What Is “Commercial” Stock Photography?

Posted on 6/16/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (2)

Have we lost sight of what commercial stock photography is? Have we become so obsessed with “real life” and “natural” the we think that anything that is arranged or posed is bad? Does an image have to shock to be good stock?


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Copyright © 2016 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.  

Comments

  • Anthony Harris Posted Jun 17, 2016
    Dear Jim,

    Thank you for the article on the value of work being showcased by Dissolve and Jim Erikson. I must say on this occasion I could not disagree more with your position.

    The dissolve showreel was thought provoking and while on the face of it may not include imagery that has an immediate concept, all do and it is in that deeper connection that the value for (some) customers may be found.

    In a market absolutely saturated with highly commoditized pictures and a world full of imagery, there is a desire for stock photography that engages customers on both an emotional and creative level. There is also room for a broad church of approaches from the work featured in Thematica to the excellent work in Jim Erikson’s portfolio. What is key as I said is that they provoke an emotional response either through their conceptual nature or authenticity to ensure that they engage with the audience and offer value that commands a premium price point.

    If the showreel from Dissolve was your fairly typical mundane gallery of stock I don’t think for one minute you would have spent valuable time writing a feature and so in choosing the images they have ( and am very proud to see Image Source content included) they have prompted a response and discussion which can only be a positive step.

    Best wishes,
    Anthony Harris
    CEO Image Source



  • Peter Dazeley Posted Jun 20, 2016
    Dear Jim, interesting piece. The trouble for the creator is that when you have a weird or unusual image it is usually very difficult to key word them, in such a way that they can be easily discovered.

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