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Author Topic: Are we doomed by the law of diminishing returns ..  (Read 13923 times)

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michealo

« on: January 25, 2008, 06:22 »
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Are earnings going down because the barriers to entry to submitting microstock are so low, a $500 dollar SLR, internet connection and some time to take and process shots?

Are buyers keeping pace and are their budgets keeping up?

Every new contributor means the overall pot has to be divided up even more, contributors talk of feeding the animal on Shutterstock isn't that was its about everywhere e.g.

Say you had 1,000 shots on stock when they had a million and you add another 500 - they hit 1.5 million, your image has no better chance of being found but you have put alot of effort in

Yuri has seen this effect already and many other contributors have spoken of increasing portfolio sizes and static earnings.

What do you think?


« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2008, 06:30 »
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My earnings are still going up, there was a slow down but it seems that is usual for this time of year.  The same thing happened to me last year and then sales picked up well in the spring.

There are lots of people uploading images but how many can produce quality and quantity?  I think it is still a low proportion of the contributors that make most of the money.

Yuri has a huge portfolio and it must be hard to increase earnings when he already has that many great images.  I hope I have that problem one day :)

« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2008, 06:43 »
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I think Quality will always prevail over quantity. It dosen't matter how many images you have in your portfolio, the cream will alway rise to the top.

I have noticed a slow down over Christmas my sales dropped to about a third of the normal figures but the back end of January has really picked up and for about a half of the sites I submit to I will have a record month (but sadly not shutterstock).

« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2008, 07:06 »
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I think Quality will always prevail over quantity. It dosen't matter how many images you have in your portfolio, the cream will alway rise to the top.

I have noticed a slow down over Christmas my sales dropped to about a third of the normal figures but the back end of January has really picked up and for about a half of the sites I submit to I will have a record month (but sadly not shutterstock).

I don't see any signs of a saturated market yet, and as long as the advertising (and more buyers) can keep growing, so will our earnings.  Stock sites are also raising there prices which means more $$ for us.

As nicemonkey said, cream will rise to the top, good pictures will always sell well.  the poor pictures will probably get less downloads than they used to... since there is more 'poor picture' competition

« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2008, 07:58 »
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I think Quality will always prevail over quantity. I

I agree with that and I guess almost everyone would,too.but I believe there are also some other factors that has impact on sales especially search engines in other words they could make your work more visible to buyers  or vice versa also keywording is I think another 'key' player that has certain impact on sales  as we all know.
back to the main question of the topic :no I don't think equipments becoming cheaper would make a significant change in the market, to my point of view.

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2008, 08:31 »
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I feel contributors are mainly in control of their earnings and returns. There will always be buyers who have a need for images and eventually the industry will stabilize. Until then, it will be an interesting ride.

A high percentage of $500 DSLR toting newbies give up from being rejected too many times or no sales. Or they continue submitting to sites where there aren't any buyers. Either way, the euphoria wears off.

Search engine tweaks are increasingly geared toward pushing viable images that have high view/sales ratios to the top while the others get pushed down into the abyss.

Also, the current state of the economy (at least from my view here in the US) will be pushing down marketing budgets which will drive buyers to more affordable options for their clients.

Overall I think there's plenty of demand. Entrepreneurial contributors who are driven, insightful, adaptable and committed will see improvements in overall earnings and returns even if the market does get saturated.



« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2008, 08:53 »
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In time of economical crisis, advertsiment is the only option for companies that don't have the space to reduce their prices too much.

So I don't think there will be a long-term decrease of the market, I think it will be opposite instead.

« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2008, 10:38 »
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I'm seeing direct results from saturation in the market. I have a little over 300 images on IS, DT and SS and really wasn't all that active last year until recently started uploading again heavily.

In terms of downloads, I was getting way more across the board 18 months ago on a portfolio with less than half the images. Earnings peaked in January last year, almost double what I'm getting now. This just around the time of some major search engine changes. I had an image go to flames in a couple of months, only to have them change the engine and have only 3 downloads in ten months. I think it proves that you need to keep uploading and can't sit on your portfolio.

Part of it is my problem because I hadn't been able to give it the attention I think I can to get to the next level. But hopefully that will change here soon...

DanP68

« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2008, 16:36 »
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Search engine tweaks are increasingly geared toward pushing viable images that have high view/sales ratios to the top while the others get pushed down into the abyss.



