ClusterShot – a different approach to sell photos


clustershot-logoClusterShot is a website that lets photographers sell their images.
ClusterShot is free to use, you pick your price for the photos you want to sell and they will take a small 12% administrative fee. At the moment it counts more than 1200 photographers and 200000+ photos. I've asked Dan James –  co-founder of ClusterShot and CEO of Silverorange –  to describe which is  the distinctiveness of ClusterShot in an overcrowded photo market  and what are their next development. Here his kind answers that I've found very interesting, enjoy:

ClusterShot philosophy

– ClusterShot was born out of a need for a better way to sell our own images. A number of us who work at Silverorange were getting purchase inquiries on photos through our personal galleries (i.e. We found that process cumbersome and thought we could make it easier for ourselves and maybe others.
– Contrary to what TechCrunch said, we're not really looking to become another iStockphoto. We want to provide anyone the ability to sell their photos for whatever price they would like. We are not trying to create a high-quality collection. We are trying to create an ebay-like thing but for photos.

– Like ebay we just facilitate the sale. It is the photographer licensing the photos, not us. We're just trying to make tools/features that make that easier for everyday photographers.

– Our search has not great performance, we know. We currently are focusing on building features that act more like a photo checkout rather than a one-stop stock photography website. Most of our sales are coming from users promoting their own work to clients through the site.

– We're not at risk of going out of business. We're in this for the long-haul. ClusterShot is a project of  Silverorange, inc. We are a high-end web development firm that has been around for 10 years. We are dedicated time to this project. Other than storage/hosting costs we don't have many costs associated with it other than our own time.

– We are trying to make it easy for you to upload your photos. Currently we support Flickr importing (yes, we have a flickr commercial API key), RSS importing, zip file uploading, and within a week or two we will be launching full web-dav support (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning is a lot like FTP but a little easier to work with. So users will be able to have a folder on their local computer and drag photos into it and they'll be automatically synced)

– In general we feel that the photography industry has not been using the Internet to its fullest potential. We're trying to change that. Whether we succeed at it or simply force others to change/adapt that's fine with us.


Talking about new features

– Web-dav support (1-3 weeks until launch)

– Personal store/site, i.e. or using your own domain name (4-8 weeks until launch)
Allow any user to create custom sets/collections. This will allow anyone to create a virtual agency. For example you could search through ClusterShot for all of the best beach photos then start and point it to your virtual agency. You would then share the sales with the photographer whose work you sell.
– A new checkout system. We're going to expand from just using PayPal to full credit card support.
– Full API. We want everyone to be able to use ClusterShot as easily as possible. Photo gallery developers should be able to tie in to the site, etc. We're going to launch a full featured open API early in the fall.

– Other exciting things. There are always ideas and possibilities floating around that may come to fruition. We have a few really exciting possibilities in front of us now that we might be able to say more about in the months to come.


About Author

I write about the stock photo and microstock industry since 2006 on my several online-magazines. My goal for MyStockPhoto is to teach photographers and stock photographers how to sell more photos and earn money with their photography hobby.

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