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Author Topic: Video interviews with Lee Torrens and Jonathan Ross from STOCKinRUSSIA'10  (Read 17169 times)

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« on: October 17, 2010, 05:45 »
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Recently there was a microstock event in Russia called STOCKinRUSSIA'10.  Miklav who is also a member here, attended and took a few video interviews so I thought I'd link them here.

Lee Torrens event write-up
Official website

Interview with microstock blogger Lee Torrens (Oct-2010)


Interview with photographer Jonathan Ross (Oct-2010)
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 04:40 by leaf »


Dook

« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2010, 06:10 »
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Thanks!

« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2010, 06:37 »
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It boggles the mind that a "pro" would go to the Russia of all places, and instruct them on how to take away even more of the business already claimed to be lost.  Was it for the opportunity to write off a sight-seeing trip?  Makes no sense to me.

« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2010, 06:54 »
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Interesting what Jonathan Ross said about similars.  I would agree that the sites should be more strict but from my experience the reviewers often reject images that are more unique and sometimes really don't know what they are doing.  Sometimes they accept the images that I am sure are the worst in a batch and reject the best ones.  I would much prefer it if they just removed older content that hasn't sold, reducing the amount of images a buyer has to wade through but giving new images a chance.

« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2010, 09:55 »
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Thank you for posting!

For those interested I put together in my blog post a few bullet points from Jonathan Ross speech: http://miklav.blogspot.com/2010/10/jonathan-ross-in-stock-photography.html

« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2010, 11:03 »
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Thanks for telling the Russians about micro, why not giving them hassleblad. I don't see the point, since the Russians and all east European countries, can do business with 3 times less staff expenses and more. They can also earn barely 40% more incomes from microstock due to their low value money...

EDIT: They also have beautiful blonds with great smiles
« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 11:09 by Vonkara »

Dook

« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2010, 11:37 »
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"Microstock experiment Jonathan made was very successful. Jonathan produced around 3500 photos (meaning final processed portfolio); production cost was around $16 per photo (which is in microstock's standards but rather low for traditional stock). In one year time Jonathan got 200% return, i.e. covered the costs and got 100% profit."
So, he makes around 4700$ (9400$ with costs included)a month ((3500*16)/12)*2. I really don't know why he's sharing these numbers with potential stock photographers in Russia. I think it is misleading and not helping them. Now they think they can do the same, but it is far from the truth. Jonathan has big production, budget and many years of experience. He uploaded great stock portfolio to micros within few months. There is no way newbies can do that.

RT


« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2010, 12:19 »
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So, he makes around 4700$ (9400$ with costs included)a month ((3500*16)/12)*2.

I all fairness I don't think you should start quoting figures like that, a quick look at his portfolio and download numbers shows that he's got nothing like that sort of return.

Dook

« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2010, 12:31 »
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So, he makes around 4700$ (9400$ with costs included)a month ((3500*16)/12)*2.


I all fairness I don't think you should start quoting figures like that, a quick look at his portfolio and download numbers shows that he's got nothing like that sort of return.

I just quoted this link:
http://miklav.blogspot.com/2010/10/jonathan-ross-in-stock-photography.html

RT


« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2010, 13:29 »
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So, he makes around 4700$ (9400$ with costs included)a month ((3500*16)/12)*2.


I all fairness I don't think you should start quoting figures like that, a quick look at his portfolio and download numbers shows that he's got nothing like that sort of return.

I just quoted this link:
http://miklav.blogspot.com/2010/10/jonathan-ross-in-stock-photography.html


Appologies I thought you'd made that figure up, as I said I can't see that he's making anywhere near that return over the period stated, plus some of the other numbers are out, I wonder if the interviewer misinterpreted his replies, maybe JR will come here and clarify it, you certainly couldn't blame any russians for wanting to get involved if they think that's the return.

« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2010, 13:33 »
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Some of the comments made here are amazing :) Sorry to disappoint you but Russians do already know what is microstock and they even know what is Hasselblad ;) And some even use it :D

Russian-speaking photographers represent significant portion of microstock. Some of the very successful microstockers are based in Russia or neighbor countries, such as
- Cimmerian (iStock exclusive)
- paha_l
- elnur
- shironosov (organizer of STOCKinRUSSIA)
- piskunov (iStock exclusive)
- dpaint
- anouchka (iStock exclusive)
(just a few from the top of my head)

So I suppose it gives you a hint why it makes sense to organize such kind of conference in Russia :)

I wonder when something similar will start happening in Poland (or Serbia or another Central European country) - there are many talented and successful microstockers in that area too.

Remark: Just to be precise - the specific numbers about Jonathan's microstock experiment came from CEPIC rather than from his speech in Moscow. As there has been certain overlap of what he was saying in 2 events I combined the bullet points in one blog post.

He made his experiment in 2008 and he was talking about total return over one year. I suspect his monthly figures went down since then as he doesn't contribute to microstock any longer (but he is going to)
« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 13:37 by MikLav »

Dook

« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2010, 13:38 »
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I have to say again - I really admire Jonathan and his work and his will to share his knowledge with us.
I'm looking forward to similar conference in Serbia! :D

RT


« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2010, 13:58 »
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He made his experiment in 2008 and he was talking about total return over one year. I suspect his monthly figures went down since then as he doesn't contribute to microstock any longer (but he is going to)[/i]

Well in that case maybe you should change this statement on your blog post:

"Microstock experiment Jonathan made was very successful. Jonathan produced around 3500 photos (meaning final processed portfolio); production cost was around $16 per photo (which is in microstock's standards but rather low for traditional stock). In one year time Jonathan got 200% return, i.e. covered the costs and got 100% profit."

You only need to take a quick look at his microstock portfolio to see that in 2008 he had nowhere near 3500 photos in his portfolio on any of the microstock sites (he hasn't got that amount today either!)

Maybe you should have asked him for a direct quote because anybody could easily work out from looking at his portfolio that those figures don't add up, I'm sure you didn't intend to do him an injustice.

« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2010, 14:01 »
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Thanks for producing the interviews MikLav - both very well done.  The thing that caught my attention was the comment from Lee about Superstock... could be an interesting development.

I'm sure those who attended picked up a lot more useful information and contacts than they "gave away". Apart from being home to some very successful contributors, Russia and Eastern Europe are also large emerging markets that create enormous opportunities of their own.

« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2010, 14:15 »
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"So I suppose it gives you a hint why it makes sense to organize such kind of conference "

It makes sense if you're trying to make some quick cash by running workshops.  It doesn't make sense if you're trying to keep your stock business 'sustainable'.

« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2010, 14:26 »
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For those interested I put together in my blog post a few bullet points from Jonathan Ross speech: http://miklav.blogspot.com/2010/10/jonathan-ross-in-stock-photography.html

Thanks for posting the highlights, I don't have any patience to watch those interviews. :)

« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2010, 14:36 »
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You only need to take a quick look at his microstock portfolio to see that in 2008 he had nowhere near 3500 photos in his portfolio on any of the microstock sites (he hasn't got that amount today either!)

Yes he has got that amount :)
Just have a look yourself: http://www.fotolia.com/p/200440429

(not all of 3.5K photos equally accepted by all sites)
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 11:11 by MikLav »


« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2010, 15:59 »
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 Hi All,

