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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 14548 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« on: June 27, 2009, 01:29 »
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.



« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2009, 01:37 »
0
I'm a happy camper :)

nruboc

« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2009, 01:49 »
0
I'm HAPPY, primarily in the fact that I don't have to rely on IStock's rediculously over-complicated upload process to make very good money

« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2009, 02:07 »
0
Extremely happy, I'm making more money out of my hobby than at my full time job.  ;D

« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2009, 02:25 »
0
I didn't vote because i was happy, then i became less so.

I'm happy with sales but I'm not happy with the respect and power we have as a suppliers group.  I think we should have more. I think we often get treated as 'hobbyists' when it suits them, and 'international business persons' when it suits them.

I think the relationship between the agencies and the suppliers is not balanced. Many suppliers are so 'grateful' at getting their images accepted at all, that agencies can often change ToS on us with impunity.

Now that I've turned 'professional' I don't want to waste my time getting caught up in the 'process of opposition'.  I want someone else to do my objecting for me; or I want to chip in a little bit of yearly cash to get legal info; I want a place where i can freely speak with other suppliers without fear of losing a lot of business.

Basically,  i want to give the responsibility for protecting my professional interests to someone else.  And i want to pay them and support them in doing that.

Together microstockers have a much better handle on international law and taxes than the agencies... it seems crazy that an association doesn't already exist.  If we pool our collective knowledge, if we each contributed just 10$ a year, if we had one place for all the information we need to maximise our profit, and minimise our time....

Sure, this has a political aspect because it is about power and money - and getting more of it.  

But it is also more efficient. Efficient systems expend less energy.  The less energy we spend on things that we can get an association to do, then the more time and energy we will have to spend on doing the things we love.

Am I alone in feeling this way?  I know I'm not...

Lucy x

Many suppliers are from the developing nations, or are only part-time, so costs should not be prohibitive.  It's only an example, but look what happens when we start multiplying just $10

$10 a year from 50 suppliers = $500
$10 a year from 1000 suppliers = $10,000
$10 a year from 5000 suppliers =  $50,000
$10 a year from 10,000 suppliers = $100,000
$10 a year from 50,000 suppliers = $500,000

Knowledge sharing; our own market research; legal advice; representation; promotion .... the list is long.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2009, 03:15 by luceluceluce »

Milinz

« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2009, 03:26 »
0
Well, I think there is SAA - but they seems to have $200 yearly membership and they handle some extreme situations...
The point is there should be more organizations for contributor protection from agencies and also there are some authors who need to be persuaded that this is not 'their own' business... When such authors persuaded in some facts (as for example: there IS WRONG to work with low paying low volume agencies) there will be some changes possible...

Until agencies treat authors as amateurs and they handle all pricings while they give almost all expences to authhors as they are pros that is wrong! I think it is not correct that agency makes marketing from authors pockets...

Also, there is main goal in such association to achieve: 50% commission for authors! I don't see the point in association which will 'protect' authors and let some agencies to do what they are doing now...
There is some way to be 'invented' to block some authors to work with low volume low paying agencies too... How to make such mechanisms? That is the main question.

« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2009, 04:32 »
0
If I am correct SAA do not deal with the microsites and are more geared at Traditional Photographers, the fee looks to be positioned to keep out the part-time and hobby shooters.

SAA do represent views to the agencies, but do not have much of a say as the balance of power is already firmly with the agencies.

Reading many posts here the artists are to fragmented and protective of what they already have, 20% of something is better than coming out of their comfort zone and trying something new.

It makes me chuckle when I see a new startup and a photographer saying "40% commission is a good deal", the agency commission rates are between 20% - 70%, with one of biggest paying 26%, but they do not payout nothing like 26%, as 75% of Artist never make a payout 0% Commission, other artists delete their images and leave 0% Commission, some like me think they are clever and convert the earnings and download images to help others but this comes out at 5% commission.

Lets say the real commission paid is in the region of 10% - 30%, that leaves a lot of revenue for the stock sites, these type of percentages should be what the agencies get not the photographers.

