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Author Topic: Microstock photographers and Stocksy application  (Read 12147 times)

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« on: July 03, 2014, 04:53 »
+5
I would like to ask microstock photographers what are their experiences with Stocksy.

Microstock was my full time job for few years and I was very thankful for it, although I had to adjust my photography style to their requirements. I like more Stocksy photography style and I would like to be their photographer but I found out that it is very difficult to change all microstock habits now. Preparing my portfolio for Stocksy application I noticed these difficulties:

1. I'm focusing more on technical quality than aesthetic impression and creativity.
2. I'm accustomed to details and I don't think about surroundings when I'm shooting.
3. I'm directed to microstock subjects and I feel strange when I want to put to my portfolio something different or more personal.

This is my portfolio from last application and it was declined:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/102259734@N04/
I tried to understand my mistakes and I prepared new portfolio for next application: https://mkucova.squarespace.com
I think it looks better now although I'm not sure if it is exactly what Stocksy editors want to see. I would like to ask if the other microstock photographers have to deal with similar troubles. How do you prepare your portfolio for resubmission? Are you sending the same images again or different? I will be thankful for opinion from Stocksy photographers too - I would like to know what I can improve more.


 


« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 10:54 »
+3
I just applied for the first time myself so can't give you any advice but just wanted to say I love your style - gorgeous work. Good luck!

MxR

« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 11:07 »
0
Uffff your images are not bad... i think they declined you because there is a great demand of people who wants be in Stocky...

I think they want people with a lot of images and social networks...

jen

« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 13:20 »
0
This is my portfolio from last application and it was declined:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/102259734@N04/
I tried to understand my mistakes and I prepared new portfolio for next application: https://mkucova.squarespace.com
I think it looks better now although I'm not sure if it is exactly what Stocksy editors want to see. I would like to ask if the other microstock photographers have to deal with similar troubles. How do you prepare your portfolio for resubmission? Are you sending the same images again or different? I will be thankful for opinion from Stocksy photographers too - I would like to know what I can improve more.

I think your portfolio is nice, but if I can make a suggestion it would be to avoid photos with logos/art.  For example:

https://mkucova.squarespace.com/xaf0tm3m1g6i3y75at3ww785msg2hp
https://mkucova.squarespace.com/6eqymawcoparena7giw1ydiacnovwe
https://mkucova.squarespace.com/prpdiah3f37rz64ho2um8qkeh9eecz
https://mkucova.squarespace.com/4k0rsn6e1gbyp87xdcqfgxy3t3g4y5
https://mkucova.squarespace.com/sh7zor67m6708t01y4zn7p0a5367bu

Some of those might be alright (hard to see what's on the bathing suit, and the girls on the bikes are blurry) but I think it would be better to show them your ability to detect and remove copyright issues, and IMO it will make them look more like planned stock photos.  Just my $0.02.

« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 13:50 »
0
Thank you Jen for your comment. Do you think it isn't good to have images with logos in sample portfolio? I know that I can't sell them in stock agency and I wavered if it is good idea to have them in my portfolio or not but I noticed that Stocksy has images with logos in their selection on Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/pin/366550857144766816/). I wonder if it is better to show them images  I like more although they aren't usable for stock or if I should use only photos without trademarks or art. Perhaps I  could try to retouch some of them.

jen

« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2014, 08:11 »
0
Thank you Jen for your comment. Do you think it isn't good to have images with logos in sample portfolio? I know that I can't sell them in stock agency and I wavered if it is good idea to have them in my portfolio or not but I noticed that Stocksy has images with logos in their selection on Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/pin/366550857144766816/). I wonder if it is better to show them images  I like more although they aren't usable for stock or if I should use only photos without trademarks or art. Perhaps I  could try to retouch some of them.


I'm not sure how they are choosing people, so I don't know the right answer, but personally I would avoid logos.  You know you can't use logos, but they don't know that you know that if you submit those images.  Some of those would be quite easy to retouch so that's probably the route I would take personally. 

« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2014, 08:33 »
+1
I'm not sure how they are choosing people, so I don't know the right answer, but personally I would avoid logos.  You know you can't use logos, but they don't know that you know that if you submit those images.   

Probably you are right, I deleted most problematic images and replaced them with another. Thank you for your advice.

« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2014, 10:14 »
0
but i didn't understand something...The application consisted in sending 25 images and a link to your portolio right?

i THINK that they will judge on this 25 image submission, and then they chek your portfolio...but i think you should just avoid logos in the 25 image sample and not in portfolio....but this is just my idea

« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2014, 11:00 »
+2
i THINK that they will judge on this 25 image submission, and then they chek your portfolio...but i think you should just avoid logos in the 25 image sample and not in portfolio....but this is just my idea

I don't know their way of processing applications but I found articles with recommendations for photographers after I sent them my images. Now I know that I didn't choose the most appropriate 25 images so I hope they will take a look at my portfolio also and I would like to have it the best possible.

gillian

  • *Gillian*

« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2014, 06:38 »
+1
they do also look at your other portfolio links, this is why the process can take so long. good luck.

« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2014, 07:20 »
+2
Thank you, Gillian. I'm waiting over 20 days but I'm thankful for this time because I improved my portfolio. I think it looks better now although I haven't an idea if Stocksy editors will like it too :-\  It is very difficult to choose the right images.

« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2014, 09:15 »
+2
Here's a look at some work from the newest contributors, if you want to get an idea of what they're looking for: http://www.jengrantham.com/2014/10/10/friday-favourites-new-stocksy-members/

Nic99

« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2014, 09:54 »
-2
The majority is same as microstock photos but with a filter? Ok.

« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2014, 10:15 »
+2
The majority is same as microstock photos but with a filter? Ok.

Yes, that's exactly what it is.  Thanks for summing it up.

« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2014, 11:03 »
+4
The majority is same as microstock photos but with a filter? Ok.

Forget the two dimensional thinking and try to find something outside the image like ideas, dynamics, depth, feelings and emotions...things like that :)

OM

« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2014, 20:43 »
+3
It's a frame of mind........and I fear that my mind is too old to get into that frame. It's a shame, although I get the 'levitation' that the images bring. Thanks Sean for the Jen Grantham link.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 20:45 by OM »

Mark Windom Photography

« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2014, 22:20 »
0
The majority is same as microstock photos but with a filter? Ok.

What's a 'microstock photo'?.  Ok?

Nic99

« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2014, 02:23 »
+2
The majority is same as microstock photos but with a filter? Ok.

What's a 'microstock photo'?.  Ok?
4 girls walking down a road. a collection of berries. a pot of coffee. a  girl with candy cotton. Ok.

« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2014, 16:03 »
-1
You must be looking at a different page than I am.

« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2014, 02:22 »
+1
4 girls walking down a road. a collection of berries. a pot of coffee. a  girl with candy cotton. Ok.

Stocksy sells stock photos so they have stock and commercial topics. I think the difference is that it isn't the most important and the only requirement.  They also concentrate on light, composition, colors, mood I like they allow their photographers to have their own style. Some Stocksy portfolios are very inspiring for me, I love to look at them.

Nic99

« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2014, 04:04 »
-1
   colors, mood
done in post with a filter. you can take any photo and make it look like that

MxR

« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2014, 04:10 »
+4
The worst of stocksy is that they dont want me...  :-\

 

« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2014, 04:57 »
+1
done in post with a filter. you can take any photo and make it look like that
Yes, appropriate filter can improve a photo but it's necessary to think about the colors before shooting. It's too late to to choose color scheme when photos are ready. If the colors don't match at all, filter can't help too much.

The worst of stocksy is that they dont want me...  :-\

Yes, it is :( I was also rejected, but I noticed that I'm thinking about my photos more than before and it helps me to improve.   

« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2014, 05:10 »
0
Still waiting for the verdict ... don't know if this is good or bad, but last year I also have a delay answer and "reject" was the word.

« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2014, 06:47 »
+10
I am very sorry for those who didnt get in and all those that are still waiting. I sincerly hope that stocksy grows their business by 10 000% so they can include many more artists. There are so many talented people in the community.

And the more artists join stocksy, the more the other agencies will have to treat people well, otherwise all the best work will "go stocksy".

« Last Edit: October 15, 2014, 06:53 by cobalt »

« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2014, 08:46 »
0
And the more artists join stocksy, the more the other agencies will have to treat people well, otherwise all the best work will "go stocksy".

Nice thought :) ... for me will work like that (if/when they accept me), I have an urgent need to release the other photographer inside me and a place to sell and be proud to belong.

« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2014, 09:19 »
+3
Well for me that is one of the biggest reasons to support an artist run coop. To show the stock world, that the modern artists are entrepreneurs who can take matters into their own hand if necessary.

I have often heard that "artists cant do business", they dont understand money and thus it is very easy to exploit them.

Of course some people really are not that good with business and need a "manager" who can handle the business side for them. And that of course needs to be paid.

But I think the online stock community in particular, is different. Many have online businesses or business experience anyway, they are not scared of money or working with customers.

So for stocksy to be an example of a successfully run and expanding business community as well as an art community is something I really appreciate.

It can really bring a lot of balance to the industry and of course the more artists can find a home there, the more powerful it will be.

But I understand that accepting artists must go hand in hand with growth, you have to be able to feed them if you take them in.

