Why did we invest time, money & energy in a free photo project?
We are a web studio focused on developing WordPress blog themes. Recently we started a side project called RightLight. Here are our thoughts about it and reasons to invest time and energy into free stock photography, with no copyrights attached, royalty free, “do whatever you like” or however you might call it.
So, should a new, tiny and fragile web development studio invest time and money into a “free for all” side project before becoming profitable?
We think – yes.
Throughout each of our careers we’ve been using free resources scattered across the web. Free fonts for cheap logos, free photos for posters, blogs and website designs, PSD mockups for greasing up our portfolios to gain new clients or land better jobs.
In some cases we made real money partly because someone we’ve never met was kind enough to sit their ass down, spend days creating a super-sweet font, think of a lovely, catchy name, brand it a little bit and then – share it for free. Did we always give the credits? Did we bother to at least send out a “Thank you” tweet? Rarely.
Because we were cheap labor in a fast-paced outsourcing industry with a motto “your deadline is always yesterday so don’t try to be an artist, find something free and tweak it, the client won’t notice”. Abundant free resources were a cheap, fast medicine for our daily headaches.
There is never a perfect moment.
After a long, arduous and undoubtedly fun process of developing, polishing and publishing our first WordPress blog theme Daze – we discussed in-depth if we should first finish our half-baked new theme and secure more money, or maybe even wait some more until we have finish that elusive “bestseller” product that will give us the space to do something out of pure passion.
After realizing that we are procrastinating about an idea we feel good about – the decision was easy as pie. We designed a simple, clean website, reduced the development to bare essentials and – made a lot of photos to fire up the library.
Why do this?
First off – we make WordPress themes that we feel bring true value to the market with new UX concepts and aesthetics. We like to experiment and are not afraid to see our experiments fail because it’s all just points on a continuous learning curve. So fine, we will experiment with WordPress products on an open market like Envato and try to make a living off out of it.
But, damn, do we love taking photos!
We love photography. However, most of those photos end up as dead, lonely bytes on our backup hard drives (until the cheap parts die and we lose it all) or if they’re lucky – they get a new, square life on our Instagram profile.
So came RightLight – our own contribution to the ever-expanding ocean of free web resources.
Currently we don’t host the high-res photos to save money. For now we offer a boring DropBox link to our high-res images because we can’t risk bigger expenditures but if this turns out to bring enough traffic to raise exposure of our brand and products – we will most definitely rethink this.
Feel free to do whatever you want with our photos and if they become a part of a creation you are proud of – we want to see it.
Please, if you think someone could use this photos, share the link, like the post or write a comment below or directly on RightLight. We would like to hear people having some benefits from this project of ours, as we had so many times before from work someone else shared for free.