Somewhere around the year 2001, what everyone knew as stock photography was going to change forever.
It was no longer a small niche of professional photographers that could be represented by stock agencies. Anyone with access to the internet and a camera can now venture into stock photography and profit from it. Microstock was born.
Dreamstime started out in microstock in 2004, with a small database, with images that today would be considered obsolete and too simple. March 2004, Dreamstime first page
It was a small and frail dream, another big agency was already on the market at that point and to resist you had to work hard and attract clients and photographers. People who had day jobs started foraying into photography with results that no one thought possible. The era of the digital camera was launching with drums and fireworks. The cameras were starting to exceed imagination, more than 5Mpx, better colors, less noise and you could see the images you took right there on spot. Long hours in the lab were no longer necessary, ruined films by the town labs were history. Photography was not only getting better but also cheaper and more accessible.
With a little investment any person who desired could take thousands of photographs without ever passing through the doors of a photo lab.
Of course, a camera was not all one needed to take a good photo. Imagination and some sense of composition were required, but those became achievable through constant try outs. Sometimes you would obtain a great image sometimes you didn't even want to look at what you created. But all failures meant a new lesson and a step forward.
In 2005 Dreamstime was climbing the stairs to success one by one. More and more photographers were joining every day, more images and more clients would join the dream as well.
In 2006 appearance has changed and evolution was happening at a rate not even the editors and admins imagined. Photography was definitely for everybody at this stage and making a good portfolio, although not an easy task, was simpler than ever before. Even classical stock agencies were starting to feel the threat of the new age of microstock. As the internet grew so did our client base, as the newspapers, magazines even movie producers realized that having the perfect image was only a click away the sales increased. And they continued increasing.
Since 2006 the images database grew bigger and bigger, with better and better images bringing more clients than ever.
The prices have changed several times since then, giving benefits to both photographers and buyers.
It's 2009 now, we're in the very middle of a storm, an economical and financial storm of proportions bigger that ever before, however now, Dreamstime is no longer the frail little dream it was back in 2004, it's name is known well in the world of microstock and it's roots are deep enticed in the earth and still growing everyday.
As long as our photographers will keep producing beautiful new images the database will continue to grow and the royalties will continue to come.
So, as a conclusion of this short history, is good to have a dream, it may come true and be better than it was when you first imagined it.