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Is stock photography about making money or just about learning how to take better pictures? There are different ideas on the subject and a variety reasons why photographers take pictures. As editor of Selling Stock, I thought I should make my position on the subject perfectly clear to my readers. The business of photography is changing dramatically. Part of the reason is that money is not a primary driver for many very good photographers that have easy access to image users.
In all the excitement about 35 million FREE images it is worth looking back at some of things that have been happening at Getty Images in the last three months. After watching revenue decline for the fifth straight quarter, and many of its top producers cut back on production or stop supplying new images altogether, Getty evidently decided that their turn-around strategy wasn’t working and they needed to make some radical changes.
If you’re looking for an overview of the state of the stock photo industry as of October 2013 the stories listed below are a good place to start. Regular readers of Selling-Stock will have seen all this information before. For them, there is nothing new here although some of the stories were published in the last two weeks. If you’re looking for data and analysis – both current and historical – these stories are worth examining.
If supplying pictures for educational use is a significant part of your business plan you need to be aware of how the market is trending toward digital delivery and how that is likely to affect the prices that will be paid for images used in digital products. In case you’ve missed them the following are links to a few stories we’ve published that deal with this subject in the last few years.
Every few months I put together a summary of some of our most important
recently published stories. This selection is designed to help investors
who are trying to understand the industry as well as image creators
just beginning to explore the idea of licensing their images. Regular
readers will have seen these stories. Please refer friends interested in
licensing images to this series of articles.
If your goal is to earn a full-time living from photography -- and
particularly stock photography -- you need to read this series of 14
articles. They were originally written in the summer of 2010. Since then
the general state of the photographic industry has continued to go
downhill. These articles discuss key aspects of the business and issues
that those who want to earn their living taking pictures must consider.
There are a number of stories on this site that will aid you in determining what to charge for a stock photo usage. Below is a list of story titles and the number of credits required to read the entire story. Click on the detailed description link and it will take you to a short description of what is included in the full story. Click on the Story link and it will take you directly to the story and deduct the appropriate number of credits from your account.
This article provides a selection of stories that will help the reader
better understand microstock photography and the state of the market for
images at microstock prices at the beginning of 2012. Some of the
stories in this list were written as much as two years ago, but provide
background on the subject.
For those looking for statistical and trend information related to stock photo industry this story provides links to a series of articles produced over the past year that examine various aspect of the subject.
If you're new to this site, or have missed some of the stories we have published in 2011, check out these links to 52 of this year's most important and thought provoking stories. This summary of information should provide you with a good understanding of the state of the stock photo industry at the end of 2011. If you need more historical perspective check out the “Top Stories For 2010
For those who would like background on the stock photo industry, its
history and trends this story provides links to a number of stories on
PhotoLicensingOptions.com that readers may want to review.
This story provides links to a series of articles that include the results of a photographer income survey, analysis of the sales of microstock photographers, the size of the market for stock photography and other data useful to understanding stock photo industry trends.
If you license rights to your photos for textbook use then here are a few articles you should read.
Readers new to this site want to know what they should read to get an
understanding of the stock photo industry. Sometimes regular readers
miss important stories due to the demands of their busy schedules.
Consequently, we’ve put together this list of 52 stories published in
the last eighteen months that outline what has been happening in the
stock photo industry, where things stand at the beginning of 2011, and
how the industry is changing. We hope you’ll find this list helpful.
More and more people are producing pictures of a quality sufficient to
satisfy the needs of many who want to use pictures. Thanks to the
Internet—and to a great extent microstock—it is now much easier than in
the past for people to earn a little money from the images they have
produced and to make contact with customers who might want to use them.
The “Going Pro” series of articles targets not the successful
professional but the person just starting out, or the microstock
photographer who has had some success producing images that sell and
believes it is time to quit his or her day job and go into photography
full time. What are the things they need to be aware of before taking
the big plunge of trying to turn something that is a fun hobby into a
For several years
I have estimated that the size of worldwide market for still stock images and
illustrations at about $1.8 billion. I’ve also claimed that overall
stock photography has been a no-growth business despite the fact that
some companies and individuals could point to growth. Now, at the end of
2009 I believe gross revenue for the industry is no more than $1.45
billion and it will probably continue to decline. The stories here break out various segments of the market and explain the overall trends.l
This story provides links to a five part series of articles designed to help photographers understand the major trends impacting the industry in 2010 and help them plan for the future. We outline some of the issues to consider, new business models to explore and things to focus on in order to have a profitable business. Following the first five stories are links to some additional articles on the business of stock photography that may be of interest.
Looking for some vacation reading material? Here are some suggestions.
If you want to know how successful stock photographers do it, here are
links to a series of interviews done over the last couple years. There
are lots of different strategies. Some of these photographers are among
the world’s most successful. Other’s like Todd Klassy and Holger Mette
are relatively new to the business, and have adopted unconventional
strategies that may be the wave of the future.
This story provides a list of useful articles that will provide the reader with a good background on the current state of the stock photography business and where it is headed.
This story provides links to some of the stories on this site that may be of interest to someone new to the stock photography business, or someone who might to have a
brief refresher course on some of the things that have been happening in the
last few years. Many of these stories will also give you some idea of developing trends and what the
future might hold.
This is a list of 14 articles that will provide microstock photographers, or those considering contributing to microstock sites, some useful background and insights into the industry.