Stock

Travel Photographer Closes Website

By Jim Pickerell | 264 Words | Posted 3/20/2019 | Comments
Rick Strange, a very successful UK travel photographer with over 45 years experience is closing his www.worldtravelphotographs.com website after over 4 years of very disappointing sales. Considering the excellent quality of his work, this may be a cautionary tale for any photographer considering trying to market work from a personal website rather than using a stock agency.

StockFood Takes Over Look Travel Photo Agency

By Jim Pickerell | 468 Words | Posted 3/20/2019 | Comments
On April 1, 2019, StockFood GmbH will take over the German travel photo agency Look. All employees, including their long-standing customer advisors and photo editors, will join the StockFood team. For decades, Look (lookphotos.com) has been known as the leading German travel photo agency. From the very beginning, the name "Look" has been synonymous with the group's mission.

Image Creators Need Better Sales Information

By Jim Pickerell | 865 Words | Posted 2/27/2019 | Comments
Image creators need better information about the kind of content that is selling. Are customers looking at higher priced content? Can creators earn more money if their images are in a collection like Offset where images are licensed for much higher prices? Should creators produce more stills? Should they buy new equipment and start shooting video that sells for higher prices? Shutterstock’s quarterly reports to investors aren’t very helpful in this regard.

How Much Has The Value Of A Great Photo Declined?

By Jim Pickerell | 259 Words | Posted 1/23/2019 | Comments
Want to know how much the value of a great photo that is used in advertising has declined? In 2001 Microsoft paid $135,000 to use Chuck O'Rear's image of a green rolling hillside with a pale blue sky to launch a major advertising campaign for Windows XP software. How much do you think Apple is willing to pay for an iPhone photo that will be used heavily in iPhone advertising? Hint: If you're a photographer you won't be surprised, but you also won't be happy!

Stock Photo Agencies: Outlived Their Usefulness

By Jim Pickerell | 4385 Words | Posted 12/27/2018 | Comments
This long read outlines the step-by-step changes in the marketing of stock images over the the last 30 to 40 years. It makes clear why the production of stock images is no longer a viable business for most photographers and other image creators. At the end of the article, I have outlined some of the changes I believe need to be made in the relationships between image creators and customers in order to return the business to a profitable occupation for those who produce images.

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future

By Jim Pickerell | 48 Words | Posted 12/21/2018 | Comments
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy for engaging in the stock photo business in 2019.

Cutting Out The Middleman

By Jim Pickerell | 1897 Words | Posted 12/18/2018 | Comments
As fewer and fewer stock photographers earn enough from the licensing of their photos to justify continued production, some suggest that instead of letting stock agencies pay them 20% to 30% of the small gross fees collected to use their images, they should sell their images directly to customers. In this way they would get higher prices and keep 100% of what the customer pays.

Which Companies Get Images For Rock Bottom Prices?

By Jim Pickerell | 584 Words | Posted 12/14/2018 | Comments
Everyone knows that many images are being licensed for very low prices. Many feel that the people paying these low prices are small, start-up businesses that are so poor they can’t justify paying fees high enough to cover the costs of creating the image. It is hoped that if photographers help these businesses succeed in the initial stages, eventually when they are profitable they might be able to pay enough to enable image creators to actually profit from their efforts.

What Is Stock Photography?

By Jim Pickerell | 725 Words | Posted 12/7/2018 | Comments
When I first started actively producing stock photography, I did so because I wanted to make money. I had discovered that I could earn additional revenue from images I had previously produced on either an assignment or on speculation. At the time I wasn’t earning enough from assignments alone to fully support the needs of my family. The stock revenue was an important supplement. Assignments weren’t as frequent, or as well paying, as I would have liked. I realized I could use the “in between” time to produce images for my stock collection that one day might be licensed.

What Are The Stock Images That Sell?

By Jim Pickerell | 844 Words | Posted 12/7/2018 | Comments
A professional photographer asked recently “what kind of still images and video clips are being used?” It’s a great question with no good answer. Stock agencies know the answer, but they’re not sharing. Photographers seriously interested in earning money from their stock photo production need detailed and specific information about what customers are buying if they hope to create new images cost effectively. Such information would enable them to focus their efforts on producing more of the subject matter customers regularly want to buy.

Fotolia To Close in 2019

By Jim Pickerell | 307 Words | Posted 11/7/2018 | Comments
Adobe has given photographers notice that on November 5, 2019, almost a year way, the  Fotolia website will close and all customers will need to use Adobe Stock from that time on to find the images they need.

Potential For Market Growth

By Jim Pickerell | 1719 Words | Posted 11/1/2018 | Comments
There is very little likelihood that the overall market will grow if the stock photo business continues on its current course. In order to have growth at least four major strategy changes are needed. I see no likelihood that any of these will occur.

Is Visual Evidence Fact?

By Jim Pickerell | 654 Words | Posted 9/21/2018 | Comments
When I entered the photography profession “Seeing Was Believing.” If there was a visual record of something, then it really happened. Photos were much more important records of events than just words. A still image might not provide an accurate, overall understanding of a particular event, but at least it was an accurate rendition of a moment in time. No more!

Conceptual Realism: Is That What Customers Are Buying?

By Jim Pickerell | 614 Words | Posted 9/20/2018 | Comments
Getty Images has just sent out a promotion – probably mostly to photographers – to show Conceptual Realism. The implication is that customers want more of this type of imagery and photographers should be shooting more of it and supplying it to the agency. Is Such Imagery Really What Customers Want? I can’t believe that most of what is being shown in this gallery are images that customers are actually licensing for use.

