Find the Images You Need with TWOP’s Crowdsourced Photos

By David Knight |

The digital revolution has been exactly that – a genuine cultural upheaval. But has anything changed quite as dramatically as the world of photos? We all walk around with a good quality camera in our pocket all the time, and improving, sharing and discovering images has never been easier.

And that goes for selling them, as well – The World of Pictures (TWOP) is a Munich-based startup which crowdsources pictures, enabling photographers to sell their images and consumers to avoid the hassle of more traditional photo agencies. Now it has added a task function, so that you can reach out to the entire TWOP community for a specific kind of image. For example, recently in Tasks there were requests for “photos with sunburned people, on the beach, swimming pool, on vacation” for a pharmaceutical company (€100 for exclusive use) and for “current photos of industrial buildings, factory buildings, industrial complexes and goods depots” for a corporate film (€10 for editorial use).

It’s a simple idea – you can just whip out your phone and snap pictures which, so the company says, will look more natural and less staged than many professional photos. Once you have downloaded the app, you register and can then upload and sell any images you like (within the rules, of course). The platform also works through the Web.

The task function allows you to reach out to more than 3,000 users in Germany in search of a specific image, and they can then use the location-based software to meet requests which are nearby.

TWOP co-founder Susanne Odendahl said: “We need less placed photos, pictures of cool models and unnatural-looking people. The competition has enough of those.” The competition is, of course, varied and numerous. There are many photo agencies such as iStockphotos, which has an excellent online presence and is easy to use. But, says TWOP, they don’t have the same authenticity as a crowdsourced database, and it claims they are more expensive and slower.

The company also highlights the importance it attaches to fair payment for users. Contributors are given between 50 and 60 percent of any proceeds, depending on how many pictures they have sold. They can also communicate with each other to swap photography tips.

TWOP was founded in July 2012, with the two co-founders investing €100,000 privately. There are currently 3,300 registered users, a number rising by 80 each day. The so-called TWOPteam is charged with making customer acquisitions and detailed revenue figures have been promised for the end of the year.

The task function is a welcome addition to the platform and could provide a much needed way for companies of all descriptions to find the specific image they need for websites, campaigns etc – by creating it bespoke.