Friday, August 7, 2009

Pushing Pixels: $5 Idiocy

Photography should not be sold by the pixel. Images are not the same as selling sugar by the pound. Yet, as if the stupidity of Getty's $49 imagery wasn't enough (more on that here), Getty Images is now selling images by pixel dimensions. To give you some perspective - below is the full frame dimensions of a file from a Canon EOS 1DS Mark III. Then, in black, is a 170 pixel by 170 pixel box, representing what Getty Images will license for $5 if it's a royalty-free image, and $15 if it's a rights-managed image.



All this, and more, can be discerned from the Getty Images site, here.

(Continued after the Jump)


It's been just over a year since Getty announced the completion of their being acquired by Hellman & Friedman (here), and there has been little good in their press releases about Getty Images proper, and a lot about deep-and-cheap deals with Flickr, JupiterMedia, and now this. Oh, and don 't forget all the layoffs and office closings. Look in the coming year for H&F to start shuttering underperforming divisions and quietly looking for buyers of the more profitable divisions. Heck, with Google trying to grow their news offerings, maybe Getty Images' news photographers will begin seeing "/Google News" after their names in the not too distant future?

Whatever Gettys' future holds, pricing by the pixel is just sheer idiocy.


Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.

15 comments:

Will and Debbie said...

I ask my self the same question, Whatever Gettys' future holds?

Anonymous said...

I remember posting about this on Haggart's blog. Most of the pro's my age are telling Getty to stick it where the sun dont shine (early30s). We run our own mirrored servers and in many cases clients dont even got to download the files they licence - its served from the photographers own server to the clients domain. Clients pay the licence fee plus a bandwidth usage fee. At the end of the licence arrangement the domain of the client is blocked on the server.

We just laugh at old school photographers who try to explain the benefits of an aggregated agency model. Talk about last century.

This way if any of your images are being served digitally and the origin of the image is not the photographers own server/domain then you have a licensing violation.

And a side note: When in god's name are we going to stand up as an industry and demand a universally accepted protocol for referencing image creators on digital platforms. If any image is not credited to an author on a digital platform then it ought to be assumed it has been stolen via a screen grab.

Edward said...

To be fair, the black square is what the full frame image will be reduced to if you only want to pay $7.18 (5 euro) as opposed to you only getting a 170x170 portion as your diagram depicts.

Perfect for mobile devices which is a growing market.

I for one would have thought you'd be glad that it's not $0.02 for royalty free at that size....to extrapolate, had Time bought their cover image at Getty a full res image would have cost substantially more.

So what it it?...pooh pooh "photographers" selling full res images for cents or take a dig at getty for charging 5 euro for a 170x170 image?

Advertising is sold based on screen real estate...why not images as well?

Anonymous said...

I remember posting about this on Haggart's blog. Most of the pro's my age are telling Getty to stick it where the sun dont shine (early30s). We run our own mirrored servers and in many cases clients dont even got to download the files they licence - its served from the photographers own server to the clients domain. Clients pay the licence fee plus a bandwidth usage fee. At the end of the licence arrangement the domain of the client is blocked on the server.

We just laugh at old school photographers who try to explain the benefits of an aggregated agency model. Talk about last century.

This way if any of your images are being served digitally and the origin of the image is not the photographers own server/domain then you have a licensing violation.

And a side note: When in god's name are we going to stand up as an industry and demand a universally accepted protocol for referencing image creators on digital platforms. If any image is not credited to an author on a digital platform then it ought to be assumed it has been stolen via a screen grab.


Hey Mr. Anon,

Instead of being such a prick and patting yourself on the back, why don't you fully explain the concept and how you make this work. That might actually do some good for this industry or would you rather make yourself feel good by posting on Rob's site and laughing at old school photographers who paved the fucking way for piss-ants pencil dicks like you.

AdvRdr said...

Hey Mr. Anon,

Instead of being such a prick and patting yourself on the back, why don't you fully explain the concept and how you make this work. That might actually do some good for this industry or would you rather make yourself feel good by posting on Rob's site and laughing at old school photographers who paved the fucking way for piss-ants pencil dicks like you.

August 7, 2009 8:53 AM


+1

Anonymous said...

