PhotoPlus Expo 2016

Posted on 10/21/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (2)

I just returned from the 2016 PhotoPlus Expo. For the stock photographer there wasn’t much reason to go.

If your interested in seeing what’s new in the way of equipment, then the Expo in New York is the once-a-year place to be. The Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Epson, Olympus and Tamron exhibits at the trade show were as big as always. Canon’s space may have even be bigger. But, overall the trade show was the smallest ever.

A decade or more ago exhibitors occupied twice as much floor space in the Javits Center as in 2016. The only stock related exhibitors were Alamy and Adobe. Most of what they were doing seemed to have been aimed at recruiting amateurs and photographers who have up to now focused mostly on assignments.

At the Adobe “show floor theater,” they for three days they will rotate 30 minute presentations focused to a great extent on Lightroom and Adobe Stock. The Adobe Stock pitch was aimed at showing assignment photographers how easy it is to earn additional money from the images sitting in their Lightroom folders.

Once an assignment is completed, the tons of images produced usually earn nothing additional for the photographer. Adobe tried to show photographers how easy it would be to go through their image folders; select images that might have stock potential; and using the new feature of Creative Cloud features upload those images to Adobe Stock – thus turning  dead images into additional money.

Adobe even offers an auto-keywording feature to help photographers keyword their images so they can be found. (See Michael Jay’s thoughts on the automatic keywording process.)

After watching the presentation, I concluded that, with some practice, a photographer might prepare a single image for upload in about five minutes. Of course, the photographer would have to spend additional time going through all his/her images and identifying which ones might be of subjects customers are likely to need and be willing to purchase.

But let’s assume that the photographer can prepare and upload 12 images an hour. Given the number of images in the Adobe Stock collection and the likelihood that any image in the collection will sell and how frequently, I suspect most photographers will eventually discover that they have much better things to do with their time than to go through their collections and prepare images for marketing through Adobe Stock.

On the other hand, a lot of photographers are likely to spend a lot of time learning that lesson and the Adobe Stock collection will become increasingly bloated as a result.


One of the major reasons that many photographers used to attend PhotoPlus Expo was for the seminars. There used to be a full track of 4 two and three hour seminars every day that were focused on issues of interest to stock photographers.

This year, there was nothing that really focused on the needs and issues facing stock photographers. There were things for street photographers who I guess are technically “stock photographers” because no one is hiring them to do that work. Whether it generates revenue for them is another matter.

There was one excellent seminar by John Harrington on registering copyright that I will deal with in another story, but that was about it.

Meet and Greet

PhotoPlus used to be a place to go to meet colleagues from all over the country and discover what they were doing and what was going on in their lives. I only saw three people that I knew. Only one of them is still producing images for stock photo licensing.

This may be a reflection of my age and that I have been in this business too long. Maybe all the people I used to know are no longer engaged in photography. It’s a whole new generation and I wish them well.

Copyright © 2016 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:  


  • John Lund Posted Oct 21, 2016
    I miss those "old" days...

  • Sarah Fix Posted Oct 22, 2016
    Me too:)

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