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Author Topic: Are we slave workers for microstock industry?  (Read 18503 times)

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« on: June 19, 2008, 17:29 »
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I just roughly calculated per hour output from my first 3 months and it seems like I do it for $1 per hour :-) So far it's pretty expensive hobby only :-)


PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2008, 18:07 »
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Dude, you just got in this and seem like you hate it. Why do you still do it?

vonkara

« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2008, 18:24 »
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Like it's been already said, you need to shoot stock images. If you get many images rejected, then don't upload the same type of images.

Your pictures have to deliver a message or show a concept of our modern lifestlyle or anything isolated on a white background I don't know. If you keep trying whit your old pictures that when you was a amateur photographer then nothing will came up.

... The time you was taking pictures in a zoo is past :)

« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2008, 18:35 »
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Dude, you just got in this and seem like you hate it. Why do you still do it?

Patient: "Hey Doctor, it hurts when I go like this!"

Doctor: "Well then don't go like that anymore!"

 :)

« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2008, 18:40 »
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Somebody posted this survey here: http://blog.photoshelter.com/school/2008/06/buyer-survey-2008.html

According to buyers there poor availability of travel/destination/nature/animal pictures. How many pictures of Wrangell-St Ellias NP in Alaska Crestock has? They got 3 before I was uploading there.

« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2008, 18:44 »
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Are you counting on Crestock to make money?  ;D

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2008, 18:47 »
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I probably stop uploading there cause they probably want only shots of business people shaking hands and isolated object like somebody suggested :-)

I'd rather put effort on uploading to SS when I am close to 1000 downloads in 3 months. Also I hope to be accepted at Alamy.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2008, 18:50 by melastmohican »

vonkara

« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2008, 18:53 »
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How many pictures of Wrangell-St Ellias NP in Alaska Crestock has? They got 3 before I was uploading there.
Yes, and how many buyers work on a project representing the Alaska...? I don't know how many people are living there or even what to see but still, you're better to go in India and take pictures of the Indian people building their new world, that will be worthy.

That's in the news and gone be dominant in the next 20 years or so.

About the survey, I think you misinterpret it


PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2008, 18:55 »
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Somebody posted this survey here: http://blog.photoshelter.com/school/2008/06/buyer-survey-2008.html

According to buyers there poor availability of travel/destination/nature/animal pictures. How many pictures of Wrangell-St Ellias NP in Alaska Crestock has? They got 3 before I was uploading there.


The survey is a great look into a buyer's mind but is it a real look into what they will buy? It's kind of like the girl who says she likes nice guys but every guy she dates is a jerk. Is what she says she likes and what she really likes the same? Travel/destination/nature/animal photos don't seem to be flying off the shelves at PSC.

So do any of my nature pics I tested the waters on fly off the shelves? No.

« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2008, 19:02 »
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So be it.

 I am shooting nature I am not going to rent a studio and hire models out of sudden. I can shoot something more suitable for stock on a side but most of my photos would be in my current category. Maybe I should rather aim to macro or more specialized agencies but right now I am testing waters here. At least I got myself to get thru my pictures archives and select some photos to create portfolio.

graficallyminded

« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2008, 19:09 »
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I'm making per hour, what I made about a few years ago at my dayjob.  I've only been going full time at this for about a month now.   I've been part time 2-5 hours a week for the last 2.5 years.  I'm seeing huge increases, now that I have more time for stock - let me just put it that way.

« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2008, 19:09 »
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Meldstn Look at my portfolio on DT it may give you an Idea I don't do
model photography or nature  ;D

« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2008, 19:11 »
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How many pictures of Wrangell-St Ellias NP in Alaska Crestock has?

That's the wrong question. The real question would be: "how many buyers for those pictures can Crestock have?". Answer: probably not too many, because they are too specific and because potential buyers for those pictures rather look for them elsewhere. To do well in microstock you need pictures that can be useful to many people, it is a game of numbers. 

« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2008, 19:19 »
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shooting nature go macro.  It is low demand so go for higher price.  But regardless of macro / micro, one great (or lucky :)) image will sell 100's of times whilst others sit unsold.

I have images that I have spent 10-20 hours on in photoshop (after driving, hiking, taking shot etc) to earn a few dollars a year. others that took less than 5 minutes all done become best sellers.  hourly rate sometimes isn't good to look at.

also if you stop uploading / shooting / working your sales will continue and so hourly rate goes up. sold an image that I took 3 years and has sat unsold on alamy for 2 1/2 years.  sold yesterday for $350 that just increased my overall hourly rate.   

most importantly for me is I really love taking photos whether it be objects on white or traipsing through a national park, around an old farm, falling down house etc.  I took photos before doing stock, photoshop them etc etc all without being paid, selling them is a bonus. the only part of it that I consider work is keywording and uploading.

Phil

« Last Edit: June 19, 2008, 19:29 by clearviewstock »

helix7

« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2008, 20:13 »
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... it seems like I do it for $1 per hour :-) So far it's pretty expensive hobby...

Nothing wrong with that. There are lots of things I'd never be able to do as anything more than a hobby. And most of them wouldn't even get me a dollar per day. Maybe stock just isn't your thing.



« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2008, 21:15 »
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Usually people reference Amazon (or an online music store) when they talk about the Long Tail theory.  Amazon has their best sellers, and they also carry niche topics that don't sell often and would just collect dust in a brick and mortar store.  Each category sells very little, but there's millions of little categories like this and with the online store being able to have such an extensive catalogue, the combined sales from these poor performing categories make up the bulk of Amazon's business.

The Alaska photos that someone mentioned may not be best sellers, but you have to look at the earnings of such niche subjects over a longer period than a few months.

Microstock may be a lot like that.  You will have your best sellers, but as your portfolio grows, the Long Tail will become more significant.  It's an important factor to consider when you get the urge to "clean house" on your portfolio as well.  Unless a photo is something that makes you groan now that you are more experienced, you should really keep it live.

« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2008, 00:22 »
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You know have  you ever thought of how other artists get their money?

You can spend millions on creating a music album, but you are only paid 8 to 10 cents each time a song is played on radio.

the least I have got is 25cents


Microbius

« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2008, 05:48 »
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I just roughly calculated per hour output from my first 3 months and it seems like I do it for $1 per hour :-) So far it's pretty expensive hobby only :-)
Seriously, dude, you seem so bitter about this game.
If your doing it as a hobby then you shouldn't be calculating the income per hour. It's debatable whether you should be in the business at all, why not just post on flikr etc?

« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2008, 06:05 »
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I don't see the problem here, surely if its a hobby you do it for fun and not for profit.

I just got back from doing my hobby (mountain biking) and nobody paid me for riding round the wood for 2hrs! in fact I made a loss as I got a puncher! If anyone wants to pay me for my hobby (via sponsorship) I am willing to do it for $1 an hour  ;D

« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2008, 08:29 »
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Well, OP has a point (to some extent). A decent picture takes at least 2 hours to prepare-at least in my case. At the same time microstock sites expect quality etc. Quality costs.

I am not complaining - for me it is a game, although I usually try to win when playing. I started about 4 months ago, got 2 payouts at SS, 2 at StockXpert, 2 at Mostphotos - and payments are almost ready at Fotolia, Dreamstime, BigStock, 123RF (oops, sorry, just started at Istock, so no payments there yet).

But from financial perspective - it is a waste of time, even in the long run, I think. I make more every day at my regular job then all the above combined - at it cost me 200+ hours to get there.

Let's not kid ourselves: the money train has left long time ago. The early starters with talent, skills and a knack for hard work are at the top now: but today (methinks) this is just not enough anymore, and the entry level has been dramatically raised (not that I claim any great talent or skills).

I am not going to give up - but all this talk about "do what needs to be done to get a sellable picture" or "keep at it and the results will come" is a bit of a BS (sorry if someone feels offended, no such intentions on my part).
But it appears to me that frequently it sounds like creating ideology to justify the not so bright reality.

After all - who wants to admit that, in reality, all that can be made is $2/hour ? Or $5, or $10 ?  The fact is - we are paid peanuts for a lot of work and effort put into producing those pics. No point complaining - everyone knew what he/she was getting into - but let's not kid ourselves: for one winner there will be 100's of losers.

And if one wants to be a winner at this game - this is a full-time job.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2008, 08:30 by leszek »

Microbius

« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2008, 08:35 »
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Yes, everyone quit, there's no money in it!!!!
muahhhh hahhhh hahhhhhh  (<----- evil laugh)

« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2008, 23:37 »
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a white van drove past my house 3 years ago and I took a shot of it. Took me 17 minutes to create a clipping path around it and post it on 4 sites. Since then that image has sold around 1000 times.

Yeah sure some of the stuff takes a while to set up. But if it sells, it will probably continue to sell for 10 years.

At a lousy $10 a year per image that is $100. I spent 4 hours driving to a remote place to do a front cover for a magazine and got $400. Sounds pretty good return to me.

« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2008, 23:52 »
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I just roughly calculated per hour output from my first 3 months and it seems like I do it for $1 per hour :-) So far it's pretty expensive hobby only :-)

I thought so too. But 1 have have spent only 6 hours in the past 2 months and uploaded a just dozen images.  Still the almost the  same amount of money.  So initial investment of time seems  disproportional, but since images resell it may turn out to be profitable to do microstock.

« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2008, 04:14 »
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I know of few hobbies that are as rewarding as this one.
I love the challenge, the game of collecting downloads, and the pure satisfaction of being creative.

Money, although I like it, serves in last place. I know it not like that for others who will read this thread though.
If micro did not exist I would still be creating images, and NOT being paid to do so. That is why money is not an issue with me.

(I do however count DL's...thus the reason subs don;t bother me. You never heard me complain about subs)

OPEN UP A GAS STATION if you want to make a profit

Next time I hear you you sob, moan, complain, and cry about this.....I'm gonna make you sit in the corner facing the wall for 4 hours!

Cranky MIZ
The voice of reason

« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 04:20 by rjmiz »

« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2008, 04:30 »
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all microstock is evil!

lot of rejections...
lot of new photographers to conquer me...
lot of new creative images (I can't do that..)...
low prices for subscriptions...
low acceptance rate...
no downloads at all...
BIG brother on forums...
no freedom to f**k admins...
......

I think, I like it... ;)


 

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