Articles by Jim Pickerell

Future Income For Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 1216 Words | Posted 6/1/2020 | Comments
Photographers hoping to earn enough producing images to support themselves need to look for another line of work; one that has a better guarantee of income for time invested. The business of photographing meetings and events is unlikely to ever come back to where it was before Covid 19. As the world works its way out of this crisis, there will be fewer small or large group events and more Zoom meetings that are not conducive to photography. But stock photography isn't the answer either.

I'm Back

By Jim Pickerell | 209 Words | Posted 6/1/2020 | Comments
I've been on hiatus for about a month. My wife and I have just sold the home where we've lived for 42 years and moved into a condo apartment about one-third the size of our former residence. Making such a move, only about five miles from where we formerly lived, and getting rid of a huge amount of the stuff that we've collected over the years has been a challenge.

Shutterstock Reduces Royalty Rates Dramatically

By Jim Pickerell | 1547 Words | Posted 5/29/2020 | Comments (2)
On May 26th Shutterstock announced that in an effort to cut costs and increase profits as of June 1, 2020 it would dramatically reduce future royalty rates paid to contributors. The new rates will no longer be based on a contributor’s lifetime earnings. At the beginning of each year all contributors will start with zero downloads/licenses and a 15% royalty rate. Previous sales history will be disregarded when it comes to determining royalty percentage. The number of downloads needed to rise to a higher royalty level are as follows:

Shutterstock Ten Year History

By Jim Pickerell | 704 Words | Posted 5/1/2020 | Comments
The chart below allows you to easily track the last 10-year growth trend of Shutterstock quarter-by-quarter and see the number of images in the collection, number of downloads and the gross quarterly revenue at the end of each quarter. You can also see the average revenue-per-download and revenue-per-image-in-the-collection trends.

Can Stock Photography Be A Profitable Activity?

By Jim Pickerell | 1541 Words | Posted 4/28/2020 | Comments
Considering the cost of producing stock photos, it is hard to see how an average annual return of $0.49 per-image accepted into a stock photo collection can be enough to cover out-of-pocket costs let alone provide any kind of hourly return for time expended. Hourly return will certainly be far below the U.S. minimum wage.

Shutterstock Q1 2020 Financial Results

By Jim Pickerell | 1369 Words | Posted 4/27/2020 | Comments
Shutterstock has reported Q1 2020 revenue $161.3 million compared to $163.3 million in Q1 2019 and down from $166.4 million the previous quarter. Revenue per download remained flat at $3.42 per-image compared to Q1 2019 and down from $3.44 the previous quarter.

Footage Industry Pandemic Impact Survey Report

By Jim Pickerell | 516 Words | Posted 4/24/2020 | Comments
Footage.net has published the results of the Footage Industry Pandemic Industry Survey, which captures a real-time snapshot of how footage companies are responding to the pandemic-related disruptions that began to take hold worldwide in early March.

Cutcaster Closes On Saturday

By Jim Pickerell | 225 Words | Posted 4/24/2020 | Comments
Founder John Griffin has announced that he will be closing the microstock site Cutcaster on Saturday April 25, 2020 after nearly 12 years of operations. He gave everyone a few days notice so buyers could make use of any existing funds they have on account and he encouraged contributors with more than $5 on account to request a payout before the closing deadline.

ITV Extends Exclusive Shutterstock Distribution Deal

By Jim Pickerell | 312 Words | Posted 4/24/2020 | Comments
Shutterstock, has announced a three-year extension to its long-standing exclusive distribution deal with the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster, ITV. Currently, this collection contains 40 million news, sports, entertainment and archival photos and they add 20,000 images of current events daily.

Shutterstock New Footage Subscription Offer

By Jim Pickerell | 470 Words | Posted 4/17/2020 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc has launched an annual subscription for Shutterstock Footage. Shutterstock’s collection of 18+ million HD and 4K video clips are now available for license through a range of cost-effective monthly plan options or for less than $9 per clip through an annual plan.

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.