Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Pro Business Discussion => Topic started by: kevs on July 11, 2019, 01:35:00 pm

Title: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: kevs on July 11, 2019, 01:35:00 pm
I came on board via Tony Stone years ago...  I only make a few hundred $ a year, with about 200 images on Getty. Some lifestyle, some celebs stuff.

Their vileness is so flagrant in their abusive ticket contact hall of mirror system; just surveying, would other stay or just bag it?

(I say that with understanding that most the is a basket case as well)
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: KLaban on July 11, 2019, 02:46:14 pm
I came on board via Tony Stone years ago...  I only make $300 to $500 a years, with about 200 images on Getty. Some lifestyle, some celebs stuff.

Their evilness is so flagrant in their abusive ticket contact hall of mirror system; just surveying, would other stay or just bag it?

(I say that with understanding that most the is a basket case as well)

There are those who would say that by placing 200 images with Getty and earning a pittance you are a part of the problem.

I'd say, please, don't feed the monster.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: kevs on July 11, 2019, 02:54:39 pm
Thanks KL, that's why I'm posting, you are probably right...
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Rob C on July 12, 2019, 07:19:28 am
Thanks KL, that's why I'm posting, you are probably right...


I was with Stone from back in the late 70s. He invited me aboard due to a calendar printer down in England who did some bespoke calendar printing for me and used to use Stone for his stock calendars.

It was fine at first, but as Stone grew and grew I became increasingly relatively tiny. Then, all sorts of changes happened and it became hardly worth the bother and certainly not worth risking a model trip's cost.

We parted company. Then digital came in and fucked everything, just as I'd moved into 6x7 to make my stuff more marketable (I was told).

I know other stock shooters, and none that used to float trips does it anymore. Hell, magazines don't most of the time!

It was going to be my pension... instead, it's the egotripper's wet dream.

:-)

P.S.

In the good years, Stone was amazing.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: D White on October 18, 2019, 06:28:23 am
If you can post 20,000 good images there is still some income to be made.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: stamper on October 18, 2019, 08:37:13 am
 
If you can post 20,000 good images there is still some income to be made.

Most photographers can only take a few dozen images that are good in a lifetime.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: D Fuller on October 18, 2019, 09:02:27 am

Most photographers can only take a few dozen images that are good in a lifetime.

Good by stock photo standards and good by your standards may not be the same thing.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: luxborealis on November 04, 2019, 12:14:31 pm
Iím going to stick with Getty. In fact, Iím going to increase my portfolio of images with them. I can decide not ďto feed the MonsterĒ, but what would that get me? Thousands more images sitting on hard drives, doing nothing for me.

As an experiment, Iím going to be sending images to Adobe Stock, Getty and three other stock agencies, just to see what happens with them over the next 12 months. See this post . . . (https://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=132734.msg1137539#msg1137539)
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Photog55 on November 04, 2019, 12:20:21 pm
Iím going to stick with Getty. In fact, Iím going to increase my portfolio of images with them. I can decide not ďto feed the MonsterĒ, but what would that get me? Thousands more images sitting on hard drives, doing nothing for me.

As an experiment, Iím going to be sending images to Adobe Stock, Getty and three other stock agencies, just to see what happens with them over the next 12 months. See this post . . . (https://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=132734.msg1137539#msg1137539)

I can't agree. I know the industry is swirling down the drain now, but I won't help it get there.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Rob C on November 06, 2019, 05:42:16 pm
I can't agree. I know the industry is swirling down the drain now, but I won't help it get there.

Indeed. Was a time that good libraries demanded exclusivity. And for very valid contractual reasons both between photographer and library, and importantly - library and library clients! If they don't today, then it can only be because they feel images have no value anymore, and exclusivity is so rarely important for stock image users. Imagine two competing, major companies finding themselves using the same or almost the same "snap" for their advertising. Writs, once, would have flown.

