Why One Shot is not like Shutterstock

We get asked almost daily if One Shot is like Shutterstock.

The short answer is “No, we are not… and we do not try to be 🙂 !”

Shutterstock is a HUGE listed corporation in the USA. To give you an idea, their last annual report indicates a 2014 annual revenue of $328 million (that is approx $520 million NZ dollars!). They have gazillions of images of everything imaginable and are not interested in images that will only sell a few times over. For their low-cost model to work, they need to ensure that their images will sell 100’s or 1,000’s of times. Thanks to the volume of sales they achieve, they are able to offer images for microscopic fees…

Unfortunately, this model is not viable for us. We’ve based our business model on our key strengths.

We are incredibly proud to promote the work of 140+ of the top New Zealand photographers, including some emerging talents as part of The Shutter Club.
“Authentic quality pictures of New Zealand”: these are the pictures you will find in our library. Each is a true and genuine representation of our people and of our unique lifestyle. Nowhere else on the web will you find such a large inventory of kiwi lifestyle images.
We thrive to ensure that we maintain a sustainable business model, which allows not only our business to grow – but that of our photographers and partners too. And this implies guaranteeing that each and every single person who is involved in our business (photographers, web designers, suppliers, and staff) receives a decent wage for their work.
How does this impact the image fees, you may wonder? To answer this question, we’ve simplified the breakdown of the costs necessary to make these amazing pictures available for you to download, from the comfort of your desk 🙂 .

Read on …

Let’s take a basic half day photoshoot.

For this shoot, a photographer will need to pay a model/models, a stylist, a make-up artist and (optional) an assistant. To this, we also need to add fees such as renting a space, props, gear, etc. So for a basic half day photoshoot, we’re looking at a minimum cost of $1,500 – $2,000 (and that’s at the cheap end).

Now, our photographer also needs to earn some money, say… to feed his kids, pay the bills. A professional photographer will never just show up on the day, switch his/her camera on, press the shutter and go. We tend to forget that there is an incredible amount of work required 1- to prepare a photoshoot, 2- to make the shoot work on the day (could involve managing the drama 🙂 ) and 3- post-shooting (for the image selection, the editing etc.). And this is included in the photographer’s fee too, i.e. approximately $1,500 added to the bill.

This brings us to a total cost of $3,000 – $3,500 to actually produce a half-day shoot from start to finish. Again, that’s at the cheap end.

Once the images are produced and submitted by the photographer to us (photonewzealand), we then need to select the images, control the quality and metadata of each image, host them into our system, do the keywording, archiving, sale, invoicing etc. In parallel, our marketing and administration services are consistently focusing on improving your experience on our website and ensuring great customer service. Last but not least, did you know that each time you buy a photo from photonewzealand, a big chunk of that sale goes back directly into the pocket of the photographer? That’s right! When you purchase your images on photonewzealand, you help make sure that a kiwi photographer is getting paid a decent wage for his hard work. For us, and probably for you too, that’s priceless!

But let’s come back to the numbers. If we were able sell an image 1000 times over at $5 a download (à la Shutterstock, istock and others), then we’d enter into “profit land” and everyone would be happy: you, the photographer and us. BUT (bugger, there’s that BUT that’s been looming), the reality of our market is that it’s pretty hard to sell an image 1000 times over in little old ‘Nooo Zillund’. Realistically, there just aren’t 1000 businesses wanting to buy the same shot of a Kiwi family in their back yard having fun, as one example. We may sell that image 10 times over in its lifetime (i.e. before it becomes outdated). Which means we’d need to sell at an average of $300-$350 each time, just to break even. To make an actual profit selling this image– which is necessary for our businesses to grow – the average fee would have to be $400+, and that’s if we can sell it 10x. So, when you think about it, if you look at the costs from start to finish (finish being the moment you are able to download the picture), the prices of our images are… just about right.

So if you’re looking for unique content, that is not plastered all over the web (unlike the ‘Everywhere Girl‘), have a look at the collections available One Shot. And if you’re worried about your budget – we know that marketing and creative budgets are constantly shrinking – then flick us an email or give us a call, tell us which images you want and what your budget is. We bet you that we’ll find a solution that works for you, your client and the photographers we represent!

Signing Off,
Chief Of Everything @ One Shot. 

Disclaimer: This article was originally published on the photonewzealand blog. The photonewzealand blog has since been deleted.