ViaU Offers Madison Avenue Photography for a Low Flat Fee

ViaU is a new photography service by Mariano Pastor, a 25-year veteran of the Madison Avenue photography industry whose clients include L’Oreal and Lancome.

What sets it apart from other services is the flat rate it charges for photography regardless of who the client is or what the photograph is used for. Clients simply create a layout for the photo via ViaU’s web interface and ship the product to the studio. The photographs are created within 24 hours, and the product is shipped back free of charge.

Now here’s the kicker: the photography is free, and you only pay the flat fee of $224 if you decide to buy unlimited rights to the photograph. On the website Pastor states,

The truth is that great photography doesn’t really have to cost that much. It’s a simple idea, but also a big idea.

Simple enough, that is, to create your layout online and escape all negotiations. You know what you’ll get before you start. Great original photography, to use as you wish, at an affordable price. After twenty-five years of shooting for Madison Ave. I believe Via U! is my most creative accomplishment.

Rob Haggart over at A Photo Editor thinks this model is a bad idea:

Can’t say I’m complete surprised by this. I know product photography was one of the categories hit hard early on when companies started doing the shots internally so maybe this is just the natural progression of a photographer competing for the bottom dollar there, except something doesn’t feel right to me. Doing this kind of thing for small companies seems like a smart play, delivering the same price to billion dollar companies seems rotten.

What do you think about this business model for photography?

(via A Photo Editor)

  • Matt Ward

    Interesting that they use sample shots of trademarked products. I am pretty sure that this falls foul of Copyright law.

  • Dave K

    So a billion dollar company should pay more simply because they have more money? For exactly the same service? Sounds like taxes to me, oh you make more so you pay a higher percentage, yeah really even and honest. It might not even be legal in some cases an some places…

  • zann

    “Doing this kind of thing for small companies seems like a smart play, delivering the same price to billion dollar companies seems rotten.” – Rob Haggart over at A Photo Editor

    why should care on how much is being ripped off?
    if we are going to keep to our best own interest; opening the market for viable purchase from small companies is going to kill off competition; thus enabling smaller companies to improve them offerings. it's gonna do good on a wider scope.
    i say Yes for cheaper product stock images.

  • Dave K

    Matt, I think you might have been misinformed as to the way the US patent, trademark, and copyright system works…

  • Happy Tinfoil Cat

    I think it's a great idea. Lets hope he doesn't patent the business model ;^) Because I have less experience my fee would be $99

  • Jeremiah

    I think the real issue falls less on the actual shot, and more on how it is going to be used. Mom & Pop biz is only going to use it locally, where Mega-Global Corp is going to stick it on anything it can find and in every city.

    It's a license issue, not a service issue.