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Messages - Jo Ann Snover

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1
Thanks for posting. I have very few jewelery shots, but I did take a look .

It still beggars belief that with all the automation SS has introduced into the review process, they don't match against the existing collection (and flipping or scaling shouldn't be an issue for finding matches).

2
Couple of observations about the site. I get a box at the lower right of my browser window saying "McAfee Secure" and above that another box with two buttons, Decline and Accept. In general, that kind of advertising popup would lead me to close the tab and leave the site alone. I do not want to interact McAfee in any way and there did not appear to be a close window (x in the top corner). I suggest you get rid of things like that.

It may be that the McAfee popup was the cause, but I couldn't type in the search box to try out searches to see how they worked.

I think your prices are low, particularly for vectors and the full size image. Shutterstock's smallest purchase is a 2 image pack for $29 ($14.50 each)

Above all, the big issue with selling from your own site is marketing - how will buyers find you?

The English on your site, both in the FAQ and in the license terms, could use some work. If you are primarily targeting your home market, it's probably not worth spending time on, but if you think there is some potential for attracting buyers who need English, I would. In particular, in the license terms, the paragraph about restrictions (second one in the RF section) is very muddled and doesn't explicitly say that the first sentence is a list of things you cannot do with a standard RF license.

Good luck

3
This isn't a criticism of your photos, only an assessment of their likely usefulness as stock images, but I can't think of many uses for these types of portraits (which is essentially what they are).

I'd suggest you do searches on Shutterstock to see what you're up against in terms of the market for photos (looking at what's popular) and supply - looking at how many images are already there. This is a competitive and well-supplied area. If you look at bride there are over 1.2 million items and wedding over 5 million. family wedding has less than 300K and more variation in the results (clearly releases are are bigger issue the larger the group).

I'd look for some niche areas that you might have a good supply of images for, many of which might not need releases. wedding venue has about 20K; wedding cake has about 19K. Even wedding dress detail, which has about 7K items has things that get used a lot for backgrounds.

For the people shots, try and figure out what message or mood or story the picture could tell as a stock image. Pretty brides are a dime a dozen, but a family hug, or a jilted bride or someone holding a little kid's hand could be a good topic for stock.

So, no home runs where you get to clean up with any of this, but there are potentially some solid items (particularly good where they sell long term as there's nothing trendy about the subject)

Good luck

4
Adobe Stock / Re: Question and problem about Adobe Stock
« on: September 15, 2018, 12:45 »
https://contributor.stock.adobe.com/en/contact

That's the "Contact us" link for contributor problems - see if you can get there to submit a support ticket.

I don't think there is any option to convert earnings to credits (I only see "Payout" on Adobe Stock).

If you search here for Mat Hayward, he posts his email address for people to contact him directly about Adobe contributor issues

5
General Photography Discussion / Re: Wemark
« on: September 14, 2018, 12:01 »
I read the link to Medium Sean posted and found the content a strange, high-speed water slide built with buzzy phrases that didn't really tell me anything about what they were actually going to do, or when - or even what they had done, or problems encountered.

If you can't be clear about what you are or aren't doing, larding your statement with overused hype about how blockchain will address all manner of problems doesn't help - actively hurts if you have a mental alert that goes off when snake oil sales pitches are detected.

I was surprised to see that LinkedIn says that Lee Torrens is an advisor to Wemark (Mar 2018 to present). Still listed as Marketplace Director at Canva...

6
Dreamstime.com / Re: Slowdown in sales
« on: September 13, 2018, 20:51 »
The agency is struggling. There are many threads here about this, here's just one

http://www.microstockgroup.com/dreamstime-com/dead-dead-and-dead/200/

7
General Stock Discussion / Re: Selling Stock on Your Behalf
« on: September 11, 2018, 09:53 »
I don't pay for a tagging service - for most of my images, keywords entered by other people would be useless.

I don't really understand what you're proposing, but if it is uploading to existing agencies on our behalf but to your own account, most of the agencies wouldn't allow that without you holding the copyright to the images you upload. And if you're asking if I'd hand over copyright to someone in return for a vague promise of some future sales royalties, the answer is clearly no.

If this is some sort of IQ test, did I pass?

And if you're offering a new service of some sort, not taking the time to describe it fully and clearly suggests an approach to business I wouldn't want to partner with - you've really started on a bad note IMO

8
Microstock News / Re: Sad News
« on: September 10, 2018, 21:58 »
Very sad news - he was one of the good guys...

I added a memory to his memorial page as I thought it worth letting his family know how much he was respected by this large group of people he worked with. I was only one of many he helped...

