Photographer Income & Expense Survey

Posted on 2/6/2001 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



February 6, 2001

The Photographer Income and Expense Survey is now
available online for photographers to fill out. We are interested in getting
as broad a base of data as possible, so any stock photographer may go to
the site and fill in the informamtion. Go to
Stock Photographer Profits Survey .

    (The results will be collated and made freely available in a public section of the SELLING

    STOCK site at : by the end of April. All stock photographers are urged

    to respond to this survey.)

This survey of photographer Income and Expenses for 2000 may be the most important survey

SELLING STOCK has conducted to date.

There are indications that in 2000 the number of rights protected sales decreased compared

with 1999. At the same time many stock agencies report receiving higher use fees on average

than in the previous year. In addition, we may be facing a downturn in the U.S. economy that

could change the sales environment for 2001.

Reliable trend data is important. The more photographers who answer these questions the

better our data will be.

Long lead times between planning, production and income make producing stock photographs a

particularly difficult and risky business. An accurate understanding of industry trends is

necessary to anticipate the rapid shifts in the industry and plan for the future. Old

strategies are no longer adequate.

Industry consolidation in the past 18 months has dramatically changed the income potential of

many photographers. Most photographers need to develop new marketing strategies to

effectively compete in this new environment. Detailed information about the market is critical

when making such decisions.

This survey looks at production costs as well as income. We want to make the point to

agencies that photographer costs must be taken into account when pricing usages. Currently no

one, but the poor photographer trying to survive in a very competitive environment, is

considering the cost of production.

We are asking for very specific detail. We have made arrangements with Integrated Statistics

in Massachusetts to collect and collate the data so no one in the stock photo industry will

have access to your private and personal data.

We urge every stock photographer to take the time to participate in this survey, and to supply

accurate information. Coupled with the baseline result of the surveyœs in the last two years,

this information can help us track trends and aid everyone in the stock photography industry.

The survey can also be found and filled out on-line at Click on the

"2001 Survey" button.

Thank you.

Jim Pickerell

Copyright © 2001 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:  


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