Many people use DepositPhotos as their go-to site for stock photos. With such a large library, it hardly takes a mental leap forward to see why. What makes them such a good service? Find out below.
When any stock agency first comes into existence, it has to climb from being an unknown entity to becoming a competitive player relatively quickly. Yet that’s exactly what DepositPhotos did. It appears they followed a well-known formula for microstock agencies in the industry. From the layout of their website to the functionalities they offer, DepositPhotos began competing very quickly.
For a while there, the people behind DepositPhotos decided to stay hidden. Then, slowly – and one by one – we started finding out who the people were behind their success.
DepositPhotos is a microstock photo agency that appears to carry an unoriginal media library run by a website that ripped off from some of the other microstock agencies. However, that’s exactly where their current success is coming from. Instead of coming out and remaking the wheel, they took the best elements from the successful stock photo agencies and incorporated them into their own business strategy. The result is something akin to the Wal-Mart of stock photo agencies online.
DepositPhotos Isn’t Hiding Anymore
DepositPhotos is a relatively young agency. At the end of 2009, they arose amid a controversy in the stock photo industry. At the time, DepositFiles was under fire for some poorly made decisions of their own. DepositPhotos appeared to be related to DepositFiles. As a result, the people behind DepositPhotos stayed hidden in obscurity. They had no social profiles online, and they did not publish any of their names on their website.
DepositPhotos made their online presence even more obscure. All of their emails appears to have come from anonymous sources – service@, support@, marketing@, etc. Until recently, DepositPhotos, and everyone who worked for DepositPhotos, remain hidden – even on LinkedIn. One might think that we can find out these details from Domain Name Registration information, but even that remained hidden. It appeared they did not want anyone to know who they were.
We found out who they were as they slowly revealed themselves.
- Dmitry Sergiev, Founder and CEO
- Marius Klatt, sales manager – London office
- Olga Kravchenko, partner program manager
- Elena Flanagan-Eister, Director of Sales – US office
- Igor Kaliuzhny, Head of European Division
- Vadim Nekhai, marketing manager
- Shawn Rize, SEO specialist
- Jamie Joyce, Marketing & advertising manager
It took us a while to gather all this information. Some we found out from press releases while others were met at the MicroStock Expo. They had a couple of interesting flukes as they were figuring out their social media strategies, such as posting some of their contributors images on Facebook in high resolution without a watermark.
It’s been almost seven years and since they first opened their doors. They’ve come a long way. Although their website lists them as an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau, when you click on the link, it tells you that they’re not accredited by the BBB. They do have a profile with them – which is more than what some others can say. Plus, they’re not afraid to link directly to their Better Business Bureau profile from their home page.
When you click on the link that says they have received a rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 from 688,300 reviews, a feedback form appears on the website. While I’m sure I could leave my own rating, I could not verify the rating claim.
When I clicked on the TRUSTe credential link, I did find out that they were in compliance and do carry a current privacy certification. That means that my information is safe with them.
Under their credentials, they have a link to an online photo magazine called Bird in Flight. When I clicked on the link, I expected to see some editorial review about them. Instead, I was taken to an online magazine that is being published by DepositPhotos. For a breath of fresh air, toward the bottom of their home page, I found not only the names of the editorial board but their photos as well. It appears DepositPhotos is not hiding anymore. For me, any company who is willing to publish the names – and in this case, their photos – of the people behind them, deserves some credit. Too many people hide behind what I call a “corporate wall.” Fortunately, DepositPhotos is not one of them.
How the Service Works
The service works on two levels from two different perspectives. This type of operation is not unique to DepositPhotos – it’s an industry standard. From one perspective, you have the customer experience. These are the people who, like you and me, pay DepositPhotos money for their photos. The other perspective is from the contributor angle. These are the people who take the pictures, add them to the DepositPhotos library and receive a commission when they are sold and downloaded.
