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DPChallenge Forums >> Stock Photography >> Wall St Journal-Ad campaigns using duplicate pics
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11/28/2006 01:13:26 PM · #1
Not intended to be either pro or con on my part, just to add to the onging discussions

WALL STREET JOURNAL ARTICLE

Ahem, note the use of the term "Amateur" in the article:

Making matters more complicated, small photo stock Web sites have sprung up, offering images from amateur photographers that can sell for as little as $1 a photo. One of the most prominent ones is iStockphoto, a wholly owned subsidiary of Getty Images.
11/28/2006 01:30:35 PM · #2
I remember that Dell & Gateway both used the same stock photos in their back to school campaign a few years ago as well.

What's most interesting about that article is how it tells you pretty much exactly what you should be shooting, if you want to sell stock.
11/28/2006 01:33:42 PM · #3
I didn't read the entire article, but it seems slanted toward two companies using the same image as being a bad thing. Not sure I agree. By using an image from a photo pool (such as a stock site) the company making the ad also makes the choice of whether or not exclusiveness matters.

If the image works for the ad campaign -- it works. Why go to the trouble and expense creating an exclusive image that doesn't add anything to the campaign.

The use of the word amateur is appropriate as they are referring to a group of people who, in their view, don't take their images seriously enough ($-wise) to be considered professionals.

David
11/28/2006 02:25:06 PM · #4
Thanks for posting this article. It was well written and will be read by many people interested in the process of buying photographs.

What was especially surprising to me was the number of large companies (presumably with decent-sized advertising budgets) who did not feel the need to purchase exclusive rights to an image no matter where else it might turn up.
11/28/2006 02:41:22 PM · #5
Originally posted by David.C:

If the image works for the ad campaign -- it works. Why go to the trouble and expense creating an exclusive image that doesn't add anything to the campaign.


from the article

"Besides being embarrassing for advertisers, such duplications can make it difficult for consumers to tell brands apart.

"If we all look alike, it is hard for a customer to differentiate between their choices," says Robbyn Tangney, a brand marketing executive with Bank of America Corp."

Packaging is everything in advertising, and if your package looks like your competitors - that's gonna hurt.
11/28/2006 03:21:08 PM · #6
Thanks for posting the link to this article! I thought it was very interesting as I do all of the purchasing of stock photography for my company and it's facinating to see the changes happening in the stock photo industry.

For the past couple years, I've puchased most of the images we use from Getty... I noticed recently that they're offering a new "value licensing" price struture similar to the micro sites...

//gettyimages.com/creativeexpress

11/28/2006 05:26:38 PM · #7
i bet someone gets fired now and again for such things, Big Company X pays $$$$$$$ for an ad campaign and then they find that the ad company paid $1 for a picture that their competitor used too!! Gulp, head-on-chopping-block time.
11/28/2006 05:40:10 PM · #8
Originally posted by cbonsall:

i bet someone gets fired now and again for such things, Big Company X pays $$$$$$$ for an ad campaign and then they find that the ad company paid $1 for a picture that their competitor used too!! Gulp, head-on-chopping-block time.


I doubt it.

I'm sure the companies realize that they aren't buying exclusive rights and that there is a risk that the same image will be used elsewhere. The article says as much too.

11/28/2006 06:08:54 PM · #9
I think it's embarrasing for photographers that photos can be sold for $1 - microstock sites are destroying photography as an industry.
If big multinational companies like these don't value photography then neither will anyone else.

11/28/2006 06:21:29 PM · #10
Originally posted by dr_timbo:

I think it's embarrasing for photographers that photos can be sold for $1 - microstock sites are destroying photography as an industry.


Just like iTunes is destorying the music industry... lots of people can (and do) make a living from microstock. It takes skill, talent and dedication just like any other profession.

Message edited by author 2006-11-28 18:22:21.
11/28/2006 06:30:30 PM · #11
I would rather give away rights to a photo “with some sort of credit” then sell 5 copy’s for $1!
11/28/2006 06:38:37 PM · #12
Originally posted by David.C:


The use of the word amateur is appropriate as they are referring to a group of people who, in their view, don't take their images seriously enough ($-wise) to be considered professionals.

David


huh?
11/28/2006 06:39:42 PM · #13
Originally posted by nico_blue:

Originally posted by dr_timbo:

I think it's embarrasing for photographers that photos can be sold for $1 - microstock sites are destroying photography as an industry.


Just like iTunes is destorying the music industry... lots of people can (and do) make a living from microstock. It takes skill, talent and dedication just like any other profession.


It's nothing like iTunes at all - On iTunes I pay au$15 dollars for an album or $20 in store. Hardly a discount at all when you consider the production savings, and the musicians are still getting paid similar royalties per album.

On the other hand paying $1 for a photo to use in a advertising brochure is a massive discount on the real cost of the photo. Sure some people are getting money out of it but that doesn't stop me thinking that it is devaluing the industry.


11/28/2006 06:45:34 PM · #14
Originally posted by alans_world:

I would rather give away rights to a photo “with some sort of credit” then sell 5 copy’s for $1!


You do that and I'll take my collection of dollars and buy equipment, dinner, rent...
11/28/2006 06:51:01 PM · #15
Here's something you don't here about:

Noone says that a professional journalist is an "amateur" if he has a web log. Yet, web logs are competing directly against traditional media.

Yet, as soon as you sell $10,000 worth of photos at .25 cents each you are somehow cheapening the art.

You guys that are totally resisting microstock, better get a bit of a grip on reality.

