To say I was disappointed last summer when Getty purchased iStockPhoto is a huge understatement. Getty owns nearly all of the stock photohouses and monopolies, frankly, are not good for anyone. So when I came across Lucky Oliver I was more than just a little happy. An independent stock house with a similar transaction model to iStockPhoto.
Lucky Oliver, or [ www.luckyoliver.com ] has a nice filtering system. When a search is executed, along with a bunch of images, you get a list of search terms pulled from the image library you are looking at. You can selectively turn any or all of these term on or off to narrow or broaden your search. This simple and elegant system works great. Additionally, you can click any of the terms directly and begin a new search.
So I find myself wondering... wondering if stock photography is the new yellow pages. Here is what I mean... if you and five of your other photographer freinds start a web stock house... say by chipping in 20 or 30 decent images each. Then you each contact say... 10 art directors and designers... you quickly have some traction. The each designer tells five others... well I'm sure you get it. Before long... we have a bunch of stock houses available on the net and Getty is no longer the only game around. Or, Getty buys all of us out and we can all retire. Either way... life is better.