PHOTO NEWS from
first Modern eZine combining Stock Photography
important for picture buyers and image providers.'
From the Editor
Google is changing the whole web
Sublime layout with one picture
The Future of the Stock Photo Industry.
Guest article by Ron Rovtar, The Stock Asylum
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Blog about Stock Photography
Since last SPN
Archive of earlier issues of Stock Photo News at
Subscription information at the end of this ezine.
issue of Stock Photo News (SPN) is pumped with
important information for all involved in using pictures,
producing pictures and how marketing aspects are
future of the stock photo industry is
discussed in the substantial article: 'The Future of
Stock Photo Industry' by guest author Ron Rovtar.
all need to take the challenge of globalization
seriously and on the international information highway
of the biggest players is Google. Read carefully the
on how Google is changing the web with important issues
marketing, income and how to prosper online.
of the stock photo agencies, photo directories and
photo websites have been using websites with a black
background. The black background is the best to emphasize
the quality of most photos. But the trend is continuing
from the black to a white background.
communication with the customer and website visitor
in words has proven more important than how optimal
pictures are being shown. At the same time it underlines
what I have been stating many times, that it is the
not the pictures, that sells and accordingly the web
is as important online as the pictures. And from the
perspective of the search engines, the text is the only
important part of a website.
the other hand we know so well how influential pictures
on a printed or online page can be.
An article outlines some possibilities for 'Sublime
layout with one picture'.
this issue of SPN I introduce a permanent paragraph
SINCE LAST SPN that I will use to give some more personal
information and update, including some technical advice.
It will be the last piece of information in each issue
the bottom of SPN. Please tell me if you like it.
As the server for my archive <http://www.StockPhotoNews.com>
will be changed soon, please come again if you cannot
through when you try first time.
The SPN archive is going to be completely reorganized,
enjoy reading Stock Photo News!
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IS CHANGING THE WHOLE WEB
you aware of how much Google is changing the web in
profound way? No, I am not thinking on Goggle's eminent
search results and how Google has outperformed all other
search engines. I am referring to the profit generating
capacity of Google.
know that the original inventors and owners of Google
have become very rich. The first round of shareholders
become wealthy, too, after Google was introduced on
reason is mainly the huge potential of Goggle's ability
to provide advertisements targeted to specific target
groups: The Adwords are paid by the advertisers to get
front of their potential customers with text ads, and
Adsense system lets website owners profit from showing
ads. A whole industry of tools and websites has emerged
linked to these possibilities and how to optimize the
you remember that for a few years ago the online
advertising was completely dominated by banner advertising?
A website needed hundreds of thousands of visitors to
just a few bucks from showing these banners. The reason
1. The banner campaigns weren't targeted,
2. People learnt soon to avoid the banners, because
smelled too much of advertisement, and
3. The most important reason, the pay per click was
each click on Goggle's ads can give the website owner
several dollars depending on the website content. In
some Adwords are paid with unbelievable many dollars
most others deliver much lower payment).
all cases these targeted ads, based on selection of
targeted keywords, have a much, much higher potential
for generation of income than traditional banner
advertising ever had.
Google is sharing the income from the ads half and half
with the website owner. Clever website owners get an
incredible potential for an additional income stream.
must admit, that my income from Google's ads on my main
photo website http://www.azFOTOS.com
is soon becoming
more important than my revenue from sold stock photos
through the website.
don't like it but that's the case, and I just introduced
the Google ads as an experiment in the beginning of
Especially I don't like that my visitors are clicking
competition and are offered stock photos to a much lower
price than what I ask for. This is a dilemma. On the
hand if around 5% of my visitors are clicking I keep
of the visitors and the result is that my total income
raised substantial anyway.
improve the Adsense revenue from any website you need
know a number of facts.
You need to know which relevant keywords are the most
profitable to target on each webpage to have ads shown
that will generate the best income. Learn more about
addition you need to know how to optimize the use of
Goggle's ads to maximize visitors' use of the ads. The
thing is that Google allows you to follow how your Google
ads are performing and what your income is in real time.
I got a little ebook in the spring and when I followed
few of the tips I improved the income considerable,
was paid in a few days. You find the ebook here
the potential income from Google ads is so huge
thousands of websites are being redesigned to get their
share of this wealth. And what will be even more
influential, many of the 'marketing gurus' are busy
up new niche websites targeted at getting the highest
revenue from Google ads by finding the niches with the
highest paid keywords shown here:
will return to such systems and their influence on the
stock photo industry, and on marketing in general in
coming issue of Stock Photo News.
