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Buying a photo from an online stock library

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ahar, May 21, 2006.

  1. ahar

    ahar Well-Known Member

    Hi all

    We're finally coming to the end of decorating our flat and are looking for some pictures to put on the wall. As well as some of our own, we're looking for some specific colours in images to put on the wall and I thought the best way would be to buy the perfect image from a stock library and then we can get it printed up to go on the wall afterwards.

    I had a search through some libraries (alamy etc) and found some perfect images but when it came to buying them, the price was pretty steep (circa £70)! All I want is to make one print to go on my wall, not buy the rights to it or use it again and again. Am I looking in the wrong place? I've had real difficulty finding stock libraries that have a personal single use licence.

    I'm very happy to pay to use the image as people should be rewarded for their hard work, but £60 just to use the image in my living room is a little beyond what I'm after - having a play with Alamy, I could put the image on some local adervtising for only a tenner more!
  2. ElectricPics

    ElectricPics Well-Known Member

    I see your point, but if it was one of my pictures I'd take into account the cost of my time in taking and processing it, car expenses, equipment costs, insurance, etc. If it only sold once at £70 I'd be looking at a good loss on the deal and really at that price (depending on the location) I'd need a picture to sell at twice to break even. Ok, that's on an individual picture basis but I'm sure you'll see where I'm coming from. Perhaps you could track the photographer down using Google and see if you can buy prints directly.
  3. mags

    mags Well-Known Member

    There is I belive a catigory on Ebay were photographers sell prints, but i surpose its a question of finding the one you want to live with, which if its going to be something nobody else has then you'll probably have to pay for the exclusivity, failing that there are loads of sites selling posters of famous photographers works, would they be of interest? they seem to be arround 20ty quid in price.
    Oh and i've just thought of Fotolia, they sell images with many differing licences, you might find you have to down load and print the image yourself but i think they are fairly reasonable price wise,
    Hope this helps.
  4. Bettina

    Bettina Well-Known Member

    If you buy from an agency you also have to bear in mind that they're probably taking 50% commission... :(
  5. mags

    mags Well-Known Member

    Just had another thought, Deviant Art, many sell prints of there work on there, and they are avalible in a range of sizes, finishes ect.
  6. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    Bear in mind that thats one print that you might have on display for several years at least, not just eg one magazine edition etc.

    Its not really what photo agencies are for, so Id agree with the above and if you are really desperate for this particular print I would try to contact the photographer direct but I doubt you'd get it much lower to be honest. The cheaper ones in the shops are because they are each one in a run of several tens or hundreds or even thousands so they can afford to go cheaper!
  7. T_Sargeant

    T_Sargeant Well-Known Member

    Agree totally with Erm, if you want something unique, hand finished, or whatever, you will end up paying a fair bit. I've done prints in the past for people to use in their homes (not ones from my website actually) and the cheapest I went was about £50.
  8. ahar

    ahar Well-Known Member

    But that is a commercial use - i.e. someone is using your work to make money for themselves, rather than hanging it in your house. Magazines have the rights for thousands of prints - I want just one

    I don't agree - if you place an image on the net then it has the potential to be downloaded hundreds or thousands of times[ - I'm not asking the author for a one off. I also wouldn't expect to cover the cost of the print through one purchase - surely the whole point of using agencies is to sell many copies of the photo. It's simple economics really - if you offer a low cost single use personal licence for a small amount of money (say between £10 and £20) you are going to make far more money than trying to sell the image in a one size fits all licence of £60. These prices don't include printing - it's just for the image itself!
  9. GlennH

    GlennH Well-Known Member

    Most photographers don't use agencies to sell bargain basement pictures en masse (although that is the idea behind microstock agencies, but overall you'll be looking at a lower standard of image). Supplying traditional agencies like Alamy is a numbers game. Photographers don't expect every image to sell - but they do expect a reasonable fee from those that do (which generally help buyers to make a profit). They're not ordinarily expected to sell to people for hanging on their living room wall.

    Using your idea Andy it'd be possible to effectively produce a limited edition Joe Cornish print from Alamy for a tenner - it's never going to happen. You're not just paying for an image, but also potentially the years of experience it might have taken to be able to take a quality image. Few people that have worked hard to become reasonably good at something are going to sell the results for next to nothing, regardless of the economics.
  10. robc

    robc Well-Known Member

    Account Director at the UK's largest advertising agency...

    ...but I am currently wandering India with my backpack and cameras and beginning to wonder if I will ever go back to the office politics again!
  11. GlennH

    GlennH Well-Known Member

    Just to add a little more to this ....

    I think you'd have better luck by approaching photographers directly, Andy. Maybe Google some of the names you see on Alamy.

    I've seen plenty of good photographers selling prints relatively cheaply from their websites, but the same people would be unlikely to give you access to high quality digital files for the same price, much the same as a wedding photographer of old wouldn't hand over negs.

    Stock agencies are really a middle-man designed to save publishers the expense of commissioning photographers.
  12. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    Well you asked for advice, and we're giving it to you - you're looking in the wrong place for photos for your wall if you're looking at a stock agency. No good telling us all this. Look elsewhere or contact a photographer directly.
  13. Fen

    Fen The Destroyer

    Couldn't agree with Glenn and Erm more.

    Speaking as someone who has photos sold in stock libraries, art galleries as well as 'private' sales...

    If there's an image you want for your wall you're better off contacting the photographer directly, but don't expect to pay as little as £10/£20. Especially if you want it mounted or framed!
  14. ahar

    ahar Well-Known Member

    Cheers - I'll try contacting them direct or looking for a website where I can buy a print of the image

    I still don't believe it's a good or economic idea to sell an image for a single personal use for £60 when I could buy it to put on some advertising or on a product to make me money from for a tenner more though. Some people are missing a trick making money from their images.....
  15. GlennH

    GlennH Well-Known Member

    Andy - you're generalising a little with your prices there. Advertising fees on Alamy can command anything up to £20,000, and it does usually correlate with the type of profit the usage is likely to generate.

    But the overiding point really is that Alamy was never meant to be a vehicle for selling personal prints. In fact I had a quick look at it, and don't you have to stipulate a time period even for one-off usage of a single print?

    'Photographers Direct' is probably more the type of thing you're looking for, because they basically put buyers and photographers in touch to negotiate their own deals/prices. I think you'd stil struggle to get anything for £20 - because there's a third party involved taking a slice.

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