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Author Topic: what's with all the frustration !  (Read 7521 times)

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Shelma1

« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2017, 15:38 »
+13
i do appreciate all the comments on this post, i am not that kind of person who would willingly allow for a false hope or miscalculated judgments. what i am trying to say is that you people, for sure, love photography and maybe some started doing it as a hobby like me and then loved it and enjoyed doing it. also, from what i have read so far in the forum, the vast majority are doing microstock business as a side stream income. based on that, why not just enjoy it and be a bit more tolerant to whatever this strange market brings ?!

Main income, side income...it's still disappointing when you watch your earnings shrink even though you've become better at your craft and are working harder at it. When you're making less with 10,000 images than you did with 1,000, it's just not something to celebrate. When the sites you're working with find new and innovative ways to screw you over while the founders become millionaires and billionaires on your work, not so fun.


« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2017, 16:23 »
+9
i do appreciate all the comments on this post, i am not that kind of person who would willingly allow for a false hope or miscalculated judgments. what i am trying to say is that you people, for sure, love photography and maybe some started doing it as a hobby like me and then loved it and enjoyed doing it. also, from what i have read so far in the forum, the vast majority are doing microstock business as a side stream income. based on that, why not just enjoy it and be a bit more tolerant to whatever this strange market brings ?!

You are poking the beehive   :D

« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2017, 16:41 »
+10
i do appreciate all the comments on this post, i am not that kind of person who would willingly allow for a false hope or miscalculated judgments. what i am trying to say is that you people, for sure, love photography and maybe some started doing it as a hobby like me and then loved it and enjoyed doing it. also, from what i have read so far in the forum, the vast majority are doing microstock business as a side stream income. based on that, why not just enjoy it and be a bit more tolerant to whatever this strange market brings ?!

LOL. I'd love to show up at everybody else's job with 10,000 friends, each of us taking a small fraction of their paycheck, declare what fun this hobby is for some spare change, then tell them not to worry because I have a day job.  ;D

« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2017, 16:50 »
+12
why not just enjoy it and be a bit more tolerant to whatever this strange market brings ?!

Yeah, that doesn't pay my medical insurance bill.

Bad Company

« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2017, 17:16 »
+1
i do appreciate all the comments on this post, i am not that kind of person who would willingly allow for a false hope or miscalculated judgments. what i am trying to say is that you people, for sure, love photography and maybe some started doing it as a hobby like me and then loved it and enjoyed doing it. also, from what i have read so far in the forum, the vast majority are doing microstock business as a side stream income. based on that, why not just enjoy it and be a bit more tolerant to whatever this strange market brings ?!

You are poking the beehive   :D

and I personally know there are a lot of bees in that hive  8)

« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2017, 17:18 »
+2
i do appreciate all the comments on this post, i am not that kind of person who would willingly allow for a false hope or miscalculated judgments. what i am trying to say is that you people, for sure, love photography and maybe some started doing it as a hobby like me and then loved it and enjoyed doing it. also, from what i have read so far in the forum, the vast majority are doing microstock business as a side stream income. based on that, why not just enjoy it and be a bit more tolerant to whatever this strange market brings ?!

I started out in 2012 and it was a hobby for me. My best month was 1100 dollar, that includes Shutterstock, several other agencies and Fine Art America. I thought I could grow my income and maybe turn pro. But it all came crashing down. FAA dried up, SS is in decline. Other agencies bring pennies. My monthly earnings are now between 300 and 800 dollar. The latter only when all planets line up and everything falls into place. So on average I lost 50% of my income whilst adding more images. And then I stopped adding images, as there is no way to keep up with the size of the libraries when you do not do this full time.

So if you are thinking to add a couple of nice images per month, as a hobby, to get some of pictures seen in a magazine, sure go for it. But if you expect to get serious dough from submitting your images, you need to stop as a doctor and turn full time pro photographer, submitting at least 100 high quality high commercial value images per month.

In the end though, my hobby paid for itself, I bought all the equipment I wanted and got some nice travels out of it.

