Skip

Blame, bane or the way of the future? Micropayment stock photography
May 23, 2006 7:09 PM   Subscribe

Snapping your way to riches, $0.30 at a time. Some say micropayment sites are the bane of photography--that micropayment stock photo sites prey on the gullible and will single handedly destroy professional photography as we know it. Others say it's more money than you would make than if you just let the photos sit around on your computer, that it's just the way it is, it's the way it's gonna be and you may as well hop on board. [via]
posted by flarbuse (53 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
The first link won't load.

This is an interesting subject to me, as a designer who works in a small town for a lot of small businesses. Most of my clients just cannot afford to pay what sites like Getty Images are charging for royalty free stock these days, so we rely pretty heavily on sites like istockphoto. Over the past nine or ten years, I've watched stock photo prices shoot through the roof. When I started, the average high res royalty-free photo at Photodisc was around $50. Now it's closer to $400. God help me if I want to do a collage or something.

Around these parts, I can get a good local photographer for half a day for that much. Traditional royalty free stock photo sites have priced themselves out of the market, and micropayment sites like istockphoto are a reaction to that.
posted by MegoSteve at 7:30 PM on May 23, 2006


sorry, but most designers understand the concept of you get what you pay for. all it will take is one art buyer to get shit canned because the image they licensed for some big shot author's NYT best seller also happens to be the background image of hundreds of goth kid's myspace pages and micropayment stock wil never be taken seriously again.

micropayments for stock completely defeats the idea of exclusivity of an image and the value that exclusivity bears on the market. royalty free has done far more damage than micropayments ever will to photographers who make their living shooting stock and that nail was driven into the coffin some time ago.
posted by photoslob at 7:34 PM on May 23, 2006


Those micropayment sites, I think, are mostly used by small-town designers, doing brochures and websites.
posted by empath at 7:41 PM on May 23, 2006


...and Free Software will put Microsoft out of business...
posted by jepler at 7:50 PM on May 23, 2006


I would never let a photograph of mine be used for anything with a micropayment as I'd like to make some REAL money (not to mention my want of being taken seriously) off of my art.

That said, I am currently making collages with photos from magazines (though mostly circa 1960 National Geographic), so what this says about me is up in the air.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:54 PM on May 23, 2006


sorry, but most designers understand the concept of you get what you pay for.

Oh, I harbor no illusions about the quality of most shots on micropayment sites. (There are some high quality exceptions, though).

However, I will say that one of the last times I dealt with Getty was when I paid a few hundred bucks for a shot and downloaded it only to find it wasn't useable because the shot was horrendously grainy and the grain was nowhere to be seen on the low res comping image.

I have an easier time swallowing low quality at $5 an image than I do at $300. Obviously, I'd love to be able to spend thousands on photography for every project I work on, but I'd also like to be able to fly to work like Superman, and neither of those is likely to happen.
posted by MegoSteve at 7:58 PM on May 23, 2006


I'm surprised more designers don't trawl for images on flickr. Generally good images, good tagging, and I'm sure you could get 95% of the photos for $25-50, which is essentially the same as $0.30 if you have a commercial client.
posted by smackfu at 7:59 PM on May 23, 2006


Napstock.
posted by dhartung at 8:03 PM on May 23, 2006


Getty thought the "bane" of iStockphoto was worth purchasing for $50 million, so I'm pretty sure both business models can coexist peacefully.
posted by O9scar at 8:13 PM on May 23, 2006


MegoSteve,

Did you call and have Getty refund your money? Designers I work with routinely do that if the image isn't represented correctly in the low rez or even if they had to go a different direction and couldn't use the image.
posted by photoslob at 8:13 PM on May 23, 2006


Wah wah wah. The images are worth what people pay for them. If 90% of "designers" can't tell the difference between quality and shit, why should they pay for quality?

MegoSteve: That site abuphoto only has a few pictures, so even though the license fees are small, each artist makes plenty of money.

