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So You Want To Be A Stock Photographer

By Jim Pickerell | 1248 Words | Posted 8/27/2014 | Comments
Recently Dennis Davis, an experienced Los Angeles corporate, lifestyle, and food photographer (see his portfolio) posted the following on a blog. “I am moving out of commercial assignment photography into selling my photography after the fact. I am looking for recommendations on stock agencies and methods for selling fine art images and video.

Missed Opportunities: Flickr Does It Again!

By Jim Pickerell | 966 Words | Posted 8/19/2014 | Comments
Over the years Flickr has built a very popular photo site that has attracted over 6 billion images from image creators. Many of these images (probably a very small percentage of the total) are excellent, marketable images. So good, in fact, that since 2008 Getty Images has added almost 900,000 of them to its Creative Stills collections.

Professional Food Photos With An iPhone

By Jim Pickerell | 398 Words | Posted 8/18/2014 | Comments
Will bloggers with the iPhone 5s and the VSCO Cam Photo App that enables control of focus, exposure and white balance change food photography and reduce the demand for professionally shot food images?

Wall And Poster Art

By Jim Pickerell | 641 Words | Posted 8/15/2014 | Comments
Stocktrek Images has a specialized image collection that is in high demand for wall and poster art. Their subjects include: Healthcare and Biomedical Science, Armed Forces, Military Aviation, Space, Weather, Astronomy and Dinosaur Art

Stock Agency Acquisitions

By Jim Pickerell | 1659 Words | Posted 8/14/2014 | Comments
Last week Taylor Davidson published a list of 86 acquisitions and IPOs in the imaging industry from 2004 to today. Included in his report are a lot of social media acquisitions that are probably of minor interest to my reader. In addition he left out a number of stock agency acquisition, many of which I believe are significant.

Flickr To Generate Revenue For Members

By Jim Pickerell | 1026 Words | Posted 8/6/2014 | Comments
Flickr has announced to its community of image creators that it will be offering a licensing option, but it has failed to explain when it will happen or exactly how it will work.

ImageBrief Sets Record For Highest Single Image Sale

By Jim Pickerell | 278 Words | Posted 8/5/2014 | Comments
ImageBrief reports that in July they made their highest single image sale ever, a $30,000 fee for a stunning aerial image of Rio de Janeiro taken by Flavio Veloso of Brazil Photos.

Can PIXterity Help You Get Better Prices For Stock Licenses?

By Jim Pickerell | 1028 Words | Posted 8/4/2014 | Comments
In the near future Tom Zimberoff, Founder and CEO of PIXterity, will be launching a new portal that proposes to supply member photographers with a huge amount of contemporary data (Big Data) that will enable them to know what image buyers are actually paying top producers for the images they purchase for their projects. Photographers who place their work exclusively with PIXterity are expected to get much better prices for their stock and assignment work. Currently there is a very interesting, long discussion on the LinkedIn Group of American Photographic Artists, APA that readers may find interesting.

VideoBlocks/Shutterstock Comparison

By Jim Pickerell | 833 Words | Posted 7/31/2014 | Comments
Can usage fees continue to drop? Most videographers think that Shutterstock’s prices for video clips at $19 for web use, $49 for an SD file, $79 for HD and $299 for 4K are about as low as prices could go. Any lower and videographers would no longer go to the trouble of creating new clips.

VideoBlocks: New Trends In Content Acquisition

By Jim Pickerell | 892 Words | Posted 7/29/2014 | Comments
Last week we published a story about AudioBlocks a new platform licensing royalty-free music by subscription. Today, I want to examine the parent company, VideoBlocks, that was launched in 2010 and licenses royalty-free video clips by subscription.

How Does iStock Define “Most Popular”?

By Jim Pickerell | 918 Words | Posted 7/28/2014 | Comments
At iStock the “Most Popular” search option used to show images in order of popularity based on the number of times each image had been downloaded during its life of on the site. The first image shown was the one with the most downloads; the 2nd image was the image with the second highest number of downloads, 3rd had the third highest number of downloads and so on. This was true as late as the end of June 2014.

VideoBlocks.com Launches New Music Platform, AudioBlocks.com

By Jim Pickerell | 331 Words | Posted 7/21/2014 | Comments
VideoBlocks.com, the first subscription-based provider of unlimited royalty-free stock video, has launched its third content platform, AudioBlocks.com. At $99 per year, AudioBlocks is the only subscription service to offer unlimited downloads of over 100,000 high-quality, royalty-free music tracks, sound effects and loops.

Ask James Take 3

By Jim Pickerell | 2200 Words | Posted 7/18/2014 | Comments
James West, CEO of Alamy, has just posted his latest answers to contributor questions at Ask James Take 3. Highlights of the 10 minute video include the fact that sales of iPhone photos acquired through its Stockimo app are selling “slightly better” per 1,000 photos than sales of the rest of the Alamy collection. He gave no indication as to how many of the 1 million images per month are iPhone produced images.

