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Author Topic: Mostphotos.com watermark  (Read 8822 times)

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« on: January 18, 2008, 03:52 »
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Hello, my name is Arian and I am the project manager for www.Mostphotos.com
It glads me to see all the discussions here about the site but now I have a question to ask.

I have recently talked with some major photobuyers here in Sweden. They all have one issue in common. They don't like the watermarks. They want to be able to use the low resolution photos for sketch and outlines before they buy the high resolution.
They refer to agencys like johner.com that don´t have any watermarks.

When Mostphotos launched for some months ago the site did not have any watermarks, but then we built it in by the request from the members. And now I find out that the buyers really hate watermarks, what should we do.
On Mostphotos the watermark is optional, you can either choose to set if off or on.

I am interested to hear all kind of opinions regarding this matter.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2008, 04:29 by Arian »


« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2008, 04:04 »
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A lot of agencies provinde a free low resolution(smaller than web size) comp.  If you provide web size free you may find that you lose contributors.

« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2008, 04:15 »
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Due nature of internet I enabled watermarking on my images on MP because I do not want to my photos stealed or do not like to idea that will hurt my sales in other places (people will download non-watermaked images and use them on web pages, blogs, corporate work etc without paying nothing to photographer or agengy ).

Ofcourse you should listen buyers opinnion, but without photographers you can't sell anything.

Maybe you can introduce cheaper low-res images (e.g. 2-4euros range, which can be used by people who do not wan't to use watermarked versions for their sketchs and draft designs. Or maybe you can introduce somekind of reserve system where user pays image but if he/she does not like the image on some reason (e.g. problems with comp/ customer do not like etc) the buyer can return the image and get 80-90% money back and the 10-20 goest to photographer to ensure somekind of payment. This kind of model reduces risk of getting the non-watermarked low-res images for free.

just my 2 euro cents:)

br, MJP

« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2008, 04:15 »
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yes I understand that I loose contributors but on the other hand I gain buyers.
What is the right thing to do?

Dilemma.

« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2008, 04:24 »
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Hello Mjp!

I agree with you that the optional watermark is a good thing, because in the end it is the photographers that has the right to decide how they want to publish their photos and not the agency. I like that kind of democratic structure, and I will keep it that way.

On the other hand you must understand the dilemma, it is hard to compete with agencies that gives out photos for free.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2008, 04:27 by Arian »

« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2008, 05:09 »
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On the other hand you must understand the dilemma, it is hard to compete with agencies that give out photos for free.


Hello Arian,

Sure it's hard to compete with agencies that gives photos, but what is the next step ? You'll pay buyers who want photos ?

You should read this article ; I posted the link in another thread, but Crestock (among others) find here very interesting. It opens the horizon regarding price structure in stock photography.


The myth that microstock agencies hurt stock photo pricing

http://www.danheller.com/blog/posts/myth-that-microstock-agencies-hurt.html



best regards,

« Last Edit: January 18, 2008, 05:13 by ParisEye »

« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2008, 05:44 »
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Arian, like 123RF a watermark that the photographer itself can displace on the  picture can be a good option, I found it quite convenient to use
Cheers
L

grp_photo

« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2008, 06:09 »
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One possibility could be that you just remove the watermarks than a proofed and serious buyer logged in this would be fine with me.
But in no case i want that every nameless visitor or unproofed buyer to see my pictures without watermark the pictures are big and good enough for nearly every webuse and they will be get stolen if you make it that simple to the bad guys that's for sure.

« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2008, 06:30 »
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They don't like the watermarks. They want to be able to use the low resolution photos for sketch and outlines before they buy the high resolution.
Where the problem is ? For sketch and outline they can use watermarked images. MP watermarks are very small and almost invisible.
I will remove my portfolio (very small at MP at this time, you will not lose a lot ;-) if you remove watermark.

« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2008, 06:47 »
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They don't like the watermarks. They want to be able to use the low resolution photos for sketch and outlines before they buy the high resolution.
Where the problem is ? For sketch and outline they can use watermarked images. MP watermarks are very small and almost invisible.
I will remove my portfolio (very small at MP at this time, you will not lose a lot ;-) if you remove watermark.


I was preparing an answer along the same line. I don't understand what the problem is. For a sketch, they could use anything ! The watermark is disturbing only if they want to show it outside, i.e. using the picture professionnaly !

I won't remove my portfolio if you remove the watermark, as I don't have one yet. But I intended Mostphoto to be my next move. I'll wait and see.


« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2008, 07:32 »
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The use of a watermark shows your contributors that you are serious about protecting their interests.  Giving away even a low res photos is caving in to buyers who want "something for nothing". 
I agree that the presence of a watermark should not prevent the use the buyers are claiming they want the low res image for. If they insist on a clean one, make them pay for a small image, then offer them a percentage off if they download the full size after that.
rosta

« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2008, 08:23 »
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you could sell 'proofing' images for very low amounts like 1 euro without the watermark and a very low resolution.

I am not sure what the problem with watermarked proofs are though.. although perhaps that makes it clear that i am not a designer.

« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2008, 08:27 »
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I am not sure how you sell your packages, but perhaps you could sell a package called 'premium package' which is say enough to buy 50 or so images or more.  this package would give the buyer credits to buy that many photos AS WELL as giving them watermark free images to use as proofs.  I don't think i would have a problem of giving serious buyers watermark free images, but they should have to 'prove' that they are a real buyer first.

this premium package would encourage big buyers to spend the little more on a larger package and not only get a better deal on their credits but also get the watermark free proofs they want.  it would be good for us sellers because the buyer now has more credits which are (hopefully) burning a hole in his pocket.

« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2008, 08:56 »
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I had waited with uploading until you introduced the new very good watermark. If you now take it off again, I will have to delete my port. The many unexperienced contributors who rate images for "beauty" and don't have the slightest idea what sells well on real stocksites (which have quality control) already broke my heart and and killed my initial big enthusiasm for the site, but now I don't want to hear that all my work with uploading was all in vain. Please don't delete the watermark!

I agree with rosta, mjp,...: Yes, make them pay 2 Euro for a very small layout version, 72 dpi, and refund it when they buy the full size.

P.S.: The reason why I do NOT upload to panthermedia.net (other thread) is their completely useless watermark.

« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2008, 10:49 »
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istock don't seem to have problems selling with watermarks.  Alamy, a traditional agency are going to start using watermarks soon.

Not using watermarks will stop a lot of contributors using mostphotos.  I will delete my portfolio if watermarks are removed, as all the other micro and midstock sites I use have them.  I think it is a good idea to offer small preview images for 1 euro.  This will give the people that don't want to see the watermark another option.

« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2008, 11:18 »
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Relax people.....  8)
MP has been "on the photographers side" ever since I joined them a year ago, and I highly doubt they would take away the watermarks since the wast majority of the photographers think it is a serious issue. I think they just want to hear opinions and suggestion on how to handle the problem. Right Arian? :)

I think Leaf has a VERY GOOD suggestion on how to solve the problem with the watermark-haters. A well planned premium package would also sell more images I think.

« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2008, 16:36 »
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Watermarks are definitely important.  Although they don't totally prevent someone from hacking an image, a no-watermarked image is surely much more prone to be used without a payment. 

There are sites I refrain from uploading just because they don't have any watermarks.

Watermarked comp downloads seem to be the market's norm, so I don't understand these buyers.  The suggestion of letting them download a smaller unwatermarked version for a small fee that can be later discounted on the actual purchase is good, however I don't think this is so necessary.

I wonder if these buyers don't want to let their clients know where they get those images from?  You know, they may be telling clients they pay EUR$250 when they're paying EUR$25...

Regards,
Adelaide


« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2008, 16:47 »
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If they can't afford to buy a low res file, they probably aren't the type of customer any agency would want to put much effort into.

But, from the little poking around i've done on their site - does Mostphotos only offer a full size photos?

« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2008, 01:40 »
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I wonder if these buyers don't want to let their clients know where they get those images from?  You know, they may be telling clients they pay EUR$250 when they're paying EUR$25...

Regards,
Adelaide

I think you are right Adelaide, that is probably the explanation. So they can make a draft, show it to their client, with four pictures inside, ask for 1000$ + expenses for these photos, and pay 1 $ for the lot in subscription... if they don't use the photos without paying.

Which raise another question : as many pictures are available through several agencies, if the agencies don't put watermark how could they know the picture was stolen ? Suppose they see one of "their" pictures in a leaflet somewhere in forgottenlandcountry, if they have the exclusivity on that picture they can check it they sold it or not ; but if the picture is sold in other agencies and nobody put watermarks the "buyer" can always answer that he bought it elsewhere.


« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2008, 03:24 »
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I wonder if these buyers don't want to let their clients know where they get those images from?  You know, they may be telling clients they pay EUR$250 when they're paying EUR$25...

Regards,
Adelaide

Good point. This is probably more common then we know. Many agencies must have travelled from macros to micros. I doubt the have lowered their prices they charged the customers for the finished product. They charge the same and the photographers "pay" their profits. Makes me sick thinking about it......


« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2008, 05:09 »
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in PC magazine a few months ago i saw an article with a VERY pixalized image in it.. I looked a little closer and there smack dab in the middle was an istock watermark :)

Looks like they forgot to switch out the proof image with a purchased one.  :-\ oops

CCK

« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2008, 14:27 »
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Sounds to me like buyers who want for free what they are supposed to buy. I'll definitely pull my pics from any agency where they don't have proper watermarks on everything bigger than a thumbnail.

« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2008, 17:37 »
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I was saw a PDF brochure from a company that visited our offices (but not directly related to my area) and they had MANY watermarked iStock images (all general industry images were from IS, only images specific to their product were not).  I went to their website and opened each of their similar PDFs, none had watermarked images, so I can only guess that the PDF I saw was a preliminary design.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2008, 15:23 »
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Hello guys and thanks for a wonderful discussion!

I have followed this threat and also I have under the previous week called and talked to a lots of marketing agencies that buys a lot of photos from the web.

One thing that all have in common is the watermark issue and there is no doubt about it.

My conclusions is that we will take Mr leafs advice. We will make it available for buyers to view all photos without the watermark if they have over a certain amount in credits.

Thanks for all the inputs I have been given through this thread.

« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2008, 15:33 »
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Arian,

That saves us from the eventual sneaker, but not from the mal-intended buyer.  You should make this option a photographer's choice.  After all, it's our work that will be unprotected, so it should be our choice to leave the images unprotected or not.

Regards,
Adelaide


 

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