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Author Topic: Why don't editorial photos sell?  (Read 3358 times)

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« on: April 18, 2009, 11:14 »
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For the last few weeks I've been shooting a lot of editorial stuff as there has been a lot going on in my area. The latest event being the Indonesian general elections. I realise that there are less businesses that can use editorial images, but there are still plenty of businesses worldwide with a need for them, well at least I would think so. I have put the images I have shot recently on Dreamstime, Bigstockphoto and Cutcaster and not a single sale. You can see some of the election images here and I've posed a few more questions in the post. Hope you might be able to answer a few of them. http://microstockposts.com/in-the-news/  

Edited:modified the url link
« Last Edit: June 14, 2011, 13:50 by Microstock Posts »


« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2009, 12:02 »
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News related editorial photos usually don't sell well as microstock, at least not yet. Other forms of editorials sometimes sell, but you don't know until you've tried.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2009, 12:26 »
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I think you are talking about "Hard News."  You are competing with the Big Boys; Reuters, AP, etc.  It's pretty much internal or covered by the guys from Getty, Corbis and posted as MacroStock. 

Just guessing ... I never tried "Hard News."


« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2009, 12:27 »
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You might want to try on Alamy. It seems like they sell a lot of editorial stuff.

« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2009, 12:53 »
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I think you are talking about "Hard News."  You are competing with the Big Boys; Reuters, AP, etc.  It's pretty much internal or covered by the guys from Getty, Corbis and posted as MacroStock. 

Just guessing ... I never tried "Hard News."

Yeah there are a lot of well established big guys out there, my only claim to fame with them was getting a photo on the Reuters pictures of the week. I'm still surprised that there aren't more editorial purchases made on microstock sites. Surely with microstock prices being cheap, it would attract editorial buyers too. Dreamstime is trying to promote it with their 'In the News' section, but there are hardly any downloads on recent images. Alamy was a nightmare for me. I was accepted on the second application. I think I got 9 or 10 photos on the site and then after that I couldn't get anything on at all. As far as I remember after the initial review they only reject for quality reasons. But I was using the same camera and same upsizing techniques as the initial 10, but they rejected everything I sent them after that. 

« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2009, 13:51 »
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For the last few weeks I've been shooting a lot of editorial stuff as there has been a lot going on in my area. The latest event being the Indonesian general elections. I realise that there are less businesses that can use editorial images, but there are still plenty of businesses worldwide with a need for them, well at least I would think so. I have put the images I have shot recently on Dreamstime, Bigstockphoto and Cutcaster and not a single sale. You can see some of the election images here and I've posed a few more questions in the post. Hope you might be able to answer a few of them. http://microstockposts.com/2009/04/18/in-the-news/ 


Komar,
I take a guess since I'm also not working as a news-editorial photographer but your images appear to be news-editorial to me. Anyone, feel free to enlighten me if I'm wrong.

That being said first what comes to my mind is that when "news" is happening the big agencies and news sites want to have images asap. This won't be happening on the Micros and neither will that happen at Alamy.

You will have to go through the hoops of the review process whether your shots are "news-worthy". While I agree, that some photographers might not understand editorial shooting in the end it comes down to what the customer thinks fits best to their story. So the choice should be left with the buyer and not the agency.

My understanding is that the big editorial photographers supply only images that are top-notch and that there is no more reviewing involved.
Their shots go straight into a server system or to an agency being distributed almost in real-time.

If you see yourself mainly doing editorial work you might want to check out other ways to sell your images. Get in touch with agencies and search for distribution channels solely for editorial material. This stuff won't make it worth your efforts if you try it through the Micros unless you ONLY do major events like the Oscars, concerts of superstars etc. and that is really tough to get in if you are new to the whole thing.

Keep shooting!

Good luck!

« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2009, 14:18 »
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Well at the moment, I live again in your area, which is SE Asia. The fact is that news from exotic places (like the Indonesian elections) doesn't sell in the US market. It only sells when it's relevant to the US/EU news. My best selling editorial now is the interior of a Chinese sweatshop. They were online since 2006, but got a boost since October 2008. Nobody paying is interested in the president of Elbonia, but Obama's new dog with a headset would sell like hell  ;)

« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2009, 16:41 »
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Depends on a subject. I sold my few editorial images of air show above San Francisco many times.

« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2009, 16:51 »
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It might have something to do with a couple of minor issues commonly known as 'supply' and 'demand'.

« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2009, 17:17 »
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For the last few weeks I've been shooting a lot of editorial stuff as there has been a lot going on in my area. The latest event being the Indonesian general elections. I realise that there are less businesses that can use editorial images, but there are still plenty of businesses worldwide with a need for them, well at least I would think so. I have put the images I have shot recently on Dreamstime, Bigstockphoto and Cutcaster and not a single sale. You can see some of the election images here and I've posed a few more questions in the post. Hope you might be able to answer a few of them. http://microstockposts.com/2009/04/18/in-the-news/ 


Komar,
I take a guess since I'm also not working as a news-editorial photographer but your images appear to be news-editorial to me. Anyone, feel free to enlighten me if I'm wrong.

