Interview with free stock photo site Stockvault
This is our second interview with Stockvault, a well know free photo database website. We are happy that we can interview Bjorgvin from Stockvault about free photos, usage of the photos, monetization and the future of the stock photography market.
Please introduce yourself
Hello, my name is Bjorgvin and I’m a 34 year old graphic/web designer from Iceland.
What is Stockvault and whats the idea behind it?
Stockvault.net is a free stock photo site that I started back in 2004. It started as a personal photo gallery where I shared my own stock photos with fellow designers, because back then there weren’t many good free stock photo sources around. Slowly others begun sending in their own photos and in 2007 I added a user system where the upload process was automated. I continued to work on the site in my free time, and over the years it’s grown bigger and better. Today we have over 24,000 photos and around 38,000 registered members. Despite the small size of the gallery we have well over 300,000 visitors downloading almost a terabyte of photos every month.
Where do all your free photos come from?
The photos come from photographers and designers from all around the world that are passionate about the community. We allow registered users to upload and share their photographs and recently added the option of uploading vectors and other files as well. We also host photo competitions every once in a while, offering cash awards for the best photos which has allowed us to draw in photographs of higher quality.
How can i download and use free photos from Stockvault?
We make it super easy for visitors to download the photos. You can browse our photos by categories or use the search form to find the photo you need. We have the biggest download button ever, and you don’t need to be signed in to be able to download.
How many free photos can i download?
We do not enforce any download limits. You can download as many as you need and use them according to our license.
What is the licence agreement for your free photos?
We allow all personal, educational and non-commercial usage. You can also download and use our images in Comprehensive designs.
Can i use your free photos also for commercial use?
Why should i use photos from Stockvault instead of a commercial Stock Photo Agency?
If you need a photo for your personal project or a comp, why not safe a few bucks?
If there is a free photo with a person on it, do you have a model release for this image?
We don’t require our photographers to provide model or property releases due to the nature of our license.
Who are the people which use Stockvault free photos?
Mostly artist, students, photographers and graphic designers. But we’ve seen a lot of bloggers use our images in the past 2 years as well.
How do you run the site without getting money for your photos?
Most of the revenue comes from affiliate programs and ads. We also receive donations from supportive users. We try to minimize ads on the site, and have successfully done so in my opinion. But we do have bills to pay, so we sometimes experiment with different ads and affiliate programs.
Why should people use free photos instead of buying them?
They shouldn’t. I strongly believe that if you are getting paid for designing something for a client, you should buy royalty free stock photos. But if you need photos for non-commercial projects, it’s a great way to keep down cost.
What are the plans for Stockvault in the future?
To keep growing the site, cater to our users and be one of the best free photo sites around.
Is there a way to earn money from free photos?
Yes! Stockvault.net offers it’s photographers the option to receive donations from visitors via Paypal and using their own Google Adsense account to generate revenue from their free photos. You can read more about our “one of a kind” Photographer Appreciation Program here. Many of our photographers also use stockvault as an advertisement for their premium photos, to attract traffic and sales by offering a few of their photos for free.
What do you do when you’re not offering free photos to everyone?
I sell textures and backgrounds at Stockvault’s sister site, www.texturevault.net
In my free time I like to spend time with my fiance and my 2 year old son, take photos, keep my self updated on what’s going on in the web-design world, relax and watch a good movie.
To which stock agency should the people go if they want to buy photos?
My personal choice would be Dreamstime.com – I have a great relationship with them, and they have been supporting stockvault.net for almost 4 years now.
Tell me, what do you think about the future of stock photography, what will change?
I think that the demand for stock photography will only continue to grow, both online and offline. But the growth will mostly be met by part-time photographers as contributors. More and more professional photographers are leaving the stock photo industry due to unstable revenues, looking for more stable ventures. We will also see the big agencies grow stronger at the cost of the little ones, that are either bought out, or simply closed down.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions Bjorgvin.
You’re welcome Amos, thanks for taking interest in stockvault.net and best of luck with stockphotosecrets.com
Thank you for the interview! If you want to get interviewed here at StockPhotoSecrets - please get in touch with us!