Also, can't you use CC licensed images for this stuff? Why pay anything?


posted by delmoi at 8:18 PM on May 23, 2006


Traditional royalty free stock photo sites have priced themselves out of the market, and micropayment sites like istockphoto are a reaction to that.

This is true, but it is hardly the only thing going on. I have a Nikon FG sitting around, and I remember learning to photograph on it. That was expensive, because it took silver emulsion film, it took chemicals, it took costly silver emulsion paper, and it took darkroom time. The alternative, commercial developing, was even more costly and the one-size-fits-all processes produced inferior results. DIY color photography was a pipe dream in 1986 when I was learning to do this in high school; I would no more have tried to take and develop color photos than I would have essayed brain surgery.

Nowadays any user with a Canon 10D has a tool that is far more flexible and high quality than what was available then for 10 times the price. Even better, you can take thousands of pictures with your 10D for nearly zero marginal costs. If you're careful, the way I was when I used emulsion film, you can learn photography skills at a micro-fraction of the cost it used to take to skill up as a photographer.

This is a great day to be a photographer - if you love creating photographs. If you love getting paid a lot of money for the creation and distribution of your high-barrier-to-entry art, however, you might want to ask the RIAA how that's working out for them.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:21 PM on May 23, 2006 [3 favorites]


I feel that both sides of this fence are probably missing something important: This sort of thing is only a mild symptom of the rapidly vanishing gap between media producer and media consumer. It's not a new "problem" at all.

Sure, the upscale and established stock photo dealers are going to bitch and moan about micropayments. They'll even resort to fear tactics and even strong-arm business tactics like exclusivity clauses to try and corral photographers into their stable.

Sure, the upstart micropayment stockdealers may even be less reliable or trustworthy. The photographer might not get paid, or might not get paid anything other than "peanut shells".

But both of these middleman-dealers are going to be more and more screwed as more and more people own digital cameras of sufficient quality, and sufficient skill to use them.

"Good enough" is often just that under the pressures of deadlines and budgets.

Besides, how many bland, insipid, deep-and-tight focused shots of pocket change, office supplies and generic business meetings do we really need? Hundreds of thousands, apparently.
posted by loquacious at 8:28 PM on May 23, 2006


This is a great day to be a photographer - if you love creating photographs. If you love getting paid a lot of money for the creation and distribution of your high-barrier-to-entry art, however, you might want to ask the RIAA how that's working out for them.

I was waiting for someone to make the music comparison - I would have done it myself, but I don't know enough about stock photography to make a coherent argument. So well done. An item is worth what people will pay for it. I get the impression the traditional stock photography prices are well into emperor-has-no-clothes territory, and any technology (such as digital photography) that exposes a scam for what it is is great to see.

In comparing a $1 to a $400 photograph - unless the $400 photo is four hundred times better quality (I'd like to see that) or 400 times more functional somehow...well, the economics sort themselves out.
posted by Jimbob at 8:29 PM on May 23, 2006


....I think about this in regards to VOIP as well. My phone company wants to charge me about 30c a minute to call my family long distance. My VOIP provider charges me 10c for an untimed call. In reality, the VOIP call is probably travelling over the same cables and fiber optic lines, and through the same exchanges as the traditional phonecall - indeed, the data is probably travelling through lots of brand new, expensive routers and servers. So, VOIP exposes traditional telecomunication for the scam it is, and the super-normal profits they make from suckers. Sure, VOIP might have a fraction of a second delay. And it might get a bit fuzzy now and again. But at that price, near enough is good enough.
posted by Jimbob at 8:33 PM on May 23, 2006


It was only a matter of time before this arguement found its way to metafilter. If you'd like to see how its been debated for quite some time, head over to the Dpreview forums. The arguements for and against have gotten really old - it falls squarely into the politics/sex/religion category - nobody is gonna change anyones mind and everyone is gonna get worked up about it.

