IAPEP responds to Corbis expansion of royalty-free image offerings
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IAPEP responds to Corbis expansion of royalty-free image offerings
IAPEP received a call from a reporter covering a story on today’s announcement from Corbis that they are expanding its royalty-free image offerings (http://www.creativepro.com/story/news/23149.html). The reporter wanted our opinion on the increased availability of royalty-free offerings in the market, and specifically asked what we feel the market implications are for this trend, especially in relation to the economic impact on artists and photographers who rely on being paid for their images. Our response is included below:

International Association of Professional Event Photographers (IAPEP) has grave concerns about the trend towards overuse of royalty free images.

Royalty free images have already had a definite negative impact on photographers who work in the commercial field. We anticipate that expanded use of royalty free images will have an increasingly negative effect on stock and assignment photographers.

Royalty free images can work very well for clients for certain specific needs. On a long term basis it is very possible that advertisers, illustrators and editors will learn that even the finest royalty free images don’t always fit what they are trying to portray, and they risk lowering the impact of their material without the use of high quality professional photographers who can deliver high impact photos for their use.

Users also run the documented risk of using the same image to advertise similar products in the same market. There are also concerns about advertisers using royalty free images having an uneven or inconsistent visual look.

If royalty free image use becomes dominant in the market place, then the pool of quality photographers will shrink. Where will the future Richard Avedon or Irving Penn come from? Where will businesses go when they need talented professionals for their projects?

IAPEP is dedicated to helping professional photographers enhance their professionalism and improve their businesses. We are specifically helping commercial photographers diversify and refine their professional products and services in order to stay competitive. We also assist businesses in finding top quality professionals around the world. For more information on IAPEP go to www.IAPEP.com.