You mean high sales/view ratios, right?  If I do a Best Match sorting of my portfolio at iStock, I find it is almost a perfect sales:views ratio sort.  Obviously total sales and recency of upload give a boost too, but not nearly as much as sales:views.  Really there does not seem to be much to "figure out" when it comes to the IS best match, although there are many threads where people try to demystify it.

« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2008, 16:45 »
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It's been a while, but a bunch of us on the Yahoo Microstock group tried to see what influenced IS Best Match searches. It seems to be decent keywords and description, obviously. Then there were more esoteric things like newness, ratings and exclusivity. One thing we figured out after twiddling bits on a few images for a while was that there is some type of hidden ratings systems that the Inspectors must apply. When all other elements are the same, except for the actual image and one is top in best match and another is down 50 pages, then there is something else behind the scenes.

Clearly, you are in control of your destiny in Microstock, but I think the days of easy money are over.  The laws of dilution are taking effect and I don't think that there are enough new customers to offset the surge in uploads. Not sure what is going to happen. Too much choice leads to frustration on the buyers end and too many photographers lead to fewer and fewer downloads. Not sure what is going to happen, but something will give eventually.

« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2008, 17:22 »
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It's been a while, but a bunch of us on the Yahoo Microstock group tried to see what influenced IS Best Match searches. It seems to be decent keywords and description, obviously.

There's no way keywords and description can directly influence Best Match.

DanP68

« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2008, 17:33 »
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That's kinda round-about logic.  best match is applied to search results after keywords are used. 

But I definitely agree with Zorki.  You have a lot of control over your own destiny, but there are diminishing returns.  When I first joined Shutterstock in August 2007, my first image uploaded had an ID which rounded to 4.3 million.  My last accepted image a few days ago had an image ID which rounded to 8.8 million.

That's 4.5 million submissions in a shade over 5 months!  Obviously only a fraction made it online, which shows how difficult it is for new/inexperienced contributors.  But that is a ton of submissions to swim upstream against.

« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2008, 19:55 »
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I think there is only growth potential with the major players, I think micro has not tapped into some markets as deeply as they could, Asia in paricular stands out.

« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2008, 20:10 »
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That's kinda round-about logic.  best match is applied to search results after keywords are used. 

Well obviously.  Best match is just a sort method applied after the keyword match search.  Same as "most downloads","age", etc.

DanP68

« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2008, 23:07 »
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It probably was as clear as mud since I didn't quote Zorki, but I was actually agreeing with you Sean.  There's always a first time.   :D

« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2008, 02:48 »
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Well obviously.  Best match is just a sort method applied after the keyword match search.  Same as "most downloads","age", etc.

It may be bit complicate than that. Not sure if it applies on MS as well but I would guess so.

In general, you may be searching using more keywords than just one. If you don't specify that the result must contain only entries having all keywords (most search engines have a way to do this by say using + sign but on default they return results that match just one of you keywords). So you may end up with say 10 entries having all the keywords, 10 entries having one less than that and so on.

How do you sort this when you want to apply other criteria such as views, downloads, ratings? One option is to give the keyword match the absolute priority. In this case you would be right. However it is not the only option and I would believe that in fact the sort by best match actually depends on how many keywords from the search you matched and that this mixes with other criteria that applies during the mix.

« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2008, 02:50 »
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One thing we figured out after twiddling bits on a few images for a while was that there is some type of hidden ratings systems that the Inspectors must apply.

Were these pictures of one contributor? I would think that there are many other options that may be used as criteria during the best match. On of them may be the author rating computed on based on various things.

« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2008, 04:29 »
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It probably was as clear as mud since I didn't quote Zorki, but I was actually agreeing with you Sean.  There's always a first time.   :D

Sorry - I wasn't paying attention to the author of that one - thought it was the same :)

« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2008, 04:30 »
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So you may end up with say 10 entries having all the keywords, 10 entries having one less than that and so on.

How do you sort this when you want to apply other criteria such as views, downloads, ratings? One option is to give the keyword match the absolute priority. In this case you would be right. However it is not the only option and I would believe that in fact the sort by best match actually depends on how many keywords from the search you matched and that this mixes with other criteria that applies during the mix.

I'm just talking about iStock, since that is the only place I know of with "Best Match".  The search returns all matches for all the keywords, and then it is sorted by your choice of sort.

« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2008, 10:13 »
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One thing we figured out after twiddling bits on a few images for a while was that there is some type of hidden ratings systems that the Inspectors must apply.

Were these pictures of one contributor? I would think that there are many other options that may be used as criteria during the best match. On of them may be the author rating computed on based on various things.

