I believe it will be increasingly important to produce creative, conceptual photos that are not competing with all the other images out there.
Funny Animal Pics, Concept Stock Photos, And SEO
What does 2010 have in store for me? More funny animal pics (for my efforts with CaféPress, ImageKind, Greeting Cards, and all those veterinarians and animal groomers that e-mail me seeking to use those photos), More stock photos, particularly concept images, for Blend Images, Superstock, Getty and Corbis; and more interviews and blogging. All of the above will contribute to the most important aspect of my ongoing SEO effort by providing quality content for my website.
Increased Demand, More Money, And Higher Price Points
If nothing else it should be interesting to see where the image industry goes from here. Obviously, as the economy picks up there will be both an increased demand for images and a willingness to spend more money on them, though I don’t think prices will rebound to pre recession levels. But I do expect prices in the microstock arena to increase. There will continue to be plenty of free images and a lot of very low priced ones, but as iStock has done with Vetta, there will be more offerings at higher price points. When RF first arrived on the scene the prices weren’t much higher than microstock levels, but gradually the prices grew until now, in many cases, RF prices are significantly higher than RM!
Traditional Stock, Microstock, and Fading Community
I also think that more and more there will be less separation between micro and traditional stock. After all, it is all stock, just at different price points. The trend started by Veer and Fotolia of offering stock from all categories in one place will continue. The “community” aspects of microstock will begin to fade as micro is absorbed more and more into the folds of the traditional players like Getty and Corbis, and as microstock is dominated more and more by pros and those micro shooters who excel at producing vast quantities of quality images.
Millions of Dollars And Image Theft
Another area to watch will be the anti-theft developments spearheaded by companies like PicScout, LicenseStream, TinEye and C-Registry. The millions, perhaps billions, of dollars that are being lost through copyright infringement and unfulfilled potential license fees, is just too big a piece of the pie to go unclaimed. The question is when, rather than if, image theft will get reigned in…and how much of the increased revenue will find its way into the pockets of photographers as opposed to the pockets of distributors.
Creating Stock Photos, Imprinted Products And SEO
I would probably make more money in the short term by devoting less time to my Internet efforts and SEO, and more to creating stock photos, but I totally believe that in the long term, it will be to my huge advantage to develop both my web presence and to increase my personal branding. Plus, my strategy of creating more silly pet pictures for distribution as photo imprinted products, and for increasing my print sales (through Imagekind), also relies on increased web traffic and high rankings in the search engines.
2010, An Awesome Year
So in the coming year it will be more of what I was doing in 2009. I am totally convinced that 2010 is going to be an awesome year, partly because I intend to make it an awesome year, and partly because, well, 2010 just rolls of the tongue so nicely!