Getty Images / iStock Unification Project

This is something that has been a long time coming… iStock, although still a separate entity has now been migrated to Getty servers and management. A couple of years ago a project to place iStock exclusive editorial content on Getty was announced, implemented and promptly withdrawn. In the meantime I was tormented by the fact that Adobe Stock was gaining a strong foot hold in the stock photography arena and as an iStock exclusive photographer I was prohibited from participating.

Deer-TrioFor a year I waited in vain for the implementation of the editorial photography promise from Getty. Finally I gave up on the idea and rescinded my exclusive crown and began uploading to Adobe. The Adobe approach to making stock imagery available directly from Photoshop and other products was just too tempting to pass by. I now have a good nucleus portfolio on Adobe, minus all the editorial content I had enthusiastically uploaded to iStock in preparation for the editorial migration to Getty. Dire reports of ridiculous commissions in the new unified Getty / iStock world were enough to cause me to take a pause in uploading there while I built up my Adobe portfolio.

Finally, the unification project is mostly complete. Statistics on image sales on the Getty servers are now available so that an informed decision can be made regarding my future there. Much to my surprise, iStock remains my biggest stock income producer. Careful analysis of individual commissions reveals that subscription sales are not all that much smaller than that of similar licenses on Adobe. My swkrullimaging port on iStock is by far my largest and way too many man hours of effort spanning an entire decade is too much to contemplate throwing away because I am unhappy with the commission rate. As always before, the bottom line outweighs any emotional distress resulting from an industry low commission percentage and poor communication and contributor relations. Consequently, I have begun uploading again and expect to surpass the 5,000 image mark this year.

A summary of additional portfolios, including swkrullimaging on Alamy and is simple, sales at those two places are dismal. Alamy is the most difficult of any agency I am participating in for getting images accepted and it is increasingly difficult to justify the time required on each image for a successful upload. is the easiest and a portfolio there comes with additional benefits, such as a comprehensive print capability on every image in my swkrullimaging portfolio. Many fine products including metal, acrylic, canvas and traditional framed prints plus apparel, household items and a plethora of gift items are available there for both my own images, and for portrait and wedding customers as well.

It is my hope that the long night following the economic crash of 2008 is finally over. Reports of improvement in the business climate are encouraging and give me hope that the long downturn in photographic sales is at the bottom with nowhere to go but up. Lol… I could be delusional, but I have begun to upload daily stock imagery to both iStock and Adobe while I reserve the very best for my stock port. For the first time in a long time I believe there is hope and reason for optimism for stock photographers.

Steve Krull is a prolific sports and nature photographer selling prints and stock images online as S.W. Krull Imaging at various sites and agencies. Click this link to view all the products and services offered by Steve Krull and S. W. Krull Imaging. Additional services include, wedding photography, portraiture and model portfolios, and event photography. Additional products include fine art stock imagery, prints and gift items


Major Break

My stock photography business caught a major break in May. Most of my stock images get uploaded to iStockphoto, with a few going up to the parent company, the Getty Images Agency. Getty Images is the largest picture agency in the world, and for a photographer it is certainly the major league of the stock photo business. I recently learned that management at Getty Images has recognized the importance of the editorial (also known as unreleased) image collection and the talent of the photographers shooting those images at iStockphoto and will adding these images to their editorial collection.


Contestants preparing for Paddlefest 2015

The new development will involve porting exclusive editorial content at iStockphoto to a special editorial collection at Getty Images. What that means to me is that I can rapidly grow my collection of images at the Getty Agency while doing the type of photography I enjoy the most and find myself to be the most suited for, such as this whitewater festival called Paddlefest in Buena Vista, Colorado. It also means that the hundreds of images that I have already captured from sporting events, hiking trails, mountain climbing cliffs and lakes and rivers of Colorado will all be displayed for sale there as well as on the iStock web site.

I am now looking forward to the summer’s events with renewed excitement and combing the event calendars for some new ones that I haven’t been aware of in the past. Stay tuned to my Examiner news feed for the stories and pictures of this summer’s outdoor events in Colorado!