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Author Topic: Donate Free Images? Is it good ?  (Read 12515 times)

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« on: May 28, 2009, 22:54 »
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Here 123RF write:

What are the benefits of donating? Expect a huge increase in your portfolio exposure! Increase your sales, (oh yea), as much as 40% to 2800%!! Sell higher resolution images!

Is it true ?
Do you have some free images on 123RF?


« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2009, 23:03 »
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it has come up here a couple of times (last time about 6-8 months ago I think), would be worth digging through.

Personally I tried 3 times with a selection of images, (last time with about 15 at once from memory) and a mix of what I thought would be low and high earners and I didnt notice any improvement in sales any of these times.  However some people believe it is worthwhile and feel that they get sales out of it.

Phil

« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2009, 01:39 »
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I just don't believe in giving images away for free.  There are lots of other people willing to do it and perhaps it brings buyers to the sites but I am no joining them.

« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2009, 13:36 »
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Tried when started uploading to 123RF and I do not see any benefits so far. Waste of time.

lisafx

« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2009, 14:37 »
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I have donated a lot of freebies there and my sales are still slipping down, down, down. 

gbcimages

« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2009, 14:37 »
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I tried two images didn't help with sales at all.

puravida

  • diablo como vd
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2009, 14:44 »
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I just don't believe in giving images away for free.  There are lots of other people willing to do it and perhaps it brings buyers to the sites but I am no joining them.

Hell, why not? At this rate, we'll all be giving our images away for free  ;)

« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2009, 15:56 »
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Next thing you know, the sites will be asking us to give them money for OUR images.

digiology

« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2009, 18:12 »
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Next thing you know, the sites will be asking us to give them money for OUR images.


With all the changes going on in microstock lately I bet your not too far off the mark.

RacePhoto

« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2009, 17:23 »
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Next thing you know, the sites will be asking us to give them money for OUR images.


Congratulations you have been accepted as a Getty photographer. You may now upload photos to our site for $50 per image. It's already here.

« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2009, 12:35 »
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I have been experimenting with "donate" at 123rf. I have several images which have had 6-8 free downloads so far. This shows up on the total number of overall downloads for an image when you click through on it  and I hope it will increase its overall search exposure over time.

My sales at 123rf had been pretty low lately despite taking full advantage of the "fav" program,  so I felt it wouldn't hurt to try donating some images in effort to increase my portfolio's overall exposure.

I've been testing this for about a month now and will let you know if I see any significant increase in sales in my 123rf portfolio which has over 700 images.

-Mark

WarrenPrice

« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2009, 12:40 »
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Mark,
were you able to see/realize any results from the Fav Program?

« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2009, 12:42 »
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My feeling is that 'donation' is just a way for the microstocks to build up a bigger and bigger stock of free images, which will only serve to drive our commissions lower as then industry continues grinding its way to a point where the per-image cost is zero, and the profit comes from ads, exotic subscription plans and other, related products and 'services'.


« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2009, 15:35 »
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Mark,
were you able to see/realize any results from the Fav Program?
Most of my Fav photos are my best sellers at 123RF.  What isn't necessarily good because they also get lots of subs sales.  :(

« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2009, 15:48 »
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nope, I tested it once quite intensively for couple weeks; my free files were downloaded like hot cakes, but 0 impact on sales.

same on dreamstime.


« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2009, 19:18 »
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The only site that you should even consider putting images for free is Fotolia. At least they give you 50 cents for every file you offer for free. So if you have really old crappy files that never sell, you have little to lose.

ap

« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2009, 19:27 »
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really? never got that. one file i offered for free i found on an affiliate site. when i tried deleting it from fotolia, it remained on the affliate, forever now it seems.

at least at 123rf, you can manage how many 'days' you're offering it for free, from 1-30 days. the ones that had the most downloads (while free) also tend to become the best sellers.

« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2009, 01:58 »
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As many contributors testified in the past, free images don't benefit the contributor at all, although they might benefit the site as a whole. From time to time I'm part of the guild of free leechers and I don't even look who the contributor is, let alone look in his paying port. I guess most freebie-hunters are like that.

« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2009, 11:22 »
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Mark,
were you able to see/realize any results from the Fav Program?


