actually, that’s it. The distribution is automatic, so you do not have to do a thing.
Your files statuses are updated accordingly: red square (undistributed) is replaced by yellow (partially distributed) and then by green (fully distributed). You will have to hit Refresh from time to time to see these statuses changes.
A few notes:
- All the original uploaded files are removed after 3 days
- Shutterstock delivery is over FTP, stats / balance can not be displayed due to submitters accounts blocking with a captcha
- At the moment LightBurner supports JPEGs only, no other formats and no model releases
- Later on ProStockMaster will work directly with your LightBurner account, thus saving you traffic, costs and time by uploading media just once
- The last but not the least: bugs happen. Please be patient, and report them! Contact: support(at)pixamba.com, david(at)pixamba.com or via LightBurner’ online form
Swiss right wing party Schweizerische Volkspartei (SVP) misused images licensed from iStockphoto in their poster.
Microstock models are displayed here as criminals. Here is the original article on a Swiss web site “20 minutes online” (in German)
Here is what Stock licensing agreement says on that:
…For greater certainty, the following are “Prohibited Uses” and you may not:
7. use or display any Content that features a model or person in a manner (a) that would lead a reasonable person to think that such person uses or personally endorses any business, product, service, cause, association or other endeavour; or (b) except where accompanied by a statement that indicates that the Content is being used for illustrative purposes only and any person depicted in the Content is a model, that depicts such person in a potentially sensitive subject matter, including, but not limited to mental and physical health issues, social issues, sexual or implied sexual activity or preferences, substance abuse, crime, physical or mental abuse or ailments, or any other subject matter that would be reasonably likely to be offensive or unflattering to any person reflected in the Content, unless the Content itself clearly and undisputedly reflects the model or person in such potentially sensitive subject matter in which case the Content may be used or displayed in a manner that portrays the model or person in the same context and to the same degree depicted in the Content itself;
I always thought that only spam Internet robots can write such a long message in one sentence with no periods. Well, may be Tolstoy could too. So the well-paid iStock lawyers are in a good company.
Never mind, here is the relevant part of that:
accompanied by a statement that indicates that the Content is being used for illustrative purposes only
That’s all that the iStock laweyrs found to protect iStockphoto, their artists and models for such an abuse of their work!
With all due respect iStock licensing agreement is mumbling when it goes to deal with such a case.
To compare, look how clearly Fotolia agreement deals with that:
(n) use the Work in a way that places any person in the photo in a bad light or depicts them in a way that they may find offensive – this includes, but is not limited to:
(1) the use of Images in pornography;
(2) tobacco ads;
(3) ads for adult entertainment clubs or similar venues, or for escort, dating or similar services;
(4) political endorsements;
Fotolia says all the right words in the right places and their licensing agreement looks understandable, clear, and protective for the microstock artists and their models.
According to CEPIC, “Sven Ole Schubert, iStock spokesman, announced intentions to approach the organizers after having finished examinations“.
iStockphoto keeps mumbling!
Do they actually have a choice? Can iStock proceed and sue SVP because they did not mention that the microstock models are not related to the SVP’ political campaign?
I wish they could, but iStock Licensing Agreement makes me feel so uncertain on that.
And even if iStock will go to the court this time, still -
When SVP or yet another political movement will do exactly the same next time, now putting a small notice under the abused image, would it be OK for you, iStock?
I am not good in promoting anything, so let me put it simple:
Today is Black Friday and my trusted Texas-based hosting provider Hostgator is getting absolutely nuts. Well, at least for 14 more hours or so. Here is what Hostgator’ email says:
We’re offering 50% OFF EVERYTHING From 12:00AM CST – 5AM CST
We’re offering 80% OFF EVERYTHING From 5AM – 9AM CST WHILE SUPPLIES LAST (first come, first receive; so definitely don’t miss out!)
From 9AM – 11:59PM CST OR after 80% OFF accounts have sold out, we will continue to offer 50% OFF EVERYTHING
This applies to ALL Accounts and ALL Term Lengths.
- Shared Hosting – $4.95/month AS LOW AS $0.99/month
- Reseller Hosting – $24.95/month AS LOW AS $4.99/month
- VPS Hosting – $19.95/month AS LOW AS $3.99 First Month
- Dedicated Servers – $174/month AS LOW AS $34.80 First Month
I am with Hostgator for something like 3 years now and I must say that they are the absolutely best hosting I ever had.
Otherwise I would not write this post.
They got a fantastic customers service with 24×7 online chat. All my emails are answered within 2-3 hours max. Linux hosting with CPanel gives everything you need to run your own sites using intuitive visual tools. Never had any downtime with them (well, at least I am not aware about any). Shared hosting is probably the best (and the cheapest) thing to start with, you can always upgrade if you need better than that.
Well, if you feel like you want to give these guys a try here is my Hostgator’ affiliate link:
First, the statement: I am not pretending to play a role of an expert in Social Networks marketing. I am far of being there. In fact, I was always quite afraid of getting public in any means all my life. Only the need to get some free traffic to our new software services pushed me to the world of Social Networks a couple of years ago. Well, I found it’s a fun, I learned a lot, and I am quite a fast learner.
