Category: Photography

Wife photo price tag: $2,000

 From Forbes this morning on amateur stock photography:

people would say that their favorite picture of their spouse is
invaluable. Jason Stitt can put a precise dollar figure on it: $2,000.
That’s how much he’s earned by turning a single snapshot of his wife
into stock photography.


Digital cameras have transformed consumers into an army of amateur
photographers, most of whom upload, tag and share photos online. But
are they selling? Stitt is.

Cars of Africa

As some of you know: Africa is close to my heart; I am planning a trip from Paris to CapeTown reminiscent of the Paris-Dakar. Probably by car or motorcycle. So when I saw Jeroen van Bergeijk trip I could not help smile at the African cars. You see I grew up in Morocco and no, he is not lying, the state of car disrepair that you see on the roads, highways and towns is amazing. Just amazing. But as we say in French: du moment que ça roule!


Ah planning

I have a lot of time to kill at SFO airport. I am hours ahead of the overnight flight and of course all I can think about is that I could have done a couple additional meetings and probably ended up doing a few productive things but noooooo I am stuck at SFO killing time by responding to emails, getting back to folks I owe responses to and planning the weeks ahead. I have no idea how I ended up on Michele’s blog (she is in my feeds) but her over-planning blog post just resonated with me:

[…] the ability to assess and adapt to changing situations while
maintaining some sort of equilibrium is learned through experience. you
gotta mess up a few times and look for the patterns in the situation
and response, finding ways to tailor behaviours and methods. lose
what’s unnecessary and get back on the bike – the adventure will still
be there.

This reminded me of the Air Canada agent who checked me into this flight hours ahead of schedule because I missed the earlier flight – Paul did not! I was mad for a few minutes and then it did not matter really. This is what we call a "changing situation" and how do you deal with it? you adapt! Adaptation is key to survival. And now, I am quite enjoying my delay: it is giving me a great excuse to read up on a few items, catch up on email and most interestingly walk around the airport and do some photography (and hope not to be arrested). I have always wanted to do that. Look at this man: isn’t he ingenious?


I am a big fan of Victor’s work. I have been following what he is doing with and I am impressed – I drop by once in a while and look at people’s favourite images as a bit of a voyeur; it is a great break when you are wanting for flights in dreadful airports.
I enjoy his design approach, his experiments with typefaces and how to display images on I also appreciate how he prioritizes features and how he rolls them out; I am sure he gets oodles of requests and ideas. But what I appreciate most about his work (besides the fact that he is doing this in his spare time!) is how much of a perfectionists he is. Drop by if you have time – and if you don’t, make some time or I send the hound dogs!

The weird science of stock photography

This Slate article
ended up in my feeds as it mentions my favourite stock photography girl
(well lady now!): the Everywhere Girl. As most of you know (if you
didn’t, now you do): I am fascinated by her travels in the online and
print world. This reminds me that I need to use TinEye on a few of her
images and see what I spot this time around. A couple of things caught
my eye in

“We had a bad day when Dolly was cloned,” says Denise
Waggoner, vice president of creative research at Getty. “We hadn’t been
studying biotechnology, and suddenly everyone wanted a shot of 25 sheep
on a seamless white background. So now we try to keep our toes dipped
in the water in lots of different fields, so we can be ready.”

And the fact that the list of most popular search terms for 2006, 2007 and the first half of 2008 all include: business, people, and woman. (Woman climbed from eighth to fifth to first).

As a rule of thumb, the lifespan of an image depicting contemporary
fashions and technology is roughly four years. “That’s the maximum
shelf life for, say, a woman walking down the street talking on a cell
phone,” says Waggoner. “After that, she’s retro.”  unless of course she
is the Everywhere Girl!

The Big Picture: or photography is so not dead!


The Big Picture is a photo blog for the Boston Globe/, compiled semi-regularly by Alan Taylor. Inspired by publications like Life Magazine (of old), National Geographic, and online experiences like’s Picture Stories galleries and Brian Storm’s MediaStorm, The Big Picture is intended to highlight high-quality, amazing imagery – with a focus on current events, lesser-known stories and, well, just about anything that comes across the wire that looks really interesting.

Well bravo Alan Taylor because you have done an amazing job!

Getty Images and Flickr Honeymoon

& SAN FRANCISCO, Jul 08, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Getty Images, the
world’s leading creator and distributor of visual content and other
digital media, and Flickr(TM), a division of Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO)
and one of the world’s largest photo sharing communities, today
announce a collaboration that unites the authenticity of images from
the Flickr community with Getty Images’ imagery collections,
photographic expertise and unrivalled experience in licensing digital

The exclusive partnership allows Getty Images to invite Flickr members to participate in a Flickr branded collection on Getty Images that will be available for licensing to Getty Images’ creative, commercial and editorial customers in the coming months.

