Occasionally I post a personal classification of the top 8 agencies I collaborate within a certain period of time varying between 3 and 12 months. This classification is based on my constant collaboration with these agencies for over 15 years and are strictly related to my portfolio and my type of workflow. To make this classification I use a special dual system created by me. This system is general and it could be used by other photographers to present their opinions. Bellow are my classification dual criteria:

1. Income: the income produced by the agency. This is the main criteria in establishing the classification. The income is represented by the gross income generated by my photo & video collections. I do not give precise data of the income, but I have a very precise evidence of it and it is a constant one during the years in the range of five digits per year. So it is a significant one.

2. Stability: the agency’s stability represents its capacity to produce a reasonable income for a long period of time with no major changes within the strategy that can determine the decrease of income (like the change of image selection criteria; deletion of images already accepted; implementation of new and extremely low commissions; the frequency and severity of technical incidents as well as the ability to rapidly and efficiently solve them; modernization techniques etc.) and the quality of the communication with the agency’s management. The stability is a subjective unit of measure and for its assessment, I’m relying on my substantial work experience (over 15 years in stock photography with multiple collaborations with over 50 agencies and not to mention lots of stories and “adventures” in this magic world called stock photography ). I believe such a description is very useful for photographers who are very carefully planning their evolution looking for a sustainable collaboration with stock agencies.

The Stability grades are as follows:

  • A. Good – Agencies with this rate ensure an acceptable income and a good stability. If the agency’ rules and the requirements are met you can be sure that you will get a reasonable income.
  • B. Moderate – Agencies with this type of rating can ensure a reasonable income but this is not very sure. For some reasons, the income is not a constant one and it might happen anytime to get undesired results although following their specific rules. There are agencies which often change their requirements; have frequent technical defects, which affects the purchasing capacity; have commission policies regarding non-performing photographs; random changes of these policies; they introduce with a negative impact the new technological updates and new sales techniques; randomly deleting already accepted images or changing the selection criteria of images, etc. This particular category has 2 main sub-categories:
  • B1- Positively moderate – These are agencies which offer a reasonable income without certain stability but they show up in progress and are future potential candidates for A level.
  • B2- Negatively moderate – These are agencies whose income and stability are in a downfall. This rating shows that in those respective agencies something is going wrong, although in previous periods of time they improved well.
  • C. Bad – These agencies have a constant bad evolution; on the one hand they generate a reduced but constant income and on the other hand they have a really great instability or both income and stability are affected.

Here are the classifications I did using these criteria: