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photoshelter or DRR ?

Hi everyone, i’m choosing between photoshelter and digital railroad for digital online archive. what do you people prefer? and when is drr going to put online the marketplace? thank you all

by [a former member] at 2006-12-06 20:57:19 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Lisboa , Portugal | Bookmark | | Report spam→

I am a very satisfied Photoshelter client and think that Photoshelter offers way more bang for the buck than DRR. And the recent announcement that PS will integrate FotoQuote’s (the industry standard pricing guide) image licensing data – really puts PS in a class by itself! In other words – you will be able to automate the licensing of rights managed images online – (see #7 below). This feature will be available next month.

11 Major Reasons why PS kicks DRR’s butt!!!

1 – Support for raw image formats, as well as Photoshop and PDF files. Not
just JPEG and TIFF.

2 – Ability to sell prints, both automatic fulfillment and
self-fulfillment, using full ecommerce via a PayPal or credit card merchant
account.

3 – True Seamless Customization system means you can make PhotoShelter look
exactly like your website. You are not restricted to any standard templates.

4 – Anonymous Light-box and shopping cart. This means your clients can add
images to a Light-box or a shopping cart without requiring them to have an
account and be logged in.

5 – Free account option means you can take your time to try PhotoShelter
without an expiration deadline. When you are ready to upgrade, the starting
package is only $9.99/month for 10GB of space. (PhotoShelter’s $49/month
account includes 100GB of disk space — that’s 80GB more than DRR for the
same price.)

6 – No annual contract. (With DRR you are locked in for 12 months).

7 – Integration with FotoQuote, the industry standard pricing guide, means
you will be able to license your images via Rights-Managed pricing profiles,
and set it to license images automatically. Example: A buyer who wants to use your rights-managed image will be able to enter their usage parameters online – receive a licensing fee in real time – pay via credit card and then download the hi-res image – all without you lifting a finger!

8 – Integration with applications like Photo Mechanic and Aperture mean
that workflow and image uploads are seamlessly worked into popular
professional workflow tools. (You can upload directly into your PS account from inside PM and Aperture).

9 – Twice as many photographers are already using PhotoShelter.

10 – Unique “Quick Hi-Res Download” options means you can authorize a
client/editor to download images from your archive without forcing them to
have an account or be logged in.

11 – Local and geographic redundancy. Each image is stored on multiple hard
drives which means if a hard drive fails in a data-center, it can easily be
rebuilt and no images will be lost. Multiple geographically dispersed
data-centers mirror each other which protects the images even in the event that an
entire data-center is lost (example: due to a natural disaster or terrorist
attack etc..)

by Jock Fistick | 06 Dec 2006 23:12 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
and I thought of 2 more….

12 – The ability to execute a Global Search from Photoshelter’s front page has been in place since day one – and photo editors are using it to find images. You still can not do a global search from the front of DRR’s website. Which begs the question – how do photo buyers find a photographers work on DRR without going directly to that photographers page inside DRR? They can’t!

13 – The market place was announced at PhotoPlus Expo 2005 – that is more than a year ago – so who knows when it will arrive.

by Jock Fistick | 07 Dec 2006 00:12 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
I would second all that Jock said. I’m currently using Photoshelter (originally learned about it here on LS- there are other posts with more info on this issue) and have been very very happy with it. There has been a tremendous effort on the part of Photoshelter to take into account the requests and advice of their customers. I’ve never used DR so I can’t say how it compares but at this point I personally see no point of using DR over Photoshelter. hope it helps. Cheers- Jon O.

by Jon Orlando | 07 Dec 2006 01:12 | Boulder, United States | | Report spam→
I used both for a while. I prefer Digital Railroad. To get the same functionality at Photoshelter I would end up paying the same per month. I can bring HTML code into my archive easilly. I also like that the format is the same throughout. I think it’ll be handy when the market place is FINALLY realised (we’re still waiting), as it would facilitate clients moving from one archive to another. Perhaps it’s just that I’m so used to DR now. I kept up the PS account for the print facility but DR are going to be doing something similar.
Most importantly, however, is the fact that my clients are so used to it now and seem to really like it. It has really saved me a lot of grief.

Paul Treacy @ Digital Railroad

by Paul Treacy | 07 Dec 2006 02:12 | Manhattan, United States | | Report spam→
Paul:

You need to look at the pricing and feature set on DRR and PS – because what you wrote about pricing is not true –
With PS you get more funtionality (features) than what DRR is offering and for less money.

Rian:

Yes from the front page of PS you can do a global search of all the photographers who have listed themselves in the Photographers Directory and you can set geographic parameters for the search.

