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Harry Harrison

Article on stock photography in the Seattle Times

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Although ostensibly about a certain Seattle based company who I'm sure we're not allowed to discuss there is also a general perspective on the stock industry today.

 

Article

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24 minutes ago, Harry Harrison said:

Although ostensibly about a certain Seattle based company who I'm sure we're not allowed to discuss there is also a general perspective on the stock industry today.

 

Article

 

 

I'm sure that a link to this article has been posted before and not removed so rest easy!

 

The significant aspect is that Getty is deliberately engaged in the 'race to the bottom'. No 'ifs' and 'buts' about it. 

 

We have to hope that Alamy can hold its market share and not get sucked down along with the others engaged in this price war. 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

I'm sure that a link to this article has been posted before and not removed so rest easy!

 

The significant aspect is that Getty is deliberately engaged in the 'race to the bottom'. No 'ifs' and 'buts' about it. 

 

We have to hope that Alamy can hold its market share and not get sucked down along with the others engaged in this price war. 

 

 

XXXX while declining to discuss average photo prices, acknowledges that with more competition and a larger base of photographers working today, the stream of total royalty payments has “become more diffused, and so certain individuals have seen their individual pieces going down.”

None of which is encouraging for stock photographers themselves. ZZZZ, the Seattle-area photographer, says the downward price spiral has made stock photography all but untenable for professionals like him.

“Everybody wants pretty pictures — as long as they don’t cost anything,” he says. “And that’s not a very solid business model.”

Edited by geogphotos

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So . . . I just read the article, which his not exactly a news flash.

 

Everyone involved in Stock has been getting this negative message since Stock went digital. Personally, I trust Alamy to do the best they can for contributors and the agency as we move towards a darker future. Sadly, it may not be what most of us will like. 

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25 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

'm sure that a link to this article has been posted before and not removed so rest easy!

Thanks, I hadn't seen it myself so thanks for the reassurance. Yes, it's quite old now, December 1st.

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one slight positive i have seen on one MS this week, is a bunch of people had sales they didn't understand, and when representative went digging they found out, that the accounting area had gone after clients for misuse of the licensing terms.  Some of the amounts were extremely small, but still it was interesting to read in this day and age of giving images away... 

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A depressing read but true none the less.

I thought this quote particularly depressingIndustry experts say that means xxxx Images and its rivals will continue pushing down the prices paid to stock photographers '.

I think most of to us a greater or lesser extent have felt that in the last year or two.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, BobD said:

A depressing read but true none the less.

I thought this quote particularly depressingIndustry experts say that means xxxx Images and its rivals will continue pushing down the prices paid to stock photographers '.

I think most of to us a greater or lesser extent have felt that in the last year or two.

 

 

 

 

You make a very significant point there Bob.

 

It is XXXX Images ( and its rivals)  that has chosen to do this for its own purposes. It is not the customer, it is not technology, it is not even what other stock agencies are doing.. They are doing it for their own business reasons even if that is just about market share. And they are explicitly showing that they are not going to show any care at all about what effect it has on photographers. The assumption must be that the image supply tap will continue to flow at full pressure and provide them with the images that their customers want.

 

Well, we as photographers do have control over who we supply. And it seems that XXXX Images is just taking us for mugs.

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Posted (edited)

Which is why I have finally chosen to remove all my images from XXXX after 9 years as RM is now persona non grata there.

 

2 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

You make a very significant point there Bob.

 

It is XXXX Images ( and its rivals)  that has chosen to do this for its own purposes. It is not the customer, it is not technology, it is not even what other stock agencies are doing.. They are doing it for their own business reasons even if that is just about market share. And they are explicitly showing that they are not going to show any care at all about what effect it has on photographers. The assumption must be that the image supply tap will continue to flow at full pressure and provide them with the images that their customers want.

 

Well, we as photographers do have control over who we supply. And it seems that XXXX Images is just taking us for mugs.

 

Unfortunately many at XXXX are mugs as they simply accept what is thrown at them while all the time complaining. My collection will shortly be making it’s way to Alamy.

Edited by Malcolm Park
spelling

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A wise (and long-retired) editorial and stock photographer friend, who found himself with XXXX Images in the '90s after it acquired an agency with which he worked, liked to say "XXXX Images cares about photographers like McDonalds cares about cows." 

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The future as I see it, is the public will accept lower and lower quality images, proper photographers will abandon the stock industry and new content will be supplied by mobile phone users.

How many of us have heard people ooing and aaring over poorly composer totally out of focus images.

Unless of course end users insist on better quality images and are prepared to pay more, then again pigs may develop wings. 

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7 minutes ago, BobD said:

then again pigs may develop wings. 

And when they do there's bound to be someone prepared to sell the images for $0.28.

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12 hours ago, BobD said:

The future as I see it, is the public will accept lower and lower quality images, proper photographers will abandon the stock industry and new content will be supplied by mobile phone users.

How many of us have heard people ooing and aaring over poorly composer totally out of focus images.

Unless of course end users insist on better quality images and are prepared to pay more, then again pigs may develop wings. 

 

 

Perhaps best not to take the same sort of pictures and to try and specialise so that something else is being offered not just a straightforward picture on its own ie) specific knowledge of a subject? 

 

Looking at the BAPLA list of agencies it is noticeable how many museums and cultural institutions are now offering stock images, along with specialist niche agencies particularly with culture, history, science, natural history, and so on.

Edited by geogphotos

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I don't think anyone can control the race to the bottom when it comes to pricing but photographers should be able to get a fair royalty split.  For me the good thing about Alamy is not the pricing but the fair sharing of royalties.  The other companies have really suckered  their contributors.

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On ‎09‎/‎01‎/‎2020 at 16:03, Janis D said:

A wise (and long-retired) editorial and stock photographer friend, who found himself with XXXX Images in the '90s after it acquired an agency with which he worked, liked to say "XXXX Images cares about photographers like McDonalds cares about cows." 

Janis,

 

Liked the "cows" comment and hopefully Alamy does not see us as "cows."

 

This article does not say much that is really new, but it does illustrate exactly what, in my opinion

is the future of "stock" photography in general.  It is about the image and the exclusivity of the image.

Keep in mind that not for a moment do I consider myself a "stock photographer."  I upload mostly

editorial images to Alamy, use to have a number of libraries around the world but they are mostly

gone in 2020.  I am very careful not to let anyone I do not trust display or license my work and Alamy

has been my favorite library for almost twenty years and I do hope Alamy continues that.

 

I think the problem with licensing existing images is both the agencies and the photographers.

It is up to the agency, library to recognize value in an image and it is up to the photographers to

produce valuable images that are properly captioned and keyworded.

 

I for one do not wish to compete in a "race to the bottom."

 

Chuck

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Ahh the old  "Race to the bottom"  Well we've been going down for a long time.....sometimes in denial, other times a sense of false hope...and sometimes we face that reality....but no-one makes us shoot stock, and if it's not worth the effort verses the return then it's up to the individual photographer..I had a few good sales last year, but a lot were low value sales....I still enjoy shooting stock so i will keep contributing.  

 

  It's now 2020 and i have made my first sale for the year a P.U Licence sale for all of $ 9.73....my last five sales of 2019 were all under $12...

Ahh well "It is what it is" maybe i can do better this year 😀 Stay optimistic and find time for a good laugh.

 

 

Edited by William Caram
First draft was nonsense..

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