No, they were from several contributors. We did the same thing to an image (same name, description, keywords) and they were all over the place in the search engine. So... I leave it to your imagination... there is something else the engine is ranking them on.

Sean hates it when we trying to pull back the curtain and try and find out what is going on...

helix7

« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2008, 11:06 »
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...Yuri has seen this effect already and many other contributors have spoken of increasing portfolio sizes and static earnings...

No offense to Yuri, but the guy is a freak (in a good way). His problems in microstock are problems that most of us know nothing about, because he operates on a totally different level.

I think generally speaking, earnings haven't changed all that much across the board, and they won't any time soon. Within the business I have a theory that there may be a shift away from subscription sites and the sites that sell based on credits are seeing more growth. But in microstock as a whole, things aren't bad and we are still in control of our own futures and earnings. Guys like Yuri are in a different boat and face challenges we don't even have to consider when it comes to maintaining or increasing earnings.


« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2008, 11:54 »
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Sean hates it when we trying to pull back the curtain and try and find out what is going on...

No I don't.  Of course there are lots of things in there, but keywords and description ain't one of them.  Or two of them.

« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2008, 12:05 »
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A high percentage of $500 DSLR toting newbies give up from being rejected too many times or no sales. Or they continue submitting to sites where there aren't any buyers. Either way, the euphoria wears off.


The thing is a lot of the "newbies" toting $500 DLSR's are in fact not newbies.  Newbies to stock, yes, but not to photography.  Sure there will be the ones that get a new camera and go straight to stock, but I think a lot of them are people that have spent an enormous amount of time at Flickr, that have an understanding of what a good picture is and how to take one, not just sharpness, but color theory, composition, and interesting content, and thumbnail photography (must look good as a thumb to be noticed), understanding proper exposure and DOF, maxing out the cameras ability (exposing to the right, etc..), many with pro level PS skills or beyond, and have already made the jump to fine art photography somewhat but are looking for another easy revenue stream to do nothing more than upgrade their equipment to let their expensive hobby pay for itself.  The big adaptation for these people is noise and different content type.  The big problem is these folks are used to basically giving away their pictures for free, used to rejection (little interest in a picture on Flickr), and have no need to make any sort of living from it, so for them quality will be higher than quantity.

This was my vector to stock, and though I have very little in the way of a stock portfolio yet (almost all of my good ones have little stock use, fine art yes, but not stock), I can easily look at a picture and tell if the composition is a joke, the WB is dead on, the color saturation is good, the photo is interesting, etc...  I have literally viewed and commented on 10's of thousands of pictures (commenting on others work and seeing the comments of others is often the best way to train your eye), from good to bad, and taken 10's of thousands of pictures myself to learn the craft, in the last year alone.  Learning to take noise free images is a new challenge, but not difficult at all compared to the other hurdles of learning photography.  A $500 SLR paired with a good couple of lenses (not necessarily $$ either, like a Canon 50) and an external flash can take a darn good picture, whether for stock or not, when the user knows how to use it right, and many stock "newbies" are quite skilled in this respect. 

Flickr has created an enormous group of very skilled amateur photographers used to giving away pictures, and is causing the skill level of the average amateur to jump sky high, as they find their way to stock, the sheer numbers of these people have the ability to easily dilute the earnings of those already there.

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2008, 13:07 »
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Waldo, your response implies I'm discrediting or downplaying the skills of new contributors, which I'm not. I'm sure there are a ton of talented new contributors.

I've seen evidence that many new contributors "give it a try". When they find out it can become a second 40 hour full time job that constantly rejects their best work plus earns them next to nothing for the first few months, they give up.

It is what it is. I believe a high percentage of microstock newbies, both new and seasoned photographers, give up after they see the enormous level of effort and initial low return. It's pretty clear the people who have the right skills plus commitment are getting somewhere with this.

I'd love to see some stats from each of the sites what percentage of user accounts that are older than six months and have less than 25 or 50 images.

« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2008, 19:40 »
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This is where I think Microstock makes the bulk of their money on abandoned accounts. There are literally millions of images across all of microstock just sitting there collecting downloads and the owners got bored or frustrated without getting a fast payout. I forced myself through my first 100 uploads and while I don't even consider it a 2nd source of income, it does buy all my equipment. But I have more time on my hands and I'm uploading more than I have in a year.

« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2008, 09:37 »
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Waldo, your response implies I'm discrediting or downplaying the skills of new contributors, which I'm not. I'm sure there are a ton of talented new contributors.

