will buyers be looking for the same images?

posted on 4th of february, 2009

I suppose it makes little difference to those of us who are new contributors in the micro stock trade. But I can't help wondering if all the surveys about trends, best selling images historically, etc.. really make any impact nowadays, or before this time.
Like magazines, movies, music, comic books, fashion,etc.. these things come in as quickly as they go. The only thing that is certain is taxation and death. No, just joking, testing to see if you are paying attention to what I write. ha!ha!.
My point , or rather, the question is, even comic book designers update their superheroes as often as we update our wardrobe. So I wonder if trying to base our future images on those that had been historically best sellers is a good idea.
Another sure thing especially with the economic rundown we are having globally, is that we also may see a reduction of buyers, or a change of face with buyers. Corporate survival, as I found out in the last recession, we had restructuring by many firms. These resulted in many of us middle management finding ourselves with the pink slip. It was a bad experience for many of us, who were expecting to rise to the next rung of the ladder, only to find the swinging door, swung outwards.
So will this happen today, as perharps the Art Director could find himself or herself replaced by her assistant who is getting paid far less, or worst case scenario, a protege fresh out of Art School.
This means a whole upheaval to the way that department sees as
what is cool or not. Already we see some evident changes to the format of magazines,what was emphasis of before,eg. youth, is now emphasizing on the greying generation.
So will the needs to find images for these productions.
If we , or rather, you the experienced micro stock photographer, stayed with the empirical tried and true, would this be hurting you?
Am I, and other fresh faced to the micro stock industry, really going to do equally well in following your old habits? Or is this going to be passe, blase, like last years colours is no longer cool. Pink is in,
brown is out, hypothetically speaking.
If nature shots were blase , will nature shots still be?
One fine example was my best friend, a successful Real Estate salesman or rather Saleslady. Her calendar used to be my favourite.
Mostly indoors classy looking houses and fantastic shots of property.
This year for 2009, her calendar was of casually looking cottages. Not really the incredible professional Realty and Product shots I was so keen of in her past calendars.
I tempted myself to tell her, "wow, why these? you could have used your own holiday shots of Greece, and personally as a photographer, they are much better than these."
Her reply was, "Times change. People look for different things now".
I know my older calendars were so much more stylish. You know that too, but the general public's taste are quite different today.
I am aiming for next year's buyers of houses, and these types of photographs appeal more to them.

Well, this prompted me to ask the question of this latest blog of mine here.
What do you think? Is time changing trends? If so, will buyers be looking for different sort of images?

sorry about the paragraphing. not quite used to this editor.

Comments (4)

Comment by Creativei on February 05, 2009

Well I never cared or bothered what is trend, you know every image has its unique sales points, its basically a requirement. Well Irisangel has a point there, Even my company has stopped in house photo shoot and rather opted for subscription, where a very large image or vector costs just 0.20, so microstock is going to stay for long.
The main criteria will be to have those magical keyword where our image can be in the first few pages of search results. the bottom line is don't worry about the market trends and crisis, just keep uploading and watch your sales.

Comment by Dreamframer on February 05, 2009

Honestly, I can't say I am very tallented to predict the trends of buyers taste. I never quite understand the fashion, which is not good for this business. That's why I'm trying to make images that can be used longer than une season :)
For now, I'm doing quite fine :)

Comment by Bradcalkins on February 04, 2009

I think you need to look at the stock leaders simply becuase buyers are purchasing their images. That gives you a reference point to start from. That said it is surely better long term to carve out your own niche. You are unlikely to stand out doing what everyone else is doing. The best bet for the future (aside from guessing and just doing what you are good at) is probably to look in the 'now'. Rather than focusing on what other have sold a lot of, look at what is going into magazines now, what is being put up on blogs, etc.

Dreamstime has a good feature on the main page in the 'Latest' tab. This shows you what people search for, what has recently sold, etc. This is often a surprisingly different snapshot than the best sellers of the year. But sometimes you just need to throw your ideas out there and take a chance - you could have the next big idea!

Comment by Irisangel on February 04, 2009

I think that we may actually see more sales because of the recession as many designers might look to micro stock for suitable images rather than the traditional high priced macro agencies like ******** and Corbis. Just a thought.

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