Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cutcaster Makes Stock Photography Search Faster, More Accurate

Stock photography website adds contextual search engine, industry-leading royalty payments, and pricing improvements to its online marketplace.

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 7, 2011 — Cutcaster (, a leading source for royalty-free stock photography and illustrations, re-launched today with several upgrades, which address growing needs in the stock image marketplace for both image buyers and sellers.

“We wanted to make changes that would translate to real improvement for all our users,” said Cutcaster founder John Griffin. “Our search engine now helps buyers find, filter and download relevant images more quickly, and we’ve made it easier for our contributors to sell their images and earn good money doing it.”

Cutcaster has combined an easy-to-use search interface with a highly accurate contextual search engine that disambiguates word meanings. As the user types in keywords, the engine determines their meaning and the intention of the searcher to provide highly accurate image results. As the searcher applies additional filters—for number of people, orientation or dominant color, for example— search results are updated immediately, making it easy to focus and expand results as necessary.

“Faster image search makes a big difference for people. If you’re looking for several images for a flyer or website, finding them can take hours if the search engine isn’t sophisticated. Shaving time off that process is invaluable,” said graphic designer Michael Armenta of Taylor Stitch in San Francisco.

The checkout process has been improved as well with simplified pricing, shown in credits and dollars, and the introduction of PayPal. “Our goal was to make downloading images as seamless as possible for people. Users don’t even have to register to buy, and now they have even more secure payment options,” Griffin said.

For its contributors, Cutcaster has increased its royalty payments to one of the highest rates in the industry. “Our rate for exclusive images went from 50% to 55%,” Griffin said. “We want to continue offering excellent images from great contributors, and our rates help us attract and choose the best. At a time when other sites are reducing their royalty percentages and payouts, we’re increasing them,” Griffin added.

A greatly simplified user interface facilitates how contributors upload their images and view their image stats. “The whole site is optimized for our sellers now,” Griffin said. “There’s no guesswork, from signing up to providing the right tax forms, to getting paid.”

Cutcaster was founded in 2007 to serve the growing market for high-quality royalty-free stock photos and illustrations. With over 1 million images in its ever-expanding library, Cutcaster brings together image buyers and sellers into a relationship that focuses on affordable pricing and ease of use.

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