Even with dozens of stock photo agencies offering up millions of images, clients still sometimes struggle to find the right image to meet their needs. Our unique Stock Request service provides clients with access to our extensive network of photographers – each with many images that won’t be found in any stock photo library (and perhaps more importantly – clients won’t find them in their competitor’s campaigns). In a world full of cheap royalty-free stock, Wonderful Machine attracts clients who are looking for premium stock content and who are willing to pay a premium price for it.
Depending on the scope of the project and the needs of the client, a Stock Request will either be “Managed” or “Unmanaged.” Unmanaged Stock Requests are usually low-budget editorial and Managed Stock Requests tend to be high-budget editorial or for medium to high-budget commercial use.
With Unmanaged Stock Requests, we send a notification out to our photographers in the form of a mass email (through Mailchimp). We share the contact information for the client (in addition to the creative brief, licensing requirements, budget, deadline), and our photographers then submit their photos and negotiate their fee directly with that client. For Managed Stock Requests, instead of the photographers submitting content to the client, they send it to us. We then curate the content from many photographers into one submission for the benefit of the client and we negotiate the fee on behalf of the photographer(s).
Some photographers wonder why we don’t connect them directly to the client in all situations. There are three reasons for this. First, when a client has a premium budget, they expect premium service. They don’t want to deal with 20 photographers, they want to work with one experienced producer who they can trust to understand and deliver on their creative, technical, logistical, financial, and legal needs. Second, any intelligent client receiving high-quality submissions from multiple photographers would quite naturally play one against the other in the negotiating process. This would have the effect of lowering the value of those photographs. Third, providing this curating and negotiating is very time-consuming, and thus expensive. So we can only justify doing it if we can collect a reasonable fee for that expertise.
We currently have 526 photographers who pay a monthly membership fee in order to be included in all of our Managed and Unmanaged Stock Requests. We have 19,924 photographers who receive some of our Managed Stock requests when their location, specialties, and expertise matches up with the needs of the creative brief. We split 50/50 with photographers who are not paying to be part of our Stock Requests program. For photographers who are paying to be part of our Stock Requests service, we pay out a 60% commission on Managed Stock Requests and they keep 100% of the fees on all Unmanaged Stock Requests.
We have Stock Requests page on our website that prompts clients for all the information we need:
We recently handled a Stock Request for Target. They needed a photo of a red barn for butter and eggs packaging. Here’s the emailer we sent to our photographers:
Here’s the submission that the client chose:
Our producers made sure the photos had a property release we got a list of every other client that had used the photo (which turned out to be none) and we negotiated a licensing fee of $15,000. Here’s how Target used the photo:
Want to sign up to receive our Stock Requests or just have a question? Give us a shout!