« Reply #27 on: October 15, 2014, 09:38 »
+2
But I understand that accepting artists must go hand in hand with growth, you have to be able to feed them if you take them in.

I agree, but for sure there are a lot of lost sales, because in Stocksy have shortage of certain topics and images and this can be done from certain authors which have to be in Stocksy. I could be one of them :)

jen

« Reply #28 on: October 15, 2014, 09:54 »
+2
   colors, mood
done in post with a filter. you can take any photo and make it look like that

haha

So that's my blog post and it's just 30 random images I personally liked out of the thousands of new images from ~500 new members.  I don't expect everyone to have the same tastes as me.  But to say that you can take any image and slap a filter on it to make it look like that - that it has nothing to do with styling, posing, mood, lighting, composition... well that's just funny.  To each their own, I guess.

Photominer

« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2014, 10:37 »
+1
I didn't get in either, but I kind of expected that. I learned to shoot in a different style than what they're after. So there's room for me to change and advance as a photographer if I want to apply again down the road.

« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2014, 10:47 »
0
... the thousands of new images from ~500 new members. 

Do you know that the 500 photographers for 2014 have already been invited?

Bad news for me :(

« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2014, 10:54 »
0
There's still room to select from applications already in the queue.

« Reply #32 on: October 15, 2014, 10:55 »
0
There's still room to select from applications already in the queue.
:)

« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2014, 10:57 »
+1
There's still room to select from applications already in the queue.

You give me my live back  :D

« Reply #34 on: October 15, 2014, 12:15 »
0
There's still room to select from applications already in the queue.

Yes, thank you Sean. I think that information is welcomed by many people who haven't heard back yet about their 2014 application.

Of course, no guarantees, but at least all hope is not lost for those who wait.


jen

« Reply #35 on: October 15, 2014, 12:49 »
0
... the thousands of new images from ~500 new members. 

Do you know that the 500 photographers for 2014 have already been invited?

Bad news for me :(
No, I don't know how many spots are left.  That's what the tilde was for ("approximately" 500) :)

« Reply #36 on: October 15, 2014, 14:31 »
0
... the thousands of new images from ~500 new members. 

Do you know that the 500 photographers for 2014 have already been invited?

Bad news for me :(
No, I don't know how many spots are left.  That's what the tilde was for ("approximately" 500) :)

There are still only 580 photographers in total listed in Stocksy's Artist Directory, an increase of 6 from a week ago. I can't find any one who has submitted photos to the site that aren't listed in the directory.

Mark Windom Photography

« Reply #37 on: October 15, 2014, 14:42 »
+1
 ^ You aren't listed in the Artist Directory until you have uploaded and had at least one image accepted.  I would imagine there are a number of recently accepted contributors who haven't yet gotten around to getting images approved for the catalog.

« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2014, 14:53 »
0
Ah... good point. That explains a lot.

Thanks for the info.

« Reply #39 on: October 15, 2014, 15:08 »
+1
I believe you are not listed in the directory until you make a sale which makes you an official co-op member.

stocked

« Reply #40 on: October 15, 2014, 15:23 »
0
I believe you are not listed in the directory until you make a sale which makes you an official co-op member.
exactly! and if I remember right it costs you a Dollar well worth it though! :)

« Reply #41 on: October 15, 2014, 16:08 »
+12
I think each photographer has unique style that's most dear to them. If you're a pro stock photographer you probably can shoot any style, but you will still love only certain style or subject most, and that will show in the final quality of your images. Knowing what you love and knowing what are the most appropriate places to sell your work is a formula for success. If you don't get excited by Stocksy's style, not on the real "omg, this is me!" level, why waste time applying? Some other venues will bring you much more satisfaction and money...

« Reply #42 on: October 16, 2014, 04:12 »
0
exactly! and if I remember right it costs you a Dollar well worth it though! :)

Nope. It does not "cost" you a dollar. You buy a share in the co-op for a dollar. So technically, if you'd ever leave the co-op, you should get that money back. ;)

« Reply #43 on: October 16, 2014, 04:47 »
+6
I am very sorry for those who didnt get in and all those that are still waiting. I sincerly hope that stocksy grows their business by 10 000% so they can include many more artists. There are so many talented people in the community.

And the more artists join stocksy, the more the other agencies will have to treat people well, otherwise all the best work will "go stocksy".

I don't expect that to happen...

One of the reasons that allowed microstock to steal so much market share from traditional agencies was their open door approach - everybody could come and upload, no matter what level of experience, size of portfolio, specific style he/she had.

To really put pressure on the existing microstock agencies a competitor needs to be open to all of their contributors. Maybe with a Stocksy-like model (CoOp, image exclusive, fair pay...), but less restrictive in their acceptance criteria.