This shot made me more than $1600 and I took it whilst drunk on a river tour in Chicago. Thats the fun part.


This shot with a model and a complete set up and story book made me 33 cent. Thats the frustrating part.

« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 18:28 by Semmick Photo »

« Reply #31 on: September 04, 2017, 17:29 »
0

This shot with a model and a complete set up and story book made me 33 cent. Thats the frustrating part.


Yep, weird. The model is a lot cuter.  ;D

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #32 on: September 04, 2017, 17:33 »
0
why not just enjoy it and be a bit more tolerant to whatever this strange market brings ?!

Yeah, that doesn't pay my medical insurance bill.
Which doesn't work as a 'dig' in the UK, but point taken.

« Reply #33 on: September 04, 2017, 17:59 »
+2
Come back in 5 years and we'll see how optimistic you are ...

That's pretty optimistic thinking that this business will last five more years  8)

The industry is not going way in five years.  It will just continue devolving.

« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2017, 18:35 »
+18
... why not just enjoy it and be a bit more tolerant to whatever this strange market brings ?!

I've been licensing images through various microstock agencies since 2004. Some have been participating longer than that. Perhaps you can grasp that being told how we should feel by someone who is a relative newcomer is annoying. You also seem to suggest that contributors are just passive objects in a business we can't influence - it's more true now than it used to be, but the more people just accept the situation as something we cannot influence, the more true that becomes.

Given that you don't know anything about what's been going on as this business has evolved, you won't realize that the agencies that are now enriching themselves and their investors became successful because of a lot of hard work, mostly on the part of contributors to the agency. The agencies built the marketplaces/shopfronts and the good/savvy ones prospered. They absolutely deserve to make money from their efforts, but they've forgotten who brought them to the party and are now desperately trying to prop up their profits by squeezing contributors (among other things).

I'll spare you the long form of the story of how we got here, but lots of people have tried lots of adaptations to try and keep their income from their work going/growing and sometimes venting with other people who are in the same boat is a safety valve. If you look back at earlier posts you'll see many contributor led efforts which did result in improvements for contributors, but the power balance has shifted as the agency collections have grown and the widely dispersed contributor population means it's hard to get mass action.

It's fine that you have the optimism that largely comes from the lack of scar tissue, but please stay away from asking other people to ignore their own scars.

« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2017, 22:59 »
+1
Per hour of work this is the worst pay I could ever imagine. Absolutely anything I do on the side for extra money earns more than stock in terms of pay for hours worked. I don't feel frustrated by it since I knew this might happen, its just not something I feel optimistic about.

« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2017, 23:42 »
+3
Per hour of work this is the worst pay I could ever imagine.

More than 300m people in Africa live on $1.25 a day or less.

« Reply #37 on: September 05, 2017, 01:28 »
0
i do appreciate all the comments on this post, i am not that kind of person who would willingly allow for a false hope or miscalculated judgments. what i am trying to say is that you people, for sure, love photography and maybe some started doing it as a hobby like me and then loved it and enjoyed doing it. also, from what i have read so far in the forum, the vast majority are doing microstock business as a side stream income. based on that, why not just enjoy it and be a bit more tolerant to whatever this strange market brings ?!

LOL. I'd love to show up at everybody else's job with 10,000 friends, each of us taking a small fraction of their paycheck, declare what fun this hobby is for some spare change, then tell them not to worry because I have a day job.  ;D
From the very start wasn't one of microstock's selling points that hobbyists could make a few cents from their "snaps" if you chose to treat it as a job presumably you knew that?

« Reply #38 on: September 05, 2017, 01:45 »
+8
i do appreciate all the comments on this post, i am not that kind of person who would willingly allow for a false hope or miscalculated judgments. what i am trying to say is that you people, for sure, love photography and maybe some started doing it as a hobby like me and then loved it and enjoyed doing it. also, from what i have read so far in the forum, the vast majority are doing microstock business as a side stream income. based on that, why not just enjoy it and be a bit more tolerant to whatever this strange market brings ?!

