NYT has an article today about Corbis, the photo agency Bill Gates started when he imagined people would want pictures to fill the giant LCD and plasma screens that would take the place of conventional pictures on the wall. Corbis has become, together with lartger competitor Getty, a massive rights management business that has, along the way, changed photojournalism.
Corbis has gone the route of making the photog pay all the expenses up front, as an independent contractor, and shares the photo sales. Getty, on the other hand, still pays day rates and expenses, but keeps all of the sales. Corbis gets more established and stock photogs, where Getty gets young people trying to make a name, who need the plane tickets to hot spots.
Of course the net has brought ‘microstock’ sites – I even have one, and believe it or not, it brings in a few hundred dollars a year on average. I’m even working – very slowly, some evenings and weekends – on a bigger archive, using free Google tools. We’re learning to use Lightroom, of course, to manage the images…