LAYOUT WITH ONE PICTURE
to get the most out of using just a single picture
(photo or art) on a page? The page can be a page in
magazine, a book, a folder /announcement or a web page.
just one photo or picture may be seen as a challenge.
But the difference and impression between using no pictures
and a single picture is much bigger than the difference
between one picture and several pictures on a page,
whatever printed material or online webpage.
sublime layout with pictures has nothing to do with
number of pictures but how they are used.
inspired for your desktop publishing and web page layout
by the following ideas and tips.
A full page picture on the left page
A full page picture on the left page in a magazine,
folder or book is a simple and functional layout.
If possible choose a picture that directs the attention
towards the text at the right page and be careful to
a really appealing picture of good technical quality.
A picture as a whole page background
A picture as a background on a printed page can look
The real challenge is to find a picture that fits with
text on parts of it. The part of the picture that is
covered by text shouldn't have any structure and the
mustn't be aggressive. A thin blue sky will often be
choice if it matches the message.
The effect will be improved if a few small white clouds
hang around but do not let them interfere with the text.
Do not compromise with these aspects of interference
between structures in the picture and the text.
If the text is partly on an uneven background many potential
readers will avoid it or get a lower level of retention.
pictures on commercial websites have dropped
dramatically due to this effect.
One big picture on a page
The classic layout with a combination of text and a
picture on a page is a functional but quite boring layout.
The surface of the page covered by the picture might
be a half of the page on the top, or at the bottom or
vertical picture to one of the sides.
Putting the picture in the centre of the page with
the text waved around may look much more attractive.
One small picture on the page
A small picture or especially a very small picture alone
on a page should be treated with great care.
Not to say that any picture wouldn't help with the look
and feel. But the point is that just one small picture
may add a lot of attraction to a text page if used wisely.
Because of its small size the picture should have
- a simple object and message.
- If it is in black and white it is even more important.
- a few and strong colors, mostly one color is fine.
Red and yellow can be fine as an 'accent'
but may also be too aggressive.
Clear blue or green may be excellent too.
The interaction between the font and the picture
Be careful with the choice of font for the text, if
any influence on that. Especially how the title looks
with the chosen font and how it interact with the
picture is important.
Where to get the pictures
You can find hundreds of thousands of professional stock
photos including royalty-free photos at picture agencies
that have a good reputation.
small sized pictures the price is very modest in
you have a very slim budget and you are not too ambitious
with your products you will find cheap photos too, by
searching for "stock photos" or fotos in Google.
the following article.
To include just one picture on a printed page or a web
will enhance the layout of the page considerably.
You might even be able to produce a sublime layout with
your desktop publishing. Your goal should be to hit
interaction between the photo and the arrangement of
FUTURE OF THE STOCK PHOTO INDUSTRY
exactly is the stock photography industry headed
during the next ten to 15 years?
somewhere very different from where it is
today. If changes during the last decade have been
phenomenal, those that occur between now and the year
will be breathtaking.
as we discussed in previous articles, the stock
industry's future may be very different from what many
industry experts predict. Most of us -- experts included
crave an orderly universe that behaves like the theoretical
objects described by Sir Isaac Newton's First Law of
moving object, Newton told us, continues moving in the
same direction at the same speed unless acted on by
outside force. A clean and understandable explanation
until you get to those last seven words.
Like it or not, the world is filled with "outside
stock industry is no exception.
on current "motion" within the industry, many
observers believe big stock distributors will continue
strengthen their hold on the stock industry. Many think
traditional royalty-free will slowly eat away at
rights-managed image sales. However, as we noted in
first two articles of this series, things are not always
first article (click here: :
) suggested that
industry consolidations may just be the market's effort
clean up what is left of an old business paradigm, perhaps
stabilizing it under the auspices of a few larger
companies. The article proposed that the rapid spread
technology (an "outside force") could create
efficient paths to the market and may soon let independent
stock photographers bypass traditional distributors
second article (click here:
) argued that the
market for royalty-free imagery is, for several reasons,
probably peaking. Pressure from subscription services,
inability to control theft of royalty-free content,
changes in the kinds of images demanded by graphic
designers, publishers and advertising firms were among
we look at four additional changes that probably will
occur during the same 10- to 15-year time period and
up this series with a few observations.