First thing I learned was that 95% of guys who call them “Social Networking Guru / New Media Expert” know very little of what they claim is their primary domain of knowledge. Other guys who do not call them “Social Marketing Guru” know much more, but do not try to make their living of that. So next time you meet yet another “Social Media Engineer” get prepared.
With the time I got my own understanding of what works and what does not work on social landscape.
I am not going to tell you in this post what social networks you should get and how to get there. Let’s assume you already got this prior knowledge of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other top social marketing tools. If not, Google for that – there are tons of info describing the basics.
Let me show you first what you should NOT do with any network.
Do not put it on “auto-pilot”, even if you can.
There are so many services around Twitter(mostly) and some other tools that offer you “1,000 real followers a day”, and even for free… DO NOT DO THAT. It’s all wrong. If you do that your Twitter account will look similar to this one:
This Texas guy promised to give us his cameras reviews, photography tips and other handful photography information. And what we got? Endless BBQ set ads without a bit of a useful info on photography.
Obviously the auto-quotes, commercial offers and shameless advertising will turn off the quality followers. Personally I unfollow anyone who starts spam me with auto-quoting once an hour. Why is that? Because I do not have time to read this crap on Twitter and I want to free the space and time for some quality tweets by people who do care about their followers/readers and therefore they carefully select their subjects & their info.
Caring about your followers is the key of success on any social network.
Now, do you see that the guy in the above screen shot follows about 9,000 people and is followed by a similar amount of people? Are they all real people who actually read his tweets?
Of course not.
Why I am so sure?
Well, here is a small hint – he got just 1 tweet… And quite sure that it was not the “E=MC^2″ discovery.
Going social you are looking for the readers. Twitter calls them followers. This should be your main target. This way you can influence others, be heard and probably promote your product, portfolio or your personal brand online.
But go gently.
No tweets + auto-pilot with ‘auto-approve’ for the new followers gets you nowhere. You end up with a zombie Twitter account which is connected to other auto-zombies.
Robots can not read. Human can. Target human.
New release 1.9.4/1.9.3 fixes an annoying issue when in some cases the thumbnails of stock photos were not displayed.
This issue appeared on Windows only, when the browsed folder
a) had non-latin letters in it’s name
b) was located on a non-default drive (i.e. not on C:)
The new version is available for immediate download. Any existing application should offer auto-upgrading to the new release.
Shannon Fagan, a well known digital artist and a stock photography guru is now a part of ASMP initiative.
I believe that ASMP is very lucky having Mr. Fagan on board. A gifted artist, a technology enthusiast and a new media adept, Shannon brings to ASMP his experise in stock photography and online media worlds. I am very happy to both ASMP and Shannon. It’s a good match and we all will definitely benefit of it.
Official press release
ASMP Announces Fagan to Lead Stock Imaging Initiatives
The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) has announced that Shannon Fagan, former President of the Stock Artists Alliance, has been named Chair of their newly established Stock Imaging License Committee and will lead several stock imaging initiatives for ASMP. Fagan will contribute his considerable expertise as an industry analyst, strategic photo business expert and highly-regarded photographer to moderating a new stock photo listserv community that ASMP has launched. He will also be a regular contributing writer to ASMP’s Strictly Business Blog as well as a speaker at the upcoming Strictly Business 3 conferences in early 2011.
ASMP President Richard Kelly of Richard Kelly Photography in Pittsburgh said, “We are pleased that Shannon is now part of the ASMP community of professionals and we look forward to his leadership on this important issue.” Fagan added, “There have been significant evolutions in the past 5 to 6 years in stock photography. It is my hope that exploring and sharing new business models related to the sale and licensing of stock photography will be helpful to ASMP’s members as they navigate through the industry changes.” An award-winning top stock shooter, Fagan has in-depth knowledge of the stock photography industry, both from personal experience, and from his role helping other photographers develop their businesses.
ASMP is the leader in promoting photographers’ rights, providing education in better business practices, producing business publications for photographers, and helping to connect purchasers with professional photographers. ASMP, founded in 1944, has nearly 7,000 members and 39 chapters across the country and its members include many of the world’s foremost photographers.
To join ASMP’s new stock photography listserv, go to http://www.asmp.org/stock
Selling stock images? Got your own web site where you sell your photos or prints and want customers to easily find your images?
Want to sell more and faster? Great!
So here is your choice:
Get free ProStockMaster software (Mac & Win), which will find you the relevant keywords, offers on-the-fly keywords translation, and inserts the keywords directly into your JPEG files, all this free of charge. Add here free distribution of stock imagery to 9 microstock and stock photography agencies.
Buy a $249 piece of software which do the keywording only.
The choice is yours. I bet that the majority of microstocks will decline your uploads if you use A2Z keywording software due to the annoying number of redundant keywords this software generates for each image. A2Z offers a special $199 price if you buy it in 2010, so please hurry.
