The homepage of Moose, the stock photography service. See those bubbles for actors and backgrounds? Try combining them; it’s fun.
What is Moose?
We’re a movie-scale crew of directors, photographers, stylists, makeup artists, prop designers, an architect, a 3D modeler, a post-production team, and two collage artists.
And we’re a tech startup with AI- and web developers that combine these images with various backgrounds and 3D-rendered scenes.
And we give our photos away for free.
Here are some of the examples of our composed images.
This healthy breakfast is shot in a studio, with a few dishes added after. The background is 3D-rendered, with a group of dishes on the right photographed and pasted after.
This image is a studio shot with a 3D-rendered bathroom
This image was shot in a studio with 40 pounds of semolina instead of sand. We shot the leaf separately in a botanic garden.
Next, this article explains:
- What’s the problem with current services? With name calling.
- Revolutionizing the business model
- Revolutionizing the technology
- Revolutionizing the storyboarding.
Here we go.
What’s the problem with current services?
There’s no shortage of stock websites, but all they share the same problems.
They are either expensive or limited, often both.
Contamination With Low-Quality Photos
Much of the stock photography is bad. Of Shutterstock’s 60 million of photos, most are either low-quality or out of fashion. Picking the good ones is hard and time-consuming.
Not our picture! Our favorite Twitter account, Darkstockphoto, collects weird, often badly done stock images.
When a well-curated website like Stocksy appears, it charges $125 per single photo in decent resolution.
Stocksy is good, but the default price is $125 for a single photo.
On the cheap end, there are Unsplash and Pexels, but all they have to offer are the vacation shots of the amateur photographers (often impressive ones!) and the leftovers from the portrait commissions.
The selection of photos from the front page of Unsplash. Beautiful shots of great and generous photographers. Sic: limited subjects.
Unsplash can’t cover a $5000 bill to organize a proper photo session with the Profoto light, professional models, photographer, director, make-up artist, stylist, clothing, and post-production.
There’s a market gap for cheap photography with expensive production.
How about the free one?
Business Model: Free With a Link
Therefore, we know how it is, to have no money at all.
Therefore, we don’t charge the poor; we only ask for a link. We charge the rich for $20/month for unlimited use: no link and some additional formats.
We introduced this model for icons in 2007 and never looked back. That’s enough to keep drawing the icons, coding the website (our icons are 80% of coding and only 20% of drawing).
“Why to link? To get a decent date, to start with.” Our serious free license is unchanged since 2012. Same joke for 6 years!
Our secret is we don’t enforce linking. We tried, and you know what: it doesn’t feel great. Creating stuff makes us happy; threatening random people with the DMCA claims doesn’t.
How Tech Can Help to Create More Images
Here’s the idea: to make 100 images in the studio, add 100 backgrounds, and get 10,000 photos. In fact, we can make way more if we combine various people, photographed and 3D-rendered props, and 3D-rendered interiors.
I walk, therefore I think (download). The model is from the same shooting session. The background is from Berlin, the plants in the foreground are shot in Uruguay.
Incorporating 3D can give us something that doesn’t exist. For example, we’ve created the scenes with the top cryptocurrencies:
We introduce the custom characters. This is a never-ending saga that we publish on our Instagram:
Check us back in June. We’ll have a large update that will allow users to compose the images right on our website.
Updating the Images
The day new iPhone is released, all cellphone images on Shutterstock become obsolete.
The year a new visual style comes to photography, everything becomes obsolete.
What PeopleImages has shot for the last 3 years
The current fashion
Our solution is to shoot fewer images and compose them heavily.
- It’s impossible to reshoot 60m photos every couple of years
- But we can make 10k photos and compose them into 600m combinations.
We’re halfway there at the moment. We’re too young to keep something outdated, but we have few old school iPhones on our website. It’s our testing stand.
This is our training set. Rendering iPhone X instead of this iPhone SE is easy. Replacing it behind a coin, preserving the shadows, and maintaining the perspective is hard.
Shooting What People Need
We’d like to keep the requests section for photos too. We appreciate if you submit your ideas. What images do you want us to create?
Probably, we won’t be able to produce photos as quickly as icons. Photos require some preparation, therefore we’ll bundle the photo sessions, but we’ll do our best.
Probably, the easiest ones are the people’s emotions. If we already have a model in the studio, making a face you need is easy.
Join the discussion about Moose on Product Hunt and let us know what you think