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Author Topic: Are we slave workers for microstock industry?  (Read 18669 times)

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« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2008, 04:40 »
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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 :-)


Yeah ... you'd earn more asking "... do you want fries with that?"

Are you only in it for the money?


« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2008, 05:39 »
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i am only in it for the money!... and the fact that it is an enjoyable job, but if it didnt pay my time i wouldnt be doing it.

To figure out how much a picture is worth to me, i take the $/picture i earn per month and figure out how much the image will earn me in 5 years.  THAT is the amount that i am getting for uploading new images.

« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2008, 09:43 »
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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.

Hey that was me!! Where is my cut?  ;D

« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2008, 09:55 »
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Quote
Are we slave workers for microstock industry?

No as we do not work for the microstock industry, we work for ourself, for me it is a hobby and for others it is part of thier income, there are a few that do it full time.

The microstock industry is an agency or merchant at best that has no stock but brings the Vendors goods to the Customer

Like any pastime, hobby or sport, lots take part but very few make a full time living at it!

I must go the slave master is about and I don't want to get caught not working ;D   

« Reply #29 on: June 21, 2008, 11:56 »
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Man, such whining.  I want the reward , but I don't want to do the work.  If you don't like it, you're not a slave...

fotoKmyst

« Reply #30 on: June 21, 2008, 12:07 »
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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.

Hey that was me!! Where is my cut?  ;D

drive by each other's house again, and you'll both have an image each to sell around 1000 times  ;D

« Reply #31 on: June 21, 2008, 21:00 »
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Pretty funny to see how big a part of the responses is very defensive...
No one said anything about quitting, or complaining, or some such (at least I didn't).

But, objectively looking at the issue - for the vast majority of contributors the reward is totally out of proportion to the time and effort spent.

chumley

« Reply #32 on: June 21, 2008, 21:16 »
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.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2008, 18:14 by chumley »

« Reply #33 on: June 21, 2008, 22:58 »
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Here's what I got:  I'll shoot and upload what I want - who cares what actually sells?  Hey wait - I'm not selling anything!

« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2008, 01:33 »
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Here's what I got:  I'll shoot and upload what I want - who cares what actually sells?  Hey wait - I'm not selling anything!
You're right on the money with this one, sjlocke.

« Reply #35 on: June 23, 2008, 00:03 »
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He used two smiley faces! take it easy guys... 

helix7

« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2008, 08:34 »
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Here's what I got:  I'll shoot and upload what I want - who cares what actually sells?  Hey wait - I'm not selling anything!

Precisely.

What's the old saying; "Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result," or something to that effect.



bittersweet

« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2008, 09:58 »
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Here's what I got:  I'll shoot and upload what I want - who cares what actually sells?  Hey wait - I'm not selling anything!

Precisely.

What's the old saying; "Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly expecting a different result," or something to that effect.




Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein

He also (is attributed as having) said:
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.

ETA:
Lest my post here be misconstrued, I was simply providing the quote to which helix was referring, and while verifying my information, came across the other one which was funny (to me). :D 

As far as the topic of this thread, I truly do not care. i started this for fun, I'm still doing it for fun, and when it stops being fun, I'll stop doing it. While it's nice that people put time and thought into what I do, the decisions I make, and how much I collect in royalties each month, to be completely honest, I don't really care what conclusions they come to about any of it. It is what it is. As long as I'm happy with it, I choose to make my choices based on criteria other than public opinion.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 10:52 by bittersweet »

fotoKmyst

« Reply #38 on: June 23, 2008, 10:27 »
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Pretty funny to see how big a part of the responses is very defensive...
No one said anything about quitting, or complaining, or some such (at least I didn't).

But, objectively looking at the issue - for the vast majority of contributors the reward is totally out of proportion to the time and effort spent.

DEFENSIVE? yaaaa leszek I agree!
sounds like some of them are angry with melastmohican being realistic about this.
so, really, on one hand, they get pissed off with melastmohican
for complaining and whining,
on the other hand, they're really doing the same by refusing to face the blooming truth. It sucks ;D ;D ;D

Einstein theory on stupidity could apply to us all...
those you call whiners, they who are in great denial, and let's not forget
the cynics :-*

Let 's all kiss and suck it up :-* ;D 8)
« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 10:31 by fotoKmyst »

« Reply #39 on: June 23, 2008, 10:40 »
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Maybe we are slave workers and it seems like we work for $1 per hour.  But how many jobs have you had that you earn dividends after you leave?  Just think of all those great Excel spreadsheets you set up for your department... you got paid to go to work that day, and they are still using your spreadsheets, but you are long gone.

