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Poll

Do you feel happy or unhappy as a micro stock contributor?

Happy, I have been a contributor for less a year
21 (20.2%)
Unhappy, I have been a contributor for less than a year
2 (1.9%)
Happy, I have been a contributor for 2-3 years
28 (26.9%)
Unhappy, I have been a contributor for 2-3 years
9 (8.7%)
Happy, I have been a contributor for over 3 years
36 (34.6%)
Unhappy, I have been a contributor for over 3 years
8 (7.7%)

Total Members Voted: 94

Author Topic: Are you happy or unhappy as a micro stock contributor  (Read 14516 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2009, 14:26 »
0
Well, like everyone else, I have happy moments and unhappy moments. But I'd like to know if you are happy or unhappy in general.

Personally I am not very happy these days. I am frustrated that I have not reached my goal in sales, the agencies sometimes reject good images for "not for stock" and change the terms whenever they see fit. I also feel unhappy when I see photographers attack each other when there are differences in opinions in the forums, even though I have never been personally attacked.
The one thing you have total control over is the setting of goals, these goals should be small manageble milestones, and at any point you should be able to be realistic and adjust these as you need to without losing sight of the end game or feeling bad, you have already pointed out that many factors are out of your control, so concentrate and set goals on the ones that are within your control and you may feel better.

This is a general observation and not aimed at anybody specific, but you will see it every day, "I have just been accepted and I will have xxxx number of images online and be earning $xxx by the end of the year", this ends with the photographer aiming for their 'goal' by not preparing the assets correctly and taking a chance on uploading so-so images hoping they get through, feeling upset at rejections and the so-so images not getting views, zooms or sales, so the photographer then blames everyone else.

By not setting one distant goal, but many manageable ones the photographer could feel a lot better about things, by setting small goals, like being self paced and not worrying how others that started the same time are doing, prepare one or two images a day, only upload a maximum of 10 a week for six months, seek advice on rejections and adjust the workflow, review these goals once a month, so if the acceptance rate is falling or low, just add or change a goal to address this, by cutting the 10 uploads a week to 5 and looking at the content or workflow more.

what is more likely to bring in revenue uploading a target of 20 images by including so-so images, or uploading 5-10 fewer but more stock worthy images.

Many are seduced by the "earn money from them snaps" marketing scams, and come along and think an online business can be built in a few weeks, but there is a steep learning curve they are unaware of and many hurdles, but all these are manageable by taking one step at a time and each hurdle when you reach it, and setting many small manageable goals.

David    
« Last Edit: June 27, 2009, 14:40 by DWL »


bittersweet

« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2009, 14:32 »
0
^ Most excellent post, David.

puravida

  • diablo como vd
« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2009, 14:48 »
0
good points DWL.  esp the part on quality vs quantity.
I like the current small overhaul the Big 6 are going through these days ie. more rejection, more unhappy contributors. Am I crazy? No, not really.
As DWL said, "...uploading so-so images hoping they get through, feeling upset at rejections and the so-so images not getting views, zooms or sales, so the photographer then blames everyone else"
..."if the acceptance rate is falling or low, just add or change a goal to address this, by cutting the 10 uploads a week to 5 and looking at the content or workflow more."

there is a section of contributors who believe in flooding the sites and then cheering for 10--20% revenue of the port size. instead of giving only the best images.
they shoot themselves in the foot doing this. why? your so so images flood the selection with 0 dls 0 views . if you submit less images, the site has less useless or redundant images, which increase your chance as well as everyone else's
to get more dls. the buyers get what they want, instead of getting one of your so so images. and this improves the business.

but most of us don't think like that. so the sites have to slash and burn. and now we see more rejections. bad news for many, but good news for those who upload less but best.



« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2009, 15:54 »
0
It's hard to fight flooding with quality, although in the long run maybe not impossible.  But if I could only make one complaint about the current microstock sites, it would be that they're all the same - all selling the same stuff, competing mainly on price. And that means commissions are only going to continue going down. I'd like to see sites with some distinctive focus and personality.  "World of Food"? "Happy Family"? "Business Success?"  Ok I hear you laughing already, but what we have now is a big traffic jam of millions of images that are actually trying to find their way to different sorts of buyers but have to go through the same overloaded interchange.


« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2009, 16:04 »
0
It's hard to fight flooding with quality, although in the long run maybe not impossible.  But if I could only make one complaint about the current microstock sites, it would be that they're all the same - all selling the same stuff, competing mainly on price. And that means commissions are only going to continue going down. I'd like to see sites with some distinctive focus and personality.  "World of Food"? "Happy Family"? "Business Success?"  Ok I hear you laughing already, but what we have now is a big traffic jam of millions of images that are actually trying to find their way to different sorts of buyers but have to go through the same overloaded interchange.



Actually, Stocktastic, I think you are on to something.  The sites should definitely be finding ways to compete on something other than price. 

I think Istock and Fotolia have attempted this by starting "premium" collections.  But so far those are hampered by a sloppy roll out on the part of istock's Vetta and inferior product on the part of fotolia's Infinite collection.

Other ways to compete would be in customer service, where I think Dreamstime excells. 

But your idea about specialized websites would be great if it could be implemented.  Unfortunately, from what I hear (and read on these forums) small, specialized sites are not able to compete and stay solvent in the current economic climate.  Much like little boutique shops are having trouble competing against one stop megastores like Wal Mart and Target.   

« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2009, 17:28 »
0
We are too greedy to make exclusive images.    Its not the agencies fault that we upload same stuff everywhere...

« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2009, 17:54 »
0
We are too greedy to make exclusive images.    Its not the agencies fault that we upload same stuff everywhere...

I have a few exclusive images scattered around here and there on sites that allow it.   But on the whole you are probably right.  Maybe not so much greed, but at micro prices most of us can't afford to have a lot of exclusive content anywhere. 

If we made more $ we might be able to experiment with making specific collections for specific sites. 

« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2009, 17:59 »
0
But if I could only make one complaint about the current microstock sites, it would be that they're all the same - all selling the same stuff, competing mainly on price.

The competition may be more on search results.  I believe most buyers won't mind paying US$1 or more in a site that gives him better results.

bittersweet

« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2009, 18:36 »
0
It's hard to fight flooding with quality, although in the long run maybe not impossible.  But if I could only make one complaint about the current microstock sites, it would be that they're all the same - all selling the same stuff, competing mainly on price. And that means commissions are only going to continue going down. I'd like to see sites with some distinctive focus and personality.  "World of Food"? "Happy Family"? "Business Success?"  Ok I hear you laughing already, but what we have now is a big traffic jam of millions of images that are actually trying to find their way to different sorts of buyers but have to go through the same overloaded interchange.



That sounds nice and I agree that they start to all look the same. But, how often do we have contributors on here screaming because someone has dared to reject their file, and the reason why they feel the rejection was unrighteous is because it has already been accepted at 6 other sites? Every time a site rejects based on their editorial policy, there are plenty of complainers saying that they are just stupid (and other more harsh terms) for not wanting their "proven perfomers".

I don't know that sites limiting themselves to the super-specific topics could make a real go of it, but there are a few (very few) who seem to have a particular editorial vision and I for one hope that they continue to stay true to those visions so that the buyers will actually have some real choices out there.

« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2009, 19:13 »
0
I wouldn't say "super specific topics".  But give me some sort of differentiation.  As it is now, we give our products to 5 lookalike big-box retailers, all on the same block. Then we watch as they compete on price and drive our commissions down to pennies. 

« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2009, 19:15 »
0
The one thing you have total control over is the setting of goals, these goals should be small manageble milestones, and at any point you should be able to be realistic and adjust these as you need to without losing sight of the end game or feeling bad, you have already pointed out that many factors are out of your control, so concentrate and set goals on the ones that are within your control and you may feel better.

This is a general observation and not aimed at anybody specific, but you will see it every day, "I have just been accepted and I will have xxxx number of images online and be earning $xxx by the end of the year", this ends with the photographer aiming for their 'goal' by not preparing the assets correctly and taking a chance on uploading so-so images hoping they get through, feeling upset at rejections and the so-so images not getting views, zooms or sales, so the photographer then blames everyone else.

