Photo service 500px is rolling out a new photographer directory that will enable its users to be discovered by paying clients.
The directory is now in beta, is opt-in and currently free for any 500px member. It boasts 50,000 photographers spanning 11,000 locations in 191 countries, according to 500px. Potential buyers can search the directory by photography type (portrait, commercial, wedding, etc.) and by location. Photographer profiles include sample images, information such as the gear they own, their availability and links to external websites. Once a buyer finds a photographer they’re interested in, the transaction is handled between the photographer and client–the photographer sets his/her price and handles billing directly with the client.
The directory is part of a broader effort by 500px to link photographers with paying assignments. Late last year, the service introduced a “photography-on-demand” platform where brands would contract with 500px to shoot specific assignments. 500px built the directory to help mine its network for photographers to assign to those jobs, says company CEO Andy Yang. To date, the photography-on-demand service has resulted in thousands of assignments, Yang says. “Approaching tens of thousands,” he adds.
500px is also testing a Directory API in private better that lets companies embed lists of 500px photographers on their site to extend the visibility of photographers listed in the directory.
While the directory is free for users, 500px is currently exploring ways to monetize it, including the possibility of offering preferential search positions for paying photographers, Yang tell us.
The company is also actively researching how to better surface high quality images for clients using artificial intelligence and analytics, Yang says. Using its immense pool of images as a data set, the company has paired with researchers to discover what makes a pleasing and engaging image. This data can be used to either find images already on 500px servers or to help craft assignments for the on-demand platform, Yang notes.
Beyond boosting its own stock service, 500px also announced a partnership with Adobe Stock to offer Adobe users a select set of 500px images in the Adobe Stock Premium collection.