9
Shutterstock.com / Re: Are reviewers for real or bots?
« on: September 10, 2018, 11:17 »
I had a review experience a couple of days ago that was pleasantly human-like. A very smart and well engineered bot could have done this, but I'm guessing that's not what happened.

Last week I had one of my images rejected for having visible brand names or logos - it didn't, but it was of a ferry terminal in the San Juan Islands that had the name of the island in a few places. The keywords and description made the setting clear, but if you were in a hurry, you see a word on a building and click the reject button.

I had some other files to upload, so decided to include the reject (plus one other that had the place name clearly visible) along with an all caps explanation in the description field that ORCAS ISLAND IS A PLACE NAME NOT A BUSINESS OR BRAND NAME

I had expected to have to edit my shouted communication with the reviewer out once the images were approved, but the reviewer removed the note from both for me.

I wish they had a place where you could leave a note for the reviewer, but I was pleasantly surprised that someone took care of editing the note out when approving the files.

10
The car being a rental is irrelevant. You'd have the same issues if you or your friend owned the car. The intellectual property issues with protected designs don't go away if you paid for one of the items (like iPhones)

If there's a very small amount (and nothing identifiable; not just logos, but known style elements - like the Jeep front grill) you are probably fine. Upload one or two as a test before you process the rest

11
Adobe Stock / Re: Question about your metadata workflow
« on: September 07, 2018, 11:43 »
I copy my description into the title field when submitting to Adobe Stock.

Based partly on the rules of older sites, the title is shorter and the description, particularly of anything concrete (famous location, specific holiday, plant/animal details) contains key identifying details.

Shutterstock just grabs the description field and uses only that, so it's no additional work (and there is never anything missing if you only grab the description field, which is not true the other way around).

Since December 2016 (when I resumed uploading to Adobe/Fotolia) I keyword with the most important first (I keyword in Photoshop). That's never wrong anywhere else, so it's an easy step to take. With earlier files, I don't want to re-create the JPEGs so I re-arrange the keyword order on Adobe Stock after upload to ensure the important keywords are up top.


12
iStockPhoto.com / Re: Getty Custom Content Brief - is it worth it?
« on: September 06, 2018, 18:07 »
Sharing my experience with CC Briefs. Submitted some content back in January only to learn several weeks later that the client's selection period is ONE YEAR. I know for a fact that my content was selected and I already saw it in a commercial. It seems strange to me that I have to wait until the beginning of the next year to receive my royalties.    >:(

Knowing now how this works, would you submit to another brief?

Does anyone know when Getty gets paid by the client - is that at the 12 month mark?

From my perspective, I find Alamy's generous reporting and payment policies less desirable, but the higher royalties seem to be a fair exchange for the extended payment plan (so to speak). To have all the onerous terms of the custom content brief and in addition to have to wait 14 months (ish) to get paid seems borderline abusive.

The sooner this toxic scheme folds the better, IMO

13
Free stock sites are the reason why sales has been down-going, the last couple of years. What can be done about it?

I don't know how you could know that this is the case, but I think it's not.

The free sites in one form or another have been around as long as microstock has been and they didn't stop the huge rise in sales that we saw then. For the most part, there is a very small and limited selection of free stuff, and as long as it's very obvious that you get something different when you license an image for money, the free content just fills a need (for schools and very low-budget non-profits, etc.)

Some agencies (such as Dreamstime) have seen business fall (and they're suing Google who they see as a major factor in that), but SS has been reporting rising revenues, not decreasing

There are some much more likely candidates for why certain groups of contributors are seeing stagnant or falling sales - massive growth of image libraries (even if half the content is unsaleable rubbish) and all sorts of price decreases (all supposed to boost our income, but are clearly just trying to grab share from other agencies by undercutting on price).

You're barking up the wrong tree

15
As they're rolling over all their debt ($2.35 billion) how does this help? It's the cost of servicing that debt (which all went to pay the two parasitic private equity firms) that makes doing anything significant hard, and that not's changing.

I also figure it means they didn't think much of Dawn Airey

16

Jo Ann, Could I ask you if you've now received your code?  I am in the same position - have now had uploads approved but so far no code has been sent.

Thanks,
Pablito

Not yet, but Mat had said that he wasn't sure when the next batch of codes would go out - I'll post here when I receive mine

17
I submitted some content to Shutterstock the other day and in the acknowledgement email was surprised to see "For reference, your latest upload is on account [9 digit number]."