Freelance photographers will shake off the creative
malaise of the last few years and again shoot for the
creative joy of it. They will produce high-quality,
work that can demand higher prices.
is doubtful that the first five years of the third
millennium will be known for the creative brilliance
advertising, design or photography.
by the bursting technology bubble, terrorist attacks,
war, and a splintering mass media, we've all retreated
the safety of the tried and true.
photography libraries are bulging with millions of
look-alike images, many of which were (or could have
created ten years ago. More than half the ads in the
November edition of Wired magazine (once an irreverent
trendsetter) could have run in the latest Businessweek
for all the new ground they break. The same was true
number of the Wired editorial images.
creates a basic marketing dilemma for freelance
photographers. On the one hand, the market demands nothing
especially new. On the other hand, the returns from
mass-produced product are always less than the returns
crafted products. When photo-hobbyists can offer reasonably
good facsimiles of professional images for $1 on cheapo
sites, when high-output production companies can create
similar images without breaking a sweat, the price of
imagery drops for everybody.
that is exactly what we have seen during the last few
photographers and their customers will (are
already starting to) realize this, and we will see some
very new looks emerge over the next decade as freelancers
rev their engines and put some pavement between themselves
and everyone else.
Stock distributors will continue their experiment with
wholly owned imagery, but will find it a mixed bag.
this: go to the guy who owns your local hardware store.
Tell him that from now on you will supply all his nails,
screws, faucets electrical products, ductwork, tools,
accessories and just about everything else he sells.
get this -- he doesn't have to pay you for anything
he sells it.
huge grin will spread across this merchant's face. It
should. You just made his life a whole lot easier. No
bank loans to buy inventory. No more worries about product
left over at the end of a season. Even recessions become
manageable. No more deep store-wide sales just to earn
enough money to pay the bank notes on time!
your own inventory is, at best, a mixed blessing.
stock suppliers, who, until recently, have mostly
sold images owned by photographers, seem intent on creating
large parts of their own inventories.
distributors feel they need wholly-owned content for
their new subscription services. At the same time, some
want to own more of the traditional royalty-free and
rights-managed content as well.
the jury is still out on subscriptions. No one really
knows how well these services will pay off in the long
while owning your rights-managed and traditional
royalty-free imagery means collecting more money from
sale, it also means eating the costs of creating, scanning,
keywording, uploading and managing all the duds.
also means the distributors own the images when they
out of style, a process that starts almost as soon as
collection is uploaded to the web and accelerates for
several years thereafter. While some images stay current
for years, many become unsalable because of trends,
aesthetic styles within photography and changes in the
world we live in.
example, the computers and cell phones of today all
look considerably different from those popular just
years ago. Shoot an image of the lower Manhattan skyline
today and it will be pretty much useless when they finally
build something to replace the World Trade Center.
for stock distributors, there is one risk that a
hardware store owner never has to deal with -- complacency.
you own many of the images in your library, it is very
hard to remove those going out of style, especially
still sell to a portion of the buying public that doesn't
notice change quickly. You want to wring every last
of revenue out of them.
could be argued that this is what happened to Comstock,
which, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, led the charge
create imagery strictly for stock uses. Much of that
Comstock work was wholly-owned.
was an industry high-flyer for a while, but it
appeared that management could not bring itself to replace
some of the early best-sellers, leaving the entire
collection slightly out-of-synch with the last two-thirds
of the high-flying 1990s.
the time Jupitermedia finally bought Comstock last year,
it was worth $21 million, no mere pittance, but certainly
not what other good second-tier distributors have brought
during this recent round of consolidations. PictureArts,
for example, went to Jupitermedia for more than $63
while Getty Images purchased Photonica and Iconica for
will, of course, make money with wholly-owned
imagery much as hardware stores make money selling the
inventory on their shelves. But, the distributors may
make a lot more money than they did when photographers
owned the images and any additional revenues may not
worth the hassles of ownership.
have to see how this turns out.
Motion imagery will start replacing stills for many
one is easy.
beats still photography hands down when it comes to
attracting attention. Who doesn't want to attract
goes almost without saying that, as the internet speeds
up, allowing for rapid downloads of video clips, we
certainly will see much more attention paid to this
But, motion also will start appearing in other places
reserved for still photography.
essentially paper thin computer screens, will bring
motion to numerous venues once reserved for still images
(click here for previous article). Technology will
increasingly allow for the use of video in stores, on
billboards and maybe even in the brochures at your local
experimentation with motion increases, still photography
will become a little less desirable and, perhaps, less
expensive. But, motion probably won't take over big
until after the ten- to 15-year period we are concerned
with here, unless technological change happens more
it will take some time for advertisers and publishers
to figure out how to properly integrate motion and print.
