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Author Topic: Is iStock worth the effort?  (Read 40984 times)

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« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2009, 03:03 »
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It all depends what you expect "worth the effort". If it is a hobby and you are happy spending lots of time with uploading and keywording just to see once in a while a download then yes. If it is a business then I suspect for most microstockers it is not worth the effort. If you have good stock images and you treat microstock as a business then yes it can be worth the effort.
For me it is more than a hobby, I am currently living from microstock but am also a student. So I need to use my time wisely (not saying that I am doing it all the time). So I started generally to do images I know are worth the time to uploading and preparing. I put kind of a price on my time, which I spent on microstock.  I had times, where I uploaded everything which remotely had a chance to get accepted. Quality suffered a lot, my rejection rate was quite high and the return/ hour I spent was laughable. I was one of those who contributed to the heaps of images which I do think jam the searches. Now I submit most time max 30 images a month, but I put much more effort in each image. The result is that yes now for me it is worth the effort. And it can be if you have reasonable talent and submit images which are in demand.
I still think it is a myth that you need masses of images, quantity over quality to succeed in microstock, in fact I think it is the other way around. Of course it is great if you can have both like sjlocke :-)
But to succeed on istock you especially need the quality not the quantity to succeed, that at least is my impression, if you want iStock being worth the time from a business perspective.


« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2009, 04:54 »
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I'm not selling on IS. And yes, it's my portfolio. Because while I'm having 2000+ photos almost everywhere else, I only have 38 images on IS. I just can't stand that uploading process. I know I should have done yoga and cultivate my patience...  :D :D


I haven't uploaded 2000 images anywhere, but still think that if your only reason for not uploading at istock is that, you might want to try :http://www.deepmeta.com/
it's very convenient.

Xalanx

« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2009, 05:09 »
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Thanks, I know Deepmeta and the few files I have on istock are because I was using Deepmeta :D

But 15 files / week... c'mon...

« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2009, 05:24 »
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But 15 files / week... c'mon...
I see what you mean it would take you 133.333 weeks to have those 2000 on line with a 100% acceptance ;D

vonkara

« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2009, 05:25 »
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« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2009, 06:40 »
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It is not new. Please check the forums for new applications. The only way one can post without having photos online is if they buy credits so they are considered buyers.

Yes, you are right. I talked to an admin last night and he confirmed that passing the application test is not sufficient to get posting rights in the forums. Apparently some of the applicants have bought some credits before, that's why I had the impression they could post even before being accepted.

« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2009, 06:46 »
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Yeah I don't know why I fell compelled to post all these crazy opinions. Maybe it has something to do with the word "forum" being defined as "a medium (as a newspaper or online service) of open discussion or expression of idea."   Just me I guess.

Feel free to post your opinion. But I think it's only fair to also let your readers know how much they can trust your opinion. With 5 images and less than one month and none sold... yeah, well... readers might tend to believe people with a bit more long-term experiences. Obviously the 4 sales on 44 uploads on Dreamstime prove that you actually know what you are talking about.

As I said, yeah, feel free to post your opinion and share your personal experience. Just keep it in perspective.

« Reply #32 on: March 17, 2009, 07:11 »
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iStock was my top earner from the beginning.  That changed a little over a year ago, as they started to slip and my Shutterstock sales took off.  Now it's no contest; SS makes me between two and three times what iStock does.  Still, they're 16% of my total and holding on to second place, so I keep uploading.

iStock is the classic joke: the food's awful and the portions are so small.  I hate the upload process, but hate the fact that I'm limited to 20 a week.  I'm almost 2000 images behind there now, and it's only going to get worse.  I'm a long way from my next canister, and that fabled 25 uploads a week...

« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2009, 07:17 »
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I'm almost 2000 images behind there now, and it's only going to get worse.  I'm a long way from my next canister, and that fabled 25 uploads a week...

You could have an upload limit of 250, but that wouldn't help sales.  Your portfolio looks to be mostly series of women standing about in swimwear or lingerie.  Another 2000 of the same thing isn't going to improve your sales there.

« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2009, 11:53 »
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I managed to get a few accepted, none have sold.     You have to keyword everything in their unique scheme, and it's tedious.  Some of the rejections made at least some sense, others were just off the wall.    Reviews and appeals take weeks.  There's more, but why go on. ..

Way too many hoops here for me.  If they ever sell one I might submit some more.

They should change their name to PITAphoto.



Tough call when someone has 5 photos accepted in 1 month and wants sales or else. When you get done shooting things you found around the house you might do better.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2009, 11:57 by YadaYadaYada »

« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2009, 12:17 »
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Well worth the effort in my opinion. I have very close to 300 images online in about one year and over 800 downloads (no people shots). IS has consistently been my #1 agency with sales that equal about 36% of my income among 7 agencies. This year I have been focusing on quality, not quantity. Don't mind the upload process at all and I have a Yahoo widget that makes a cash register sound every time I get a download (sjlocke probably wouldn't use this widget with the sound because it would drive him crazy ;))
« Last Edit: March 17, 2009, 13:00 by epantha »

« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2009, 12:55 »
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If you are joining now you already missed this train. IMHO is to much effort with little to gain from. I started uploading there less than year ago and it's almost impossible to get any substantial sales there with my small portfolio. If you extraordinary artist and got 100% of photos accepted you might have enough images to get sales. You may upload 15 images per week and reviews takes weeks. Extremely discouraging.

« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2009, 13:08 »
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No, not worth it, nothing to see here...move along.
Chaneling Sean  ;)

Xalanx

« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2009, 16:48 »
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13 out of 15 accepted, one rejected for lack of MR, one for something else. So you see... I can't really get to 100% :D

But it's a good rate, I'll be uploading some more these days.

RaFaLe

  • Success level is directly proportional to effort
« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2009, 23:48 »
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Yeah I agree.  Patience there WILL pay off.

IS is now my number one monthly site, and my number one overall site.  Been at this 2 1/2 years now with a portfolio there of nearly 1200 images.  It will payoff.

- Chad

That very motivational - thanks.
I'll consider going exclusive at IS - it may be well worth my while as you say.
My focus for now, however, is getting accepted :)

RaFaLe

  • Success level is directly proportional to effort
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2009, 00:52 »
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Yes, you are right. I talked to an admin last night and he confirmed that passing the application test is not sufficient to get posting rights in the forums. Apparently some of the applicants have bought some credits before, that's why I had the impression they could post even before being accepted.

Yup, confirmed.
Just a message back from support saying exactly that.
I have another 52 hours before I can apply again.
I'm getting nervous - no clue which images to upload...
Obviously no pets and no flowers.
I don't have too many people shots.
Have a couple of shots of factory workers welding, showing sparks.
Got a few wildlife pics too of Zebra, Giraffe and Lions.

Suggestions (in terms of category at least)?

lagereek

« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2009, 02:01 »
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Yes definetley worth it!  but hold on a minute.  Downsizing?  no I wouldnt do that at all! In the entire stockworld, may it be RM, RF, Micro or whatever, the general moto is: the bigger the better.
By downsizing and especially to IS, youre limiting your sales and incomes quite a bit. At IS, the competition is neckbreaking and you should at least be able to produce pictures selling as L, XL even XXL.
Many of us at IS work cameras capable of huge files,
Always supply at best quality and maximum size.

well thats my thoughts anyway.

RaFaLe

  • Success level is directly proportional to effort
« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2009, 02:18 »
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Yes definetley worth it!  but hold on a minute.  Downsizing?  no I wouldnt do that at all! In the entire stockworld, may it be RM, RF, Micro or whatever, the general moto is: the bigger the better.
By downsizing and especially to IS, youre limiting your sales and incomes quite a bit. At IS, the competition is neckbreaking and you should at least be able to produce pictures selling as L, XL even XXL.
Many of us at IS work cameras capable of huge files,
Always supply at best quality and maximum size.

well thats my thoughts anyway.

