Will We Ever Return to The Good Old Days of Stock Photography? — 7 Comments

  1. Thanks for the sum-up Dan,
    I think we have all settled into this reality by now. The only thing I contest is the client’s return to Rights-Managed for reasons of “quality”. Bottom line… client’s seek solutions for their advertising/editorial needs. “Quality” is highly subjective these days. Most clients, even high-end, don’t seek “quality” as a priority. Instead, they are looking for a feeling, a concept, and/or a lifestyle to associate with their brand or service. If they look hard enough, they can find these attributes at any price-point. The only thing that sets Rights-Managed apart from other licensing is the option for exclusivity. Fortunately, there will always be a number of clients with a number of jobs that still require this. I believe this single attribute is responsible for keeping RM sales fairly consistent during the decline of the last five years (consistent by comparison to RF).

  2. Scott,
    In addition to the option for exclusivity, which definitely helps drive some RM sales, I really do think that the perception of “image” plays a big part in helping RM photos retain their attractiveness to certain customers as well. You’re right, photography is subjective, and to photo buyers, “quality” is less important than “concept.” That’s where it’s the job of the agencies to keep the really good, highly conceptual imagery in the RM domain so that it retains it’s perceptual place on the top shelf.

    The pendulum swings back and forth every few years. To a lesser extent, this happened about ten years ago. Some agencies kept racing toward the bottom on pricing, and a few high end agencies really started pushing expensive, conceptual RM. They found customers. We’ll see how it plays out this time.

  3. Thanks for the info…. can someone please state what the current trends are in the photography industry are as a whole. I’m a Sydney based freelance photographer would love to know other photographers thoughts and opinions.

    Thanks in Advance

  4. Pingback: Should You Sign (Or Stay) With Getty Images? | Dan Bailey's Adventure Photography Blog

  5. Ah sad but true Dan, the industry has forever changed. The digital age has been a blessing and a curse. The volume of (good) images out there at a cheap rate continues to expand. What was once a health means of making extra $$ has now been trashed by micro stock. Everyone wins but the photogs.

    If you have the passion, you need to look at other avenues.

    Thanks for the honest perspective.

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