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Articles from April 2011

Getty Images Acquires PicScout

By Jim Pickerell | 423 Words | Posted 4/28/2011 | Comments
Getty Images has announced that it has acquired PicScout, a leader in identifying image use, metadata and licensing information on the web. Founded in 2002 by Offir Gutelzon and Eyal Gura the company is based in Herzliya, Israel and has 60 employees. The PicScout brand will remain, and the R&D team is expected to remain in Israel.

Negotiating "Life of Edition" Rights

By Jim Pickerell | 793 Words | Posted 4/27/2011 | Comments (1)
Some textbook publishers have begun to ask photographers to invoice them for the right to use images for the “life of the edition” of a book. The following is the language from one such request. "Please bill us for publication rights for the life of the edition. … we would like by this permission request to sell additional units through the life of the edition...."

Science Photo Library Turns 30 and Launches 30:30

By Jim Pickerell | 279 Words | Posted 4/27/2011 | Comments
The world’s leading specialist image and footage agency, Science Photo Library, has been in the business of providing world-class imagery for the last 30 years. To celebrate, they have launched “30:30” which means clients will receive a series of special anniversary offers throughout the rest of 2011.

Images For Students: UIG and EB Do 10-Year Exclusive Deal

By Jim Pickerell | 1151 Words | Posted 4/26/2011 | Comments
Universal Images Group (UIG), and Encyclopaedia Britannica (EB) have entered into a 10-year License Agreement that makes UIG the exclusive provider of still pictures, video and footage for EB’s online educational image service, Image Quest. UIG, the distribution business of the Virtual Picture Desk (VPD), has provided 2 million educational still images for Britannica Image Quest and will subsequently provide motion content including video and footage clips. The Image Quest online subscription service went live in September 2010 with content from more than 50 world-class image providers.

iStockphoto Listens To Videographers

By Jim Pickerell | 397 Words | Posted 4/21/2011 | Comments
In early March Selling-Stock reported that many of iStockphoto’s most experienced videographers were very upset with the proposed royalty share for iStock new Vetta collection. At least 25 of the most productive contributors with a combined total of about 45,000 clips decided not to participate in Vetta. Most concluded they were likely to earn more if their clips were licensed at the lower Exclusive prices because they would continue to receive a higher royalty rate. It is also expected that clips available at the lower Exclusive prices will sell more frequently than those at the higher Vetta prices. Illustrators who produce Vector art were faced with the same problem.

Buyers To Meet Distributors at fotofringe London

By Jim Pickerell | 425 Words | Posted 4/21/2011 | Comments
On Wednesday, 11 May 55 major and specialist picture libraries will be exhibiting at fotofringe London. The event is designed to connect photo suppliers with their customers and will be held at Kings Place, London’s new music and arts cultural center.

Pricing Electronic Uses

By Jim Pickerell | 1918 Words | Posted 4/20/2011 | Comments
When customers first requested rights to use images in both print and online it seemed reasonable to charge a supplemental fee for the online use that was much less than the print price. Today, electronic use is at least equal to print and tomorrow it will be the predominate use of all imagery. If we continue to price electronic as a lesser usage we will be offering a huge discount on the price for the majority of our future licenses. Therefore we must come up with an entirely new strategy for licensing electronic uses.

What Buyers Want From Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 494 Words | Posted 4/20/2011 | Comments (1)
PhotoShelter and Agency Access have just released a free ebook entitled “What Buyers Want From Photographers.” The information resulted from a 35 question survey sent to Agency Access’ global database of 55,000 photography buyers. 500 responded to the survey.

It’s All In A Caption: Finding The Right Image

By Jim Pickerell | 258 Words | Posted 4/19/2011 | Comments (1)
In December the United States Postal Service released 3 billion copies of a first-class postage stamp that showed a low angle close up of the head and crown of the Statue of Liberty, symbol of American freedom. About a month ago the service was shocked to discover that the image supplied by Getty Images was not of the 305 foot tall statue designed by sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi and located on Liberty Island off the tip of Manhattan, but of a half-sized replica outside the New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Extended Licenses for Web Use

By Jim Pickerell | 798 Words | Posted 4/18/2011 | Comments (2)
In the microstock world, when establishing prices for online image use distributors should consider developing ways to distinguish between personal or social media uses and those for commercial purposes. Customers who use images for commercial purposes, and earn revenue as a result, should be charged more than those whose image use is for personal, non-revenue generating purposes. On the print side of the business microstock sellers have already solved this problem to a degree. They charge more for larger file sizes that are commonly needed for print uses, and even more when print uses are expected to exceed 500,000 copies.

Educational Publishing Trends

By Jim Pickerell | 331 Words | Posted 4/18/2011 | Comments
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has reported that e-Book sales in February 2011 were $90.3 million, up 202.3% compared to February 2010. Higher Education sales for January and February 2011 were $406.9 million, down by 5.6% vs the same period in 2010. K-12 sales for the same two-month period were $173 million, a decline of  8.9% compared to 2010.