I am beginning to hate this industry with the overload of it all. Too much information about everything photographic makes it hard to concentrate on the important things in life. John is doing a good job here and I like to occasionally read this blog.

Fucking internet, blogs, twitter, facebook, relentless self-promotion, under-cutting stock agencies trying to cut the legs off of each other is getting to be a bit much.

If I never read another copy of an photo industry rag again I think I will be fine. Same thing for reading the mainstream sites like the landscape guy in Ontario or the tech guy in Alberta or John in DC.

What ever happened to just making amazing images?

Not a pap said...

@1st Anonymous

Let me take a wild guess.......... YOUR'RE A PAP!!!!!!!

Not everyone's cup of tea matey and different markets have different marketing problems which is where agregators come in.

Try and keep a lid on your arrogant streak, not nice.

Boston Photographer-MWynne said...

While I definitely agree that the price point is absurd, I don't see how you can honestly believe that it doesn't make sense to lower your licensing fee if your client only wants a 170x170 file.

Even if you are shooting assignment work, your price is( Or at least it should be ) affected by the final output dimensions of the file.

If my client tells me they need a a file that is going to be 40"x30" and they need it at 150ppi, I would have to rent a camera body. According to your statements I would have to absorb that cost myself. That doesn't sound like you at all.

Generally speaking I agree with a lot of what is said on this site, but lately it is just blind ranting.

Cathy Flowers said...

if you lower your price because of size of usage, it means two things:
- 1) your image sucks and you know it so you are desperate to sell it
- 2) Someone else has the same image, and you know it (copying is not good)
Either way that makes you a lousy photographer and one of those who will not have a job next year. Not in photography.
Do you charge more for oversize usage, btw ?
do you always ask your clients what size they will use the image? well, do you ? and you tell them if its used big size its more expensive the small size.?
do you have a brain or just some fancy equipment ? Is that what they teach you in college, how to negotiate yourself down without even trying ? what is wrong with you ? huh ? do you ever use a mirror ? ever? John, do something !!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Ms Flowers, do you have a clue as to editorial publication pricing? Do you have any real insight into advertising pricing for images?

It appears not!

Anonymous said...

Ms Flowers, you are clueless. Editorial and advertising basis licensing fees upon size and placement in many instances.

Please go back to your tea party and let the adults talk.

AdvRdr said...

Ms Flowers, you are clueless. Editorial and advertising use is, many times, based upon size and placement.

Anonymous said...

I think a flat rate of 150.00 per image should be the standard. No matter the use. They want simple, give them simple.

Rich Green said...

I have a few images in stock, all RM, but I realize that I'm never going to be one of the lucky few who actually make a living from it. I came to the table late so I'm not angry, but I am disappointed.

Andrew Pinkham said...

I like John’s blog and I am definitely a fan. I think that his track record and work experience adds value to what he writes about. I would like see some posts that focus on ideas of where to go from here. In a perfect world we would all have work that was unique and each of us would be the go to guy or gal for that style, feel, look and sell it directly. Crazy idea? Yes, but something to work towards. The other side of the coin is just as to me is more and more of the same thing being offered by so many different entities at any price point that you choose.

After my 18 years in the business as of 2007, I set out to find my unique voice and it’s been a struggle to say the least. I stopped looking at other’s people’s work and really got clear with me about what I needed wanted to do. I dropped out commercially for a while, doing illustration and self photo projects. Eventually, people liked this work much better than anything that I done for clients in the past. Now, strangely enough, the commercial clients are coming back. New one’s, who know what they want and like what I’ve been doing. I took a chance and it’s beginning to pay off. With this many years in the business I needed to do it my way or stop all together. Being in my mid 40’s and not knowing how to do much else, you could say that I forced my own hand. I’ll never look back.


I believe that much of the future is in concept driven work. Ideas, no matter in what medium, either have a lasting impression or not. They aren’t technology based and there’s no software up grade. I believe that photo world would be a better place if everyone could offer their own perspective and rich content. There certainly wouldn’t be as much fighting over the same visual real estate. I’ve become a big fan of taking chances and doing my own thing. For me, it’s about being honest true to the work.

Newer Post Older Post