Since it launched in 2009, 500px has steadily grown its global photography community to 8 million members. In addition to hosting shutterbugs’ portfolios, it also allows them to license photos to clients for commercial use and profit from their work.
It’s now launched RAW, a free iOS app that lets you shoot photos as well as upload them to 500px, complete with a commercial license and model releases. The idea is to streamline professional photographers’ workflow and help them start earning revenue from their shots as quickly as possible.
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The company offers members a chance to earn up to 60 percent commission on each image sale. One might argue that 500px is eating a lot of their lunch, but it does take a lot of strain out of preparing photos for commercial use.
RAW features a simple camera interface with a grid, flash, as well as manual focus and exposure controls that you can adjust using on-screen sliders.
It also offers a wide range of processing tools, including controls to adjust exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, sharpening and more. There’s also a collection of filters built by community members, and options to create your own and reuse them on your other shots.
Submitting your photo to the 500px Marketplace for commercial use only takes a few additional painless steps, as compared to sharing it with the community for feedback. You can create a model release by filling out a form and having your model sign their name on your phone, and generate a license in seconds.
RAW will certainly be a boon to photographers who are looking for more ways to monetize their work. Being able to upload a commercially licensable photo while on the go means you don’t have to return to your desk to submit work so clients can view and pay for them.
Andy Yang, CEO of 500px said:
We quietly rolled out our global photography on-demand service a year ago to preferred clients and the uptake has been unbelievable. RAW is the first of a number of products rolling out in the coming months to support this service. It’s a new way for photographers to secure paid work for doing what they love.
One of those initiatives Yang is talking about is an upcoming feature in RAW, which will notify users when they receive a request for a commissioned shoot, and allow them to accept these assignments and complete them as well.
RAW is free to use, and is now available in the App Store.