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.