Motion, for all its strengths, can be very distracting
readers. While video can feed us information with little
effort on our part, we get more information more quickly
from reading. It will take a little while to figure
to put the two together in ways that really make the
use of each medium. That's the challenge for designers,
editors and ad firms.
photographers, the challenge will be in making the
transition. Not all still photographers will be good
video, just like some black and white shooters couldn't
handle color well. In the long run, the transition will
shake up some things, but could become a new revenue
for both freelancers and distributors -- especially
prices for high definition video recording equipment
to reasonable levels, which they will.
Simplified rights-managed photography licensing will
become a reality.
what some folks think, rights-managed stock
photography is not going away. But, licensing it should
will get easier.
Picture Licensing Universal System (Plus) recently
published its glossary of picture licensing terms. As
glossary is adopted by licensing entities, both buyers
sellers will find it significantly easier to negotiate
kinds of image transactions simply because everybody
be using the same language -- a condition that does
the jargon straight (and putting it in a form that
can be legally binding in an agreement) is a great first
to compete with easier and often cheaper royalty-free
and subscription offerings, distributors must either
live person back into the sales process or simplify
whole rights-managed transaction.
really is not a difficult process if a
living person guides buyers through it. And, while buyers
can call distributors for help, many potential
rights-managed clients don't bother to pick up the phone
they simply look for a quicker, easier-to-buy royalty-free
executive at a large stock supplier recently suggested
one solution -- a box with a live image of an account
executive in the buyers browser window. Audio capabilities
would, of course, also be included.
might work, as might a simple instant messaging system,
though most distributors will cringe at the thought
paying for necessary staff increases.
with or without more human interaction, a simpler
licensing process would certainly do a lot to polish
rights-managed model. And distributors will take a look
this in the upcoming years. Expect systems that require
less information from buyers and some with default settings
broad enough that few buyers will need to change them.
example, the defaults might allow for print runs up
100,000 pieces, with distribution in North and Central
America for 365 days. This would cover a very high
percentage of normal print uses. If the design or ad
already has an account with the distributor, then the
remaining information needed will be about the end user,
which should be relatively easy to type in.
variations will likely be tried during the next few
years while distributors figure out the best approaches.
you've read this series of three articles, you may have
come to this conclusion -- that the future of stock
photography is about options for buyers, photographers
rights-managed, royalty-free, subscription services
and low-cost, dollar-an-image web sites, buyers already
have many options. More will come online each year for
foreseeable future. Just last week, The Stock Asylum
received a release from a company called Fotolia. Every
time someone licenses a Fotolia image, the price for
image goes up. It may seem like an odd approach, but
clearly another buying option.
are also seeing new options for bringing
images to market. Not only can they shoot for each of
various sales models listed above, but they now can
between traditional sales agreements that pay when image
licenses are sold and production contracts that pay
delivery of the images. In addition, they can sell through
traditional distributors, who still have the most market
muscle, but who pay a lower percentage of the sales
or they can place images on one of the new portals and
a higher percentage of the sale price, but probably
fewer sales, at least for the next few years.
there are the distributors, some of whom already
partake of several options, selling rights-managed,
royalty-free and subscriptions at the same time. Some
distributors still form traditional (pay upon licensing)
arrangements with some photographers, while hiring
production shooters to create wholly-owned content.
is, however, a clear division between the traditional
companies and the new portals. Few businesses offer
these options at the same time. Logically, they are
mutually exclusive, but they do require very different
should be noted, however, is that nothing about this
evolution of stock photography is especially unusual
larger world of business. With time, many products split
into two or more competing products, providing options
the consuming public. Once there was radio. Then there
radio and television. Then television split into broadcast,
cable and satellite with huge increases in programming.
radio is available from satellites, the internet and
computers spawned personal computers, which gave
birth to laptops and PDA's.
is inevitable. In the modern world of business, that
often means greater specialization and more options.
should we expect anything different from stock photography?
The digital age is about opening doors. It has opened
of doors during the last ten to 15 years, creating some
distinct winners and losers. It will open more during
next ten to 15, reshuffling the cards once again.
change also closes some doors as we discover what
ultimately works and what doesn't. It is possible that
stock photography business and/or sales models will
disappear entirely. And that is why there seems to be
low-grade anxiety spreading through the industry. No
creator or distributor of imagery wants to get slammed
one of those closing doors, but nobody knows for sure
doors, if any, those will be.
Ron Rovtar is Managing Editor of The Stock Asylum,
Read his first article
about the general development in the stock photo industry
and his second article about the development especially
in the royalty-free segment of the stock photo industry:
TO YOUR SITE
more high quality links you can get to your site, the
higher page rank you will get in Google and the more
visitors you will get to your website.
