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Author Topic: Am I doing OK with micro stock?  (Read 28884 times)

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lisafx

« Reply #50 on: July 02, 2010, 12:40 »
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Getting slaughtered is part of the biz!  A SEP-IRA will help a bit with that.

Good suggestion.  I'll be looking into that.  Thanks :)


« Reply #51 on: July 02, 2010, 18:11 »
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Do you realise what you are saying? That means if you have a nominal overhead of say $1000 per month for your studio, equipment, printing, etc then you have to be generating $41K per month to maintain a profit margin of 4000%.
To achieve your 'original pricing structure which will be more like 7000%' you would need to generate $850K per year with an overhead of just $12K.

Yeah. I can see those in other countries not being able to understand that but Americans should have no problem grasping it at all. We have created mainstream multi-billion dollar areas of portraiture here that are not possible anywhere else. However that is not to say that everybody can't learn and use their heads to create better business models that return higher profits.
Don't wait for a good business to just land in your lap .. you gotta put some effort into it. If a person lives in a location where a photo business won't cut it or where rent is to high or where the economy is low .. then they have two choices .. move to where their business can grow and return high profits or they can sit around and cry about it and not believe the people who do it.

Randy, with profit margins like that , don't you get slaughtered by the IRS? 
I take a big tax beating every year because my expenses are only 15% of my revenues, but with your margins you must be getting killed on taxes! 
Unless I am missing something, or unless the profits you are telling us are different from the ones you are reporting??

Spend more time creating "paper expenses" you know everything that can be considered a legal deduction but doesn't actually create a physical expense. Look for ways to turn a non-photo expense into a photo expense. Find a way to rack the crap out of mileage. How often are you out for a drive and while you're driving you keep an eye out for interesting things to photograph? That's classified as location scouting and a required part of the business therefore a perfectly acceptable deduction. If you fire off a few shots it's even better.  ;D Start making a log book because mileage can turn into a $10-20K deduction at the end of the year without even trying hard. Keep track of eating on the go and everything you can think of.

« Reply #52 on: July 03, 2010, 01:34 »
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Here is a link for anyone interested in earnings for U.S. Photographers http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos264.htm .

« Reply #53 on: July 03, 2010, 17:26 »
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Here is a link for anyone interested in earnings for U.S. Photographers http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos264.htm .


Those are stats on salaried photographers ... in other words the people who work at places like Wal-Mart, JC Penny, Sears, Target, and all the other franchises that place ads which read "photographers needed .. must be 18 years old .. no experience necessary .. will train."

Professional photographers are not included in those surveys.

« Reply #54 on: July 04, 2010, 01:40 »
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Here is a link for anyone interested in earnings for U.S. Photographers http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos264.htm .


Those are stats on salaried photographers ... in other words the people who work at places like Wal-Mart, JC Penny, Sears, Target, and all the other franchises that place ads which read "photographers needed .. must be 18 years old .. no experience necessary .. will train."

Professional photographers are not included in those surveys.


Taken from the report, "Salaried photographersmost of whom work full timetend to earn more than those who are self-employed. ".

Here another part of the report "Self-employed, or freelance, photographers usually specialize in one of the above fields. In addition to carrying out assignments under direct contract with clients, they may license the use of their photographs through stock-photo agencies or market their work directly to the public. Stock-photo agencies sell magazines and other customers the right to use photographs, and pay the photographer a commission. These agencies require an application from the photographer and a sizable portfolio of pictures. Once accepted, photographers usually are required to submit a large number of new photographs each year. Self-employed photographers must also have a thorough understanding of copyright laws in order to protect their work."

looks like the report covers the full range of photographers.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2010, 01:51 by Eyedesign »

« Reply #55 on: July 04, 2010, 02:12 »
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You know, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics is often times referred to as the Bureau of Lies and Shenanigans for a reason...

After learning more about how the CPI, unemployment stats, and other economic measures have been purposefully fudged with over the years, I have say, don't blindly believe every government report you see, especially if it has anything to do with the economy!

If your're feeling geeky, here's a great white paper on CPI tinkering and "creative accounting" strategies at the BLS:

http://www.europac.net/whitepapers/The%20Truth%20About%20CPI.pdf

« Reply #56 on: July 04, 2010, 13:34 »
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>>>>Start making a log book because mileage can turn into a $10-20K deduction at the end of the year without even trying hard.
mileage deduction is about $.55 for business use, so you have to book around 20,000 miles to claim $10k - seems like you'd need to rtry a LITTLE.  plus, such a high number may trigger some questions from the IRS;   eg, if you take a picture a day on your daily 100 mile commute, you arent allowed to take deduction for all those miles, since there were other uses involved
 any deduction must be the primary purpose of the activity

steve

« Reply #57 on: July 04, 2010, 13:37 »
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You know, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics is often times referred to as the Bureau of Lies and Shenanigans for a reason...

After learning more about how the CPI, unemployment stats, and other economic measures have been purposefully fudged with over the years, I have say, don't blindly believe every government report you see, especially if it has anything to do with the economy!