And you can also do a global search for images from the front page of PS – something not available on DRR.



by Jock Fistick | 07 Dec 2006 08:12 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
ok, i’m still confused :) but that’s my problem! thank you all until now. what about clients feedback? Paul, you problably have clients using both systems… what do they think? cheers all

by [former member] | 07 Dec 2006 10:12 | Lisboa, Portugal | | Report spam→
I use DR to move photos to clients all the time. Its easy to FTP the images, I can send my clients invitations that link directly to the light box with their images which they can then download. Once they have registered with DR they can access any other DR member’s site. DR has the feel of intelligently made software, and it has been improving all the time. With the great list of photographers, the marketplace is going to appeal to boutique buyers…I look forward to its release, and I credit Evan for not rushing it out until its the right thing. I expect it will be a great product.

by [former member] | 07 Dec 2006 15:12 | Chocolate City, United States | | Report spam→
By all accounts,on this and other related threads,many are getting excellent value from either site when used to prompt a client directly or to facilitate the transfer of images to a known client.

What i’m curious about is who is having success,on either site with getting new,unknown clients to actually search,find,and purchase an existing image or images.
Obviously,DRR does not,yet,offer a global search across members archives so perhaps the question goes out to only PS users.

I’ve tried a number of test keyword searches for very generic types of images at Photoshelter with poor to lousy returns. Far too many completely unrelated images are returned,partially, because their search engine is
searching the caption field as well as the keyword field. Background or additional information that is usefull to have, that is included in the caption field ,is very often misleading when searching.
To me,this is a major hurdle as there is some incredibnle content available,but if one has to jump through hoops to find it then the service isn’t working.

As a prospective buyer,it wouldn’t take me more than a couple of searches to decide to leave.I wouldn’t have time to try to interpret the keywording nuances of each individual photographer.
To me, if this isn’t standardized to some degree,then I wouldn’t forecast either of these services to be a successfull way for professional photographers to self-market an existing stock collection.

by [former member] | 07 Dec 2006 16:12 | Montreal, Canada | | Report spam→
does anyone know if DRR or PS actually present the site to editors and photo buyers? or they just present to photographers? also, i couldn’t find a client list in PS… did i miss it or they don’t have it? an the marketplace, it will work for some but it wont for others, i heard thsat drr would aks photographers if they would want to belong to the marketplace, i don’t think PS has that option, it’s automatic right? once again, thank you all. cheers

by [former member] | 07 Dec 2006 18:12 | Lisboa, Portugal | | Report spam→
I have recently have signed up for Photoshelter. Digital Railroad was not an option for me because of the price tag. I have a free starter account with PS, but signed up to set up online sales’ capability. This is an option for starter accounts and probably basic accounts since we have to pay a setup fee of $50 to do online store. I couldn’t find a client list, either since I searched for one the other day. I am going to bring up this point with my contact at Photoshelter. Apparently you need to search for potential clients yourself and send e-mails.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 08 Dec 2006 02:12 | Baltimore, Maryland, United States | | Report spam→
There is no way to edit my post above. I would like to add that PS has this basic account which allows 10GB storage, 5GB/month hi-res bandwidth for $9.99 a month. If you want to do e-commerce, you need to pay $50 as a set-up fee as with starter accounts. The two other levels of accounts would not require this set-up fee, regardless of whether you are interested in selling prints or not.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 08 Dec 2006 03:12 | Baltimore, Maryland, United States | | Report spam→
I’m a photojournalist and member of LS and just saw this thread. I’m also a DRR member and wanted to weigh in with my experience. Having said that, the debate above is less about one v. the other and more about how to maximize exposure by participating in many distribution opportunities.

Last month DRR gave me the opportunity to show my work at PictureHouse NY. PictureHouse is a buyer event typically only for agency but DRR invited 15 of their members to personally show their work to the buyers present. Several great buying opportunities have come from that for me. I know they are doing many things to attrack buyers including directly contacting and visiting to grow their list of 20,000 plus http://www.digitalrailroad.net/corpsite/buyers.html Lastly, I’ve been surprised and pleased by the amount of image requests I’ve received through DRR and very much look forward to the Market Place.

by Daniel Beltra | 08 Dec 2006 18:12 | Seattle, United States | | Report spam→
We have been using Digital Railroad since the beginning and we love the product, team, and support. It has been very important to us to have a PERSON to go to that actually knows the product and how to HELP YOU right away. Most often it’s on deadline. Let’s not kid oursleves, we all know the MARKETPLACE on DRR is close to launch, it will be an amazing collection of photographs, starting with some of the major agencies in the world, like VII and Redux. It’s important to us to be a part of this universe. I would look at that carefully before you decide.

Cotton

by [former member] | 08 Dec 2006 19:12 | Copenhagen, Denmark | | Report spam→
i think DRR takes the advantage on marketing the site and the photographers, while PS has much better price. because from what i have tried, both softwares are very friendly. cheers and thank you all

by [former member] | 08 Dec 2006 19:12 | Lisboa, Portugal | | Report spam→
DRR wins again…“The downloading worked like a dream, so we are all set. Thanks much! You can send the invoice to me via email if you’d like.”

Here is a quote from a NEW client signed up this afternoon, European time.
It was really great to serve this client in such a seamless fashion.

