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Have prices changed your thinking on what you shoot


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What the buyers don't realise is that if you don't pay the photographers well they simply will not deliver their best work. The eco system as a whole will be effected. We've been asked to provide our best work, but when you feel very undervalued financially it's difficult to keep going and keeping up with buying better gear to produce better quality images. 

 

 

It's the wee extra in the license terms that bothers me. It's gone from 

 

"One use in a single editorial article used within the digital versions of a single publication. Digital usage includes archive rights for the lifetime of the article."

 

to

 

"One use in a single editorial or advertorial article used within print and /or web versions, with re-use of the article in other titles or web versions within the same newspaper group. Digital use includes archive rights for the lifetime of the article."

 

The bit in red is open to real abuse in an already confusing system. 

Tell you better than that: One of my sold pics was noted in the 'found' thread - but the licence said "Print only". So I questioned this with Support, and apparently 'Print only' includes online pdfs of a print publication - a totally new definition of 'print only'.

(As an aside, it was also used in a different issue of their magazine, and I had to chase the second use up via support.)

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What the buyers don't realise is that if you don't pay the photographers well they simply will not deliver their best work. The eco system as a whole will be effected. We've been asked to provide our best work, but when you feel very undervalued financially it's difficult to keep going and keeping up with buying better gear to produce better quality images. 

 

 

When Alamy ask you to deliver your best work I think what they have in mind is that you pay attention to their current direction of travel.  The successful, and sometimes lucrative bit of the industry, not lost to the micros, flickr, creative commons, iPhones etc is now all about art photography, professionally executed commercial photography, all releases in place, or high end specialist imagery, and work that is all of these.  This is what is determining the current direction of travel.  Look at the home page on most days.  Look who is the current editor's choice, look at the featured photographers.  Love it or hate it, this is where we are now.  In the past purely documentary photography could command a high price because much of what picture researchers were hunting for was hard to find and working with film was both hit-and-miss and expensive.  Now most things in most parts of the world have been covered by dslrs, soon everything everywhere will be captured on iPhones, many of which are already enabled for raw capture. 

 

http://blog.melchersystem.com/2013/11/06/why-mobile-stock-is-the-future-of-the-industry/

 

Maybe so, but are prices for the high production value or arty photos being kept free from deep discounts? Certainly unique images, where there aren't rivals on Alamy, and probably elsewhere, are still being deeply discounted - it seems to be the buyer rather than the image which has the clout, even if they can't say, "I'll get it elsewhere, then".

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Although we had plenty of model shots with agencies 20-30 years ago, we never booked models for stock. In every case the stock work was a spin-off, extra time spent on further shots, or secondary uses of calendar and magazine shots. And, this I can say with confidence, there are still plenty of travel commissions around but they are not from the tour companies, in-flight mags, travel pages or travel magazines. The best rates are paid by an entirely different sector (and one which won't allow the use of residuals for stock).

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Maybe so, but are prices for the high production value or arty photos being kept free from deep discounts? Certainly unique images, where there aren't rivals on Alamy, and probably elsewhere, are still being deeply discounted - it seems to be the buyer rather than the image which has the clout, even if they can't say, "I'll get it elsewhere, then".

 

 

Unique documentary images are getting rarer, and more likely to be found at press agencies and collections such as Corbis/VII, Getty/Reportage.  Arty images are ten a penny on the micros. 

 

If you study which agencies have been rising over the past few years you will see on the one hand those such as Blend, Cultura and Image Source, that keep a beady eye on the trends, use very experienced photographers, send out work to every image selling outfit on the planet and whose images tend to clog up Alamy's home page, and the ones who promote their photographers, promote original photography or both: Gallery Stock, Lens Modern, Plainpicture, Panos.  There are also collections at Getty and Corbis that follow these trends. With both types the ratio of earnings to images held is beyond Alamy's dreams.   

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