Vimeo Launches Stock Footage Marketplace

By Jim Pickerell | 647 Words | Posted 9/5/2018 | Comments
Vimeo has announced the launch of Vimeo Stock, a new global, royalty-free stock marketplace featuring an exclusive collection of high-quality video footage sourced directly from Vimeo’s community of iconic creators. Vimeo Stock unlocks content from Vimeo’s world-renowned community of storytellers, redefining what stock footage can and should look like. Vimeo Stock contributors keep 60-70 percent of revenue generated from their licensed clips (versus the average industry cut of ~35 percent), while subscribers to Vimeo’s paid membership plans always save 20 percent on all stock purchases.

Getty Images Press Release

By Jim Pickerell | 797 Words | Posted 9/5/2018 | Comments
The Getty family has taken full control of Getty Images Inc. from The Carlyle Group ("Carlyle"). Through the transaction, the Getty family will acquire all of Carlyle's equity interests in Getty Images for cash plus units that provide Carlyle with an ongoing financial interest in the future growth of the Company. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2018.

Blend Images Being Absorbed By Tetra

By Jim Pickerell | 1368 Words | Posted 8/29/2018 | Comments
Blend Images photographers have been notified that Tetra Images has acquired the Contributor Contracts, Distribution agreements and the Blend trademark. Tetra has securely obtained all banking data from Blend and will be mailing the first pdf royalty statements for August sales by email at the end of September. Payment for August sales will be made October 1, 2018. Blend has invoiced all licenses through July 2018 and will be paying out royalties until October, or presumably until all the licenses have been collected.

Who Are The Users Of Stock Photography?

By Jim Pickerell | 597 Words | Posted 7/27/2018 | Comments
I was asked recently if I had a breakdown of the stock images uses by various categories of industry users. The answer is NO, and as far as I know no one else has done that type of analysis. However, it occurred to me that it might be useful to develop some broad general ideas of what the breakdowns might be.

What To Shoot

By Jim Pickerell | 738 Words | Posted 7/18/2018 | Comments
After reading last weeks stories Are Photographers Shooting What’s In Demand? and What To Shoot: Learning From iStock a photographer sent the following:
    ...shoot what stirs your mind...
    ...shoot what you think others might not...
    ...shoot what you believe you're good at...
    ...shoot what's reasonably accessible...

    ...that's all...bye-bye now...

Getty Creative Collection: 2016 & 2018

By Jim Pickerell | 2142 Words | Posted 7/11/2018 | Comments
This story provides some comparative figures of the 205 brands represented in the Getty Images Creative collection between August 2016 and June 2018. There were 15,001,453 images in the collection in 2016 and 23,922,471 today, a 37% increase overall in two years.

The MEGA Agency Launches “The Mega Cloud”: Actively Seeking Contributor Archives

By Jim Pickerell | 767 Words | Posted 7/2/2018 | Comments
The Mega Agency, a leading provider of news, sport and entertainment content, is now giving photographers a quick, easy and efficient way to upload their digital archives. The initiative has been launched to add rich editorial content to Mega’s existing archive of more than 30million images and daily production of 10,000 images.? 

Is Getty Really Analyzing Its Image Collection?

By Jim Pickerell | 1505 Words | Posted 6/20/2018 | Comments
One has to wonder if Getty does any analysis of their Creative Collection in terms of what sells and what doesn’t. Clearly, as we reported yesterday, the largest and fastest growing segment of the Getty collection is EyeEM with 4,558,201 RF images. Back in August 2016 EyeEm had only recently started contributing to Getty Images and had 256,152 images in the collection. They have 17.79 times as many images now as in 2016. At that time Getty had a total of 16,687,710 images in the Creative Collection. That collection has grown 43% in size in two years, but nothing like EyeEm’s 1779% growth.

Stock Image Production Costs

By Jim Pickerell | 1030 Words | Posted 6/4/2018 | Comments
One of the hardest things for stock photographers to calculate is their actual costs of stock image production. As in any business it is critical to understand your costs if you hope to eventually earn a profit from their production. This story will provide an outline of some of the things that need to be considered when determining costs. It will also provide some average costs figures that some leading professionals work toward.

Stocksy United Removes Membership Cap

By Jim Pickerell | 633 Words | Posted 6/1/2018 | Comments
Stocksy United, the artist-owned photography + cinematography co-op that has tightly limited its membership since its founding in 2012, has made a decision to open its doors to new contributors. Stocksy has seen continued strong growth since its founding due to careful selection of new contributors, tight editing and licensing fees considered reasonable by customers, but still fair to contributors. In 2015 revenue was $7,928,745, up 126% from $3.5 million in 2014. By the end of 2017 revenue had grown another 26% in two-years to roughly $10.7 million.

500px Marketplace Closing Down

By Jim Pickerell | 378 Words | Posted 5/31/2018 | Comments
Contributors to 500px Marketplace are finally learning what Visual China Group (VCG) has planned for them. VCG has just sent them a message outlining some “major enhancements” that are coming. “ “These changes will help maximize your potential earnings by positioning your content at the right price and with the right distribution. Starting July 1st, 2018, we’re offering our community an exclusive opportunity to work with our newest global distribution partner, Getty Images,” the message says. (emphasis mine)