Is the end of microstock near?

Is the end of microstock near? It probably is. The day photographers will not be able to pay for the their computer connection is near and I try to explain why:

Agencies database are getting bigger and bigger to compete with each other, if you slow down or do not upload for a while your picture portfolio will be diluted among millions more pictures and you will have fewer and fewer downloads

the price per download due to subscription and competition is going down and down and more serious photographers find it increasingly difficult to survive.

many photographs are given free by agencies to attract clients others are stolen for lack of proper control,

and I could go on and on.

What to do?

Is there anything that can be done? Probably there is.

Clear all agency database of rubbish pictures which do not sell in a year they must be millions,

Introduce a very high quality control for the incoming uploads to make a stronger reputation,

rise price to give better value to photographers for their hard work and allow them to invest in better equipment.

Is this too utopistic? I do not think so. In any case doing nothing will surely be much worse.

Photo credits: Luis2007.

Your article must be written in English

August 14, 2012


Keep on doing the good work, rest God will take care.

August 13, 2012


There are hundreds of thousands of "punters" out there. They just think they might be able to make a quick buck. Even if they don't just the ego stroke of having a sale or two will satisfy them.

The result being that stock sites get to keep the punters' money, since they will never make enough for a payout. (******** actively encourages punters, probably for this very reason.)

Meanwhile, serious contributors find their work crowded out by the marginal work, and occasional "lucky shots" of punters.

It doesn't help that publishers are using fewer illustrations and photos. Heck, look at book covers! They're nothing but text and a few blocks of color, probably knocked together by the in-house "designer" who probably also doubles as the proofreader.

August 13, 2012


I guess you are right but I don't see an end soon, I think those with more creativity or that have more specialized images will continue to do great. In my case I sell images for fun and as a hobbie, since I have a construction company to live from.

August 13, 2012


It's only contribuitor fault because accept that kind of policy from stock agencies so if we don't do nothing why they should do it?Is the same policy in every business:More for them less for us/bad vs good/black and white etc.Take it or leave it

August 13, 2012


Hi there,

Very pessimistic view. I wrote a funny essay about this subject here on DT blogs. If anybody cares to read.
my blog

August 12, 2012


What's being offered quantity or quality? At some point the race to have the largest number of images becomes drop in quality of service because buyers have to wade through so many images. I'd rather see an agency clean out poor images then drop commissions. Encourage with $$ rather than reward with acceptance. Acceptance is for the hobbiest. Pros who produce consistently and are in it for the long run want to see sales.

August 12, 2012


Yes, There is no doubt. Even the professional photographer working on assignment start to have difficulties. As the photography is my hobby. my company starts to ask to replace the professional photographer to cover some events which are not crucial. I am already taking to job of the professional photographer. The thing is there is more and more people capable to capture quality picture although they have a little bite of editing skill to remove the noise etc...

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