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filmscanners: OT:Stock Photos (was: What is 4,000 scanner quality like in practice.



Art wrote:

>This is a twist in the discussion which could lead to a lot of potential
disagreement.

Yes, I *thought* it might, so I guess I'll just stay and face the music...or
the firing squad, as it were. :-)

>Some photographers do very, very well in creating stock images. (seven
figures a year), most do considerably poorer than that.  <clip>
>There has to be big money in some aspect of stock image distribution, or
you wouldn't see the incredible amounts of stock
and cash transfers as smaller agencies ar being swallowed up by the likes of
Bill Gates (Corbis) and Getty Industries.

That, in fact, was my point. I recall an incident in St.Louis where we were
doing a "trial thing" for Busch Stadium (home of the Cardinals), who was
just then trying to get their Digital Scoreboard to show non-video pictures
(i.e. computer-generated)--to whit, a flash-card presentation of St.Louis
landmarks at the beginning of the game. Why they picked us, I don't know--I
think it was probably because we were the low bidders--or maybe the boss
made a deal for seats! ;-)

Now, this kind of assignment is *hand-tailored* for stock photography! I
mean, the shots are *there*--they're used for post-cards, calendars,
Visitors Bureaus, everything. But bear in mind that *our* project is
experimental--we don't even know if we can DO it (and it turned out that we
couldn't with the computers we had at the time, but that's another story).

So I called up the major (and minor) stock houses--Comstock, American, et
al. They said, "Well, the stadium seats over 30,000 fans, right?" "OK,
yeah." "And how many home-games do they play?" "Duh, 75?" "Well, then," says
they, "that's 2,250,000 showings per year, and so your price for 12 pictures
will be..." and that's when I dropped the phone!

I mean, the price was many times the average day-rate of St.Louis
photographers at the time, and several times more than what Augie and the
boys wanted to pay us.  As it turned out, this was a break for a couple of
young St.Louis photographers who actually *wanted* to do stock photography,
who I paid the day-rate and said "Go take pictures of landmarks--have fun!"

My point being, "Who are the Stock Houses serving?" In this case, charging
New York publication prices meant that they didn't make the sale, nor could
they ever, in publication-poor St.Louis. I have no idea what a photographer
makes in relation to what his/her Stock House "agent" recieves for a
picture. If New York art galleries can be a criterion, probably 40% compared
to the agent's 60%, *if that*! All the while, the "agent" sits on its fat,
over-dressed collective arse and waits for the customer to come to them.
Well, thanks a lot for nothing, fellas!

So excuse me if you will for being a little "piqued," but I think somebody's
getting scr*wed here without getting kissed.
;-)

Best regards--LRA
--------------------------------------------------------------

Lynn Allen wrote:


> As a former Art Director, I don't think that "Stock" is an appropriate
> medium--it never was for my uses. "Almost" is not good enough in today's
> competition to stake one's career on. You
> need a photographer you know, who can get the results you need. While
stock
> *might* be a source of income for starting shooters, I think it's
overrated
> and overstated. But that's my opinion, and it doesn't cost you more
than the
> time it took you to read it.
>
> Best regards and good luck--LRA
>
>

This is a twist in the discussion which could lead to a lot of potential
disagreement.

I'll just make a few simple comments.

Some photographers do very, very well in creating stock images. (seven
figures a year), most do considerably poorer than that.  The top end
people spend a lot of time, energy materials and marketing on getting
"hot" images that can sell well in multiples, while still providing a
very unique look.  There has to be big money in some aspect of stock
image distribution, or you wouldn't see the incredible amounts of stock
and cash transfers as smaller agencies ar being swallowed up by the
likes of Bill Gates (Corbis) and Getty Industries.

Then again, I've got a few  great leads on some hot dot.com companies. ;-)

Art


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