So what if you worked your a$$ off and the market covered your mortgage every month. Then you worked twice as hard but the market only covered your car. And you work even harder and the market only covered lunch at a fast food restaurant. Would you enjoy it and be tolerant? Probably not. Like most people you'll either quit and disappear or come here to grumpystockgroup.com where misery loves company and hope things will get better.


« Reply #39 on: September 05, 2017, 01:56 »
+2
i do appreciate all the comments on this post, i am not that kind of person who would willingly allow for a false hope or miscalculated judgments. what i am trying to say is that you people, for sure, love photography and maybe some started doing it as a hobby like me and then loved it and enjoyed doing it. also, from what i have read so far in the forum, the vast majority are doing microstock business as a side stream income. based on that, why not just enjoy it and be a bit more tolerant to whatever this strange market brings ?!

So what if you worked your a$$ off and the market covered your mortgage every month. Then you worked twice as hard but the market only covered your car. And you work even harder and the market only covered lunch at a fast food restaurant. Would you enjoy it and be tolerant? Probably not. Like most people you'll either quit and disappear or come here to grumpystockgroup.com where misery loves company and hope things will get better.
Quitting seems a rational response but there comes a point when coming on grumpy stock seems pointless...surely as professional photographers time would be better spent finding better ways of selling skills?

« Reply #40 on: September 05, 2017, 02:22 »
+2
i do appreciate all the comments on this post, i am not that kind of person who would willingly allow for a false hope or miscalculated judgments. what i am trying to say is that you people, for sure, love photography and maybe some started doing it as a hobby like me and then loved it and enjoyed doing it. also, from what i have read so far in the forum, the vast majority are doing microstock business as a side stream income. based on that, why not just enjoy it and be a bit more tolerant to whatever this strange market brings ?!
I used to work in the NHS, so I know how people that work in that organisation have to be optimistic :)  Have you tried Alamy yet?  They're based in the UK and sell a lot to UK customers, a big advantage for those of us in the UK.  They pay 50% and if you're lucky, you can get a 4 figure payment from licensing one image.  I think if I was just starting and already had a substantial income, living in the UK, I would probably just supply them.  It takes a long time for them to start selling but the amount you make per sale is often much more that you get with microstock.  They have a good forum too but don't mention microstock over there, I did it once but I think I got away with it.

« Reply #41 on: September 05, 2017, 04:10 »
+1
Per hour of work this is the worst pay I could ever imagine.

More than 300m people in Africa live on $1.25 a day or less.

And a lot of others die with less :(


Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #42 on: September 05, 2017, 04:32 »
+3
Quote
I know they are being realistic, I totally understand that, but you can be realistic and at the same time keep some optimistic views for those who are eager to try and go through this.

As a relative newcomer to this business, I can't express the same frustration as other people since I've never seen how it was "in the good old days". Many on here are full-time photographers so if your livelihood is threatened with diminished returns it's only natural to feel hostile. I started submitting in 2009 but quit because I was couldn't take the rejections and took another shot against in 2012 and gladly stayed the course.

However, what I can say is that I tend to generally agree with you in that veterans need to be more encouraging to newbies while at the same time "keeping it real". I think that newbies need to look at microstock as an educational learning experience...and hopefully make enough to upgrade some equipment and pay for some photography trips once in a while. If you're only here to make money then any other "gig-economy" job will probably pay more.

My motto for microstock is:

Get in --> Learn about the technical and commercial/editorial side of the industry --> Diversify and look for more profitable opportunities else within photography.

The industry is ever-evolving and there's plenty of opportunities, just need to know where to find them.

Best of luck!

« Reply #43 on: September 05, 2017, 04:59 »
+4
Quote

However, what I can say is that I tend to generally agree with you in that veterans need to be more encouraging to newbies while at the same time "keeping it real".

