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I think it's fair to say that until a vaccine for the coronavirus is developed, the world is going to be very different. People aren't going to be travelling much, attending sporting events, going to live concerts, etc. All this will no doubt have a profound effect on stock photography, which brings a slew of questions to mind. How are you going to adapt to these changes? What kinds of images will still be in demand? Plus the big one -- is stock photography even going to be worth the effort for many of us in the age of COVID-19?

Edited by John Mitchell
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That's a lot of questions there and very profound! I think it's time to do more 'lifestyle' shots at home (more so if you have a family) and particularly anything you've adapted to doing that is Covid-19 related - there's so many stories and images relating to this in the media at the moment. I am still doing a lot of photography - in supermarkets, on my 'exercise' walks and at home. I'm assuming by summer many countries will be removing/easing lockdown restrictions and even if we have rolling restrictions because of flareups, life should be more or less back to 'normal' by the end of the year.

 

There's a wider question about whether stock photography is still worth it. It's certainly more of a hobby for me than anything else, I can't see many people making big sums unless you have an absolutely huge portfolio and you're really good at finding the right subjects to sell. The market is too saturated, the barriers to entry are really low now because even low end DSLRs provide good enough quality photos these days.

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1 minute ago, Steve F said:

That's a lot of questions there and very profound! I think it's time to do more 'lifestyle' shots at home (more if you have a family) and particularly anything you've adapted to doing that is Covid-19 related - there's so many stories and images relating to this in the media at the moment. I am still doing a lot of photography - in supermarkets, on my 'exercise' walks and at home. I'm assuming by summer many countries will be removing/easing lockdown restrictions and even if we have rolling restrictions because of flareups, life should be more or less back to 'normal' by the end of the year.

 

There's a wider question about whether stock photography is still worth it. It's certainly more of hobby for me than anything, I can't see many people making big sums unless you have an absolutely huge portfolio and you're really good at finding the right subjects to sell. The market is too saturated, the barriers to entry are really low now because even low end DSLRs provide good enough quality photos these days.

 

I'm not sure that life will be back to anything like "normal" for well over a year, although I suppose it depends somewhat on where you live. I've heard that the vaccine could take up to 18 months to develop, and then everyone possible has to immunized. This means very little international travel and no mass gatherings. Here in BC, the provincial health officer is saying that many restrictions will be in place for at least a year. There is also talk of the total collapse of the tourism and hospitality industries here.

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1 minute ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I'm not sure that life will be back to anything like "normal" for well over a year, although I suppose it depends somewhat on where you live. I've heard that the vaccine could take up to 18 months to develop, and then everyone possible has to immunized. This means very little international travel and no mass gatherings. Here in BC, the provincial health officer is saying that many restrictions will be in place for at least a year. There is also talk of the total collapse of the tourism and hospitality industries here.

 

 

What worries me is the total collapse of the the stock photo industry. 

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15 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

 

What worries me is the total collapse of the the stock photo industry. 

 

Yes, quite possible unfortunately. There could be some big changes afoot in the coming months.

 

Steve F (above) is probably correct. There will be a big demand for news coverage of COVID-19 topics and "lifestyle" images related to the pandemic. For general, walk-around snappers (like me) and travel photographers, things are going to be very difficult. I don't see myself doing a lot of the photography that I normally do.

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We can obviously only speculate on the future of anything right now.  While some say stock is needed more right now since assignment shoots are not happening, I see publications holding issues from publishing from lack of advertisers and relevant content (not talking about news publications but more like city magazines and  lifestyle magazines).  If we thought that textbooks were dying, this may be the death nail.  So much more learning content will be online and we know how those fees are going.  Will stock be worth it? Who knows.  For a real source of income, probably not so much...it was barely worth it pre pandemic.  Stock photos are like the value of oil right now.....too much of it and not enough places needing it.

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1 hour ago, John Mitchell said:

 

I'm not sure that life will be back to anything like "normal" for well over a year, although I suppose it depends somewhat on where you live. I've heard that the vaccine could take up to 18 months to develop, and then everyone possible has to immunized. This means very little international travel and no mass gatherings. Here in BC, the provincial health officer is saying that many restrictions will be in place for at least a year. There is also talk of the total collapse of the tourism and hospitality industries here.

True, different countries will be operating on different timelines.

 

Ah, well, when I said 'normal', I meant day to day life. Yes, I think a lot of industries will be profoundly affected. I'm sure the stock industry will continue though. There will continue to be a huge demand for new photos (and old photos), but I think there may be even less printed publications after this pandemic, so more photos published online.

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1 minute ago, Steve F said:

Ah, well, when I said 'normal', I meant day to day life. Yes, I think a lot of industries will be profoundly affected. I'm sure the stock market will continue though. There will continue to be a huge demand for new photos (and old photos), but I think there may be even less printed publications after this pandemic, so more photos published online.

 

Travel industry needs to advertise if it's going to rise from this collapse, I think that lack of demand is temporary. 

 

Agree on printed media, that's the first thing people will give up when money is tight.

 

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1 minute ago, JaniMarkus Hasa said:

 

Travel industry needs to advertise if it's going to rise from this collapse, I think that lack of demand is temporary. 

 

Agree on printed media, that's the first thing people will give up when money is tight.

 

 

The general trend for a lot of newspapers and magazines seems to be (not always, there are exceptions) going to online only or struggling to make any profits at all rather than big losses and losing readership. I think a lot of newspapers were already on the brink, particularly local papers, and this will push them over the edge...

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Steve F,  it's best not to mention politics. 🤐

 

It might be a good idea to delete your last post.

 

There are a lot of unknowns for sure. The experts are warning of a possible "second wave" of infections in the fall or winter (just in case the first one doesn't get us). The virus is apparently more stable in cooler temperatures, and the southern hemisphere will be heading into winter soon. Who knows what that will bring.

