Not Much Has Changed

by Rohn Engh - Date: 2006-12-06 - Word Count: 364 Share This!

Now that we have Google et al on our side, it's very easy for a photobuyer to flex their researching muscles and come up with a picture that just a decade ago would have been nearly impossible to find -- let alone license -- in an appropriate amount of time.

If you review publications from the last century, you'll notice photobuyers leaned toward making-do with easy-to-locate pictures (generic) that they slapped in the layout, and then moved on to the next project. Today's sophisticated reader expects more. The search engines today, based on search of text descriptions of images, provide avenues for rearchers to find more specific pictures; "best" pictures instead of second best.

The result: happy researchers and happy photobuyers.

Check out and you'll see how photographers are getting aboard this new 'text-centric' way of providing images to stock buyers.

As for the question of whether you can work with the same markets now with digital images, the answer is yes. With the new technology, "editorial stock photography" needs haven't changed. What has changed for the editorial stock photographer, is the delivery of pictures (speedy!), the absence of worries about losing a transparency, and a new work flow.

The Digital Age has flattened the stock photo world to a stage that an individual editorial stock photographer now has more leverage than ever.

Most editorial buyers are now looking for highly specific pictures. Such images make their productions, periodicals, magazine articles, textbooks, more unique, and more appealing to their readers. If a photo researcher can find an image that is not generic (i.e. everyone is using it) but rather, specifically matches the writing content of their production, they are successful at their job. Any photographer these days who has a deep selection of images in a specific category, is a very important resource to a target group of photobuyers out there whose "publishing themes" focus on that category. These buyers' monthly budgets for photography can range from $20,000 per month to $90,000 per month.

No, not much has changed. You'll continue to find a home in today's editorial stock photography field if you continue to photograph subject areas that please you and match the subject focus of specific publishing houses and magazines.

Related Tags: google, to, text, publishing, locate, license, easy, centric, leverage, themes

Rohn Engh is director of PhotoSource International and publisher of PhotoStockNotes. Pine Lake Farm, 1910 35th Road, Osceola, WI 54020 USA. Telephone: 1 800 624 0266 Fax: 1 715 248 7394. Web site:

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