What does it take to create something truly unique? For many people, this may mean that they attempt to reinvent the wheel. For others, it may mean that they specialize in one area or another.
You see, the word “unique” is relative. Have you ever heard the phrase, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure?” That phrase is amazingly relevant to the stock photo industry. My ability to take a picture and use it for my marketing purposes entirely differs from your ability to do the same thing. I may never choose to license the same photos you or someone else may want to license.
Sometimes, “unique” has a universally accepted meaning. I think you might find that we can all agree that People images is incredibly unique simply because they have a painstakingly perfect collection.
A Completely Unique Image Collection
When you entered your industry, you entered it with the intention of doing the best job you could. No one goes into business for themselves or takes a job offer intending to do a mediocre job. It just doesn’t happen.
Everywhere you turn, and every industry, people will tell you the competition runs high. Your job is to differentiate yourself from everybody else who is trying to do the exact same thing as you. What nobody will tell you is how you can do that. So then, we have to ask ourselves a question. How do we stand out among the thousands of people who are doing the exact same things as you? The answer may hit closer to home than you think.
People Will Pay for Quality
It is a well-known fact that people will pay for quality. That’s your answer. People will pay for quality. In every industry – I don’t care which one you’re in – 99 percent of the people in your industry are mediocre. The reason they say competition runs high is because everybody looks the same. Nobody is doing anything different from anybody else.
To stand out, all you need to do is continually output quality work. You need to do the same job as everybody else – but you need to do it better than everybody else.
Danish-born Yuri Arcurs understood that key principle. He used it to become the top-selling stock photographer in the world, selling 4 million images per year for four years straight. He used his knowledge and experience to create Peopleimages – an utterly and truly unique image collection.
The Two Tasks of Stock Photographers
To truly create a unique collection, Yuri took the principle of quality and realized that he needed something else. He needed a sense of urgency. He realized that stock photographers needed to accomplish two things to truly stand out among the millions of other people who call themselves stock photographers. He needed to create truly amazing and unique images and he needed to produce them in massive quantities. After all, you can’t sell 4 million images per year unless you have the images to sell.
There’s More to a Photo That Meets the Eye
Stock photographers have a monumental task in front of them. In fact, if you were to perform research online about what it takes to become a stock photographer, you would find out that many people are leaving the industry because the task is too much for them to handle.
Stock photographers don’t have a choice in the matter. Either they create great images that sell in massive quantities or they won’t make it as a stock photographer.
How Do They Do It?
Just because it takes the search engine of a MicroStock agency half a second to pull up 400,000 images doesn’t mean those images were easy to produce. Perfection takes time. Individually, each image produced for Peopleimages takes several weeks from inception to publication. Hundreds of hours go into each photo.
The Cinematic Work of Art
Entire teams of photographers, art coordinators, producers, retouchers, keyworders, distributors and uploaders each takes a crack at the photos before they’re available for your download.
The Size of the Operation
The team behind Peopleimages produces about 5000 images exclusive to their site every single month. The average photo shoot can take several hours and will produce about 50 images. Once the teams touch them, it takes about a month of the photos being perfected by all the teams before they are uploaded and added to the library. In the end, every photo is scrutinized by Yuri Arcurs for approval. His reputation stands on the integrity of his collection – he has a record that proves that he knows what goes into an excellent photograph.
The Fruits of Their Labor
The fruits of their labor continue to attract some of the most high-profile clients in the world including, Samsung, Time magazine and Canon. The library at Peopleimages contains unique, high-quality and attractive photos for the world to enjoy. In the end, Yuri simply leveraged the principle of quality in his favor to create his painstakingly perfect collection.