Articles by Jim Pickerell

Sales Trends At Getty

By Jim Pickerell | 1013 Words | Posted 9/22/2017 | Comments (1)
Contributors report that Getty Images believes there is still a demand for RM imagery. However, they are seeing fewer high quality submissions on a consistent basis, despite the fact that they have many more RM contributors than was once the case. The company is trying to encourage more production by posting increasingly frequent shoot briefs on the Getty contributor website.

Videoblocks Launches Storyblocks.

By Jim Pickerell | 657 Words | Posted 9/21/2017 | Comments
Videoblock has rebranded itself as Storyblocks. The existing video and audio libraries are being maintained as separate subsites: Videoblocks by Storyblocks and Audioblocks by Storybloacks. (Each offering requires a separate subscription.) The former GraphicStock library is now part of Storyblocks.

Shutterstock Introduces Shutterstock Custom

By Jim Pickerell | 248 Words | Posted 9/21/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has launched its Flashstock business as Shutterstock Custom, a proprietary platform that provides an efficient and innovative way for its 1.7 million customers to create branded content.

Shutterstock Plugin More Fully Integrate With Adobe Creative Cloud

By Jim Pickerell | 302 Words | Posted 9/20/2017 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has updated its custom-built plugins to more fully integrate with Adobe’s Creative Cloud®, adding compatibility directly within the Adobe Premiere Pro®, Adobe Illustrator®, and Adobe InDesign® applications. This is the first time Shutterstock has made its high quality video collection of 8 million clips available through a plugin, giving amateur filmmakers and veteran film editors another powerful tool at their disposal within Premiere Pro®.

Why Would Customers Pay Higher Prices?

By Jim Pickerell | 930 Words | Posted 9/19/2017 | Comments
The big question for the industry is, “Why would customers agree to pay slightly higher prices?”
Everyone seems to believe that the only way to get, or keep, customers is to constantly give them lower and lower prices. I think there are a couple other things customers want: (1) better quality and (2) the ability to find what they need quickly. The industry is missing out on both these levels.

Raising Prices

By Jim Pickerell | 852 Words | Posted 9/19/2017 | Comments (1)
How much would we have to raise prices to begin improving the pricing situation? Not all that much. Many image creators would like to see the industry return to the much higher prices of old. While it is easy to justify those former prices based on the cost of production and the value the customer receives from using the image, a return to such prices is not likely to happen. On the other hand, if a strategy could be developed that would increase prices by just a small amount, it could begin to move the industry in the right direction.

Getty Cuts Royalties Again

By Jim Pickerell | 228 Words | Posted 9/19/2017 | Comments
According to sources Getty Images has reduced the royalty share of sales for all commercial RF collections supplied by agencies and distributors to 15% of the gross sale price.

Getty Custom Content

By Jim Pickerell | 975 Words | Posted 9/15/2017 | Comments (1)
Getty has sent its photographers a new Custom Content assignment for T-Mobile. “T-Mobile is looking for photography shot on mobile phones* that is the total opposite of stock images.” (*The images don’t actually have to shot with a mobile phone, and most of those submitted probably won’t be.)

Can Prices Be Raised?

By Jim Pickerell | 1139 Words | Posted 9/14/2017 | Comments (1)
In a little over a month I will be moderating a panel discussion at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York on the subject Prices: Can We Raise Them? Stock photo prices have been declining for years, partially due to oversupply. Must prices continue to fall? Is there a strategy for charging more, to enough customers, that production of new images will become a viable business option for more producers? If so, how? What’s the strategy? If not, will that impact contributor supply? What alternatives are there for agencies to grow their business?”

Are Professional Stock Producers Needed?

By Jim Pickerell | 834 Words | Posted 9/13/2017 | Comments
A big question the stock photo industry is facing, and one I think very little effort has been expended in trying to analyze, is Are Professional Stock Producers Needed? Can the industry survive and grow with only images produced by part-timers and amateurs who are more interested in having their work “liked” than in earning enough to cover their production costs?

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.