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Articles from February 2011
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 http://asmp.org/content/strictly-business-3
Getty’s move to sell some of its royalty-free images on both
www.gettyimages.com and www.istockphoto.com is presenting some problems
in pricing usages and is sure to drive more Getty Images customers to
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.
Picnache.com 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.
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 has added a new collection of “editorial use only” stock
images to www.istockphoto.com. 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.
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
PhotoLicensingOptions.com that readers may want to review.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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 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
If you license rights to your photos for textbook use then here are a few articles you should read.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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, 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.