Self-Employed Photographer Survey

Posted on 8/14/2008 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Selling-Stock has launched a photographer survey designed to provide useful data for all those who license rights to their images.

In this rapidly changing and challenging business environment, many photographers are changing their business strategies. Some stock photographers are turning to assignments. Others earn their primary income from non-photographic sources, with photography being only a secondary income source. Conversely, amateurs who have no expectations of earning a living from photography are finding it can be a source of additional income.

Because so many photographers are engaged in several types of photography, we have asked respondents to tell us the percentage of their gross photography 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 nonexistent, stock and consumer magazine work could be falling off, but advertising and corporate work may be holding or even growing.

Everyone needs industry trend data to properly plan for the future. This survey is designed to provide useful statistics and develop baseline data. We expect to follow-up with additional surveys on at least an annual basis. Selling-Stock encourages every photographer who earned money in 2007 from selling or licensing rights to his or her images -- be it $100 or thousands - to respond to the survey's eight simple questions. The survey will be open until Sept. 30. The results and in-depth analysis will be made available here soon after.

The survey is designed to gather data from individual photographers, not agencies or other organizations that represent the work of photographers. However, organizations engaged in the licensing of images are asked to encourage their photographers to participate. Image production companies that produce images specifically for licensing as stock are also asked to respond. Any photographer can respond to the survey by going to:   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 to gage industry trends has disappeared. That's why reliable data is so essential. All survey responses will be held in strictest confidence and no attempt will be made to identify specific individuals.

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:  


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