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Author Topic: Life Expectancy of an image  (Read 7208 times)

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« on: March 19, 2006, 03:35 »
0
How long do you think an image will sell for.

I am not sure what it would take for a landscape image to become unsaleable... perhaps megapixel size, but I am not sure what else.  But is the life of a landscape REALLY unending?

As for fashion, technology and such images, I wonder if 5 years is about a max life?  However perhaps after 15 years they will become markatable again,because they are then hot for retro images.

what do you think?


« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2006, 09:43 »
0
I think any image that doesn't have anything in it to suggest a date will most likely always sell.  Such as food, landscape, objects and etc.  An image would have to be hugely popular before it would loose it market value from over use.  Fashion of course changes constantly and you will need to update you images.  Thus I think that is part of the reason there is and probably always will be a strong demand for people pictures.  You can't pull out your library of images over the last 20 years and upload them.  They have to be somewhat recent.

Mark

« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2018, 21:30 »
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I am seeing some leveling off with some 4k videos I filmed 4 years ago. I am not sure if it is temporary or not. during the 4 year period, sales were consistent monthly, until a few months ago. this is the oldest material that I am tracking. all of my other sales are steady.

as a general rule, I calculate that I lose 10% of my business every year if I am not actively filming.

does anyone else have any comments for the lifespan of a photo or video?

« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2018, 03:04 »
+11
Not on a 12 year old thread

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2018, 21:13 »
+1
Not on a 12 year old thread

LOL yes, but it actually fits the question. And what is the life of a forum subject.  :o

2016 photo, I'd estimate the life expectancy of this image was 24 hours. Not like some artistic, commentary or illustrative images. Logos and location. Too bad because he just won the Indy 500, much deserved.



 

« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2018, 21:40 »
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I am not sure what it would take for a landscape image to become unsaleable... perhaps megapixel size, but I am not sure what else.  But is the life of a landscape REALLY unending?

Ansel Adams landscapes are still popular.

namussi

« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2018, 20:08 »
0
Not on a 12 year old thread

It would be interesting for Leaf to tell us, 12 years after the original post, how things worked out....

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2018, 10:53 »
+2
I am not sure what it would take for a landscape image to become unsaleable... perhaps megapixel size, but I am not sure what else.  But is the life of a landscape REALLY unending?

Ansel Adams landscapes are still popular.

That's the name of the artist not just the content of the photo(s). We're in a different market with stock. His work is traded as art, not stock.

But I'd agree that unless something major in the scenery changes, the life of a landscape is much longer. News is the shortest of all. Styles, trends, fashion, foods and the like, can be in one day and out the next. Hopefully those fake Polaroids and light flare shots have had their time and died!

I've found that some of my photos that sold in 2007 and 2008 have no sales now. Bottom line, they are crappy photos. Better choices for buyers now.  :)

"What's the life expectancy of an image?" What's the image? Anyone can have ideas or debate forever, but there's no general answer. Every image is it's own answer.

Examples:

One Day


Timeless?


« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2018, 10:55 »
+1
Yuri Accurs had one good mathematical formula which works fine!
But I can't find any more that post about it here...

Something similar to radioactive half-life calculation...

« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2018, 15:04 »
+3
I think on average over a large number of images and sites it is some sort of half life decay that has more to do with the onslaught of new images and the search engines than anything else. For individual images and sites I think the vagaries of the search engine and the image itself are pretty critical. The images I have paid attention to on sites with lots of sales - eg best sellers on SS have sold fairly steadily until one day the search changes and then sales plummet for good. Obviously some images with outdated technology and styles will drop off over time for those reasons.

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2018, 03:36 »
+1
I think shelf life only applies to:

- certain photo or footage or graphic trends (e.g. web 2.0 buttons with reflections)
- images that contain outdated technology or fashion (e.g. A 2004 generic stock photo of a man sitting behind a laptop or using an older phone)
- a lower production quality (i.e. SD instead of HD or 4K)
 
Unless the work can be labeled as "retro" or classic (e.g. a 50s jukebox or a man posing as a hippie) it will have a certain shelf life.
The Great Depression might not be a good example, because it symbolizes a historical event, has already received worldwide regonition and is considered a work of art.
Stock photos will never be art.


« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2018, 03:46 »
+3
I think shelf life only applies to:

- certain photo or footage or graphic trends (e.g. web 2.0 buttons with reflections)
- images that contain outdated technology or fashion (e.g. A 2004 generic stock photo of a man sitting behind a laptop or using an older phone)
- a lower production quality (i.e. SD instead of HD or 4K)
 
Unless the work can be labeled as "retro" or classic (e.g. a 50s jukebox or a man posing as a hippie) it will have a certain shelf life.
The Great Depression might not be a good example, because it symbolizes a historical event, has already received worldwide regonition and is considered a work of art.
Stock photos will never be art.
Anything created by humans can be art,  really "stock" is a sales channel rather than a type of photo though there's no relation between value as a stock photo and artistic merit.

« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2018, 08:41 »
0
How long do you think an image will sell for.

I am not sure what it would take for a landscape image to become unsaleable... perhaps megapixel size, but I am not sure what else.  But is the life of a landscape REALLY unending?

As for fashion, technology and such images, I wonder if 5 years is about a max life?  However perhaps after 15 years they will become markatable again,because they are then hot for retro images.

what do you think?

Have images that are heavily dated in my opinion (fashionwise) and still selling regularly. Come to think of it, I myself is quite dated when it comes to fashion and regularly wear t-shirts, jeans that are 10-15 years old - so perhaps dated images are viewed as true realism (which is the current trend)...

« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2018, 10:20 »
+3
The current trend is stylised realism....not many images of overweight middle aged businessmen in ill fitting suits in shabby offices or I'd be selling more selfies ;-)

« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2018, 12:02 »
0
Twelve years later we should have some actual answers based on experience...When I started I read a book that said most stock photos last about 5 years. That's one prediction about stock photography that was wrong and actually turned out better than I'd hoped.

Landscape and some travel (beaches and other outdoor/nature that don't change much - as well as medieval towns) in my experience still do well even 12 years later, while cityscape images may not last as long depending upon the city. Interestingly, I've even had older images of festivals sell many years later. I think it just depends on whether something appeals to a buyer - and of course being placed well in the search engine - when SS is working for me I'll get nearly daily sales of some images taken eight years ago.

Sometimes people come back into the news. I had photos of Hillary Clinton, taken when I did a magazine cover shoot back in 2006, that became popular during the election and now of course sadly are no longer so. Meantime, the photos I took a year to a day before the election, which I thought would have legs - well, some lasted less than 24 hours when the news changed...

A couple of slightly artsy purposely blurred images of my husband at a laptop taken in 2010 (with I believe an even older computer) sell all the time both on Alamy and the micros - the tech would be outdated if the image was in focus, but because of the way I shot them, they still work with lots of copy space and a modern feel. It's funny, I don't really like my lensbaby lens - I can't seem to get what I want from it - but the few times I've managed to get what I want for stock, the photos have earned me hundreds to over a thousand, so it paid for itself very quickly. Maybe I should play with it again soon...

I also think that some older images uploaded between 2008-2011 have an advantage having risen in the search engines.

« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2018, 21:45 »
0
Is this a record for the oldest tread revived ?

Trying to extend the lifetime of a microstock group thread ?

Above comments from word planet are generally my experience.

A lot of images dead on arrival, much harder to get sales on new content now than before.

« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2018, 16:28 »
0
I pretty much started My career doing Staff fashion with Eileen ford agency in the Mid 1960's.  Shelf life was maybe a Month. then I did stock and In those Days our commission was about $400 a Pic. thats about $2400 in todays Money. we could buy a car or a lot of food and rent was $90 a month  then.

« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2018, 17:44 »
+2
I pretty much started My career doing Staff fashion with Eileen ford agency in the Mid 1960's.  Shelf life was maybe a Month. then I did stock and In those Days our commission was about $400 a Pic. thats about $2400 in todays Money. we could buy a car or a lot of food and rent was $90 a month  then.

