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Author Topic: Is anyone getting any work done?  (Read 13557 times)

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lisafx

« on: March 15, 2011, 18:11 »
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I don't know about the rest of you, but the latest round of drama has me completely dispirited and unmotivated to shoot, upload, or repeat.  I have only done ONE photo shoot this year, and can't muster even the tiniest drop of enthusiasm to do any others. 

I've been forcing myself to edit and upload some of my backlog of images, but it feels like drudgery. 

I remember when this used to be FUN!  Wonder if it will be again, and if so, when? 


« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 18:18 »
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I don't know about the rest of you, but the latest round of drama has me completely dispirited and unmotivated to shoot, upload, or repeat.  I have only done ONE photo shoot this year, and can't muster even the tiniest drop of enthusiasm to do any others. 

I've been forcing myself to edit and upload some of my backlog of images, but it feels like drudgery. 

I remember when this used to be FUN!  Wonder if it will be again, and if so, when? 

I totally understand your position, and even though I only have 5 photos left at istock, the drama continues to affect me in one way or another. Not to yours and some others' degree, for sure, but everything is relative.  :)

But I must say that since I started my own website, I have actually been motivated to shoot again. I have a bunch to post-process and upload.

I can understand how you feel and have read how others at istock feel much the same way. I wish, somehow, the drama would go away, but I can't say that I have much faith.

Hugs to you.

« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 18:24 »
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I feel your pain. I stopped uploading to IS because of the royalty changes, ditched Fotolia, stopped uploading to SS because of lack of growth and was giving DT a break because I grew so fast there and I have a lot of Level 1 images. And had been working on getting my own site working right. All that kind of turned micro on its head for me. I think I'm getting refocused now though.

« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 18:25 »
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Well, I'm not a contributor or photographer, but it sure has been one hell of a distraction from my work. (But then again, I'm always looking for distractions, so this is a perfect excuse.)

I do wish you guys luck. This whole situation has stunk for far too long.

jbarber873

« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 18:29 »
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    I've been doing this a long time, and have seen my share of sea changes in the photography business. The one thing I can say for sure is that when one door closes another opens. It may not be apparent at his point , but it's coming. It's certainly not going back to the point where anyone with a digital camera can take a picture of every hamburger they ever ate, and make money off of it. But microstock has empowered a lot of people that may never have been able to break through the barriers to the old world and find the artist within, Lisa being a perfect example- of the artist- not the hamburger shooter :)  You can't give up and you can't worry about the way it used to be. There great things right around the corner. Go shoot!

« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2011, 18:30 »
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I started uploading editorial images as I'm curious to see how they do - didn't start until they went live as I didn't want to waste time if it was going where Logos went.

That means grabbing things I already have (for the moment) rather than shooting new stuff, but it's been absorbing - particularly the need to do a little research, and keep a record of it, for the caption information. Takes my mind off the D-R-A-M-A a little.

But yes, the current situation is deeply demotivating :(

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2011, 18:43 »
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Travelling is the only thing which still motivates me to shoot, and edit/upload when I'm back home.

Otherwise, I find it increasingly difficult to shoot new pictures for stock. Yes, it used to be more fun in the beginning - not sure if it's just the current situation or that I get easily bored at doing the same things for a long time.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 18:48 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2011, 18:44 »
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I'm in between. I'm not shooting much, but planning, cleaning up files and other piddley stuff. I have had quite the  distraction of my daughter recovering from a tonsillectomy

« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2011, 18:44 »
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I have actually found it to be a huge motivator to do more...

I deleted everything from my Fotolia account and closed it.  I also closed my accounts on all sites where I wasn't making at least half of the minimum payout each month (except for DT which I have a thing for).  Instead, I am using the time I use to waste on those sites with being more effective on the sites where I am staying.  I am more diligent about keywording, spending more time doing research, and spending more time learning to improve my production quality.  And it's paying off...  I've doubled my sales on one site and increased my sales by at least 50% on two others.  By taking a solid month to go over my entire portfolio and re-keyword (on the sites that allow it), I have seen a significant rise in sales.  And I have significantly reduced my rejection rate by spending more time and effort on quality.