So all I have to say is that I do quite well at iStockphoto - I make a significant % of my income there from photos that would otherwise sit in vacation albums or get tossed from other shoots and I'm quite happy to continue doing it.
posted by blaneyphoto at 8:33 PM on May 23, 2006


I've used the Flickr CC search before to find photos I can use for derivitive works. I design t-shirts, so an expensive photo is useless to me, I need a piece of a photo, not the whole thing. I actually think this is a great idea if you're a shutterbug with several thousand photos on your hard drive.
posted by Burton at 8:46 PM on May 23, 2006


I actually think this is a great idea if you're a shutterbug with several thousand photos on your hard drive.

And here lies the crux of the issue. "Artists" want to sell their "work" for hundreds of dollars. Other folks just want to use they can make out of hundres of happy snaps they have sitting around.
posted by Jimbob at 8:53 PM on May 23, 2006


I went to MoFi and got Deja VuFi.
posted by mogabog at 8:57 PM on May 23, 2006


all it will take is one art buyer to get shit canned because the image they licensed for some big shot author's NYT best seller also happens to be the background image of hundreds of goth kid's myspace pages and micropayment stock wil never be taken seriously again.

Plenty of publishers already use out-of-copyright art on their covers, without any obvious damage to sales caused by myspace pages that nobody other than their owners ever visits.

Apart from that, what ikkyu2 said, and good on the hobbyists!
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:05 PM on May 23, 2006


It turns out that many businesses have been overbuying pricy stock photos all these years, when simple schlock would have sufficed instead. Not all photo illustrations need to be taken from high-concept studio/model gigs with exclusive usage rights.

Microstock sites are what McDonald's is to cuisine: cheaply filling the needs of the masses. In the end, those who actually need the Getty-quality stock will pay for it. The symptoms that photographers complain about aren't due to microstock sites causing photographers to underprice themselves -- they're due to most businesses coming to realize that with so many photos around, schlock is good enough for their needs. (And why not? I eat at McDonald's, too.) And in the age of digital photography, schlock is pretty damn easy and cheap to come by.

See also: prole drift.

N.B. I'm not saying that all stock photographers shoot crappy photos (since I have a lot of respect for the ones I've personally met), but when some average Joe's generic vacation photos at a microstock site are "good enough" when competing against another photographer's "professional" results, well...
posted by DaShiv at 9:26 PM on May 23, 2006


the whole photographers direct rationale is just killing me!

so a micropayment stock photographer sees her image used on an IBM site...and she is chided because she "has thrown away 499 dollars"...if IBM was looking at $1 images in the first place, how/where would they have seen her images to pay $500?

and they rely pretty heavily on the assumption that if their photographers were allowed to have images in micropayment sites, they would necessarily be exactly the same images being offered at a higher price (reducing the exclusivity value of those images)...when it is as likely that a photographer can select images of a certain quality to offer only on the big-boy sites, and then rather than throw out the rest of them, at a loss, can offer them on micropayment sites for users who don't necessarily need pro images or "art"...and really, is it fraud if a photographer bypasses the rule by selling micropayment photos under a pseudonym? (maybe it is--i wouldn't know)...

i like ikkyu2's reasoning as well...to me, it would seem that some of the pros/agencies benefited a great deal from the high cost of entry into the field and that as that drops, their talent becomes less exclusive, and as we see here (in terms of what the photo buyer will accept), they lose their hold on the claim for deciding what is or is not quality/talent...kind of a parallel to low-budget independent filmmakers versus major studios
posted by troybob at 9:54 PM on May 23, 2006


Speaking as someone who is in the educational software market, istockphoto and related sites have been quite a godsend.

The ESL CBTs my company creates have ended up using thousands of photos and if I had to pay Getty's rates, I wouldn't have been able to make the products so visually-rich and I wouldn't have been able to fund the company out of my own pocket.