 Well what a wonderful friendly place this is ;D I must apologize if a number was off in that interview, I have already doubled my investment of 60k in 2 years not one year. I did produce 3500 images but some are not accepted at some sites or still in line for upload ( istock ) I also did not make one penny from giving this lecture and as the interview said I had 2 hours site seeing at 5 in the morning, it was three days only. I flew 25 hours door to door and went because I was asked to speak at a conference that supported photography.
 I share all my information and I am sorry if your philosophy in life does not meet with mine, not much I can see to fix there. I have offered as much information here at MicrostockGroup as I could and actually learned how to communicate through social networking in a reasonable manor right here about a year and a half ago. That in itself has been a great help for me. When I was first hit here with similar statements made on this post I would have been angry and made a rebuttal that didn't do what I wanted in the first place, to share with others what I know. Over time you have all shown me that everyone has a different approach to life and I have no desire to tell others how to live their lives.
 Russia is full tilt into Micro stock and has been for years. I was shown a great deal of Micro images produced in Russia that matched anything I could produce if not better  so I don't think I have uncovered or shared any information with them that they don't already know. They have production companies producing with several photographers on staff so in some ways I see them ahead of us in some respects.
 The interview is not the presentation itself it was an interview that I was asked to do. At the very beginning of the presentation I clearly explain that  "I make very good returns on my work and please do not expect what I do to work for you, everyone has their own styles ". I follow that statement by saying " everyone is very different and if you can find just one piece of information, a nugget in all I say then I will be pleased ". Do not expect to make what the top money makers in stock are making for some time, I was not out to promote anything but stock photography. I don't think you heard me try to plug my own agency which I think a lot of people interviewed usually do. But even with this presented there is the classic assumptions and expectations made with no research, with the exception of Miclav.
 To also let you know, there are a great deal of people on this site that live in Russia so I think the internet let's anyone with a bit of savvy find the information they need to advance their knowledge in just about any activity.
 If I have offended people here that was not my intention and once again the review was off on one number and that was my fault I won't deny it. My only explanation I can offer is that I had 6 hours sleep and had just finished a photo shoot in a time zone 11 hours different than my own. My apologies for that mistake, the rest is just a difference in life philosophy and sharing with others all you can whenever you can.
 I have returned over $120,000 in two year since my upload of the 3500 with another 2000 to upload at Istock I hope that helps give a base of what my returns are. This is also slightly before 2 years so I can't say till we get to December what my 2 year sales are, I can only share what I have made to this time. In no way is this to brag about returns this is only to clear up what seemed to be unclear.
 I think I have explained it as well as I can but if you have any more questions please don't hesitate to ask.

Best,
Jonathan

« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2010, 17:03 »
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Thanks for the info Jonathan and I am pleased you react the way you do today and not like that New Years Eve :)

For some reason in that video you remind me a bit of the snooker legend Steve Davis.


« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2010, 17:32 »
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Yes, I'm know.  I'm evil.  You can be all humble and philanthropic about it, but if you want to forward photography, why not donate some G12s to a Seattle kids' club and give a few classes instead if flying across the ocean to train your/our competition?  Still makes no sense.  Sorry.

« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2010, 20:52 »
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Hi Sean,

 You shouldn't feel that way about yourself, just different philosophies. Once again let me help clear up your assumptions. I have a scholarship for a new student from the school I graduated at in honor of my teacher who shared the same belief as me when it comes to helping out. My wife and I cover all the cost of the scholarship from our pockets. I mentor High School students on a regular basis ( one a semester ) I give away our used equipment to two different photo schools. I try to spread as much help as I can. Oh yea, I coached kids soccer for 30 years now. I started 16 years before I married and had my own children. As a matter of fact we just got home from the most exciting match of the year. We were down 2-0 and came back to take a 3-2 lead and lost the game in the last 5 minutes with two back to back goals from the other team. It was super fun and all the kids had a great time.
 I don't want to go on to much but here are just a couple other ways I try and help right here in good old America. I have been speaking at Photo East as well as PACA and ASMP conferences and will be speaking at Photo East this year as well. Just so you know those that speak at Photo East this year do it all on their own dime. Photo East does not pay for my flight or my hotel or meals. I do it because I love to share information with those that ask and a big part of this business is meeting people face to face and sharing ideas.
 Do you see a blog that I am pushing or anything of the sort. I did share once on this site about my newest Macro agency out of my excitement and to spread the word because a lot of people were asking at the time " how do I transfer from Micro into Macro " so I was explaining third party agencies as a way to make the change so people can spread their work around for their own safety and in case their were some people here interested in contributing. Our Macro collection has photographers I met right here on this forum so I guess that was the one time I was self promoting to my knowledge. For me it is all about giving and helping each other in every way possible, but that's just me it doesn't make it right or wrong just my choice.
 Actually I would love to start a Blog to share information I just haven't gotten to it so I use this site instead. If I get a blog up I'll be sure to send you a post ;D

P.S. Hi Sharpshoot, Thanks for the support. I love a good game of snooker but I am not very good ;)

Take care,
Jonathan

« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2010, 21:09 »
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just different philosophies./quote]

Yes.