Yep, that drain swirls away taking integrity and profitability for the individual photographer with it. Glad I'm out, considering what it is today.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: KLaban on November 07, 2019, 02:47:06 pm
Getty Images is phasing out rights-managed 'creative images' in favour of royalty free content.

https://www.dpreview.com/news/0475276807/getty-is-phasing-out-rights-managed-photos-in-favor-of-royalty-free-content (https://www.dpreview.com/news/0475276807/getty-is-phasing-out-rights-managed-photos-in-favor-of-royalty-free-content)
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: LesPalenik on November 07, 2019, 03:01:15 pm
Indeed. Was a time that good libraries demanded exclusivity. And for very valid contractual reasons both between photographer and library, and importantly - library and library clients! If they don't today, then it can only be because they feel images have no value anymore, and exclusivity is so rarely important for stock image users. Imagine two competing, major companies finding themselves using the same or almost the same "snap" for their advertising. Writs, once, would have flown.

Yep, that drain swirls away taking integrity and profitability for the individual photographer with it. Glad I'm out, considering what it is today.

Switching to royalty-free way increases also image theft, since now the image usage can't be be tracked anymore. Especially for not exclusive images.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: luxborealis on November 07, 2019, 04:31:28 pm
Itís certainly easy to sit and bash stock agencies and contributors. The market has changed considerably since I started in photography 40 years ago. Itís much easier today to submit images and I certainly have many more high quality images from a single day of shooting than I did years ago. But, there are times when I, too, pine for the Ďgood olí daysí when my stock photos were worth tens to hundreds of $, rather than the pittance received today. But, supply and demand works in photography, too.

With all the backlash against Getty and other stock agencies, Iím curious about how posters make Ďproductiveí (read monetary) use of their thousands of marketable images, ones that were not made under contract with a client. If not for stock, then for what: to sell as prints in art shows? to illustrate magazine articles? or is there a market for photographs I am missing? Or, are we hearing sour grapes here?
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Photog55 on November 07, 2019, 05:10:52 pm
I sell prints and photograph architecture for clients.

Sharon
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: LesPalenik on November 08, 2019, 12:23:22 am
Itís certainly easy to sit and bash stock agencies and contributors. The market has changed considerably since I started in photography 40 years ago. Itís much easier today to submit images and I certainly have many more high quality images from a single day of shooting than I did years ago. But, there are times when I, too, pine for the Ďgood olí daysí when my stock photos were worth tens to hundreds of $, rather than the pittance received today. But, supply and demand works in photography, too.

With all the backlash against Getty and other stock agencies, Iím curious about how posters make Ďproductiveí (read monetary) use of their thousands of marketable images, ones that were not made under contract with a client. If not for stock, then for what: to sell as prints in art shows? to illustrate magazine articles? or is there a market for photographs I am missing? Or, are we hearing sour grapes here?

It is still possible to sell images both with stock agencies and with galleries, or even at a craft/art show, but now the supply side is immense and the financial rewards are significantly lower than they used to be. Most magazines and book publishers buy their images nowadays from stock agencies. Some purchases by non-traditional buyers are triggered by Instagram or Twitter pages.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on November 08, 2019, 12:36:28 am
I make a living selling images commissioned by clients. Thatís it. If I shoot outside of that, and I do, itís purely for my own pleasure. I cannot imagine a worse way to spend my time with a camera than trying to come up with ideas that might sell for pennies with stock agencies. I would rather walk my dogs, read a book, cook a meal, meditate, watch something on Netflix or hang out with friends.

To each his own I guess but commissioned work needs to cover my living. If it stops doing that I will figure out something else but stock is not going to happen.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: D Fuller on November 08, 2019, 08:26:36 am
I make a living selling images commissioned by clients. Thatís it. If I shoot outside of that, and I do, itís purely for my own pleasure. I cannot imagine a worse way to spend my time with a camera than trying to come up with ideas that might sell for pennies with stock agencies. I would rather walk my dogs, read a book, cook a meal, meditate, watch something on Netflix or hang out with friends.

