Meet Austockphoto, Anthill 2017 Cool Company Award WINNER

Meet Austockphoto, Anthill 2017 Cool Company Award WINNER [Startup]


What are the Anthill Cool Company Awards about?

The Cool Company Awards were launched in 2006 as a way for Anthill to acknowledge and celebrate Australian organisations that are doing things differently to bring about positive change. Cool Companies stay one step ahead of the rest. They breed leaders who are rule-makers and rule-breakers. They are trend-setters in attitude and action. Quite simply, they are … cool! More

Austockphoto [WINNER, Startup]

Company: Austockphoto
State: NSW
Category: Startup

This cool company was born when one of the founding directors, Kassandra Hunt, decided that she and the family needed a break from Sydney life, and devised a harebrained plan to sell their house, buy a caravan and hit the road.

“This got us thinking about a new focus for Kass during her ‘break’, and the idea for Austockphoto was born. We had often lamented the lack of a fairly priced, royalty free Australian stock photo library, but had never had a moment spare to ever contemplate building one. It was time to make it happen: Australian people and places captured by Australians for Australians,” co-founder Claire Bonnor said.

Austockphoto provides a carefully curated stock photo library with nothing but real-life, locally-sourced imagery. Australian businesses can connect with audiences using imagery that feels familiar and authentic, and Australian photographers can be paid fairly for their work.

It does this by selling image licenses online through the Austockphoto website. Standard licenses are priced between $10 and $110, and extended licenses as well as corporate account options are available. Artists receive 50% to 75% of the royalties from every exclusive license.

Its focus isn’t selling images of exported, clichéd Australia that might appeal to an international tourist market, instead Austockphoto is intentionally building a collection of images that tell stories, which Australian audiences can relate to that celebrate the everyday.

Austockphoto is proud of its collaborative approach and community vibe: 170 photographers currently shoot for the site with new talent signing up regularly.

What has Austockphoto changed so far?

Previously, designers and marketers trawled through international sites, hoping to find an Australian photographer or an image that might pass off as Australian – but often something’s not quite right – the light, the ethnicity mix, the currency.

Until Austockphoto, there has not been a stock library with a focus on rediscovering through images what it means to be Australian today. Its competitors include Stocksy (Canadian), Getty and iStock (American), Shutterstock and Offset (American) and Imagefolk (not all Australian images).

It is made for anyone who might buy stock images for their marketing and communication materials.

“We hope that as the new kid on the block in the stock photography industry, that we will secure a price point that is fair for all: both artists and consumers. We pay artists fairly. International micro-stock agencies pay $0.20-$20.00 an image; we pay $5.00-$50.00 for an exclusive standard license,” Claire told Anthill.

“We also hope to lead the way in asserting that stock photography doesn’t have to be glamorous or even particularly trendy. We embrace the diversity of contemporary multicultural Australia and maintain a spirit of welcomeness and inclusiveness in everything we do.

“We also hope to bring an appropriate level of respect when it comes to photographing Aboriginal people and sacred sites,” she went on to highlight, “We have set up special protocols for Indigenous Australian submissions and we do not accept photos of Aboriginal artwork, as we believe these belong to the traditional communities who created them.”

“Our stock photo collection, like the land and people it represents, is completely unique and is alive with colour, love and warmth. These kind of images you want to crawl into. Austockphoto has been described as a ‘game changer’ for the industry, and we believe we are forging a path and providing a platform which is long overdue in Australia.”

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