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Articles from December 2018

Stock Photo Agencies: Outlived Their Usefulness

By Jim Pickerell | 4385 Words | Posted 12/27/2018 | Comments (2)
This long read outlines the step-by-step changes in the marketing of stock images over the the last 30 to 40 years. It makes clear why the production of stock images is no longer a viable business for most photographers and other image creators. At the end of the article, I have outlined some of the changes I believe need to be made in the relationships between image creators and customers in order to return the business to a profitable occupation for those who produce images.

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future

By Jim Pickerell | 48 Words | Posted 12/21/2018 | Comments
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy for engaging in the stock photo business in 2019.

Is The Customer Always Right?

By Jim Pickerell | 535 Words | Posted 12/20/2018 | Comments
Many in business believe “The Customer Is Always Right.” The only problem with this is that most customers always want “more” for “less money.” In the Internet environment, particularly, everything is expected to be FREE – literally. When it comes to satisfying the customer the problem arises in finding a way to cover the cost of producing the product or service. Part of the answer is to find ways to produce more efficiently. Over the years it has been possible to cut costs by providing workers with better tools, expecting more from the workers for less pay or replacing workers entirely by turning production jobs over to machines.

Future Of Photography

By Jim Pickerell | 383 Words | Posted 12/20/2018 | Comments
A recent story by Petapixel got me thinking about where still photography, as a profession, is headed in this world of generosity and free. Nvidia Corporation, a technology company based in Santa Clara, California, designs graphics processing units for the gaming and professional markets. They have recently released software that can create images of people that look completely real -- except the people never existed.

Cutting Out The Middleman

By Jim Pickerell | 1897 Words | Posted 12/18/2018 | Comments (5)
As fewer and fewer stock photographers earn enough from the licensing of their photos to justify continued production, some suggest that instead of letting stock agencies pay them 20% to 30% of the small gross fees collected to use their images, they should sell their images directly to customers. In this way they would get higher prices and keep 100% of what the customer pays.

Dreamstime Reverse Image Search

By Jim Pickerell | 289 Words | Posted 12/17/2018 | Comments (1)
Sometimes companies get so anxious to promote themselves that they announce new programs before they are actually functioning properly or ready for release. Last week Dreamstime announced its “New Reverse Image Search” and said it “makes finding the perfect stock image a snap.”

Which Companies Get Images For Rock Bottom Prices?

By Jim Pickerell | 584 Words | Posted 12/14/2018 | Comments
Everyone knows that many images are being licensed for very low prices. Many feel that the people paying these low prices are small, start-up businesses that are so poor they can’t justify paying fees high enough to cover the costs of creating the image. It is hoped that if photographers help these businesses succeed in the initial stages, eventually when they are profitable they might be able to pay enough to enable image creators to actually profit from their efforts.

Photos Found On Social Media Aren’t Free To Publish

By Jim Pickerell | 654 Words | Posted 12/12/2018 | Comments
In the case of Jonathan Otto vs. Hearst Communications, Inc. in the Southern District Court of New York, Judge Gregory Woods has found that news organizations may not use personal images posted on social media without permission. In the event that personal images are use the infringer is legally liable to pay damages to the creator.

Pond5 Launching Web Resolution

By Jim Pickerell | 587 Words | Posted 12/11/2018 | Comments
Pond5 has launched a new Web resolution in an effort to grow the use of their clips in the social-media space. The price defaults to 20% of the contributors 4K master price (or 40% of HD price if it’s a native HD file). Contributors will be able to adjust this percentage in their account preferences or on the clip edit item page.

Bridgeman Images Represents Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana Collection

By Jim Pickerell | 234 Words | Posted 12/11/2018 | Comments
Bridgeman Images is very excited to announce that, thanks to the partnership between Mondadori Portfolio and the Ambrosiana, Bridgeman now represent the amazing Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana collection, which is comprised of over 6,000 images and contains some of the most important works of literature and fine art in the world.

Where Is Stock Photography Headed in 2019?

By Jim Pickerell | 606 Words | Posted 12/10/2018 | Comments (2)
I was asked recently for my predictions on where the stock photo industry is headed in 2019. There will continue to be massive growth in the number of images added to the major stock photo collections. An increasing percentage will be produced by amateurs not professionals who might be trying to earn a portion of their living from the images they produce.

New Year, New Image Source

By Jim Pickerell | 322 Words | Posted 12/10/2018 | Comments
Image Source has completed its second move this year to its now permanent residence at 66 Old Compton Street – the former home of a cardinal London creative icon, Rushes Post-Production House - right in the heart of Soho.  The move to a larger and more modern creative space is the first of many new initiatives for the premium agency which was bought back by its Founder, Christina Vaughan together with professional Investor and successful businessman, Michael Jackson at the beginning of 2018.

What Is Stock Photography?

By Jim Pickerell | 725 Words | Posted 12/7/2018 | Comments (1)
When I first started actively producing stock photography, I did so because I wanted to make money. I had discovered that I could earn additional revenue from images I had previously produced on either an assignment or on speculation. At the time I wasn’t earning enough from assignments alone to fully support the needs of my family. The stock revenue was an important supplement. Assignments weren’t as frequent, or as well paying, as I would have liked. I realized I could use the “in between” time to produce images for my stock collection that one day might be licensed.

What Are The Stock Images That Sell?

By Jim Pickerell | 844 Words | Posted 12/7/2018 | Comments (1)
A professional photographer asked recently “what kind of still images and video clips are being used?” It’s a great question with no good answer. Stock agencies know the answer, but they’re not sharing. Photographers seriously interested in earning money from their stock photo production need detailed and specific information about what customers are buying if they hope to create new images cost effectively. Such information would enable them to focus their efforts on producing more of the subject matter customers regularly want to buy.

Adobe Stock Creative Trends

By Jim Pickerell | 737 Words | Posted 12/6/2018 | Comments
We’re entering that period when stock agencies publish assessments of future creative trends for the coming year. Adobe has recently published its 2019 Creative Trend Report. Such reports are designed to provide image creators with the agency’s best guess as to the new types of imagery that may be needed.

Alamy Lowering Royalty To 40%

By Jim Pickerell | 495 Words | Posted 12/4/2018 | Comments (2)
Alamy has announced that early next year they will be lowering the royalty rate from 50% to 40%. Early in January they will send all contributors an official announcement signaling the beginning of the standard 45-day notice period before a new contract change goes into effect. The new royalty rate is expected to take effect in February 2019.

Shutterstock Select Footage Clips

By Jim Pickerell | 367 Words | Posted 12/3/2018 | Comments
Shutterstock has announced Shutterstock Select, a premium tier of royalty-free video content. The diverse collection of video clips includes exclusive content with everything from everyday moments to blockbuster action scenes, all captured by industry professionals using cinema-grade cameras and selected by our expert curators.

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About This Site

This stock photography news site focuses on the business side of photography with a special emphasis on stock photography. Our goal is to help photographers maximize their earnings based on the quality of their work and the commitment they are prepared to make to the trade. The information provided will be applicable to part-timers as well as full time professional photographers. We’ll leave it to others to teach photographers how to take better pictures.

Jim Pickerell launched his career as a photographer in 1963. In 1990 he began publishing a regular newsletter on stock photography. In 1995 the information was made available online as well as in print and was gradually expanded to a daily service. Click here for Pickerell's full biography.

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