Guide to Wonderful Machine Stock Requests Tool

Sep 21, 2017
Wonderful Machine News

If you're one of our regular clients or a member photographer, chances are you've taken advantage of our stock request feature at some point or another. Lately, we've been getting a lot of questions about how this tool works. With this guide, clients and photographers alike can learn how to make the most of our stock request service.

How does it work?

Whereas traditional stock agencies require creatives to slog through page after page of photos (that may or may not have been used in a competitor's previous campaign), our photographers do the digging instead. After the client completes the simple form, their request will go out to our roster of over 700 members, who'll send images straight from their personal archives directly to the client's inbox. These are usually never-before-seen pictures, and sometimes our photographers even create images on the spec just to fulfill the request and gain exposure for their work.

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Have a stock request you'd like us to pass along to our member photographers? Fill out the Stock Requests form on our site!

The information from each completed form is compiled into a single message that's sent out to photographers every other day, so members on the receiving end of these requests don't have to worry about getting bombarded with emails. We like to group them together this way so they arrive in neat little packages and don't get buried among other messages. 

How long does it take?

Timing is everything! While we appreciate art directors and photo editors who send requests 4 or more days ahead of their deadline, we'll still be receptive to ones that come in on their due date. We understand that deadlines are sometimes subject to change. But do keep in mind, larger time frames will yield a greater pool of images to choose from.

For photographers, it's best to find that gem of a picture as quickly as possible and get it to the client. 


Look familiar? Here's an example of our stock request email delivered straight to our lovely members' inboxes.

What's the success rate?

Since we want to encourage the development of photographer and client relationships, our stock request tool is set up so that both parties can communicate directly with one another once the picture is chosen. We don't negotiate the licensing terms (unless you want us to); we simply help you make the connection. As a result, we're not made aware of every stock purchase or sale that's made through our service though we do encourage you to reach out and let us know! I speak on behalf of our whole team when I say that any success a client or photographer has is a company-wide success. 


They say the proof is in the pudding, but we think it's in the pictures! Check out these success stories from photographers and clients alike.

Photographer Steve Craft was able to license an image he shot while on a month-long European trip to Food Network Magazine:

Steve Craft, Food Network Magazine, Food Network, tear sheet, stock request, stock requests, Wonderful Machine

I received the stock request in late October and I sent in a low-res web gallery of images I had of Italy that fit what they were looking for. A week later I heard from Brendan, the photo editor and he sent me a price list for usage and said they would take a closer look at my shots.

A month later, they wrote saying that they were going to use this image as a full page, so I sent them a hi-res TIFF and that was it.  

Santa Monica-based photographer Natasha Lee recently licensed a picture to Time, Inc for their GEICO Now 2017 Spring Issue:

tear sheet, stock request, stock requests, Wonderful Machine, Natasha Lee, Santa Monica, Geico, Time INC

The image was shot for a personal project — we took a family trip to Montana that I documented. It happened to be great timing: we travelled in September, and the stock request appeared in November. I narrowed down what I had based on the description and submitted 19 images. Christina responded that she’d like to see more, so I sent another handful with the same theme. About a month and a half later, she emailed that they had selected one of the images for the layout. 

John Muggenborg sent us a tear sheet from German magazine Der Speigel, featuring one of his photographs sourced using our stock request service: 

John Muggenborg, Audi, Der Speigel, tear sheet, stock request, stock requests, Wonderful Machine

Clients too have sung the praises of our Stock Request feature!

Maggie Blattel from FamilyFun Magazine noted:

I know that in the last few months we’ve licensed images from Kimberly Davis, Art Meripol, and Jason Varney through your tool. There may be a couple of others as well, whom I can't remember. Your stock request tool is definitely very useful for us!

Desiree Espada of Pace Communications wrote:

Your stock feature has been very helpful in getting in photos. We typically get good responses ... It’s a great feature. 

Have a special stock request you'd like to discuss with me? Or perhaps you're a member photographer who'd now like to partake in our stock request tool? Either way, feel free to reach out!