To each his own I guess but commissioned work needs to cover my living. If it stops doing that I will figure out something else but stock is not going to happen.

This about some it up for me, too.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Photog55 on November 08, 2019, 11:22:02 am
I make a living selling images commissioned by clients. Thatís it. If I shoot outside of that, and I do, itís purely for my own pleasure. I cannot imagine a worse way to spend my time with a camera than trying to come up with ideas that might sell for pennies with stock agencies. I would rather walk my dogs, read a book, cook a meal, meditate, watch something on Netflix or hang out with friends.

To each his own I guess but commissioned work needs to cover my living. If it stops doing that I will figure out something else but stock is not going to happen.

+1
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 08, 2019, 01:00:01 pm
... I cannot imagine a worse way to spend my time with a camera than trying to come up with ideas that might sell for pennies with stock agencies...

But that's not what is under discussion here.

I presume that Terry is not a full-time professional photographer, but someone who has already amassed thousands of images that he shot for his own pleasure,  which might be of interest to potential clients via stock agencies.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 08, 2019, 01:05:16 pm
Couple of years ago, I sold (licensed) a single image to Canon for $11.5K (I got 70%). That is probably once-in-a-lifetime occurrence (well, for me, anyway).

It was via a stock library, but of a different kind. It was known as ImageBrief, and as the name implies, that's their business model. A client comes with a brief, they post it to their members, members then submit what they have specifically for that brief. Unfortunately, the model didn't survive and they closed the shop after just a couple of years.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: D Fuller on November 08, 2019, 01:47:55 pm
Couple of years ago, I sold (licensed) a single image to Canon for $11.5K (I got 70%). That is probably once-in-a-lifetime occurrence (well, for me, anyway).

It was via a stock library, but of a different kind. It was known as ImageBrief, and as the name implies, that's their business model. A client comes with a brief, they post it to their members, members then submit what they have specifically for that brief. Unfortunately, the model didn't survive and they closed the shop after just a couple of years.

A few years ago I took a trip to Europe and brought a 16mm camera. I shot some footage in Paris that more than paid for the trip within 2 monthsóclose to $15k in two stock sales. Today Iíd be lucky to realize enough for one night in a decent hotel.

But itís not Getty that destroyed the stock business, it was iStock and itís clones and Google image search combined with companiesí willingness to just steal stuff off the internet. Getty is just doing what it needs to do to stay alive.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on November 08, 2019, 02:12:49 pm
But that's not what is under discussion here.

I presume that Terry is not a full-time professional photographer, but someone who has already amassed thousands of images that he shot for his own pleasure,  which might be of interest to potential clients via stock agencies.

Thread was started in July by Kevs, a number of things relating to stock have and are under discussion here. I was stating my position which seems valid to me and I see I am not alone in my point of view.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: kevs on November 08, 2019, 03:19:57 pm
Hey all, OP here.
Just laying back, listening to all this amused. Keep it going!

Yeah, I just saw the email about going all RF.

I actually keeping the contract going.. though I don't make anything anymore, but I do have some Celeb stuff occasionally I could insert perhaps.

Yeah, the whole industry is a sad joke now... micro, Rf, digital etc.... but really Getty and others --  it was the decision to eliminate the professional shooters percentage, and then transition to go wholly owned (another route)..... which is what it is.  For 30 years, the photographers was king and they come and says lets go with amateurs...  That said, there are many who made 10 times what I ever did at best....
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: luxborealis on November 09, 2019, 01:56:06 pm
I cannot imagine a worse way to spend my time with a camera than trying to come up with ideas that might sell for pennies with stock agencies. I would rather walk my dogs, read a book, cook a meal, meditate, watch something on Netflix or hang out with friends.

Couldn't agree more! However, there is more than one model of stock photography. For examples, are a number of purely stock photographers (not me!) that do make decent money by making and submitting photos that fit the stock model (a diversity of happy people engaged in various activities). They may also take on much more specific niches identified by stock agencies as "we need shots of this". To them, I take my hat off. If it fulfils their life as photographers then who is anyone to judge?

