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Articles from January 2014

Agencies Or Aggregators

By Jim Pickerell | 1267 Words | Posted 1/31/2014 | Comments (1)
More and more stock agencies that license RM and Traditional RF rights are becoming aggregators of images rather than direct sellers of images. This is not a new phenomenon, but as more and more customers tend to go to a few large databases to find the images they need it is having a major impact on the income of many photographers.

PHOTOSHOT Acquires The Data Archive / Construction Photography

By Jim Pickerell | 410 Words | Posted 1/31/2014 | Comments
PHOTOSHOT, one of the leading international photo libraries representing 5,500 contributors worldwide and representing over 15 million images, today announced that it had completed the purchase of The Data Archive/Construction Photography, a digital asset management software developer and a specialist photography and licensing company.

Getty To Retire Jupiterimages and Punchstock

By Jim Pickerell | 564 Words | Posted 1/30/2014 | Comments
Getty Images has announced to its contributors that as part of its initiative to streamline and simplify its collections structure and improve customer experience it will be retiring and over the course of February and March.

50 Stock Photo Trends For 2014

By Jim Pickerell | 57 Words | Posted 1/30/2014 | Comments contacted 10 microstock agencies to determine what they believe will be visual trends in 2014. The agencies contacted were: Stocksy, PeopleImages, Fotolia, PantherMedia, Photocase, IngImage, Pixta, Photospin, YayImages, Dreamstime. Stockphotosecrets then compiled a list of 50 trends with photo examples of each. The list is well worth reviewing as you plan your photo shoots for 2014. Review the list here.

Choosing A Licensing Model

By Jim Pickerell | 1709 Words | Posted 1/29/2014 | Comments (1)
It is getting harder and harder to decide which stock photography licensing model to use if a photographer’s goal is to maximize earnings. For a long time it was generally assumed that the way to maximize revenue was to license your images based on usage (Rights Managed). In this way the seller could charge a lot of money – sometimes many thousands of dollars -- when a customer wants to make extensive use of an image. The fatal flaw in the RM licensing strategy is that when every sale is negotiated, there is a tendency to accept whatever a customer is willing to pay. See some comparative statistics about all the licensing models.

Vital Imagery Acquires And

By Jim Pickerell | 386 Words | Posted 1/27/2014 | Comments
Vital Imagery Ltd., a leader in the online graphics subscription services, announced today that it has acquired and from Getty Images. These pioneering websites offer royalty-free clipart, 3D images and animations, photos, photo objects, Microsoft PowerPoint templates, fonts, as well as video backgrounds, e-mail and web page backgrounds for use in commercial and personal projects.

Solving The Problem Of Too Many Images

By Jim Pickerell | 2402 Words | Posted 1/24/2014 | Comments (3)
Yesterday, I wrote about the problem of the growing size of image databases and how this is making it difficult for customers to easily find the right image for their projects. Many good images are never seen by anyone because they get buried in the search returns delivered.

Should Old Images Be Culled From Archives?

By Jim Pickerell | 1142 Words | Posted 1/23/2014 | Comments
Recently on the Linkedin Stock Photography blog Valerie Henschel asked, “When do you cull older non-selling images from your archive?” It is certainly something to think about. If customers are forced to go through a lot of outdated, mediocre or totally irrelevant images in order to find something that really fits their needs – and hopefully the best of that subject matter available in the collection – they are likely to give up and go elsewhere. As the choices of almost any photographic subject expand exponentially, this is becoming a bigger and bigger problem for buyers.

Shutterstock Reports Design Trends For 2014

By Jim Pickerell | 287 Words | Posted 1/23/2014 | Comments
Shutterstock has published an infographic that outlines some Global Design Trends 2014
based on its more than 350 million all-time downloads and over 100 million of them in 2013.

FlashStock Inc., Another Distributor Of CellPhone Pics

By Jim Pickerell | 643 Words | Posted 1/22/2014 | Comments (1)
Do companies need an inexpensive catalogue of company-specific images showing their products and services being used by consumers? FlashStock, Inc. thinks they do. Do the companies still need such images if that are all shot by part-time, amateur photographers using cellphones?

Alamy Offers Vector Graphics

By Jim Pickerell | 307 Words | Posted 1/20/2014 | Comments
Alamy has announced that it will add vector graphics to offering as part of its strategy to provide a full service to image buyers. The company is launching with a collection of 500,000 vectors from leading suppliers including YAY media AS, Matthew Britton and Pavel Konovalov.

Time Lightbox – Feast For The Eyes

By Jim Pickerell | 171 Words | Posted 1/17/2014 | Comments
If you want to see beautiful pictures and know what’s happening visually in the world at large there is no better place to go than the Time Lightbox. Each Friday the Time editors put together a 40 to 60 image slideshow of the best pictures that have come across their desks in the past week that were shot by news photographers around the world.

