Photographer friends, let us tell you a story. It is a story we’ve received a lot of emails about, and in the spirit of transparency, we want to give you a bit of a look at how things often work with image-buyers.
Sometimes, a client working on a tight timeline comes to ImageBrief and says “I need this by the end of the day.” We launch the brief, you get to uploading images as quickly as our server will let you. Then, the deadline passes and the brief says pending, sometimes for weeks or even months.
You might then ask, “What was the big hurry? Why the radio silence? What happens now?”
At ImageBrief, we’re working with some of the biggest and best ad agencies, brands, publishers and magazines in the world. Each of these industries submits image requests at different points in their process. Thing are often unpredictable and no two timelines are the same.
Book Publishers are often working on cover art before a book is finished. They need to gather images based on concepts, send it to the publisher who then sends it to the author for approval. Once they’re all on board, and the book is finished, the image gets licensed. Sometimes this process can take up to six months.
Agencies also have a set of hoops to jump through. They’re trying to please their clients too. When working with creatives there is always a lot of back and forth when it comes to finalizing a concept and then executing it with the right imagery and copy. The hurry is to get the images in front of the decision-makers early. From there, the artwork needs to be created, the media needs to be bought, and the campaign approved by the end client before the purchasing takes place.
To give you a more concrete example. We had a brief a while ago from one of our regular magazine clients who was looking for images for their Valentine’s Day issue—which was five months away! They wanted images back within three days. Why? They have a lot of features to fill with a lot of images. They start work now but don’t purchase until a couple of weeks before the print date.
Most of our corporate brands are working on a whole new look, which includes 200+ images for a brand library. All the images need to compliment each other, fall within their brand guidelines, perhaps undergo a treatment, and be approved by a big creative team that are the custodians of that brand. This takes some time. Often they won’t purchase until they have the whole suite of images nutted out.
“So,” you ask, “What’s happening with my images while they’re in a pending brief?”
The answer is we’re working to sell them to as many people as possible. We have a dedicated buyer-facing team that verifies all the buyers on ImageBrief, they work with the buyers through the briefing process, and follow up with them on every brief.
What Happens After a Brief Closes?
The images from that Millennials brief? Un-purchased images will get added to a collection of images and marketed directly to all of our clients to consider for their features and campaigns. The images for the “mature couple” will get marketed to every corporate brand we work with.
Our photo editors, who look at every single image, will add them to other briefs where they are relevant. They become searchable in collections, appear in Reverse Image Search and when buyers inquire about them, we put them in touch with you and help make the sale. Don’t think of your images as in “limbo,” but rather in a flurry of marketing, direct to image buyers.
And remember, your images are not committed until the license is complete and we will never sell anything of yours without your consent. You’re free to add them to other briefs as often as you want to as well.
We hope this answers some of your questions on the nature and logic behind pending briefs. Always remember, we’re on your side, working for you every day of the week. If you ever want to take a temperature of the industry, take a look at our What’s Selling collection to see a selection of what has recently sold on the site.