The road signs in the stock photo industry are confusing at best and indicate to me the need for diversifying.
Confusing Road Signs And Lots of Traffic
An odd thing happened today. Almost two hundred visitors made it to my site by searching “confusing road signs”. Normally the most people making it to my site on any one search is on a given day is seven or eight…and usually searching “John Lund”. I delved into it a bit and found that the traffic was coming from Yahoo where one of my “confusing road signs” was on the first page of image search, and another one on the second page. So what is going on? I have no idea…but if any of you do I would love to hear about it!
iStockphoto and Changes in the Microstock Leader
Another confusing set of “signs” if you will is the new announcement by iStockphoto of the changes they are implementing…raising prices, lowering prices, lowering royalties and adding new collections. I tried to figure it all out…but gave up. The best synopsis I have seen is by Sean Locke on his blog. I think the immediate message I get from this is the importance of diversifying…and long term the importance of building up your own brand and presence on the web.
Getty, Fear and Inevitable Changes
There has been a huge outcry from the iStockphoto community and a lot of it takes me back to bygone days and negotiations with Getty and the fear we had of RF. Some pretty vitriolic stuff. I feel badly for a lot of those who apparently are going to be hurt…but none of this is really good or bad…it just is. And the challenge for us stock shooters is how to cope with these and other inevitable changes and how to look ahead far enough to see how we can ride the waves of change rather than get drowned by them.
Diversification…Now For me that has been diversifying my collection, my distributors, and my business models. I am contributing to Blend (a diversification in itself), Getty, SuperStock and Corbis. I am participating in RM and RF…though it took me a long time to jump into RF. It is why I am working on projects such as my Cafepress.com undertaking and working on creating a web site that gets my images in front of as many people as possible. I am reluctantly tweeting and facebooking…and, obviously, blogging. It is slow work…all of it. That is why it is better to start diversifying now rather than later…and to take a long term approach to success. BTW, I once made an image of all your eggs in one basket…and in four or five years it has only sold once…go figure!
About the author
John Lund has been shooting professionally for over 30 years. John was an early adopter of Photoshop, first using version 1.0 in 1990. He began using digital capture in 1994. John has been active in the stock photography world as a founding member of BLEND IMAGES, and long time contributor to Getty Images, Corbis, and, more recently SuperStock.
John has lectured on digital imaging and stock photography, has been a columnist for PICTURE and DIGITAL IMAGING magazines, and written ADOBE MASTER CLASS, PHOTOSHOP COMPOSITING WITH JOHN LUND. John has been a frequent speaker at Photo Plus and other venues and has taught workshops at Palm Beach Workshops and Santa Fe Workshops. His work can be seen at www.johnlund.com