MS Office Plug-ins from Fotolia and iStockPhoto

May 26th, 2010

Both Fotolia och iStockPhoto has recently released plug-ins for Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 and 2010.
This means that everyone that want to use your photo in Word or Powerpoint only need to download the plug-ins and search for the images they wants to use.
Users can browse search results alongside their documents, along with custom galleries, downloaded image libraries, and a selection of free daily images.

The plugins can be found here: Fotolia Ribbon plug-in and iStockphoto Ribbon Plug-in.

Stockphotorights.com – Helpful information about copyright and licensing stock imagery.

May 25th, 2010

Stockphotorights.com – Helpful information about copyright and licensing stock imagery.
Its not always easy to know what is right and what is wrong to do when you use others photo. Now Getty Images Inc has released a new informational site about copyright and licensing when you handle stock imagery. It unravel the complexities and expose the potential legal pitfalls of image use for the good of the photographic industry. The site is designed to represent image providers and has the support of BAPLA (British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies) and PACA (Picture Archive Council of America). The resource provides image users with information and advice they need to license images with confidence, by connecting them with key stakeholders from the industry.

Stockphotorights.com

New Fotolia plugin for WordPress

February 4th, 2010

Fotolia
Based on Fotolia’s most powerful API, Microstock entrepreneurs Lee Torrens and Amos Struck launched the Microstock Photo Plugin for WordPress. Bloggers can now easily search from 8-million royalty-free images on Fotolia and add them to their posts instantly without leaving WordPress. The application also suggests photos based on blog tags. All bloggers have to do is select the image they want and it’s automatically inserted into the post.

“Thanks to our powerful and unique API, the Microstock photo plug-in not only offers bloggers a fast and easy way to integrate attractive images at unbeatable prices, but users also have the opportunity to make money by using Fotolia images through affiliation options,“ says Garth Johnson, Executive Vice President for Fotolia, North America.

To get started with the new WordPress plug-in, visit www.microstockplugin.com to download and install. Follow the Fotolia link to sign-up for a free Fotolia membership. Once a Fotolia account is created, set-up the login and password in the configuration in order to be able to buy and download photos using the Fotolia account. Then, activate the Affiliate Program with a click in the plug-in to earn commissions. Blogging and revenue share just got even easier.

Submission Infringement Guidelines – Problem Keywords & Subjects on BigStockPhoto

January 13th, 2010

Today BigStockPhoto sent out a message alerting all submitters about problematic keywords…

It’s important to be aware of intellectual property infringements when submitting images and adding image metadata. BigStockPhoto now posts a list of known problem words and potential infringements you should be aware of when submitting.

They also have a new “Problem word alert” tool in the Uploaded Images Queue screen that warns you if any of your metadata contains these terms. If you see the alert, you should carefully review the alerts and make changes as needed.

The new Problem Keywords & Subjects list displays problem words that you should pay extra attention to. Read through the list to make sure you know what BSP don’t allow anymore. You may get a few surprises! At least I did. I didn’t for example know that it’s not okay to take a photo of the Eiffel Tower during night because the lights are protected. You could sell a night shot as Editorial if it’s newsworthy though. Also the word “logo” is not okay anymore because it apparently causes confusion for the buyers (why?). You should replace “logo” with “creative design” or “abstract design” instead. You can find the list here http://www.bigstockphoto.com/paca/

Shutterstock On The Red Carpet Captures the Hottest Events in 2009

November 18th, 2009

It has been an exciting year for Shutterstock, the world’s largest subscription-based stock photo agency, thanks to the rapid growth of its innovative editorial photo program: Shutterstock On The Red Carpet.

In 2009, Shutterstock On The Red Carpet covered many notable events worldwide, including Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet Tour, The Black Crowes Tour, the Major League Soccer Semifinal match between Chivas USA and the Los Angeles Galaxy, and the Tribeca Film Festival. This year, Shutterstock photographers also captured public appearances by President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton and Senator John McCain.

Shutterstock is the only online stock image agency to offer this unique service, which assists its global network of photographers in securing press passes to the hottest events in the world of news, sports, and entertainment. Thanks to the tremendous success of the program, the amount of photographers and event organizers who participate continues to rapidly expand. In fact, since Shutterstock On The Red Carpet launched, the number of covered events has grown from two in 2007 to 127 so far in 2009. Based on the number of exciting events in the pipeline, Shutterstock projects covering a total of 175 events this year.

