Random Thoughts 65

Posted on 6/26/2003 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



June 26, 2003

Photobuyer Survey

PhotoSource International has asked 535 photobuyers what they are looking for in terms of
digital submissions and compiled the results in a 33 page report by Mikael Karlsson. This
report is available for online delivery for $19.95. You can get a copy by going to
https://www.photosource.com/101/survey2003.php )
or call 877-404 7790.

Some of the highlights are:

    -- They asked buyers, when submitting high resolution images what method of transfer
    do you prefer? 35% of photobuyers said they prefer to get high res images on CD and 31%
    said they prefer to get them by E-mail. 28% preferred to get high res through FTP and only
    6% would not accept high res images.

    -- A whopping 79 percent of photobuyers said that if a photographer's web site lacked a
    search function they would leave and never return.

    -- Eighty-seven percent of the photobuyers that participated said they were not happy with
    the captioning on digital images they received and some were so frustrated that they have
    stopped accepting digital images from photographers.

This is only a brief sampling of the wealth of information in this report.

Print and Prepress Demand

TrendWatch reports that business conditions for printers continues to drop and that
a rebound in the economy will NOT significantly help printing companies turn sales
around. Based on their eight years of data the numbers indicate that an economic
upturn will NOT translate into an upturn for printing demand.

The percentage of respondents that say business conditions are "excellent" has
dropped from 47% in Q2 1995 to 16% in Q2 2003. The TrendWatch Index (that takes a
number of factors into account) rose from the Spring of 2002 to the Fall of 2002,
but it has been falling ever since.

If there is less printing, then sales for pictures used in printed pieces are likely
to be off as well.

Based on the information in their new report "Why You Canít Wait This One Out:
Eight Years of TWGA Printing Data Tell Why 'Normal' Is Gone Forever" says it is
time for managers to review business plans and change their business models to
reflect the needs of todayís new business environment.

TrendWatch says, "The bad economy lingers on, but although the idea of 'value-added
services' makes many printers' eyes roll, our new Printing survey found that those
shops that have been able to expand their service mix beyond the press are doing
better than those that remain entrenched in a strict print-and-that's-it approach."

For more information about their report you can go to
http://www.trendwatchgraphicarts.com )
or phone 866-873-6310.

Color Management

TrendWatch also reports that the interest in color management by graphic arts
professionals in on the rise, but effective use of color management tools is still in its

In a recent survey 63% of graphic arts respondents report they are applying color
management in some capacity. However, this number is tainted by additional data that
reports that "eyeballing" jobs (comparing originals to printed output without digital
measurement tools) is considered color management by more than 50% of printing firms that
say they use color management.

TrendWatch has produced a new report "Color Management: Another Gray Area" that is an
update of a report originally published in 2001. It offers a comprehensive and up-to-date
analysis of the printing and creative industries as they relate to color management.

Vince Naselli, Director of TrendWatch Graphic Arts says, "The software solutions are more
sophisticated than they have ever been before, they're cheaper in many cases, and they've
become much easier to use. Also graphic arts pros have become savvier about what color
management involves and how to implement it. Add to this the fact that more designers and
publishers seek to eliminate their reliance on outsourced prepress services, and you
realize the growing impact color management should be having on the industry."

But the report also points out that 65% of industry publishers and two-thirds of design
and production firms do not currently use color management technology.

New Release From Hemera

Hemera has launched version 3.0 of its AbleStock.com site offering more choice and over
20,000 new RF images. It has also expanded its membership model. Members can opt for a
Stock Photo Membership, a Photo-Objects Images Membership or both at a substantial

Hemera has also released its "Big Box of Art 800,000" for Macintosh with 800,000 RF image
and 30 GB of images on 8 DVDs for a suggested retail price of $149.99. The package also
includes over 300,000 pieces of scalable vector clip art and over 25,000 premium
pre-masked Photo-Objects. The Hemera Image Browser lets users find images using keyword
search and then they can drag and drop the images into their graphics applications.

Also included in the Big Box of Art are 50 high-resolution (28MB) images from AbleStock
and up to 150 more AbleStock images through a 30-day free trial subscription. This is
expected to introduce more customers to the AbleStock subscription program.

Getty Acquiring Celebrity Brands

Getty Images has recently acquired two celebrity brands to beef up its celebrity and
entertainment offering for its news division. Early this year they acquired Image Direct
that specializes in celebrity coverage in the U.S. and they have just completed a deal
with Mission Studios, a UK agency that specializes in entertainment photography.

Mission has ten regular contributors and seven have signed with Getty so far. Mission's
owner, Dave Hogan, is also house photographer for England's The Sun newspaper, giving him
great access to UK entertainers.

Corbis Royalty Payments

A few Corbis photographers report they have recently received unusually large payments for
the use of single images. These payments were very much out of character with their
pervious sales history through Corbis.

Knowing that Corbis had launched an internal audit some months ago these photographers are
curious as to whether the payments result in some way from errors discovered in the audit.

Marc Osborn of Corbis said, "Our internal auditing activities are still ongoing, but so
far they have not revealed any cause for concern about the accuracy or our royalty
payments. We expect to learn a lot from this process about how to continue refining and
bullet-proofing systems. However, we're confident that there are no major breaches in need
of repair."

Osborn also pointed out that Corbis has recently pursued and won several multi-million
dollar preferred provider agreements with leading global advertising groups and publishing
conglomerates. Corbis is well ahead of its 2003 revenue goals and the 1st quarter was the
best quarter ever with double digit growth in a flat market. These factors could explain
why many photographers are beginning to see commensurate increases in earnings.

UK Press Complaints Commission Found Wanting By Consumer

In the UK there is an established "Code of Practice" for members of the press and a Press
Complaints Commission that reviews complaints against various press organizations.
However, citizens are not always happy with the results of this attempt by the press to
police itself.

Jonathan Coad of Simkins Partnership provided the following report on a recent case.

It was reported on 6 June that Sarah Cox had settled her privacy claim against the People
for £50,000 in damages, plus £200,000 legal costs. The People had published nude
photographs of Sarah Cox and her new husband while they were on honeymoon in the
Seychelles. The photographs showed the Radio One DJ and her Club DJ husband at their
villa and on the beach.

Roy Greenslade, writing in the Guardian, the day after the settlement was announced,
commented that the decision by Sarah Cox to follow a successful sortie to the Press
Complaints Commission for the very limited remedy which that provided with fully blown
legal proceedings further undermined the credibility of the Press Complaints Commission.
If it cannot provide a remedy which the punter thinks adequate, then how can it present
itself as an effective form of self regulation?

The Press Complaints Commission has been tested and found wanting in two respects
concerning Ms Cox. The first is that despite the clear terms of the agreed Code of
Practice, the photographs were published by the People, whose editor was actually a member
of the Press Complaints Commission. The Code could hardly be clearer on the subject of

    "(i) Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home,
    health and correspondence. A publication will be expected to justify intrusions into any
    individual's private life without consent.

    (ii) The use of long lens photography to take pictures of people in private places
    without their consent is unacceptable.

    Note - private places are public or private property where there is a reasonable
    expectation of privacy."

Nude photographs of Ms Cox and her husband taken using a long lens while they were on
private property were the clearest possible breach of the Code. The first failure of the
system was to allow the photographs to be published in the first place.

The second failure of the self-regulatory system was to place Ms Cox in a position where
both a photographic agency and a national newspaper had profited from the newspaper's
breach of the Code, invading her privacy and causing her distress and embarrassment, in
circumstances where the self-regulatory procedure neither penalizes the transgressor in
any way which really impacts (i.e. financially), nor compensates the victim.

It comes as no surprise then that an aggrieved complainant has looked beyond the Press
Complaints Commission for the kind of financial remedy which was clearly appropriate in
the circumstances, but which the Commission has chosen by its terms of reference not to be
able to offer.

Editors Note: If you would like to contact Mr. Coad he can be reached at
jonathan.coad@simkins.com (tel: +44 20 7907 3052).

Copyright © 2003 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 www.selling-stock.com, 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: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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