The 'net has put the power in the hands of "amatuers" and if you don't get in there and compete with those amateurs you might find yourself hungry.
11/28/2006 06:54:45 PM · #16
Where does the $1/photo number come from?

On shutterstock.com, you can subscribe to downloads at $160/month, with the limit of 750 images (25/day). This brings the range of photo prices from $160 (if you buy only one) down to ~21 cents if you max out your subscription.

Just curious...
11/28/2006 07:00:02 PM · #17
Originally posted by srdanz:

Where does the $1/photo number come from?

On shutterstock.com, you can subscribe to downloads at $160/month, with the limit of 750 images (25/day). This brings the range of photo prices from $160 (if you buy only one) down to ~21 cents if you max out your subscription.

Just curious...


Guessing Shutterstock doesn't expect all thier users to max out thier downloads... I dunno.

But, the $1 per download likely comes from istock's download prices which start at $1.
11/28/2006 07:05:53 PM · #18
Originally posted by dr_timbo:

I think it's embarrasing for photographers that photos can be sold for $1 - microstock sites are destroying photography as an industry.
If big multinational companies like these don't value photography then neither will anyone else.

Things change in value over time, as their availablility or desirability change market demand. Aluminum was once more expensive than gold, yet people routinely discard it on the street today. How much will you pay a shorthand stenographer and typist today, when you can buy voice-recognition software for under $100 to do that job for you forever?

When only a few talented and skilled photographers could produce images, and a couple of companies were able to monopolize the market and distribution of those images, then an ad photo costs $250. When more people can take those images and more companies distribute them, the cost/image perforce must come down (that's called "supply and demand"), even though the overall market for photos may actually increase in total; it is simply being divided up among more people.

Unless you have a Federally- or state-chartered professional guild which can restrict membership (e.g., lawyers, doctors, CPAs, etc.) then the market is open to anyone. Photographers require no such certification or licensure -- tough.
11/28/2006 07:35:12 PM · #19
Originally posted by dr_timbo:

It's nothing like iTunes at all - On iTunes I pay au$15 dollars for an album or $20 in store. Hardly a discount at all when you consider the production savings, and the musicians are still getting paid similar royalties per album.

On the other hand paying $1 for a photo to use in a advertising brochure is a massive discount on the real cost of the photo.


You can buy a group of photos from a lightbox and call it an album. I hear artists get 6% royalties from itunes sales, thats unheard off in the microstock world :-)

Ahhh the real cost of a photo... well if it costs nothing to produce the photo and you sell it for 1 dollar thats a 1 dollar profit. I once paid a model $100 for a shoot (because I had faith the pictures would sell well) and in two months I have made $200 from the shots, so my initial $100 dollar investment has turned into an estimated $1200 yearly return. And this is from people buying at $1 an image. Would those shots have done better at a macro site? A resounding no... they wouldnt have been accepted bcos they were shot with a 8MP canon digital rebel.

So there we go, microstock is making the world a better place and removing a lot of the barriers that have been placed on future photographers by the industry.
11/28/2006 07:40:53 PM · #20
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

You guys that are totally resisting microstock, better get a bit of a grip on reality.

The 'net has put the power in the hands of "amatuers" and if you don't get in there and compete with those amateurs you might find yourself hungry.


I'm not resisting microstock - I'm just not contributing to sites where you can download photos from $1 (or 21c from shutterstock). I'm currently using Gekko images which is an Australian site where prices are still reasonably cheap but more accurately reflect the cost of producing a quality photo.

11/28/2006 07:55:31 PM · #21
Originally posted by dr_timbo:

Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

You guys that are totally resisting microstock, better get a bit of a grip on reality.

The 'net has put the power in the hands of "amatuers" and if you don't get in there and compete with those amateurs you might find yourself hungry.


I'm not resisting microstock - I'm just not contributing to sites where you can download photos from $1 (or 21c from shutterstock). I'm currently using Gekko images which is an Australian site where prices are still reasonably cheap but more accurately reflect the cost of producing a quality photo.


For some reason that site is loading really slow right now..

What sort of pay outs are we talking about? Any other pros or cons to them?
11/28/2006 08:01:18 PM · #22
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:



You guys that are totally resisting microstock, better get a bit of a grip on reality.

The 'net has put the power in the hands of "amatuers" and if you don't get in there and compete with those amateurs you might find yourself hungry.


The cream is always going to rise to the top. A photographer who would make a fine living on stock 10 years ago should be able to do the same today without going to micro. Only the film types that were making a fair living have anything to fear.
The only good thing I see about micro is that there will be a number of great photographers discovered there that might have gone unnoticed in the past.

Hey photoman, I didn't realize you'd made 10k in micro stock. Congrats man.
11/28/2006 08:09:18 PM · #23
Originally posted by fir3bird:


Hey photoman, I didn't realize you'd made 10k in micro stock. Congrats man.


Oh no, not me... yet ... but there are some that make that and more PER MONTH at it and I'm doing my damnedest to get there.
11/28/2006 08:57:37 PM · #24
Originally posted by nico_blue:

Would those shots have done better at a macro site? A resounding no... they wouldnt have been accepted bcos they were shot with a 8MP canon digital rebel.



Hmmm, stock agencies not accepting images based on the camera used to take them? That's news to me. How would they know unless you tell them?
11/28/2006 10:39:36 PM · #25
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Hmmm, stock agencies not accepting images based on the camera used to take them? That's news to me. How would they know unless you tell them?

the camera data is in the exif, unless you strip it before you submit.
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