By not setting one distant goal, but many manageable ones the photographer could feel a lot better about things, by setting small goals, like being self paced and not worrying how others that started the same time are doing, prepare one or two images a day, only upload a maximum of 10 a week for six months, seek advice on rejections and adjust the workflow, review these goals once a month, so if the acceptance rate is falling or low, just add or change a goal to address this, by cutting the 10 uploads a week to 5 and looking at the content or workflow more.

what is more likely to bring in revenue uploading a target of 20 images by including so-so images, or uploading 5-10 fewer but more stock worthy images.

Many are seduced by the "earn money from them snaps" marketing scams, and come along and think an online business can be built in a few weeks, but there is a steep learning curve they are unaware of and many hurdles, but all these are manageable by taking one step at a time and each hurdle when you reach it, and setting many small manageable goals.

That's quality advice David. Take a heart.

« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2009, 22:31 »
0

My wish list.

-Lose the ability to see who's selling how much.
-Lose the ability to see which images sell the most.
-Triple subscription rates or at least 1/3 the allowable downloads.
-Double all other prices.
-Develop an industry standard for Metadata and submission standards or at least all sites should review their submission procedures to get rid as many clicks as possible. So many procedures are a total time waster.
-Bury the need to apply categories.
-Police the images they are entrusted with more vigorously.
-Tighten licensing so more EL sales occur.
-Get rid of or increase prices for the smaller size downloads. We get ripped off big time on those sales. They are too useful on the web a prices that are far too cheap.
-Get some contributors to understand that you can't take a magazine cover to the bank to get a loan with it. Income trumps fame.


@Zeus's,

Very, very well said sir! Quadruple mega dittos to you  :)

A buyer at IS complained in the forums about the pricing of the Vetta collection.
He/she stated that IS should stick to what it does best  "Macro quality at micro prices"!
Egads, that is exactly the mindset that we need to change. Buyers have had a free ride for too long now.
They have no concept of the costs involved in producing those macro quality images that they get to buy for less than a cup of coffee  >:(

« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2009, 23:18 »
0
Well this might sound funny but I like the falling prices and more rejections....

Why? 

Just think way back when when you first uploaded your first images.  Back when I started if I uploaded 10 I would get 9 or 10 accepted and they would sell within hours.  Now if I uploaded those same 10 I would get if I was lucky 1 or 2 accepted and then I would be lucky to sell anything within a month.

I really think this is a good thing,  it's going to keep the sell those snapshots people from flooding  the sites with "snapshots" thus improving the image quality.  Then with improved iq the sites will be able to charge more and there will be less submitters to divide the profits with.....


well at least in a perfect world....

Bob

« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2009, 01:50 »
0
Just think way back when when you first uploaded your first images.  Back when I started if I uploaded 10 I would get 9 or 10 accepted and they would sell within hours.  Now if I uploaded those same 10 I would get if I was lucky 1 or 2 accepted and then I would be lucky to sell anything within a month.
Bob
The problem here is that some will still be uploading the same content and have not learnt from the rejections and changed the content and workflow, as you say some will not understand take it as a personal insult and leave, others will take the same view as a soccer coach and play the averages, 100 shots and hope a couple get through.

There is a cost to the business for every image inspected accepted or rejected, it is 'Free' to upload many contributors think, so they keep up the high uploads of so-so images and a few will get accepted, but they are wrong as the cost is being meet by keeping commissions low and using some of the sales revenue to pay for the higher rejection rate, simple economics, the higher the rejection rate the higher the cost for each accepted image.

As libraries are starting to reject more images the costs to market are increasing and this will lead to another squeeze on the contributors, if these stocksite want to maintain contributors percentages then they need to look at the inspection cost and how they can deal with these and return higher percentages to the contributors.

Inspection is a manual process and the inspectors need to be paid, lets say an inspector is paid 0.05 (5 cents) to inspect a single image, the example above 2 from 10 accepted means the cost of getting the two images accepted is 0.25 cents each, a lot more per accepted image than the contributor that gets 8 from 10 accepted, but the careful contributor will get the same commission for a sale, the website will still have the cost of storing the rejected images for a while to answer any email complaints etc:

There are a few of ways to address this cost, first as some do now ban or limit the contributor uploads for a while, second is to reduce the contibutors share by a small percentage based on rejections, another being if you have an established collection and getting good sales, and a contributor is persistently getting high levels of rejections then charge 0.10 for each failed image back to the contributor this would make them realise there is a cost for rejected images and maybe do some research on each site as to what is getting accepted so they can target specific images to different website, this wil help with diversity.

