Articles by Jim Pickerell

What’s Selling?

By Jim Pickerell | 771 Words | Posted 5/21/2018 | Comments
What kind of images are generating the most revenue? Is it the amateur produce imagery that is quickly loading up most of the databases, or the more costly to produce model released people, lifestyle, and business imagery requiring complex and costly set ups and arrangement?

GDPR Explained

By Jim Pickerell | 296 Words | Posted 5/18/2018 | Comments
North American photographers and stock agencies may have heard about the new European Union GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) law that goes into effect on May 25, 2018, but figured “that’s something happening in the EU that I don’t have to worry about.” Well, maybe not!

IBM Watson To Improve Shutterstock Search

By Jim Pickerell | 301 Words | Posted 5/18/2018 | Comments
Shutterstock is enlisting the help of IBM’s Watson AI technology to make it easier for marketers to find images, videos, and music tracks. The company announced today that its library of more than 200 million assets will become available in July through the Watson Content Hub, a cloud-based management system designed to aid in the creation of websites, apps, billboards, and more.

agefotostock Divides Website Into News, Creative And Microstock

By Jim Pickerell | 729 Words | Posted 5/17/2018 | Comments
When one analyzes the market for images, it is easy to see that the stock photography business seems to be classified into three image groups that clients can browse and license. Press and news images, creative photographs and a mountain of other visual content that goes from cheap to very cheap, defined as Microstock, although if we want to go lower on pricing, we can also find masses of free pictures from unknown, if not desperate authors, produced to generate internet traffic.

Are Photogs Being Credited And Paid Properly?

By Jim Pickerell | 879 Words | Posted 5/16/2018 | Comments
In 1968 Andy Sacks, a 20-year-old University of Michigan photographer covered Robert F. Kennedy’s campaign stop in Detroit for the student newspaper, The Michigan Daily. This is a story about how the photos he captured that day ended up getting used hundreds of times 40 to 50 year later and he received no credit or a reasonable share of compensation for their use.

Do We Need Floor Prices?

By Jim Pickerell | 847 Words | Posted 5/15/2018 | Comments
A reader agreed with the lead in “Escalating Price Based On Demand” that few photographers understand what they should charge for their work, but he argued that there is “another possible consideration.” He said it is important to establish a “floor price” below which you won’t license a usage. He asked, “why won’t agencies allow creator to set a ‘floor price” for ‘special images?’ It can be painful to see $2.50 sales of extremely complicated to produce images. Creators should be able to mark certain "high value images" so they can't be used unless the buyer is willing to pay at least a minimum fee.”

Is $1.00 Per-Image, Per-Year Enough?

By Jim Pickerell | 1169 Words | Posted 5/14/2018 | Comments
Recently Alfonso Gutiérrez, CEO of AGE FotoStock told one of my readers that a "professional" stock photo collection in an agency should be returning to its contributors a minimum of $1.00 per-image per-year. The photographer noted that his returns from AGE were way below that number and he wondered whether many photographers are seeing that kind of return.

Escalating Price Based On Demand

By Jim Pickerell | 1441 Words | Posted 5/10/2018 | Comments
Possibly the biggest flaws in the Blockchain model is allowing photographers to establish one fixed price for their work. As I have pointed out before very few photographers have any understanding of what they should charge for their work. They may know what they would “like” to get if someone uses one of their images, but invariably that will be much higher than all but a very few customers will be willing to pay to use the image.

Blockchain Stories

By Jim Pickerell | 157 Words | Posted 5/9/2018 | Comments
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 blockchain offerings, or who are considering putting images with one of the blockchain companies the following are some stories you might want to review.

Photochain: Rewriting Rules For Monetizing Images

By Jim Pickerell | 685 Words | Posted 5/9/2018 | Comments
Photochain is raising funds to build a blockchain based stock image platform that is excepted to go live by the end of 2018. Artists will be able to define the price for their work and receive “up to” 95% of the price they set (depending on the business model). The platform takes a commission to maintain the platform, and to offer support, marketing and other services.

About Jim Pickerell

Jim began his career in 1963 as a freelance photojournalist in the Far East. His first major sale, a Life Magazine cover, was a stock photo of the overthrow of the Ngo Dinh Diem government in Saigon, Vietnam.

He spent the next ten to fifteen years focusing on assignment work, first as an editorial photographer, and later in the corporate area. He regularly filed his outtakes with several stock agencies around the world.

As the stock side of his income grew, Jim studied the needs of the stock photo market, and began to devote more of his shooting time producing stock images. At about this time the 1976 change in the copyright law went into effect, and the industry began to see rapidly growing demand by commercial and advertising users for stock images.

In the early 80's he helped establish the Mid-Atlantic chapter of American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) and served as Vice President, President and Program Chairman over a period of six years. He served on the national board of ASMP for two years, was on the committee that produced the ASMP Stock Handbook in 1983, and was active in the fight to reverse the IRS rules that required capitalization of all expenses of stock photo production.

In 1989 he published the first edition of Negotiating Stock Photo Prices, a guide to pricing hundreds of stock photo uses. The fifth edition was published in 2001. In 1990, he began publishing Selling-Stock, a bi-monthly newsletter dealing with issues of interest to stock photographers and stock photo sellers, with particular focus on issues related to marketing stock images. Selling-Stock is recognized worldwide as the leading source of in-depth analysis of the stock photo industry. As a result of his many years in the industry and his work with Selling-Stock, Jim has an expert understanding of the stock photo industry, its standard practices and developing trends. He frequently provides consulting services on stock industry issues to photographers, stock agents and individuals in the investment community.

In 1993, his daughter, Cheryl, joined him in the business. Together they established Stock Connection, an agency designed to provide photographers with greater control over the promotion and marketing of their work than most other stock agencies were offering. The company currently represents selected images from more than 400 photographers.

At age 76, Jim continues to follow stock photo industry developments on a day to day basis and expects to continue to do so far into the future.