Pond5 Raises $61 Million From Accel Partners and Stripes Group

By Jim Pickerell | 433 Words | Posted 7/16/2014 | Comments
Pond5, the world’s leading online marketplace for video footage and stock media, announced today that it has raised $61 million in equity financing from Accel Partners and Stripes Group. The funding is the first institutional investment for the company and will be used to fuel global growth, hiring, and product development.

Dreamstime Launches Dreamstime Companion iOS and Android

By Jim Pickerell | 553 Words | Posted 7/16/2014 | Comments
Dreamstime has released Dreamstime Companion, a new iPhone and Android free mobile app that enables photographers to upload their own images directly from their smartphones. The uploaded images can be purchased by Dreamstime's more than eight million users, the largest designer database in the stock photography industry. More than 2,500 new photographers join Dreamstime every month, and the site now has more than 15 million monthly unique visitors.

LightRocket Announces Major Cloud Storage Expansion

By Jim Pickerell | 397 Words | Posted 7/14/2014 | Comments
LightRocket.com has announced a major value boost by offering its members up to five times more default cloud storage (100GB for premium accounts) and expanded 100GB storage units, providing members with pay-as-you-go flexibility.

RM: Adapting To The New Realities

By Jim Pickerell | 1572 Words | Posted 7/10/2014 | Comments
After reading my recent series of stories on iStock (?See here, here, here, here and here) a reader asked, “What are the implications for rights managed?  Does it mean placing one's images with a number of websites is actually a self-defeating exercise and one only needs to place them with one super star agency and wait for the high returns to roll in?  Or does that conclusion not apply to rights managed?  Or are rights managed images dead in the water these days?” All good questions, read this story for answers.

PantherMedia Acquires Digitalstock

By Jim Pickerell | 318 Words | Posted 7/9/2014 | Comments
After 10 years in operation, and with more than 800,000 images, the German microstock agency Digitalstock.de has decided to cease operations and provide customers and photographers with an exclusive offer to continue buying and selling photos online at PantherMedia.net.

World of Stock Helps Photogs Sell Direct

By Jim Pickerell | 606 Words | Posted 7/9/2014 | Comments
After 11 years as an independent stock photo agency, at one time hosting over 300,000 images from 130 photographers, worldofstock.com is in the process of making a significant change in response to shifts in the stock photo marketplace. Now photographers will pay a reasonable subscription fee (minimum $6.25 per month for 10GB of space), to have their images on a fully functional stock website where they keep 100% of any revenue generated from sales.

Is RM The Only Place To Find Great Pictures?

By Jim Pickerell | 6795 Words | Posted 7/8/2014 | Comments
Many RM photographers still believe that microstock images are of much lower quality than RM and that customers who want images of the highest quality will continue to go to RM sites for the images they need. Unfortunately, they are only kidding themselves. (Note the difference in number of downloads in this story.)

iStock: More Images Does Not Increase Sales

By Jim Pickerell | 5839 Words | Posted 7/4/2014 | Comments
For most of the 431 top iStock contributors adding more images to their portfolios does not seen to have had a significant impact on the growth in their number of downloads. In fact, those who grew their collections by the smallest percentage, or not at all, seemed to experience continued growth in sales. Seems counter intuitive.

Three Categories Of Image Creators

By Jim Pickerell | 6029 Words | Posted 7/3/2014 | Comments
Yesterday I provided a list of the 431 of the top iStock contributors in the order of the total number of image downloads they have had in their careers. In the coming week I will explore some other ways to look at the available data. It is important to recognize that not all the people on this list are photographers. I have separated them into three groups – Illustrators (I), people with a mix of illustration and photography in their collections (PI) and photographers.

StockFood Launches “you are what you crEATe” Food Blog

By Jim Pickerell | 421 Words | Posted 6/27/2014 | Comments
Fresh, brash and outspoken. With their uninhibited photographic style and unbridled joy of experimentation, food bloggers have conquered a huge fan community on the internet. No wonder even the traditional media are rolling out the red carpet for the new stars. Food bloggers get their own columns, produce cookbook best-sellers and operate cooking shows for an audience of millions. The most interesting among them are now at the center of a new blog where the food image agency StockFood once again lives up to its reputation as a trendsetter.

New Photo Agencies

By Jim Pickerell | 195 Words | Posted 6/23/2014 | Comments
Paul Melcher’s latest on the “New Photo Agencies” is worth reading. He discusses the Community Builders, the Scrapers, the On Demanders and the Hybrids, and notes that “the barriers between pros and casual photographers are going to completely vanish.”

Can Technology Replace Human Curators?

By Jim Pickerell | 2077 Words | Posted 6/20/2014 | Comments
Everyone agrees there is an oversupply of images. In spite of this fact many professional image buyers claim they can’t find good images or at least the images they need. As I look at what is available online today I think there are more good and great images than there ever have been, but often they are buried under piles of mundane images and images that are irrelevant to buyers needs. The problem is curation.