Monday, May 5, 2014

What is the worth of a photograph? How much is it worth?

How much are your photographs worth? Who is going to buy them? Why is anybody going to pay for a photograph that can be obtained free from any one of a myriad of royalty free photography websites?
Let's take a look at an image. Let's imagine we are building a website about raising chickens. I could go to Getty Images and pay $1,000 for a photo of a chicken coop. I could equally well grab a photo off a royalty free website. Going along a murkier route, I could just grab a photo off a foreign website and put it on mine. Given that a photographer in say Romania or Australia will have no representative in the US, it's unlikely even if he found the pirated image that it would be worth his while to pay to pursue a claim against the website. 
Now, how are you going to sell images? There are many small businesses and families that quite rightly regard a cellphone image as good enough. The above video was shot with the rear-facing camera on a cellphone by way of an example. The following image of a chicken coop was taken on the front camera. Now, how much are your photos really worth? Will you ever recoup your investment in camera gear? Yes? Then why do you imagine DSLR and ILC sales are not just plummeting but rocketing downward.

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