When a new stock site launches many ask about marketing plans, but it is the chicken and egg, they cannot market without stock so they offer high percentages to get the photographers assets, when they have enough of them they can go to market, if they get off the ground they become a target for hostile takeover, selling out the 'Community' loyalty of the photographers that make the site a viable business.

The new agencies need to grow their collections quickly as organic growth is not an option in this business, their business will grow or fail just on numbers, sheer quantity of downloads and how little they can pay the Vendors.

With agencies taking up to 100% from some photographers sales, as a community we should all be unhappy, but the happy replies here just show how photographers have been blinded by the industrial crowd sourcing hype!

Things will not change unless a new fair model is found to deliver the assets to the buyers, what other business takes an asset and markets it, if a company needs a new employee the agency charges 15%, if you sell your property 1%-3%, a merchant company will charge around 15%, but when a stock site sells a licence for your asset they collect 50% - 80% and you are happy?

I would much prefer Ebay and PayPal to look at a Digital Asset Logistics system, you pay a fee to insert each image for a year, and for every sale they charge a small commission, maybe we should get together and talk to them!

David  ???  
« Last Edit: June 27, 2009, 05:10 by DWL »

« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2009, 04:51 »
0
I didn't vote because I couldn't put my self in any of these categories. I am basically happy because my hobby brings me some nice money, but I am unhappy in the same time because I am losing my full day job at august 1st, and money from microstock is not yet big enough to support my basic needs.... Electric power, telephone, internet, food and clothes.

« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2009, 04:59 »
0
I'm happy enough - but you know competition is hotting up all the time.
It's a saturated market of both agencies and contributors.

Keeping our sales up will be tough and will demand producing the very best!

« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2009, 05:19 »
0
Sorry to hear that.  I hope you get another job before this one finishes or that you have enough money to tide you over until you can make a living out of your photography.

I didn't vote because I couldn't put my self in any of these categories. I am basically happy because my hobby brings me some nice money, but I am unhappy in the same time because I am losing my full day job at august 1st, and money from microstock is not yet big enough to support my basic needs.... Electric power, telephone, internet, food and clothes.

Milinz

« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2009, 07:09 »
0
If I am correct SAA do not deal with the microsites and are more geared at Traditional Photographers, the fee looks to be positioned to keep out the part-time and hobby shooters.

SAA do represent views to the agencies, but do not have much of a say as the balance of power is already firmly with the agencies.

Reading many posts here the artists are to fragmented and protective of what they already have, 20% of something is better than coming out of their comfort zone and trying something new.

It makes me chuckle when I see a new startup and a photographer saying "40% commission is a good deal", the agency commission rates are between 20% - 70%, with one of biggest paying 26%, but they do not payout nothing like 26%, as 75% of Artist never make a payout 0% Commission, other artists delete their images and leave 0% Commission, some like me think they are clever and convert the earnings and download images to help others but this comes out at 5% commission.

Lets say the real commission paid is in the region of 10% - 30%, that leaves a lot of revenue for the stock sites, these type of percentages should be what the agencies get not the photographers.

When a new stock site launches many ask about marketing plans, but it is the chicken and egg, they cannot market without stock so they offer high percentages to get the photographers assets, when they have enough of them they can go to market, if they get off the ground they become a target for hostile takeover, selling out the 'Community' loyalty of the photographers that make the site a viable business.

The new agencies need to grow their collections quickly as organic growth is not an option in this business, their business will grow or fail just on numbers, sheer quantity of downloads and how little they can pay the Vendors.

With agencies taking up to 100% from some photographers sales, as a community we should all be unhappy, but the happy replies here just show how photographers have been blinded by the industrial crowd sourcing hype!

Things will not change unless a new fair model is found to deliver the assets to the buyers, what other business takes an asset and markets it, if a company needs a new employee the agency charges 15%, if you sell your property 1%-3%, a merchant company will charge around 15%, but when a stock site sells a licence for your asset they collect 50% - 80% and you are happy?