I must admit, it is rather tedious keywording/tagging and captioning photos, but it's also downtime I might otherwise use watching Netflix or the grass grow. ;)

Like Slobodan, I've made a some lucrative sales via my website, but they are few and far between. Who knows what might happen through stock. Heck, maybe I'll meet my goal and pay off Lightroom for a year!
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on November 09, 2019, 02:44:20 pm
Couldn't agree more! However, there is more than one model of stock photography. For examples, are a number of purely stock photographers (not me!) that do make decent money by making and submitting photos that fit the stock model (a diversity of happy people engaged in various activities). They may also take on much more specific niches identified by stock agencies as "we need shots of this". To them, I take my hat off. If it fulfils their life as photographers then who is anyone to judge?

I must admit, it is rather tedious keywording/tagging and captioning photos, but it's also downtime I might otherwise use watching Netflix or the grass grow. ;)

Like Slobodan, I've made a some lucrative sales via my website, but they are few and far between. Who knows what might happen through stock. Heck, maybe I'll meet my goal and pay off Lightroom for a year!

Best of luck to you and I wish you every success. I really mean that and hope you make a ton of money and have fun doing it.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Alan Klein on November 09, 2019, 04:04:25 pm
Couldn't agree more! However, there is more than one model of stock photography. For examples, are a number of purely stock photographers (not me!) that do make decent money by making and submitting photos that fit the stock model (a diversity of happy people engaged in various activities). They may also take on much more specific niches identified by stock agencies as "we need shots of this". To them, I take my hat off. If it fulfils their life as photographers then who is anyone to judge?

I must admit, it is rather tedious keywording/tagging and captioning photos, but it's also downtime I might otherwise use watching Netflix or the grass grow. ;)

Like Slobodan, I've made a some lucrative sales via my website, but they are few and far between. Who knows what might happen through stock. Heck, maybe I'll meet my goal and pay off Lightroom for a year!

You have wonderful photos and deserve all the "luck" you get. 
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Rob C on November 09, 2019, 04:49:00 pm
It's dead as a viable way of making a living.

It was always a good way of using up seconds from commissioned shoots, which is what I did, mostly, though I did float the occasional model shoot for myself for stock. Best I can remember, the last one took me two years to get my money back. It never went into profit, so that was that: not again.

Interestingly enough, I also realised I was not really psychologically suited to doing my own shoots. I found that without a client to focus the mind and provide a sense of purpose and urgency, I was more inclined to enjoy long lunches, chat and produce little.

It's a shame I didn't do close-ups of flowers and things like that; lots of greeting cards and similar used that sort of material, and it wouldn't have cost an arm and a leg to produce. On the other hand, it may not have paid as well as model pix - I don't know, having never done plants.

Such is photography.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 09, 2019, 04:52:29 pm
... I don't know, having never done plants....

 Nor implants, I presume  ;)
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on November 09, 2019, 09:32:33 pm

Interestingly enough, I also realised I was not really psychologically suited to doing my own shoots. I found that without a client to focus the mind and provide a sense of purpose and urgency, I was more inclined to enjoy long lunches, chat and produce little.

I understand that I think. Client comes to me with 100 office chairs to photograph, that happens frequently actually, and Iím only too delighted. Three  days of work including post and covers my overheads for the month. I do it with a smile on my face and a skip in my step. Tried to do those photos of business people looking enthusiastic in meetings and shaking hands and all that stuff that stock seems to delight in and I couldnít get going. Couldnít work up any excitement for taking photos in the hope someone would one day buy them.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Alan Klein on November 09, 2019, 09:37:57 pm
One man's work is another man's play.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: LesPalenik on November 10, 2019, 12:33:54 am
It's a shame I didn't do close-ups of flowers and things like that; lots of greeting cards and similar used that sort of material, and it wouldn't have cost an arm and a leg to produce. On the other hand, it may not have paid as well as model pix - I don't know, having never done plants.

