Changing Photography Business

Posted on 4/12/2013 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (5)

Anyone interested in a career as a photographer – as well as those photographers in mid-career -- needs to carefully consider how the business is changing. If we look at image use on the Internet it is undeniable that more images are being made available for viewing. However, for professionals this is not good news. More image use does not mean more demand for professionally produced images. It does not mean that there will be more opportunities for photographers to earn their living taking pictures. In fact, the opportunities to earn a living as a photographer are declining. Here’s why.

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Copyright © 2013 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, 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:  


  • Paul Melcher Posted Apr 12, 2013

    Thank you for this great in depth article. However, you have to cease comparing Stipple to Getty connect or any other low yielding advertising model.
    Stipple is vastly different. Not only is our business model in favor of image creators and owners, but we also provide them with real time image analytics, interactive tagging tools, social media integration, persistent attribution, IPTC preservation and much more to come.
    In fact, a lot of photographers are using Stipple for they own promotions, marketing and market intelligence. With Stipple, image creators and owners are in control of their revenue.
    Happy to discuss some more at your convenience.
    Paul M

  • Tim McGuire Posted Apr 13, 2013
    2nd para, "Cutting Out The Middleman".

    PicturEngine does cut out the middleman and delivers the Lions share of revenues to the artist... that is, if the artists go directly on PE (it remains to be seen if photogs in general are smart enough to do anything like this en-mass). PicturEngine is a way artists could take back the industry, that is if it's even worth the effort. I'm putting my limited "stock time" into support of PE. I can charge half what my agencies / the middlemen charge and still make more from per license through PE than through an agency distributor / middleman. The stock agency is dead, they just don't know it yet... or maybe they do.

    Thanks for the article, Jim.

  • Jaak Nilson Posted Apr 14, 2013
    Picture Engine. There is very few content at this moment. Founda a lot of images from Corbis.
    Of course we all, contributors wish to cut middlemen, but PE is in very beta yet.

  • Jaak Nilson Posted Apr 14, 2013
    Of course a best luck to all alternative stock photo platforms !

  • Luisa Bonsen Posted May 3, 2013

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