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Picsdream, The One Stop Market For Shutterbugs And Snap Addicts

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With the advent of social networking and mass media, the significance of photographs have been on an upswing as their use as a medium of communication increases. Such is the importance of photographs these days, that there are $Zillion companies built around the same. That being said, a market for pictures would be an obvious thing that comes to mind. Well, allow us to introduce Picsdream.

The Intro

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Picsdream is an online marketplace for pictures that operates on a freemium model. The platform aims to offer amateur as well as professional photographers, a place to showcase and monetize their talent. Users can upload their original pictures to Picsdream, which then displays them before the relevant audience, who can then choose to purchase the same.

Since the platform operates on a freemium model, the storage space along with the number of pictures that can be uploaded is decided by the subscription status of the user. While free users can upload up to 100 photograph, premium users have the option of displaying as many photographs as they want. There are two types of paid membership as well, with additional features attached to each level.

Visitors to the website can view the photographs, however , submitting your own photograph or purchasing one, will require a sign up. Picsdream has kept the sign up scheme simple and Photographers as well as Buyers can register via a single form.

To get a closer look at the best of Picsdream, it is important to take a look at what makes it unique. While services of the sort — i.e. marketplaces for visual art — already existed, Picsdream’s model is different in several very significant ways.

The Features

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For one, along with a gallery for photographers to showcase their talent, Picsdream also provides them with a one of a kind community experience, where they can interact with other snappers, share tricks and swap trade secrets and so on. Amateur photographers also stand to gain from the experience of peers. Understandably, the community experience only serves to further popularize the platform amongst photographers.

Secondly, while your run-of- the mill websites operate with the advertising industry within their sights, Picsdream caters to a far more diverse audience. Whether it’s something chic you want for an ad, or simply something beautiful you want to frame and put up on a wall, Picsdream has them all.

Speaking of framing — that’s yet another service provided by the platform. Along with purchasing the digital image, you can also order framed and unframed prints of the image. Towards that end, the company has partnered up with various printing and framing houses along with a courier company for taking care of the logistics involved. Users also have a choice of medium, including normal and premium paper/canvas, with other material in the pipeline.

While moving into framing business may have caused the company a fair bit of extra work, the fact that the platform covers every single aspect means that consumers don’t have to go anywhere else.

Along with ensuring a plethora of facilities for the consumer, the Picsdream platform also pays particular attention to the shutterbugs themselves. Besides a user friendly interface, there are multiple modes for adding pictures  to the platform. Not only can they be uploaded conventionally from the gallery, users also have the option of shooting and uploading them straight to the platform on the spur of the moment.

Photographers can also send the Picsdream staff, a DVD of his her pictures along with the caption, keywords and so on, and the photos are uploaded by the company. The amenity is bound to prove useful in case off bulk photographs.

Also, all pictures are thoroughly checked by photo editors to ensure that nothing objectionable can make its way to the visible galleries.

The Tech

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The platform also offers the services of experts for pricing and other photo related concerns while the image search feature lets buyers identify the picture they want. Also on-board is a key-wording engine that allows photographers  to keyword their photographs correctly.

Picsdream has been built by customizing a template called  Photostore. The system can also double as a backup storage for photographers considering that it automatically resizes the uploaded hi res photographs and applies a watermark on them. Both on-site and off site backups mean that your precious photograph is as safe as can be.

The platforms currently use Core PHP, Javascript and AJAX while the database used is MySQL. The company is planning to upgrade its systems though and talked about a move to a combination of framework and Mongo database, to cater to its expected “very high volumes”.

Picsdreams search engine is a marvel in its own right too. Licensed from Pixolution GMBH, the engine equips the buyer with highly advanced photo finding methods. The buyer can,

Either select a photograph on the site and search for similar photographs or upload a photograph or an URL and search for similar photographs. This feature would go a long way in helping buyers find the photographs that they are looking for.

And we agree.

The delivery systems are pretty neat too, although the fact that some users may want framed pictures while others may be looking to simply download the images. Picsdream got around the problem by arranging separate systems for both. Those looking to download the picture, receive a 48-hour link that can be used to download the picture, after payment.

Meanwhile, users looking to get a hard copy can get an estimate of the total cost based upon their preferences. From their, its a matter of payment followed by the delivery of the product at your specified address.

The Road Ahead

The company has pretty ambitious plans for expansion as well.

Vision for Picsdream is to create a platform which would be the biggest platform for the Indian visual art community. Starting with photographs, then videos and then to other forms of visual art, Picsdream would be the largest community and marketplace for visual arts in India.

While the company declined to comment on the status of its funding at present, it did say that it was in the middle of raising a pre-series A and had generated interest among the investors.

We are in the process of raising a pre Series A funding and hence would not be in a position to comment on the capital as of now. However, with the backing from some very influential investors, we are very confident that we will have enough funds to see us through our requirements.

Not only would such a platform provide manifold benefits to users, photographers themselves will be able to benefit in several significant ways. From generating views for each other to collaborating to work together on projects, Picsdream really has it all. The company has a pretty strong team as well. Along with a founder who himself is a veteran of the photography field, the company has names like Ankit Nagori, former CBO at Flipkart, among its board of directors.

User friendly platform, a strong community base, user friendly, in-house experts and the option to get your pictures delivered in various modes — Picsdream is you one stop destination, whether you are looking to buy your picture of choice or to sell that perfect shot.

A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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