In Stock: The Curious Incident of the Roundabout in the Afternoon

Roundabout sign, Alamy/Graeme Lamb

One of the challenges of stock photography is knowing what will sell, and to be honest it is sometimes hit and miss. There are certain procedures and policies that I follow and over time I have improved my eye and my business savvy in terms of what sells, but the reality is that you never know.

More than what will sell, the question is what will a picture sell for? On the libraries on which I have stock (predominantly Alamy, Shutterstock, 123RF & Dreamstime) I don’t set the price. The price is set by the library and is determined by a number of factors: size of image requested, use of image (commercial, editorial), rights (one-off, in perpetuity, print, online, local, worldwide) etc.

Guess the Value

So here is a challenge for you. You will see that I have included an image in this post, and I would like you to hazard a guess at how much the sale was. To help you out here are two pieces of information:

  1. The price is in dollars ($) as is common across all the libraries to which I provide
  2. The lowest price I have ever received for an image is $0.16 and the highest is $264.82, and it is neither of those

You may be surprised to find that this image sold for $125.00 In fact, it sold for considerably more than that as $125.00 is just my share of the price after the library takes their cut. This image was sold under a royalty-free licence for ‘All rights, all media, worldwide, in perpetuity, including in context promos’. 

As is often the case the stock photos, I don’t know who bought it, where they are from or what they have used it for. In this case, I just say thank you for the money and keep uploading the pictures

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