Skillfeed From Shutterstock

By Jim Pickerell | 385 Words | Posted 1/17/2014 | Comments
If there is something related to photography or illustration that you want to learn more about, chances are that Shutterstock’s Skillfeed ( has a video tutorial on the subject. Some of the tutorials are designed for beginners while others are aimed at people with more advanced experience. When searching a subject you can sort the tutorials by your skill level.

“Usage Rights” Image Filters On Google And Bing

By Jim Pickerell | 889 Words | Posted 1/16/2014 | Comments
Google has just made it much easier for searchers to find images they can legally use for FREE – even for commercial uses. Bing introduced this feature last July. Go to Google. Use the images search feature and search for any subject. Click on “Search Tools” and under that click on “Usage Rights.” The default search is “not filtered by license,” but the searcher can change that to any one of the following:

Emerging Trends From Image Source

By Jim Pickerell | 394 Words | Posted 1/16/2014 | Comments
n it’s latest trend briefing, the Image Source blog, IMSO, delivers an analysis of popular stories covered during 2013 – from the Cult of Maersk on the rise of Industrial imagery to features on Richard Avedon’s work in Jeans Advertising – the research reveals five developing trends in photography: Mythography; Post-Cowboy Capitalism; Neo Geo Plus; Tonka Tech; and The Double Take.

Top 5 Industry Leaders

By Jim Pickerell | 859 Words | Posted 1/15/2014 | Comments (2)
I was recently asked to name the 5 biggest companies in the stock photo industry and the percentage of total industry turnover they represent. The surprising thing is how the names of the top 5 have changed in the last few years and the implications for the long term future of the industry.

Orphan Works In UK

By Jim Pickerell | 818 Words | Posted 1/10/2014 | Comments
Last summer Selling Stock published stories here and here about efforts in the UK to revise the copyright rules and devise a path for those who want to use “orphan works” to do so legally. Orphan works are any copyrighted material where the copyright holder cannot be identified or located. The process moves forward.

Vector Illustrations or Photos

By Jim Pickerell | 408 Words | Posted 1/10/2014 | Comments
Recently Shutterstock published a Trend Report that showed the 12 most popular images downloaded by creatives in the last week. While this is a very small sample it may provide useful insights for photographers to consider. Only 4 of the 12 images in greatest demand were photos and two of the 4 were backgrounds. The other 8 images were Vector illustrations.

Is There A Future In Stock Photography?

By Jim Pickerell | 1076 Words | Posted 1/8/2014 | Comments
Recently, a photographer who has been regularly producing images for RM licensing for a lot of years asked, “Is there any future in stock photography?” He is with a leading agency, made very good money in the 1990s and sales were pretty good in the early 2000s. Then came 2008-2009 and sales dropped off the cliff. Now he is questioning whether it is worthwhile to continue to produce. He also said, “I have ever bought into the Royalty Free idea.”

Releases: When Are They Required?

By Jim Pickerell | 1080 Words | Posted 1/7/2014 | Comments (2)
A subscriber asked recently, “What is the best way to find out all the legal compliance issues associated with selling stock images of individuals and/or groups?” The issue is very simple. If the image is used for any type of commercial use you need a release. If it is being used for editorial use to illustrate a magazine or newspaper story of something that actually happened, and was taken in a public place, then a release is usually not required. However, it can get a little fuzzy if a picture of someone is used to “illustrate” an editorial story that has nothing to do with the subject of the photograph’s lifestyle.  

Many iStock Sellers Stop Producing New Images

By Jim Pickerell | 6451 Words | Posted 1/6/2014 | Comments
For the past two years I have been tracking semi-annually the total downloads and images in the collection of 420 of iStock’s top earning contributors. As of the end of 2013 these contributors had a total of at least 50,777,000 total career downloads and 1,794,494 images in the iStock collection. Two-hundred-three of these contributors (48%) have uploaded fewer than 100 new images to their collections in the last two years.

Downloads At iStock 12% Lower Than 2012

By Jim Pickerell | 6192 Words | Posted 1/2/2014 | Comments
Based on the downloads of 420 of iStock’s most productive contributors who have a combined total of at least 50,777,000 downloads the number of downloads in 2013 were down about 12% compared to 2012. This group of contributors have approximately one-third* of all iStock downloads since the company’s founding,

Advertising Trends

By Jim Pickerell | 859 Words | Posted 1/2/2014 | Comments
Total global ad spend in 2013 was between $489.6 billion (Magna Global) and $503 billion (ZenithOptimedia). This is up between 3.2% and 3.5% compared to 2012. According to eMarketer the U.S. portion for 2013 is about $171.33 billion or 34% of the world media market.

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This stock photography news site focuses on the business side of photography with a special emphasis on stock photography. Our goal is to help photographers maximize their earnings based on the quality of their work and the commitment they are prepared to make to the trade. The information provided will be applicable to part-timers as well as full time professional photographers. We’ll leave it to others to teach photographers how to take better pictures.

Jim Pickerell launched his career as a photographer in 1963. In 1990 he began publishing a regular newsletter on stock photography. In 1995 the information was made available online as well as in print and was gradually expanded to a daily service. Click here for Pickerell's full biography.

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