Value of Licensed Images: Getty Images

Previously confidential financial documents released by one of the Getty Images indicate that the future of photography lies in rights managed photography by high-end photographers.

Getty Images, owner of Calgary-based iStockPhoto, are preparing for a vote later this month that will allow shareholders to decide if the publicly-held company will be sold to private equity firm Hellman & Friedman. The vote has meant that Getty Images have been releasing documents that indicate sales and trends.

The most recent memo has indicated that sales of low-end photography by hobby-photographers is on the rise. The quantity of these unlicensed low-grade images flooding the market is driving up the cost of rights-managed photography according to Getty’s latest memo.

The memo also states that for high-end images buyers, the traditional rights-managed images will be the best option – even if at a higher cost.