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Articles from February 2011

Photography As A Business

By Jim Pickerell | 637 Words | Posted 2/28/2011 | Comments (1)
I just returned from ASMP's Strickly Business 3 weekend in Philadelphia. There is another in Chicago April 1st to 3rd. It was absolutely great for laying out where the industry is today (not particularly great) and offering ideas as to how to re-invent your business for the future. Check out

Pricing Problems At Getty Images

By Jim Pickerell | 685 Words | Posted 2/24/2011 | Comments
Getty’s move to sell some of its royalty-free images on both and is presenting some problems in pricing usages and is sure to drive more Getty Images customers to iStockphoto.

Stock Photo Market In China

By Jim Pickerell | 1761 Words | Posted 2/23/2011 | Comments
Many Western stock photographers are beginning to wonder if it isn’t time to explore the potentials of the Chinese market. I asked Jerome Lacrosniere, CEO of ImagineChina in Shanghai for some information about the state of the Chinese stock photo industry.

Most Used Keywords In Image Search

By Jim Pickerell | 45 Words | Posted 2/23/2011 | Comments (1) has put together a list of the top 1000 keywords used by customers to search for stock photos in the last 6 months to 2 years. This dataset was compiled from about 500,000 searches and prioritized according to which words were used most frequently.

On The Net

By Jim Pickerell | 240 Words | Posted 2/22/2011 | Comments
Here are links to a few items I spotted on the Internet that are worth reading. They include observations on the Getty Images search engine, World Assignment photographers and Should I Work For Free.

iStockphoto Launches Editorial Collection

By Jim Pickerell | 559 Words | Posted 2/21/2011 | Comments
iStockphoto has added a new collection of “editorial use only” stock images to These images are intended for use by news outlets, publishers, magazines, bloggers and presenters as a descriptive visual reference to a product, place, event or concept.

Understanding The Stock Photo Industry

By Jim Pickerell | 421 Words | Posted 2/21/2011 | Comments
For those who would like background on the stock photo industry, its history and trends this story provides links to a number of stories on that readers may want to review.

Useful Stock Photo Statistics And Trend Information

By Jim Pickerell | 112 Words | Posted 2/20/2011 | Comments
This story provides links to a series of articles that include the results of a photographer income survey, analysis of the sales of microstock photographers, the size of the market for stock photography and other data useful to understanding stock photo industry trends.

New Revenue Model To Save Print

By Jim Pickerell | 643 Words | Posted 2/17/2011 | Comments (2)
Most print publications have recognized for some time that the handwriting is on the wall and the old business model for newspapers in particular where 80% of the cost of producing a newspaper was covered by advertising and 20% by subscriptions is no longer viable. To a large extent magazine publishers have the same problem.

Is 20% Royalty For RF Reasonable Today?

By Jim Pickerell | 828 Words | Posted 2/16/2011 | Comments (3)
The concept of royalty-free stock photography was invented in the early 1990s because many picture buyers felt that it was unfair for image prices to be based on how the image would be used rather than their cost to produce. The pay-based-on-use system (rights-managed wasn’t even a term used at that time) was a particular problem for picture buyers because they needed to track future use of any image they purchased to make sure the use wasn’t exceeding the license. Customers wanted a way to avoid this extra administrative hassle.

Masterfile Launches Bonus Challenge!

By Jim Pickerell | 209 Words | Posted 2/16/2011 | Comments
With the growing success of Masterfile’s Master Creative campaign, the stock image company has released yet another challenge to the creative community – Photo Adjustment Mastery.

AIGA Partners With Shutterstock

By Jim Pickerell | 280 Words | Posted 2/15/2011 | Comments
AIGA, the professional association for design, announced an exclusive partnership with Shutterstock, the world's largest subscription-based provider of royalty-free stock photography, illustrations, and stock footage. Shutterstock is also offering AIGA members a 15 percent discount on anything purchased from its more than 14 million image library of photographs, illustrations and vector files.

Stock Photography: A 50 Year Evolution

By Jim Pickerell | 4906 Words | Posted 2/14/2011 | Comments (2)
The stock photo industry has evolved in many interesting ways in the last 50 years. This story looks at the changes from mostly editorial rights-managed, to the 1976 copyright law change, to the print catalog era, to CD-rom delivered royalty-free, to the Internet and finally to microstock. We identify some of the key drivers of these changes and show how some unrelated developments made the changes inevitable.

