There are plenty of platforms for selling mobile phone images, where there are few or no barriers to entry. It’s not common then, in the fast growing mobile photography world, for a company to come along with a policy that has little interest in the numbers game but a whole lot more in absolute quality.
RooM by Pocketstock, we have been told, is much more than a mobile stock photography agency that will just sell images – if they’re accepted in the first place. It’s a platform that’s being developed around promoting mobile photographers to a broadening number of clients who are looking to undertake campaigns using Instagram: any compensation is usually based on the number of followers, as well as the photographic capabilities and location of the photographer.
RooM has two accounts, Elite and Lite. Elite is invite only and even Lite membership, which is actually open to anyone, is strictly controlled by RooM’s Briefing system, where a contributor can only upload images to Briefs, as created by RooM’s Art Directors – based on what is likely to sell. Even then, any uploaded images are edited for quality and only the best get through.
Russell Glenister CEO and founder, puts it this way, “Whereas all our rivals will take just about anything, because they believe they can become a commercial Instagram, we have a more discerning approach, only taking quality imagery that we believe we can sell well, we take nothing else.” Having been in the business of selling stock images for over 25 years, he should know quite a bit about what sells.
How then do RooM researchers find the best mobile photographers? Glenister says, “We have no secret, we just work hard at researching talent – I personally have to sign off all Elite accounts and only those that are serious Street or Commercial shooters are ever put in front of me. Currently we have around 100 on our list of invitees and that’s out of over 130,000 mobile photographers we have looked at, so you might say, we are a bit selective.”
One of TheAppWhisperer.com’s Columnists Richard “koci” Hernandez, Emmy award winning photographer, was the first to be invited onto RooM as an Elite member, Koci said, “I’m very excited by the approach of RooM, after all there are some exceptional shooters out there, so there is no need to dilute any offering?” He added, “Why would any client want to look through many thousands of images of questionable quality? At RooM the editing is done for them; the way it should be.”