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FOCUS: Exposure

28 August 2020

Exposure Logo White copy

We caught up with Aelia Youngs, Founder of new AOP Affiliated Company, Exposure. Introducing themselves, they provide an insightful look into how they operate as an image library. Offering a financial model benefiting the photographer along with valuable exposure. Read on to find out more and consider delving into your hard drives.

How did Exposure come about?

The initial idea happened when I wanted to sell my own images, that proved to be quite difficult – pages and pages of criteria. I’m also a designer. And boy, did I feel the pain of image-searching... Daily!

Sourcing the right balance of good quality, yet affordable images from libraries. Takes. Hours. You find that super image. You get the client nod of approval. Then… what’s this ‘rights-managed’? Back to searching for a cheaper alternative.

There had to be a better way.

I knew photographers with incredible back catalogues just gathering dust on hard drives and amateur photographers taking amazing images but not doing anything with them.

It’s such a waste of high-quality content that could deliver value for all.

So, Exposure was born.


Exposure AOP Andrew Penketh

© Andrew Penketh


How is Exposure different to other image libraries?

We want to truly be photographer-first in our approach. After all without them you have no library. I was shocked by how much commission other libraries took – some up to 70%. That’s robbery!

And to add insult to injury some are even giving images away for free, justifying it as offering photographers ‘exposure’. That’s worse than robbery!

Until now there hasn’t been a real alternative and we didn’t want any part of this race to the bottom, so at Exposure we’ve flipped the traditional financial model to give the photographer 70%. That’s fair.

We also make sure we have the best content available, which means every image is vetted. It’s not just about pixel size. We don’t have 10 of the same image but at slightly different angles. And there’s no ‘seedling’s cupped in hands’ on Exposure.


Exposure AOP Eleanor Church

© Eleanor Church


What are Exposure's aims and purposes?

To disrupt. Our purpose is 'beyond profit'. Exposure is selling images with integrity. We want to create a sustainable business, so fairness is front and centre. This has created a proposition that genuinely works for everyone, not the boardroom suits who profiteer off creative talent.


Exposure AOP Tony Hay

© Tony Hay


Why should contributors join you and buyers buy from you?

As a photographer on Exposure, you make the most. The most money. And the most out of those out-of-licence shots and dusty hard drives.

For a buyer using Exposure you get the best photography from new talent, growing talent and the top pro’s. Quickly. You’ll not find our images anywhere else. And when you do come to buy, our pricing is simple. Real simple. (On top of that you’ll get that warm fuzzy feeling of knowing your money is going directly to those who deserve it.)

We also encourage buyers to commission photographers directly from the site. Because that’s valuable exposure.


Can you tell us about your current contributors

We’ve gone far. We’ve gone wide. Because there’s a lot of folk who take great shots (as we see on the daily scroll through Instagram).

We’ve got everybody from seasoned pro’s to IT consultants. Teachers to singer songwriters. If the image fits. You’re in. We’re inclusive and don’t limit our contributors.


Exposure AOP Victoria Spofforth

© Victoria Spofforth


Can you tell us about the pricing plan and license agreement

One price, one licence, one download. £250 + VAT.

Our licence agreement is based on a royalty-free one with some improvements. Working with the law firm, Lewis Silkin, we created what we believe is the fairest agreement for both our contributors and buyers. It was scrutinised by our early contributors. They suggested some adjustments, we listened, amended and then they endorsed it.

For example, images can be used up to a certain size, but for Adshels or billboards buyers would negotiate a more appropriate price with the photographer. And our images cannot be reproduced in bulk. No mugs here!

The AOP legal team also offered their must-haves, which we readily supported.

In short, buyers are able to access rights-managed quality images but at royalty-free prices.

 Exposure AOP Jon Cleave

© Jon Cleave


What's next for Exposure?

We wanted to take the situation afforded by lockdown to launch to photographers. Our community is now close to the tipping point we need to launch it with the buyers. Initially focussing on the UK, then moving globally.

We’ll always be growing our diverse collective of the photographers, to make Exposure the site for designers, agencies and brands to choose from first.


Visit Exposure's profile here


Exposure Logo White copy


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