This is 2018 just in case you're wondering. You're lucky if you get $.38 for your best pic and it will be bumped off in less than one year with the millions of new images per month!


« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2018, 17:49 »
+2
Anyway on stock agencies, images have a "predetermined" or "forced" lifecycle, with a lifespan of about 3 years (http://blog.microstockgroup.com/the-tyranny-of-the-microstock-lifecycle/).

On Shutterstock I noticed that some popular images have an increased lifespan, maybe 4-5 years.

Here is the actual lifecycle of one of my images on Shutterstock. We can clearly see the ramp up phase of 3-6 months at the beginning, and the following constant decline. Almost all my images follow this same pattern on Shutterstock.

« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2018, 00:40 »
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On the other hand I still have images from 2013 that sell consistently as ever and have noticed one that is selling again after disappearing for a couple of years.

« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2018, 01:00 »
0
Well, I got two unrelated sales from files uploaded in the summer of 2005 on Friday, and there's nothing unusual about that.

« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2018, 01:35 »
0
Even news footage can still be active for 5+ years. For example, if you have some politically themed stock footage. I recorded Putin in 2011 and it still occasionally sells, better than in the beginning.

namussi

« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2018, 03:53 »
+1
Anyway on stock agencies, images have a "predetermined" or "forced" lifecycle, with a lifespan of about 3 years (http://blog.microstockgroup.com/the-tyranny-of-the-microstock-lifecycle/).




I read the article, and I think your comment is misleading.

The article is about observations.

But there is nothing in it about "forced" lifecycles.

"Forced" in this context to me means something done deliberately that goes against what would happen normally.

The article doesn't really deal with that.

« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2018, 05:28 »
+1
I read the article, and I think your comment is misleading.

The article is about observations.

But there is nothing in it about "forced" lifecycles.

"Forced" in this context to me means something done deliberately that goes against what would happen normally.

The article doesn't really deal with that.

Yes, you are right, the article only speaks about observations. Sorry if my comment was misleading, it was not my intention. The same for me: I only have my own observations. Stock agencies never speak about lifecycle of images, and we can easily guess that they would not like to.

However those observations show most of the time the same lifecycle. From one image to another one, it is mostly the vertical scale that differs: number of downloads, or popularity of the image. But the shape is the same.

And it is not only on Shutterstock: on Adobe Stock, iStock and Dreamstime, images' lifecycles are quite similar too.

My guess is that this behaviour is coded somewhere in the search algorithm, directly, or indirectly. But it can be only a guess, because those algorithms are never disclosed.

It doesn't mean that old images will not sell anymore, but that, on average, they will sell less at the end of the cycle. On my previous chart, we can see that amount of downloads nowadays is not 0, but nevertheless much less than during the first 6 months.

In my experience, some images don't follow this lifecycle, for example seasonal images (Christmas, summer vacation, ...) behave a bit differently.

namussi

« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2018, 07:06 »
0
I read the article, and I think your comment is misleading.

The article is about observations.

But there is nothing in it about "forced" lifecycles.

"Forced" in this context to me means something done deliberately that goes against what would happen normally.

The article doesn't really deal with that.

Yes, you are right, the article only speaks about observations. Sorry if my comment was misleading, it was not my intention. The same for me: I only have my own observations. Stock agencies never speak about lifecycle of images, and we can easily guess that they would not like to.

However those observations show most of the time the same lifecycle. From one image to another one, it is mostly the vertical scale that differs: number of downloads, or popularity of the image. But the shape is the same.

And it is not only on Shutterstock: on Adobe Stock, iStock and Dreamstime, images' lifecycles are quite similar too.

My guess is that this behaviour is coded somewhere in the search algorithm, directly, or indirectly. But it can be only a guess, because those algorithms are never disclosed.

It doesn't mean that old images will not sell anymore, but that, on average, they will sell less at the end of the cycle. On my previous chart, we can see that amount of downloads nowadays is not 0, but nevertheless much less than during the first 6 months.

In my experience, some images don't follow this lifecycle, for example seasonal images (Christmas, summer vacation, ...) behave a bit differently.
\

Thanks!


 

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