Quote
Once again let me help clear up your assumptions. I have a scholarship for a new student from the school I graduated at in honor of my teacher who shared the same belief as me when it comes to [helping out. My wife and I cover all the cost of the scholarship from our pockets. I mentor High School students on a regular basis ( one a semester ) I give away our used equipment to two different photo schools. I try to spread as much help as I can.

Nice work then, there.

« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2010, 21:43 »
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Thanks Sean,

 I am glad to see us speaking and sharing info even if it is a different approach. I was giving you a little jab there for your last comment at the beginning of my last statement. I understand from many Istockers that you share and help them a great deal so I think we both have our own approaches.

Cheers,
Jonathan

« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2010, 22:58 »
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As a photographer that has had the privilege of hearing Jonathan speak at a couple of different functions as well as watching him at work I can say that the industry is better off with him and his candor.  Who here that has met any level of success in this incredibly competitive and challenging industry has done so without the help or advice of an established pro?  Fake it till ya make it will only get you so far.  I know that I have learned and continue to learn from many photographers including Jonathan and I am incredibly grateful for that opportunity.  I hope to pay it forward some day as well should I reach a level that people feel they could learn from me.

Scoffing at people for sharing information has in my opinion become an antiquated form of mockery that reminds me of middle school bullying.  It is based on insecurity and fear.  There are millions of DSLR's in the hands of millions of people around the world.  If you want to succeed, shoot better than the others.  It's like wedding photographers bitching about Uncle Joe and his 50D shooting away at a wedding...if you can't outshoot Uncle Joe then you shouldn't be getting paid to shoot. 

On a side note, the first time I met Jonathan he was speaking at a photography group meeting somewhere in Downtown Seattle as I recall.  During his talk he was talking about the different ways a photographer can earn a living and touched briefly on an up and coming popular new fad where photographers gave away their images for as little as $1.  He kind of chuckled at the concept a bit then asked if anyone in the room had dabbled in it.  I sheepishly raised my hand and admitted my dirty little secret.  Jonathan pointed and laughed to the point of tears at me then called me an idiot and threw me out of the room.

No, that's not true..actually he was openly curious about it with a touch of skepticism but he heard me out and listened.  That to me was symbolic of a time when the old school (sorry Jonathan..not calling you old... "old school") stock photographers started to dip their toes in the water of micro and the microstock industry truly began to evolve into what it is today.  Without bad ass, experienced photographers contributing to micro, the quality of images would be too thinly found and we wouldn't find the success we have today.  I say bring on more awesome photography.  I'll continue to learn and hopefully improve and the buyers will continue to find their way to the micros.

Mat

RT


« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2010, 04:32 »
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Jonathan,

Thank you for coming here to clear that point up, it was very easy for me (and I suspect anyone else who's been doing this for a while) to see that the figures quoted were wrong, and I owe miklav an appology as I assumed he'd got the figures wrong when in fact he got those figures from your cepic speech,  it's interesting to see that your philosophy is one of helping others rather than self promotion, my point is and always has been that giving information with the view of helping others is only beneficial if that information is accurate, it may only be 'one number' and I appreciate that you may put that down to a lack of sleep but that one number is very significant when it is the difference of 1 or 2 years, it then throws your comment of having "doubled" your investment over the period of "one year" out of the window, in this case it goes from a 60k profit to a 30k profit which I think in anybodies book is an important difference, especially if they are taking working capital into account.

People can draw their own conclusions as to whether your microstock experiment is successful or not, and you'll always have your fan club, but in the realm of 'helping' others to make that decision I suggest it would be better if the information you've decided to share was accurate.

Your correction in this thread has helped me make my own decision as to whether your experiment of uploading those type and quantity of images to microstock was successful, thanks for sharing.


 

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