The program, which is open to Shutterstock’s submitter base of more than 200,000 talented photographers, has produced high quality editorial photos that set Shutterstock apart in the highly competitive online stock photo marketplace.

“Given that Shutterstock On The Red Carpet is the only program of its kind, it’s a key differentiator for buyers who seek premium stock photos of newsworthy events at a great value,” said Jon Oringer, founder and CEO of Shutterstock.

To learn more about Shutterstock On The Red Carpet, Shutterstock photographers can contact a representative at ontheredcarpet@shutterstock.com.

Dreamstime Debuts New Canvas and Poster Formats for Images

October 14th, 2009

Dreamstime announced on October 14 that they have introduced a new service to deliver decorative display prints right to your door. The ultimate outlet for quality images (in all shapes and sizes, and for any creative purpose), Dreamstime photo-shoppers can now also purchase ready-made prints in poster and canvas format for home or office use.

From the platinum-selling agency that has revolutionized the industry during its five-year history, Dreamstime has elevated its services to offer images from its gallery of more than 6.5 million to enable purchasers to enjoy their photos in wall art form—a finished product ready to showcase.

“Most commonly, our images are used for creative project designs. This new service recognizes the value and artistry as a finished, ready-to-use display product,” introduced Serban Enache, Dreamstime’s CEO. “Our posters and canvases are unmatched when comparing pricing, quality, delivery speed and diversity. Dreamstime’s community library of images is unparalleled and this new offering will make us a leading ‘go-to’ vendor when searching for interesting and captivating wall hangings.”

In keeping with the agency’s commitment to low prices, the price point for each poster/canvas is significantly competitive (ranging anywhere in monetary value between $13.00 to $80.00 for a 20”X60” canvas—lower than most online retailers in the market). Costs include shipping and handling to the United States and Europe. Volume discounts are available.

In addition to its vast selection of images and services, another advantage to this new facet is ease of use. In one, easy step, Dreamstime users can access their desired photo, click the “order a print” tab and select the size and support type (poster or canvas.) In a sophisticated, two-day production process (posters are printed on professionally glossy inkjet paper/canvasses are printed on polyester water and UV resistant canvas), the posters and canvases will be developed and shipped to the purchaser’s door.

All Dreamstime images are available in varying download sizes and resolutions to compliment and complete any design project. Dreamstime.com offers an unlimited assortment of imagery including photos, sketches, graphic art, illustrations and backgrounds in high quality re-print formats (such as non-compressed jpeg formats, RAW images and vector formats) and are easily discovered via the use of Dreamfinder–an advanced search and tagging engine within the site.

With the most innovations in stock photography, Dreamstime has positioned itself as a cutting edge leader in the e-commerce photography industry. The poster/canvas service increases format availability of its images while being mutually advantageous to the Dreamstime contributors providing a new revenue channel increasing sales overall.

Shutterstock Announces Acquisition of BigStockPhoto

September 23rd, 2009

“BigStockPhoto is a leader in the stock photo industry, and an excellent fit for Shutterstock as we expand into the credit-based market,” said Jon Oringer, founder and CEO of Shutterstock.  “This addition will enable Shutterstock to better satisfy the diverse payment preferences of stock photo buyers worldwide.”

According to the deal, BigStockPhoto will remain a separate entity, and Shutterstock plans to grow the company’s global presence by investing heavily in marketing, infrastructure and user experience.

BigStockPhoto was founded in 2004 to provide an alternative to high-priced stock photography, and to create a marketplace for photographers to sell their work. In addition to its diverse library of 3.7 Million royalty-free photos and vectors, the agency has created a vibrant community of image buyers and submitters from around the world.

Shutterstock Launches Shuttertweet: A New Way for Submitters to Showcase their Stock Images and Footage on Twitter

August 19th, 2009

Shuttertweet instantly sends out tweets when new images and footage have been added to submitters’ portfolios

 

Shutterstock announced on August 19 the launch of Shuttertweet, a new tool for Twitter that empowers stock image and stock footage submitters by instantly sending out messages (or “tweets”) announcing when new images and footage clips have been added to their Shutterstock portfolios.