The rest of the press release is available here,
but it is however short on details on how photographers will be
selected for participation. I believe this is an awesome development
for interested Flickr photographers and the industry as a whole. What
customers have been licensing has changed over the years, Flickr offers
a creative, edgy and very broad photo offering which in my view will
only broaden the Getty creative offering.

Flickr and the microstock industry were the talk of the town two years ago when I attended my last PACA
conference (that story is for another blog post!) ; I still remember
conversations with industry veterans about the blurring lines between
amateur and pro photography and how today’s clients needs and budgets
changed the world of photo licensing. Ah the heated conversations!

The Seattlepi
reports that, “Flickr users will be able to declare whether they want
their images considered for commercial use.” and adds: “Flickr users,
many of whom are amateurs, will be paid in the same manner as
professionals if their images are used commercially. Getty customers
usually pay between $29 and $200,000 for an image, depending on how
freely they may use it. Photographers receive 30 percent to 40 percent
of the licensing fee if the customer’s rights to use the image are
limited in scope or time, or 20 percent if the image may be used with
fewer restrictions.”

There aren’t too many details in the Flickr FAQ but a PDN interview
with Getty’s Jonathan Klein and Flickr Chief Kakul Srivastava reveals a
few more details as to the Klein’s vision with this strategic

Klein: From our perspective, as we’ve
talked to you in the past, our approach is to be able to either come up
with anything new or innovative in the industry, or if we’re not smart
enough to come up with it, to acquire it early enough or to partner
with it. We’ve come up with a lot ourselves. We acquired into
microstock very, very early on. And now we’re partnering with something
everyone in the industry knows is absolutely fundamental, and that is
the Flickr community. I don’t know where it will go, but what I can
tell you is we need to be very clear what it is and what it is not.
This is not another microstock play. This, I think, shows our
confidence and Flickr’s confidence in the longevity and the validity of
traditional licensing models, in quality imagery no matter who shot it,
and that imagery delivered in a way which meets customer needs. ‘Cause
at the end of the day, as you said, what stops somebody going to Flickr
today to get that picture? The same thing that stops somebody from
going to the Library of Congress to get a picture. The Library of
Congress has more photos than we do. But you try licensing one on a
tight timetable from them. So the key is to twin the right imagery with
all of those factors which are not cool and sexy, but which business
customers really care about. And that is, am I going to get sued? Can I
get it quickly? Will it download? Will it reproduce the way I think it
will? And at the end of the day, can I make sure it’s within my budget?
And that’s really what we’re doing here. We have over a hundred image
partners and I’m just so glad to add one of the great brands in
photography to that list, and it’s Flickr.

How strategic is Flickr? Well, let the numbers speak for themselves: from the SeattlePI
“Flickr said it gets 54 million worldwide visitors each month and
stores more than 2 billion photos for 27 million members.” and I am
sure that in this haystack there will be images that can be licensed by
creatives looking for authenticity. Oh do I hear better search?
Simplified licensing models? Oh do I hear innovation? Time will tell.

Award Winning Photojournalism


The July issue of The Digital Journalist, the monthly magazine for visual journalism, is out. This month’s main feature is John Moore, an award-winning photojournalist for Getty Images who seems to be everywhere, especially when there is a big story. You remember him because of his recent photos of Benazir Bhutto during the last moments of her life and his pictures of the chaos in the streets that followed. Not an overnight sensation, John Moore has been a working, globetrotting photographer for more than 17 years. In her incisive portrait of Moore, Beverly Spicer tells us how he works and gives us insight into why he is so successful. Accompanying the text is an extensive galley of John
Moore’s photos including his Pakistan, Iraq and Pan-American Highway series.

© Photo by Warrick Page

Nothing But Blue Sky For New Photographers

Via Rob Haggard this morning a great piece about all the problems facing photographers written by Vincent Laforet. I met Vincent a couple of years ago at the Microsoft Photo Summit and have come to enjoy his work since. His piece for Sports Shooter is both depressing and invigorating at the same time (go figure!) and Vincent has hit the nail on the head:


The challenge is to find a way to continue to produce quality original content, and to connect with your audience – not to hold on to the old, traditional way of doing things. So while the cloud may be falling – there’s plenty of blue sky above – and the possibilities are endless. Good luck.