2008 Survey of Self-Employed Photographers, Illustrators or Graphic Designers

Posted on 3/5/2009 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Selling-Stock has launched a survey of photographers, illustrators and graphic designers designed to provide useful data for all those who license rights to their images.

In this rapidly changing and challenging business environment many image creators find it necessary to modify their business strategies. Some stock specialists are turning to assignments. Others earn their primary income from non-photographic or illustration sources with these activities being only a secondary source of income. At the other end of the spectrum amateurs who have no expectations of earning a living from such creative endeavors are finding that such activities can be a source of additional income as well as a hobby.

We’re particularly interested in microstocker responses to this survey. In 2007 the average income for microstock shooters was $25,287 which was better than 38% of traditional stock sellers. 2008 was certainly a growth year for microstock and we suspect the average earning for microstockers will be much higher if we can get a representative sample of microstock contributors. Traditional photographer’s major complaint relative to microstock is “you can’t make money selling photos at such low prices.” Hopefully, the results of this survey will give a more accurate picture of the truth or falsehood of this statement.

Because so many image creators are engaged in several types of work, we have asked respondents to tell us the percentage of their gross creative revenue that falls into certain categories. This will enable us to track what is happening in various segments of the industry. Freelance newspaper work may be almost non-existent, stock and consumer magazine work could be falling off, but advertising and corporate work may be holding up fine or even growing. It is important to know what is happening in the various segments of the industry, not just the industry as a whole.

Everyone needs industry trend data to properly plan for the future. Selling-Stock encourages every creator who earned money in 2008 from selling or licensing rights to his or her images -- be it $100 or hundreds of thousands – to respond to the survey’s nine simple questions. To review the results and analysis of our 2007 Income Survey go to (http://www.selling-stock.com/ViewArticle.aspx?code=JHP2022). The 2008 version asks the same questions and will enable creators to determine trends.

The survey will be open until April 15, 2009. The results and in depth analysis will be made available through this web site soon after.

The survey is designed to gather data from individuals, not agencies or other organizations that represent the work of photographers, illustrators or graphic designers. However, organizations engaged in the licensing of images are asked to encourage their suppliers to participate. Image production companies that produce images specifically for licensing as stock are also asked to respond. Any creator can respond to the survey by going to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/surveyshared.aspx. The more data we can collect the greater the validity of the results.

Now that Getty Images has gone private much of the data photographers have relied on over the past few years to gage of industry trends has disappeared. Given how the industry is changing individual creators have never had a greater need for reliable data on which to base their decisions.

All individual survey responses will be held in strictest confidence and no attempt will be made to identify specific individuals.

Copyright © 2009 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 301-461-7627, 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.  


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
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 ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
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 blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff