Michael is the owner of SnapMarket where they offer a massive choice of royalty free stock images, photos and illustrations. They
consider SnapMarket to be one of the cheapest stock photography
websites in the world and they also pay very generous commissions to their contributors.
Tell us a little about yourself and the Snapmarket site.
Well my name is Michael, I was born and currently reside in
Melbourne, Australia. I have always considered myself to be a bit of
an internet entrepreneur, by day I am a web & graphic designer but
by night I get into my own projects. SnapMarket is the latest
project and so far it has shown some really good potential, so much
so that I am finding I have less and less time for my design work
(laughs). SnapMarket is definitely a project I am going to put 100%
into and continue to build to become a household name in the buying
& selling of stock photography. The rate at which it is growing is
extremely impressive, even if I do say so myself! (laughs).
Why did you start building this site?
I started building this site because as a web & graphic designer I
found that I was purchasing stock images on a daily basis. Just
knowing how expensive this can be, I really wanted to start a
website that offered much fairer pricing; not only that but I
noticed contributors on other micro-stock websites were being paid
very little to sell their photos, images & illustrations. I really
wanted to change that and give both buyers and sellers a fair
How is your service helping photographers sell their
SnapMarket is helping photographers to sell their photos by
providing a very busy marketplace that pays some of the best
commissions in the micro-stock world. We advertise our photographers media heavily throughout Facebook, Google and many other media outlets so that their images can be seen and sold.
What makes your site different or better for those looking
for photography to use?
Basically, it all comes down to the pricing and our licensing terms.
We provide the highest quality images at very affordable prices. We
also have credit & subscription packages so that buyers can save
even more compared with buying images one by one. Our research has shown that SnapMarket is one of the cheapest websites to buy royalty free stock images in the world. Our licensing terms are very easy going also. We do not have ‘Rights Managed Pricing’ where a buyer has to pay for a license that allows them to print a certain amount of flyers using that image, etc. Other stock websites have this
licensing structure and in my honest opinion, I don’t think it works
the way it was intended. I believe it makes those stock companies a
hell of a lot more money (laughs) but at the end of the day, how do
they know that image isn’t being used and printed more times than
the license allows them anyway?
Contributors may like the ‘Rights Managed Pricing’ licenses because
they can potentially make more money but on SnapMarket our
commissions are high enough for them not to worry about that.
Because of this model, we believe in the long run we get more sales
which translates directly into more money for the contributor.
As a buyer on SnapMarket, you pay for an image once and you get a
lifetime license to use that image in any of your projects, be it
personal or commercial. The only thing we ask is that images are not
resold or used in an inappropriate manner. All of our licensing terms
are covered in much more detail on our website.
How many photographers do you feature and how do you make
sure the quality is up to your standards?
At this current moment SnapMarket has over 400 photographers &
designers signed up and contributing images daily. Every single
image is manually checked one by one to make sure it is up to our
quality standards so that our visitors can buy with confidence. This
is the part that can take up quite a lot of time but it is mandatory
when operating a quality site like SnapMarket.
What is a Lightbox?
A lightbox is a place for a visitor/member to save the photos that
they like on SnapMarket. They can group these photos in to different
lightboxes and name the lightbox whatever they like. It is extremely
helpful for designers to use a lightbox so that they can run the
images by their clients before purchasing them. To sum it up simply,
it is like a bookmark of your favourite photos which can be opened
at any time so that they can always be found and purchased in
How did you build up the web site and get it popular?
Like most successful websites this was a lot of work and dedication.
It took months of developing the website and it is has new features
being added almost every single day. In terms of of getting the
website to be popular, we run constant social media ads, other
online advertising and search engine marketing campaigns. We also
run offline campaigns in the form of print media. We have noticed
that a lot of our traffic is now coming through organically (without
the aid of advertising) as more and more people learn the name and
what we do at SnapMarket.
Can you name some tips for those who want to start their own
photography web site?
Hmm, where do I start? I guess I would just have to say it is a lot
of work but the satisfaction of knowing you are making buyers and
sellers happy is amazing. As with any project, the advice I would
give is to stick at it, work hard, offer something different to your
competitors and offer A1 customer/member service. Keeping all of
your customers/members happy is the most important aspect of any
business, if you can do that you will get repeat business and the
love for your brand will grow. People always say ‘word of mouth’ is
your best form of advertising and I would have to agree. See ahead
and try to think of any obstacles that could be in your way and work
out solutions for them before they happen.
The best tip I can give them though is: Don’t start a stock
photography site, just sign up with SnapMarket where We handle all
of the advertising and costs (laughs). Images take up a lot of space
so the costs involved just in maintaining a server is quite
expensive in itself.
Thanks Michael for sharing your experience with building an
online marketplace for photographers!
…and then check out the SnapMarket: