Resoultions for 2002

Posted on 1/3/2002 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



January 3, 2001

Now is a good time to start your planning for 2002. The following are a few resolutions for
photographers and stock agents to consider.

Before itemizing the resolutions there are a few quick facts to keep in mind.

    -- More and more customers, particularly in the U.S., are finding the images they need by using
    digital search techniques.

    -- A huge number of images that customers want to buy have been returned to photographers. Getty says
    they returned almost 10 million images in 2001. Corbis isn't giving numbers, but they have returned a
    huge amount of imagery as well. Much more will be returned in 2002 and beyond.

    -- Many photographer will be looking for ways to put the best of these returned images where buyers
    can find them once again.

    -- In these bad economic times advertisers are becoming more conservative. They are moving back to
    basics and using more classic imagery that expresses concepts like joy, serenity and domestic bliss. It
    is this imagery that the agencies have been dumping and returning to photographers. The edgy, gritty
    urban scenes (that have populated so many of the new catalogs) may be on the way out according to a
    Dec. 20 article in the Wall Street Journal.

    -- Photographers want more control of their work.

Resolutions For Photographers

  • Edit the images that are being returned and get the best of what you have already shot online
    where buyers can see them.

  • If necessary, cut back on new shooting in order to concentrate on getting existing work where it
    can be seen.

  • Make sure the work that goes online is keyworded effectively. (See Keywording story, page 11.)

  • Put the same images on multiple sites to spread your risk and test new marketing strategies.

  • Maximize the variety of images you offer for customer consideration. Consider uploading
    relatively small files for client selection and preview purposes and generating hi-res scans on demand.

  • Post single images of lots of different subjects rather than multiple slight variations of a few

  • Make direct relationships with agents in various countries who will handle the negotiation of
    rights and the collection of fees on your behalf. (Initially, you may have trouble finding agents who
    will agree to represent images you have posted on one of the Technology Service Provider sites, but
    expect the number of agents who are willing to operate in this manner to dramatically increase in the
    near future.)

  • Look for ways to retain more control of your work.

    Resolutions For Stock Agents

  • Get as many images as you can online, and on multiple sites.

  • In order to maximize the number of images available for viewing, consider making low res files
    available for customer selection. Generate high-resolution scans on-demand and clean then up only when
    customers actually chose to use specific images. Using this strategy it will become unnecessary to
    spend the time making high resolution scans and cleaning up the tens of thousands of images that are
    made available online for buyer consideration, but which are never selected for actual use.

  • Make sure every image that is placed online is keyworded well. (See Keywording story, page 11).

  • Take advantage of the opportunity offered by Alamy to create image "Collections" that would be of
    interest to your customers. You earn a percentage of sales of these images simply by creating the
    collection. By promoting these collections to your customers, you can increase your revenues. Other
    sites are expected to offer similar services soon.

  • Consider new business models as an alternative, or an add-on line-of-business, to the traditional
    agency model. (See Modify Your Business, page 2.)

  • Copyright © 2002 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 301-461-7627, 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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