Apart from my commissioned work, I keep an archive of stock images, all RF, that I sell from my own stock label nelimages.com . Now, I supply among others to Getty/Gallo Images, istockphoto (owned by Getty anyways) and then nelimages. I've recently chatted to a stock agency in Germany interested in taking some of my collection onto their books. However, nelimages.com is where I call the shots.
What I enjoy most about my own collection here is the regional relevance of the images. The African models here are really African, more specifically South African. That is hard to find in any other major stock agency. The food is from here. The landscapes and scapes and general are from here. The needs are from here, as the images are often sourced from older commercial work where I own the copyright.
Apart from that, the site is rather nifty with key-word searchability, light-boxes, emailing of selection etc etc etc. I paid some good money for this thing! You can register/subscribe to the site, FOR FREE, to use all this functionality. Don't worry, this doesn't include a newsletter you don't want to read anyways. You can even rate the pics.
As was noted recently by Chase Jarvis's right-hand man on their blog is that supplying to major stock agencies means being narrowed into scientifically monitored and planned criteria, which is all good and well to try and reach the very commercial market, but one has images that you like, or in my case that is not exclusive in the market anymore, such as released and expired licenses that allow me to resell images. Wow, that was a long sentence... Basically, for some reason I felt these images to be better suited to my portal's needs. I shoot specifically for Getty, and those images never make it here. The rest is a divide between very generic (for istock) and more client specific and off-beat images I like for nelimages.com. I can also keep as many version of a shot as I like, and avoid the wastage of multiple image submissions, where good shots are left unusable by similar's restraints in releases.
Anyways, here is a introduction to some of the images I keep on nelimages.com . They are all model-released, property released, RF and up to A3 Adobe RGB jpg's.
Photo ID: 1281
Gallery ID: 42 - People
Photo ID: 402
Gallery ID: 37 - Food Beverages Culinary
Photo ID: 63
Gallery ID: 38 - Cape Town & Tourism
The delivery of images takes place through email, ftp or disc and payments are no longer excepted via credit card portals, since I've disabled direct download capabilities, due to some security concerns and excessive bandwidth costs for the size of my set-up. However, the site is fully keyword-searchable and even has secure galleries, where clients can view their images before they order.
I don't however take submissions from other photographers as this is very specifically an archive of images I own.
What are the biggest challenges in running nelimages.com?
Mmm. Time for stock image preparation and upload, and sourcing the images from my collection. Then there is competing with the pricing of istock and the like (if you can't beat them join them). But mainly, I'd say time. I'm sitting on thousands and thousands of images in my archive that hasn't seen the light of nelimages.com, simply because I haven't had time. Instead of trying to just do big uploads, I'm starting to upload images as I finish them and prep them.
Also, I would imagine, is to simply get people to buy stock! If PRO's, companies and not just designers and publications, can see how a simple image can spice up their corporate identities, stationary, website and the like, they would start buying stock like it's going out of fashion.