And for the sort of thing we're doing, the banal images which lack any sort of subtlety actually are perfect. Since my software is trying to teach English, its necessary to have a picture that shows clearly the vocabulary term or the sentence being discussed.

The cheap stock photo places aren't great for everything. I've had to spend quite a bit of money on original illustrations and photographs, but these sites have allowed me to fill almost every page with images, thus putting me ahead of my competitors who tend to skimp on the visuals.
posted by pandaharma at 10:33 PM on May 23, 2006


We use images from dreamstime.com in our illustration and concept work all the time. The photos are of excellent quality, cost a buck each, are royalty free, and download times are extremely fast, even for large images ( we usually require images in the 4-6K range, so Google images doesn't cut it.)

On the downside, you pay for the good stuff by sifting through a LOT of cheesy corporate report crap, like "Bland Suited Dullard Standing In Desert", or "Photographer's Scaggy Girlfriend Posing on Beach"

I guess my point is that when a deadline is looming, the grand philosophical THREAT TO CREATIVITY supposedly represented by micropayment stock image sites never occurs to me. It's an invaluable resource, and I'd be insane not to take advantage of it.
posted by slatternus at 10:37 PM on May 23, 2006


That Photographers Direct rant is hilarious. I don't begrudge them the attempt to convince pro photographers to avoid micropayment sites, or the decision to only work with photographers who do, but damning the sites entirely is just silly. Take this bit:

Rather than (80% of) $720 (which the buyer was clearly happy to pay!) the photographer would then have earned 1 dollar and 50 cents for the use of his images.

But what about buyers who can't pay that much? PD's position is clear: It doesn't give a flying fuck. Somehow, PD's idea of "market value" is determined independent of what actual customers want to pay. And for some reason, micropayment site owners are supposed to "care about the damage they are doing to professional photographers' livelihoods" but *not* about minimizing damage to the livelihood of clients. Talk about an unconvincing argument.

PD's rant mainly leaves the impression that the pros have had a nice little priesthood going, complete with fat fees, and are scared to death that the same "eh, this'll do" taste consumers show in other areas will move over to stock photography. I don't know if that'll be true or not, but attacking sites which facilitate low-level economic transactions isn't going to help PD deal with that challenge.
posted by mediareport at 11:12 PM on May 23, 2006


So if I use my vacation photos on micropayment sites does that mean I can write off said vacation on my taxes? Gentlemen, pack your bags. We're all going to fantasy-fucking-island.
posted by quadog at 12:03 AM on May 24, 2006


Has anyone here actually tried contacting a place like Getty to acquire pricing on rights managed photography? It's an arm and a leg. And then they ask you for another arm and a leg to renew after one year of usage. The interesting side affect of their astronomical pricing is that it makes it easier for me to argue for a custom photo shoot on certain projects. I get what I want (creative control) and the client gets what they want (perpetual rights and complete usage of imagery).

As longs as we keep these micropayment sites a secret then clients won't ask us to search them.
posted by quadog at 12:11 AM on May 24, 2006


My understanding of the reasoning for agency stock images being expensive is that the cost to the client of sending a photographer to go out and shoot the same image would still be a lot more than the price of the image being sold through the library. If that image can just as easily be shot by next door's wife on digital compact during her next shopping trip, the comparative value of that image can be seen to be a lot less.

As a professional photographer, I will continue supplying images to the few select agencies that I work with, and even then they will not get the best of my work as I know that I can be found via my website by anyone who knows what they're looking for.

However, I will eventually consider leaving my machine uploading all the crap that I wouldn't consider useful to a micropayment stock website - out of focus, end of a sequence, accidental shutter releases. If there's no other outlet for them, I might as well try and flog them to people who don't need quality images.
posted by Kiell at 1:13 AM on May 24, 2006


Wow, I didn't know about this. I'm going to upload some good stuff to istockphoto just on principle.
Fight the good fight :)
posted by -harlequin- at 4:04 AM on May 24, 2006


If you love getting paid a lot of money for the creation and distribution of your high-barrier-to-entry art, however, you might want to ask the RIAA how that's working out for them.

