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With Stocksy (http://www.stocksy.com/
) Bruce Livingstone has set out to produce a collection of “authentic” stock images unlike anything customers will be able to find anywhere else. When he uses the work authentic he means a photograph that doesn’t look staged, pretend, forced or unrealistic. Images can be processed, but the processing must match the content. It’s not Instagram. Bruce took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.
There was a time when one of the keys to being a successful stock photographer was to develop a strong working relationship with a top photo editor at one of the major stock agencies. That period has passed. Rolf Sjogren who managed a high-level team of art directors, photo editors, producers and retouchers for Getty Images from 2001 through 2008 explains what happened and gives us a picture editor's perspective on how the stock photo industry has changed in the last 20 or so years.
The CEPIC Congress in Barcelona June 10 – 14, 2013 attracts stock agents from around the world. Pricing will be one of the key issues discussed – specifically falling prices and the impact they are having on stock agencies and professional photographers. I posed a series of questions to a few industry leaders. This story is a response from Alfonso Gutierrez, CEO of age fotostock
As a specialist in model released military photography (http://www.photoshelter.com/c/militarystockphoto
) for more than 30 years Hans Halberstadt has always actively pursued infringements of his work. Over the years he has recovered in excess of $200,000, often a few thousand dollars at a time, for various unauthorized uses.
In her presentations “The Fixer” at Photo Shelter’s Luminance event in September, retoucher and illustrator Amy Dresser beautifully demonstrated that there is no reality in photography any more. You'll be amazed at what she can do with Photoshop and Illustrator.
is one of the world’s most successful stock photographers. His images have a clean, graphic, conceptual style and generally illustrate business concepts. His images are often humorous. Using photoshop and digital tools he creates images that put people and animals in impossible situations, but they are done so skillfully that viewers often ask, “Did that really happen?” The following are five tips for succeeding in stock photography.
Most professional photographers believe Flickr is a site they should
avoid because someone might steal their pictures. They think of it as a
place where amateurs put the pictures they want to share with family and
friends. Todd Klassy is using it very effectively to market his images
in his part-time photographic business.
At the recent PACA International Conference in New York internationally-known visual journalist Tom Kennedy discussed the “Changing Media Landscape.” Kennedy was Managing Editor for Multimedia at The Washington Post, Director of Photography for the National Geographic Magazine, and Assistant Graphics Director at The Philadelphia Inquirer before taking up his current position as Alexia Chair Professor for Documentary Photography in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
Shannon Fagan, a very successful former New York stock photographer, has
set up shop in China as a consultant and content aggregater. He has
spent a cumulative equivalent of 2 years in Shanghai and Beijing since
2006 working with, and doing business development for, China's
commercial photo agency sector. He permanently moved to Beijing in
December last year. He has interacted with nearly all the key players,
support components, and service providers, and developed an “insider’s”
knowledge of the opportunities and pitfalls of China’s stock photo
industry. This interview provides
some insights into the Chinese market.
In an article published in the British Journal of Photography (BJP) and entitled “Stockpiling Trouble: How The Stock Industry Ate Itself?
” Betsy Reid founding executive director of Stock Artists Alliance (SAA) from 2002 through 2009 lays out some of the reasons that the SAA will be closing its doors at the end of 2011. Many in the industry will want to review this article.
At ASMP’s recent Strictly Business 3 education weekend in Philadelphia
four photographers explained how they had reinvented their businesses in
the current challenging business environment. Here are their stories. There will be more success stories at the last Strictly Business 3 conference in 2011 which takes place in Chicago April 1st through 3rd.
In January of 2011 Yuri Arcurs was interviewed by John Lund and gave the
following account of where his business is today. Yuri is the world’s
best selling microstock photographer, has a staff of more than 50 and
the overhead for his stock operation exceeds $200,000 a month.
Many Western stock photographers are beginning to wonder if it isn’t
time to explore the potentials of the Chinese market. I asked Jerome
Lacrosniere, CEO of ImagineChina in Shanghai for some information about
the state of the Chinese stock photo industry.
For many photographers seeking to earn some, or all, of their living
producing stock images, one of the most important decisions in 2011 will
be whether to retire from the stock photo business or get into
microstock. Many photographers who are licensing their images at
rights-managed or traditional royalty free prices have seen their
revenue decline significantly in the last couple of years. They are also
skeptical that it is possible to earn any significant money licensing
images at microstock prices. As a result quite a few are choosing to get
out of the stock photography business.
Ron Chapple, one of the first traditional adopters of the micro-priced model into his larger stock business, says that chances of making a sale have decreased by 90% in recent years.
Ed: Shannon Fagan was one of
the speakers at the New Media Conference held in conjunction with the
June 2010 CEPIC Congress in Dublin, Ireland. Fagan has been in the
stock business for a decade, is represented by most major agencies and
is the president of the Stock Artists Alliance. He shares his
observations about the state of the industry with Selling Stock readers.
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.
is a former
President of the Stock
and an Advisory Board member of the Young Photographers
. In the past 18 months, he has attended every major
industry conference to gather information on stock photography and
licensing’s current direction. He has contributed both Rights Managed
and Royalty Free images directly to Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Blend,
Image Source, Cultura, Spaces, Tetra and many other brands. He has a
deep knowledge of the stock photography industry, both from personal
experience, and from his role helping other photographers develop their
businesses. The following summarizes a few of his thoughts that were
first published on Greg
At the recent CEPIC Congress in Dublin, Ireland, CEO of UpperCut Images Miles Gerstein offered CEPIC Daily
his assessment of the future of the stock photo industry. Gerstein
previously owned PunchStock, which he sold to Getty Images in 2006, and
Artville, which he sold to The Image Bank in the late 1990s. His years
of experience in the industry provide him with an important perspective
on where the industry is likely headed.
Don’t tell Cathy Yeulet that you can’t make money in microstock. She operates Monkey Business Images
one of the most successful microstock production companies. However,
unlike many microstockers, she is not new to stock photography. For
many years, Yeulet operated a successful rights-managed business in
Oxfordshire, U.K. When traditional royalty-free first began to take
off, she created the BananaStock brand, which she sold to Jupiterimages
in 2005 for approximately $19 million in cash.
She started uploading images to iStockphoto in March of 2008.
Jonathan Klein is CEO and co-founder, with Mark Getty, of Getty Images
and the most influential person in the global stock photo industry. For
fifteen years he led an aggressive acquisition campaign which positions
Getty as the leading source of still and moving imagery as well as
footage and music. He is a passionate believer in the power of the
image to create change in editorial as well as creative photography. In
this exclusive CEPIC DAILY interview, he gives frank answers to some
tough questions posed by Tweak founder Jerry Kennelly. It gives an
intriguing insight into Getty as a privately held company and their
vision for the future of the industry.
had already been a still photographer for over 20 years when I started
exploring digital video and the motion medium ten years ago. I had
built a successful career shooting editorially for magazines like
National Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian, Travel & Leisure to name
a few, as well as producing annual reports for major corporations.
When digital video hit the scene in the late ‘90’s, I was already
starting to feel a slight frustration in trying to tell certain stories
with a still camera. I was beginning to think and see in terms of
movement and sound. At the same time, technology was making it
possible and affordable with digital video cameras and non-linear
editing software for me to use this medium to tell my stories. The new
tools were a means to an end.
Jim Pickerell has a long history in stock photography as a stock shooter, an agency owner, and an industry analyst. In this wide-ranging interview he shares his experience and insight on the future of stock photography.
More and more still photographers are getting into video because of the
appeal of the hybrid still cameras that also shoot video.
Photographers love the visual coming out of these big chip cameras –
what’s not to love? But they quickly find out that if they aren’t just
going to be laying visuals down to a music track, they will need to
start thinking about their audio – specifically a narrative track or
one driven by sound bites from interviews. I work in the corporate
sector, as well as create documentaries, so I do a lot of interviews.
The interviews, along with a scripted voiceover comprise my audio track
and drive the story.
Tom discusses his strategies for success in stock photography with advice for both new and established stock photographers. He discusses what to shoot, the importance of RPI, selecting agencies and even what gear he uses.