Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Is Stock Photography Dead?

A pair of hands frame the sun peeking out from a stormy sky in a photo about hope and possibilities.  
Is stock photography dead, or is the sky really the limit?
My Top 100 Selling Stock Photos
Over the last year my top 100 selling stock photos (out of 8,000+ images) averaged $1,169.00 each.  Based on that statistic alone I would have to say that stock photography is still alive and well. True, it isn’t like the old days when the competition was thin and the return per image was off the charts, but nonetheless, I believe that it is evident that making a good living at stock photography is still an option.  It is also worth noting that I know a number of stock shooters who are both better photographers and more productive than I am.

Increased Productivity And A Wider Audience
While it is true that my stock income has dropped over the last five years, I am now optimistic that my income will actually start climbing again.  I base that on my own increased productivity of late, and also in the increasing exposure of my imagery to a larger audience, something I have Blend Images to thank for.  Blend is doing a great job expanding their potential client base by getting their images in front of not just a vast number of traditional art buyers, but also getting them in front of microstock audiences at traditional RF price points.  Certainly the success of the “Vetta” collection and the  “Agency Collection” at have proven that the microstock audience is willing to pony up for higher priced stock photos.

Now Is The Time To Create Imagery
If you are invested in stock photography, now is the time to be creating images. When the world’s economy eventually pulls out of the doldrums then all those images will serve you well.  Too, because of the long-term nature of the business, it is important to be constantly building your library of images, and in my opinion, to be building traffic to your web site for additional sales and exposure.

Quality, Quantity and Success
In the insanely competitive world of stock photography success is a blend (no pun intended) of quality and quantity and can only be the result of dedication, passion, and a long-term commitment (if nothing else, I’ve got that long-term part down).  With the ever increasing use of photography and better distribution it just may be that the sky is the limit!

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