geogphotos

Has stock lost its Mojo?

Recommended Posts

Quote

So maybe add a section in you blog about capturing moments for the future - could be just cars and shops in the high street but in five years time they will be un-copiable.

 

Good points above. 

 

What essentially we should all try to do is "predict the future" and anticipate trends in technology. Need good photoshop skills for that or spend some time in South Korea, Japan and Dubai.

 

Otherwise, look for subjects which will still be interesting yet no longer around as you mentioned...Concorde comes to mind as well as the Twin Towers. How about before-the-fact coastal cities flooded because of rising sea levels in the mid 2020s. How about KFC before they ran out of chickens? :D 

 

I rushed through this article but there's real scope for valuable insight. 

 

-----

Edit

 

Quote

But your so-called 'timeless images' are ones that anybody can produce into the future.

 

Who knows what's going to happen to that Temple Mount in the next few years...

Edited by Brasilnut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

eg) I have pictures of Donald Crowhurst's boat Teignmouth Electron taken around 1990 when beached in the Cayman Islands. There are now at least two films out about him and his boat. In the meantime hurricanes have smashed up the boat into pieces. 

 

So maybe add a section in you blog about capturing moments for the future - could be just cars and shops in the high street but in five years time they will be un-copiable.

 

 

 

Yes, I guess you can't get a photograph of Woolworths on the High Street anymore.

Who knows.. in 10 years tme, you might not be able to get a shot of the "High Street" anymore.. or at least not as we know it today!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

I really understand this excitement and motivation. :D

 

I suppose this is what sums ups the concept of crowd-sourcing. People who are not primarily motivated by financial returns supplying content in return for emotional, personal, psychological and other sorts of often intangible rewards. 

 

Just as a discussion point I wonder if there is a difference here between the sort of images that 'the crowd' likes to supply and the sort of images that agencies most need.

 

Or more cynically is the drop-off of professionals who do need financial reward compensated for, in terms of agency  picture needs, by amateurs taking pics that they like taking? I am not a professional.

 

Thinking about your point 3. Yes that would be interesting but would it require each of us to declare ourselves as pro/amateur and I guess Alamy don’t have reason to collect that data because it makes no difference to them. Of the 125m images now on Alamy how many have been sold 0, 1 , 2 etc...  more than 100 times and over what time period. That would be interesting if Alamy were willing to share.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Matt Ashmore said:

 

Yes, I guess you can't get a photograph of Woolworths on the High Street anymore.

Who knows.. in 10 years tme, you might not be able to get a shot of the "High Street" anymore.. or at least not as we know it today!

 

Thinking about it there are obviously some events etc that are not going to be repeated.

 

Maybe this 'eye on the future' idea should be something we think about more in each of our localities as and when things are changing. Specially given Brasilnut's blog about stock as pension.

Edited by geogphotos
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other way to think about stock as pension/investment is to calculate how much money would be needed  to earn say £1000 pa in income - probably several hundred thousand £ in a bank deposit account!!

 

For sure that £1000 is likely to decrease every year for that amount of images but even so...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

The other way to think about stock as pension/investment is to calculate how much money would be needed  to earn say £1000 pa in income - probably several hundred thousand £ in a bank deposit account!!

 

For sure that £1000 is likely to decrease every year for that amount of images but even so...

But £1000 a year is trivial. That isn't enough to call it a pension.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, andremichel said:

But £1000 a year is trivial. That isn't enough to call it a pension.  

 

You would need £300,000 in savings to get £1000 in interest these days.

 

 

Edited by geogphotos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

You would need £300,000 in savings to get £1000 in interest these days.

 

 

Interest rates are ridiculously low. How is someone supposed to live on £1000 pa in UK?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, andremichel said:

Interest rates are ridiculously low. How is someone supposed to live on £1000 pa in UK?

 

You are missing my point. 

 

What is easier - getting £300,000 in savings or enough stock images to earn £1000 a year?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

 

You are missing my point. 

 

What is easier - getting £300,000 in savings or enough stock images to earn £1000 a year?

I can see the point you are trying to make but £300K is quite an exaggeration. Even with current inflated house prices, £300K will get you a property paying £1000 pcm not pa. 

 

Stock images do have value though it is tricky to put a true value on ones collection. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, andremichel said:

I can see the point you are trying to make but £300K is quite an exaggeration. Even with current inflated house prices, £300K will get you a property paying £1000 pcm not pa. 

 

Stock images do have value though it is tricky to put a true value on ones collection. 

 

Sure thing. If you have £300,000 to invest don't bother doing stock :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Brasilnut said:

Why would anybody want to retire in the U.K.? B)

Just read your blog.  Entertaining but flawed. 1. $1000 per year is nowhere near a first world pension.  2. 10c per image is not achievable by average alamy contributor over 30 years. 10c is the current average.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Brasilnut said:

I wrote a blog post today on my blog about how I treat stock photography like a pension and aim to produce images which will be timeless.

 

I argue that even if returns are low such as 10 cents per year, a 10,000 portfolio over a 30 year period that would amount to $30k, assuming that most of the images are "timeless" with a long shelf-life. I know it's simplistic and a million factors come into play, but I feel that perhaps this change in mindset may be beneficial for those who are frustrated and looking for short-term results. 

 

Who knows maybe in 10 years we'll all have the option to be getting paid in cryptos. 

 

 

 

Just a couple of points on your blog. One is that news has a short shelf life. I would argue that often the opposite is true. It may loose its immediate pertinance but in the long run news images may have a longer shelf life than many "normal" stock images, it is one of the reasons I started and still take news images. Many of my news images may have marginal news value at the time but subsequent developments may make them pertinent in the future... Then there is the historical value as has been mentioned above.