Cotton

by [former member] | 08 Dec 2006 19:12 | Copenhagen, Denmark | | Report spam→
I have been using DRR for almost two years now and I couldn’t imagine not having my archives set up there. To follow up on Daniel’s post above, one of the things that sets DRR apart for me is how much work they do for their photographers. I spent the month of September last year in New Orleans using DRR exclusively to deliver images for the WSJ. When I returned I sent them an email thanking them for the help and describing how it had all unfolded. They introduced me to the publisher of Studio Photography, who ended up running a cover story on my work and my story. All thanks to the team at DRR. Last night they were one of the sponsors of the American Photo holiday party in NYC. They really keep a healthy investment in the industry itself, and they pass this along to their photographers.

Aric

by A. Mayer | 08 Dec 2006 20:12 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Though I don’t use either, I have to say two things: First, that the DRR people I met in Perpignan were extremely knowledgeable about their systems and seemed to believe in being accessible, and their service model seemed well thought-out (disclosure — DRR bought an hour of drinks for LS party at VISA, and I had a couple on them). Second, I know that DRR is on the verge of some serious marketing initiatives. I discussed them generally with CEO Evan Nisselson in September, and I think he was not blowing “vaporware.”

And, one more thing…if loyalty to a valuable institution is important, Evan has been a member of LS since nearly the beginning (as have others on the DRR staff), and they regularly post information here on LS for users. So I personally feel they are entitled to some loyalty for that good work.

by [former member] | 08 Dec 2006 20:12 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Neal, to be far, although I am a DR fan, I believe that the proprieters of PS post here too …..Allan, I think, Miyabashi, is that correct? I hope I have got the name close.

by [former member] | 08 Dec 2006 23:12 (ed. Dec 9 2006) | Chocolate City, United States | | Report spam→
Having been with DRR for the past 15 months I have recently called it a day. Some of my less technical clients found it confusing. I also got fed up with waiting for the market place which I was told would be available ‘soon’ over a year ago. It was an interesting experiment but in the end I didn’t think the expense was worth it – I am either going to give PS a go or look at working with a web developer to build a similar type of site.

Martin

by Martin Shakeshaft | 09 Dec 2006 10:12 | Back home, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
So I want to revisit this a bit. I am now at that point of deciding which to choose and am at a loss. My main issue is marketing and getting my work sold as stock and the like. Folks are lauding DR for its marketing prowess but for the life of me I can’t figure out how to log in as a buyer or even to do a simple search without going to a specific photographer first. Dumb as hell. How would an art buyer even begin to be able to access imagery if they can’t find the search panel or even the sign-up panel?

When I did FINALLY find the sign up panel by clicking randomly at the MEMBER sign in page it brought me to the sign up page for photographers where you either get a 30 day free trial or have to pay the fees to join as a PHOTOGRAPHER (archive) not as someone that wants to buy imagery. The Marketplace feature better be a hell of a lot better than what is available now. And WHEN will it be launched? They say 2006 in their press release.

PS does have their search on the main page which is key but does PS have the name recognition and marketing that is required to get Art buyers and the like to go to the site?

Are there standards for the images that are uploaded to either site. I know Art Buyers would want a consistency of resolution or at least a spec for each image.

Thanks to everyone as always, LS is so great.

m

by Matthew Arnold | 03 Jan 2007 17:01 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
I would wait and see what the Marketplace has to offer. DR has hired some new people and opened in an office in Seattle, if I am not mistaken. I have to give Evan credit for not rushing out some half-assed thing and really trying to do it the right way. But you have to be realistic as far as your goals of selling your images as well.

by [former member] | 03 Jan 2007 19:01 | Back home again in Louisiana, United States | | Report spam→
Matthew:

I have to agree with Andy when he says you have to be realistic about selling images online no matter which system you decide to use – it will be up to you to drive traffic to your website.

That being said – I feel that PS offers more and better tools for photographers to promote themselves – and has always had the ability for photo buyers to search for images directly from the front page of PS – so even if a photo buyer doesn’t know that you even exist – they at least have a chance of finding your images on PS. This reality does not exist on DRR.

And with the integration of FotoQuote pricing data into PS (which wil launch in just a few days as promised) the licensing of rights managed images online will be that much easier.

I know I will piss-off the DRR crowd by saying this – but the fact that DRR clients have been waiting for the Marketplace for well over a year now should speak volumes to you – they are obviously having problems getting this thing to work right. When it arrives I am sure it will be welcomed by those who have been waiting and waiting and waiting for it – but I for one will be very surprised if is offers anything that matches what PS is offering right now. And just wait a few days for the FotoQuote rollout – it will rock – as the PS guys do it right. They are incredibly responsive to user feedback and are constantly rolling out upgrades to their service – it just keeps getting better and better.

Now to address your concern about how photo buyers find a photographer inside DRR – the answer is that they can’t find you unless they already know you exist – which is pretty sad considering the money they are charging. I assume this will change when the marketplace launches – and not to beat a dead horse – but who knows when that will be. It was announced in 2005 – promised in 2006 and here we are in 2007. If it were me – I would read the writing on the wall.

PS has just as many registered photo buyers if not more than DRR – I found this out after hounding them for the stats – the guys at PS don’t want to use these numbers for their own promotion because they don’t feel that 20,000 registered photo buyers is really anything to brag about when Getty has something like 3 million. Let’s put this all in-perspective shall we? :-)

This is one thing about DRR’s marketing tactics that really gets under my skin – they use this number of photo buyers to attract you – the solo photographer – leading you to believe that you will have the opportunity to sell your work to these people. In reality – these registered photo buyers are the clients of the agencies that have their archives hosted by DRR – such as VII – Redux etc… and these photo buyers access those agency’s archives via those agency’s websites – not from the front page of DRR – so at this point – these photo buyers will never see your work – unless you market yourself directly to them – and DRR isn’t going to give you access to that information – because those photo buyers are the clients of their clients (the agencies) and that would piss them off. Now maybe some of this will change with the marketplace but that is a big maybe – I for one don’t see VII and Redux giving their client list to DRR so you can try to sell your pictures to them.

My advice would be to get a PS account – you will not be tied to a contract unlike DRR – so if / when the marketplace is up and running and if it turns out to be the best thing to hit the PJ world (fat chance)
you can easily switch to DRR at that point instead of waiting for something that might be another 3 or 6 or 12 months from reality. But my guess is by that point – you will be digging PS so much that someone would have to pay you to switch :-)

Here are a few stats I was able to pry out of the PS guys and my recap of why I think PS is a superior product/service and offers more bang for the buck than DRR.


PhotoShelter has 2,400 photographers now, and 20,000+ registered picture
buyers – they just choose not to use those numbers for marketing purposes.

In a post above Cotton wrote: “we all know the MARKETPLACE on DRR is close to launch, it will be an amazing collection of photographs, starting with some of the major agencies in the world, like VII and Redux. It’s important to us to be a part of this universe….”

1 – I know I’m repeating myself – but people have been waiting for the marketplace for over a year now – do we really know that it will launch soon?

2 – I understand the emotional inclination of wanting to be in the company of the “big boys” but in reality all this amounts to is a clever marketing ploy that is doing absolutley nothing for the individual photographer on DRR.

Contact Press Images – Major League Baseball – at least one NFL team that I know of and a slew of very well known photographers including Ami Vitale, Bill Frakes, Kristen Ashburn, Vincent Laforet, Missy McLamb, Colin Finlay, Michael Zagaris, Darren Carroll, Brad Mangin, Lucian Read, Gray Scott, Robert Catto, Cameron Davidson, John Lee, Jack Gruber etc… all use PhotoShelter

Both services offer good solutions for delivering images to existing clients – but only PS has a true e-commerce system in place for print sales and RF image sales – and in just a few days they will roll out their automated rights-managed e-commerce solution featuring FotoQuote integration. These tools are helping photographers sell their images to new clients that they never had before TODAY – something DRR has only talked about doing for over a year now. And PS offers these tools at a better price point than DRR.

I know I am a biased PS client – but I highly doubt that DRR’s marketplace will offer anything as robust and functional as what PS is already offering today. And whatever the “marketplace” turns out to be – I can’t see it touching PS’s integration of FotoQuote into an automated rights-managed e-commerce solution. But hey – competition is good for the market so I hope they prove me wrong :-)

For those that want or need the ability to deliver RAW or TIFF or EPS files to clients – it can only be done on PS. I have a client that needs PDF’s – no problem delivering them via PS….I’m not going to repeat the list I posted at the start of this thread – but for the features that PS offers and for less money than DRR – the choice is a no-brainer. But to all those fence sitters out there – PhotoShelter offers a free account and DRR has a free trial. Try them both and decide for yourself. There’s no risk in doing so.

by Jock Fistick | 03 Jan 2007 20:01 (ed. Jan 3 2007) | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
Thanks Jock for the very detailed response. You nailed it all right on the head and I thank you for your time.

Best,

Matt

BTW, Wonderful work on your PS site.

by Matthew Arnold | 03 Jan 2007 22:01 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks Matthew :-)

by Jock Fistick | 03 Jan 2007 23:01 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
Wade brings up a good point.

I am obviously biased and a big fan of PS – I have never tried to hide that fact – but I am just a very satisfied customer. The bottom line is that I am an independant photographer trying to make a living in this ever-changing photo market. I have to make financial decisons when I invest in the tools of my trade – be it a camera system – a computer system and now an online archive and e-commerce system with built-in self-promotional tools that help me sell my images to clients I never had before. And if another company – be it DRR or anyone else – comes up with a better tool for me to do this – I’m there! So, I am anxious to see what the “marketplace” will have to offer in this respect. I know my comments are tinged with a little bit of venom – which I won’t apologize for because as I stated early – I feel like DRR’s marketing strategy is a bit misleading and I have no patients for it. The PhotoShelter crew are much more about letting the product speak for itself. They work with a much meaner and leaner staff and are putting more money into their product than into marketing at the moment – so you didn’t see them with a stand at Perpignon – but they were there – spreading the word and demoing their product at the bar or in a restaurant – they just weren’t as obvious as DRR was – which begs another question – with all the money that DRR is putting into marketing – what’s left over for their product? Maybe that is one of the reasons that the marketplace is so late?

