Image Source Lowers Price

Posted on 8/7/2008 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

Image Source has made about 6,500 of its images (approximately 5% of its total collection) available on several microstock sites. Prices have been discounted up to 80% below the fees charged for images from its core collection.

On Fotolia, the images are included in the Infinite collection and on MediaBakery, photos can be found in the $5 to $49 price category. The Web size and low res image on Mediabakery falls into their $5 to $49 price range, but if a customer wants a larger 300dpi file, the prices go up to $120. Pricing on Fotolia is similar.

Images for Web use at 72dpi are $20, far below the $49 price for online use that Getty Images company introduced in September 2007. For eight months, Image Source refused to allow their images to be licensed for such low prices. Now, it is making a small percentage of their total collection available for even lower prices.

Christina Vaughn, CEO of Image Source, would not indicate the other sites where these images are currently found. "We continue to look for new sites as opportunities to market our current photographers' work and their vintage collections," she said.

Image Source's core collection currently comprises about 122,000 images; it adds approximately 2,000 to 2,500 new images a month.

When asked how the company decided which images to market in this manner, Vaughn said, "We based our editing strategy on a number of factors: non-sellers, out of date and out of fashion material, historical sales data and images that no longer fitted our house style or creative direction. We wanted to be sure we were providing the best service for our photographers and ensuring that we license their images - whatever their age or history - in the most appropriate channels."

Choosing The Right Image For the Right Channel

In trying to understand the process, I did a search for "Machu Picchu." Readers will enjoy going to the MediaBakery site and searching for this subject matter after clicking the $5 to $49 box, and also making the same search on The best image is the cheap one on the MediaBakery site. As Vaughn points out: "There are some pictures that we all love that never sell and that is why editing and the stock photography industry is not a precise science."

That's another reason why the industry needs a pricing system that makes all images available to all customers at all price points. Editing isn't a "precise science" and in the final analysis, the customer is the ultimate editor.

Copyright © 2008 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:  


  • Christina Vaughan Posted Aug 8, 2008
    It is a pity that the reporter has chosen to focus this article on a number of images that were edited out of the core Image Source collection a number of months ago rather than the new high end imagery constantly being uploaded to Image Source. The fact is that Image Source has consistently raised its prices in the market on its core collection - with prices increasing and it being a market price leader. It remains one of the few companies able to continually invest in new productions, new territories and new product lines, delivering amongst the best returns per image in the industry to its Photographers and investing in high pre and post production support to its photographers.

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