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User_Removed 19 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
6 Sep 2005 4:26AM
I notice Pete (or whoever) has just posted some 'news' with regard to this company.

It would seem to be another 'pile it high, sell it cheap' company established for the benefit of themselves and picture buyers but to the detriment of photographers.

I make this judgement on the basis of the front page on their website that says that "all images are $29.95 each". That is less than 17 and the photographer will probably net less than a tenner. The odd thing is that if you look at the FAQs, it says that all images are $99 - nice one!

All sounds a bit dodgy and yet another way of trying to exploit the talents of photographers by , I would suggest, targeting those photographers who do not need to make a living from their talent and who will quite happily pocket the proceeds without a nod to the taxation authorities

Barrie Smile
covey 16 1.7k Ireland
6 Sep 2005 4:41AM
Barrie, competition exists in every industry, it's how you deal with it thats important.

You can get a flight with Ryanair fo 99p (or less) so why not a picture for $30 ?

UserRemoved 17 4.2k
6 Sep 2005 4:44AM
Not everyone gets a flight for 99p - some ryanair seats cost a couple of hundred quid.
keithh 17 25.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
6 Sep 2005 4:46AM
Is that when you buy them under license?
covey 16 1.7k Ireland
6 Sep 2005 4:48AM
And you can buy from Buypixel for $30 or from one members website we both visited yesterday Joe for 250 quid. If they can attract good pics and I'm sure they will, I know which one I'd buy from.

User_Removed 19 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
6 Sep 2005 4:54AM
But that is the point - buying cheap is not the problem as much as selling cheap.

Yes I know they are two sides of the same equation but people being prepared to sell cheaply undermines the whole stock photography market.

There are some bloody good photographers placing their images with these cheap stock agencies and understandably, buyers purchase them - of course they will.

The only people who suffer in the long term are photographers.

Remember, the majority of people who do not see a problem with this will be amateurs who do not reply on their hobby for their livelihood and who, in the past, would have been happy enough just to see their picture in print (vanity publishing) and money didn't enter into the equation.

Those people earning a living (yes - and paying tax etc) are seeing their market being eroded at an alarming rate by the equivalent of a photographic black market.

Competiton is a great thing in all 'markets' - but this is not about competition, it's about destroying a marketplace.

The BBC are building an image library on the vanity of amateurs willing to give their images to the BBC for free, other news gathering agaencies are apparently starting to do likewise.

The cheap Royalty Free libraries are simply another nail in the coffin lid of professional stock photography and as photographers, both amateur and professional, it is something we should be concerned about

Barrie Smile
kevan 19 447
6 Sep 2005 4:54AM
The flights are only cheap because the plane is going that way anyway Wink

A better name would be as most are no more than that. Photographer gets about 6.50.

brm 17 76
6 Sep 2005 4:57AM
I guess it depends on whether they want exclusivity or not. If they do then $30 doesn't seem like much, if they don't then people can just submit the same shots to all the other microsites out there. In which case why would anyone buy from this site as most of the microsites charge just a couple of $ per image?

I like the fact that if you try to register they ask you to say that you've read & agree with the members agreement... yet the document is nowhere to be found! Very professional...

6 Sep 2005 4:59AM
I suppose the only way to prevent agencies from undermining the market is to have a regulatory body, but I cant see that either happening or working.
covey 16 1.7k Ireland
6 Sep 2005 5:00AM
but this is not about competition, it's about destroying a marketplace.

I disagree Barrie. The marketplace is not being destroyed but changed. As photos become more affordable people will buy more thus expanding the market. Don't forget as well that websites are now a sizeable buyer that didn't exist 10 years ago.

It is the way with lots of businesses now that the purchaser is getting better value and professional photographers will simply have to adapt to the new marketplace or go out of business like Swissair et al.

User_Removed 19 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
6 Sep 2005 5:05AM
I have to disagree with you disagreeing (!)

According to most library sources, the market for stock photography has not changed greatly in terms of quantity of items sold but has changed hugely in terms of the nature of the images.

By this I mean that a few years ago, no agency took digital files or sold on-line. All images had to be transparency (except news) and preferably medium format.

Automatically this restricted the majority of submitters to either professional or high quality amateurs.

Now any Tom, ****, Harry or Terry (!) with his/her 6mP point and shoot can be a stock photographer.

In itself, this is not a problem if the buyers bought quality over price. Unfortunately, for the most part (certainly for Editorial photography etc), price is often deemed more significant than picture quality and if think this is not true, pick up any newspaper, magazine, travel brochure etc

Barrie Sad
csurry 19 9.2k 92
6 Sep 2005 5:10AM
Has anyone taken a look at some of the stuff on there?

Some right rubbish, would probably put a lot of self-respecting buyers off, especially as a number seem to have applied every tag word possible to their images. The company needs to get its act together pretty quick if it wants to be taken seriously.

Even at the lower rates of income some of these libraries do have some form of quality control and limit images of certain subjects.

I can see Barries viewpoint, and I can also see that the marketplace is changing. However, most of the picure buyers will stick with the places that they know can provide the quality they require. Until that changes these should be little threat to the professionals on here.

I think the real question here is about valuing ones own work. In my day job my company charges me out at over a grand a day, would I feel comfortable charging someone that much for a day of me taking photos for them? Not personally but obviously a professional photographer would.

So what is the value of an image? It is about expectations! Continuing to try and educate people about the value of images (for specific uses) is the way to go. And I for one value every foruum thread where people ask "How much should I charge" and the helpful answers that they get, but that person isn't then going to undersell themselves of the profession of photography.

onewildworld 19 696 4 United Kingdom
6 Sep 2005 5:11AM
There is a regulatory body K. Well sort of any way. It's called BAPLA. The British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies.

Has suggested prices, but doesn't help stop the agencies that aren't a member - which is a growing number unfortunately.

6 Sep 2005 5:22AM
Bit like the Estate Agents regulatory body then, not much cop if you're not a member :-/
User_Removed 17 3.3k Russian Federation
6 Sep 2005 5:30AM
Why don't we start a revolution then?

Everyone e-mail the founder to tell him what you think. It may not work, but it may make him think. His contact details are on the webpage.

Failing that, we can create a website to educate people about the destructive influence of microstock. We'll all join the microstock agencies, and upload pictures with multiple keywords that just say "This site undervalues photography and damages photographers livelihoods", along with a link to the site.

If they support batch uploading, we can have thousands of images across hundreds of accounts in a short space of time....

Follow me comrades...

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