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Old May 3rd, 2004, 11:05 PM
Tim L. Walker's Avatar
Tim L. Walker Tim L. Walker is offline
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istockphoto Sells $4million Photo Downloads/Year at $1 Each

Article: How istockphoto.com Sells $4,000,000 Photo Downloads Per Year at $1 Each

Summary: Every year art directors and designers spend several billion dollars on stock photography. Getty Images, the company with the largest marketshare, is predicting $600-$610 million for its own sales alone in 2004. Most stock photo houses require that any contributing photographer have 10,000-20,000 images in his or her portfolio, so, anyone outside of this elite group can't sell images. But, the digital camera boom has removed the barrier of having to understand the mysteries of the darkroom. Now, loads of people, from enthusiastic amateurs to professional photographers, have a collection of pretty good photos they'd like to sell. None of the services allowed designers and art directors to buy just the exact photo they wanted cheaply. Your choice was either buying a limited, static, collection of photos on a disc for a few hundred dollars; paying $399 or more for the use of one particular image; or buying a subscription to an online pool of photos for $500.

istockphoto.com wanted pricing so low that even art directors and designers on skintight budgets would be tempted to pop for photos, so prices range from fifty cents to $1.50 per photo downloaded. While none of istockphoto.com's participating photographers are making a full-time living from the site, in time this will change both because sales are rising and because photo libraries are evergreen content. Once you've posted enough quality photos for critical mass, you could make money off them for the rest of your life.

Question: Has anyone here submitted to istockphoto.com yet? Have you even heard about it? I don't think you'll make a killing from it unless you're taking and submitting 100's if not 1000's of photos, but still could help with a little extra cash. I'm curious to hear whether people think this is good or bad for the photography industry as a whole. Does it devalue what we do in allowing mostly amateurs to take business away from "full-time" photographers, or is it just good exposure and a good way to make a little extra money?
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Old May 5th, 2004, 11:01 PM
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stitchy626 stitchy626 is offline
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Actually I have downloaded images from there for some graphic design projects. They do have a huge selection of pictures. The composition is good also. I did try to submit my photos ( the ones that are not that great) But the scanes that I had were not that good so they would not accept them. I'll actually have to scan some better and try it again. I think you onlyget like $.10 for every download so you will not mak a living off ofit, butif you get a lot of downloads it is good for some extra cash
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Old May 5th, 2004, 11:05 PM
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Tim L. Walker Tim L. Walker is offline
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I was thinking of submitting some photos as well... if you have some good shots, even if you have, say 25 shots per month that are downloaded 10 times each, that's $25/month... imagine if you have 250 shots you uploaded each month?

I'm sure as they grow as well, so will the payouts... and, at the very least, gets your name out there a little bit. Are you going to try to submit some again?
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Old May 6th, 2004, 08:28 PM
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stitchy626 stitchy626 is offline
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I will eventually try it again.... and see what happens...
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Old May 6th, 2004, 08:33 PM
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It's always worth a try, right? Couple extra bucks... I wonder if sites like this are going to force professional photographers to change the way they do business with respect to selling stock photos and whatnot?
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Old May 9th, 2004, 04:09 PM
Dephie Dephie is offline
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You'd really have to take and submit a lot of pictures for it to be worth while, though... but I guess at the same time you can get your name out... it's always nice to see your work somewhere, too... imagine seeing your photograph in a magazine or something!
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Old June 17th, 2004, 11:27 PM
GerryDavid GerryDavid is offline
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Hehe, so appearantly you guys have heard about istock. Didnt know thish was here when I created my post.

In a way this is very bad for photographers because your only making $0.10 to $0.30 each and your giving them rights to use the picture for what ever they want for life.

But on the other hand these are amaturish photo's,and thier not that high in resolution. The bigger magazines with bigger budges will still go for the better quality photo's that they gotta pay much more for. So this is a good stepping stone in that sense.

There was a large uproar not to long ago when they increased thier prices. It use to be $0.50 for any photo any size, then they changed it to $0.50, $1, and $1.50. Double those prices if your not a member. But still its a great price. I think they should increase the prices by 10 full so the photographers are gettign $1, $2 and $3 each and the people are paying $5, $10, $15, which is still way cheaper than the alternates.
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Old June 17th, 2004, 11:32 PM
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Tim L. Walker Tim L. Walker is offline
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I think because there are so many amateur photographers out there that can take decent pictures, istockphoto won't need to pay photographers more... supply and demand... works against us in this case...
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Old June 17th, 2004, 11:36 PM
GerryDavid GerryDavid is offline
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Ya but if they raise the prices, they will be making more money as well. :0).
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Old June 17th, 2004, 11:46 PM
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Yeah, maybe... but then again, maybe they've found a good medium of buyers and sellers at their low prices... I'm sure it will adjust over the next couple of years, though...
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