I just came across a new f*ree directory “Write
with a new approach.
The idea is that when you submit your site you will
write quite a lot of unique text explaining about your
service and website. As part of that you will be able
make some text links with your important keywords, and
will help you in Google, too.
page rank of this new directory is still very low
and normally we should prefer to have links from higher
ranking websites than our own.
But if you have a new website, or just need more text
links, this might be well worth trying out. I am going
submit a few new sites.
I feel quite sure that this new concept of a directory
is also an example of how Goggle's Adsense program is
influencing the web, as mentioned in the former article.
You come to this new directory here:
you are tired of all the work with signing up for
descriptions to get links Google Page Rank and traffic
the most important web directories you can make use
service that will get your site indexed in around 200
script will take you to each directory and facilitate
the submission process and make sure that it isn't smelling
of a machine generated submission.
WEB HOSTING HISTORY CONSIDERED 2
from Stock Photo News issue 18 I can add to my
history of using different web hosting options that
now signed up with a web hosting provider that accept
330 GB of monthly data transfer with storage of 15 GB
web content. These are excellent figures for photo
websites and other sites with many graphics and heavy
process went faster than I have experienced with any
other host. I will in the future add more domains to
one I got free as part of the hosting service - up to
domains can be hosted extra without cost.
have never come across any offer for web hosting fitting
better to my needs than this. The price is considerably
lower than I have paid for much less service and there
is a 99.98% uptime guarantee.
you remember the ticket number 14892
get an extra 500 MB space by following this link:
ABOUT STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY
news are now available about the stock photography
busines and tools for photographers and picture researchers
has been several months since I last edited an issue
SPN for you. As usual I have been traveling quite a
this period I have been traveling to different countries
Europe, around in South Africa, to Ecuador with the
Galapagos Islands and to Taiwan and Thailand. The outcome
has been thousands of high quality stock photos.
a few years I have concentrated completely on
digital photography. The digital work flow is very
different from the work flow with analog (film)
photography, and more satisfying, not least from the
of view of stock photography.
of the main issues of digital photography is to have
appropriate systems for storage of all the digital
pictures. I use mainly hard disks and especially hard
drives from Maxtor of the line 'One Touch' when I am
home'. These have a very good reputation among
professionals according to my information, and they
handy and nice. They come with a combination of Firewire
and USB2 connections that makes the transfer fast and
move to digital means that I have had a lot of unused
photo equipment I have been selling or giving away.
only recommend photographers, studios and agencies to
the same as quick as possible as the small price achievable
at the moment soon will disappear completely.
my experience the need for using a combination of medium
format cameras and the digital equivalent of 35 mm cameras
has ceased for the stock photo industry. Earlier I was
overloaded with at least two sets of camera gear, not
mention the days when I shot color and B&W parallel
quest now is more to have the newest and best available
digital equipment and to get rid of the former generations
of the cameras in time.
available digital SLR cameras have mainly been using
smaller chip than the 24 x 36 size we have been used
from 35 mm film cameras. The magnification factor of,
1.6 x, has been a blessing with some kinds of photography,
like bird photography, but a serious draw-back for most
kinds of stock photography with wide angle shooting
needed for interesting perspectives.
newly released Canon EOS 5D SLR camera is a full frame
digital camera in a rather slim body which will fill
present need for many Canon photographers
- more details here:
described in the article above Goggle's advertising
system is having a profound effect on thousands of websites
and the distribution of online generated income. Since
SPN I have tried to dig into these mechanisms and to
sure that they only have a beneficial influence on my
online activities. I will inform you in future SPN issues
about what I learn.
a grandfather with four wonderful grandchildren my
travels abroad have underlined the incredible development
of small children, especially visible when I come home
after a few weeks work abroad.
also the children's day to day achievements of new
skills are a fantastic world to witness and take part
have been so lucky to have one of the young families
staying with us for 5 months with the less than 1 year
Filip. From (very) early morning to early evening he
walking around with a big, charming smile and very busy
fingers - everywhere.
STOCK PHOTO NEWS
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THANK YOU! / Soren
2005 by Soren Breiting, A-Z FOTOS.
"Find Stock Photos from most of the World"
Email me at: sb@ azfotosTAKETHISAWAY.com (email spaced
etc to avoid email harvesters).
are welcome to forward this newsletter to a friend or
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Photo News is 'in principle' a monthly newsletter
edited by me, Soren Breiting.
Due to many travels abroad it is impossible for me to
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