Ever rely on stock photos? Your retro options just grew significantly.
The company working to end the generic stock photo trend with vintage photos is offering the entire collection for free. Vintage Stock Photos announced Thursday that its entire collection can now be downloaded without charge.
Vintage Stock Photos has an archive of more than 150,000 images shot from around the world from multiple sources. For years, the website offered the images under a royalty-free license between $6 and $18 a photo. Now, the company says the images keep the same license but ditch the fee.
“We fell in love with these images because they stand out in a sea of sterile stock photos,” said Chance Agrella, founder of Vintage Stock Photos. “And we had success with them as a niche catalog, but offering the collection as free stock photos gives us motivation to keep building the image inventory for a wider audience.”
The vintage photos collection is owned by Freerange Stock, a company that shares free stock photos. Aligning the business models between the two platforms just made sense, Agrella said.
Instead of generating a profit on license sales, Freerange Stock subsists using advertising revenue, a portion of which goes to the photographers contributing the shots. According to the Vintage Stock Photos website, sales under the earlier license fees were slow.
“We’d rather give away all our images and provide our users with a consistent free photo experience. It’s much more fun to get photos out there and enjoy what the design community can do with them,” Agrella said.
For the move to a free business model, the company says the images were manually reprocessed, correcting the exposure without eliminating the vintage effect.
Images from Vintage Stock Photos are free for both personal and commercial use — the only restriction is that the images cannot be redistributed, so advertising is OK but selling it on a T-shirt is not. The company says the images come from collections they acquire and are scanned and uploaded to the system.