geogphotos

Has stock lost its Mojo?

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17 hours ago, andremichel said:

But £1000 a year is trivial.

Speak for yourself!

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2 hours ago, andremichel said:

 

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. 

 

I think most of the first category have gone or at least no longer commit to stock as they once did. I think that the same is also happening to your 3) category. 

 

It would seem that Alamy is ambivalent to this and is quit content with more and more crowd-sourcing from hobbyists. 

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22 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

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.

 

 

 

Its already happening. I was speaking to a sports specialsist colleague at the athletics a year or two ago who mentioned a certain person who was approaching photographers with extensive archives of images which could be historically significant and giving them a lump sum to buy the rights for the whole archive.

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3 minutes ago, funkyworm said:

 

 

Its already happening. I was speaking to a sports specialsist colleague at the athletics a year or two ago who mentioned a certain person who was approaching photographers with extensive archives of images which could be historically significant and giving them a lump sum to buy the rights for the whole archive.

 

Interesting. Thanks.

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28 minutes ago, funkyworm said:

 

 

Its already happening. I was speaking to a sports specialsist colleague at the athletics a year or two ago who mentioned a certain person who was approaching photographers with extensive archives of images which could be historically significant and giving them a lump sum to buy the rights for the whole archive.

 

Makes good business sense.

 

Perhaps a business model may emerge where it may be possible to purchase some equity in a person's portfolio? Let' say I really like a newbie's images but he/she is struggling to get sales. or needs some immediate funds to upgrade equipment/travel. A punter could potentially pay the photographer an amount up-front and get a slice of equity for a pre-determined period. For example, $100 up front for 5% equity for one year.  

 

This model has been around for ages in poker where anybody can support a poker player who's short in cash and/or wants to take a shot at a bigger cash game or tournament. The better the player the lower then cash to equity ratio. Am I talking nonsense? 

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I've got lots of new pics to process and lots that have passed QC but need 'finishing'.

 

Somehow sitting by the fire looking out at the snow seems more attractive.

 

I probably need a decent sale or two to pop in and restore the mojo factor.:)

Edited by geogphotos
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On 2/25/2018 at 13:07, andremichel said:

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

 

It can be your pension's supplement.  I get around US$200 a year in e-book royalties for writing I did in the past and that pays most of the cost of a new phone or some in-country travel..  If I build on my current photography portfolio to get $1K to $3K US. year by the time I'm 80, then the activity was useful.  I wouldn't do it if I didn't also enjoy messing around with cameras and lights.

 

For someone young wanting to be a professional photographer now, I'd suggest learning how to do something for clients that wasn't something other people would be doing for fun.  Probably product photography or commercial portraiture, or video for news, even combat photography (pays well, is dangerous is what I've heard).   My guess is that the amateurs taking nature shots and travel shots make that a less competitive specialty than arranging and dusting products or setting up lights to make middle managers look heroic.   Wedding photography appears to be what Nicaraguan photographers seem to make their money from, which would require very good social skills on top of photographic skills.  I noticed that exteriors of Nicaraguan churches were very common, but interiors were rarer, so for every exterior shot of a church or cathedral, I try to get three interior shots, but so far, none of either have sold.

 

In writing, amateurs who imagine they'll get $100K for their first novel are also common and generally wrong.  One zero less would be a good first novel advance.

 

 

 

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An image that I took 25 years ago licensed today (magazine use) for an OK price by today's standards. It's a shot of a very old ruined church in Mexico.  I'd say it fits into the "timeless" category as it has sold several times -- here and elsewhere -- in the past as well.

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On 2/8/2018 at 09:16, Matt Ashmore said:

For an individual photographer, I think it all comes down to why you do stock.

 

For a professional/person who relies upon it for a substantial part of their income, then I guess they carry on riding the roller coaster or find some other way to make the money.

 

I am an enthusiast/hobbyist and I tend (predominantly) to take pictures of what interests me but stock gives me some purpose otherwise I would take pictures and half the time they wouldn't even make it off my memory card. So for people like me, it more comes down to an interest in taking pictures and wanting to learn to take better pictures. As a result my 'Stock mojo' will likely continue for as long as I enjoy photography.

I'm with you on this. I see it as another interest to develop and learn from.

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Just to chime in again,

 

RE: news and old images,  I just went through my licenses for 2018 and 17 out of 19 were shot as news in the 80's, 90's and 00's.

In other words if you choose the right events or people to photograph the images will license over and over, the trick is making the

choice.  As I have written before, I've been pleasantly surprised with the licenses that Alamy has produced on the live news events

that I've covered, just wish I had the time to do more events.

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Did anybody capture some of the anti-war in Iraq protests of 2004 in London and if so, do these still sell regularly? 

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On 2/25/2018 at 18:31, 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!

 

It seems we can add pictures of Toys 'R' Us and Maplin to the list... :(

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I stared to upload here just a few weeks ago.  Before I did,  I checked the level of traffic to Alamy website.  Good news, 17% increase over the last three months. - other agencies went down drastically over the same period.  Not certain what Alamy launched around mid-January, but it created quite a spark in traffic. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Has stock lost its Mojo?

No.

It just rearranges periodically, AFAICT:

 

pre-1980 = Jomo

1981-1990 = Mooj

1991-1998 = Joom

1999-2008 = Mojo

2009-2018 = Oojm

2019???!!!  I'm predicting J'moo!!!!!

Edited by JeffGreenberg

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