I renewed my Linda.com account and have been having a blast learning about how to use Lightroom and Photoshop better.  I've watched literally hundreds of tutorials on YouTube and Vimeo on better lighting technics, posing models, etc...  And I'm a major Craiglist addict, having upgraded several of my lenses at very little cost (selling the old once, buying new ones).  I don't think I've had more fun and the wife/family have noticed the difference in my attitude.

« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2011, 18:52 »
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As you all know by now, I'm the smallest fish in the pond.  My photos, however, are great :-)    Over the past 2 years I chipped away at microstock and got to a point where my acceptance rate is very high, and my photos mostly all sell.  But none are blockbusters - they're niche things.

To me, it's simple.  I now know that if I come up with a good idea and spend an hour (and a few dollars for props) on it, it will eventually pay off - but it might take a long time, like a couple of years.   I have no confidence that these companies will be stable for 2 months, much less 2 years, and I think they're probably just going to keep whittling away the commissions and moving buyers to subscription plans that give us only token payments.

Although IS makes me the most money, I feel like contributing to them now is working against my best interests, because they're systematically trashing the business.

So I, too, have lost the motivation to do more microstock, because it feels like a losing game - a sucker bet.  Who wants to make a serious investment in time and effort to get into this now, when the arrows are all pointing down?  

« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2011, 18:56 »
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I've uploaded a few images this year, cant really be bothered. Had a blast shooting my daughters school social, doing some landscapes that have little stock potential, doing other stuff, keep thinking I should get back to stock but cant really be bothered.

« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2011, 18:57 »
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I know what you mean.

I guess I'd be classified as a "hobbyist" since I don't do this full time or for a significant amount of my income.  On the other hand, I got pretty serious about this about 3 years ago because I thought I'd eventually get pretty good at it and build a large enough portfolio to support me when I decide to retire from the high-pressure day job in a few years.  It's become clear to me that's never going to happen now.

My income peaked two years ago.  Even though the quality of my photography has increased tremendously and the size of my portfolio has more than doubled since then, my income continues to degrade.  With the recent changes I'm seeing an even bigger drop than in previous shake-ups.  I expect my income will be down over 20% this coming year even if I maintain my current upload rate.

It's killed a lot of my motivation.  I've not been shooting much new stock stuff at all since January.  

On the other hand, instead of always shooting for stock and feeling the pressure to feed the beast, I've been shooting lately just to please myself.  I've been experimenting with new styles and techniques and it's been a lot of fun.  Most of it would never be accepted by the micros but I'm finding I don't care.  I like some of what I'm producing very much.  So right now I'm just concentrating on enjoying what I'm doing and ignoring the profit motive.

helix7

« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2011, 18:58 »
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For now, I'm out. Microstock just isn't where I see my business going long-term.

I'll stick around the forums, stay active and up-to-date on industry changes and all that, but as far as creating new work for microstock goes, I'm done. I have very little optimism anymore regarding the future of this business and the feasibility of making a living as an illustrator in microstock.

Who knows where I'll end up in the next year or two, and it's possible I might return to microstock at some point or just use it to fill some downtime. But for now and at least for the next 6 months at least, I'm not producing anything for microstock.

Xalanx

« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2011, 19:19 »
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It's spring asthenia, people.

lisafx

« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2011, 19:21 »
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It's kind of nice to see I am not alone in feeling demotivated.  You know, misery loves company... Really interesting perspectives so far.  Thanks for posting them :)

If there is a trend emerging, perhaps it is that some of you are turning your creative energies to other aspects of photography besides just microstock, and getting inspired that way.  

I think that is a great idea!  I should probably follow suit.  Been taking some pictures for my church, but I don't count them because they aren't moneymakers.  Just for fun and charity.  But certainly I feel my efforts are much more appreciated there.

