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Author Topic: Everyone complains about weak stock market yet we all keep at it - why?  (Read 3588 times)

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« on: August 06, 2018, 18:21 »
+2
Seems like stock has always been low paying but the next year is always lower than the previous.  I'm still pretty new at this game but it seems, based on the more experienced contributors, that pattern will continue.  Yet we all keep "feeding the beast."  A lot of people quit the biz or are on the verge of quitting.  In the future, are we going to talk about today's stock market as the good old days?  So why do we keep at it?


farbled

« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2018, 18:50 »
+5
Seems like stock has always been low paying but the next year is always lower than the previous.  I'm still pretty new at this game but it seems, based on the more experienced contributors, that pattern will continue.  Yet we all keep "feeding the beast."  A lot of people quit the biz or are on the verge of quitting.  In the future, are we going to talk about today's stock market as the good old days?  So why do we keep at it?
We already do talk about the good ol days of Micro. Just like the trads did about their industry when we started. I think I don't want to let go because I love being an artist, and this was (and sometimes is) the most interesting way to make money without having to deal with clients, deadlines or any of the other stressors that can suck the fun out of making a living with (for me) photography.

Is it declining? Yup, certainly for some of us, it is for me because I hit my plateau and do not find video interesting. And most of my stuff is also not of the calibre to make it as RM. Unless a better agency comes along, I will probably fade out eventually, or just self host for the occasional sale, or leave what I have up until I get tired of basically giving it away. I have reduced the number of sites I sell on, and will probably reduce even more.


« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2018, 20:29 »
+3
Here is my reason. I make money....Maybe not as much as I think I am worth, but it is real spending money. Seems like everything sells eventually. My old images still sell and my new ones sell. Maybe not what I think they are worth but they sell. I like the idea that these images are published somewhere. Ever once in a while I see one the internet or even at the grocery store. It still gives me a rush to see one published. Hard to get a rush just looking at my old hard drive. I will keep doing it as long as they keep sending me money. I do wish they would send more money but some is better than none. PS it is a lot more fun selling photos than siting in a corporate cubicle.   

« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2018, 21:11 »
+4
a) People like complaining
b) People don't like change, so people hope things will change back to how they were
c) It's fun to whine about how someone else is getting ahead of you, instead of adapting and/or making yourself better/smarter/etc.
d) It's still fun taking pictures/videos/etc.
e) People are 'comfortable' with what they know, and don't want to change. (Me too sometimes).

Kodak was THE camera company in the 80's and 90's and dominated. They refused to accept people would go digital. They are a shadow of their former self.

Likewise - the "old" way of making money through photos has changed.

You have an army of people with cell phones figuring they are "photographers" (which, ironically has changed the definition of 'good' photography in some instances. Before you needed good lighting, proper composure, etc, etc - but because the people purchasing photos are used to "bad" photography (cropped body parts, poor lighting, etc, etc) - but the majority of the population identifies with that as "good" photography - that is what sells. (Companies buy photos that will encourage more sales. Bad photos sell).

People like getting things for free. They don't like paying. Google has made getting "free" images easy. Google doesn't care, because they make money from ad revenue (and analytic insights/marketing data which they resell or use for their own purposes).
So you are competing with "free" images.

So what does all this mean?

You can still make money with photography (pictures) - but you need to learn & adapt.

Some suggestions.

a) Get into wedding photography. Baby pictures. etc. Granted, not the 'online passive income' bit - but I was shocked to learn people sell $10,000 wedding packages on a regular basis where I live. (I've never done wedding photography - and it is competitive - but get 3 gigs/year - you have your standard living expenses paid for. 1-2 weeks work, not bad. Get more than 3 gigs/year - now you are making a profit).

b) Become an expert in a specific field. Maybe you are the "rose" guy - that takes 10,000 pictures of beautiful roses. Or the shoe guy. Or the hand guy. Or whatever. People are willing to pay for someone who is an expert.

c) Learn how to do your own marketing/sales. Yes, it's extremely competitive. But, things go full circle. The internet in many cases is now simply an 'extension' of a bricks and mortars store. But get your name out with 'free' photography (or - maybe give 3-4 prints 'free' from an entire set) - and sell the rest of the set if the client wants it. If they don't - it builds your portfolio to showcase to others.

There are many ways to make money as a photographer.

« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2018, 22:02 »
+1
If you don't hear from somebody, that probably means they found something better. If you do, then they are still looking or waiting for the end. A lot of us have realized that any semblance of a reasonable income is probably off the table. I do still enjoy doing the work, so I suppose I can try to prolong a little bit of money out of it all. It really is kind of deciding what to work on next or just ripping the band-aid off.

PZF

« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2018, 04:12 »
0
I do microstock for the money.
Whilst looking for better, more profitable alternatives doing photography - which is what I love.

« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2018, 04:21 »
+1
I think people will be leaving in their droves by now. Some keen newbies may jump on board for awhile just to try and get published and make a few dollars. Once they realize they can't make back expenses most of them will quit.

MxR

« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2018, 05:25 »
0
its vice

« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2018, 08:42 »
+7
The fact is making money in what can loosely be called "the arts" is mostly very tough and competitive....for short time microstock allowed people to make reasonable money shooting more or less what they pleased when they felt like it. That was never going to last and even now you can still make a few $$$s without working very hard. Things like wedding photography are infinitely more stressful.

farbled

« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2018, 10:13 »
0
The fact is making money in what can loosely be called "the arts" is mostly very tough and competitive....for short time microstock allowed people to make reasonable money shooting more or less what they pleased when they felt like it. That was never going to last and even now you can still make a few $$$s without working very hard. Things like wedding photography are infinitely more stressful.
I hated wedding shooting. Loved shooting other events though. I worked for a company that assigned memory cards at the start and collected them at the end, it certainly made you a quick study if you wanted a second gig. :)

« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2018, 15:54 »
0
Never done wedding photography. Why would you say it is stressful?

The fact is making money in what can loosely be called "the arts" is mostly very tough and competitive....for short time microstock allowed people to make reasonable money shooting more or less what they pleased when they felt like it. That was never going to last and even now you can still make a few $$$s without working very hard. Things like wedding photography are infinitely more stressful.
I hated wedding shooting. Loved shooting other events though. I worked for a company that assigned memory cards at the start and collected them at the end, it certainly made you a quick study if you wanted a second gig. :)

« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2018, 16:26 »
+1
Never done wedding photography. Why would you say it is stressful?

The fact is making money in what can loosely be called "the arts" is mostly very tough and competitive....for short time microstock allowed people to make reasonable money shooting more or less what they pleased when they felt like it. That was never going to last and even now you can still make a few $$$s without working very hard. Things like wedding photography are infinitely more stressful.
I hated wedding shooting. Loved shooting other events though. I worked for a company that assigned memory cards at the start and collected them at the end, it certainly made you a quick study if you wanted a second gig. :)
It involves people ;-). Get it wrong on their big day and you are in a whole heap of trouble and your business will be toast....

ShadySue

« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2018, 16:40 »
0
Never done wedding photography. Why would you say it is stressful?

The fact is making money in what can loosely be called "the arts" is mostly very tough and competitive....for short time microstock allowed people to make reasonable money shooting more or less what they pleased when they felt like it. That was never going to last and even now you can still make a few $$$s without working very hard. Things like wedding photography are infinitely more stressful.
I hated wedding shooting. Loved shooting other events though. I worked for a company that assigned memory cards at the start and collected them at the end, it certainly made you a quick study if you wanted a second gig. :)
It involves people ;-). Get it wrong on their big day and you are in a whole heap of trouble and your business will be toast....
Take too long getting it 'just right', ruin the chef's meal and you'll be toast.

farbled

« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2018, 16:47 »
+1
Never done wedding photography. Why would you say it is stressful?

The fact is making money in what can loosely be called "the arts" is mostly very tough and competitive....for short time microstock allowed people to make reasonable money shooting more or less what they pleased when they felt like it. That was never going to last and even now you can still make a few $$$s without working very hard. Things like wedding photography are infinitely more stressful.
I hated wedding shooting. Loved shooting other events though. I worked for a company that assigned memory cards at the start and collected them at the end, it certainly made you a quick study if you wanted a second gig. :)
It involves people ;-). Get it wrong on their big day and you are in a whole heap of trouble and your business will be toast....
Take too long getting it 'just right', ruin the chef's meal and you'll be toast.
The relative with an iphone or camera that jumps in front of you for every staged or unstaged shot. :)

Having people complain when you don't eat last (you eat with the B&G so that you are not eating when they are doing speeches, toasts, etc.).

« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2018, 17:02 »
0
Never done wedding photography. Why would you say it is stressful?

The fact is making money in what can loosely be called "the arts" is mostly very tough and competitive....for short time microstock allowed people to make reasonable money shooting more or less what they pleased when they felt like it. That was never going to last and even now you can still make a few $$$s without working very hard. Things like wedding photography are infinitely more stressful.
I hated wedding shooting. Loved shooting other events though. I worked for a company that assigned memory cards at the start and collected them at the end, it certainly made you a quick study if you wanted a second gig. :)
It involves people ;-). Get it wrong on their big day and you are in a whole heap of trouble and your business will be toast....
Take too long getting it 'just right', ruin the chef's meal and you'll be toast.
The relative with an iphone or camera that jumps in front of you for every staged or unstaged shot. :)

Having people complain when you don't eat last (you eat with the B&G so that you are not eating when they are doing speeches, toasts, etc.).
and you'd be spending too long photographing the food ;-).

farbled

« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2018, 17:23 »
0
Lol, caught me.

« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2018, 18:03 »
+2
I do travel.  Do not make as much money as I would like, but through the micro sites my pictures have shown up in National Geographic, magazines, books and on websites.

Make more money every year, but this is not my bread.  So make enough to pay for equipment and travel charges.  So it is fun in retirement.


« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2018, 03:27 »
0
I don't really do it in the way I did. The RPI just isn't there anymore to allow experimentation with high quality, new concepts. New ideas are never a sure thing and current RPI won't earn enough on the hits to cover the unavoidable misses.

Now I mainly rework my old ideas in simple ways to maintain or slightly increase my income year on year.

It's why the collections are both stagnant and oversaturated now. Huge volumes of samey decent enough quality cr*p. It's the only stuff that makes a return on investment.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2018, 08:12 »
+4
Seems like stock has always been low paying but the next year is always lower than the previous.  I'm still pretty new at this game but it seems, based on the more experienced contributors, that pattern will continue.  Yet we all keep "feeding the beast."  A lot of people quit the biz or are on the verge of quitting.  In the future, are we going to talk about today's stock market as the good old days?  So why do we keep at it?

I have fun, don't expect much, Microstock is a nice hobby. I'd be shooting most of what I upload anyway... some small monetary return is good.

The microstock market is not growing. In fact in decline for most. People need to recognize that the growth and time for making good returns are in the past. Yes some will continue to make money but most of us will see a decline until our earnings are flat and level, month to month. How long the new competition will continue to bury us, I don't know, but at some point, even that will level off. Small parasitic agencies will eventually cease, while the best and the profitable will be all that remains.

At that point, Microstock will reach a stable equilibrium. We aren't there yet, maybe not close. Only time will tell how far this will fall before the business and market hit a stable equilibrium. I believe the first sign will be when we stop seeing one million new images a week on Shutterstock.


SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2018, 03:53 »
+1
The microstock market is not growing.

I'd say the market is growing. Impossible to say for certain, as none of them make their figures public other than Shutterstock... but they're currently 16% up year on year, and I don't think they've had a single quarter when total revenue dropped. 

« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2018, 06:25 »
0
The microstock market is not growing.

I'd say the market is growing. Impossible to say for certain, as none of them make their figures public other than Shutterstock... but they're currently 16% up year on year, and I don't think they've had a single quarter when total revenue dropped.
But not as fast as the supply which I think is really the point.

SpaceStockFootage

  • Space, Sci-Fi and Astronomy Related Stock Footage

« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2018, 07:36 »
+1
True, but it's been like that from day one.

« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2018, 16:57 »
0
True, but it's been like that from day one.
I'm not so sure that's the case the amount of images was tiny when the industry was in its initial growth stage with huge pent up demand I think. Hence the ability of the best business people to build fortunes..I very much doubt that would be achievable for someone starting today...a decent living if they are exceptional but not squillions. Similarly I doubt a new agency stands much chance.

« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2018, 18:01 »
+1
Seems like stock has always been low paying but the next year is always lower than the previous.  I'm still pretty new at this game but it seems, based on the more experienced contributors, that pattern will continue.  Yet we all keep "feeding the beast."  A lot of people quit the biz or are on the verge of quitting.  In the future, are we going to talk about today's stock market as the good old days?  So why do we keep at it?

for the vast majority of contributors this is a gig work, they're more than happy to earn 100$ a month. It's additional 100$ on what they earn on their regular-job. So there is no reason for them to quit. It's like when your son goes competing in a professional job without leaving your house: no expenses, no worries. No need to really earn.

There are some old-stock producers that have huge resources and they've seen wearing away their earnings by microstock. So when they started to contribute, they did it with class, style and power. High level of quality entered microstock. It's no more profitable to upload an apple like Jon Oringer did when he founded SS. If you upload an apple, you must have something GREAT. An idea, a really professional model eating it, a wonderful scenario, perfect light ... They lost their high-earning commissions in regular world... so they entered in this microstock world.

And there are freelancers that use microstock as microstock was born: to earn from scraps.
Look at what is the Dissolve proposals for very professional highly skilled film makers: earn from their b-roll: in that case their staff will work on metadata and everywhing else: just upload and be exclusive for that media.

It's no more time for low quality, low quantity, non-industrial workflow and timings in microstock, I think. If you do this as your main income job, you must have a good reason. This is only my opinion: no data, no scientific papers.

« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2018, 10:45 »
+1
Because money coming in from anyplace is addictive. Plus its easy to do and people love the comfort zone


 

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