On alamy.com, there are over half a million images with rose flowers. And almost a million tomato images. Easier to shoot but not as profitable as a pretty girl in bikini.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: KLaban on November 10, 2019, 04:27:20 am
On alamy.com, there are over half a million images with rose flowers. And almost a million tomato images. Easier to shoot but not as profitable as a pretty girl in bikini.

There are 214,008 images of pretty girls in bikinis on Alamy.

You want to be no. 214,009?

;-)
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: LesPalenik on November 11, 2019, 06:08:45 am
There are 214,008 images of pretty girls in bikinis on Alamy.

You want to be no. 214,009?

;-)

If your image is of the same variety as the other 214,008 ones, your prospects of selling it are pretty low. To give it a better chance, you have to put the girl on the horse, place the horse in a Yosemite meadow, and add a double rainbow. And include a few dozens of good keywords.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: luxborealis on November 12, 2019, 08:03:30 pm
Best of luck to you and I wish you every success. I really mean that and hope you make a ton of money and have fun doing it.

Believe me, I have no visions of grandeur. I could do nothing, and earn nothing. Or, I can do something and maybe earn a little. Weíll see if itís enough to cover my costs in time! :)
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Alan Klein on November 12, 2019, 08:11:42 pm
Believe me, I have no visions of grandeur. I could do nothing, and earn nothing. Or, I can do something and maybe earn a little. Weíll see if itís enough to cover my costs in time! :)
Terry, I give you a lot of credit.  First off, you do nice work.  Second, you don't let changes in the landscape sidetrack you.  Life happens.  You deal with it.  So many people here complain about everything.  They want the universe to stop moving.  Prices have gone down.  There more compeititon, They don;t make the same film they use too.   

I had a business for twenty years that I lost because I didn't adjust to changing circumstances.  Shame on me.  Meanwhile others adjusted and moved on.  There are plenty of photographers making a good buck.  Others should do like you.  Stop complaining and get out there and do something to sell yourself and your work.  Nothing's going to happen sitting on your ass. 

PS  Sorry if I offended anyone.,  I think I'm just taking it out on myself.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 12, 2019, 09:34:32 pm
Terry, I give you a lot of credit.  First off, you do nice work.  Second, you don't let changes in the landscape sidetrack you.  Life happens.  You deal with it.  So many people here complain about everything.  They want the universe to stop moving.  Prices have gone down.  There more compeititon, They don;t make the same film they use too.   

I had a business for twenty years that I lost because I didn't adjust to changing circumstances.  Shame on me.  Meanwhile others adjusted and moved on.  There are plenty of photographers making a good buck.  Others should do like you.  Stop complaining and get out there and do something to sell yourself and your work.  Nothing's going to happen sitting on your ass. 

PS  Sorry if I offended anyone.,  I think I'm just taking it out on myself.

+1
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on November 12, 2019, 11:35:21 pm
Believe me, I have no visions of grandeur. I could do nothing, and earn nothing. Or, I can do something and maybe earn a little. Weíll see if itís enough to cover my costs in time! :)

Iím very interested in how it goes. Lots of talk and theory. First hand info is much more useful.

Ten 15 years ago I used to get a lot of work from Ad Agencies where they had pitched a concept to a client who had then bought it and needed to move on into the creative production phase. We would get the brief which would consist of mockups with images heavily watermarked by the various stock agencies. We would be asked to do something similar, sometimes with local flavor but often because dollar prices in our tiny market and economy are simply not going to happen we could do it cheaper. That work is long gone. Agencies just buy the dirt cheap stock now. The massive drop in stock image prices didnít just affect stock and the people working in that market. It had huge implications for other areas as well. The o oh place I make money now is if the thing being photographed is very specific. A particular factory, a specific shirt, a new industrial LED light, that type of thing.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: PeterAit on November 13, 2019, 10:13:41 am
I miss the "good old days" of film when it took a good deal of skill to get technically excellent images suitable for stock. Agencies valued their photogs and the per-image rate was decent if not great. I was with an agency called Photo Researchers and I well recall packaging up my Kodachrome to send to them for review. Now anyone with the wits of an oyster and $500 for a camera can take technically good photos. I am glad I do not rely on photography for my living!!
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on November 13, 2019, 10:42:02 am
I miss the "good old days" of film when it took a good deal of skill to get technically excellent images suitable for stock. Agencies valued their photogs and the per-image rate was decent if not great. I was with an agency called Photo Researchers and I well recall packaging up my Kodachrome to send to them for review. Now anyone with the wits of an oyster and $500 for a camera can take technically good photos. I am glad I do not rely on photography for my living!!

