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Stock photography
Nov 24, 2007, 03:56
Post: #1
Stock photography
There is a very interesting article about stock photography seeing from a professional photographer point of view. I knew it would happend one day, now it is a reality.

Quote:"Stock photography - the pictures used by companies on packaging, leaflets, and websites - used to sell for thousands of dollars. Changing technology has meant you can now pick up these images very cheaply. But not everyone is happy with the development."

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Nov 24, 2007, 12:33
Post: #2
Stock photography
I think that the idea of being commissioned to take a generic photograph is no longer valid. Nobody is going to hire a photographer to take a photo of a girl holding presents, for example. Low-cost stock images and "crowdsourcing" taps into a great pool of people who don't need to make any money. John Harrington (author of Best Business Practices for Photographers) has often written about it on his website, like his most recent piece:

I don't have any photos on microstock sites, but recently someone asked for the ability to use an image of mine in a flyer. (We discussed price over a couple of e-mails, but nothing came of it.) I offered a couple of different options, with a single-use 6-month exclusive use license costing around $250. Expensive for a photo, right? It was just something that I took for fun, so even $20 would be more than I'd ever expected to make for it.

Printing costs for a run of 40,000 pieces would cost around $1500, and delivery to 40,000 local homes would probably bring it to a minimum of $2000 for one month's throwaway advertising flyer. Compared to that, and the salaries and fees for the people who put it all together, the cost of the photo isn't very significant. Why try to save 10% of the production and distribution costs in exchange for the security of knowing that the same photo's not going to be used for a competing or conflicting business?

(Incidentally, shortly after my conversation with the potential buyer, one of their competitors started using an inferior image on their web banner.)
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Nov 26, 2007, 16:57
Post: #3
Stock photography
I was just contacted by a representative of Stockphoto Pro not an hour ago about using my photos.
Wondering if it's worth the time and effort.

I'll be doing some research tonight.

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Nov 26, 2007, 17:01
Post: #4
Stock photography
Here's John Harrington's thoughts about the BBC article:

And another article on the income potential of microstock:
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Dec 30, 2007, 20:45
Post: #5
Stock photography
Ask a dozen photographers their thoughts on today's stock image industry and you will get a dozen different and unique opinions.

Those of us that are trying to make a living doing photography for a living, in general, aren't all that big on the microstock agencies. I have a few thousand images across a number of different agencies but not with anyone that sells for single digits. It took awhile to get them all loaded up but I think that I am better off selling for 50.00 or above and having less sales than selling a ton at 5.00.

Your analogy of the ad agency trying to cheap out on the image when in reality it is a very small component of the production costs is very valid.
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