Today I received an unsolicited email informing me that “Getty Images is interested in ANOTHER 12 of your photos! Wow! Awesome! High Five!”.
So what does this actually mean? Some algorithm, trawling through Flickr has picked a set of photos which have, for whatever random reason, picked up a lot of “faves”. In order to benefit from the privilege of Getty putting them up for licensing, and, in the extremely unlikely event of getting a bit, grabbing pretty much all the paltry sum that would accrue, I’d need to spend several evenings uploading high resolution versions, filling in forms and generally being a part-time Getty slave.
I guess if they throw enough mud, some of will stick. They can’t really lose, and they cruelly raise many people’s hopes of making money from their photography. But I’ve been on the other end of the licensing game, and what the vast majority of buyers want is well-executed, but neutral, bland imagery with can serve their brand. That’s what stock photography is about.
And while opinions may differ on the merits of my photography (recently I was told that it is “overdone technically and cold and sterile”), it certainly isn’t designed to please anybody except me, and looking at it from the perspective of a stock imagery buyer, I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole. The selection they’re proposing is, frankly, weird. I certainly hope no human calling themselves a photo editor was involved.
Oh, and that bloody puffin. Why does EVERYBODY choose that one??? Even Getty’s sodding algorithm.
So, yeah, thanks Getty, but don’t call me, I’ll call you. Real soon.