According to aboutheimage, Shutterstock is flying, eyes closed, into the editorial space. Sometimes, these microstock seem so eager to innovate that they will throw themselves into anything the competition has not done yet. Except that all new idea is  not always a good idea.

A few simple lessons in editorial photography :

– It is very hard to get a credential to cover an event, especially red carpet event . Furthermore, the space is limited by professional photographers who only cover those for a living. I know them well, and I can tell you, either in LA or New York, let along in other cities of the world, I doubt that they will happily greet an amateur within there rank. Did I mention London? I can just imagine someone in a line with those brit photogs saying, “hi, I work for a microstock agency”.

– Forget the model release. Celebs do not sign model releases. They make more money in product endorsement than making movies, so why would they sign a blanket release ? Furthermore, a red carpet is really not the appropriate place for rushing a celeb and ask them to sign a release. oops .

– Magazines are not looking for any images at any price. For a magazine to pay a subscription fee you have to have a similar offer than AP,Reuters, Getty or EPA.

However, I did write an entry a while back about editorial royalty free, a pay once, use multiple time licensing option. At the time, I thought a traditional celeb/editorial photo agency would be the first to play around with this model. I guess I was wrong. It happens.

Shutterstock might feel the pain, as the cost(excluding the cost of human lives on the carpets turning red for other reasons) of creating those editorial images might exceed the price they are being licensed for. They are obviously going after the Fans site / Myspace market, which is, in itself, not a bad idea.

But since they have no way of monitoring the usage, whose to say that someone will not use a photo of Julia Roberts for a brochure for womens shoes ?

Author: pmelcher

1 Comment

  1. What will happen with Shutterstock’s Red Carpet:
    1. a lot will try it
    2. some will stick with it
    3. some of #2 will do well with it

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