I didn't mean to come across like that.  I guess the point I was trying to make are a decent % of newbies are probably seasoned Flickr vets, and there are a lot of them and growing very rapidly.  The difference between Flickr and stock is relatively small in many respects.  A decent % of people on Flickr spend 40+ (usually a lot more) hours a week on it anyway, and take pictures for Flickr instead of just plain "what they like" (dogs, the kids, and flowers are pretty unpopular on Flickr as well).  Instead of collecting comments and faves for their work with stock you collect money, sure it might not be much unless you try to become serious at it, but it is more than 0.  Unlike Flickr though you don't have to "pimp" your photos by adding them to groups, many which force you in turn to comment on others' work, once they are online the work is done.  Therein lies the difference, Flickr takes everything, stock doesn't, but most don't post crap to their Flickr account, they are their own reviewer.

It is a pretty easy modification to what you do with your photography hobby to insert stock into it, for many Flickrites, as for most it goes:

Shoot a lot of stuff often -> process the best -> upload to Flickr - > Pimp your photos on Flickr

Changing it to this is really quite minor:
Shoot a lot of stuff often (wider gamut of possibilities with stock included) -> process the best -> upload those with stock possibility to stock sites -> upload others or rejects with Flickr possibilities to Flickr -> Pimp your photos on Flickr. 

The extra amount of shooting, processing, and uploading isn't that great and really just eats into photo pimping time, which incidentally earns you nothing anyway, might as well try to make a few bucks with stock on the side to hopefully help to upgrade the equipment collection.  The effort level isn't really any greater, though more time is devoted to taking and processing pictures (not much more time) than commenting on others work.

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2008, 13:56 »
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Waldo, your response implies I'm discrediting or downplaying the skills of new contributors, which I'm not. I'm sure there are a ton of talented new contributors.
The extra amount of shooting, processing, and uploading isn't that great and really just eats into photo pimping time, which incidentally earns you nothing anyway, might as well try to make a few bucks with stock on the side to hopefully help to upgrade the equipment collection.  The effort level isn't really any greater, though more time is devoted to taking and processing pictures (not much more time) than commenting on others work.

This assumes that the majority of Flickr users are Photoshop and business savvy, and are used to getting out a magnifying glass to look at images at 100% and correct any of the smallest problems. I don't know if the majority do or don't have those capabilites.

I wonder how many Flickr images would be accepted as-is at Istock or Shutterstock. Don't know that either but I'm guessing a lot of them would require extensive post-processing to get accepted.

From what I've seen, even some more advanced photographers take a while to get adjusted to microstock requirements. The jump from Flickr to microstock may not be as easy as it seems.

« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2008, 14:34 »
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It's actually probably the opposite on post processing, fancy post processing gets you noticed on Flickr, most of Flickr's best would need to learn to tone down the post processing for stock, except for noise (the one thing Flickr folk don't care about).  Though the Flickr majority is different from the best, there are hundreds of thousands of members (possibly millions), most aren't very good, but the top 1% are, and that still is a lot of people.  Most of that 1% are people that got a DSLR, joined Flickr and were part of the majority, got really addicted to it, bought PS and learned it well, learned to improve their work from the constant comments of others, and are blissfully unaware that microstock even exists.  There are even whispers going around that Flickr itself is going to turn into a microstock site in some capacity.  I get at least get a request a week to use my photos there, no telling how many times they simply have been stolen (I know of at least one instance). 

The requirements of microstock are definitely an adjustment, as there is no need for noise or fine CA control there, but your images have to have pop and sizzle to get noticed, something that carries over well, toned down.  Subject matter is the biggest difference, ridiculous smiling models and isolated things have no place in Flickr, same as abstract architecture, birds, and wild Orton landscapes have no place in stock, though I bet there are a decent number of normal landscapes that could  pass the tests, especially with a light ninja pass over the blue parts of the sky.

« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2008, 15:09 »
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Actually I did travel the inverse path. I started with stock and in the late month I discovered the fun of Flickr. I usually use Flickr when I want to have some fun again with my camera and PS and "wash" my head from the stock requirements. Plus I usually put there some of my stock pictures (rightly watermarked) so to make a bit of self promotion, useless or not it's anyway fun.

On Flickr you can find a lot of hobbyst but there are a lot of pro too (just take a look at the strobist group for example) who shot not only for micro but for macro and/or good assignments. And about the hobbysts there are many who can definitively spank the microstock market.

« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2008, 15:15 »
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Actually I did travel the inverse path. I started with stock and in the late month I discovered the fun of Flickr. I usually use Flickr when I want to have some fun again with my camera and PS and "wash" my head from the stock requirements.

Watch out, Flickr can be a lot like heroin. 

« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2008, 15:25 »
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Actually I did travel the inverse path. I started with stock and in the late month I discovered the fun of Flickr. I usually use Flickr when I want to have some fun again with my camera and PS and "wash" my head from the stock requirements.

Watch out, Flickr can be a lot like heroin. 

what is so fun about Flickr??

(yes that is a serious question from somone who had just looked briefly at flickr a few times)

« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2008, 15:40 »
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Just some quick examples from my favorites:






« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2008, 15:52 »
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I've opened a Flickr account a while ago and never uploaded anything.  As it's a famous site, I guessed people might find my wonderful images there, get fascinated with my work and buy everything I have online.  :D

Just kidding, but people reported being contacted from their Flickr account. I wouldn't mind a couple of people wanting to buy a print/poster of some of my images.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2008, 15:53 »
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Actually I did travel the inverse path. I started with stock and in the late month I discovered the fun of Flickr. I usually use Flickr when I want to have some fun again with my camera and PS and "wash" my head from the stock requirements.

Watch out, Flickr can be a lot like heroin. 

what is so fun about Flickr??

(yes that is a serious question from somone who had just looked briefly at flickr a few times)

A lot of different things.  Most have to do with the groups that you belong to, except for the explore chase.  The explore chase has eaten many Flickr folk, each day the 500 most interesting photos (according to their interestingness formula) are posted to explore (a place to scan random good photos), the hunt to become one of the 500 can be all consuming.  Then there are the rate me groups, where you post a photo and rate others, the best place to learn.  Then there are the award groups, collect icons to move up to the next level, collect enough icons there to make it to the immortal chat threads where you photo lasts forever, among the best that has been through the group.  Then there are the low invite only groups, where somebody has to invite your photo to post it, that chase can be fun.  There are groups for photos that have been faved x number of times, a collection of elite photos.  There are elitist invite only groups, requiring an invite and moderator approval for each photo, these groups are stunning.  Challenge groups are fun, compete with 3 or 5 photos to earn an invite into the group pool.  Plus the social aspect, chatting through mail or comments with your contacts if fun.  Flickr has a lot of facets.

« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2008, 15:54 »
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Just some quick examples from my favorites:

I made you a contact, you should check out some of my favorites.

I wouldn't mind a couple of people wanting to buy a print/poster of some of my images.

I have sold a couple of my Flickr shots, I made an imagekind account just to take care of the buisiness side of it.  I have been contacted by out of town firms to take architectural shots for them.  Most of the people contacting me are just asking if I can be published in their blogs, which I am fine with if I am credited.  I started putting frames on my shots with my name for all the blogs that don't contact me.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 15:59 by Waldo4 »

« Reply #35 on: February 07, 2008, 17:39 »
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I have had a flickr account for years but never used it.  I will upload some of my old photos and ones that wont sell as stock.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

« Reply #36 on: February 08, 2008, 21:38 »
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I won't say doomed, but it seems that the returns are not in proportion to the increasing size of the portfolio.

budgaugh

« Reply #37 on: February 09, 2008, 00:50 »
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There is some serious talent on Flikr among the piles of crap just like at the micros.  The Flikr crowd is being influenced by sites like PHotoshelter, TheStrobistblog and photographers like Chase Jarvis to stay away from micros because of the low pay. 
Just some quick examples from my favorites:







« Reply #38 on: March 19, 2008, 08:38 »
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Interesting commentary......and the comments about Flickr made me smile since that's where I got my "start" in stock photography.

A kind commentator on one of my shots told me he thought that the image I'd uploaded to Flickr was a good stock shot...and suggested I explore microstock.  I did and it led to several thousand sales over the last 18 months.....all because of one Flickr comment.

And equally interesting is the fact that my Flickr portfolio usually generates a "sale" or two per week without any effort.  I consistently get requests from editors, graphic artist and every day folk and I always charge a fee - usually anywhere from $25 to $100.

By the way, I don't think we're doomed by any "law" in the microstock world.  We may have to work harder, but we're hardly doomed.

However, I do think the big pro sites (Getty and Corbis) are headed for an even bigger fall than they've had so far. 

« Reply #39 on: March 19, 2008, 11:33 »
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Interesting commentary......and the comments about Flickr made me smile since that's where I got my "start" in stock photography.