Yes, you're right Imo.
However, for the initial approval, I was advised to downsize to
Minimum to hide the blemishes or faults to some extent..
That seems logical to me..

Either way, I never downsize my images for sale.
I keep them at 12.2 MP ;)

« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2009, 03:27 »
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Either way, I never downsize my images for sale.

So what if someone tells you: "Downsize it to 6 MP and we will sell it for you, leave it at 12 MP and we don't accept it at all?"... Things are rarely black and white. I have downsized quite a few images from XXL to L to get them up - obviously that was because the base image wasn't the best to start with but still I made some money from them that I wouldn't have otherwise.

And yes, for initial application something in the range of 6MP is sufficient and can hide some minor focus, noise or artifacting issues.

My proposal to people for the initial application always is to upload three completely different topics to show how broad your capabilities are. Animal, People, Still life, Isolated, whatever, just show different things. You should choose images that you didn't post process much because they were already good coming directly out of the camera.

And as suggested before, upload your images fullsize (watermarked) somewhere like vox.com and put up links in this thread to have people tell you what they think about them.

RaFaLe

  • Success level is directly proportional to effort
« Reply #44 on: March 18, 2009, 03:37 »
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So what if someone tells you: "Downsize it to 6 MP and we will sell it for you, leave it at 12 MP and we don't accept it at all?"... Things are rarely black and white. I have downsized quite a few images from XXL to L to get them up - obviously that was because the base image wasn't the best to start with but still I made some money from them that I wouldn't have otherwise.

And yes, for initial application something in the range of 6MP is sufficient and can hide some minor focus, noise or artifacting issues.

My proposal to people for the initial application always is to upload three completely different topics to show how broad your capabilities are. Animal, People, Still life, Isolated, whatever, just show different things. You should choose images that you didn't post process much because they were already good coming directly out of the camera.

And as suggested before, upload your images fullsize (watermarked) somewhere like vox.com and put up links in this thread to have people tell you what they think about them.

Again, good points.

I never thought of things the way you've described above, and you've given
Thanks for your feedback - I'm learning as I go along, and finding this forum particularly valuable.

« Reply #45 on: March 18, 2009, 07:55 »
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Yes definetley worth it!  but hold on a minute.  Downsizing?  no I wouldnt do that at all! In the entire stockworld, may it be RM, RF, Micro or whatever, the general moto is: the bigger the better.
By downsizing and especially to IS, youre limiting your sales and incomes quite a bit. At IS, the competition is neckbreaking and you should at least be able to produce pictures selling as L, XL even XXL.
Many of us at IS work cameras capable of huge files,
Always supply at best quality and maximum size.

well thats my thoughts anyway.

When they recommend downsizing, they don't necessarily mean reduce the saleable size - but if you have, say, a 10MP camera and your image is a little noisier than ideal, or a little soft, you can downsize to just above Large with no change in the sale size (on iStock anyway).

It can help it get through inspection, sometimes.  I've even had inspectors recommend doing that.

Of course, if you have 12.2MP it would obviously be better to stay at XL size if you can...

PaulieWalnuts

  • We Have Exciting News For You
« Reply #46 on: March 18, 2009, 08:02 »
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Did jim_h bail already? Or is he just coming back as a more anonymous more opinionated version of himself.

« Reply #47 on: March 18, 2009, 08:12 »
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Did jim_h bail already? Or is he just coming back as a more anonymous more opinionated version of himself.

Yes, yesterday just after his indecent exposure by Sharp, a lost face and two lame excuses, he went black.  ;D

« Reply #48 on: March 18, 2009, 08:29 »
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What do you know about that, then.

RaFaLe

  • Success level is directly proportional to effort
« Reply #49 on: March 23, 2009, 00:49 »
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Mmmooooooo!!!

I just got rejected AGAIN at IS :( 3rd time now.
 ???
 >:(
I'm  not quite sure how to handle all of this rejection.
This is the only site that has rejected my applications?

I'm going to upload watermarked images on my blog site, and I'm going to ask for crit on those images.
This is absolute nonsense :(

I'm so demotivated!


 

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