Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Image Warehouse to Cease Operations September 30, 2009

Image Warehouse, started just over 2 years ago, by Carroll Seghers, is ceasing operations, effective September 30th. I was approached by Seghers following a presentation I made at the Professional Photographers of America in January 2007 about this idea. I knew then that the field had one too many players, and both Digital Railroad and PhotoShelter had premium products already in place. Last year, Digital Railroad failed in a massive flameout that left many photographers high-and-dry, some literally crying over lost images. It seems that Seghers is trying to give more notice, and be more responsible, in this letter that just went out to supporters and users of Image Warehouse:

(Continued after the Jump)

Dear Image Warehouse Supporter,

In mid – 2007 we went online offering our service as a favorable option for independent stock photographers who wanted to offer their images for use licensing to the global stock market. Uniquely positioned as a “full service agency”, we provided photographers with the ability to select images for sale, set the terms & prices and then publish the image into our online searchable database.

By January 2008, we had attracted a good bit of support in the photographic community and were adding photographers and images quite rapidly. Unfortunately, we were well into 2009 before we realized that we had failed to anticipate the pervasiveness of the “annual subscription” pricing plans that had been put in place by the major stock agencies, which now control a substantial portion of the commercial advertising agency business.

This situation, along with the growing share of small-to-medium agency and editorial business being taken by royalty-free micro-payment stock agencies, means that the “available market” has been significantly eroded, due in large part to the recession’s overall impact on ad budgets.

We are therefore providing you with 30 Days Advance Notice of our intention to cease operations on September 30, 2009.

This is so everyone can easily initiate whatever actions they prefer regarding their existing accounts and image files.

Your options are:

1. Sign into your account, access your images and individually delete them (this could be tedious for those with many images)

2. Respond to this email requesting that we delete your images, which we can do in “bulk” process and close your account.

3. Download a copy of your files to your computer for future use, and then follow up with either #1 or #2 option.

4. Do Nothing – Which will lead to your account information and image files being deleted by us after we have ceased operations.

We greatly regret the need for this action, but believe that it is best to provide advance notice to all, with sufficient time to smoothly wind down our business operations. All monies due to photographers and other Image Warehouse suppliers will be paid through September 30, 2009.

We sincerely appreciate your past support and wish you continued success in your future endeavors.

Best regards,

Carroll C. Seghers

Image Warehouse LLC

7 Woodhollow Road, Suite 2G

Princeton Jct., NJ 08550-4907
Early on, Image Warehouse offered ASMP members discounts, and the ASMP website showed this information about the company:
Looking for a stock agency that is really an agent and works for you? that takes no more than an honest sales commission? that doesn’t demand exclusivity? that is photographer-friendly?

Take a look at Image Warehouse, a startup company run by ASMP member Carroll Seghers.

Image Warehouse, a photographer-driven image archiving and stock picture sales agency, provides standard agency representation for a fee of 15%, and it offers a one-way transparent email negotiating system. It also provides a customizable e-Postcard application that enables you to do unlimited free “broadcasts” of your latest and best money shot with personalized text & graphics, or email a LightBox-SlideShow with multiple shots. And there are more user-friendly promotion tools under development.
Seghers' LinkedIn profile describes his role at the company as:
Lead visionary and architect of a Web 2.0 digital image archive & stock photo sales agency that provides sale representation and other services to professional photographers & illustrators targeting the $2.5B U.S. market for their creative output.
Seghers had stints at Leica USA, Konica USA, and Nikon USA, and other marketing jobs, before starting Image Warehouse, according to LinkedIn, in October of 2005. A search of the ASMP membership database returns no members with Seghers as a last name, so either he is no longer a member, or he is not a member photographer.

More as we learn it.

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Rich Green said...

Sorry to see this. I became aware of his company's presence when he advertised in our ASMP-NJ print magazine (Exposure). (I'm the treasurer for our chapter.) He also attended some of our talks/seminars.

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