Maybe that's the way to go for awhile, at least until things at micro sort themselves out.  

« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2011, 19:27 »
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Lisa,

I joined an "artist group" here in my local town that is renting booths at various art fairs, farmer's markets, etc... where we can sell artwork.  So I've been printing some of my images, framing them and selling them.  It's nice to get out of the house and interact with actual people you can see, touch and hear their voice.  I mostly break even, but on a couple of occasions I've had a banner day (sold 2 large framed prints for $300 each).  I also have entered numerous photo contests and managed to place in several where the prizes were nice (got a free 1-year family pass to my local zoo).

So there's other stuff around to get involved with.

jbarber873

« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2011, 19:43 »
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It's kind of nice to see I am not alone in feeling demotivated.  You know, misery loves company... Really interesting perspectives so far.  Thanks for posting them :)

If there is a trend emerging, perhaps it is that some of you are turning your creative energies to other aspects of photography besides just microstock, and getting inspired that way.  

I think that is a great idea!  I should probably follow suit.  Been taking some pictures for my church, but I don't count them because they aren't moneymakers.  Just for fun and charity.  But certainly I feel my efforts are much more appreciated there.

Maybe that's the way to go for awhile, at least until things at micro sort themselves out.  

  My first job after being kicked out of college was shooting pictorial church directories. I travelled from town to town in the midwest, doing headshots and family groups for about 6 months. I didn't make much money, but the company i worked for made a ton. I got fired when they found out I wasn't 21 and wasn't eligible for a company car.  ;D  The point is, there's always a way to make money as a photographer. All this gloom and doom is the wrong way to look at it.


« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2011, 19:52 »
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Working as ever, here. Uploading daily. Motivated enough, the only photo you don't sell for sure is the one you don't shot. I just look at the forums two times a day, and quite fast, after a while, argument are simply repetitive.

« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2011, 19:52 »
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It's spring asthenia, people.

its autumn here ;)

Xalanx

« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2011, 20:03 »
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It's spring asthenia, people.

its autumn here ;)

You're on the wrong side of the planet!

« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2011, 20:15 »
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lisa; is you wish to try you hand at some wildlife photography, you (and husband) are welcome to join me for a day of shooting at Ft. Desoto or Honeymoon Island or other places around Tampa Bay.  I will be back in town soon; I had to change my flight to come home sooner to see eye doctor, will be in town April 5.  Actually, if you do not have a long lenses (greater than 300mm), the pier might be best place to shoot as the birds are pretty tame and hungry for handouts.  It can be alot of tun to work with the animals and the light angles.  Oh, tell you husband to bring the pizza and pizza box; we can get some stock images of the birds trying to steal his pizza. ;D

I certainly have developed respect for you and the quality of your work, it would be fun to shoot together and help you refocus on new avenues of photography.

« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2011, 20:32 »
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I've been motivated to shoot, just hindered by my "day" job that sucks up most of my time.  I've been managing to upload regularly for the last several weeks to the point that I'm seeing some regular activity on a few of the sites and that's been encouraging me to shoot more, especially as I've been able to fine tune my sense of what works for stock a little bit more with each sale.  Since I'm new at this I have a lot of ideas, a long list of things I want to shoot, just need the time to shoot and edit.

The drama and overall industry trends are a bit discouraging, but I'm seeing my skills improve and I'm envisioning a wide range of opportunities that could open up in the future.  I may think differently a year from now, but at the moment the motivation is still there.

« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2011, 21:10 »
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V, if I lived in Florida, I would pay to shoot with you for a day! ;D

« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2011, 21:22 »
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V, if I lived in Florida, I would pay to shoot with you for a day! ;D

Where you live Blufish; I travel all over; no need to pay, we can shoot together.  I don't do workshops or other types of teaching; but happy to shoot together or help anyone out.

« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2011, 22:33 »
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Houston. When you're in the neighborhood give a shout. I'd love to. It's one of my favorite subjects.


 

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