That being said, I believe Stocksy is doing the right thing for their commercial success (and the success of their contributors) by limiting the number of contributors and concentrating on a specific style.

But they are not the white knight saving us all from the evils of the microstock business...

« Reply #44 on: October 16, 2014, 07:05 »
+5

And the more artists join stocksy, the more the other agencies will have to treat people well, otherwise all the best work will "go stocksy".

Isn't Stocksy just a totally different market? Microstock was always meant to be for the rather ordinary useful images, not for some kind of artistic work.

Looking at the work in the link Sean posted, I'm very impressed. It's the sort of stuff I hoped to get into before microstock came along and channeled me into becoming a hack. I doubt if much of the Stocksy work would be worth creating if it were selling at 38c a pop on IS, it lacks the sort of generic appeal that will generate a good volume of sales. In other words, it's going back to the old idea of trad agencies selling high quality at high prices... perhaps it is the reincarnation of the still-born iStockpro, which was where iStock was meant to lead.

« Reply #45 on: October 16, 2014, 08:16 »
+1
I was just referring to the stocksy origin as described by Thomas Hawk in his famous letter to Getty.

http://thomashawk.com/2013/03/why-i-quit-getty-images-and-why-im-moving-my-stock-photography-sales-to-stocksy.html

stocksy as a place run by artist to represent themselves and be free of the people that try to take advantage of you.

With 50% and 100% on extended licenses and being a coop, it is unique.

Of course they have great editors and they encourage you to do your best.

The content they have is very desired by others, so I do believe they can help to bring balance.

stocked

« Reply #46 on: October 16, 2014, 10:35 »
0
exactly! and if I remember right it costs you a Dollar well worth it though! :)

Nope. It does not "cost" you a dollar. You buy a share in the co-op for a dollar. So technically, if you'd ever leave the co-op, you should get that money back. ;)
okay okay wrong word but that was I meant.

stocked

« Reply #47 on: October 16, 2014, 10:37 »
0
I am very sorry for those who didnt get in and all those that are still waiting. I sincerly hope that stocksy grows their business by 10 000% so they can include many more artists. There are so many talented people in the community.

And the more artists join stocksy, the more the other agencies will have to treat people well, otherwise all the best work will "go stocksy".

I don't expect that to happen...

One of the reasons that allowed microstock to steal so much market share from traditional agencies was their open door approach - everybody could come and upload, no matter what level of experience, size of portfolio, specific style he/she had.

To really put pressure on the existing microstock agencies a competitor needs to be open to all of their contributors. Maybe with a Stocksy-like model (CoOp, image exclusive, fair pay...), but less restrictive in their acceptance criteria.

That being said, I believe Stocksy is doing the right thing for their commercial success (and the success of their contributors) by limiting the number of contributors and concentrating on a specific style.

But they are not the white knight saving us all from the evils of the microstock business...
You missed the point that iStock 'stole' the 20% share from Getty.

jen

« Reply #48 on: October 16, 2014, 11:26 »
0
^ You aren't listed in the Artist Directory until you have uploaded and had at least one image accepted.  I would imagine there are a number of recently accepted contributors who haven't yet gotten around to getting images approved for the catalog.

Yes, when I was browsing the "hello new members" thread in the contributor forums, there were many people who introduced themselves but had empty portfolios.  I really have absolutely no idea how many members we actually have.

« Reply #49 on: October 16, 2014, 17:39 »
0
Empty portfolios? How long does it take to get your images accepted into the catalog?

Mark Windom Photography

« Reply #50 on: October 16, 2014, 17:50 »
+1
Empty portfolios? How long does it take to get your images accepted into the catalog?

It varies with how many images are waiting for review....my experience is anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
There may be some new contributors who are waiting for images to be deleted from other agencies before uploading since Stocksy is image exclusive....and that can take anywhere from a day or so to a few months.

« Reply #51 on: October 17, 2014, 00:22 »
0
Empty portfolios? How long does it take to get your images accepted into the catalog?

It varies with how many images are waiting for review....my experience is anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
There may be some new contributors who are waiting for images to be deleted from other agencies before uploading since Stocksy is image exclusive....and that can take anywhere from a day or so to a few months.

I don't think this is what Stocksy want, to receive old content. I'm not very familiar and I'm still not in, but i think they looking for something new and original.

« Reply #52 on: October 18, 2014, 10:31 »
+2
Well I'm sure they don't want empty portfolios! If I'm accepted (which I'm getting quite skeptable about after waiting 3 months) I would start contributing on day one.

jen

« Reply #53 on: October 19, 2014, 14:46 »
+3
Nothing wrong with submitting older images.


 

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