Official press release
A2Z Keywording Launches Keyword Perfect™ 2.0 Image Tagging Studio to Ensure Photography Professionals Are Never at a Loss for Words
In Keyword Perfect, Independent Photographers Now Have an Efficient, Intuitive Tool that Generates Dozens of Accurate, Searchable Tags; Casts the Widest Possible Sales Net for Stock Houses and Image Buyers
Tivoli, NY (PRWEB) October 18, 2010
A2Z Keywording, specialists in the practice of professional image keywording, today announced the launch of Keyword Perfect™ 2.0, a highly efficient sales tool that enables photographers, stock photo agencies, archivists and other imaging professionals to tag their photo libraries using a comprehensive dictionary of searchable keywords, ensuring that their images are as accessible as possible to potential buyers. First developed as the in-house engine around A2Z Keywording’s successful keywording service, Keyword Perfect is now available to pro photographers as a means to quickly input relevant tags and, with a minimum of keystrokes, generate dozens of associated keywords that make their work more likely to be identified by stock agencies and other image buyers.
Attendees of the PhotoPlus Expo (Oct. 28-30, 2010, New York) are invited to visit the A2K Keywording booth (#177) to view demonstrations of Keyword Perfect and obtain trial versions of the software.
With an easily mastered user interface running on top of a powerful platform that includes A2Z Keywording’s proprietary keyword dictionary and thesaurus, Keyword Perfect imports digital images into its workspace and displays them in a convenient filmstrip pane. Users can then keyword each image by selecting any number of pre-defined and/or user-generated tags, representing not only the image’s physical contents, but also its less tangible elements such as time of day, photo style, concept, emotion and activity. The keyword engine then reads each assigned tag and adds a number of logically associated keywords, eliminating significant input time while ensuring that the images are thoroughly and accurately identifiable to discerning image buyers.
“After all the time, effort, and emotion that goes into creating great images, properly editing them and preparing them for the market, photographers still need to ensure that their images will be seen by potential buyers, regardless of how broad or specific a search those buyers might conduct,” said Alexander Zane, president of A2Z Keywording. “The only way to ensure maximum success is to tag each image comprehensively, but no photographer wants to spend precious hours manually keywording or fumbling with a dictionary and thesaurus. With Keyword Perfect, we took the system we used to produce accurate keyword matrices for as many as 200,000 images per year and made it available to everyone. We’re confident that the results will be a true revelation to both veteran photographers and those new to image tagging.”
As more photographers make their work available to image buyers and additional content floods the marketplace, it is absolutely vital to properly keyword images to ensure they are searchable by the most appropriate audience. To increase the accuracy of Keyword Perfect, A2Z Keywording developed a powerful set of automated checks that guide users through a structured review of their work to catch oversights or inconsistencies. This feature, comprising more than 300 individual checks, helps avoid the human errors that are common in manual keywording. And since Keyword Perfect manages keywords in a central dictionary and reviews all work in a structured process, it delivers an unsurpassed level of consistency.
“A2Z Keywording has long provided a critical service to stock houses like ours by keywording large batches of images quickly and accurately, and I admit that I’ve been somewhat envious of their capabilities in the past,” said Monika Mosch, managing director of the stock agency goZOOMA. “With Keyword Perfect, anyone who relies on high keyword quality can achieve professional results in less than half the time it would take to input manually. The software is powerful, yet easy to work with; clearly A2Z Keywording has honed this product to meet the specific requirements of both photographers and image consumers who search through large volumes of stock images.”
Pricing, Availability and System Requirements
Starting today, Keyword Perfect is available for purchase at http://www.keywordperfect.com (http://www.keywordperfect.com) at a list price of $249.00. A special introductory launch price of $199.00 is available through Dec. 31, 2010 and a free trial version is available.
– PC Requirements: Windows XP, Windows Vista recommends utilizing a quad-core processor. Minimum 2 GB RAM, recommended 3 GB.
–Apple Requirements: Intel Macintosh 2.5 GHz dual core CPU with 2GB minimum RAM (4GB is recommended) running Mac OS 10.5.x (Leopard).
–Minimum 15-inch monitor.
About A2Z Keywording
A2Z Keywording are specialists in the practice of professional image keywording, having created keywording databases for stock photography agencies and publishing companies for more than a decade. With the release of Keyword Perfect 2.0 in 2010, A2Z Keywording has expanded its presence in the stock photo industry by offering individual users the same comprehensive and efficient keywording engine that has driven its business for more than 15 years.
Using a proven methodology, A2Z Keywording’s service and technology transcribe virtually every detail of a given image – not just its personal subject and object, but the unique emotions, concepts and photographic styles that give the image its character and make it stand out in a crowded marketplace. Companies who have worked with A2Z Keywording include Meredith Publishing; Reader’s Digest; Images.com; Direct Stock; Hemera Inc.; American Showcase; Solus Images; Corbis; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Chelsea House Publishers.
For more information, visit http://www.a2zkeywording.com (http://www.a2zkeywording.com) and http://www.keywordperfect.com (http://www.keywordperfect.com).
Matter Communications for A2Z Keywording