I would much prefer Ebay and PayPal to look at a Digital Asset Logistics system, you pay a fee to insert each image for a year, and for every sale they charge a small commission, maybe we should get together and talk to them!

David  ???  

It seems like one of ideas to make it worth being for it. I just am quite unhappy to see that I earn just 20%-30%...

« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2009, 07:58 »
0
actually, you guys are right. I hadn't thought of that... I want more money too... 50% commission? A very nice dream... if enough of us want it, we can make it happen.

Seriously though, a lot of the reason why sooooo many stay as 'hobbyists' and 'amateurs' is because they're not getting adequately financially compensated for the high quality work they produce.  I've heard a lot of people say they have to run very hard just to stand still.

And they might never make that leap to 'professional'.

For people doing illustrations and artwork (like me), it's easier. But for photographers it sucks.

« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2009, 09:11 »
0
I voted that I am happy even though I am not always delighted with every aspect of the business.   I agree with some of Luce's points about the imbalance of power and the way agencies seem to be squeezing their suppliers lately. 

But on the whole I would still much rather do this than have to do a "real job"  ;)

gbcimages

« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2009, 11:17 »
0
I'm happy ,any extra $ is a +

JerryL5

  • Blessed by God's wonderful love.
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2009, 11:34 »
0
I'm happy enough with having my work accepted on most sites.
Any unhappiness with this business is my own fault for not
having work designers are interested in buying.


« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2009, 11:35 »
0
yes I am happy. Good money from month to month an increas of 10-15% revenue

puravida

  • diablo como vd
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2009, 11:50 »
0
I too did not vote because I could not see this option:
I AM HAPPY but WITH SUBSCRIPTION GETTING MORE COMMON AND COMMISSIONS GETTING SMALLER, PAYOUT SHOULD BE LOWERED TO THE SAME PROPORTION.
eg..  commissions used to be $1, 2, + payout = $100
 but now commissions are more common to be 0.30cts. payout should be /3  or /4 = $25.


« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2009, 12:11 »
0
Too many variables to put a simple happy/unhappy label on things.

Happy with iStock/Dreamstime/Veer.
Unhappy with Fotolia, dropped them.
Unhappy with the tedious nature of submitting.
Hate subscriptions. Sites could easily double or triple prices and lose no business.
Unhappy with short lives of so many images.
Unhappy with loss of StockXpert as an independent.

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.

« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2009, 12:14 »
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.

When I started, it was comparatively easy. When I had only less than 10 images on most sites, especially DT, FT and IS, I saw sales immediately. When I look at the stats of new contributors, it does not look easy for them at all - with over 100 images, some hardly have any sales.

My portfolio is expanding and my revenues are increasing, but still I haven't reached my targets and the sales are not increasing in proportion with the size of my portfolios. I am spending way too much time in front of my computer, editing and uploading, I am not complaining, but I don't feel I can keep up.

All my equipment have been paid for by the sales, if I were content as a hobbyist, I should be happier. Maybe I have hit the glass ceiling.

In old times, photographers were much nicer to each other, and tried to help each other and were in merrier moods. I just feel I am really getting old, lol....

On the positive side, I am a better photographer than I was. Also we have found our voices through independent forums such as this one.  
« Last Edit: June 27, 2009, 13:00 by Freedom »

« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2009, 12:25 »
0
Also we have found our voices through independent forums such as this one.  

I think this is a very good point. For me, unless I am looking for something site specific, participating in site forums is too constricting.

« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2009, 12:58 »
0
Someone had to vote "unhappy/less than a year" so I took on that job.

I was happy starting out, but became unhappy as SS, DT and StockXpert all made search changes that seemed to kill sales of new images.  So at this point I feel little motivation.  The business is changing, and will continue to change. I now know that my images do sell when buyers see them; I just need to find a way to make that happen.


« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2009, 13:06 »
0
That's right, your images will sell if they are searchable. Unfortunately, it is not entirely up to the contributors, because the site controls the search ranks. IS is a good example. When you see some exclusives with massive amount of sales with a portfolio of similar size as yours, it's not necessary their images are far superior to yours. The munipulation of the search engine has a lot to do with it. I am not complaining, because I also have the choice to become exclusive.

