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Desperation strikes deep in the Heartland

We are going to see a lot of desperate moves this year, in the photo industry. In an attempt to stay afloat in a depressed market, photographers, as well as photo agencies , will resolves to off the chart, crying for help, strategies. There has been many examples already, like the name your own price to pennies a pictures, none succeeding in making anyone rich or succesful. RF is already plagued with so many discounts and “special offering” that last all year that it is now almost impossible to purchase them at full price anymore, even if you wanted too.

In the footsteps of Getty Images, other smaller agencies beleive that the subscription model is the way to go. Enter Photoshot ( at least in Germany) . Owners of such collection as : NHPA, Bruce Coleman, UPPA, Woodfall Wild, Oceans Image, World Pictures, Photos Horticultural, StarStock, Talking Sport, World Illustrated, Photoshot Archive and Photoshot Creative, it is now offering…are you sitting down ?  Unlimited use of Photoshot’s rights managed images for 3 months for a flat monthly fee of only Euro 400 per month.

Right : for $400 Euros, you can use as many images as you want, for editorial use ( and some advertising) for three months. The license for these images , actually last for a year, if you read the fine print. So, for what used to be the price for a full page in a magazine, for a week, you can now publish 3 months of the same magazine.

The thought is probably that you will like the images soooo much that once the subscription is over, you will continue to purchase images from Photoshot at full price and make them unbelievably wealthy. Here is the reality. Why would anyone in there right mind go back to purchasing the same images for a regular price, when you got them for practically free. The exact same images.  Also, how is a three months subscription helpful to anyone besides a company that does not intend to use images after three months. Finally, if some of theses collections are commission-based, it will be a nightmare to track and pay those photographers.

The real issue here is that, even for non subscribers, you have devalued your collection so much that no one can take you seriously when you then ask for regular prices. How do you explain why an image that use to cost pennies before, suddenly goes back to hundreds, if not thousand of dollars ? if it is cheap trash, then it should remain so.

Of course, this company is not the only one, nor the first one, to turn to irrational pricing in order to save its bank account and keep creditors at bay. But, like the others, they just damage the market for the rest of us that have not lost our minds. As we once said, the photo industry is like driving a car, if you don’t know what you are doing, you are a danger to the rest of us.

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