Customer Discounts and Percentage Share

By Jim Pickerell | 488 Words | Posted 4/14/2011 | Comments (1)
One way to satisfy customer demands for lower prices without reducing overall operating costs is to cut the amount paid for the product you’re selling. Over the past decade some stock photo distributors have used this strategy very effectively. This article examines the effect that discount prices are having on the ability of stock photographers to earn a living.

Death of Educational Market for Images

By Jim Pickerell | 3277 Words | Posted 4/13/2011 | Comments
Anyone who earns significant revenue from producing or licensing stock images for educational purposes should be looking, as soon as possible, for another line of business. Why? It is rapidly becoming impossible to earn enough from licensing images for educational use to cover the costs of producing them. For decades photographers have been willing to license rights for limited usage of their images with the understanding that if a greater use is made the photographer will receive additional compensation. This system was originally developed to help publishers limit their risk in the event that some of the book they produced did not sell well or generate as much revenue as hoped.

Unintended Consequences

By Jim Pickerell | 907 Words | Posted 4/12/2011 | Comments (2)
Every photographer detests copyright infringers. When one of their images is used without compensation they want to be paid not only their normal fee for the use but a reasonable amount for chasing down the infringer and enough penalty to insure that the infringer won’t do it again. The goal is to give everyone incentive to be honest. But is going after infringers really accomplishing that goal and is it generating more business for the future?

CEPIC In Istanbul

By Jim Pickerell | 280 Words | Posted 4/12/2011 | Comments
The annual CEPIC Congress, to be held this year in Istanbul, is scheduled for May 18 through 21, 2011, just a little more than a month away. Image distributors from all over the world will be in attendance. The CEPIC Congress will be the best opportunity in 2011 for image distributors to meet some of the leading people in the visual communications world – thought leaders, early adopters, owner managers, entrepreneurs - and establish distributor relationships for your work.

Microstock Sales Volumes

By Jim Pickerell | 310 Words | Posted 4/8/2011 | Comments
I was recently asked by a RM photographer, “Can you provide some insights into the kinds of volumes that are generated when images are licensed at microstock prices?” This story provides some information and links as to how to learn more about microstock volumes.

Missing Numbers: Costs To Create Images

By Jim Pickerell | 1161 Words | Posted 4/8/2011 | Comments (1)
Many photographers licensing images at RM and traditional RF prices believe that it is impossible to have as profitable business licensing images at Microstock prices. They argue that despite the fact that some microstock photographers earn significant revenue due to sales volume their expenses must be so high that there is very little profit for their time invested. This story explores the validity of that theory.

10 Fastest Dying Industries

By Jim Pickerell | 650 Words | Posted 4/6/2011 | Comments (1)
In an IBISWorld market research report author Toon Van Beeck has identified the 10 Fasted Dying Industries in the United States. While every industry has a lifecycle – growth, maturity and decline – the fastest dying “standouts” include: Photofinishing, #4 on the list, Newspaper Publishing ,#7 and Video Postproduction, #10. IBIS has a database of 700 industries and studied 200 that were in decline to determine which were in the worst shape.

Licensing In The Digital Age

By Jim Pickerell | 526 Words | Posted 4/6/2011 | Comments
Prior to 1976 a commissioning client owned the copyright to images created by photographers. At that time the vast majority of images that appeared in publications and advertising were created on assignment. The 1976 copyright law changed all that and gave photographers control of their work and the ability to license narrow and specific rights. Now, the business world is pushing photographers back into a model that looks very much like pre-1976. The promise of a continual income stream from our creations often seems distant and unobtainable.

Press Association Joins The Image Works

By Jim Pickerell | 148 Words | Posted 4/6/2011 | Comments
The Image Works stock photography agency ( has announced the addition of the Press Association collection to its archive. Press Association has one of the most extensive collections of UK news, sports and entertainment images in the world, dating back to 1860.

Microstock Demand For Travel Photos

By Jim Pickerell | 696 Words | Posted 4/5/2011 | Comments (4)
A rights-managed photographer recently told me that travel photographers must continue to market their work as rights-managed because there is not enough customer demand on microstock sites for travel images to enable photographers to cover their costs and make a profit. He acknowledged that people who shoot model released business and lifestyle photographs might be able to earn enough to profit from licensing their images as microstock, but argued that it won't work for the travel photographer. I decided to search iStockphoto for some popular locations and see how many times the top ten images from each of these locations had been downloaded.

Getty Images Contributor Agreement Reviewed

By Jim Pickerell | 2505 Words | Posted 4/1/2011 | Comments (1)
The new Getty Images Contributor Agreement is now available. It raises a number of issues for Getty photographers. Photographers must sign the new contract before the end or April in order to continue to submit new images. If they choose not to sign Getty will continue to license their images until their current contract expires. At that point their images will be removed from the database.

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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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