As has already been said, it's not our job to make others feel good about themselves in the world of Stock Photography. This sounds harsh but think about it for a moment. How many Solicitors, Mechanics or Accountants etc go round providing moral support to their competitors? Giving them advice on how to improve their business so they can ultimately take customers away from them.... None.

Moral support is the type of thing you'd find on photography groups or clubs. If that's what is needed then I guess the cut throat world of Stock Photography is not the place to to start until you're more confident and have a better idea on what you need to do. You should not expect moral support or advice from your competitors. Why would they want to improve your chances of taking more money away from them and reducing the food on the table for their family.... that would be plain foolish.

Personally, I make business decisions based on what is happening to me and not what others are saying. The advice could be wrong or deliberately misleading. Do you want to make financial decision based on a game of chance?

If it's a hobby, don't expect full timers to pass on info that will make it easier/quicker for you to make money...that could be money that was destined for their pockets. If someone does give you advice, don't treat it as gospel. You're better off doing the leg work yourself.... look around you, see what images are used and for what.

I'm constantly amazed by the numbers of people who fall over themselves to provide advice and support to newbies and in the next breath complain their income is dropping. Yes, this is harsh but thats business for you.

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #44 on: September 05, 2017, 07:30 »
+16
veterans need to be more encouraging to newbies while at the same time "keeping it real".

Veterans don't need to do anything. Why should it be their job to encourage young newbie competitors? Posting some info about a new camera, or reviewing a rejected photo, sure, why not. But actively encouraging people to get ahead in this business? It's tough enough as it is.

We're all in the same boat, but if the boat is already sinking from the weight, it's every man for himself.

Brasilnut

  • Author of the Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock
« Reply #45 on: September 05, 2017, 07:42 »
0
Quote
We're all in the same boat, but if the boat is already sinking from the weight, it's every man for himself.

I think we all have something to learn from each other and we're on a big boat. A few snapshots of flowers and cats shouldn't affect our income.

I'm helping out a newbie at the moment who happens to be a web wizard / SEO specialist. In return he's going to help me with my website. win/win.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #46 on: September 05, 2017, 07:55 »
+2
Two points:

We're not talking about setting up a barter here; that's different altogether.

The best advice for someone shooting 'flowers and cats' would be from someone else shooting flowers and cats. There wouldn't be much value in someone who shoots 'studio glamour' advising someone shooting flowers and cats (or vice versa). So the only useful advice would come from a direct rival, or someone shooting very similar subjects, who might themselves one day want to branch out into flowers and cats.

Quote
We're all in the same boat, but if the boat is already sinking from the weight, it's every man for himself.

I think we all have something to learn from each other and we're on a big boat. A few snapshots of flowers and cats shouldn't affect our income.

I'm helping out a newbie at the moment who happens to be a web wizard / SEO specialist. In return he's going to help me with my website. win/win.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 11:02 by ShadySue »

« Reply #47 on: September 05, 2017, 08:56 »
+2
veterans need to be more encouraging to newbies while at the same time "keeping it real".

Veterans don't need to do anything. Why should it be their job to encourage young newbie competitors? Posting some info about a new camera, or reviewing a rejected photo, sure, why not. But actively encouraging people to get ahead in this business? It's tough enough as it is.

We're all in the same boat, but if the boat is already sinking from the weight, it's every man for himself.

Yep... I'm doing fine but when I say so I get called BS. So why bother helping competition.

Is Noodelhap Nederlands?

Bad Company

« Reply #48 on: September 05, 2017, 09:14 »
+2
veterans need to be more encouraging to newbies while at the same time "keeping it real".

We're all in the same boat, but if the boat is already sinking from the weight, it's every man for himself.

Don't forgot the talented women in this business as well  8)

« Reply #49 on: September 05, 2017, 09:46 »
0
From the very start wasn't one of microstock's selling points that hobbyists could make a few cents from their "snaps" if you chose to treat it as a job presumably you knew that?

If you have several arms to your business, it's hard not to follow the one that is growing quickly. There was a time too when I thought parts of microstock were going to evolve past some of its crowdsourcing roots.


 

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