“Stocksy isn’t a place where you just dump your hard drive and hope for the best,” says the stock agency’s VP of product, Nuño Silva. The organization stands out from the crowd with its highly selective collection of images and a co-op structure that gives every member a voice in the company. “We work with photographers on a one-on-one basis and make sure they’re seeing the success they deserve,” Silva explains. Recently, Stocksy has also distinguished itself by forming an exclusive partnership with Adobe Stock, opening up a vast new distribution platform to Stocksy photographers.
When Stocksy was founded in 2013, the prospects for photographers shooting stock were looking increasingly bleak. Royalties were dropping as agencies made deals behind closed doors, and the general quality of stock imagery was falling, too. “People started seeing all kinds of crappy-looking photos and making fun of stock,” recalls Silva. “As photographers, we had to shoot more volume instead of quality images, just to compensate for the fact that our royalties were going down.”
Stocksy’s founders thought the industry was overdue for a fresh approach. Based in Victoria BC, Canada, they turned to the province of Alberta’s co-operative farms as a model for building a new kind of agency. All of Stocksy’s members are co-owners of the agency and were invited to join because they share a dedication to creating high-quality imagery.
Today, Stocksy counts nearly 1,000 members from 65 countries and licenses images to buyers in a broad range of industries. Its partnership with Adobe Stock has brought Stocksy photographers even greater market exposure. “Adobe has fantastic reach internationally with its Creative Cloud customers,” Silva observes. “We also are really impressed with Adobe’s marketing team and their efforts to showcase the work.” The marketing and distribution expansion has brought clear benefits to Stocksy photographers. “We’ve seen a significant month-over-month increase in revenue that our photographers are getting from Adobe Stock,” says Silva.
But creating the partnership in the first place wasn’t a given. “We’ve had a lot of larger stock photo agencies approach us to distribute our content,” Silva explains. The agency rejected all of those offers and spent months deliberating before finally inking the deal with Adobe Stock. “When we were talking to Adobe, we realized that we were very much aligned in our philosophy of rewarding artists, paying them fairly, and making sure that the interests of all of our members were being considered,” says Silva. When it came down to a vote, he says, “we had almost unanimous support from our membership for the partnership.”
With the market expansion, Stocksy is looking to expand its membership as well. “We’ve just opened a call to artists,” says Silva. “We’re asking for photographers and videographers to submit a sampling of their portfolio.” It’s a promising opportunity. “I think things are shifting in the industry,” says Silva. “New companies are coming up; old companies are being absorbed or discontinued. It’s interesting to see the shifts in where consumers are going to acquire content. Stocksy is in a good place, because we’re a unique collection partnering with one of the largest distribution networks, Adobe Stock.”
—Sponsored by Adobe