What Buyers Want From Photographers

Posted on 10/18/2013 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

PhotoShelter has just released the results of a new survey designed to determine “What Buyers Want From Photographers.” The 48 page report is available for Free here.

PhotoShelter and Agency Access joined forces to ask buyers 34 questions ranging from buyers’ preferences on the type of marketing that grabs their attention, photo website likes and dislikes, how they search for photographers and photography, plus budget challenges and industry trends they’ve noticed.

The survey was sent to Agency Access’s global database of 90,000 creative contacts and 340 buyers responded. Respondents were from advertising agencies (37.1%), design agencies (12.8%), editorial publications (14.7%), corporations (10.6%), book publishers (5%) and other.

Buyers see the industry shifting toward more “natural” and unstaged photography with a more gritty, raw and unpolished look. Some are also looking for more of the filtered effects and Instagram look. And they look for photographer’s whose personal projects create a new style or new trend in the industry.

A Few Takeaways

  • One quarter of the respondents said budgets were increasing, but half said budgets are staying the same and another quarter said they are falling.

  • 46.6% of buyers from advertising agencies said it’s important to hire photographers who can also shoot video.

  • 42.1% of respondents said they use major search engines to find photographers and 25.2% go to photography representatives, agencies or directories.

  • 55% of editorial buyers who find photographers through social media, discover them through Instagram.

  • While 71.7% of buyers said they look at email pitches, they also indicated that “email pitches are often impersonal and fall flat because they don’t demonstrate a clear knowledge of their company and photographer needs.”

  • Buyers like photographers who are: flexible, receptive to criticism, committed, professional, creative, collaborative, fast, sharp and full understand the brief, experts, open-minded, humble, attentive to detail, problem solvers and able to stay within budget.

  • Buyers don’t like photographers that are: disrespectful, late or miss deadlines, in a bad mood, “divas,” poor listeners, unable to collaborate, unprepared, unprofessional, unskilled in their art and technical ability, unable to manage their time well or “clock-watchers.”
The report also includes extensive interviews with Stephen Diamond, Executive Director of Photography for Scholastic Inc.; Brad Smith, Director of Photography at Sports Illustrated and Michael Bilbrey, Senior Production Consultant at Leo Burnett.

Photographers interested in assignment work should read this Free report.


Copyright © 2013 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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