Anyone that relies on technical skills to stay in the game is bound to lose out at some point. The light meter jockeys were the first to go. I remember a guy who thought his angle would be pano stitching. Before PT GUI was even around. He was basically replace by an app on a cell phone. All that will save you now is creativity and actual real life honest to goodness business and marketing skills. Sadly most photographers seem to have only one of the three.
Title: Re: Getty, beyond Evil, stay or go?
Post by: Rob C on December 20, 2019, 06:27:20 am
Anyone that relies on technical skills to stay in the game is bound to lose out at some point. The light meter jockeys were the first to go. I remember a guy who thought his angle would be pano stitching. Before PT GUI was even around. He was basically replace by an app on a cell phone. All that will save you now is creativity and actual real life honest to goodness business and marketing skills. Sadly most photographers seem to have only one of the three.


Yes, you are right.

I believe that many of us are drawn to the photographic life exactly because it offers offered(?) many of us an outlet for our natural creative instincts (no, not necessarily sex, Joe, but possibly) to be followed and used as means to living a life worth the living. Being a wage slave in anything other than the thing you love is the price many have to pay for security. (Again, perhaps little of that exists today, either.)

I used to follow your old ad agency model of working for a while, too - in the 60s to early 70s - and in my case, it began to fall apart for me for two principal reasons: clients with agencies would sometimes pass their agencies by and come directly to me after a shoot or two, and that brought the dilemma: should I take the gig and risk annoying the agency or possibly lose both if I refuse? I decided to accept the work. Yeah, agencies didn't like it one bit. Also, the work itself began to fall away, and several large GP studios closed down. Being a man and wife team, we were slim and could ride some hardships because we didn't have the big studio overheads to pay. In fact, we closed our first studio (rented) exactly because studio work had pretty much vanished for us, and I earned our keep by doing location work, much of it abroad. In those days, if you wanted to do advertising you had to have your own studio. As it turned out, studio work made a comeback for me for a while, and so we decided to build our own alongside our house, and after some trouble getting plans accepted by the local authorities, we had one.

However, the decline in studio work returned, and as we were doing very little fashion anymore, and amost everything involved trips to the sunshine, we opted to get the hell out whilst we could. That was '81. We have lived here ever since.

Stock came about from the calendar shoots: a printer we used for some of our productions (Bemrose, at that time) introduced me to Tony Stone, the then supremo of British stock agents, and by invitation, I found a new outlet far better than my own half-hearted attempts to market my own stock had been. Stone was no romantic: he was all business, as he showed when he judged the time and read the runes accurately, and sold out to be Getty's biggest original agency purchase. He had what many in the crowd of us photographers who flew with him did not: a business head.

Digital did exactly as you described: it devalued photographers almost immediately. Trouble is that making the production of pictures simple is only one aspect: it has encouraged people working within companies to shoot their own stuff, and where once that work provided a living for many snappers of everyday ability or ambitions, that work has been removed from the external market, and "good enough" has become the norm for much photography that once saw a professional. Many, many of those cats have lost their livelihood.

The top echelons still survive and appear to do well, if they can avoid the Me Too movement, but they always represented a minute percentage of working photographers. With luck they will continue to exist and provide the visible validity to dreams that so many other people have about photography. Take away our dreams and we may as well stop breathing.