Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I'm sure a few more will be closing or merging in the next year or so.

My German agent went bankrupt last year as well.

 

L

Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO the smaller agencies will not be able to survive with prices at current lows unless they are in a niche specialist sector with a secure income stream. My own average selling price has reduced to about a third of what it was 5 years ago. How can agencies pay their overheads and staff in these sort of market conditions. I find it difficult enough with no staff or overheads!

 

dov

Link to post
Share on other sites

I made a $2000 sale recently to a big media company from my own site. Not the first time either.

I've been a smaller agency since 1980;though I did rep hundreds of major entertainment industry photogs and 2 agencies including a Pulitzer Prize winner. I no longer rep other photogs but for my material  that's exclusive my rate is in the range of $300 per year  for editorial and yes,I do get it.If someone wants to use an image they can't find elsewhere they will pay.Or they will steal it ;then you just make sure they pony up a hefty fee for that that will be many times the license fee.

 

I've been with many agencies in the past that have gone belly up and lost tens of thousands of dollars from not being paid and not gotten old slides back either.

 

Seeing that's been the reality for quite some time,except now it's digital,I'm very hesitant on being with smaller agencies though I know there are some that must be in decent financial shape.Just going from my own past experience.

 

L

Edited by Linda
  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I made a $2000 sale recently to a big media company from my own site. Not the first time either.

...

 

 

L

 

Hi Linda

 

Do you sell directly off your own web site (usage, pricing and fulfillment) or is it through personal contact via  email/telephone enquiry and negotiation?

 

I am planning a major revamp of my site and I don't know whether to go the full ecommerce route (major development and high maintenance) especially as I could be spending many weeks away from home at a time.

 

Martin

Edited by Martin P Wilson
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I made a $2000 sale recently to a big media company from my own site. Not the first time either.

...

 

 

L

 

Hi Linda

 

Do you sell directly off your own web site (usage, pricing and fulfillment) or is it through personal contact via  email/telephone enquiry and negotiation?

 

I am planning a major revamp of my site and I don't know whether to go the full ecommerce route (major development and high maintenance) especially as I could be spending many weeks away from home at a time.

 

Martin

 

I don't do automatic downloads for anyone. I can't be put in a position that someone would use a celebrity photo or an un-released people photo for merchandise or commercial use so they'd have to contact me with what they are looking for, the exact use and the amt of time needed. From there I will give them a quote. All my clients have my cellphone # and can reach me at any time. If I am away,I have 300,000 photos online but only a few galleries are viewable to the outside world.I try and prevent as much piracy on my end but realize once they are licensed then it's a matter of days before the infringers start grabbing images from the client I licensed to.    I can email the photo to them after they receive our written agreement and accept or send them a direct link to download.

L

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Linda, that is sort of where my thinking is going although I don't have the people issue to the same extent; I do with my pro sport stuff of course. My few direct sales (not enough marketing) are as a result of email or phone contact even though I have ecommerce provided by PhotoShelter (which I plan to give up).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Small agencies close - that's what they do.  They open and then they close.  I have been with several that have closed over the years, all very good in their day.  And just two that have survived for more than a decade, each one offering something unique - and that is the key.  A lot fail because they only want to make money, and when the money dries up, or a major investment is needed, there is no real incentive to carry on.  The survivors are run by people with a lot of commitment to some idea of of what photography is, and a lot of grit.  They can be more than just managers, and, lacking over-inflated egos, make a genuine contribution to the culture of photography.

 

Currently the most successful agencies, both in terms of their business structure, and the returns for photographers, tend to be middling to quite large - ones with turnovers in the low millions, and are fairly stable.  They aren't trying to compete with Getty/Corbis, but realise that they are, as resellers, a valuable resource.  They maintain their position by requiring exclusivity of content and making sure that the photographers they want to keep are happy.

 

The problem with the majors is that they aren't able to be successful businesses (make a year-on-year profit) without creating a great pile of resentment and misery amongst contribs, leaving just a few with a big smile on their faces.  Or else, as is in one case, they don't make a profit.

 

There is no particular reason why we are likely to see a lot of failures in the near future.  We are at the end of a massive recession, and any businesses that have survived that are now in a good place. I found that 2012-13 was particularly poor for returns, but I am now experiencing a bounce - everywhere except just one agency, which is ... ahem...

  • Upvote 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Linda, that is sort of where my thinking is going although I don't have the people issue to the same extent; I do with my pro sport stuff of course. My few direct sales (not enough marketing) are as a result of email or phone contact even though I have ecommerce provided by PhotoShelter (which I plan to give up).

I have e-commerce with PhotoShelter as well. I manage to sell the odd print through their automated system, but editorial clients (such as they are) tend to contact me to negotiate. I have had a few gratifying direct downloads, though, including one for $650 a couple of years ago. So you never know what might come out of the blue...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.