From a Customer Perspective
As a customer, you have several options available to you – you may purchase credit packs, become a monthly subscriber or a daily subscriber.
Credit Packs & Subscriptions
There are two ways you can pay to be a customer with DepositPhotos. You can pay for a subscription. Their monthly subscriptions let you pick from a one-month, six-month or 12-month subscription, each with varying amounts of photos you can download per month. Their daily subscription works the same way. You can pick from a one, six or a 12-month subscription, each with varying amounts of photos you can download per day.
Their credit packs work a little bit different. With this model, a credit is what you use to download your images. If you don’t need to download 50 images per day but instead need to download 10 images over a span of six months, these credit packs cater to you. On average, each credit will cost one dollar. By any stock photo industry standard, the credit is cheap and affordable. Technically they range from $.96 to $1.13. When you purchase credits, they have a one-year expiration. That means that the credits are good for up to one year after you purchase them. If you only see yourself downloading 10 images over the next 6 to 10 months, you can rest easy knowing full well that once you pay for the 10 credits, they are good for an entire year.
Library Size and File Types
As is common in the stock photo industry, you’ll find that DepositPhotos offers more than just photos. They offer stock photos, illustrations and vector art, high-definition video, and Editorial and News images. Stock photos are designed for marketing and are designed to enhance text in a nondefining way. In other words, they’re not supposed to represent specific people, places or events. The Editorial and News images are the opposite, designed and licensed to represent particular people, places and events. These are images that are not authorized for marketing purposes. Illustrations and vector images are created by graphic designers to enhance articles, blog posts and for other marketing purposes. Their high-definition video stock footage is commonly used for television commercials. Likewise, they can also be used for other video purposes or stock footage as needed.
Their library has over 36 million royalty-free photos and images and growing every day. They are organized into 36 categories. This is why they can be considered to be a Wal-Mart type photo stock agency. Whatever you’re looking for, chances are DepositPhotos has it (click here for Depositphotos review).
From a Contributor Perspective
Contributors are the artists behind the photos and images. They consist of a both photographers and graphic designers. They are the ones who also take the HD stock video footage. Somebody has to go through all the effort of creating good stock photo imagery, right? The contributors get paid based on two different models depending on if a customer downloads their image as someone who purchased credits or someone who has a subscription.
Credit Pack Contributor Levels
One of the reasons that DepositPhotos can boast such a large library is because they have a highly competitive contributor compensation model. There are five contributor levels – green, bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Each of them pays a different percentage. Because photos that are downloaded based on credit packs cost more money than photos that are downloaded based on subscriptions, the contributors get paid more for credits. Their model pays them from 44 percent to 52 percent based on the contributor level for every photo purchased.
Subscription Contributor Levels
Instead of being paid a percentage, contributors are paid a certain amount of every photo for photo sold via subscription packages. Once again, it is dependent on the contributor level from green to platinum. As a contributor, you can expect to get paid between $.33 and $.35 for each photo downloaded.
Contributor levels are determined as customers choose your photos to download. Using “download” metrics, a photo that is downloaded from a credit pack is considered to be one download. Photos that are downloaded from subscriptions are considered to be one-third of a download. Using this model, it takes a customer on a subscription model downloading three photos to equal one download.
- Green Level – 499 downloads them below
- Bronze Level – 500 to 4999 downloads
- Silver Level – 5000 to 24,999 downloads
- Gold Level – 25,000 to 149,999 downloads
- Platinum Level – above 150,000 downloads
As a contributor, the more photos you contribute, the more customers will download your photos. The more customers who download the photos you take, the higher level you will become and the more you will get paid.
DepositPhotos became highly successful in a relatively short amount of time. At first, many photographers were turned off due to the scrutiny they received. That was back in 2009. It’s been almost seven years, and now many photographers are enjoying a healthy income from DepositPhotos. As a customer, you may enjoy a library of over 36 million photos to choose from at an extremely competitive rate. It’s a win-win situation for all.