That being said first what comes to my mind is that when "news" is happening the big agencies and news sites want to have images asap. This won't be happening on the Micros and neither will that happen at Alamy.

You will have to go through the hoops of the review process whether your shots are "news-worthy". While I agree, that some photographers might not understand editorial shooting in the end it comes down to what the customer thinks fits best to their story. So the choice should be left with the buyer and not the agency.

My understanding is that the big editorial photographers supply only images that are top-notch and that there is no more reviewing involved.
Their shots go straight into a server system or to an agency being distributed almost in real-time.

If you see yourself mainly doing editorial work you might want to check out other ways to sell your images. Get in touch with agencies and search for distribution channels solely for editorial material. This stuff won't make it worth your efforts if you try it through the Micros unless you ONLY do major events like the Oscars, concerts of superstars etc. and that is really tough to get in if you are new to the whole thing.

Keep shooting!

Good luck!

Click_Click,
you are right. I am newspaper photographer and I am freelancer for one of big news agencies. I never put my news images in microstocks for one reason. Next day these pictures worth nothing. I shoot, I rush to my computer and send them in few hours time. It is different game with different rules.

« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2009, 02:37 »
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Interesting to read all your comments. I appreciate it. News editorial is what I like, I find it much more challenging to get good shots of this type of work. My best selling shots in microstock appear to be kids in their natural environments and sunsets, neither of which i find challenging. I regretfully left photography for many years, so now I'm out of touch. I only got back into it recently with the discovery of Microstock. I'm neither a newspaper photographer nor a freelancer. But I'm in Indonesia and the elections were on, so I had to send the images somewhere, rather than not sending them anywhere at all. However, despite me sending the images quickly to Dreamstime and sending them an email for priority review. It was almost 2 days before they went online. So yeah, the images were pretty redundant I guess. These were the legislative elections. The vote for the President will be in July.

However as Flemish Dreams says "The fact is that news from exotic places (like the Indonesian elections) doesn't sell in the US market. It only sells when it's relevant to the US/EU news." Yeah that might be true also. I've often read that most of the world's media is in the West, or even from the States, but don't quote me on this. Indonesian media is predominantly about local news, unless things are flaring up in the middle east, oh and Obama's dog gets a mention too. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/04/12/obama-girls-name-their-new-puppy-039bo039.html
I am buoyed a little by Dreamstime accepting 4 of the images on the News page http://www.dreamstime.com/news-photos as their reviewers are pretty tough. It would feel a lot better though if the images were used for something. Anyway, I'll keep shooting and searching for different outlets.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 06:15 by Komar »

« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2009, 03:27 »
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I am starting to upload editorial travel stock on some of the micros - unfortunately some of the reviewers seem to want a detailed explanation of why travel images of famous landmarks are editorial... yet they only allow 200 words to do this in... very frustrating.

I would however agree with previous comments - unless an image will remain useful in the future it won't do well as micro-stock. The payoff here is that images will keep selling in a year or 5 years time. If that isn't the case, then the money you get just isn't worth the time.

« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2009, 17:29 »
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I'm doing OK with editorial stuff.  It's true you can't really sell late breaking news type images with microstock.

I do well with travel editorials, landmarks, touristy things, parades, cultural events, sports and occasional politics.

Since you're in SE Asia, I suggest concentrating on the tourism thing.  Think like an American looking for "exotic" imagery for travel magazines and brochures.  So that means get photos of traditional cultural festivals, dancing, music, cultural landmarks, even silat.  Don't forget to use the natural beauty that many living in the area take for granted - such as beautiful tropical beaches and people enjoying the "resort" life.  Think of things that most Americans don't see.  Even simple fishermen on an outrigger canoe ('banka' in the Philippines gives a sense of place).


« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2009, 12:23 »
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I'm doing OK with editorial stuff.  It's true you can't really sell late breaking news type images with microstock.

I do well with travel editorials, landmarks, touristy things, parades, cultural events, sports and occasional politics.

Since you're in SE Asia, I suggest concentrating on the tourism thing.  Think like an American looking for "exotic" imagery for travel magazines and brochures.  So that means get photos of traditional cultural festivals, dancing, music, cultural landmarks, even silat.  Don't forget to use the natural beauty that many living in the area take for granted - such as beautiful tropical beaches and people enjoying the "resort" life.  Think of things that most Americans don't see.  Even simple fishermen on an outrigger canoe ('banka' in the Philippines gives a sense of place).


Yes, I need to concentrate more on the tourism thing, resort life etc. Not always what I enjoy shooting, but buyers buy the photos they need, I guess photographers have to shoot the photos they buy. Still, in photography if you are shooting the stuff ur not really into, it still ain't bad is it? You're still taking photos and having fun.

PhotoDuneMicrostock Insider

 

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