The other comments about the same images coming up on all sites in searches, now with the size of the libraries there could be a couple of hundred images that are a keyword best match, and many of the same quality, how does and image with no views compare to the first in the search, as it has never been seen by a buyer they may never know.

The website weighs the images again with all sorts of fancy formulas, this is what brings the same images up on all sites, you have sort options for Best Match, Views, Downloads, Date etc:, these always start with what the website thinks is the Best Match.

One options missing is 'Random' just to to randomize the images within the search results, this would give a far better selection of images with high and no views on the same page to compare, and bring good images that may have been buried to the top.

David
« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 02:11 by DWL »

« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2009, 01:55 »
0
Quote
A buyer at IS complained in the forums about the pricing of the Vetta collection. He/she stated that IS should stick to what it does best  "Macro quality at micro prices"!

Doh!

(btw my neighbour, who's also the priest at the sive temple next door, is EXACTLY like homer simpson. except he's a brahmin. and he doesn't drink beer)

But it's the way it's probably gonna go. Microstock.will.rule.the.world.

Mid and macro photographers will flood our little meadow of loveliness with their truckloads of lights and lens and model releases.  Micro professionals will be on the run and start chasing down the hobbyists, the hobbyists will lose heart and scatter to more specialised places.  There they'll probably find the macro photographers who couldn't stomach micro prices; who will eat some of them, but let others live.  

Then they're gonna start marketing the technology where you can blink your eyes and print direct from the brain... and then that will be the end of all of us and the meditating monks will be the new Gurus of Stock Imagery.  And obviously only  orangutans and beavers will be used for wildlife photography - because they can reach the places we can't go.  

Eventually we all be outcompeted by shrimp. >:( :o
 

« Reply #40 on: June 28, 2009, 02:22 »
0
LuceLuceLuce,

You are funny. Speaking of Brahmins....

If there were beautiful Scandinavian type models in India, and/or if they worked for Indian wages... then India would RULE the mirostock world.

They produce everything in India for pennies on the dollar.
But luckily for the rest of us, they don't have access to the type of models that most of the world buys.
Yuri Arcurs and Sean Locke DO have access to these in demand models and their sales show the results.

I don't think we will be replaced by chimps or shrimp anytime soon.
 

« Reply #41 on: June 28, 2009, 02:27 »
0
I must confess I am perplexed. Apparently most people are happy shooters, I just don't understand how this thread has become one in which some people fantasize about other people's failure and flaws, without even knowing them. I thought the question is about your own state of mind.

Do we have to point our fingers at others? If you are happy, can you just spread the good news and happiness?

Did this thread ask you for advice?

Does speculations on other people's failure and judgement on other people's unhappiness make you happy?


 ???
« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 02:57 by Freedom »


« Reply #42 on: June 28, 2009, 02:40 »
0
..

If there were beautiful Scandinavian type models in India, and/or if they worked for Indian wages... then India would RULE the mirostock world.

They produce everything in India for pennies on the dollar.
But luckily for the rest of us, they don't have access to the type of models that most of the world buys.


: D My beach is famous in Italy as the beach where you go for the beautiful girls... it's a yoga and spa place. You can imagine the healthy, glowing skin on those flexible bodies! Norwegian, Latvian, Muscovites, senegalese, american, french.... all flavours here.It's great for Asian models too. Japanese girls are just tooooooo beautiful to photograph.

Half of them dance, the other half do yoga in rivers on sunlight. The other 63% are with me with sticks and swords and metres and metres of flowing silk...

I don't have my L lens yet.  So i just photograph the grungy walls of my neighbour's house.

« Reply #43 on: June 28, 2009, 02:46 »
0
I must confess I am perplexed. Apparently most people are happy shooters, I just don't understand how this thread has become one in which some people fantasize about other people's failure and flaws, without even knowing them. I thought the question is about your own state of mind.

Do we have to point our fingers at others? If you are happy, can you just spread the good news and happiness?

Did this thread ask you for advice?

Does speculations on other people's failure and judge other people's unhappiness make you happy?


