Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Survey says stock photos to cheesy

Photoshelter has recently conducted a survey of 700 stock photo buyers. 

The result, “The majority are cheesy, too staged, too stocky and not authentic.”  When asked, "When it comes to the images I search for most often, I think I've seen all of the content available within the major stock houses” 74% agreed or strongly agreed.  Basically this means designers want new, fresh content.

Follow the link below to see the areas which areas need more attention (eg. “The friendly guy with the headset isn't cutting it anymore!”, “It's difficult to find images that don't paint obese subjects unfavorably.” and "People with flaws" was another repeated request.)

Link (via Photopreneur)

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Monday, 23 June 2008

Find your photos online with Tineye

Want to know where you photos are online?  Well you could try searching the net yourself, or you could use TinEye

Tineye is still in private beta but you can apply for an invite (mine came through in a few days).  Once logged in, you can give TinEye your photo, and it will search the web for it.  A couple of points to note:

  • They have only indexed a small portion of the web so far (about 750 million images -  compare that to over 4 billion indexed by Google).  I did a few searches on my photos and found they didn’t pick up all instances where I knew it was online.
  • It doesn’t require an exact match.  This can be good in that it will find photos where they are slightly different (ie. with or without watermarks) or images manipulated (ie. Photoshopped, cropped, converted to B&W etc).

While it isn’t perfect at the moment, it is a great tool to have in the toolbox. 

It would also be very help for designers - Going to buy a photo but don’t know where else it has turned up? Do a search to avoid situations like this and this.  There is also a Firefox extension (and IE) so that you can right click on a photo on any website, select search and it will find all other indexed matches.

Check out their video:

Other commentary:



JMG galleries

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Sunday, 22 June 2008

Microstock’s main market don’t use photos

iStock commissioned a survey of small and medium businesses in the UK to determine how they use images in their marketing.  The key finding are:

  • 27% of SMBs don’t use imagery in their business at all
  • Of organisations who use imagery, 51% use imagery on their website, 40% use imagery in presentations, 31% use imagery in marketing & advertising collateral and 14% use imagery in the office interior design
  • 71% of SMBs use photography more than other types of imagery
  • The majority of SMBs, still go in-house to source images, with 59% taking photos with their own camera, compared with 40% using online stock photography and 31% commissioning photography

See here for more detail

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Wednesday, 11 June 2008

New Article on Getty and iStock

As part of filings made with the SEC, Getty has had to disclose some information which it would normally keep secret. 

One interesting quote is:

"The introduction of microstock has significantly increased the availability and usage of stock imagery. The advent of affordable high-end digital cameras and broadband Internet access has enabled semi-professional and hobbyist photographers to greatly expand the supply of digital stock imagery, and low microstock prices have put stock images within reach of far more potential customers. The primary consequence of the introduction of microstock has been to open the creative stock imagery market to new segments of users. Small and medium-sized businesses represent a large customer segment for which stock imagery was previously too expensive. For example, a dental practice might now include a microstock image of a boy brushing his teeth on its mailers to patients, whereas before it might have only shown a drawing of a tooth and toothbrush (or perhaps just a message in formatted text) on its appointment reminders because of the relatively high cost of stock imagery. Microstock also enables traditional stock image users to cost-effectively use stock images for interim uses such as storyboarding, customer pitches and internal presentations. Previously these applications would have contained lower quality, freely available images, or hand-drawn sketches. Customer research suggests that approximately 40-50% of microstock demand is comprised of entirely new end-uses, such as those described above. As a result of the combination of new customer segments and new end uses, volumes of microstock images are 15-20x greater than traditional stills.

Another interesting part is a comparison of sales volume between Getty and iStock, the market leader of macrostock and microstock respectively:

Getty sales graph

More details at this article from pdn.

The filings at the SEC are found here.

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The average American/Kiwi/Australian family

NZ budget photo The NZ government put out a brochure today setting out the benefits of its latest budget.

It was discovered however that the picture used (left) was bought from from iStock. To me that isn’t a problem.  If the government decides to spend $20 for a photo rather than over $1,000 for a custom photoshoot that is a good idea.

The problem is that the photo is of an American family, not a New Zealand family.

Australian Affordable house photo

To make matters worse for the NZ government, the photo has already been used by the Australian government to advertise their affordable homes program (right).

To things to take out of this:

  1. the perfect stock photo is one that can be used in a variety of circumstances and by a variety of buyers.  This photo has been sold over 2,000 times and can be used in any western country.
  2. microstock photography can create problems from a buyers perspective when the photo is recognisable in other peoples campaigns.

Link to article

[EDIT - it has even been used as an irish family]

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Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Another site dies

Following on from Luckyolivers demise, Geckostock have announced that they are closing down:

It is with great regret that i shall have to close Geckostock.
All images will be deleted from disk this week.
Any payments due will be paid over the next few weeks.

The site went down yesterday and i decided not to try and get things running due to low sales.
I can't see any future in the site.

I never joined this site as I never saw a good reason. It always pays to monitor new sites but this one never had the sales to warrant uploading to.

In other news, Snapvillage has been down since Friday as they upgrade their site. It is taking longer than expected (why do all websites underestimate the time to migrate servers??). This is one I have trialed. Haven't got all my photos onto it yet and it isn't showing the sales for we to warrant uploading the rest. Hopefully this upgrade will attract the buyers to make it another leading site (without stealing sales from other sites).

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New subscriptions at Fotolia

Fotolia has just announced a new subscription plan where you got as low as 23c for each download. After outrage on the forums, both on Fotolia and on independent ones, the price was increased to ... wait for it:

The new commission structure will be as follows.

Ranking Payment / Download
White 0.25 Credit
Bronze 0.26 Credit
Silver 0.27 Credit
Gold 0.28 Credit
Emerald 0.29 Credit
Ruby 0.30 Credit
Sapphire 0.31 Credit
Diamond 0.32 Credit

Thats right 25c to 32c. Compare this to Shutterstock's latest pay rise (33c to 38c except for the smallest users) and you see this isn't a great offer to the photographer.

I am not happy about this, but will see how the sales go.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Microstock photography results for May 2008

Another slow month. Earnings down again but still tracking ahead of last year. Interestingly, last year, sales dropped in the period from March to May and then rose month on month all the way through to October. It will be interesting to see if this happens again though it does look line the trend in 2007 was caused by no uploads during the March to May period followed by a couple of big upload sessions.

I could replicate this as I have a few shots ready for upload so it is just a matter of prioritising microstock which I haven't been doing since my big trip (Basically I have too many photos that I am just overwhelmed of where to start). Winter is here now so hopefully I will get some time to do it.

The other thing that is interesting is how different sites do better for no apparent reason. I have done nothing in the past year yet StockXpert had a great month last month and dreamtime had a great month this month. As long as each month a few sites do well, I dont complain if it isn't the same ones.

Below are percentages for the month to show how I have been going:

15% shutterstock
21% dreamtime
9% Fotolia
27% istockphoto
6% bigstockphoto
8% 123RF
14% StockXpert
0% Featurepics

Previous results for 2008:
April 2008 Earnings
March 2008 Earnings
Feb 2008 Earnings
Jan 2008 Earnings

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