Market Trends: Advertising Declines

Posted on 9/14/2009 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (2)

Some photographers want to continue to shoot and produce in the same way as they did in 2007. They have the "think positive" mindset that if they continue to produce new and better images in a higher volume than they produced in 2007, sales will go up, or at least they won't decline a whole lot.

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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:  


  • Jim Reed Posted Sep 14, 2009
    “Photographers trying to sell through traditional agencies must recognize that their images either need to be so unique that there is nothing which will illustrate a similar concept on microstock sites (a very unlikely situation), or the buyer has some need for exclusivity (rare).”

    You failed to mention a third criteria, that of editorial imagery that cannot by their nature be sold as micro/RF. Such images would contain people that cannot be model released for instance, or images that contain private property, logos or trademarked subjects that also fall out of the realm of micro/RF. I have switched my focus to primarily editorial because of the severe reduction to my advertising licensing that I have seen over the last few years. And aside from a dip this last year, sales are going back up, and the demand for the subjects I shoot is growing in demand. You cannot, as you say shoot the same type of subject matter that perhaps you shot in 2007, but with some adjustments and a little ingenuity, there is no reason to stop shooting and supplying new imagery.

    Peter Bennett
    Ambient Images Inc.
    P: 310-312-6640

  • Bonjean Isabelle Posted Sep 15, 2009
    Ouch! Even though I was aware of the situation, (and started to feel the drop of incomes), numbers are hard to read.
    As a photographer myself and art-director of, I felt recession in both activities, specially since the early summer.
    Even though the situation is critical, I truly love my work and the extraordinary images of my fellow photographers, that I continue to edit and display on Readymade-Images with the precious help from Plainpicture who distributes now the collection worldwide...
    I know that reason points toward a dark and low budgeted future, but try to explain that to people who dedicated their lives to images, who truly believe in beauty, who really care for quality.
    I don't.
    I keep trying doing the best possible images and keep encouraging everybody around me not to bend to much under pressure.
    For sure we won't be rich again soon, but let's hope quality will always find his audience and allow us at least to make a decent living.

    Thanks very much anyway for all those precious though depressing informations you keep posting. It's always better to know against what we are fighting.

    I wish you and all photographers around a very nice day and a brighter future!

    Isabelle Bonjean

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