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Author Topic: The Big 6 from a new user's POV  (Read 8250 times)

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« on: April 30, 2008, 17:52 »
0
I've been on Shutterstock for the past month and a half and have done quite well in the short amount of time.  I already have 179 pictures in my gallery.  I really enjoy their site and the generally quick response for reviews (usually 1 business day). 
So, I decided to try another site.  I picked iStock and was told it could take up to two weeks to be accepted!  Jeesh!  But at least they were up front about it.  I had two of three images accepted so now I am uploading a new third picture to be accepted.
Next, I decided to try Dreamstime.  No acceptance period...just upload pics.  So, I submitted 37 pictures and was told the ETR was 24 hours.  Well, the next day it was still 24 hours.  The next day it went up to 175 hours!  what?  Not too impressed with them at this point. 
Today I decided to get on the other three. 
Fotolia only had the option to upload one at a time....will have to see if I can do multiple files.
Stockxpert is a bit hard for me to navigate.
BigStockPhoto is slowwwww for uploading.  I uploaded 10 pictures and it says it could take up to 20 mintues for my thumbnails to show up. 

Basically, I find it interesting how some sites are more user friendly and have faster response times, whereas other sites are not so user friendly and slow as molasses.  If it weren't for the fact that I'm out to make money, I'd just stick with Shutterstock.  It was very easy to get signed up and I don't have any problems navigating the site. 


« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2008, 18:08 »
0
Give 123RF a go, for me they are much better then Bigstock and their uploads and site is quite easy and stress free to use

« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2008, 18:16 »
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Give 123RF a go, for me they are much better then Bigstock and their uploads and site is quite easy and stress free to use
Thanks.  I will give them a try.

« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2008, 18:18 »
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123RF and Crestock make it very easy to upload there.  I'd be happier if there were more sales, but who wouldn't?

BigStock closes down their uploading about every other weekend it seems.  When they disable uploading, I don't think you can even go into your queue and assign categories & such.

The ETR at Dreamstime usually isn't that thrashed, but it is an estimate of sorts.

« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2008, 18:26 »
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123RF and Crestock make it very easy to upload there.  I'd be happier if there were more sales, but who wouldn't?

BigStock closes down their uploading about every other weekend it seems.  When they disable uploading, I don't think you can even go into your queue and assign categories & such.

The ETR at Dreamstime usually isn't that thrashed, but it is an estimate of sorts.

Well, for the time being, I'm going to not use DT.  If they're going to give an ETR, it should be remotely correct. 

So far, I feel I've done quite well on SS and enjoy their site.  And sales have been good.  I even had an Enhanced License Sale. :D

« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2008, 18:34 »
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Just stick with the big 6, the others are not really worth your while. I always say that Shutterstock is the best one to get started on because you see instant returns the day after your images are approved. All of the other sites may take some time to get your first download.

The ETA at Dreamstime used to be somewhat accurate but lately it just jumps all over.

« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2008, 18:57 »
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In terms of making money, it's really a Big Four followed by Small Three. You need to be uploading to DT. With the exception of 123, forget about sites that aren't on the 'Big 6' list.

Here's an attainable monthly income end-of-the-year target for you:
  • IS + SS: $550
  • DT + FT: $275
  • StockXpert + BigStock + 123: $175

... good luck!
« Last Edit: April 30, 2008, 21:06 by sharply_done »

j2k

« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2008, 19:13 »
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That's a neat end of year target.

I'm in a similar bag as the op, as I started about 6 weeks ago. The difference is that I started with all sites at once (with the exception of StockXpert which rejected my 1st application) - shutterstock, istock, dreamstime, fotolia, bigstock and 123.

So far - shutterstock - more or less steady downloads from the very beginning (good for boosting morale when you are starting).   A couple of scary low download days ;). The other sites took at least two-three weeks to start working for me.  The first weeks I had 0 downloads there.

Right now earnings ranking for me is as follows : shutterstock, istock, fotolia, dt, 123, bigstock.

One thing is that so far I don't have any really good shots in my gallery - my most popular image has only 50 downloads on shutterstock.

BTW. DT bumped images that were due in 2 hours yesterday to 7 hours (and is staying at it for the last 12 hours), and images that I just uploaded have ETR 10 days and 8 hours! lol!

BigStock has pretty bad review times, 123 reviews everything in 1 day more or less.




BTW.

RacePhoto

« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2008, 20:38 »
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Maybe you shouldn't worry about review times so much? Really, it doesn't change that much if a photo is accepted (or rejected?) in 24 hours or 54 hours, does it?

I see messages here about that and sometimes I upload and it takes a week, or they review five at a time, per day at one of the big two. You can ignore the waiting times, as they can be wrong in either direction.

Acceptance reviews will often say, they will check your photos in 7-10 days. Then you see that overnight it's been done. Others say how many days, and it takes eight days instead.

