Articles by Jim Pickerell

Consumer vs Middlemen vs Workers

By Jim Pickerell | 1939 Words | Posted 12/5/2020 | Comments (2)
There are many businesses where one or more “middlemen” are needed between producer of the product and consumers. Digital technology is making it increasingly possible to reduce, or eliminate, the need for middlemen in many industries. When this is possible (assuming the technology developer doesn’t take a disproportionate share of the price the customer pays) the creators of the product can get a fairer share of the amount the consumer is willing to pay and has more control over the price charged for the work performed. This can benefit consumers as well as producers by giving them more direct access to the creators of the product they want to use.

GLAAD and Getty Images Offer Guidelines For Photographing LGBTQ Community

By Jim Pickerell | 380 Words | Posted 12/2/2020 | Comments
Getty Images has announced an exclusive partnership with GLAAD, the LGBTQ media advocacy organization, working together to challenge harmful and cliched visual stereotypes of the LGBTQ community, through the launch of their first collaborative effort, a set of guidelines aimed at improving the visual representation of the transgender community. As part of a broader commitment, this new partnership encourages the creation of authentic, diverse imagery and videography, aiming to empower the media and advertising industries to choose visuals which authentically represent the LGBTQ community.

DMCA Webpage Available on USCO Website

By Jim Pickerell | 268 Words | Posted 12/2/2020 | Comments
The United States Copyright Office recently created an informative webpage dedicated to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act; an influential law established in 1998 relating to copyright enforcement in the new digital age. The page provides a brief overview of each section of the law and its respective application.

Ways Agencies Could Improve Sales

By Jim Pickerell | 1068 Words | Posted 11/20/2020 | Comments
A number of stock agencies are complaining that they don’t get enough new submissions of in demand imagery. See here. They are seeing increasing requests for "diversity," "African American," "Black Lives Matter" and say that images showing more minorities and ethnic groups are needed.  For the most part they are very unspecific about what these images should show.

Shutterstock 2021 Color Trends Report

By Jim Pickerell | 264 Words | Posted 11/20/2020 | Comments
Shutterstock, Inc. has announced its 2021 Color Trends  report. By analyzing pixel data from the year’s top downloads and mapping each pixel color to a HEX code, the report reveals the three fastest-growing colors that will tell the story of 2021, as well as local favorites from around the world.

Next Transition For Photographers

By Jim Pickerell | 369 Words | Posted 11/16/2020 | Comments (2)
Photographers who want to earn a portion of their living in the future creating images need to quickly learn and start using Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) skills. (See this story)

National Geographic Image Collection Closes

By Jim Pickerell | 486 Words | Posted 11/16/2020 | Comments
The National Geographic Image Collection, owned by The Walt Disney Company, is scheduled to close effective December 22, 2020. National Geographic was sold to Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for $725 million in 2015. In March 2019 Fox was sold to Disney and Murdoch and his family became the second largest shareholders.

Shutterstock Acquires Amper Music

By Jim Pickerell | 293 Words | Posted 11/13/2020 | Comments
Shutterstock has announced the buyout of AI-driven music platform Amper Music for an undisclosed sum. The move adds to a growing trend of stock image sites getting involved in rights-free music. Earlier this year, Adobe inked a deal to carry rights-free music catalogs from both Epidemic Sound and Jamendo, while Getty Images also hosts a royalty-free music library by Epidemic Sound.

New Stock Photo Marketing Strategy

By Jim Pickerell | 4539 Words | Posted 11/9/2020 | Comments (2)
Those setting prices for photography are focused entirely on profits for agency managers and compensation for capital investment. They give very little consideration to the well being of creators. Compensation for stock photos is widely out of balance with production costs. Changes are needed. Photographer need more control over how their work is priced and a larger share of the fees customers pay.  With new technology such changes are becoming increasingly possible.

Will AI Kill Stock Photography?

By Jim Pickerell | 898 Words | Posted 11/6/2020 | Comments
We are living in a time when Artificial Intelligence is dramatically changing the way visual content is created. It may not be long before stock photographers are no longer needed to produce photos for commercial use. Photographers will still create photos for personal use and their own entertainment, but visual content for commercial purposes will be created by graphic artists using AI to tell the story and produce the effects their customer needs.

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.