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Author Topic: Starting at small agencies or starting at the big 4  (Read 3362 times)

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« on: October 24, 2010, 16:25 »
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I am wondering is it better to start at the big sites or to upload to some of the smaller agencies even if only to get myself acquainted with the whole process.
This newbielink:http://www.reviewmaze.com/2010/10/what-is-best-stock-photo-site-for.html [nonactive] appears to support the latter approach.

Also, I shoot lots of travel photos: places, attractions, etc. Is it more suitable for macro sites?
Thanks.


« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2010, 16:55 »
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I think you should start with the top ones, because they are the ones worth uploading anyway.  Having your work accepted by the others may give you a false sensation of suitability.  But get ready for deception.  You may want to upload some samples to your host or flickr or something of the sort, and post them here for criticism.  Get ready for slamming here too.   ;)

Well known places such as Big Ben possibly sell well at microstock, but personally my travel shots go to macros.

ShadySue

« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2010, 17:07 »
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Also, I shoot lots of travel photos: places, attractions, etc. Is it more suitable for macro sites?
Thanks.
If selling RF (micro or macro) you will need to make sure there are no people, unrecogniseable people or even parts of people in your images unless you have model releases. You will need to make sure that there's nothing in your photos that would need property releases, unless you have them.

« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2010, 17:50 »
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There is plenty you can google for if you are just starting.  Be warned that 'travel' photography (ie things you saw on your vacation) is a very saturated area.

« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2010, 04:15 »
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I am wondering is it better to start at the big sites or to upload to some of the smaller agencies even if only to get myself acquainted with the whole process.
This article appears to support the latter approach.

Also, I shoot lots of travel photos: places, attractions, etc. Is it more suitable for macro sites?
Thanks.


Wow that site is awful, even for as spam site trying to get you to click ads or referral links.

« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2010, 18:07 »
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Thanks for the advice, guys. Appreciated.

« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 18:25 »
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Try top ones first. Everything else is just icing on a cake :-)

« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2010, 17:39 »
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I would suggest you start with the smaller ones first until you get into the swing of it.  You can waste a lot of time uploading images to the big guys only for them all to get rejected!

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2010, 17:51 »
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first, the big ones which don't require an admission test (FT and DT) and all the middle ones

then, the big ones which require a test (SS and IS), as soon as you're confident enough to try

eventually, some of the low earners - but only if you have a lot of time [you will hardly earn 2% more, with a lot of additional work]
« Last Edit: November 02, 2010, 17:57 by microstockphoto.co.uk »

« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2010, 02:48 »
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if one can't get sale on big agencies, i don't see a reason one can get sale on small agencies.

ShadySue

« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2010, 06:05 »
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if one can't get sale on big agencies, i don't see a reason one can get sale on small agencies.
Unless they're specialists, but of course that wouldn't be micro.
FWIW, until the end of August I'd have said go straight for iStock then, if you've got time, look around if you want to try others.
But now all bets are off on the iStock front.

« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2010, 06:15 »
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For sure start with the larger agencies.  You will learn more (from rejections), won't be disillusioned that all your images are great by having them all accepted, and will definitely earn a lot more.

If your strategy is to start with the smaller agencies because you can't get your images accepted on the larger agencies then you are working backwards.  Submit to the larger agencies and if your images get rejected figure out why and get better.  If you can't get your images accepted at the large agencies you are going to have a tough time getting many sales anywhere.

« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2010, 15:33 »
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if one can't get sale on big agencies, i don't see a reason one can get sale on small agencies.
Unless they're specialists, but of course that wouldn't be micro.
FWIW, until the end of August I'd have said go straight for iStock then, if you've got time, look around if you want to try others.
But now all bets are off on the iStock front.

I can kind of understand where you are coming from but, surely it can only be a good thing to have your work for sale in as many shops as possible?  You use the same images but could potentially earn more from them, or am I missing something?

lisafx

« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2010, 16:00 »
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I can kind of understand where you are coming from but, surely it can only be a good thing to have your work for sale in as many shops as possible?  You use the same images but could potentially earn more from them, or am I missing something?

It is only a good thing to have your images for sale on websites that will actually sell them.  The amount of work it takes to upload and maintain a portfolio on a site is only worthwhile if the site can deliver sales. 

Istock would normally be one that I would consider essential.  However their recent unethical behavior and general contempt of contributors is causing many to rethink doing business with them.  Whether or not you want to is up to you. 

At Istockphoto you will be getting 15%, which is by far the lowest royalty rate in the industry.  Even the 20% they are getting rid of was the lowest.  But past history shows they can deliver sales volume.  Going forward, with everyone reporting decreased downloads there, that may not always be the case. 

« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2010, 20:45 »
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The small agencies aren't worth bothering with.  Come to think of it, I'm not sure the big ones are either.  :)

« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2010, 21:17 »
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I would suggest you start with the smaller ones first until you get into the swing of it.  You can waste a lot of time uploading images to the big guys only for them all to get rejected!

If your images aren't good enough to get accepted on the large sites, you won't sell anything on the small sites.  Get your work up to a high standard and contribute to the Big 4.  Then when you have the time spread your work out to the smaller agencies.  Seriously.  Take a look at the major contributors here who share their earning percentages.  Almost all of them make 90% or more of their micro earnings from the Big 4.  I wouldn't argue with anyone who suggested just contributing to those 4 and no one else.

« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2010, 22:53 »
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About a year ago I applied to the Big 4.  I was immediately accepted at SS, FT and DT - IS accepted 1 of 3.  I only had a few images on each site.   Continued to upload some random shots, but got more serious about it this past summer - especially after I sold an EL on SS (that's enough to get you going!)

In the past month I've been agressively uploading, setting up and shooting images specifically designed for stock, and signed up with all the middle tier agencies (except Veer - haven't signed up there yet) plus Crestock and Stockfresh (hoping they will review my portfolio sometime before the end of 2011).  During that time I was also accepted at IS - not sure how I feel about their changes yet, but as a matter of pride I wanted to be accepted, even if was to ultimately recect them.

SS has been by far my best selling agency and most consistant.  Sales continue to grow there.  DT - two sales early on, nothing since.  FT, no sales until this past month when I got two.  One sale on IS, no sales yet on any of the middle tier sites or those in the low-earner category.

My goal for this year is to get my portfolio up to 100 images by end of year - next year TBD as I learn more about what sells.  I also plan to review the sales at the various sites over the next several months and by the end of next year I expect that I will eliminate some that are not giving me the return on time invested.  That's the strategy I'd recommend - pick several, including the top tier, and see where you get accepted and shich sites start selling for you - it will help you assess which site or sites are a good match for your style and where you're getting sales, then you can eliminate those that don't fit.


 

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