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1 hour ago, John Mitchell said:

I think it's fair to say that until a vaccine for the coronavirus is developed, the world is going to be very different. People aren't going to be travelling much, attending sporting events, going to live concerts, etc. All this will no doubt have a profound effect on stock photography, which brings a slew of questions to mind. How are you going to adapt to these changes? What kinds of images will still be in demand? Plus the big one -- is stock photography even going to be worth the effort for many of us in the age of COVID-19?

I have never considered myself to be anything more than a very small fish in a very large stock photography pond but I just like taking pics when I am out  and about. So I suppose that I will just continue to do that and enjoy it as always.

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Just now, Futterwithtrees said:

I have never considered myself to be anything more than a very small fish in a very large stock photography pond but I just like taking pics when I am out  and about. So I suppose that I will just continue to do that and enjoy it as always.

 

I see myself doing more nature photography, which I really enjoy, even it doesn't exactly pay well these days.

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I am mostly a news shooter.  For me the difficulty is the lack of news stories.  I was in London/Downing Street/Westminster today.  At the end of today I had two (well, one and a half really), instead of my normal 4 to 6 stories.  There was a minor incident at the House of Commons, but the person involved clearly had mental health issues so I did not take any photos.

 

I thought the lack of stories was my issue, but I talked to one of the countries leading political photographers who expressed exactly the same view - there are no news stories.  
 

I have no idea what the 😒”new normal” is going to look like or how News/stock is gong to be affected but being my normal happy self I would be inclined to say “we’re all doomed”....

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1 hour ago, JaniMarkus Hasa said:

 

Travel industry needs to advertise if it's going to rise from this collapse, I think that lack of demand is temporary. 

 

Agree on printed media, that's the first thing people will give up when money is tight.

 

 

Interesting article here about what the travel world might look like after the pandemic.

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I think that the main effect will be increasingly lower licensing fees. As others have said, print is likely to become even less prevalent than it is now. Long-term, I don't see a lowering in demand for stock images, quite the opposite, but sadly a lot of outfits will either move totally online or fold completely.  Vacuums fill though and other markets will take their place. Even now, there seem to be far more news outlets online than there used to be.  News still happens and people will have a desperate need for good news!  They will want to hear, see, read about anything positive. Togs who currently hang around common political locations in London (inc Downing Street), might well have to be hanging around outside Ministers homes to catch them popping to the shops for a pint of milk after PMQs on Zoom!  Maybe photos of the House of Commons will be in high demand once it ceases to be a place where politicians debate/vote and turns into a tourist attraction?!

 

Travel? I know that I'm desperate to get out and about and others will feel the same, so travel shots will likely still be in high demand, they'll just be marketed in a different way - people will just be taking holidays (vacations) in their own countries a lot more. International travel will not only be more difficult and less in demand, but receiving countries are likely to be less welcoming! Holidays at 'home' will become more important, but the types of holidays and how/where they are taken is likely to change.The article that JM links to above references that. So perhaps, the images of locations and countries will just have to be those which appeal more to the people in and from those countries - and marketed more as such?  Having said that, we all like to dream and seeing what the rest of the world is like - and how it changes - especially when it is more difficult for us to actually visit and see the wonders of the world, will forever remain popular.  Perhaps, therefore, the images most in demand in this sector will be those which are contemporary and up-to-date (and accordingly command higher fees - one can live in hope)?

 

Once the first tranche of these horrors are out of the way, things are likely to improve, but with far less print (but more PDFs/pay-walled sites/subscriptions?)   I think that short-term, there'll be a big hit to us all followed by increased demand at some of the lower prices that we're already beginning to see.  Sounds like a MS model to me! How individual businesses (Alamy and its contributors) will survive is another question.

 

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5 minutes ago, losdemas said:

How individual businesses (Alamy and its contributors) will survive is another question.

The takeover by PA may have been very well timed, for all our benefits.

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22 minutes ago, AlbertSnapper said:

Cheap air travel could be at an end too....

 

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/apr/21/physical-distancing-will-end-era-of-cheap-air-travel-industry-warns

 

.... I don't think the environment will be moaning about that.

 

Quite. International air travel may well return to be limited to those with big pockets. My first ever flight was with Laker to the US for £80 (1980)!  Until he turned up on the scene, I could never have imagined travelling across the pond.

 

Eco travel in all forms will increase rapidly now.  Well eco-everything, really. It just has to.

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2 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

I've heard that the vaccine could take up to 18 months to develop

This article is quite sobering about developing vaccines, I hadn't actually realised that "We don't yet have vaccines against any coronaviruses in humans, in part due to the challenges of developing vaccines for viruses that infect the upper respiratory tract."

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2020-04-17/coronavirus-vaccine-ian-frazer/12146616

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This article is quite sobering.......

I can only go by the UK government's output, but they seem very averse to comment in any way negatively about the future (and some would say the recent past and their abilities etc) presumably for fear of scaring the population. I don't know how long they can keep that up. This PM and his team seem to have worked out very cleverly how to win over and control a certain type of voter, who now will find it very difficult to understand a truthful answer of what the future may hold.

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1 minute ago, Avpics said:

I can only go by the UK government's output, but they seem very averse to comment in any way negatively about the future (and some would say the recent past and their abilities etc) presumably for fear of scaring the population. I don't know how long they can keep that up. This PM and his team seem to have worked out very cleverly how to win over and control a certain type of voter, who now will find it very difficult to understand a truthful answer of what the future may hold.

 

+200,050,858

 

If we were to believe all that comes out of #10, we'll have a vaccine coming out of Oxford within months. I'll be accused by some of being negative if I say that I doubt that. That's my last political comment (though I'm sorely tempted).

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