Newfangled works with independent agencies to create lead development web platforms for their clients.

Newfangled works with independent agencies to create lead development web platforms for their clients.

Show Me The Money

at 10:38 AM

3D glasses!

The stock photo companies are desperate for my money. How do I know this? The evidence is all the promotional stuff they send me.

Just today I received a package from Jupiter Images. It was a plastic eyeglass case with 3D glasses inside. The included insert directed me to their website where I could look at images from their collection that had been enhanced by another company to be viewed in 3D. So I went to their site and dutifully viewed the slide show. Hey, they sent me free stuff, right? Why wouldn't I oblige by giving them ten minutes of my time?

Then there are the countless mailings from Veer. Most of them are beautifully designed, lavishly produced booklets that feature Veer's photos and typefaces in some elaborate narrative such as, "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" or "Great Architectural Masterpieces of the World Reconstructed in Type." I worked as a print designer for several years and I know how expensive it can be to produce and mail these pieces.

So why are these stock photo companies wasting my time? Don't they know I have to scrape together the cheapest, most overused stock imagery for my projects because most of my clients don't have a stock photography budget? I would looove to license some of the rights-managed images from sites like Getty and Corbis but I have a hard enough time convincing my clients to spend $49.95 on an image, let alone $495.00.

Here's my idea. Instead of sending me 3D glasses or a 45 page booklet on the history of the internet, the stock companies should take the money they blow on promotional mailings and lower the prices of their images. Or, better yet, send me the money and then I can afford to purchase an image that hasn't been seen in every magazine, newspaper and online ad for the past three years.

Now you'll excuse me, I need to go see what cnn.com looks like in 3D.

Comments

Justin | March 10, 2011 2:04 PM
KC,

I meant no disrespect to professional photographers. I admire the quality work they produce and that quality is worth reasonable compensation.

But buyers of photography have taken on a fast-food mentality: quick, cheap and filling.

I've had the pleasure of working with professional photographers and the quality of work and attentiveness to detail goes way beyond what you could hope for in a stock image. But "money talks" as the saying goes, and 98% of our clients are hesitant to expand their project budgets to include custom photography.

It's similar to a client choosing between paying a professional designer $5,000 to develop a corporate identity and buying a generic logo for $50 from pixellogo.com.
KC | March 10, 2011 1:30 PM
Justin,

As a working photographer since 82, I can assure you that making those images can be a significant investment, and we need to be compensated for it. There is overhead, expenses to make those images, and various other expenses involved.

Royalty-free stock houses have already turned stock imagery into a commodity, so most of the new images are coming from hobbyists, and the quality isn't there.

The higher quality imagery is made by seasoned pros, and we cannot afford to give our work away. It is how we pay the bills and put food on the table. If your clients want that level of photography, then they need to understand that is like any other high quality item, and they need to pay for it.

Best,

KC

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