This is not to say that PS isn’t marketing their product – they are just doing it in different ways and in different venues – ones that have a wider reach into the broader photography community than just photojournalism – and they are busy marketing the service to photo buyers not just photographers. Obviously this is working as PS has more photographers using their product and the same number of registered photo buyers as DRR which should say a lot since they have only been around since June of 2005. They have been spending their money on things like a licensing deal with FotoQuote to make real-time rights managed online sales a possibility – something no other such service offers (this will be available this month as advertised). And building relationships with companies like Apple and PhotoMechanic – to help streamline your workflow. There are so many features that PS offers that just don’t exist on DRR. And this make PS more attractive to a broader range of photographers – which in itself will attract a broader range of photo-buyers to the PhotoShelter website – all potential clients for photographers who use PS.

DRR is concentrated on photojournalism – which is cool – it is what I do mostly – but it is a small and limited market – and frankly speaking – if you are trying to sell your conflict photography or natural disaster coverage – you will have a tough time competing with the guys at VII who are the best in the business. But if you are trying to sell your editorial and corporate stock – running an event photography business or are a wedding photographer or an illustrator – PS offers a solution for all these different types of businesses – their system accepts over 400 different file types – so if you want to upload RAW or TIFF files you can and you can control what a specific client receives – if you want them to have the RAW or TIFF file – you can control that – but if you only want them to have a JPG file – you can control that too and the PS system with generate a JPG file on the fly – so you only need to upload one type of file and let PS do the rest of the work for you – and the list goes on. Our industry is changing – you might not need this kind of functionality at the moment – but a year or so from now you might find that your business model has changed and that all of a sudden some of these features are useful to you – from my perspective – it is nice to know that these tools are there for me to use if the need arises. Recently I had a client that needed me to send PDF files directly to a printing facility on deadline – I never thought I would need the ability to deal with PDF files for image delivery – but I was able to upload the PDF files to my PS account and send a gallery link to the printer where they could download the original PDF files.

I personally don’t like the idea of giving just any client a RAW file unless I know that they know what to do with it – but I love the idea of being able to upload my best tweaked RAW files with their associated XMP sidecar files – and have them stored in a much safer place than on an external hard drive or DVD. And if a client wants to license that image – I can decide if they get the RAW file or a JPG – and yes – I have checked the quality of the JPGs that PS generates from a RAW file – they are equal to the highest quality jpg file that is generated by photoshop.

There is not one feature that DRR has that PS lacks – but there are a lot of features that PS has that DRR lacks and PS is less expensive and has a more flexible membership agreement – as in no annual contracts. I don’t expect anyone here that has invested a lot of time setting up their archive on DRR and has clients who are familiar with that system to all of a sudden jump ship – because of what I have written here (unless of course that system just isn’t capable of doing the things you need it to do). But I hope that those of you who have not yet committed to one of these services takes the time to look beyond the marketing hype and really consider what features these services offer right now and think about what kind of tools you might need in the future to conduct your business in the best way – and make an informed decision – not an emotional one.

Wade mentioned Mac vs Windows and Canon vs Nikon. It is much the same – for a photographer to dump one camera system for another – there better be a really good reason for doing so – that you can quantify in financial terms – will switching earn me more money? The same goes with someone that has a substantial investment in computer software and hardware – will I be more productive or will my life be easier if I switch from one platform to the other?

If all you want to do is use one of these systems to deliver jpg files to existing clients – then either one will do that job. But if you have other needs – such as an online e-commerce solution – or want the ability to contact new potential clients or think your needs may change in the future – you should take a close look at what these services are offering right now and how they have grown since their inception to get an idea of where they will be in the future – and how that will affect you attaining your goals as a freelance photographer.

Best of luck!

by Jock Fistick | 04 Jan 2007 03:01 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
A word: Photoshelter.

Why people are continually waiting for a service from DRR, when it is already available from PS, is beyond me (especially when PS has more funcitionality).

Of course I use Photoshelter.

Customised site is right here: www.thomaspickard.com

Thomas

by Thomas Pickard | 04 Jan 2007 05:01 | Male', Maldives | | Report spam→
" we all know the MARKETPLACE on DRR is close to launch, it will be an amazing collection of photographs, starting with some of the major agencies in the world, like VII and Redux. It’s important to us to be a part of this universe. I would look at that carefully before you decide." – Cotton Coulson

CORRECTION: VII will NOT be part of DRR’S MARKETPLACE offering. This has never been a consideration for us, as we manage our business affairs 100%.

Still, we wish DRR the best of luck with this new venture.

by [former member] | 04 Jan 2007 08:01 | Venice, CA, United States | | Report spam→
well, i think that Franck post is very important, this is problably what’s holding the DRR marketplace, it’s obvious that agencies don’t need and don’t want to belong to the marketplace. It doesn’t make sense for them. And the idea of beloging to DRR to be a part of the ultimate potojournalist world perhaps it’s not so correct. I mean, is it reasonable to think that someone will buy a photo because you use the same type of archive than VII or REDUX ? besides the fact that it can be customised and you won’t notice the similarity. I think that Ps is offering better prices (this is very important) and good funcionality. Perhaps they don’t have so much top of the art photographers and agencies, but i’m selling my photos, not someone else’s. I’m trying a free account from PS go here and until now i’m glad. I think i’m going for them. Thank you all very much. let’s continue the debate, because we can always change for better!!

by [former member] | 04 Jan 2007 11:01 | Lisboa, Portugal | | Report spam→
well, i think that Franck post is very important, this is problably what’s holding the DRR marketplace, it’s obvious that agencies don’t need and don’t want to belong to the marketplace. It doesn’t make sense for them. And the idea of beloging to DRR to be a part of the ultimate potojournalist world perhaps it’s not so correct. I mean, is it reasonable to think that someone will buy a photo because you use the same type of archive than VII or REDUX ? besides the fact that it can be customised and you won’t notice the similarity. I think that Ps is offering better prices (this is very important) and good funcionality. Perhaps they don’t have so much top of the art photographers and agencies, but i’m selling my photos, not someone else’s. I’m trying a free account from PS go here and until now i’m glad. I think i’m going for them. Thank you all very much. let’s continue the debate, because we can always change for better!!

by [former member] | 04 Jan 2007 11:01 | Lisboa, Portugal | | Report spam→
So there you have it – straight from the director of VII – something DRR has not openly disclosed when “marketing” their product to individual photographers – to the contrary – they lead us to believe – without actually saying it – that if we join DRR we will be in the company of VII and the like. Some might consider this to be a clever marketing strategy – but I for one consider it to be deceptive. I am with you Thomas – I just don’t understand why people insist on ignoring the obvious.

by Jock Fistick | 04 Jan 2007 12:01 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
Quick correction, please. This was NOT deceptive marketing on behalf of the DRR team, this was my error in assuming that some of the listed agencies in the existing directory would be joining Marketplace. I apologize for this error, and thank Frank Evers for making this clear to both myself, and the rest of the Lightstalker community. Marketplace is coming soon and I think that the contributors who elect to participate will be very satisfied with the results. There are great shooters using both services. Hopefully they will both be successful and photographers can find creative new ways to market and share their work. Cotton

by [former member] | 04 Jan 2007 14:01 | Copenhagen, Denmark | | Report spam→
I have used both PS and DRR for about a year. I like both.

1. I find Photoshelter easier to upload to. This may be a function of my location and Internet connection, but I actually upload to PS, then FTP to DRR. The Photoshelter Uploader is bullet proof for me, the Digital Railroad uploader is buggy. Again, this may be a function of my connection to DRR.

2. The thing that really keeps me from going all out with Photoshelter is the layout for those searching for images. All you get is a page of thumbnails, you have to click on the thumbnail to get any information or to add to a lightbox. DRR on the other hand, give you tons of information from the thumbnail page, and allows you to add to lightboxes right from the thumbnail page, as well as configure for number of images per page, size of thumbnails, etc.

3. The way I would like the search to go is to search for a term, get a page of thumbnails, quickly do an edit by adding to a lightbox directly from the search page, then look at the lightbox and edit. To have to click on a thumbnail before adding to a lightbox is a bit inefficient.

4. Both services are VERY responsive.

5. Not long ago, DRR had a major problem. Images were offline for a long period. They were EXTREMELY professional with dealing with the situation, with bi-daily emails, no stone walling, and compensation for those affected. Rather than scare me away, the manner in which they handled the problem convinced me to stay with them.

I am still with both services.

by Tony Rath | 04 Jan 2007 14:01 | Dangriga, Belize | | Report spam→
I have been using DRR since September 2005 and I have found it very useful for selling directly to editorial clients.

I have tried signing in as a “photo buyer” on both DRR and PS to see how this works. I recommend you do the same.

Although the idea of the global search on PS and the other extra features initially sound quiet good, it seems like most of the photographers in PS may not actually use them.

I just ran a simple search test of the names that Jock listed in his post above to see how many images each of the photographers has available for “rights managed” sales. (This is how a photo editor would search if looking for an image to buy for publication.)

The results are quite telling…

Ami Vitale (1)
Bill Frakes (0)
Kristen Ashburn (0)
Vincent Laforet (0)
Missy McLamb (0)
Colin Finlay (0)
Michael Zagaris (0)
Darren Carroll (0)
Brad Mangin (8541)
Lucian Read (0)
Gray Scott (0)
Robert Catto (3128)
Cameron Davidson (2740)
John Lee (0)
Jack Gruber (77)
Jock Fistick (2983)

…of the 16 people listed, only 5 people have images available to sell to editors. Everyone else seems to be using the service only for print sales or as an online gallery. Ami, Kristen, Vincent and Lucian work primarily as editorial photojournalists, so I can only deduct that they must be selling their images to clients through some other manner.

