The New Image Agency Reaches 1 Million Royalty Free Images

yaymicroOnly two years after startup, image agency has reached 1 million images, making them one of the world’s largest image agencies. “I think we’re the first image agency in the world to get our own users to upload one million images in only two years” says a satisfied CEO, Linda Laegreid Johannessen.

The interest and use of social media channels, such as microstock forums and blog community, together with a user-friendly technology gave YAY a head start on many of their traditional competitors. Although photographers retain ownership rights to their images, there are huge advantages in a large image base. It is common for agencies to rely on other agencies to supply them with the main bulk of images. Few agencies have their own large image database, making YAY one of the largest image agencies in the world. This provides customers with a good and varied selection of high quality images. The variation in the images attracts a wide range of customers – such as newspapers, magazines, blogs, printing, publishing, advertising agencies and other image agencies.

When opened, it did so with a strong focus on user-friendly technology and a positive attitude and interest in social media. “We have joined in on so many interesting and helpful discussions! The people we work with are very knowledgeable; we have received lots of suggestions, tips, advice and resources from the photographer community. There is a professional and friendly network available to anyone interested in buying, selling and usage of Royalty Free and editorial images. We also have our own image blog,” says co-founder Jan Ole Kjellesvig.

“Easy to use technology is a cornerstone for us and, together with social media, has given us a head start on many of our competitors,” adds CTO Oddbjørn Sjøgren.

YAY is experiencing a strong growth in new customers and expects to multiply sales in 2010. is an online marketplace where photographers around the world can sell their images directly to customers. YAY offer over 1 million Royalty Free images and illustrations, prices start at $1.50. The site is available in English, Chinese, Spanish, Dutch and Norwegian. Japanese, German, French, Danish and Swedish are available as search languages.

YAY is located in Oslo, Norway. Jan Ole Kjellesvig and Linda Johannessen, both former employees at Scanpix- Scandinavia’s largest image agency, founded YAY in 2008; Oddbhjørn Sjøgren joined the team as partner and CTO in January 2009.