Warren,

The FAV program is definitely worth using. I would say it is mostly responsible for most of the sales that I do have ... It definitely gives added exposure to certain images. Also the great thing about it is that the larger your portfolio is ... the more "FAV" images you can have at one time. I frequently change them all the time when I want to add emphasis to something that is perhaps seasonal or holiday related.

I hope this helps.

-Mark

WarrenPrice

« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2009, 13:29 »
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Thanks Mark,
I've been doing pretty much the same thing but on a very small scale.  Haven't been able to determine if it helps.  I still have less than 200 images there.  I like this site.  Will be increasing as fast as I can push them thru.

« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2009, 13:39 »
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I dont like the idea of free images. Some people will find something almost as good as what they need somewhere. Then why pay? I have seen some really good free images. I think if free images should only be offered in a small size if at all.

Also what is happening now is that people are downloading hundreds of these free images and then putting them on CD on ebay for $5-$10 for 1000's of photos.

This can only kill the market. Microstockers are going to end up killing themselves.

« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2009, 13:48 »
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As RF came along and damaged RM, now Micro is here and eroding quality RF, free images can only further devalue our work and damage the photography business...what next? How low will our industry go?


Don't give in to the sites pleadings and dubious assurances that offering free images will attract more sales...it only suits their corporate creed...and damages the future of stock photography. Only an MBA could come up with a hare brained scheme like that...and I heard that after the financial crisis MBA's are going for 10 cents on the dollar.

« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2009, 01:48 »
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Only an MBA could come up with a hare brained scheme like that...and I heard that after the financial crisis MBA's are going for 10 cents on the dollar.

Not if you buy the MBAs in a subscription package. Then they go as low as 0.099$ (restrictions may apply).
The newest trend is you can obtain an MBA for free, in the hope you would hire his cousin.  ;D

The model sounds crazier when you apply it to the housing market. A real estate agent gives you a fancy house for free to live in, in the hope you are so charmed with it that you'll later upgrade to a premium paying house. What if the free house suits your needs and you don't have money for a premium house anyways?
« Last Edit: October 26, 2009, 01:52 by FD-amateur »

« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2009, 08:23 »
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123rf freebies never helped me.  My theory is that giving away images only works on a one-to-one basis.  I donate photos occasionally but only at the lowest resolutions suitable for the application and with clear attribution and if I think the advertising value is at least $.25. 

This cannot work with an archive of free pictures just thrown up on the web with a take what you want system.  Users can't be traced so some will not bother with attribution so there is no advertising value.

An archive of free images might attract users to a site and some value may trickly down to the contributors but it is too small to justify giving away any single picture by any individual photographer.

fred

« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2009, 19:33 »
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Perfect for giving the agencies free exposure and traffic that you won't get anything in return for.

If you want to give away free images, why not do it from your own website?


« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2009, 01:08 »
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Perfect for giving the agencies free exposure and traffic that you won't get anything in return for.

If you want to give away free images, why not do it from your own website?



Agree with you 100% here Holgs.
Free images can only kill the industry. As the quality of microstock rises so does the rejection rates of good pics and illustrations. I just saw some really good but basic illustrations on Dreamstime for free!! So the more good pics are added to the free galleries. You can download now for free good images you would have needed to pay for 3 years ago!

Dan

« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2009, 13:29 »
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The only site that you should even consider putting images for free is Fotolia. At least they give you 50 cents for every file you offer for free. So if you have really old crappy files that never sell, you have little to lose.

Have  just  a  couple  there.  Never  recieve  1  cent  much  less  50  cent  for  them!!

WarrenPrice

« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2009, 14:28 »
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I've asked elsewhere but need to ask it here...

Does giving an image away ... or placing it in a Free Database  ... make it Public Domain?  Are you giving away the copyright?


lisafx

« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2009, 15:43 »
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Does giving an image away ... or placing it in a Free Database  ... make it Public Domain?  Are you giving away the copyright?



No, you still own the copyright.  And the buyer is still supposed to abide by the agency's license agreement.  They just don't have to pay the royalty. 

Not that I am endorsing giving away images one way or the other.  The type of buyers who are going after freebies may or may not have a clue about copyright of license agreements, but at least theoretically you are covered. 

« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2009, 21:20 »
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No signs of traffic increase at 123rf after testing "donate" feature for a couple of periods of a few days only on about 30 images. Several images were downloaded 4-8 times. Now that I've taken them off the program only time will tell if there is any additional exposure to them or my portfolio.

