Re: Stock photography sites

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At 7:00 AM -0800 12/4/11, Redsponger wrote:
Dear Group: what are your thoughts on selling our own photos to stock photography sites?

If you're interested in making a living you never "sell" you images to anyone, ever. You license usage of your images to whoever wants them at a rate and terms agreed upon between you and the licensee. You negotiate a contract and both sign it before handing over the image, or file.

If you have a realistic value for your time, including your cost of doing business based on running a business, you will rapidly come to realize, after perusing even the better remaining stock agencies, that stock photography is dead. Microstock now sets the level for licensing fees. I have a friend who recently had Alamy license a usage of a photography of an extremely rare and endangered butterfly for $7.80/year to a textbook company This sort of license should have come in around $350/year for print only. Instead it will be every sort of usage that publisher wishes, and some of those usages will strip out the IPTC info in the image, put it up online and the image will end up being worth nothing because it's all over the web.

I have another friend who shoots New England, every day she gets into her car and travels from her home base in Boston far and wide - Northern Maine to SW CT - to shoot landscapes and events. On her own dime. Rents guest house rooms to stay far away for 3-4 days, does all the processing of her images herself, maintains a web site, advertises her stock to prospective licensees, sells prints online, has a blog and participates in a number of forums.

She licenses her images to calendar companies for $100 ea. A few years ago she proudly told me her images were grossing her $13K a year. Gross.

You gotta be kidding. She's not doing very well. Every time she gets in the car she's losing money.

So think it over.
Emily L. Ferguson
New England landscapes, wooden boats and races
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