Friday, 11 July 2008

Getty to sell images from Flickr

Earlier this week, it was announced that Getty was going to sell photos from Flickr.  From the reports, it seems that the Flickr photos will form part of a new portfolio which will be in the macrostock pricing area.  It has been ruled out that these will be sold through iStock or be sold at microstock prices.

Commission is to be standard commissions rates for Getty photographers which is apparently between 20 and 40% depending on the type of licence etc.

The scheme is to be by invitation and from what I understand, it is on a photo by photo basis, not a photographer by photographer basis.  Many have said that this is going to be an issue because of jealousy at Flickr and it may change the community feel there. 

I see it as a problem but for another reason.  This is based on my experience at iStock.  They want large photos of high quality and if required are model released.

At Flickr, people don’t always upload their largest size as most photos aren’t even viewed as full screen size let alone 100%.

Quality may be as high if not better than iStock but I don’t see an easy way form them to check unlike the the iStock approval process (I will leave them to figure out the technology to do this, but a photo with 100+ faves may actually have noise at 100% or have a sensor spots or a persons face in the background). 

This brings me to my last point which is this new portfolio wont have people shots.  Flickr is a community site so photographers will upload photos of people – however, they wont get model releases for them as they have no current need to.  And since this is an invite only scheme, you are not going to go to the hassle of getting model releases, removing noise etc if the chance of your photo being noticed and invited in is small.

The real benefit in this scheme is for Getty.  If they have buyers for a type of photo, but don't have that type of photo, they will search Flickr on the buyers behalf and then take a 60%-80% commission for selling it where as currently, the buyer doesn’t find it on Getty so goes to Flickr and buys it direct from the photographer.

For more commentary from difference perspectives see:

Lee Torens (microstock photographer) here

Thomas Hawk (Flickr power users) here and here

PDN Pulse (photography news) here

Techcrunch (Tech news) here

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Saturday, 5 July 2008

Plagiarised photos

I found an interesting post at PDNpulse about Blog readers catch Plagerizing Photographer.

It was quite interesting as the readers of the blog identified that a photographer was copying photos taken by other photographers.  there was an uproar (maybe an overstatement) and the photographer has taken the photos down.

Makes you wonder about microstock.  Do a search for jumping fish and you will find photos taken by Yuri, G Cohen, khz, velychko, K Brown, mikdam, lisagagne (I stopped looking but I am sure there were more and that was only searching shutterstock and istock).  Did anyone notice two of the biggest names in microstock in that list. 

None of microstock versions that I linked to above are exact copies like the ones listed in blog above, but they are very close.  So how far can you go with derivative works?

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Friday, 4 July 2008

Do professional photographers struggle with microstock?

Lee Torrens has posted a great blog on the 10 reasons why professional photographers often struggle with microstock.  Lee makes some great points so go have a read.  It is getting some good comments as well. 

I think the biggest one is #10 They want microstock to fail.  Of course they do.  They have gone from selling photos for $100s if not $1000s of dollars and are now getting 30c.  But in some cases the photos isn’t worth $100.  A picture of an apple is not worth that much and that has stopped small businesses using photography in their publications (see here)


Lees article was also picked up at PDNPulse with their blog “Do professionals want microstock to fail” which despite the title, focuses on reason #4 Do you know who I am? and discusses the point that all the reputation and respect they have built up in the industry disappears when they have to compete on an equal footing with amateurs with point and shoot cameras (my words not the articles).

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Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Microstock Photography results for June 2008

Another slow month – slower than last month.  I uploaded about 10 photos at all sites which seemed to pick Shutterstock up but the rest are just falling into the mid year slow down.  Have got some more photos ready to upload so will see if I can get some more up in July.

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

28% shutterstock
14% dreamtime
9% Fotolia
18% istockphoto
4% bigstockphoto
9% 123RF
16% StockXpert
2% Featurepics

Previous results for 2008:

May 2008 Earnings
April 2008 Earnings
March 2008 Earnings
Feb 2008 Earnings
Jan 2008 Earnings

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