Hamburg-based start-up Pictorama (www.pictorama.com), a digital photography market place, has come to a swift end. “Unfortunately not as many clients as we expected bought our pictures. This forces us to shut down Pictorama due to insufficient funds. Unfortunately this also means we are not able to pay out your account balance any further even if you have already requested the pay out. We are so sorry,” states the website. Pictorama positioned itself as a market place where money could be made by smartphone photographers, whether they were amateurs or professionals. At least, that was the case if your photos were accepted by Pictorama.

This is how Pictorama worked. Download the free Pictorama app onto your iPhone, take a photo using the app, tag the photo and upload it to Pictorama. If the photo got enough positive reviews from the Pictorama community – there was no fixed number here – then the Pictorama experts would put it through legal and quality control checks. If they considered the photo to be ok, it was then categorized and put up on the market place. Unfortunately, nobody then wanted to buy the photos. Perhaps because the market for micro stock photography is extremely crowded, and a new player in the form of an app needs time to not only find producers, but also purchasers of the photos.

Truventuro and Klaas Kersting, founder of Gameforge and Flaregames, were investors in Pictorama. A mid six-figure sum had been pumped into the young company, which was led by Christopher Becker, who was previously head of business development at the EOL Group and head of social media at Cocomore, amongst others. In a farewell message, Becker writes: “In 2011 we had a dream. We wanted to create an application enabling the people who enjoy smartphone photography as much as we do, to publish their pictures and sell them to people and businesses worldwide. In other words: we wanted to turn the existing microstock market upside down. When we found an investor to realize our idea we couldn´t believe it. Over the last year we assembled a team of motivated and capable professionals who helped us to create the Pictorama. We put a lot of heart and effort into making our dream finally come true. The app launched and you, as well as hundreds of other users started sending in pictures and we enjoyed reviewing them and putting the majority of them online”.