We received sad news a bit ago that the Photoshelter Collection is shutting down, effective October 10. Started only a year ago, the Collection’s big idea was to use technology to make a user-friendly upload system that would allow photographers who don’t exclusively shoot stock to get into the stock game. I was impressed by their new ideas and enthusiasm, as were many photographers and editors, obviously. But as CEO Allen Murabayashi explained in a characteristically honest post to the Photoshelter blog, the odds were stacked way too high against them. They underestimated the extreme complexity of licensing images, as well as the complete hegemony that Getty exercises. And despite hearing from image buyers that they were desperately looking for better, original images, as we heard at the Photoshelter Shoot The Day! symposium a few months ago, those buyers rarely actually purchased Photoshelter images. Allen’s blog post has drawn many frowny emoticons and, unsurprisingly, several indignant comments from photographers who feel they wasted their time uploading to the Collection and are disappointed to see it close after only a year. I have to say I’m surprised to see the Collection fold so quickly, but if it wasn’t making enough money, in an economy like this especially, I understand the decision to cut their loses. The FAQ page here has more answers for photographers affected by this decision.
~Miki Johnson