Alamy Submissions Hit Record High

By Jim Pickerell | 188 Words | Posted 2/14/2011 | Comments
Alamy has reported that in the last eight weeks it has added a record 1.2 million images to its collection which now exceeds 22 million images. In January alone the collection grew by 620,000 images. A year ago the company had in the range of 18 million images on its site. Over 20,000 photographers and 500 picture agencies have contributed mages to the site.

Changing Textbook Industry

By Jim Pickerell | 543 Words | Posted 2/10/2011 | Comments
If you license rights to your photos for textbook use then here are a few articles you should read.

The Future of Still Photography: Hobby or Career

By Jim Pickerell | 1393 Words | Posted 2/10/2011 | Comments (4)
Emily Chow, a photojournalism student at Northwestern University's Medill School, posted a story on Black Star Rising (see here) which basically takes the position that photography students should ignore what experienced professional photographers are telling them and forge ahead with determination to launch careers in photography. I had to respond. Be sure to read her story first.

Apple vs. European Publishers

By Jim Pickerell | 314 Words | Posted 2/9/2011 | Comments
Newspaper publishers, almost universally, believe the iPad and other tablet devices are possible saviors of the journalism business since they are a much more cost effective news delivery system than print and more than 50 million devices are expected to be in use before the end of 2011. However, given the way payment for content is structured European publishers are very concerned about loss of control of their businesses.

Tom Grill’s Daily Stock Shot Project

By Jim Pickerell | 300 Words | Posted 2/8/2011 | Comments (2)
For over 30 years Tom Grill has been teaching photographers how to take marketable stock shots. In mid-November last year he decided to take at least one stock photo a day for a year and post them to this blog. These are not images from his normal, planned stock shoots. Rather they are grab shots from things he is exposed to daily. Some will be taken while he is on one of his normal shoots, but all the shots will only be happenstance, not anything planned in advance as part of his regular shoots. He is also supplying information about the techniques used to create some of the images.

New Market For Photography: iPhone Apps

By Jim Pickerell | 248 Words | Posted 2/8/2011 | Comments (1)
Hawaii photographer Douglas Peebles is exploring a new market for his images – iPhone Apps. During his more than 30 years of photographing the Hawaiian Islands he has produced 18 books and a number of pocket guides to the various islands. He currently has seven iPhone apps which give him another way to reach consumers.

How Microstock Ideas Could Benefit Traditional Stock

By Jim Pickerell | 1333 Words | Posted 2/7/2011 | Comments (2)
Photographers who license rights to their images based on how the images will be used tend to be adamantly opposed to microstock. The principle reason for such opposition is that microstock images are licensed for use at very low prices. With microstock there are a few price variations depending on how the images will be used, but they are minimal compared to those used by rights-managed sellers. All other aspects of the microstock business tend to get ignored. I want to examine some of these other aspects of microstock licensing and point out how traditional agency photographers might benefit if their agencies would adopt some of them.

Finding A New Model For News Delivery

By Jim Pickerell | 767 Words | Posted 2/2/2011 | Comments
Most newspaper and magazine publishers have recognized for some time that the handwriting is on the wall and the old business model where 80% of the cost of producing a newspaper or magazine was covered by advertising and 20% by subscriptions is no longer viable.

iStockphoto Hires Nick King as Vice President, International

By Jim Pickerell | 220 Words | Posted 2/1/2011 | Comments
iStockphoto today announced that it has hired digital media industry veteran, Nick King, as vice president, international. King will spearhead the company’s international development and will focus his efforts on reaching new customers and markets around the globe.

Visual Connections New York Image Expo 2011 Booking Now Open!

By Jim Pickerell | 109 Words | Posted 2/1/2011 | Comments
The New York Image Expo will take place on Thursday, October 20th, with setup on Wednesday 19th. The PACA Annual International Conference follows immediately afterwards, on October 21st to 23rd, which should help minimize travel costs and time out of the office.

AudioMicro and Fotolia To Partner in Content Licensing Ventures

By Jim Pickerell | 177 Words | Posted 2/1/2011 | Comments
AudioMicro, which offers the world’s largest collection of user-generated royalty free music and sound effects, announced today that it has received an equity investment from Fotolia, Europe’s leading micro stock photo site.  Existing investor DFJ Frontier, a West Coast seed and early-stage investor, also participated in the financing, which totaled $750,000.  In connection with the financing, Oleg Tscheltzoff, co-founder and chief executive officer of Fotolia, has joined AudioMicro’s board of directors.

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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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