You might notice a new little widget to the right of this page. I have recently joined the Pro Stock collection of Photoshelter. Photoshelter is a service that promotes the policy of ‘fair trade photography’. Let me explain a little, the last few years has seen a boom in the sales of Royalty Free imagery and microstock agencies. It is no secret that this policy has benefited very few professional photographers and sites like iStock Photo which sell images for pittance turn around and give photographers a pittance of that pittance. The big boys in the stock industry, (Corbis and Getty) have welcomed the huge increase of amateur photographers that are willing to sell their images for nothing, and in the process have effectively cut the bottom out of the stock market and making it much harder to make any money on stock.
It is nothing new that our industry is changing and many of us, including myself, welcome that change. We must adapt and diversify but the microstock and Royalty Free has certainly brought the quality of our work down. A photographer that I respect greatly, Vincent Laforet, has more to say on the state of our industry here.
So we get things like Photoshelter and Digital Railroad. Both which offer photographers the option to set their prices and receive respectful amount of the final sale price (70% and 80%) respectively. It is my hope that more and more art buyers that are searching for stock imagery will recognize this effort of ‘fair trade photography’ and use more of these two services.
If you wish to see what I have in the collection, click on it below or on the right. I am in the process of adding plenty more so check back.