Everyone knows there are lots of amateur and hobbyist photographers out there, and collectively they produce a massive amount of material stored on online photo sharing sites and desktops around the globe which might just contain that one image an advertiser was looking to use to communicate a message.
Adography is a relatively new service that offers a way to monetize your own amateur photos if you think there are some who might make for great advertisement material.
Adography is essentially a marketplace where people can put their amateur photos up for sale, while businesses can put out requests for photos by creating so-called ‘want-ads’. You can find an example of a listing here, which includes the image specifications, asking price, and more. The service is free for people who upload their photos, but we should note the FAQ mentions that Adography is automatically granted an exclusive worldwide license for twelve months for every uploaded picture.
It’s obviously not a novel idea, as there are plenty of web services out there with a similar proposition. Even Yahoo’s Flickr was once considering launching its own marketplace dubbed Flickr Stock. The problem with most of these is, evidently, marketing the service and getting the scale needed to attract enough advertisers and photographers to make it compelling enough for both target groups to come back for more.
Adography faces the same problems, and personally I think the user experience is a bit below par for the moment. That said, the name has a nice ring to it and no clear leader has emerged yet in this space (meaning non stock photography marketplaces) so who knows if this one will fly. Then again, I’m not so sure the advertisers Adography cites as examples (e.g. Coca-Cola) will be interested in low-resolution amateur images for their official branding campaigns. Seems to me small businesses would be more interested in the service, but how do you reach them?
Update: as a commentor notes, iStockPhoto is probably the most familiar name in this space, but it’s not really the best place for true amateur photos.
On a sidenote: I love this type of story. Someone has an idea, which lingers in his or her mind until one day this person wakes up and decides to incorporate and try to turn the idea into a business, not even considering anything but bootstrapping to get it started. In this particular case, the founder is documenting this road less traveled by blogging about it, which is a welcome aside for aspiring entrepreneurs who haven’t made the jump yet and want to read someone else’s experiences first.