Traffic has been quite slow there so it was worth a shot.  I make more at MostPhotos at midstock prices even with their slow sales than I do at 123rf so it was worth a try to try and stimulate sales there.

123rf has a very easy upload process and they have a pretty good approval to upload ratio so I will continue to upload to their site. 


-Mark

To answer the question regarding donating through our website ... I have donated prints and images to charities for silent auctions and such in the past for the advertising value.  Trying 123rf's donate feature is merely an experiement to attempt to confirm some of the claims on their website:

"What are the benefits of donating? Expect a huge increase in your portfolio exposure! Increase your sales, (oh yea), as much as 40% to 2800%!! Sell higher resolution images!"

Jury is still out ... Only time will tell.

« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2009, 06:18 »
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Dreamtime notified me yesterday that I have photos from 2004 that haven't sold.
So the two options that I have is delete or donate since stock photography is a numbers game I chose to donate. Maybe I will get sales out of this?
I don't think so. Only under these circumstances that I would ever donate. ;D
« Last Edit: October 28, 2009, 06:22 by Jack Schiffer »

« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2009, 18:37 »
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Dreamtime notified me yesterday that I have photos from 2004 that haven't sold.
So the two options that I have is delete or donate since stock photography is a numbers game I chose to donate. Maybe I will get sales out of this?
I don't think so. Only under these circumstances that I would ever donate. ;D


I'm starting to think that this move has nothing to do with "cleaning the database" and everything to do with building DTs offerings of free images to compete with Fotolia, seeing as they've also been putting pressure on people to donate images.

I had some free images on Fotolia right at the beginning too - about 10 images - somehow those images managed to get over 900 downloads, which was far more than the rest of my portfolio over the same time. Removing the free images seemed to be a real problem - they seemed to keep popping up even after I deleted them a few times.

« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2009, 20:26 »
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Alternatively - why not work for free ? Employers would love to have a pick at an army of volunteers who would do the job in exchange for...what ? A pat on the back ? Prices on microstock are already nothing short of being ridiculous. You get 30% of the selling price, then pay the tax, then subtract your costs...how much per image do you earn, as a percentage of the sale price ?  5% ? 10% ?


« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2009, 20:38 »
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I'm starting to think that this move has nothing to do with "cleaning the database" and everything to do with building DTs offerings of free images to compete with Fotolia, seeing as they've also been putting pressure on people to donate images.

Very good point Holgs. I've got to say I'm disappointed with DT for trying to pull a fast one like this __ to say the least.

« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2009, 21:34 »
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Donating free images is not good for contributors.

« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2009, 22:39 »
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Can we once and for all say that there is no proof for agencies claims that it is beneficial for contributors. Stick it somewhere on the top of this forum so there will be no questions asked again? Maybe there are lawyers here who come up with class action suit against agencies that are laying to contributors about it?

« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2009, 23:12 »
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Can we once and for all say that there is no proof for agencies claims that it is beneficial for contributors. Stick it somewhere on the top of this forum so there will be no questions asked again? Maybe there are lawyers here who come up with class action suit against agencies that are laying to contributors about it?

Especially after 123rf's statement: "What are the benefits of donating? Expect a huge increase in your portfolio exposure! Increase your sales, (oh yea), as much as 40% to 2800%!! Sell higher resolution images!" since no one has been able to come up with any proof after various tests ...

I would love to be wrong and have my sales explode ... but I won't hold my breath

-Mark



« Reply #37 on: October 29, 2009, 06:48 »
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Dreamtime notified me yesterday that I have photos from 2004 that haven't sold.
So the two options that I have is delete or donate since stock photography is a numbers game I chose to donate. Maybe I will get sales out of this?
I don't think so. Only under these circumstances that I would ever donate. ;D


Most of us have images at multiple sites.  It seems suicidal to donate an image at one site while you are trying to sell it at another.  The way images sell - some sell at some sites and not at others - means that if you do this at alot of sites you could eventually end up with a significant part of your portfolio being free somewhere on the net .  Users could just find an image they like and then use tineye to see if it is in some free archive on another site before buying it. 

Donating is a lose lose situation.  Do not do it.

fred


 

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