zondag 12 december 2010

the Shelf life for Stock Images Running Cheetah Tom Brakefield Photography

The shelf life for most stock images expires within a few years because wardrobe, hairstyles, technology, and photographic styles go quickly out of date. But some images beat the odds, and continue to sell for years. We asked Corbis, Getty, Masterfile  and Alamy for examples of those rare images that endure. Here is a portfolio of the selections they pulled from their files. Each agency explained some of the factors that make these images perennial sellers, and the photographers also shared their insight, along with their recollections about creating the images.

Running Cheetah
Photographed in 1994 by Tom Brakefield, Hendersonville, Tennessee
Distributed by Corbis since 1996

This dramatic image of a cheetah from the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya has sold more than 100 times to a variety of clients, including technology, consulting, financial services, automotive, consumer goods and media and publishing companies.

“It’s the type of image that sells well to clients who want to say they can do something fast,” photographer Tom Brakefield says. Dan Perlet, director of communications at Corbis, adds that because the subject of the image is nature, it has a long shelf life as a stock image. “Shots of people and urban places quickly become more dated,” he says.

Brakefield, now 73 and retired, shot the image more than 15 years ago during a three-week trip to Kenya. “I’ve pretty well shot all the bega fauna in the world,” he says. “Tigers, pandas, orcas…” He was in Kenya to photograph lions and cheetahs chasing down prey.

“This was the last image I got on the trip. The driver miscalculated the chase. She [the cheetah] came blowing by, too close, and I couldn’t get her with the animal she was chasing. So I shot her as an also-ran, not realizing until I got home that it was a great shot, with all four of her leg beats off the ground. It happened so fast I didn’t realize I had her perfectly framed.

“I’ve made a lot of money off of it over the years,” Brakefield continues, though he’s not certain how much. “I just cash the checks.” 

Business Meeting
Photographed around 1988 by Greg Pease, Baltimore, Maryland
Submitted to Tony Stone Images (now Getty)

Question Mark
Photographed about 1997 by Adri Berger, London
Distributed by Getty Images

Dog Kiss
Shot by Carl Valiquet, Montreal, Quebec 
Submitted to Masterfile in 1998

Photography by Ralph Clevenger, Santa Barbara, California
Submitted to Westlight (now Corbis) around 1998

Terrified Child
Shot by Roger Bamber, London
Submitted to Alamy in 2004

 1 Topcrimineel Klaas Bruinsma (vermoord in 1991) bij het politiebureau Lijnbaansgracht in Amsterdam. Foto uit 1989 van Willem Middelkoop.

 3 Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Tweede Kamerlid voor de VVD. Foto uit 2004 van Merlijn Doomernik. 24 keer verkocht, aan kranten en tijdschriften in binnen- en buitenland, van NRC Handelsblad tot Onze Wereld en van Corriere della Sera Magazine tot Time Magazine. Elsevier betaalde het hoogste bedrag: 530 euro.

10 Oranje-supporters bij Euro 2000. Foto van Pim Ras. 10 keer verkocht, vooral voor commerciële toepassingen, zoals mailings van Albert Heijn en KPN en een flyer van het Reumafonds.

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