 ???

are we reading the same thread?

« Reply #44 on: June 28, 2009, 04:26 »
0
depends on the day :)

« Reply #45 on: June 28, 2009, 07:48 »
0
I must confess I am perplexed. Apparently most people are happy shooters, I just don't understand how this thread has become one in which some people fantasize about other people's failure and flaws, without even knowing them. I thought the question is about your own state of mind.

Do we have to point our fingers at others? If you are happy, can you just spread the good news and happiness?

Did this thread ask you for advice?

Does speculations on other people's failure and judgement on other people's unhappiness make you happy?

 ???

I am not sure where your comments are directed maybe at my thoughts, "some people fantasize about other people's failure and flaws", "Do we have to point our fingers at others?", where is this coming from, but I will answer in general terms.

This thread is a Topic in a shared multi-user forum, which like most other topics is a starting point for a diverse discussion, these topics or threads very often take another direction and will have different views, and I think that most users like to see these different opinions shared, if you wanted only your views then I can suggest http://www.wordpress.com where you can open a blog and have polls of your own.

Does anyone really think that sound free advice that may give a different perspective to someone that is un-happy as judgemental, then they may need to step back and consider their own thinking!

However I would agree if a thread attacks another user then that could be deemed as judgemental and it would not make me happy, but if by sharing another perspective and personal experiences can help someone then I would be happy, the bottom line is you read what you want, and can take or leave any comments or advice, what might not suit your perceptions might suit anothers.

When someone says they a happy you say "good" and do not often ask why, but when someone says they are un-happy you take time out to see if you can offer any advice that may help!

Current thinking:
There are three ways of dealing with un-happy feelings:
  • Avoidance: ignore and put things off, hope they go away
  • Emotionally: just blame everyone else and do nothing, after all it is all their fault
  • Problem focused: decide where you are and where you want to be, then action the 7 steps to get there, one element of these is seeking advice

The first two are easy but destructive, the third often requires hard choices      

David
« Last Edit: June 28, 2009, 08:31 by DWL »

« Reply #46 on: June 28, 2009, 11:38 »
0
DWL, I appreciate that you take the time to offer advice, and my message wasn't targeting at any particular person. It was just my general observation.

However when I started this thread, I intended to survey how other micro contributors feel personally. If you feel happy, you can share your happiness by way of example, that is, how you achieve your happiness and success. Speculations on other people's fault were not solicited in this thread, however you can do whatever you want. I just think perhaps those who like to offer counselling should consider a blog in worldpress.

Perhaps you intend to be helpful. I must say I am dismayed by some perple who were judgemental on others who were open and honest about their feelings and frustrations. In the ideal world, everyone is a superman and only the evil fails. If they admit any vulnerability, they get judged. We all feel vulnerable at times. Is it necessarily that all unhappiness are the faults of the sufferers? 

Take rejection as an example. I was unhappy about so called "not for stock" ones. Each person has a different threshold of tolerance of rejections. Even Yuri gets rejections. Scout regularly overturns rejections from inspectors. Many people have claimed that initially rejected photos turn out to be best sellers. So it may not be correct to assume that inspectors and reviewers can never make a wrong call, and the photographer must be at fault in producing the inferior images. You just don't know all the facts.

I suggest we share more of ourselves if you truly want to share, and offer help when it is called for. Just my two cents.

« Reply #47 on: June 28, 2009, 11:54 »
0
 Hi Freedom,

 You keep spreading the help and positive attitude Freedom. I was very happy to see the results of the test really leaned to people being happy with their efforts. That is all I want from life. A bit of happiness and the chance to learn and help others. It all comes down to being happy. I like your handle that is the other thing that I am happy about, my freedom.

Best,
Jonathan

« Reply #48 on: June 28, 2009, 12:11 »
0
Thank you, Jonathan. You and Yuri are some of the great examples of sharing your happiness and success by way of example.

RacePhoto

« Reply #49 on: June 28, 2009, 20:58 »
0
I am curious if your mood, as a micro stock contributor, is significantly affected by the acceptance and rejections, ups and downs of sales, and changes made by the agencies.



I have a math question. If people are Under One year and the next choice is Over Two years... what happens to people who are between one and two years? :)


 

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