Articles by Jim Pickerell

List Prices Mean Nothing

By Jim Pickerell | 261 Words | Posted 7/5/2020 | Comments
What’s an image worth? Owen Franken sent me his image (shown below)  of sliced duck in a Paris restaurant as it appears on the Getty Images website. The list price on Gettyimages.com for a large file is $475 Euros. If all the customer needs is a very small file, only suitable for online use, the price is only 50 Euros. Getty licensed this image to a customer in Canada for $0.14 and the photographer received $0.03 for his work. The photographer’s royalty share of the gross sale price is 20% so actually the photographer was only entitled to $0.028, but in a moment of generosity Getty rounded the payment to the next highest cent.

Is There A Need For A Publication Like Selling Stock?

By Jim Pickerell | 558 Words | Posted 6/23/2020 | Comments (3)
After reading my story “Copyright Protection For Photos Is Dead” Paul Melcher wrote, “If there is no more copyright, then there is no more licensing. If there is no more photo licensing then there is no more reason for the existence of ‘Selling Stock’"

Licensing Stock Footage

By Jim Pickerell | 291 Words | Posted 6/18/2020 | Comments (1)
Recently, I was asked to provide a list of some of the best agencies that license footage. I provided the following list and recommended that the videographer try to put the same clips with multiple agencies, non-exclusively, in order to maximize sales.  Pond5, Shutterstock, AdobeStock, iStock, Dissolve and Storyblocks.

Mobistok Empowers Photographers With New Selling Platform

By Jim Pickerell | 443 Words | Posted 6/18/2020 | Comments
Mobistok in Hamburg, Germany has announces a new platform for licensing uses to stock images which puts power back into the hands of photographers. Anyone who shoots images with their smartphones can go to Mobistok to put their imagery up for sale. While many stock photo websites make it a bit more difficult for individuals to sell their photos, Mobistok has been created from the ground up as a seamless way to sell photos and videos.

No Bottom Line Pricing

By Jim Pickerell | 1504 Words | Posted 6/17/2020 | Comments (3)
The stock photo industry has developed into a business with No Bottom Line pricing. Some customers can get as many images as they want for whatever they are willing to pay. That is why more and more frequently royalties paid photographers are in cents, rather than dollars. I can’t think of any other industry that operates this way.

DMLA and CEPIC Conferences

By Jim Pickerell | 390 Words | Posted 6/12/2020 | Comments
The two major trade associations for those who license stock photo images and video are CEPIC and DMLA. The DMLA (Digital Media Licensing Association) is primarily a U.S. organization that usually has its annual conference in late October. CEPIC (Coordination of European Picture Agencies Stock, Press and Heritage) is based in Europe, and usually draws attendees from around the world. CEPIC normally has its annual Congress in late May or early June. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic it was necessary to postpone its 2020 Congress. The 2020 Congress has now been re-scheduled to take place from May 19 through 21, 2021 with no actual Congress occurring in 2020.

Do Photographers Have Any Rights?

By Jim Pickerell | 592 Words | Posted 6/12/2020 | Comments (1)
A couple days ago we told you about the sad case of Stephanie Sinclair who had an image used by Mashable after she told them that $50 wasn’t a sufficient payment for permission to use her copyrighted image. After 4 years a judge in the Southern District Court of New York decided in Mashable’s favor saying that if a photographer posts a picture on a “public” Instagram account anyone can use that picture for any purpose whatsoever without permission or compensation.? But now Instagram tells Ars Technica, their TOS doesn't give companies like Mashable the right to make such uses.  Which legal opinion is right?

Copyright Protection For Photos Is Dead

By Jim Pickerell | 1364 Words | Posted 6/10/2020 | Comments (3)
One or my readers, Amyn Nasser, recently asked, “Isn’t it about time that ALL photographers started using copyright watermarks on all images that appear on social media platforms?" To a certain extent many photographers and agencies have tried for a decade or so to reduce infringement by placing watermarks on their images. For the most part the effort has been a total failure. This story will explain some of the reasons why.

Professional Photographer Dilemma

By Jim Pickerell | 798 Words | Posted 6/5/2020 | Comments
Photographers interested in licensing rights to the images they produce, or in showing their work in hopes of getting assignments, have a dilemma. The only way they can earn money is to advertise and show potential customers what they can do, but the very act of showing in today’s Internet environment creates a huge risk that the images will be grabbed and used without compensation.

Government Aid For The Self-Employed

By Jim Pickerell | 432 Words | Posted 6/4/2020 | Comments
Self-employed, freelance photographers are being hit especially hard by the covid 19 pandemic. Most normally work from one short-term job to the next. They tend to be paid by the job, or the project, not a salary. Often these jobs last only a day, or less in terms of hours spent. When everyone is sheltering in place and much of the country closed down it is impossible for many photographers to find any work at all. The CARES and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) programs have focused on helping salaried employees, not those who are self-employed.

About Jim Pickerell

Jim began his career in 1963 as a freelance photojournalist in the Far East. His first major sale, a Life Magazine cover, was a stock photo of the overthrow of the Ngo Dinh Diem government in Saigon, Vietnam.

He spent the next ten to fifteen years focusing on assignment work, first as an editorial photographer, and later in the corporate area. He regularly filed his outtakes with several stock agencies around the world.

As the stock side of his income grew, Jim studied the needs of the stock photo market, and began to devote more of his shooting time producing stock images. At about this time the 1976 change in the copyright law went into effect, and the industry began to see rapidly growing demand by commercial and advertising users for stock images.

In the early 80's he helped establish the Mid-Atlantic chapter of American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) and served as Vice President, President and Program Chairman over a period of six years. He served on the national board of ASMP for two years, was on the committee that produced the ASMP Stock Handbook in 1983, and was active in the fight to reverse the IRS rules that required capitalization of all expenses of stock photo production.

In 1989 he published the first edition of Negotiating Stock Photo Prices, a guide to pricing hundreds of stock photo uses. The fifth edition was published in 2001. In 1990, he began publishing Selling-Stock, a bi-monthly newsletter dealing with issues of interest to stock photographers and stock photo sellers, with particular focus on issues related to marketing stock images. Selling-Stock is recognized worldwide as the leading source of in-depth analysis of the stock photo industry. As a result of his many years in the industry and his work with Selling-Stock, Jim has an expert understanding of the stock photo industry, its standard practices and developing trends. He frequently provides consulting services on stock industry issues to photographers, stock agents and individuals in the investment community.

In 1993, his daughter, Cheryl, joined him in the business. Together they established Stock Connection, an agency designed to provide photographers with greater control over the promotion and marketing of their work than most other stock agencies were offering. The company currently represents selected images from more than 400 photographers.

At age 76, Jim continues to follow stock photo industry developments on a day to day basis and expects to continue to do so far into the future.