Membership and storage changes
As of beginning of this month, ShutterPoint has started to require all members to
have storage space accounts, and no longer offers free ”spaceless”
membership. We now require a storage space subscription to begin not later than 7
days after the registration with the website. As the result of this change, we had to
remove all ”spaceless” accounts that accumulated over the recent months.
Why is it important? Read the next section to find out.
You may have noticed a slight change in the ratings of your photos. This change is a
result of the removal of ratings given by those members who had no storage space. For
most of the members, this change is more positive than negative, as members who are
no longer with us used to give ratings slightly harsher than the others.
Most Viewed section
Last month we started counting views each photo receives. As we gathered views
information, we can now present you with a new section - Most Viewed photos. This
section displays photos with the most views, hence the name. You may notice that most
viewed photos are often the same ones as highest rated, however observing the
differences between the two sets is quite educational.
Downloading small resolution images
Previously, we have added a ”Download Comp” link under each photo, which
provides the ability to download a small version of the photo. We have received
some negative feedback on this new feature, mostly concerns about photos being
downloaded freely, so we feel we should justify the addition of this feature:
When big is not big enough
- Buyers need to be able to test out layout of their projects, or share
ideas about potential photos with their team or clients. Without the ability to
download a small, unusable for print image, this is impossible.
Having a watermark on your image is the only bullet-proof way to protect it
form unauthorized use, and the comp photo will carry your watermark as well,
thus making the image unusable. Even though right-click ”Save as”
workaround implemented at ShutterPoint prevents some visitors from
downloading images, it can only trick those who have no knowledge of HTML.
A web-savvy user can discover alternative ways to grab the preview size image
file, or use a ”print screen” feature and paste to any image editor.
Comp image is even smaller than the one displayed on site, and it is unusable
for print, and most of electronic publications.
Many stock photography sites allow downloading of comp images - this is the
stock photo industry standard.
Using small resolution comp images for any unauthorized purposes is in violation
of Terms of Service and therefore any distribution of them against the terms of
License Agreement is copyright infringement.
The section does not apply to all of our members. We included it here to prevent
the situation described below from becoming a trend. If you are serious about
selling photos, you should read on. Please review this real scenario:
This is not an imaginary situation and it keeps happening over and over. ShutterPoint
was built with a simple purchase process in mind, aiming for a hassle-free direct
download. Going through steps above defeats the purpose and causes buyer frustration
and confusion. We do not want this to happen.
Photographer has a very high resolution image, perhaps about 8MB or so in size, that he/she wants to sell it. To reduce space it would take to place the image in his/her account, the photographer creates a smaller file, perhaps 1500x1000 pixels, about 1.5MB in size, and submits this smaller image to ShutterPoint. Photographer then might add a note to the photo description mentioning that higher resolution image is available.
A buyer comes to ShutterPoint, and purchases the above mentioned photo. After downloading a high resolution image, the buyer realizes that its resolution not high enough. He/she may have overlooked size specifications, or did not know how to interpret it, until a designer on the team explained it and said that the image is too small for printing.
The buyer contacts ShutterPoint inquiring of an availability of the higher resolution photo. The buyer stresses the urgency and he/she wants a higher resolution image ASAP.
ShutterPoint contacts photographer inquiring if the photo that was recently sold can be made available in higher resolution. There are many ways it can go from here: photographer does not respond since he/she went to Africa to shoot tigers, photo is available but for more money, photo is not available in the resolution a buyer requested, or it's available, but no more free space in the account exists, and it cannot be uploaded. In the best case scenario, the higher resolution photo is uploaded, and buyer is directed to the new link to buy it again.
Regardless of the outcome, the buyer will be unsatisfied. He/she will most likely request to cancel the order and ShutterPoint will provide a refund for the sale.
We strongly encourage all members to upload files in the highest resolution possible.
Many buyers do know what the pixel dimensions mean, and they are simply not willing
to go through a process of contacting anyone to see if higher resolution is
available, or how it can be obtained. They simply move on and get another image from
An opponent of submitting full resolution files might say that ShutterPoint is simply
trying to sell members more space to hold bigger files. Even though this sounds like
a valid argument, it is not so. It's better for the photographer to submit 10-15 of
the best photos in high resolution and sell a few, than to submit 50 of them in
low resolution and sell none. Of course, if you use the site as a promotion tool
rather than trying to sell, all of the above does not apply to you.
New minimum price
Many photographers are anxious to sell their photos, and they believe setting the
prices low will lure buyers to buy from them. This is one of the biggest mistakes a
photographer can make. If you noticed, there are no features of comparison shopping
at ShutterPoint, instead we try to direct buyers to photos most relevant to their
needs, not the most affordable ones. Stock photo prices from well-known agencies
sometimes reach thousands of dollars, and buyers are well aware that good photos are
not cheap. Serious publishers in most cases can afford to pay much more for photos,
and the price of the photo is rarely a deciding factor if it is within a
reasonable range. When someone truly likes and needs your photo, $50 vs. $25 does not
make much difference for them, you may want to keep that in mind when setting prices.
In the effort to discourage photographers setting prices too low, we raised the
minimum price to $20. Additionally, all photos with prices less than $20 will be
brought up to $20 within a few days.
Do you have your own photography website? We have put together a page where you can
grab portions of HTML code to link back to ShutterPoint form your pages. You can link
to your own photos as well, and display a graphics telling your visitors you are a
member of ShutterPoint.
Webmaster's tools are located at: