5 Forward Revisited

Posted on 11/19/2010 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (3)

Tom Grill recently offered Selling Stock readers his predictions on where the stock photo business is headed in the next five year. While I agree with a lot of what he had to say, I believe the vast majority of photographers will find stock offers much less of an opportunity than the picture he paints. In the next five years, it will become increasingly difficult to earn a decent living—or even a profit—from producing still images on speculation.

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Selling Stock is an on-line newsletter that reports on developing trends in the stock photo industry. It is updated at least twice a month. On-line subscribers receive e-mail notification whenever new stories are posted. Archives containing stories going back to late 1995 are fully available to subscribers.

Copyright © 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.  


  • Bill Bachmann Posted Nov 20, 2010
    Jim.... the sky is not falling!! You need to stress the right way to enter the field and leave the" gloom & doom" behind!

    Yes, I am one of the top shooters.... but I have several that have taken my courses and have become successful from the start. They re making 50K starting out and will do better in the future. If they listened to only you, they would have quit!


  • Fred Voetsch Posted Nov 22, 2010
    Mr. Pickerell is correct. He is speaking about the industry and not you or me; it is up to us to create our niche within what the industry has to offer.

    Over the past decade stock photography grew and became the easy way to generate income from images but those days are gone. Like Bill Bachmann says, they need to learn to do things the right way but that may mean doing things that Mr. Bachmann would not even consider doing as a primary source of income such as writing a photography or travel blog.

    The key is to get a focus that works for you. The photography business is still large so that's a choice; Google's ad revenue is MUCH larger and they easily allow anyone to take part in publishing and generating revenue with an 80% payout to the publisher - photography fits right into that as people will always love to look at pretty or interesting photography. Along the way you can sell image licenses and prints. By becoming a publisher as well as a stock photographer you can control your own destiny and open up your 'industry' beyond image buyers directly to auto companies (if you specialize in auto photography) or computer makers (if you have lots of tech oriented photos) or the NFL, NBA and NBA (if you take sports photos).

    I have posted an excerpt from this article at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/selling_stock_photography/ - I invite an open discussion on the subject; all views are welcome as long as respect is shown for other points of view.

  • Fred Voetsch Posted Nov 22, 2010
    It would be nice if the comments would allow line breaks.

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