Technology has made it so that every person with a cell phone is now a “photographer”. Of course there’s also those those tens of thousands of wanna be photographers who flock to Best Buy to get the latest DSLR from Nikon or Canon and never use more than “automatic mode”. While the people who actually know what they’re doing have sites like photorankr that serve as market places for those photos, what about grandma Lilly’s photos of the tomato garden?
Rest assured that if you’re taking tomato garden photos or pictures of your best friend doing jello shots, there is a market place for those “social photographers”. That place, is VZIBL.
The Milwaukee startup’s founder Alexander Marasco, picked the name VZIBL as a sort of slang for “visible”. “The idea of the company was to bring self awareness to your photographic content or become visible. VZIBL is just the ‘visual you for sale’.” he told us in an interview.
While sites like iStock are popular with folks sourcing photos from professional, semi-pro and even amateur photographers, VZIBL is the place for “social stock”. “photographic content created by socially engaged photographers focusing on new digital tools and social networking technology. Instagram, GoPro, iPhoneography, Nikon D90…whatever your camera vice!” Marasco said.
Once a social photographer sets up an account and starts sharing photos using VZIBL it’s up to him or her on whether or not they want to make money with their pictures. A photographers “social stock” can be accessible either royalty free, rights managed or exclusive rights, depending on both the photographer and the content.
Marasco is quick to point out what VZIBL gets out of the deal. Using the VZIBL app automatically assumes a 70/30 split in a sliding licensing agreement between the photographer and the platform. Naturally if you’re going royalty free there’s no split but a 30% revenue share isn’t too far off the industry norm.
VIZIBL has gone through a pivot or two along the way. At first Marasco wanted to do create a photo thread app where people could communicate through photographs. What he found in talking to people about that idea, was that no market place really existed for this layer of photographers that’s cropped up. There are probably more photographers in the “social photographer” category than any other.
While Marasco is getting ready to move east to Brooklyn New York, VZIBL was created in Milwaukee which like it’s counterpart Madison, has a bit of a startup scene starting to form.
“Milwaukee is definitely creating some great ‘Hackers’ and with new incubators and Think Tanks now available, it seems to be consolidating minds and is launching some really interesting concepts to market.” Marasco told us about his city known for it’s beer.
The secret sauce in VIZIBL is creating photo-celebs according to Marasco “ Publishing content has never been so easy…why not possess the ability to create future earnings from your original photography. We like to see ourselves as a visual ringtone. We want to make Photo-Celebs out of our users!”