Meet Mark Ippolito and Robert Henson (outgoing President of PACA) who just launched You know how I am. Always looking out for the PhotoBizCoach readers and finding the latest scoop about the photography business. I asked both if they would be willing to answer a few questions for me and they said yes!

Picture (c): Marcus Mok/

What is Evolve and why is it different from any other option out there?
After talking to many photo buyers about the state of stock photography, one problem that really stood out is the oversupply of images. While search technology continues to improve, there are far too many acceptable, but non-distinct images in the marketplace and hence buyers are spending more and more time trying to find truly great images. While price is important, identifying a great image is the key driver in determining which image the client buys. So we decided to launch a photo agency that focuses on curation and values quality over quantity. To prepare for our launch we curated over one million images and selected just the top 1% to showcase to buyers.

You have an easy licensing model. Will you explain why you did that and what benefits it has for clients?
This was the second biggest pain point for buyers we heard. While they are not opposed to licensing rights managed images, and are often attracted to the perceived higher quality, many find the process way too complicated. And no wonder. As an industry we’ve trained at least two generations of buyers to license millions of  RF images with just one click. So we thought long and hard about the key parameters required to manage a licensed image and boiled it down to three clicks. We think simplifying rights managed licensing for buyers is key to expanding the market not just for our company, but for all photographers and photo agencies. Hence, we are making our EvoRights model available for licensing at no charge to qualified partners. You can learn more about EvoRights on our website:

Who is behind Evolve?
Evolve, first and foremost, is the photographers and artists we represent. Without great images we really don’t have a leg to stand on. We are incredibly grateful for the contributors who share our vision and have given us the privilege to represent their work. Our founders are industry veterans with deep expertise in licensing, eCommerce, digital media distribution and technology and all share a deep abiding passion for photography. We are privately held and completely self-funded.

Why are you doing this in today’s climate when most photographers are complaining?
We believe it is vital for the long term health of our industry – for both buyers and photographers –  to build a sustainable “creative economy.”  We believe by representing the best work available in the market, we can command fair prices for images and then share the proceeds equally with the creators. It will require work on all of our parts and we’ve laid out the principles in our “Ten Truths for Sustaining A Creative Economy.”

What if anything are you looking for?
Our go-to-market efforts are focused on the commercial end of the buyer market – advertising, design, corporate, media– so from an image subject matter perspective we are keen to represent work that appeals to buyers in these segments: model released people (lifestyle, family, business, etc) and concepts. Images that tell a story or illustrate a clear concept or idea in a single frame are most desirable. Photographers interested in learning more should read our Submission Guidelines and FAQ.

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