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This maybe an interesting read if you use iStock.
Quote: iStock managed to cement a “secret” deal with Google to provide thousands of stock images for use within Google Docs projects for a single fee
This is from a short article by Terry Davis Photography.
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What else would you expect! iStock have always paid peanuts for your images, iStock and the likes have totally decimated the photo stock market by selling images at low prices. They get away with all of this behavoiur as most (not all) of the togs on their books are only too pleased to see their images in print, even if they do not earn much from their images.
Quote: What else would you expect! iStock have always paid peanuts for your images, iStock and the likes have totally decimated the photo stock market by selling images at low prices. They get away with all of this behaviour as most (not all) of the togs on their books are only too pleased to see their images in print, even if they do not earn much from their images.
That is probably true.
But the phrase "get away with this behaviour" suggests that there is something wrong with it.
I suspect that the huge majority of genuine amateur photographers are delighted to see their masterpieces acknowledged in print and that any payment, no matter how small, is regarded as a bonus. The "Readers' Gallery" type of feature that is contained in virtually every photographic magazine is testament to this.
Let's not forget that no-one has any god-given "right" to earn money from photography. If some have sufficient skill and talent to do so in an ever-changing marketplace, then good for them. But they have to accept that the marketplace is rapidly changing. In the 1960s-1980s a number of UK magazines would pay me £5 - £150 for photographs (the lower prices, obviously, for 10x8 glossy prints for inside use; the higher amounts for medium-format colour trannies for front covers.) Nowadays the editors of those same magazines get most of their images from online stock libraries for peanuts. That is simply a fact of the changing marketplace. No point girning about it.
No there is nothing wrong with their behaviour, its the mentality of people who are willing to virtually give away their images for next to or for nothing, just because 'its nice' for them to be printed. It is this behaviour that has led to the total decline of the Stock image Market, I accept that that is the way it is now.
Worth a read?
Quote: They get away with all of this behavoiur as most (not all) of the togs on their books are only too pleased to see their images in print, even if they do not earn much from their images.
You could actually turn this round...... Pro photographers have been getting away with selling images at high prices for years which could be taken by an enthusiastic amateur at a fraction of the cost......
(Ducks for cover....)
You could also say that if amateurs rode along on the price wave that pros were riding, everyone would be better off than now! (Duck and collect body armour!).
Quote: You could also say that if amateurs rode along on the price wave that pros were riding, everyone would be better off than now!
Well, yes, and that's exactly what happened for maybe two decades. I was just thinking how competing on a more level playing field with pros led me directly to some good experiences - meeting some of the established names I'd been published alongside, appearing in exhibitions with them, being able to chat to them and library proprietors and get advice. Microstock seems so faceless that I wonder what satisfaction is really derived. I don't think there's much point in ruing what was always inevitable, however; the challenge now is to get more objective and find another gear or niche, or both.
As they say, 'nothing lasts forever'! How we all go one from here only time will tell, personally I think the stock bubble has well and truly burst.
Quote: As they say, 'nothing lasts forever'! How we all go one from here only time will tell, personally I think the stock bubble has well and truly burst.
The sales on my very small portfolio have been shrinking for some time now, but this has more than been made up for by an increase in payment per download. However, I forsee a change in that if images are now freely available.
Ah well, it was good while it lasted, and it paid for my camera and lenses!
Thanks for quoting my post! I'd almost agree about the stock bubble, but I think there are enough people/customers/buyers out there that don't care to follow this kind of thing closely enough to make a huge difference. Legitimate businesses might stick to the guarantee that any picture they use is covered by a clear license, as opposed to taking a chance on a "freebie". Anyway, it may change the game, but it won't end the game. My 2 cents.
Hi Terry, it was an interesting read, especially as I'm trying to get into stock photography. Definitely a different discipline to the usual stuff I do It makes me wonder if stock photography has any value these days and if a photo now has a one fee payment for unlimited use, then I'd have to sell in the hundreds of thousands of photos to make it worth it.
I suppose change is inevitable as digital has made photography more accessible, cheaper and reduced the mysticism of chemicals and dark rooms in producing photos.
Quote: Pro photographers have been getting away with selling images at high prices for years
It's not really getting away with it, it's a matter of having the right material.
I still get several thousand a year from my agent - to whom I last gave a picture about 25 years ago. The prices are certainly lower than they were but people will still pay good money for an image they want and which they cannot get elsewhere. If you are going to shoot the same pictures as everyone else, of course prices are low.
I also get decent money from stock - certainly enough to make it worthwhile - the bottom has certainly not fallen out of the stock market, though it is less good than it was. The point is, if things are tougher, work harder, think more, try new things. I am finding I can make money out of Youtube videos now.
For every door that technology makes creak a bit, it opens a new one. The micro-stock market is bound to eat itself in the end but at least for while it will have provided an outlet for camera operators to make a few quid. We shouldn't regret its demise, just be glad it was ever possible at all. Photographers can still do ok.
I agree, adapt or die really. A good shooter with good subject matter can make money doing it. And if you treat it as a business and leave ego out of it, you should be able to make a go of it. I know microstock shooters who do it full time and are very successful at it. I do it because I love shooting, the money is incidental even though I've made more of an effort in the last year or so to make it more lucrative for me. Another year or two "as is" and I can likely quit the day job. However, I think we'll see some major shifts n the markets that will force us to adapt.
The worse thing a self receptive photographer could do is to start selling hes/her images on this kind of photo libraries websites, for single fee.
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