^ About sums it up.

As the tools become more commonplace and the barriers of entry are slowly dropped, you will see two things unfold: one, the commoditization of the product; two, a better understanding and respect of the true geniuses of the medium. It's like this with any art form.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:15 AM on May 24, 2006


As the tools become more commonplace and the barriers of entry are slowly dropped, you will see two things unfold: one, the commoditization of the product; two, a better understanding and respect of the true geniuses of the medium. It's like this with any art form.
While I agree with this to a large degree, I feel there is a wildcard in the mix that doesn't really apply to the finer arts. Namely, the customer/client.

I'm an illustrator and designer by trade. And, while I take great pride in my work, I have no illusions that what I do is more of an art than it is a creative product...the success of which is as much influenced by the "vision" of the client as it is by my own. Therein lies a growing problem.

To-wit... the number of clients that see or care about the quality differences appears to be rapidly shrinking.

Increasingly, I run across potential clients who simply don't care whether the sales brochure (chock full of free stock images and illustrations) that he had his secretary put together in Word looks like a jumbled, unfocused mess. And, while they might acknowledge that I would be able to provide a piece that would be better focused, more effective, and better reflecting on their business, the also know they didn't have to cut a check for my services. And that's all they really care about.

"You get what you pay for", increasingly, I'm afraid, is no longer a viable argument in a world where the buyers (and by extension their customers) simply don't see or acknowledge the difference. Their values (tastes?) are entirely directed by the bottom line.

I know of some quite talented people who are getting out of the business because of this growing disconnect. These aren't wealthy prima-donnas. They are hard-working, disciplined craftsmen who went into their fields because they truly loved the work and the creative challenges it brought. But they've seen their trade slide more and more into longer and longer hours, doing cheaper and cheaper work just to maintain.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:09 AM on May 24, 2006


I've never understood why the term 'professional' automatically connotes 'quality'.
posted by ChasFile at 6:49 AM on May 24, 2006


I've never understood why the term 'professional' automatically connotes 'quality'.
I've never understood the current fashion for denigrating and trivializing professionalism and expertise.
Certainly you stand a much better chance getting quality results from someone who put in the time and resources to actually getting trained in a field than you do with someone who DL'd a cracked version of Photoshop and a handful of "cool" fonts.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:29 AM on May 24, 2006


Thorzdad, I hear you loud and clear! We can only hope that high quality work will stand out from the sea of low-budget crap, and will provide a real marketplace advantage.

I remember when clip art first came out and every interoffice memo was decorated with cringeworthy cartoons, borders and balloons. After the novelty wore off, the clip art craze died down because it just looked crappy and stupid and unprofessional. I think cheesy home-did brochures are more of a turn-off than the cheapskates realilze - we are surrounded by luscious visual imagery urging us to buy, and our standards have gotten pretty high. The medium is the message, partly, and hokey advertising implies a hokey product.

Some consumers consider price only, and maybe craptastic advertising actually works best on them (crappy ad => crappy product => cheap cheap cheap). But if you're trying to reach customers who want good quality, your ad better look good too.

I know that, personally, I find craptastic advertising a total turn-off. There's a whole lot of "meta-information" implicit in any ad, and I associate amateurish jumbled ads with hard sells and slightly sleazy "Special sale!! Buy NOW!!!" offers. A used car lot, basically. I have no desire to get involved in all that and I can live without your product very nicely, thank you.

Having said that, I have no problem with using cheapo photographs - just choose good ones and use them well. In fact, I may try to offer some of my own vacation shots ...
posted by Quietgal at 8:08 AM on May 24, 2006


So, as a photographer, which is the best site to use?
posted by smackfu at 8:56 AM on May 24, 2006


ikkyu2 writes "This is a great day to be a photographer - if you love creating photographs. If you love getting paid a lot of money for the creation and distribution of your high-barrier-to-entry art, however, you might want to ask the RIAA how that's working out for them."

