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Author Topic: Having Multiple Accounts for "Branding"  (Read 2667 times)

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« on: June 12, 2015, 18:28 »
There was another thread going around about having multiple accounts by different legal entities to get around exclusivity.  This reminded me about something I've been curious about for a while.

My stock accounts are all registered to my sole proprietorship photography business and most accounts are 8-10 years old.  I have a day job so I only do this on the side. I only have a couple thousand images uploaded.

Over the years I've naturally become a much better photographer.  Also, I find I have developed two distinct styles:  a traditional shoot-on-white-saturated-colors-happy-smiling-people type commercial stock and my more personal style which is much more artistic. 

In both styles I shoot both studio and outdoor shots with people and I also shoot landscapes.  The landscapes I shoot in my personal style are very different than the ones I specifically shoot for stock.  The people shots I do in my personal style is likewise very different from what I shoot specifically for stock.

Since my personal stuff is (IMHO) much more sophisticated what what I shoot for stock I've not wanted to mix it with the commercial style stock I've produced over the last 10 years -- especially since the older stuff from when I was learning is admittedly not very good.

So far, I've kept the more personal work out of my stock accounts and only sell it as fine art prints directly from my web site.

I think the personal work has the potential to get me accepted at Stocksy and I'd be willing to sell it exclusively there.  But, if a Stocksy reviewer saw it mixed with my "stock" photography I'd never be accepted.

So, I have thought about establishing separate accounts where I would selectively upload my newer, more personal work.  This would give me two "brands" -- my current "stock" work and my more artistic brand.  Once the artistic "brand" had enough content I could use it to attempt to get into Stocksy.

Thing is, I think most sites do not allow you to have two accounts for the same person.  Is there an exception?  Perhaps if I established a new business name?  Since I'm a sole proprietor and don't want the expense to establish an LLC, my tax ID number wouldn't change for the second business so maybe that wouldn't work?

Does anyone have any experience in this?

« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2015, 18:59 »
For stocksy I wouldnt worry too much, many of their artists have micro portfolios with mixed content, lots of objects on white etc...their editors will tell from your application and looking at the whole picture if you have what they are looking for.

In principle, the idea to have different accounts with different branding is a useful one, but I dont know if the agencies allow this. I see this with various specialised webshops, although all coming from one company, they might have several different online stores with special branding. It helps to focus your marketing efforts.

Maybe it is enough to just collect similar styles/subject matters in lightboxes and galleries. The customer can then bookmark what they need.

The biggest disadvantage with having several portfolios is that it becomes very difficult to rise up in their various rankings, you need to get enough downloads to move up and you need to feed the beast with enough uploas to keep your portfolio visible in various best match searches.

That is why most people will prefer to have one portfolio, especially single artists usually do not produce enough content to keep the wheel turning with several portfolios.

« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2015, 22:15 »
I think having multiple accounts on dreamstime would be an advantage because there seems to be a portfolio boost on some rotation system. Also the earning levels there are on a per photo basis.

Most of the agencies don't have constricting upload limits anymore so that's not an issue now.

« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2015, 08:04 »
Alamy allows you to have multiple pseodonyms with different content so would be an option - you could put your personal work there and sell it RM.  I don't know if the agencies would let you have different accounts under the same TIN but if they had different e-mail addresses then maybe.

Setting up an LLC is not that expensive depending on the state.  Probably not worth it in California but for an internet-based company you could do it in any state - the initial filing fee is not that high and yearly fees also are low.  In some states you don't even have to disclose the owners so there would be no way for an agency to find out it was yours.  You would have to pay for a registered agent in that state but that would probably be $100 or so per year, maybe less if you shop around.  I have not done it for photography but would consider it for a situation like yours, or if I was photographing a lot of models to minimize liability issues.  I recently set up an LLC in Virginia and it was easier and cheaper than I was expecting.

« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2015, 09:37 »
It's not so much the cost of establishing an LLC...

I have one for another business so I know how to do it.  It's more the costs associated with tax preparation and insurance -- that kind of thing.

I didn't know that about Almay - I may look into it.  I'm not that thrilled with them though.  I put up a small portfolio of about 30 images five years ago just to see how things worked and never had a single sale.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 09:39 by ComfortEagle2095 »


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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2015, 11:39 »
Thirty images on Alamy is unlikely to gain any traction, unless you have a near unique subject o lrocation wbich someone happens to need. You are ranked there as a whole depending on sales etc.
I don't know about any other micro but I remember years ago soneone wanted to split his iS account as he shot child models and also 'adult' content. He didn't want the children or their parents looking for their pics in his port and accidentally coming across his other material. He was told it was not possible.  Nowadays you can do it if you have a special deal.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2015, 11:54 by ShadySue »


« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2015, 10:28 »
I was wondering the same thing, I believe Pond5 allows multiple pages/brands, you have one account, one email for payment etc, but I think you can have separate pages under different brand names.  I was thinking about that for myself as I have basically three main type of content,  my weather stuff, on-campus, environment.  Never ended up trying it yet as a lot of the content comes up via searches in the local or Google search engine anyways regardless if it's hosted on one page or five.

My page name is WeatherENG but all my frosh week events come up on that page if someone searches just as my weather stuff would.



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