Stock photography has long been seen as the prefect sideline business for photographers of all levels, a way to put a selection of their images to work ‘hands-free’, while they get on with their day-to-day. At least that’s the idyllic version most photographers would like very much to believe.
That’s getting a bit difficult though…
Lately things have been looking pretty bleak for a photographer wanting to sell their photography as stock. I hear it all the time from photographers I talk to and you’ll see it in the comments on the blog… from long-time pros to the newbies, even the guys at the big-name libraries… they all keep telling me they’re doing it tough…[check_list] [list_item]Stock photography sales are slow and erratic at best[/list_item] [list_item]Prices are down, competition is up, rights are being eaten away[/list_item] [list_item]Despite this downturn, library commissions are getting higher[/list_item] [list_item]So the photographers are doing more and more work, and getting nothing for it.[/list_item] [/check_list]
Does any of that sound familiar?
Even photographers looking at getting into stock for the first time tell me they’ve heard all these same doom-and-gloom stories and they want to know if they can really make a go of it as a ‘newbie’?
Well the fact is, the industry has changed dramatically in the last ten years and stock photography has been getting a lot of bad press… mostly from would-be stock photographers… but it helps if you know where they’re coming from.
For a long time stock has seen a simple, passive business… drop a few photos into library or two and wait around for the sales.
And for a while there it worked a treat…
That was just one brief window in time though.
It was a brief period at the dawn of the internet when the online demand for photos was really starting to skyrocket and the industry was busy trying to catch up.
For a while there we had it easy and a lot of photographers made a lot of money.
So even more photographers decided it was time to get into stock.
At the same time digital cameras got cheaper and better, and even more photographers thought they had what it took to start selling stock photography.
Amateur and Pro alike started selling stock photos, thinking that this was how it always had been… big money and easy sales.
And everyone of them assumed that was how it always would be.
Well for better or worse, that time has long passed and the submit-and-wait approach stopped working years ago.
The mainstream Stock Libraries won’t tell you that though, because for them, stock is now a mass-distribution business and they need as many photographers as possible to keep submitting as many images as possible.
It a high-volume, low-margin business model that works great for the libraries, but leaves the photographers with little to show for their efforts…
But it’s not all doom-and-gloom.
Obviously prices are down, competition is high, and many photographers are doing it tough… but the demand for photography has never been higher!
Many experienced & talented photographers are walking away from stock altogether… but some photographers are achieving their bests results ever!
Most photos buyers MUST know they can get free or super-cheap images all over the internet, but new buyers keep registering to buy Rights-Managed photos at all over the internet.
So while a lot of people will try to tell you the stock photography industry is dead or dying, I’m just not convinced.
The industry is fine… I think it’s the traditional business model that’s in serious trouble!
Which is why I think the folks at GlobalEye are doing so well…
GlobalEye promotes a more hands-on approach that I for one believe is essential if you want to sell your photos in this new-look marketplace with any sort of regularity.
They also encourage you to look at ‘stock sales’ as just one part of a complete photography business.
The irony is, that’s exactly how it always used to be!
… before it got transformed into just another internet get-rich-quick machine.
You see, back before the internet, stock photography was mostly a sideline… just one part of a photographer’s business. A convenient, passive revenue stream… but just one part of the whole.
And that’s what GlobalEye has been helping photographers create, for over 16 years now.
They offer stock library representation, but their complete business approach goes far beyond just putting a few photos in a library waiting around for sales!
Here’s just a very brief look at what you get, and why it works so well.
Multiple Stock Library Catalogs
Obviously they’re a stock library, but what some people miss is, they’ve actually got a whole network of stock library and photography websites with a combined 21,000+ registered photo buyers. So when you submit your images they are automatically promoted across all those websites, to all those Clients, multiplying your exposure and results many times over with no extra work.
A Professional Web Presence on Each Photo Library Website
You get a professional web presence on each of these stock library sites, so you can choose the one you want to use as your main brand, and focus your own promotions there. This multiple website approach also means the network gets wider exposure and maintains a broader client base for more consistent performance in an increasingly erratic industry.
GlobalEye’s Unique Content-Based Photography Marketing
GlobalEye offers a unique Content-Based Photography Marketing system for your images that effectively slices through the competition and gets you found first for your key subjects. This first viewing is major for online sales…
If you want consistently lock-in good prices for your photography, all you need do is show your images to quality buyers before they even get to the cheap rubbish!
When you show a buyer exactly what they need within minutes of them starting their search, you can make great sales happen with amazing regularity!
Your Own Personal List of Targeted Photo Buyers
And when you make a photo buyer contact with GlobalEye you can add them to your own personal Client List, so they are your ‘customer for life’.
GlobalEye believes this is an essential asset for any business so they give you full direct access to your buyers. This means you can develop relationships and go back to them anytime you want with new material and fresh ideas, to generate your own sales on demand!
Tools & Systems To Find New Personal Clients
You also get a slew of prospecting tools to help you grow your Client List. One single buyer who regularly needs images of the subjects you shoot can easily add thousands to your business every year, so you get pro-active tools and passive systems to seek out and connect with these people.
And that’s barely scratching the surface!
I hope you’re starting to see that what’s on offer here is a complete package with all the tools you need to build a sustainable and profitable photography business.
It will be based around your stock library catalogue, but it’s totally geared towards developing a complete business, with multiple revenue streams and a targeted list of loyal Clients.
So does that sound like a better approach than submitting random images to a stock library and waiting (hoping) for a few sales to come your way?
If it does, I’d encourage you to take the next step, and register below to access the GlobalEye Photographers Area. There you can watch a complete business presentation and review the submission guidelines. If it looks like a good match for you and your work, you can then submit a short membership application.
Update: GlobalEye has announced they they’ve capped their membership at 500 photographers, so places are limited. If the registration form still works, make sure you get your application in ASAP!