LuckyOliver – The smart stock photography option

LuckyOliver has been building an awesome stock photography platform for the past few months. Quietly launched in the summer of 2006, LuckyOliver is now ready to take on the stock photography biggies like Getty, Corbis, and also the upstarts Fotolia, Imagekind that are supposedly getting some traction in past few months.

LuckyOliver’s strategy has been the one of the smarter and well planned I have seen in action. Build the platform with useable features, get community interested in the site, give buyers and sellers clear direction where the site headed, choose the locations and target communities that are not focused by any of its competitors, and than — Just go for it. All along, never rushing to grow fast, which could otherwise result in lopsided growth.

One of LuckyOliver’s strong point is – pricing. From the buyer as well as seller PoV, LuckyOliver provides  a very competitive pricing options. With the sliding pricing scale in place each photo can be priced as low as $1, if you as a buyer want to put that on your blog, and can be priced upto $50 if you want to go for the extended license. In case you as a photographer want to set your own price, or the ‘buy-it-out’ price, than go for it. $100 or $800, whatever you can get.

The best part about LuckyOliver are the related images that showup for each photo you are viewing. In all LuckyOliver shows 28 related images everytime you search. I have been trying the site for few minutes and found the output to be highly accurate. Feels as if the contextual engine can see the photograph. Even the search at LuckyOliver enables you to get to the right images faster. You run searches by adding or subtracting keywords that fit your criteria. I don’t think many of the other stock photography sites implement these features.

LuckyOliver currently has around 250K images in its database and adding 2000/3000 everyday. This is where I learnt something new from Bryan –  talking about database size at a stock photography site is a moot point. First, photos and fashion gets old pretty fast, and Second, the ability for a user to find the right photograph from a small heap is more important than getting lost in the information overflow. In other words, taking Google’s ideas and applying it to stock photography. Anyway, adding photos to the platform at LuckyOliver goes through a pretty stringent process. Submitted photographs first go through an automated system and are than looked on manually for the quality, noise, composition, and bunch of other details. If a photograph gets rejected, LuckyOliver makes sure that owners of rejected photos don’t receive an automated reply. Instead they send back a personalized message with the exact reason why it didn’t make through. A very difficult and costly task but worth it.

Right now LuckyOliver is building up fast to reach out to buyers and sellers in Latin America, India, Canada and Europe. Would be interesting to see what LuckyOliver would do to set itself apart.



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