Sure, in it's first year you only earned $1 per hour isolating that pencil.  Maybe next year you will have an EL or a search engine tweak will boost your pencil and it will fly off the shelf.  How many jobs can you earn a dividend over such a long period?  Maybe life insurance sales.  YUCK!

I don't shoot isolated pencils.  I could do that stuff and have a lot of photos on line that sell a little - but over average might bring a nice steady income.  I'd rather send in few of photos that I think will sell - and even then, I am not so good at guessing what might sell anyway, so maybe I should start photographing pencils. 

Investing our time in stock photos is a bit like like investing in the stock market, isn't it?  Hopefully less $ investment risked though.

« Reply #40 on: June 23, 2008, 10:51 »
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Quote
Investing our time in stock photos is a bit like like investing in the stock market, isn't it?  Hopefully less $ investment risked though.

It really is quite challenging and exciting, isn't it? ;D
And without a doubt, one of the most interesting endeavors I've ever experienced. LOVE it!
« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 10:54 by epantha »

RacePhoto

« Reply #41 on: June 23, 2008, 12:42 »
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Here's what I got:  I'll shoot and upload what I want - who cares what actually sells?  Hey wait - I'm not selling anything!

Perfect answer... again!

The one where you listed the stages of Micro was pretty much spot on also.

People have roughly three choices.

1) Shoot what the agencies want and what the buyers want, and sell photos. Get paid a small sum, but sell the same photos many times.

2) Shoot what you like and enjoy and don't worry about the sales, because if there's no demand, there won't be sales. Get paid even less, but at least you are happy.

3) Drop micro and go macro. Maybe you'll only sell one photo a month, if you are good, but you'll get paid $100 and up for it. Sometimes you'll get a licensed photo, for much more, but you can't sell that photo again for two or three years.

Feel free to add to the list.  :)


bittersweet

« Reply #42 on: June 23, 2008, 12:58 »
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Here's what I got:  I'll shoot and upload what I want - who cares what actually sells?  Hey wait - I'm not selling anything!

Perfect answer... again!

The one where you listed the stages of Micro was pretty much spot on also.

People have roughly three choices.

1) Shoot what the agencies want and what the buyers want, and sell photos. Get paid a small sum, but sell the same photos many times.

2) Shoot what you like and enjoy and don't worry about the sales, because if there's no demand, there won't be sales. Get paid even less, but at least you are happy.

3) Drop micro and go macro. Maybe you'll only sell one photo a month, if you are good, but you'll get paid $100 and up for it. Sometimes you'll get a licensed photo, for much more, but you can't sell that photo again for two or three years.

Feel free to add to the list.  :)


Can't you be happy doing number 1 also?  ;D

« Reply #43 on: June 23, 2008, 13:03 »
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Maybe we are slave workers and it seems like we work for $1 per hour.  But how many jobs have you had that you earn dividends after you leave?  Just think of all those great Excel spreadsheets you set up for your department... you got paid to go to work that day, and they are still using your spreadsheets, but you are long gone.

Sure, in it's first year you only earned $1 per hour isolating that pencil.  Maybe next year you will have an EL or a search engine tweak will boost your pencil and it will fly off the shelf.  How many jobs can you earn a dividend over such a long period?  Maybe life insurance sales.  YUCK!

I don't shoot isolated pencils.  I could do that stuff and have a lot of photos on line that sell a little - but over average might bring a nice steady income.  I'd rather send in few of photos that I think will sell - and even then, I am not so good at guessing what might sell anyway, so maybe I should start photographing pencils. 

Investing our time in stock photos is a bit like like investing in the stock market, isn't it?  Hopefully less $ investment risked though.


Pixart was absolutely correct when comparing microstock to insurance sales. There are few professions that have the ability to produce what is known as a residual revenue stream. In insurance sales, a good agent could write 100 policies over, say for example,  a couple of months and be paid recurring commissions on those policies (every 6mths or year). They would continue to receive those commissions for as long as they retain their client. However ... get use to cold-calling and hard-core sales "Yuck!"