Shuttertweet also enables submitters to monetize their use of Twitter.  Submitters earn a referral commission from anyone who makes a purchase after clicking on the link to their Shutterstock gallery in one of their Shuttertweet messages.

In addition, Shuttertweet sends an update regarding submitters’ download counts on a daily basis to share the success of their portfolios with people that follow them on Twitter.

“Shuttertweet is truly a win-win for our submitters because it both automatically showcases their work and allows them to make money via our affiliate marketing program using Twitter,” said Jon Oringer, founder and CEO of Shutterstock.

To sign up, submitters login to the submit site and click the option under “Make Money” or visit: http://bit.ly/2izTPy to enable Shutterstock to send tweets on their behalf. Submitters can deactivate Shuttertweet at any time.

“Shuttertweet is a great way to advertise my work,” said Jake Hellbach (Shutterstock submitter name: JHDT Stock Images LLC), a successful Shutterstock photographer and videographer based in Sugarland, Texas.  “I used to post links to my images and footage clips manually on Twitter when I had the time, but with this tool, I know my name is getting out to stock photo and stock footage buyers each day, so I can get back to shooting.”

An update about Shutterstock and the tax issue

June 9th, 2009

Shutterstock has still not issued an update about the tax issue I wrote about in the previous post. But I wrote to them and asked if it was okay to use an EIN number (Employeee Identification Number) instead of an ITIN number when we fill in form W-8BEN. I received the answer that it is okay to use an EIN (and also a SSN) instead of an ITIN when you fill in the form. So this is good news for those of us with our own companies since it’s much easier to get an EIN than an ITIN.

As I wrote in the previous post this is what you do to get an EIN number:
1. Start by looking trough form SS-4. It might be a good idea to print it out and fill it in so that you are really prepared,
2. Call the IRS in the USA, telephone number +1-215-516-6999. You will then have to answer some questions that you have answered on form SS-4.
3. At the end of the call you receive your EIN number. It is also sent home to you through regular mail. You then use this number when you fill in form W-8BEN.

I haven’t made the call to get the number myself yet but I will do it some time soon.

Hysteria on Shutterstock!

June 1st, 2009

The last couple of days there have been hysteria on Shutterstock. This is because Shutterstock sent out an e-mail on May 27, telling all non-US submitters that they have to apply for an ITIN number (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) at the American IRS and fill in a W-8BEN form. If we don’t do that, we have to pay 30% tax on our income – to the USA. Then we have to pay more taxes in our own country! But if we apply for this ITIN number and fill in the W-8BEN form we don’t have to pay any tax at all to the USA – if we are lucky. It all depends on which country you live in. I’m lucky to live in Sweden which has an income tax treaty with the US and I don’t have to pay any tax at all. But some countries have to pay between 5-30% even if they have a tax treaty.

On Saturday Shutterstock sent out an update regarding this issue. First of all they will only withhold tax on the images that gets bought by American buyers. So if only people outside the US buys your pictures you don’t have to pay any tax at all (regardless of if you have applied for an ITIN number or not). But it’s most likely a big portion of the buyers that are American but no one knows how many.

Secondly Shutterstock announced in their update that we can’t apply for an ITIN number yet because IRS needs a signed letter from Shutterstock that needs to be sent in with the application.

So right now we don’t have to do anything at all until Shutterstock gives us more information.

I’m hoping that there will be an easier way out of this for those of us that have our own companies. If you run a company you can apply for an EIN (Employeee Identification Number) instead of an ITIN. Then all you have to do is call the IRS at phone number +1-215-516-6999, and answer some simple questions. Just to be on the safe side you should read through the form SS-4 so that you know which questions you have to answer. But several people that have already made the call have said that they only had to give them their name and address but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared anyway! You get your EIN number at the end of the telephone call and it also gets mailed to you. You should then be able to use this EIN number instead of an ITIN number when you fill in the W-8BEN form.

But for now I will not do anything until Shutterstock gives us more information. Hopefully we will know more later this week…

If you want to discuss this issue in your own language there are several threads in the Shutterstock forum that are specific for different countries. You’ll find a list of all the country threads here!