A kind commentator on one of my shots told me he thought that the image I'd uploaded to Flickr was a good stock shot...and suggested I explore microstock.  I did and it led to several thousand sales over the last 18 months.....all because of one Flickr comment.

Okay,  I'm one of those newbies armed with a starter d-SLR, so I probably have no business jumping in here ... but I saw Jeff Clow's name and had to read the thread.  Jeff was one of my first "contacts" at Flickr almost 3 years ago.  His work, his photography skill, and his kindness towards this total putz with a point-n-shoot in her hand was tremendously encouraging and inspiring.  It still is.  Hi, Jeff ... remember me ... the squirrel lady?

Same thing happened to me, on a much lower scale of skill and volume.  I never had any intention of selling photos when I joined Flickr in April 2005.  My hard drive crashed and I wanted a place on-line where I could store some of my favorite photos in case it ever happened again.  I got much more than I bargained for ... met a lot of nice people, learned more than I could have ever imagined there was to know about photography .. and still have a lot to learn ... and crazy as it sounds, people would contact me every month wanting to use or buy some of my photos of squirrels and birdfeeders.  Go figure?!?  I was giving them away free for non-commercial use, and still do for non-profits that benefit animals or children.  Then a TV production company contacted me through Flickr and wanted to buy some of my shots "exclusive and in perpituity..."  That was too much legal talk for me, so I submitted them to a microstock basically just to broker the deal and thought that would be the end of it.  I'm sure I only got accepted because I came with a buyer in hand ... lol!  I submitted a some more shots and for the next 3-4 months got shot down on just about anything I uploaded ... but in the course of those rejections I learned how to take much better photos. 

I truly hope that those of us who are amateurs and hobbyists will not dilute the pool or hurt those who have more experience and large portfolios.  I'd like to believe that in some way, small though it may be, that we can contribute something to the industry that might also help bring in niche markets and new buyers to microstocks in general.  Since I started doing this in Nov 06, a number of my clients who had never even heard of microstocks before have now become avid buyers.  They can now afford to change and refresh the image content on their marketing materials in ways that were impossible or too costly to do so before. 

I appreciate the opportunity to offer my small portfolio for sale, but I don't think I would have stayed with it if sales hadn't come along with commensurate learning.  So, I agree that the dreck and the one's looking to earn a quick buck will fall by the wayside.  And I don't think folks like me who sell random shots of squirrels, cars, flags, etc. will ever adversely affect sales of someone like Yuri ... but there are buyers who need something as simple as shots of a backyard birdfeeder.  And I hope in that way, we rookies and newbies can help keep and bring new buyers to the microstock marketplace.

@ Jeff ... I still find great inspiration in all your Flickr photos ... "A frog's life" set still stands out in my mind as an all-time favorite!  Thanks again for your many kind comments, encouragement, and tips!

Wishing continued success and many sales to all!

Teri

« Reply #40 on: March 19, 2008, 11:59 »
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I've contemplated this thread for a while and aside from improving your quality to be above others (IMHO the best route), the law of diminishing returns is basically directly proportional to your growth rate vs. the overall agency port growth rate (and its relationship to the agency sales growth rate).  If your port is growing faster (in % growth) than the  general agencies, then revenue should grow.  If the agency is growing their port at the rate of 15% a month, if you do not, you are falling behind.  It's fairly easy to stay ahead of the curve at first, but once you've been at it a long time, unless you are very prolific, chances are the agency rate has surpassed you. 

I only see two fallbacks that would keep your rate growing, if the % growth is below the agencies, is the sites where a # sold search is possible, time is to your advantage there and your shots will sell at a higher rate than average if they have sold enough over their life.  Also, for most, quality will increase over time to where your shots are of a higher quality and more salable than the average shot, so you would still sell more than the average site growth rate.

However this assumes that site sales growth is proportional to site port growth, if this changes over time (sales overall flatten out relative to the port growth, or sales accelerate relative to port growth) there will be differences, with sales flattening out (not necessarily horizontal movement only, if the port grows faster than sales, it is flattening), the diminishing returns gets worse, if the sales accelerate relative to the port growth, diminishing returns is not as big of a factor.

helix7

« Reply #41 on: March 20, 2008, 00:26 »
0
...The Flikr crowd is being influenced by sites like PHotoshelter, TheStrobistblog and photographers like Chase Jarvis to stay away from micros because of the low pay.

Any evidence to support this? I was under the impression that Chase held a fairly open opinion of microstock. He was taking a "wait and see" stance, as far as I understood.




 

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