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Cutcaster Celebrates 1 Million Images, Quality over Quantity

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Cutcaster, one of the internet’s premier sources of high quality, royalty-free stock images, announced a major milestone as its image collection surpassed 1,000,000 photographs, illustrations, and vector art.

“Everyone’s proud of the recent milestone,” says John Griffin, CEO of Cutcaster. “We weren’t the first or the fastest to a million but from the start we stressed quality over quantity and that guided our image growth strategy. Cutcaster is about providing world-class images to our customers and that will remain our top priority.”

The one-millionth image was submitted by Serbian photographer, iMarin, of a woman singing into a retro microphone. “I have been selling stock since 2006 and uploaded my photos to Cutcaster because of their high commission rates for sellers and their low $25 payout request for getting my earnings,” iMarin explained.

With a global customer base spanning many different industries including publishing, advertising, web design, blogging and product design, it’s crucial that Cutcaster provides images suited to a wide variety of applications as well as innovative solutions to meet their customers image needs. Image buyers have nearly limitless creative options when using Cutcaster images, which are provided under a royalty-free license with the option to purchase additional extended rights.

“Due to the smaller budgets, we are seeing an increased demand for affordable, premium royalty-free images,” Griffin noted. “As a result, Cutcaster is directly addressing the changing needs of the marketplace by providing an expansive selection of high-quality stock images via an affordable, user-friendly licensing model.”

The company attributes its tremendous growth to its innovative business model, which harnesses the power of talented photographers and illustrators worldwide, who regularly upload their work to Cutcaster’s website. Over the last 6 months, Cutcaster’s library has been adding 20,000 new images per week or nearly two images every minute. Cutcaster’s expert review team screens every image for quality and compliance, enforcing some of the strictest standards in the imagery business. “Two out of every three images submitted by approved artists are now accepted at Cutcaster,” Cora Reed, the companies creative director noted.

“The photos I find at Cutcaster feel authentic and work perfectly within my layouts and budget,” says Mike Armenta of Taylor Stitch in San Francisco, who uses Cutcaster’s affordable images to make the newsletters he creates more appealing. “The website is simple to use, has fast search and great customer service.”

Earlier this year, the company introduced the commercially available search engine, SpiralSearch that was custom built using a unique controlled vocabulary and faceted search. SpiralSearch is just one of the many features of “Spiral” which is their custom framework used to build Cutcaster. Today, customers can find great stock images faster, more easily and with precision using the Spiral framework.

Cutcaster was founded in 2007 and has grown into one of the internet’s largest pay-as-you-go and credit-based stock image agencies. The company crowdsources the talent of more than 30,000 digital photographers and illustrators from around the globe who collect earnings each time a customer downloads their images.

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Top 10 things Image Buyers Like about their Agency – Understanding Image Buyers in the Stock Industry

Beautiful Portrait Of a Afro American Woman

Are you happy with your image agency?

What features or services do image buyers like and want from photographers or stock agencies? What gets them coming back to your portfolio or the agency that reps your images?

Today, Cutcaster is releasing the comments that some images buyers told us during last year’s survey. We took 10 of the most popular comments and arranged them below in a random order to show you what features or services they like an agency to offer. The question was actually a two-part question and was “What do you like most/least about the stock photo sites that you work with?” Later this week, we will share the things they didn’t like about their current stock image agency. The survey was completed by 344 image users who had used Cutcaster or were working on the stock image business and were mostly from the US or Canada.

Top 10 things image buyers said they liked which their stock agency provided.

1. Current and wide selection of images from international sources at reasonable prices.

2. Special picture collection pricing for royalty free or rights managed photos.

3. Stock agency websites that can show an entire photo purchase history with a simple click to avoid duplicate image purchases.

4. With current rates that image researchers get, we need to work FAST. The most important features for a stock site are direct downloading and embedded metadata. If you do not offer these two things, you are a 2nd tier vendor.

5. Picture pop-up windows to review images instead of having to use “back” button.

6. Advanced features like search filters when we need to give restrictions.

7. Love seeing Creative Inspiration.

8. Great sales help when a user encounters a problem. (From Cutcaster: Most image buyers didn’t say they needed a specific sales representative to help them use an agency)

9. High resolution comp images with metadata embedded.

10. Agencies with multicultural, disabilities, youth, and well executed food shots most cited image needs.

Overall, most image buyers stressed that they needed the highest quality images, fast / accurate search results and lower pricing which is understandable in the current economic environment.

If you are an image buyer, what features would you like to see a stock agency adopt to make your life easier?

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