My account ID is 249 and I went online to verify that it still was showing that way (it was). I wrote to support to ask if the email was in error or if my content had somehow been submitted to the wrong account via a bug.

I received a reply this morning that my account has two IDs - the "old" one and this global accounts user ID.

I appreciate the prompt reply, but I do think it'd be a good idea to let contributors know about things like this - and show the new ID somewhere in the contributor dashboard, along with the old one

Perhaps everyone else already knew about this, but in case not, now you do :)

18
Microstock News / Re: Onepixel stock new agency????Help
« on: August 31, 2018, 10:09 »
It's the same people who were behind One Dollar Club at Fotolia if anyone remembers that.


If you look here and here  (or search Dollar Photo Club) you'll see the huge effort that lots of people put into driving a stake into the heart of that misbegotten enterprise. Except for anyone who came to stock licensing after that debacle, I'll wager that everyone here remembers that well (and not fondly)

I'll echo the advice to shun any operation dreamt up by founders of the Dollar Photo Club

19
Can I reffer a client to download from my portfolio or this is viewed by agencies as artificially inflating downloads?

What will set off the alerts is if (a) you don't have any downloads from other clients or (b) this client downloads only from you and in large numbers, especially if you then download from their portfolio in large numbers.

Otherwise, I'd echo the advice to license directly and cut out the agency

20
I received the "in your region" email today too - I had received the generic one about custom content (with the same example picture) a few days ago.

It had the same brief title "Vibrant Communities" as the generic email, for the Community Associations Institute (CAI). The only region mentioned in the brief is that the images be shot in the US

I'd have to move to some fantasyland somewhere to have neighborhood as they depict it though :)

I haven't submitted to iStock since 2013 (the Getty-Google fiasco, when I removed almost all images from my portfolio) - I have to guess that the same software geniuses that managed the iStock site set up the selection criteria for this email, or that they aren't getting any responses (and they want submissions by Sept 19th).

Sending email to any independent photographer is a waste of time IMO (given the crap royalty rate and requirement for exclusive licensing if your images are selected). And if a customer licenses just one of a series you shoot, even an exclusive is hosed as they can't license the rest as stock ever.

If buyers want a custom photo shoot they should pay for one.

21
If you don't have anywhere you can host a slideshow of your images for them to review, you can upload them to Google drive (watermarked if you like) and turn on sharing where only those with the link can view the images.

Unless you have more than 15GB of images, it's a clean - no frills, but perfectly functional - online slideshow. Images can be downloaded, so make them small if you're concerned about unauthorized use.

22
Shutterstock.com / Re: Contributor app blog post - really??
« on: August 27, 2018, 17:25 »
Oh, Jo Ann ~ Surely you know that 'exciting' in microland is different from 'exciting' anywhere else, including dictionaries!

I know, I should be happy that "exciting" news doesn't involve cutting my royalties, but as I said, I'm feeling a tad cranky today :)

23
Shutterstock.com / Contributor app blog post - really??
« on: August 27, 2018, 16:00 »
https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/shutterstock-contributor-app-new-look

I think I must be having a cranky day, but I read this (it was linked from the contributor home page) and wanted to throw things.

I like the contributor app. It's great that they have it (Adobe - it'd be great if you had one too).

But I wouldn't go as far as saying the app "...has received yet another exciting update" when they've just changed the background from black to white!

This color change "...ensures that contributors receive a consistent Shutterstock visual experience across all platforms". Do they realize that contributors care about sales? Exciting is a $75 SOD, not a white background instead of black.

Instead of writing inane blog posts, how about asking contributors what useful features or stats they could add to the app? Something contributors could actually use...

Off to do something useful :)


24
Adobe stock is the same as Fotolia I think???

Adobe owns Fotolia, but there are two sites. If you are already a Fotolia contributor, then there's no need to upload to Adobe Stock directly - everything is already there, assuming you've linked your accounts.

If you aren't submitting to Adobe Stock/Fotolia you should - it's doing much better than anywhere other than Shutterstock. I'd leave Dreamstime alone, only because sales there are dismal these days. Likewise, I'd give 123rf a miss because their sales have fallen off badly.

Alamy is not consistent (at least not for me) but when sales happen, they can be for very decent royalties. I'd definitely consider adding them to your roster (uploading is a bigger pain than many agencies though, even with their new system)

25
Mat figured out the problem with my account - it may not apply to other people though.

My problem was that I haven't uploaded in 2018. I've been busy elsewhere and didn't realize that in addition to the sales minimum, I needed at least one upload approved in 2018. I've uploaded a small batch and should see my code shortly.

Thanks again Mat for your assistance

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