I figure that some of the images sat in my computer for three months, why do I have to have a review as soon as I decide I want it?  ;)

Personal opinion, but review times are kind of a waste of time as a discussion topic. It's like the weather. We think we can predict or guess and complain and talk about it, but we can't change it.  ;D

I'm not criticizing you, just injecting my personal view of all the talk about review times.

Sounds like you are doing well and jumping in with both feet. Don't sell DT or BS short, they are good earners. You have it right. Stick with the big six or maybe keep 123 as the Magnificent Seven.

You can ftp to all the sites except iStock, which makes things much easier than using the sites flash or software loaders. Good luck!

When you get a collection of pictures that you can't sell as RF, start an account at FeaturePics and upload them as Editorial.

j2k

« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2008, 20:58 »
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I agree that in the end it doesn't matter if an image is reviewed in 2 days or a week, but at the beginning when you are just building your portfolio it is difficult to contain anxiety :)

« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2008, 22:09 »
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Welcome to the exciting world of microstock. When I started in Dec 05, I felt the same excitement.  I couldnt wait to get my pics online. Btw, was not happy about the 1 month review time of  my Shutterstock  application only to find out that I have been rejected and needed to wait an other 3 months. Just to put things in perspective ;-))

In the long run the review times do not really matter. They are all reasonable fast. Just keep uploading and try to improve your acceptance ratio. At DT it impacts the results of the search engine and therefore your income!

SS is very nice at the beginning. But in the long run the other sites are well worth it. Second what was said before.  Big6 is the go.

DanP68

« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2008, 00:49 »
0
In terms of making money, it's really a Big Four followed by Small Three. You need to be uploading to DT.


As usual Sharply_done is spot on.

You really do need to contribute to Dreamstime.  Not contributing because their review time estimates aren't very useful is not very smart.  They will probably be your #3 or #4 earner overall, if you fall in line with most contributors.  They are very user friendly by my estimation.  Uploading is a breeze, commissions are strong, and admin has always been friendly and responsive in my experience.

Paula, you are obviously not a typical newbie contributor if you are getting EL sales in month #1.  With that in mind, you should be very successful once you get more images online and learn better what sells, and what doesn't sell.  Sharply_done's goal estimates are probably pretty reasonable, since you appear to have previous experience.

My advice -

* Do your best to shrug off inevitable rejections.  Every site is picky about something.
* Understand that each site has a few flaws.  But all of the Top 7 are good to work with.
* Don't worry about Review Times.  Just keep uploading, and you will hardly notice.
* Stay involved with the message boards.  It's a good place to get advice, and occasionally vent a little!


« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2008, 15:49 »
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Just stick with the big 6, the others are not really worth your while. I always say that Shutterstock is the best one to get started on because you see instant returns the day after your images are approved. All of the other sites may take some time to get your first download.

The ETA at Dreamstime used to be somewhat accurate but lately it just jumps all over.

Based on what others commented on, I will do the Big 6, plus 123.  Although, today I see that 123 has replaced BigStock on the top earnings.

« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2008, 15:51 »
0
In terms of making money, it's really a Big Four followed by Small Three. You need to be uploading to DT. With the exception of 123, forget about sites that aren't on the 'Big 6' list.

Here's an attainable monthly income end-of-the-year target for you:
  • IS + SS: $550
  • DT + FT: $275
  • StockXpert + BigStock + 123: $175

... good luck!


I think I can beat that.   ;D

« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2008, 16:03 »
0
Maybe you shouldn't worry about review times so much? Really, it doesn't change that much if a photo is accepted (or rejected?) in 24 hours or 54 hours, does it?

I see messages here about that and sometimes I upload and it takes a week, or they review five at a time, per day at one of the big two. You can ignore the waiting times, as they can be wrong in either direction.

Acceptance reviews will often say, they will check your photos in 7-10 days. Then you see that overnight it's been done. Others say how many days, and it takes eight days instead.

I figure that some of the images sat in my computer for three months, why do I have to have a review as soon as I decide I want it?  ;)

Personal opinion, but review times are kind of a waste of time as a discussion topic. It's like the weather. We think we can predict or guess and complain and talk about it, but we can't change it.  ;D

I'm not criticizing you, just injecting my personal view of all the talk about review times.

Sounds like you are doing well and jumping in with both feet. Don't sell DT or BS short, they are good earners. You have it right. Stick with the big six or maybe keep 123 as the Magnificent Seven.

You can ftp to all the sites except iStock, which makes things much easier than using the sites flash or software loaders. Good luck!

When you get a collection of pictures that you can't sell as RF, start an account at FeaturePics and upload them as Editorial.


Being new to the stock business, review times are important to me because I can find out what they do and do not like about my current uploads.  For instance, my first batches had a lot rejected due to noise.  Later, I had some rejected due to overuse of noise reduction software.  Since most of the pictures I am processing right now are from an older camera that had a smaller sensor, I am trying to process the pictures so that they don't get rejected due to noise.  Finding the happy medium has been a bit tricky, but the faster my pictures get reviewed, the better I can decide how to continue processing them.  It also helps me keep track of what I've uploaded.  I have a feeling that once I get started on these other sites, it's going to be tricky for me to keep track of it all.  I have thousands of images to upload. 

« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2008, 16:05 »
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I agree that in the end it doesn't matter if an image is reviewed in 2 days or a week, but at the beginning when you are just building your portfolio it is difficult to contain anxiety :)

For me it's not anxiety, it's feedback.  I upload about 50 pictures every other day and the sooner I know what they rejected, the better I can use that info to help me correct any post-processing issues.

« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2008, 16:14 »
0
Welcome to the exciting world of microstock. When I started in Dec 05, I felt the same excitement.  I couldnt wait to get my pics online. Btw, was not happy about the 1 month review time of  my Shutterstock  application only to find out that I have been rejected and needed to wait an other 3 months. Just to put things in perspective ;-))

In the long run the review times do not really matter. They are all reasonable fast. Just keep uploading and try to improve your acceptance ratio. At DT it impacts the results of the search engine and therefore your income!

SS is very nice at the beginning. But in the long run the other sites are well worth it. Second what was said before.  Big6 is the go.

I guess I've been spoiled at SS because my application was reviewed and accepted the same day I uploaded my 10 pics.  And they pretty much always review my pictures within 1 business day.
I disagree about the review times not being important....at least not in the beginning.  Most of the pictures I'm processing right now are from when I was using my old camera, which had a smaller sensor and produced quite a bit of noise even at ISO 100.  I am having to use noise reduction software and it's been quite a learning process to figure out what is too little/too much.  The faster they review my pictures, the sooner I know how to process the next batch.  I've been trying to upload 50 pictures every other day and if I don't know how the last batch did by the time I'm processing the next batch, I could be totally wasting my time.

« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2008, 16:22 »
0
In terms of making money, it's really a Big Four followed by Small Three. You need to be uploading to DT.


As usual Sharply_done is spot on.

You really do need to contribute to Dreamstime.  Not contributing because their review time estimates aren't very useful is not very smart.  They will probably be your #3 or #4 earner overall, if you fall in line with most contributors.  They are very user friendly by my estimation.  Uploading is a breeze, commissions are strong, and admin has always been friendly and responsive in my experience.

Paula, you are obviously not a typical newbie contributor if you are getting EL sales in month #1.  With that in mind, you should be very successful once you get more images online and learn better what sells, and what doesn't sell.  Sharply_done's goal estimates are probably pretty reasonable, since you appear to have previous experience.

My advice -

* Do your best to shrug off inevitable rejections.  Every site is picky about something.
* Understand that each site has a few flaws.  But all of the Top 7 are good to work with.
* Don't worry about Review Times.  Just keep uploading, and you will hardly notice.
* Stay involved with the message boards.  It's a good place to get advice, and occasionally vent a little!


Well, I reconsidered DT and will try them again.  I just won't pay any attention to their ETR.  They're the only one that has one, that I've seen.

I am only new to stock, but not to photography.  I was very pleased with getting an EL.  The shot was from my first shoot with my present camera.

Not to be cocky, but I think I can beat that estimate.  ;D I spend every evening processing and/or uploading pictures and usually upload an average of 25 per day at present.  Once I get through all my old pictures, that'll probably wane a bit.

« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2008, 17:13 »
0
Things have improved big time since I started. I am surte you will work out quickly what works for you and what not.

I found it hard to get photos approved that i did not shoot specifically for microstock. Mainly for the technical requirements. Might could have fixed it with postprocessing, but that takes a lot of time.

However, if you have lots of professional / commercial shots, I am sure you will find a way.


Good luck.



Welcome to the exciting world of microstock. When I started in Dec 05, I felt the same excitement.  I couldnt wait to get my pics online. Btw, was not happy about the 1 month review time of  my Shutterstock  application only to find out that I have been rejected and needed to wait an other 3 months. Just to put things in perspective ;-))

In the long run the review times do not really matter. They are all reasonable fast. Just keep uploading and try to improve your acceptance ratio. At DT it impacts the results of the search engine and therefore your income!

SS is very nice at the beginning. But in the long run the other sites are well worth it. Second what was said before.  Big6 is the go.

I guess I've been spoiled at SS because my application was reviewed and accepted the same day I uploaded my 10 pics.  And they pretty much always review my pictures within 1 business day.
I disagree about the review times not being important....at least not in the beginning.  Most of the pictures I'm processing right now are from when I was using my old camera, which had a smaller sensor and produced quite a bit of noise even at ISO 100.  I am having to use noise reduction software and it's been quite a learning process to figure out what is too little/too much.  The faster they review my pictures, the sooner I know how to process the next batch.  I've been trying to upload 50 pictures every other day and if I don't know how the last batch did by the time I'm processing the next batch, I could be totally wasting my time.


 

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