iStockphoto: Please Switch from Photographer Exclusive to Image Exclusive

Posted on 1/5/2011 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (4)

If iStock is really interested in improving the quality of its collection and bringing the work of the best and most experienced photographers into its top end collections it needs to drop the requirement that exclusive photographers not have images that are licensed as RF with any other agency.  All the company really needs is that the specific images they represent, and any similars, not be in any other collection. They don’t need to define “exclusive” this tightly.  It is interesting that even Getty Images only requires “image exclusive”, but iStock want to have more control over the lives of its photographers.

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Copyright © 2011 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


  • Jonathan Ross Posted Jan 5, 2011
    Hi Jim,

    Great post, I agree with you on this topic. It just doesn't make much sense and I think it would help the company in the long run to change their exclusive agreement.

    Jonathan Ross

  • Bill Bachmann Posted Jan 5, 2011
    I also agree with you totally on this Jim! Golly, that scares me because we often disagree!!! ====

  • Jon Feingersh Posted Jan 6, 2011
    Virtually everyone I know has seen substantial declines in their Getty revenue over the past year. The drop in recent months is astounding. Photographers who depend on stock for their primary income cannot possibly accept Getty demand for photographer exclusivity.

  • John Lund Posted Jan 7, 2011
    I think you are exactly right Jim, with image exclusivity, rather than photographer exclusivity, they could truly get a jump on the best images from all of the best photographers...and leave the dregs to the rest...much smarter IMHO!

    John Lund 1/7/2011

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