True that, I wish Digital had come along 15 years earlier so I wouldn't have had to pay to get my first 10,000 crap images developed from 35mm.

Jimbob writes "I get the impression the traditional stock photography prices are well into emperor-has-no-clothes territory, and any technology (such as digital photography) that exposes a scam for what it is is great to see."

It's not really a scam so much as you have great unwashed masses not even covering their capital costs. It's going to be tough for professorial photographers to make even Wal-Mart wages at $1 per image. Art photographers have practically always been in the starving artist category but cheap stock photography is going to reduce the amount of boring income they can make with their skills to support their low paying art.

Jimbob writes "In comparing a $1 to a $400 photograph - unless the $400 photo is four hundred times better quality (I'd like to see that) or 400 times more functional somehow...well, the economics sort themselves out."
Yes, hobby photographers aren't making even their costs, I doubt quadog's scheme will work because it won't pass the test of future expected profit.
posted by Mitheral at 9:05 AM on May 24, 2006


I've never understood the current fashion for denigrating and trivializing professionalism and expertise. Certainly you stand a much better chance getting quality results from someone who put in the time and resources to actually getting trained in a field than you do with someone who DL'd a cracked version of Photoshop and a handful of "cool" fonts.

if crappy ads are really so crappy, then the businesses that use them would be flushed away due to lack of customer response, huh?

as for denigrating/trivializing: i once took a class on color theory from a woman who thought her shit didn't stink because she could look at something from a print service from 500' and could tell instantly if there was like one drop of too much red in the ink...and it was pretty much all i needed to know about the industry: snobbish overkill--levels of expertise that matter only to other experts and which is lost on pretty much everyone else...and industry standards set by people with an interest in keeping the price high and the pool of 'talent' limited...

...sure, you can't make hamburger taste like prime rib, but for most of us it doesn't need to...
posted by troybob at 9:56 AM on May 24, 2006


I think liquatious hit the nail on the head right there.

I feel that both sides of this fence are probably missing something important: This sort of thing is only a mild symptom of the rapidly vanishing gap between media producer and media consumer. It's not a new "problem" at all.

There's a growing army of davids out there and sites like istockphoto and Lucky Oliver are doing what good businesses do best: Adapting to market conditions.

Unfortunately, this does make thing difficult for professional photographers and I worry for some of my friends who want to pursue this profession. Sooner or later, they might be competing against highschoolers wielding 8 megapixel camera phones. My advice to them is this: Unless you got mad skills and the connections to go with it, photography will have to be a hobby, or at most, a hobby.
posted by freakystyley at 10:27 AM on May 24, 2006


oops. I meant side-job.
posted by freakystyley at 10:30 AM on May 24, 2006


levels of expertise that matter only to other experts and which is lost on pretty much everyone else...and industry standards set by people with an interest in keeping the price high and the pool of 'talent' limited...

Your hugely limited experience based on one individual isn't representative of the whole industry.

The medium of photography is becoming more accessible and the market will change as a result. However, if you want a billboard-sized print, pin sharp, you're still going to have to go to a decent stock library or hire a professional. The cost of medium format digital photography is still massively expensive and requires a huge degree of skill. In time this will probably change as well.