Next, I did a keyword search (checking for “rights managed” again) for three topics likely to show up in the headlines these days. Here are the results:

“Darfur” (4 images found, but none were actually taken in Africa)
“FIdel Castro” (10 images found, all taken by Jock at one press conference)
“Taliban” (11 images were found, but only one actually shows a Taliban fighter, and that photo is from 1996)

By contrast, if you search for topics that are more likely to appeal to other types of people browsing the system, and you don’t restrict it to only rights managed, you get much better results:

“Wedding” (19498)
“Sunset” (5976)
“Baby” (4279)

Hopefully DRR will have their Marketplace running before too long, and I can perform similar search tests. The main outlet for my photos is publication in magazines and newspapers, so I hope the folks at DRR are spending their (very long) development time on creating a global search that turns out to be more useful for photojournalism editors than the PS global search currently appears.

by Tomas van Houtryve | 04 Jan 2007 22:01 (ed. Jan 5 2007) | Paris, France | | Report spam→
Hey Tomas,
Most people that are buying the images come to my own website first and then I give them access to download directly. You are correct though and I’m anxious to get more images up and available to be searched using the global search engine. I’m sure it will reach a much bigger audience this way. I’ve been happy with PS just based on all the other features. Its already been mentioned here but supporting raw image formats, as well as Photoshop and PDF files has been very useful. I also love that its integrated with applications like Photo Mechanic and Aperture which really speeds up the editing/uploading process. Ultimately, you have to choose what works best for you but I have to say that my experience with PS has been fantastic. The support team is super fast and they seem to be constantly developing their product. Happy New year! ami

by [former member] | 04 Jan 2007 23:01 | Chapel Hill, NC, United States | | Report spam→
Tomas:

First of all your work is excellent – I am a big fan!

Now back to your post :-)

You wrote that most photographers on PS don’t seem to be using these tools – but you conducted a search on only a handful of PS users – there are over 2800 photographers currently using PS – so I don’t see your “test” as anything remotely conclusive. Also, you are making a huge assumption that all photographers use PS in the same way or for the same reasons. As Ami mentioned she has her own way of working and using PS. Some use PS solely as an online archive as they have agreements either with their employer or agency for the sale of their work – and in this instance – PS is a much less expensive solution than DRR for this purpose (PS = 100 Gb for $50/month – DRR = 20 GB for $50/month). And just because a photographer has not marked an image as “for sale” via rights managed pricing – RF or print sales – it doesn’t really matter as the photo buyer can still contact the photographer directly from the page where they are viewing the image and make inquiries about licensing the image. And at this point – no matter what service you use – any rights managed licensing agreement is usually conducted via a back and forth email negotiation or over the phone – but this will change in a few days on PS when their automated rights managed licensing engine is rolled out. I for one am really looking forward to this and I know I am not alone.

Another photographer you mentioned is Missy McLamb who is a high end wedding and event photographer – she has no need to sell rights managed images on line – but she really exploits the lightbox feature of PS which is much more than just a viewing gallery or shopping cart – it is a true collaborative editing tool that can be shared between multiple users (access being controlled by the photographer) and images can be rated by the viewers and the photographer can see how each individual viewer rates the images in the lightbox.

Since I am mostly an editorial guy – I don’t have much day to day need for this feature – but I did have a rather big corporate job recently where I was dealing with both an art director and the end client – and they loved being able to bounce the lightbox between them and edit the take down to the final selects which they then sent to me with their ratings – I then gave them access to download the files that they had chosen. And in this case they wanted TIFF files – which I was able to deliver via PS. Even though I don’t use it much – I am thrilled that this feature is available – it made my life much easier and I have a very happy client. So PS is many different things to many different kinds of photographers.

But your point is well taken – a photo buyer can actually do a search like this on PS but they can’t do one on DRR – to me that is the most telling of your findings :-)

All my best,

Jock

by Jock Fistick | 05 Jan 2007 02:01 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
Hey Ami—

Sounds like the direct upload link is a useful feature. It is definitely in all of our interests to get as many quality images as possible up and available on these services. Once we have reached a ‘critical mass’ of buyable photos, I think these photographer-run archives will be more of a magnet for buyers. I think this is clearly healthy for the industry because it puts some pressure on agencies to work just as hard as we do. The standard cut of 50% that agencies demand from photographers was invented back in the day when we were shipping them un-processed film and they had to do a lot more production work including editing, printing duplicates and sending them directly to magazines. Now all they have to do is forward our files into their archive, add a few keywords, and send out a weekly email. It only seems fair that they start lowering their commissions to reflect the lower workload per image, or clearly more photographers will choose to sell directly with these online tools like PS and DRR.

===

Hey Jock—

Your enthusiasm is for PS is certainly contagious, but you do seem to have a tendency to skim over many of the good features of DRR while singing the praises of PS. I had a look, and your work looks very impressive in the PS archive and you have certainly figured out how to master their tools.

However, since I remain content with the DRR service, I am determined to give the comparison a fair shake. Here are a few other features I find worthy of mention:

Batch downloads

• DRR allows users to batch download up to 24 images a time in either high-res or low-res form

• PS images can only be downloaded one at a time

Image re-size and FTP

• DRR can l automatically re-size photos for FTP transmission and download. (This means you don’t have to send a 50MB file to a client who only needs low-res version for a website.) JPEGs and TIFFs are supported.

