May 24, 2006

At $0.30 a pop, you have to sell a lot of photos to take that dream vacation But if they were just sitting on your hard drive anyway, is it that big of a deal? Are 'micropayment' stock photo sites like this ruining photographers' lives (and their bank accounts) or simply a sign of how the Internet is changing yet another industry?
  • Ah. I've heard some heated discussions about this ever since those stock CDs with thounsands of images appeared on the market. In the real-world, though: 'Mom & Pop' business and people doing school reports and those building mock-ups for internal use-only won't pay for something that can be had for free elsewhere. So big-time users will? Well, it's not uncommon for ad firms and such to carelessly use some material from the net for commercial projects, with the legal mess that brings. The possible effect of similar ventures due to the net is, again, a shakeup in pricing, I guess. Which of course makes pro shooters fume. Sure, the succesfull ones get to jet-set all over the globe amid exotic scenery and beautiful women, but for the remaining 99%, it's still nothing but hard work, cutthroat competition, equipment upgrade needs, studio expenses, etc. etc.
  • Once again, it is not everyone elses responsibility to protect your business model. IT IS NOT EVERYONE ELSES RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS MODEL. IT IS NOT EVERYONE ELSES RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS MODEL. If the rights to use your photo --once-- are worth $200, someone will pay it. On the other hand, if ownership of an essentially "as good" photo can be had for $3.00, who would pay your $200. Thats what a free market is. A race to the bottom when goods and labor is plentiful. That this is even an issue is really saying that professional photographers aren't that much better than amateurs at producing photos for advertising, and unsuccessful amateurs probably don't know the value of their work. The market will correct this given time, but the new equilibrium will of course not be where the people on top of the old market want it to be.
  • One could say the impetus is for the good photographers to get better and find new markets.
  • Or, drivingmenuts, one could be concerned that this is another race to the bottom, where no-one can make more than pin money at what used to be a profession.
  • Wonder how much I could get for "Mr. Whiskers On Top of the Fridge?" Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
  • I would want a lot more money for a photo of mine to be used professionally - I would be thinking 100s of dollars or a cut of the profits, depending on the use. And this is even considering that most of my photos suck, and I have no intention of going professional whatsoever. But it's my art, and if someone else is going to use it to make money, I want more money for it. That said, if anyone wants any of my photos for anything that won't make money, I would happily give it to them.
  • I'm out of toilet paper here. Anyone got a photo of their kitten? jb?
  • Next time a client ask for a white-moustached cat that seems about to collapse out of alcoholic stupor, I'll call you, TUM.
  • i would happily sell the picture i accidently took of my feet. do i hear $50?
  • I used to have a kitten. Or at least, a roommate with a kitten (now a delightful cat). She played fetch. I miss her kitten.
  • This photo is cuter.
  • The real problem Mord is that at $0.30 an image you aren't even making your capital costs to shoot the image. Let alone overhead and a wage. Professionals of all sorts have to deal with the hobbiests taking over all the time. Rarely do the professionals win (usually only when their is a public safety component that has the state step in, like taxi driving) but there is usually a net loss of professionalism when the hobbiests win. Or at least a significant increase in the amount of chaff to sift through.
  • I want legistaltion passed that will protect my business model, and I promise that once such a bill is passed into law, I will come up with a business model. And, by all means, let's encourage government to come in and regulate. They've done a bang-up job so far. Let's turn them loose on artistic endeavors. What could possibly go worng?
  • I see the problem, but don't see it AS a problem. Yes, I agree, I may not be able to find as good a buggy whip as I used to, but if people actually wanted high-quality buggy-whips, the buggy-whip makers wouldn't be in any trouble at all. If there is chaff to wade through, a new job will be created for people to wade through it looking for the diamonds. If there are no diamonds among the hobbyists, then there will still be a market for the professionals. But, when hobbyists with just their spare time and spare money are willing to do your job for free, and no-one with money cares enough that they aren't professionals, its time to find a new job, or figure out what you can still sell that the hobbyists can't. What happens next is we'll see a bunch of certification agencies coming out with photography standards, so that you can stick a logo on your image saying its SPC endorsed, and then you can charge more for it. That seems to be the way it works. Until cheaper certifications come out. Etc.. etc.. etc..