Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sell Your Photos Online: Free Image Directory Spins Off Low-Cost Professional Image Catalog

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A new online stock image library service offers for the first time great options for both small business buyers and to would-be pro-photographers wanting to sell their best digital photographs online.

Photo credit: Ronen

While traditional stock image libraries have a tradition of being very corporate, top-down, targeted at advertising agencies and big companies, the new outfit I am presenting today springs from a truly grassroots initiative, The StockXchange, and leverages the opening opportunity for small publishers and independent photographers to start having their own, quality, non-corporate visual marketplace.

That doesn't mean that the images made available are hippy-fazed, out of focus, psychedelic abstract shots. Quite the opposite. At the new StockXpert site, you can find quality royalty-free images that look as good or better than the ones that you can get at more popular image libraries online, at a very accessible cost ($1-4 each) while getting them from an exploding army of new independent photographers.

If you are one, you need to go check out The StockXpert.

StockXpert is as I said the son of the fantastic Stock Exchange, the grassroots image site I use every day to find quality images for the very articles you see on MasterNewMedia.

On the StockXpert site it is possible to do full image searches as well as browsing pre-set categories which are available through a drop-down menu. The list of categories includes also "concepts", making it very easy for non expert image editors and business presenters to find with ease appropriate images that well represent certain concepts (one of the most difficult tasks of all for any visual communicator).


Categories can also be more easily browsed by accessing the Browse button on the left site of the StockXpert page and accessing a collapsible open list of all categories. Definitely much easier than having to go up and own in a drop-down menu.


StockXpert is also supported by a great set of User Forums where people can submit questions, share tips, ask technical questions and network with other people having similar needs.

The Forums show how different StockXpert is from traditional online stock image libraries where this kind of thing is a white elephant.


As you browse and find images that you may need for your project you can easily set them aside inside as a custom lightbox, which appears at the bottom of each page. You can have as many lightboxes as you need, and each one can contain all of the images you have selected for a certain project. Very effective and simple to use.

For each image found via browsing or via a direct image search, StockXpert not only shows the image at a good display size to be evaluated but it also provides both full image information details as well as related keywords, thumbnails of other mages in the same set, and an easy way to search for more.

On each image preview page you can also write short comments and rate any image on a scale of 1 to 10.

The interface design is indeed very effective, easy-to-use, discrete and effective. Superkudos to StockXpert information and interface designers for the excellent work they did on this one. I wish I had such talented information architects working with me!

On StockXpert, each author/photographer is referenced under related photos and by clicking the name one can access his/her profile and contact information. Messages can also be sent directly to any photographer to provide feedback to selected images or even to request custom work.

As a matter of fact StockXpert has already thought about this opportunity and it has created a facility called "Have it your way" which allows anyone in need of a custom image to specify the characteristics of the custom job needed while individual photographers can open bid against each other to fulfil the request.


1) The customer creates a project describing the desired photo, available budget and deadline.

2) Photographers bid for the project with their work until the deadline.

3) The customer selects the best photo and purchases it.

Stockxpert also supports RSS, allowing you to subscribe to a full image feed.

For would-be independent photographers that would want to give a try to this new opportunity for their hard to market talent, I think StockXpert is a super bet.

If you have good stock photos and if you spend enough time providing quality description information, keywords and intelligible titles to your digital images, StockXpert could well provide the marketing reach and exposure you really needed. Just give it time.

What is also good for you as a photographer is that StockXpert keeps 50% of each transaction payed for one of your photos and gives the other 50% back to you. You get to see all of the pictures you sell and the balance of your account in real-time too.

Individual images uploaded by registered photographers are reviewed by humans and approved one by one for quality. This may take from one to a few days.

To physically upload the images to the StockXpert archives both a web-based form is available as well as a direct FTP bulk uploader.

The only additional feature I would be very happy to see on both StockXchange and StockXpert is a personal history, allowing me anytime to view any image I have clicked through, by date, keywords or theme and the extension of RSS to allow to subscribe to individual image categories and even to specific search queries.

Kudos to the team behind these two great companies, showing to the web at large what it means to do intelligent, smart business online while understanding in full the power of the roots.

Well done!

Readers' Comments    
2005-12-11 00:08:05


That's something to be grateful about!Pictures anytime you like.

2005-12-11 00:00:20

Sally Jenkins

It means worry no more. Keep coming!

2005-12-10 23:49:21


That's nice to know. Purchasing professionally and digitally made pictures can be as easy as 123!

2005-12-10 23:42:07


That's nice to know. Purchasing professionally and digitally made pictures can be as easy as 123!

posted by Robin Good on Saturday, December 10 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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