• PS supports RAW or TIFF to JPEG conversion, but not resizing

Credit Card Sales

• PS: In order to enable buyers to use credit cards to buy images, the archive owner has to take two steps.

1) Either pay a $50 ‘Sales Set-up Fee’ or upgrade to a ‘Standard’ ($30/month) or ‘Pro’ ($50/month) subscription.

2) Then obtain a ‘merchant account’ from a third party vendor. According to the PS website the fee to do this depends on the vendor, but it should cost “a couple hundred dollars at the very most.” (Does anyone who has already done this know exactly what it does cost?)

• DRR: Buyers can directly buy images by credit card. All archives are automatically configured to do this for the normal ($50/month) subscription fee.

…anyway, I am glad to see that their are two services available for us to choose from, and I hope that competition spurs even faster development from them.

All the best to you in 2007.

by Tomas van Houtryve | 05 Jan 2007 23:01 (ed. Jan 5 2007) | Paris, France | | Report spam→
Tomas:

Yes – it is good to have competing services to drive development.

As for payment options – you missed one on PS which is Pay-Pal. This is the option I chose to use because it was easy to do – it didn’t cost anything extra to set up and there was little to no time delay in the set up. Getting a merchant account up and running costs a little bit of coin – and takes some time. I have not had any complaints from clients using Pay-Pal but I may decide to set up a merchant account at some point in the future if I feel their is a need for it – but I can not speak to the actual set up costs at the moment.

Since each DRR account is configured to accept credit cards – obviously the transactions are going through DRR’s merchant account – do you mind me asking what DRR is charging for this service and how long it takes to get paid from DRR once you have made a sale? If I remember correctly Pay-Pal takes something like 7% of a transaction which I think is a tad higher than what the credit card companies charge via a merchant account.

Honestly, most of my sales are billed via direct invoice at the moment since each licensing agreement has to be negotiated – but hopefully this will change when the automated rights-managed licensing tool is launched on PS – then photo-buyers will be able to input there usage parameters – get a price – enter their credit card details and download the file – all in real time.

As for Batch downloads – I for one have asked for this and I am sure others have as well. I do like the ability for the client to choose a file size on DRR and hope PS will add this too.

File Types: As you mentioned PS supports RAW or TIFF to JPG conversion – but it also supports 400 different file types and the ability to deliver the original file type to the client – be it a PDF or EPS of PSD, PNG, RAW etc… which can be very handy.

I know they are working on a slew of upgrades which I am not at liberty to discuss – the tech gurus at PS really respond to user feedback and implement upgrades and new features at a staggering pace.

Keep in mind – PS has only been around for about 18 months and what they have done in that time frame is pretty incredible. But there is always room for improvement and it is on the way…

Have a great 2007!

by Jock Fistick | 06 Jan 2007 02:01 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
Another point for PhSh: the content is visible to Google.

In other words, if you have some unique images (in terms of their content) and they are properly captioned, then they will come up in Google. Google Julien Leparoux for example and you will find a page from my customized website. I believe this is a big plus for the independent photographer.

FYI, I was with DRR and switched. Don’t regret it. PhSh is not perfect but it is a very impressive tool.

by David Brabyn | 06 Jan 2007 02:01 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Interesting, Wade. The next question is how high do DRR pages rank in Google? I am assuming that they – just like PhSh pages – are not linked to by anyone or almost anyone.

by David Brabyn | 06 Jan 2007 03:01 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Just to clarify: At this time we (Redux) aren’t planning on putting our material into the Marketplace. That might change in the future (for instance, we may put pictures in for sale in countries where we have no representation or direct contacts) but for now buyers looking for our work will have to come to our individual archive.

by [former member] | 08 Jan 2007 21:01 (ed. Jan 10 2007) | New York City, United States | | Report spam→

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Participants

Jock Fistick, Photojournalist Jock Fistick
Photojournalist
Brussels , Belgium ( BRU )
Jon Orlando, Photographer Jon Orlando
Photographer
Denver , United States
Paul  Treacy, Photographer Paul Treacy
Photographer
(Photohumourist)
London , United Kingdom ( LGW )
Tomoko Yamamoto, Multimedia Artist Tomoko Yamamoto
Multimedia Artist
Vienna , Austria ( VIE )
Daniel Beltra, Photographer Daniel Beltra
Photographer
Seattle , United States
A. Mayer, Photographer A. Mayer
Photographer
New York City , United States
Martin Shakeshaft, Photojournalist Martin Shakeshaft
Photojournalist
Barcelona , Spain
Matthew Arnold, Photographer Matthew Arnold
Photographer
(Matthew Arnold Photography)
Tobruk , Libya
Thomas Pickard, Photographer Thomas Pickard
Photographer
Rarotonga , Cook Islands
Tony Rath, Photographer Tony Rath
Photographer
Dangriga , Belize
Tomas van Houtryve, Photographer Tomas van Houtryve
Photographer
(VII Network)
[undisclosed location].
David Brabyn, Photojournalist David Brabyn
Photojournalist
New York , United States


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