Stock photography has long been seen as the perfect sideline business for photographers of all levels: a way to put a selection of their images to work ‘hands-free’, while they get on with their day to day.
In recent years the industry has changed significantly though, and things can look pretty bleak for a photographer wanting to sell their photography as stock.
Does any of that sound familiar?
I hear it all the time from photographers I talk to, from long-time pros to the newbies. Even the guys at the big-name libraries tell me they’re doing it tough. Other photographers looking at getting into stock for the first time tell me they’ve heard all these same doom-and-gloom stories and wonder if they can really make a go of it as a ‘newbie’?
Well the fact is, the industry has changed dramatically in the last 10-15 years and stock photography has been getting a lot of bad press…
But most of that negativity has come from the old-hand stock photographers who remember how things used to be.
So it helps if you know where they’re coming from.
For a long time stock has seen a simple, passive business… drop a few photos into library or two and wait around for the sales.
And for a while there it worked a treat…
In the early days that’s all anyone did and we all saw some amazing results.
Photographers everywhere made big, regular sales, almost without trying.
That was just one brief window in time though.
It was a brief period at the dawn of the internet when the online demand for photos was really starting to skyrocket and the industry was busy trying to catch up.
For a while there we really did have it easy and a lot of photographers made a lot of money.
But then even more photographers decided it was time to get into stock…
And a lot more libraries decided they wanted a piece of the action as well…
At the same time digital cameras got cheaper and better…
And even more photographers thought they had what it took to sell stock photography.
Amateur and pro alike came in thinking that this was how it always had been… big money and easy sales.
And they assumed that was how it always would be.
Well for better or worse, that window in time closed almost as quickly as it opened.
The mainstream Stock Libraries won’t tell you that though, because for them, stock is now a mass-distribution business and they need as many photographers as possible to keep submitting as many images as possible.
It a high-volume, low-margin business model that works great for the libraries, but leaves the photographers with little to show for their efforts…
It’s not all doom-and-gloom, but it’s not easy to make sense of either…
Obviously prices are down, competition is high, and many photographers are doing it tough…
but the demand for photography has never been higher?
Many experienced & talented photographers are walking away from stock altogether…
but some of our members are achieving their bests results ever?
Most photos buyers MUST know they can get free or super-cheap images all over the internet,
but we still get dozens of new RM buyers registering every week.
So while a lot of people will try to tell you the stock photography industry is dead or dying, I’m just not convinced.
The problem is too many photographers try apply an outdated business model on an industry that has moved on…
Too many photographers hang on to the idea that they should be able to make money selling stock without any real effort…
Too many photographers delude themselves that the big corporate libraries still view them partners, and then get upset when they find they’re totally expendable in the new business model.
Like it or not, the stock photography industry has changed.
Photography has become a commodity to the big stock houses… and to a lot of buyers… and as a result, these people view photographers as faceless content suppliers. Totally expendable links in the supply chain.
So you can either play by their rules to try and join their race to the bottom.
Or you can recognise that these mass distributors are only catering to one part of the market… the bottom end mostly… and you can develop your own strategy to target other parts of the market.
Which is why we encourage a more hands-on approach if you want to sell your photos in this new-look marketplace with any sort of regularity.
We also encourage you to look at ‘stock sales’ as just one part of a complete photography business.
The irony is, that’s exactly how it always used to be!
… before it got transformed into just another internet get-rich-quick machine.
Before the internet, stock photography was mostly a sideline… just one part of a photographer’s business. A convenient, passive revenue stream… but just one part of the whole.
And at GlobalEye & OzImages, that’s what we’ve been helping photographers create, for over 15 years now.
We offer stock library representation, but our complete business approach goes far beyond just putting a few photos in a library waiting around for sales!
Obviously we’re a stock library, but what some people miss is, we’ve actually got a whole network of stock library and photography websites with a combined 21,000+ registered photo buyers. So when you submit your images they are automatically promoted across all our websites, to all our Clients, multiplying your exposure and results many times over with no extra work.
You get a professional web presence on each of these stock library sites, so you can choose the one you want to use as your main brand, and focus your own promotions there. This multi-site approach means our network gets wide exposure and maintains a broad client base for more consistent performance in an erratic industry.
We offer a unique Content-Based marketing system for your photography that effectively slices through the competition and gets you found first for your key subjects. This first viewing is major for online sales…
If you want the good prices for your photography, all you need do is show your images to quality buyers before they even get to the cheap rubbish.
When you show a buyer exactly what they need as soon as they start looking, you can make the good sales happen with amazing regularity!
And when you make a photo buyer contact with GlobalEye you can add them to your own personal Client List, so they are your contact ‘for life’.
We believe this is an essential asset for any business so we give you full direct access to your buyers. This means you can develop relationships and go back to them anytime with new material and fresh ideas, to generate your own sales on demand!
You also get a slew of prospecting tools to help you grow your Client List. One single buyer who regularly needs images of the subjects you shoot can easily add thousands of dollars to your business every year, so we give pro-active tools and passive systems to seek out and connect with these buyers.
And that’s barely scratching the surface!
You see, what we offer here is a complete package with all the tools you need to build a sustainable and profitable photography business.
It will be based around your stock library catalogue, but it’s totally geared towards developing a complete business, with multiple revenue streams and a targeted list of loyal Clients.
wordpress theme by initheme.com