In Microstock you go through your workflow process for an image once. There are no hassles such as customer servicing of the account. It is basically a lock-and-load "Fire and Forget" strategy and if its well thought-out, and technically sound, it will hit its bullseye mark of many downloads over the shelf-life of the image which can be many years. Repeat the process ... over and over ...

It is truly a beautiful thing. I don't know about you, but each and every day, I love to direct, produce, shoot, edit, upload, and see beautiful results for doing something I put my heart and soul into. To me that is "Priceless."

-Mark
« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 13:06 by mwp1969 »

RacePhoto

« Reply #44 on: June 24, 2008, 00:18 »
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Can't you be happy doing number 1 also?  ;D

Some people are very happy doing that, and making good money. I don't pretend to think for others or tell them how they should live either.

I hate to go off on a tangent with this, but some women sell their bodies to buy drugs, and who are we to judge them and say they aren't happy doing it?

If you are happy working for hours to get 35c each time someone downloads your photo. And you don't mind getting $3 for a book cover... that's fine with me.  ;) The agencies will pimp your photos for you for 50% and I'm sure they are very happy to have so many people willing to work for pennies.

You'll just have to believe me, because I worked for $1.37 an hour for a university as a "secretary" running the photo lab, because that's the only position and salary the state university had available. Well below minimum wage, and by the way... I was happy!  ;D

I also quite happy taking photos I like, of what I like, and not selling as many as people who are smarter and playing along with the stock program. I also don't feel that getting a dollar a photo is enough incentive to invest the time building a qualified portfolio, like some people have worked at, very hard and done a great job of succeeding at doing.

It's a personal choice. Please don't get me wrong.

Keep in mind that some weekends I pay my own way to drive to a site, take photos, pay my own food and lodging, and on Monday hope I can sell a few photos to a magazine for $20 each. It's just as crazy, but I like what I'm shooting. I'm not doing it for the money...

EDIT: I forgot to add this. No one is forcing any of us to do any of this. We have free will and a choice to do whatever we wish. It's not slave labor. It may be slave wages?  :D
« Last Edit: June 24, 2008, 11:23 by RacePhoto »

« Reply #45 on: June 24, 2008, 01:00 »
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Slave workers for microstock? Of course we are!! Will-less victims of a cruel industry!

For example: I was forced to attend the istock ref5esh in Malta last week ->(http://www.microstockgroup.com/index.php?topic=4145.msg53255;topicseen#new). Worst experience ever in my life as a photographer!! Merciless istock staff whipping us to produce images in the mediterranean heat, drink beer, doing boat trips, swim in the ocean....and lots of other terrible activities. DREADFUL!!

I will definitely quit microstock photography and go back to work in a stone pit.  :D
« Last Edit: June 24, 2008, 01:45 by faber »

« Reply #46 on: June 24, 2008, 17:03 »
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I like photography, and microstock is a great motivation for me to photograph more and to try different genre.

However having 14 years experience of working in large enterprises (not photography related) I perfectly realize that we are nothing else than raw material suppliers for the agencies. Supplier is important link in the business chain, but one is easily replaceable with another one...   and no, I don't think it has anything close to slave labor.

Realizing that doesn't stop me to appreciate microstock for opening photo business doors for keen amateurs.

« Reply #47 on: June 26, 2008, 10:24 »
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Pixart was absolutely correct when comparing microstock to insurance sales. There are few professions that have the ability to produce what is known as a residual revenue stream.


There is one small but critical difference: In insurance sales you know exactly what you will get as long as the customer is not terminating his contract. In microstock there are too much unknown factors for making any serious predictions.

Will your images be found in 2010 within a sea of billions of images? How about prices in general and especially the increase of subscriptions? Will our percentages go up or down?

Thinking of microstock as an residual revenue stream might be a good motivation for uninformed beginners but no one serious will count on that in an instable market like ours.

« Reply #48 on: June 26, 2008, 10:56 »
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Also... will the format change?

Think... beta... vcr... dvd... blueray...

Will our JPEGs have any value in 5 years?

« Reply #49 on: June 26, 2008, 15:43 »
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Anybody here know of a good skin ointment? Those pesky ankle chains are giving me raw skin again.


 

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