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5 Mar 2013

Stock Photo Sizes and Prices are Coming Closer Together

Hand holding measuring tape Stock Photo by Evan Sharboneau

The move towards one price per stock photo (no matter what the size) is something many in the industry are warming up to. With the internet age we’re currently living in of ebooks, tablets, smartphones, digital billboards, and other low-resolution screen applications, we sometimes wonder if the megapixel race is dead, at least for now.  Soon enough tablets and smartphones’ screen resolutions will increasingly grow, but no matter what, as long as the screen sizes stay around 4-10 inches, there really isn’t a need for images much over 1 or 2 megapixels to use effective and clean page designs or advertising.

Currently, smaller web image sizes are sometimes just of as much value as a larger high-resolution size, depending on the application. Whoever started the whole, “smaller sizes are worth less money” concept, was obviously from the time when print media was still king. New medias have changed that. Due to these facts in this ever changing marketplace, stock artists may be soon to realize that it is probably the time to adjust our pricing models.  Does it really matter how large an image is, that determines its worth?  Or the content / subject / theme of the image itself?

What do you think? Would you still buy a stock image at a smaller web size if it was the image you needed, regardless of whether the price was the same as the largest, high-resolution size?  Is there still a market for the cheap, $1 to $2, tiny size stock photo model?

is a graphic designer that morphed into a full time stock photographer. Founding member of ArenaCreative.com Stock Images.

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  • http://www.emberstudio.com Mike McDonald

    You’re probably right, there is a lot more value in a smaller image than there was just a few years ago. The problem is that buyers and artists aren’t really going to meet in the middle on price.

    We could say that maybe there should be a single price to license an image, regardless of size, but what that price should be will always be a point of disagreement. Even if we split the difference, say an image goes for $10 for large, $1 for small. At $5, buyers who need the smallest size will be annoyed at paying 5x what they used to for a small, and artists will be annoyed to have to sell large sizes for half of what they used to get.

    It completely make sense that we have a single price regardless of size, I just don’t see us getting to a point any time soon where everyone is happy with the end result of single-price-point licensing.

  • http://slungo.yepi-yepi.com/ Slungo

    At $5, buyers who need the smallest size will be annoyed at paying 5x what they used to for a small, and artists will be annoyed to have to sell large sizes for half of what they used to get.

  • John Whiteballs

    As a stock producer, the cost of a shoot doesn’t go down just because the buyer chooses a smaller size format. A shoot costs what a shoot costs. One price fits all is the way to go.

    • http://arenacreative.com/ ArenaCreative.com Stock Photos

      Thanks for chiming in, John. So very true. Even when shooting with TFCD or low-cost models; your time, energy, travel expenses, your gear, are all costs that add up.