If your're feeling geeky, here's a great white paper on CPI tinkering and "creative accounting" strategies at the BLS:

http://www.europac.net/whitepapers/The%20Truth%20About%20CPI.pdf


well, where do YOU get your numbers?  if you're going to trash someone's refere nces, you need to at least offer some alternative.

steve

« Reply #58 on: July 04, 2010, 21:13 »
0
>>>>Start making a log book because mileage can turn into a $10-20K deduction at the end of the year without even trying hard.
mileage deduction is about $.55 for business use, so you have to book around 20,000 miles to claim $10k - seems like you'd need to rtry a LITTLE.  plus, such a high number may trigger some questions from the IRS;   eg, if you take a picture a day on your daily 100 mile commute, you arent allowed to take deduction for all those miles, since there were other uses involved
 any deduction must be the primary purpose of the activity

steve

I'm not talking about taking a picture on a 100 mile commute .. that sounds like you're referring to a situation where a hobbyist who works a non-photography job with a long commute snaps a frame and trys to deduct it. That would definitely not look to good to the IRS. However as a full time photographer you can say ok I'm going to take off for a few days and go take nature photos in another state (i.e. I want to take a vacation road trip) can I deduct it as an expense from my studio? No. If I upload the images taken to microstock can I now deduct it from my business? Yes. Racking it up location scouting is another great one. We scout all the time. Go for a drive, grab some ice cream, look around and log some miles.

« Reply #59 on: July 06, 2010, 11:11 »
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I have a feeling that the OP just made a joke. I searched on the stock sites he/she mentioned and I could only find a SIFD member on DT with no pictures in portfolio at all. Of course, the OP might use a different ID for stock site account.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2010, 11:13 by Matemir »

« Reply #60 on: July 06, 2010, 11:25 »
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I have a feeling that the OP just made a joke. I searched on the stock sites he/she mentioned and I could only find a SIFD member on DT with no pictures in portfolio at all. Of course, the OP might use a different ID for stock site account.

Lol, I did the same. It would be great to see the images. ???

« Reply #61 on: July 06, 2010, 14:34 »
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I have a feeling that the OP just made a joke. I searched on the stock sites he/she mentioned and I could only find a SIFD member on DT with no pictures in portfolio at all. Of course, the OP might use a different ID for stock site account.

LOL, no, it's not a joke. the username on DT thing just a coincidence.

« Reply #62 on: July 06, 2010, 19:05 »
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>>>>Start making a log book because mileage can turn into a $10-20K deduction at the end of the year without even trying hard.
mileage deduction is about $.55 for business use, so you have to book around 20,000 miles to claim $10k - seems like you'd need to rtry a LITTLE.  plus, such a high number may trigger some questions from the IRS;   eg, if you take a picture a day on your daily 100 mile commute, you arent allowed to take deduction for all those miles, since there were other uses involved
 any deduction must be the primary purpose of the activity

steve

I'm not talking about taking a picture on a 100 mile commute .. that sounds like you're referring to a situation where a hobbyist who works a non-photography job with a long commute snaps a frame and trys to deduct it. That would definitely not look to good to the IRS. However as a full time photographer you can say ok I'm going to take off for a few days and go take nature photos in another state (i.e. I want to take a vacation road trip) can I deduct it as an expense from my studio? No. If I upload the images taken to microstock can I now deduct it from my business? Yes. Racking it up location scouting is another great one. We scout all the time. Go for a drive, grab some ice cream, look around and log some miles.

ypu just reinforce my point -- YOU SAID one could get $10K in deductions for mileage, and that is going to be a lot of drive time!

s

« Reply #63 on: July 07, 2010, 03:41 »
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Hmmm. 20% of one million sounds an awful lot like a profit of $200,000.

Which can be looked at two ways ... I made $200,000 over the course of an entire year .. or .. Hmmm I just lost $800,000  ???

$1,000,000 gross - $800,000 costs = $200,000 profit ........ where exactly have you lost any money?

ok I'm going to invest into expenses in order to run a business .. smart idea moving on .. So I'm working with $800,000 capital .. now I'm going to invest it all on expenses .. year is over and now how much do I have in my pocket? $200,000 ... it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out you are losing money and need to take a serious look at your business model. Would have been better off not working at all and hanging on to the capital and maybe using it to pay for some business classes.

Shouldn't you spend some money on business classes? ??? You don't know what profit means? As it has been pointed out by others you MADE $200,000 PROFIT with now 1,000,000 in your pocket after that year.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2010, 03:43 by Banzai »

« Reply #64 on: July 07, 2010, 14:26 »
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hi guys

I'm new here.

I'm a part time, non-exclusive photographer (thinking about become a full time stocker), i have +/- 5000 pics on SS, DT, FT, 123RF, BigStock, CanStockPhoto, TS, out of this 5000 pics i believe there are quite lot similar ones, there are about 800 pics i consider as "better ones" which are on IS.

my total monthly income about $3500 ($1000 from IS), am i doing ok in this game? how do you find my figures?

thanks
will be nice if we could have a look in your portofolio. I will like to see how someone could win so much money in a month and what kind of pictures. They might be great !

