The value of historical stock photographs?

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veeco5150 Contributing Member • Posts: 510
The value of historical stock photographs?

As the stock photography market goes into it's final stages of self destruction that has been inevitable and foreseen by all; is there any value at all with holding onto photographs from the past?

Going forward and for the past decade the proliferation of imagery from around the world makes a lot of photography not very unique....and going forward; even less unique.

Of course there are many unique images still to be grabbed that will have great value, but it becomes rarer and rare.

Images that are common today would be quite rare 10+ years ago.

As photographers we must find value in other ways going forward. Stock photography in the future, there is nothing there but the hope of visibility. Better imagery and copycat images will always be created.

Going forward I accept that any work I produce will not make me much more than a cool tear sheet or possible credit. That's okay. I just don't put the work in for that anymore unless I feel like it.

But the past cannot say the same.

My images now are infinitely better and far better quality and size and technique than the images I took in the past. They wouldn't often be considered when compared to another image taken today.

But those images are of historical value of a time that will not ever be again.

Are there any thoughts of value about holding onto those images from the past, before the proliferation of digital that will never be again?

Possibly taking them out of the sales rotation of forced Royalty Free penny sales; and banking that someday these will be rare and unique and worthwhile.

Or the money, the time, the experience has already been done .... let it go, let the images run their course, forget about it and move on to other photographic ventures?

Very curious if anyone has pulled their imagery years ago and seen the value go up. I'm sure there are some, but figure it is very rare.

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