 

The second is the oft quoted 10c. It is the average... which means that some will be getting less. But... for many of the large (agency) contributors submitting to Alamy is just a matter of cutting and pasting in the FTP. Get an unpaid intern to do that and anything is profit. If they have 1m images (as some have) then even getting half of the average is a tidy income for pressing send a few times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Brasilnut said:

Why would anybody want to retire in the U.K.? B)

 

To me it's obvious ... they love beer. Maybe beer and curry too.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me personally stock lost it's mojo years ago when sales like this:

 

David Olse n 84547950 _MG_9941 84547950-Wo man paddles near reef Arts & Ent ertainment Web Socia l Media World Oct 01, 2013 t o Oct 31, 2013 CALIFORNIA 100.00% Partner Po rtal 0.03 40.00% 0.01

 

show up on a RM image that I paid a model and an assistant for the shoot.  This is not an Alamy sale but another large agency that is not Microstock but seems to be drifting that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, funkyworm said:

 

Just a couple of points on your blog. One is that news has a short shelf life. I would argue that often the opposite is true. It may loose its immediate pertinance but in the long run news images may have a longer shelf life than many "normal" stock images, it is one of the reasons I started and still take news images. Many of my news images may have marginal news value at the time but subsequent developments may make them pertinent in the future... Then there is the historical value as has been mentioned above.

 

 

 

I've found the same thing. I only submit "soft news" images (and not a lot of them at that). However, I've been pleasantly surprised at how many of my former live news images have morphed into repeat sellers long after the fact.

Edited by John Mitchell
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Brasilnut said:

I wrote a blog post today on my blog about how I treat stock photography like a pension and aim to produce images which will be timeless.

 

I argue that even if returns are low such as 10 cents per year, a 10,000 portfolio over a 30 year period that would amount to $30k, assuming that most of the images are "timeless" with a long shelf-life. I know it's simplistic and a million factors come into play, but I feel that perhaps this change in mindset may be beneficial for those who are frustrated and looking for short-term results. 

 

Who knows maybe in 10 years we'll all have the option to be getting paid in cryptos. 

 

 

 

As someone who fits the "pensioner" demographic, I enjoyed your post. Some good advice there. My monthly "pension"  income from Alamy (I averaged about $1.10 per image last year) isn't as much as I had hoped for, but it certainly helps pay the bills.

Edited by John Mitchell
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+100 for Brian's first post. 

 

Sorry don't have time to read the entire thread, too busy doing post for

a client....

 

Chuck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

As someone who fits the "pensioner" demographic, I enjoyed your post. Some good advice there. My monthly "pension"  income from Alamy (I averaged about $1.10 per image last year) isn't as much as I had hoped for, but it certainly helps pay the bills.

I bet that figure is gross not net. Also it took you 15 years to submit 6700 images so small tightly edited collection. Stock can still provide a nice top up to a pension but would you solely rely on it for 30 years with no other income stream?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, andremichel said:

I bet that figure is gross not net. Also it took you 15 years to submit 6700 images so small tightly edited collection. Stock can still provide a nice top up to a pension but would you solely rely on it for 30 years with no other income stream?

 

 

These days it makes sense to have multiple income streams and likewise for pension provision. Clearly relying entirely on stock would be crazy but nobody would as they would have a state pension if nothing else. 

 

None of us know the future for stock. It could be that it largely implodes as a business for the contributor and is merely a hobby with token financial rewards and psychological income of ego boosts from being published. Let's face it tens of thousands have already accepted that sort of deal.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm only in my mid 30s so long ways until I can officially collect any sort of official pension, which will probably be 75 by the time I'm close anyway.

 

In any case, supposing I will have 100,000 quality images on here in 25 years which is completely reasonable, then even a conservative 2cents/image//year net would bring me $2,000 a year which isn't huge but John pointed above, a top up. In a way I'm building up my small fund while doing something I enjoy. 

 

State pension in UK is what like like $600 a month and then we all probably have a private pension and significant assets, especially if you bought your properties in the 70s and 80s. 

 

Who knows, images taken even this year may in 20-30 years become historical and gain that nostalgic value potentially earning more than 2c. 

 

However interesting and beneficial is this change in mentality, I have more pressing financial demands in the present and hoping for some positive shorter term results!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I think maybe there are at least 3 categories of stock contributors:

 

1. The professionals who through ability, knowledge, experience and hard work are still covering costs and making a worthwhile income. I think these are becoming a small minority on Alamy. Also most don't rely just on stock.

 

2. The hobbyist. Does not care about the cost of production or just ignores it. It doesn't matter if they spend thousands on their hobby and then make hundreds back. I think they are now the majority.

 

3. The failing wannabe professional. They do care about the cost of production and are frustrated that they can't make the numbers work in their favour. By trying to make it work as a business, they are trying too hard and it stops being fun and just feels like hard work with little reward. For them stock has certainly lost its mojo.

 

Sadly I fall into number 3. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another aspect to take into regard is changes in techonology (e.g. filters) which may give a new lease of life on an old image. Or which develop into new markets. Its not that many years ago that I started recycling my old images for the POD markets  and creating new ones with that market in mind. Not life changing income but a few months rent a year is very welcome.

 

A wee p.s. to back up my earlier comment on news shelf life... a sale today of a sporting event taken on film in 2004.

Edited by funkyworm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if some sort of wholesale market will develop which offers rights to images created by others - actual buy-outs as far as use for stock is concerned.

 

In other words somebody such as Brasilnut aiming at 100,000 images for his pension might be prepared, if the price was attractive enough, to simply buy images from somebody else?

 

I can think of one of the largest stock photo agencies that started off buying reject slides for 50 cents each.

 

An Alamy contributor wishing to cash-in might arrange for their pics to be transferred to a new owner?

Share this post


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