What Buyers Want From Photographers

Posted on 4/20/2011 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

PhotoShelter and Agency Access have just released a free ebook entitled “What Buyers Want From Photographers.” The information resulted from a 35 question survey sent to Agency Access’ global database of 55,000 photography buyers. 500 responded to the survey.

When asked the open-ended question, “What is the best way to get noticed by a new client?” There were 354 responses to this question and 38% of these said email was their first choice. Of this group of respondents 75% said the email should be uniquely targeted to the needs of the customer. While email received the highest percentage of responses all the other traditional ways of marketing were preferred by some photo buyers.

When looking for stock images 61% use Google to search for images and 30% use Google to search for photographers. Buyers working for editorial publications and book publishers tend to use Google more regularly to find photographers than those in the advertising and design fields.

When looking for new talent 85% said they ignore photo contest results and 97% of book publishers said they do not pay attention to who has, or has not, won photo contests.

While having a blog may be critical for optimizing a photographer’s online presence for search engines and fans only 24% of buyers indicated that they might subscribe or frequently return to a photographer’s blog. Those looking for editorial content are more likely to frequently return to a photographer’s blog than those producing work for advertising.

Among the things buyers don’t like about web sites are slow loading, Flash heavy, hard-to-navigate sites. They also don’t like auto-running slide shows and music. The eBook included an extensive list of features photographers should include on their websites. One respondent summed it up what should be on a photographer web site with the comment, “Just show me the (money) shots!”

One interesting insight is that 50.4% of respondents said that they never view photographer web sites on their mobile devices and only 4.4% said they regularly use their mobile device for this purpose. 62.6% said they like to view a photographer portfolio on a website and only 7.7% preferred printed portfolios. However, another 21.1% indicated that they were happy to view portfolios in any format. Advertising agency buyers tend to prefer print, PDF and iPad formats slightly more than editorial buyers, but more than half the advertising buyers were still willing to look at websites.

One of the more surprising responses was that 66.5% said they like to see video alongside stills. This is certainly an indication of the growing need for video and how important it is for still photographers to also be able to demonstrate video skills.

When looking for photography to license 87% go to stock agencies and 55% sometimes use photographer’s websites, but 44% of buyers use consumer sites like Flickr. 55% of book publishers said they use sites like Flickr to find images.

The eBook is packed with other information that photographers who want to license rights to their work should 

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 301-461-7627, 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.  


  • John Lund Posted Apr 20, 2011
    Important information Jim...Thanks!

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff