UpperCut Images

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There's a new stock photo source on the block, aggressively called UpperCut Images. It's a spinoff of royalty-free stock photo agency PunchStock, hence the pugilistic name. UpperCut, according to founder/CEO Miles Gerstein, is introducing a "never-before-seen collection by Sean Kennedy Santos, Darryl Estrine, Paul Aresu, Tony Nagelman and David Maisel and others, and we're also shifting the current paradigm in the way that stock photography is licensed." Put it all together and "we're saying to creatives, 'We understand the importance of your client's brand identity and of your creative integrity.' "

VP Ellen Boughn elaborates, "Looking around when UpperCut was being planned, we found few options for creatives in need of high-quality, artistic but still commercial stock images. We found a lot of ho-hum images that lacked creative edge. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we knew that some terrific advertising and top editorial photographers' work just wasn't always very accessible. We also discovered that a lot of people buying rights-managed images didn't realize they're not getting the exclusivity they thought they're getting. So that's how UpperCut Images was born-from the need for sellable, high-end, rights-protected images. The rights protection we offer is the added incentive to protect the brand identity of our clients' end users."

This rights-protection angle is no small consideration, as far as Boughn is concerned. "One of the scary things about the way many stock agencies license images as rights-managed is that often, art buyers think they're getting exclusivity, but they're really not," she says. " 'Rights-managed' is basically just a marketing term used to describe the method of pricing stock imagery. Unless you pay a considerably higher rate for added protection, that 'rights-managed' image is often still available to anyone else. All of UpperCut Images' license agreements include free rights protection, which you'd otherwise be paying extra for elsewhere. That's what we mean by 'spot protection,' and that means that when a client licenses an image, we take reasonable efforts to ensure that the image isn't licensed to any other customer for the same use, within the same industry and geographic area, at the same time. That's just the starting point of UpperCut's protection, and we're the first to offer this combination of highly usable creative images and built-in protection," she claims. Seen here are a pair of darkly dramamatic images by Sean Kennedy Santos and a stock punch by Chase Jarvis.


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