Woke up this morning to this news: “Dubai, United Arab Emirates, July 21, 2008. Celeb Arabia, subsidiary of Dubai Photographers Agency, the source for authentic celebrity images, today announces the launch of its Middle East Celebrity Photo Collection at CelebArabia.com.”

Cool, I thought… let’s discover Arabian celebrities :  The local Britney Spears or the Sheik heiress that is behaving like Paris Hilton.Who’s hot and who’s not. Well, it was quite a disappointment. The Paris Hilton of Dubai and region is…Paris Hilton.

Pretty damn disappointing.. I know that corporate America is a champion at exporting its brands and I very well know that what happens in Hollywood has more repercussion then  that annoying butterfly in the Amazon forest responsible for so many hurricanes. But still. Europe has a lot of local celebrities, so why not Dubai ? . Can’t they make more money with their celebrity rather than having to import American ones ? Sad…very sad.

However, that is not what really shocked me. The pricing is the biggest smack in my face :

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Celebrity photos, and rather good ones, taken by pros, at $44,90 an image ? Ouch ! Cheaper if you buy 100 !!. Paparazzi by the pound. Not sure how it works in Dubai, but usually paparazzi images, being hard to get, sell for a premium. Maybe because they look sometimes out of focus, the “Dubainese” market considers them as midstock material ? The license seems to be “rights ready” as it is mentioned a few time on the site. If it is anything like the Getty one, that means 10 years, $44,90. an image.Well, that is a market that is dead even before being commercially interesting.

Seriously, there should be a license that people should pass before having the right to sell images. Like Real Estate agents. This is getting totally ridiculous with absolutely no sense on how the images are priced.

The pricing of images is like walking into a frat house the day after blow out party : its all over the place and it smells bad. It is embarrassing for those of us trying to make it a ligitimate business because image buyers think we follow some kind of rule.

The rule is simple these days : “My images are cheaper than the guy next door. Even if he moved out. ”

Author: pmelcher

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