If the industry set standards and prices artificially high and maintained a limited pool of talent, we wouldn't be seeing the changes that are happening now. Photography is becoming easier (anyone can get lucky and take an amazing photograph - I know I have) and the industry is changing as a result. Sites such as photographersdirect.com will simply have to embrace that change or lose out.
posted by Kiell at 11:42 AM on May 24, 2006


i once took a class on color theory...levels of expertise that matter only to other experts and which is lost on pretty much everyone else...and industry standards set by people with an interest in keeping the price high and the pool of 'talent' limited

Ah yes...the "nobody asked me about these standards and I don't understand them anyway so they must be bullshit" meme.
Look...you took a class wherein you were clearly out of your league. It happens. Do you just write off everything you don't understand as "snobbish overkill"?
And so what if that level of expertise is "lost on pretty much everyone else" (and congrats on being elected spokesperson for pretty much everyone else) That's why it's expertise. And, believe it or not, that shit does matter in the field.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:42 AM on May 24, 2006


i've got nothing against expertise (and did very well in color theory, thanks)...and don't mean to insult someone with dedication and talent in any field (except torture and such)...it's more that, as we see with the photographers here, just because they as the 'experts' tell you something has a certain value or that the level of expertise being paid for is not far beyond the scope of the project, that doesn't make it true...

and badly worded, 'lost on pretty much everyone else' referred not to the knowledge or skills themselves, but to the product/publication/etc consumed by the public...i think that there is a rather low point of diminishing return (though still increasingly exhorbitant pricing) for how intricately manipulated/focus-grouped/programmed something is relative to the desired/achieved public response, and we tend to pay for this overkill...
posted by troybob at 12:47 PM on May 24, 2006


After the novelty wore off, the clip art craze died down because it just looked crappy and stupid and unprofessional.

Are you from the future?
posted by ChuqD at 1:47 PM on May 24, 2006


...and don't mean to insult someone with dedication and talent in any field (except torture and such)...

WTF Troybob, I busted my ass (and the asses of many others) to learn my craft. I'm damned good at torture. These punk high school kids with their duct tape and pliers act like they invented aggravated tooth extraction....
posted by Scoo at 1:51 PM on May 24, 2006


...but i bet they don't charge as much and still get the same results!
posted by troybob at 1:55 PM on May 24, 2006


Well, that's what my un-cultured clients claim. The US is outsourcing more and more of this sort of work too. It's a tough racket!
posted by Scoo at 1:59 PM on May 24, 2006


Certainly you stand a much better chance getting quality results from someone who put in the time and resources to actually getting trained in a field than you do with someone who DL'd a cracked version of Photoshop and a handful of "cool" fonts.

Yeah, but plenty of people with pirated copies of photoshop and free fonts off the web charge money for design work, making them 'professionals'.
posted by delmoi at 2:04 PM on May 24, 2006


And so what if that level of expertise is "lost on pretty much everyone else"

Thorzdad, what about the businesses who care enough about quality, but can't pay $720 for a single photo? Will you at least acknowledge there's a niche for (let's assume) somewhat lesser quality micropayment photo sites? And if the majority of customers, when given this new option, opt for it, doesn't that tell us something about the way folks like Photographers Direct have been doing business?
posted by mediareport at 3:28 PM on May 24, 2006


from a woman who thought her shit didn't stink because she could look at something from a print service from 500' and could tell instantly if there was like one drop of too much red in the ink

So, essentially the visual equivalent of an audiophile, i.e., someone who pretends to know what she's talking about, and pretends to see differences that she can't possibly see.
posted by oaf at 12:02 AM on May 25, 2006


The cover story of the new issue of Wired, about crowdsourcing, starts off with a photographer in this exact situation. (He was giving a non-profit group a deal at $100-$150/photo, and instead they got a bunch elsewhere for $1 each.)
posted by LeLiLo at 9:10 AM on May 25, 2006


metafilter: a hobby, or at most, a hobby.
posted by speedo at 2:08 PM on May 25, 2006


Mitheral: ...I wish Digital had come along 15 years earlier so I wouldn't have had to pay to get my first 10,000 crap images developed from 35mm.

"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst." - Henri Cartier-Bresson
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 7:19 PM on May 25, 2006


Exactly.
posted by Mitheral at 7:52 AM on May 26, 2006


« Older Tips from behind the counter   |   Premier Ralph Klein has asked... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post