« Reply #65 on: July 07, 2010, 16:43 »
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hi guys

I'm new here.

I'm a part time, non-exclusive photographer (thinking about become a full time stocker), i have +/- 5000 pics on SS, DT, FT, 123RF, BigStock, CanStockPhoto, TS, out of this 5000 pics i believe there are quite lot similar ones, there are about 800 pics i consider as "better ones" which are on IS.

my total monthly income about $3500 ($1000 from IS), am i doing ok in this game? how do you find my figures?

thanks
It seems like a joke. I made a search in DT and IS and there is no portofolio for SIFD.  Than if it is not a joke why don't you put your link on your ID ? So we could have a look at your pictures.

« Reply #66 on: July 07, 2010, 19:01 »
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It seems like a joke. I made a search in DT and IS and there is no portofolio for SIFD.  Than if it is not a joke why don't you put your link on your ID ? So we could have a look at your pictures.
That's what killed Old Hippie/Macrosaur here ;-)
BTW, where are your port links?  ;D


« Reply #67 on: July 07, 2010, 21:46 »
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It seems like a joke. I made a search in DT and IS and there is no portofolio for SIFD.  Than if it is not a joke why don't you put your link on your ID ? So we could have a look at your pictures.
That's what killed Old Hippie/Macrosaur here ;-)
BTW, where are your port links?  ;D
What do you mean by port links ? Tell me where I can put it as I suppose it is link to my portofolio on IStock or anywhere else..
BTW I was quoting this guy or maybee this girl asking to see her or his portoflio. It seems that some people like joking !
Sorry but English is not my language. I do my best and hope you understand.

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #68 on: July 07, 2010, 21:49 »
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It seems like a joke. I made a search in DT and IS and there is no portofolio for SIFD.  Than if it is not a joke why don't you put your link on your ID ? So we could have a look at your pictures.
That's what killed Old Hippie/Macrosaur here ;-)
BTW, where are your port links?  ;D
What do you mean by port links ? Tell me where I can put it as I suppose it is link to my portofolio on IStock or anywhere else..
BTW I was quoting this guy or maybee this girl asking to see her or his portoflio. It seems that some people like joking !
Sorry but English is not my language. I do my best and hope you understand.

You put them in on your profile page

« Reply #69 on: July 08, 2010, 13:17 »
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Hi SIFD:

I would suggest that you examine your needs very closely before you make the big decision to quit the job you hate. At $42,000 a year you are doing quite nicely with microstock (assuming your production expenses arent huge). But your total gross income is $64,000. How much of that do you need to live on? Can you live on $42,000, or do you need all the $64,000?

I would also look at how sales have been in the last year. Are they steadily rising, or are they leveling out? How many images have you added in the past year? Where RPI can be helpful is to compare what is was a year ago with what it is today. That will give you some idea of how many images you need to add to your collection just to stay even. With all the images that are being added to all the sites the odds of making sales are declining.

I just completed an analysis of sales of 198 of the top iStock shooters and the indications are that units downloaded have not been growing over the last year. A lot of these top people have seen some serious declines in the numbers of images they have been licensing through iStock. Revenue, may still be growing for all of them due to price increases, but how long will they be able to continue to raise prices. You can see details for each of the 198 contributors by going to http://www.photolicensingoptions.com/ViewArticle.aspx?code=JHP2230. (Full disclosure: it will cost you a couple dollars to read this story, so if you are only interested in free information dont bother going to the site.)

« Reply #70 on: July 08, 2010, 15:30 »
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I charge $.25 a read for using my statistics to write articles that make you money.

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #71 on: July 08, 2010, 15:44 »
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I charge $.25 a read for using my statistics to write articles that make you money.

That's a good idea....lol
« Last Edit: July 08, 2010, 15:46 by donding »

« Reply #72 on: July 12, 2010, 11:33 »
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I charge $.25 a read for using my statistics to write articles that make you money.

Where do I go to read these useful statistics. I'll be happy to pay $.25.

« Reply #73 on: July 12, 2010, 11:36 »
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I charge $.25 a read for using my statistics to write articles that make you money.

Where do I go to read these useful statistics. I'll be happy to pay $.25.

As one of the top 198 iStock shooters, I assumed you already used them.  (That's $.25 an article read though.  I'll need a audited list of article accesses please :) )

« Reply #74 on: July 12, 2010, 16:08 »
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I charge $.25 a read for using my statistics to write articles that make you money.

Where do I go to read these useful statistics. I'll be happy to pay $.25.

As one of the top 198 iStock shooters, I assumed you already used them.  (That's $.25 an article read though.  I'll need a audited list of article accesses please :) )

I use istockcharts.multimedia.de and, of course, your portfolio information on iStock. If you publish other statistics, I would sure be interested in reading them and would be happy to get them for $.25 ;)

One thing I have trouble figuring out is why photographers think anyone should pay anything for photos -- even iStock prices -- if all information has to be free. Granted, if the information is worthless then you certainly don't want to pay for it. But, if it saves you some time and research maybe it is worth something??? :)


 

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