Someone had to vote "unhappy/less than a year" so I took on that job.

I was happy starting out, but became unhappy as SS, DT and StockXpert all made search changes that seemed to kill sales of new images.  So at this point I feel little motivation.  The business is changing, and will continue to change. I now know that my images do sell when buyers see them; I just need to find a way to make that happen.



bittersweet

« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2009, 13:17 »
0
When you see some exclusives with massive amount of sales with a portfolio of similar size as yours, it's not necessary their images are far superior to yours. The munipulation of the search engine has a lot to do with it.

Can I just say that this is not an across the board truth?

If we choose to make excuses for our crappy sales, and chalk it up to something out of our control, that someone else has done to us, then where does that leave us room to grow and improve? At some point we should be willing to take responsibility and do what we can control, such as improve keywords, improve our skills, choose different subject matter, etc.

Of course that is a personal choice. Some people feel better throwing up their hands.

« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2009, 13:21 »
0
Whatalife, it's good that one thinks about improving yourself, but IS openly admits that exclusives have the advantage in search placement, doesn't it?

When you see some exclusives with massive amount of sales with a portfolio of similar size as yours, it's not necessary their images are far superior to yours. The munipulation of the search engine has a lot to do with it.

Can I just say that this is not an across the board truth?

If we choose to make excuses for our crappy sales, and chalk it up to something out of our control, that someone else has done to us, then where does that leave us room to grow and improve? At some point we should be willing to take responsibility and do what we can control, such as improve keywords, improve our skills, choose different subject matter, etc.

Of course that is a personal choice. Some people feel better throwing up their hands.

bittersweet

« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2009, 13:35 »
0
Whatalife, it's good that one thinks about improving yourself, but IS openly admits that exclusives have the advantage in search placement, doesn't it?

I don't hang out on their forums too much anymore, but the last I heard, they neither confirm nor deny this advantage. At one point, more than a year ago, it was obviously a factor, but now not so much. I have been exclusive since the day I became eligible in 2005 and I have never felt that I was given a significant advantage (with the exception of that narrow window of time), in fact as a vector contributor I have at times been seriously disadvantaged in the search.

Don't get me wrong, I agree that the search algorithm on all sites can have an affect on your sales, but the whole "I can't make it on istock because I'm not exclusive" argument is just a tired load of crap.

« 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? :)

« Reply #50 on: June 28, 2009, 23:32 »
0
Even though I can be real pissed about some files been rejected, I am happy as hell about my sales and revenues.

« Reply #51 on: June 29, 2009, 01:28 »
0
It is nice to spread happiness "Yippee!", it is also good to deal with un-happiness.

It looks like many are quite Happy with revenue, but un-happy with other aspects like rejections, I would fit into that option but it is not there to choose, some take the rejections to hard and personal, so my thoughts are not aimed at anyone specific.

There are many thousands of assets rejected every day and a very vey small percentage of these will be overturned, some may be reprocessed and accepted later, others will just never be acceptable by that website and not always on quality, but because they are just not needed, there are three ways that these rejections and feeling are dealt with and one of these can possibly reduce the number of rejections by using problem solving skills to change your target sites or workflow.

http://tinyurl.com/mfumm7

David
   

« Reply #52 on: June 29, 2009, 10:01 »
0
Great approach DWL.

Best,
Jonathan

Squat

  • If you think you know, you know squat
« Reply #53 on: June 29, 2009, 11:53 »
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.



When I do get a rejection I make note of what they don't like, and then I remove those "types" of images from their future upload list. I know it has nothing to do with them not liking my work, just not needing them .
Would I prefer 100% acceptance and 0 sales?  I don't care how many images they reject, I only care how many images they sell for me.

I hope that makes sense .It does, at least to me.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2009, 21:38 by tan510jomast »

« Reply #54 on: June 29, 2009, 12:36 »
0
David, I think you pose some very interesting questions and offer some intelligent solutions. 

In particular, I was intrigued with what you said about the cost of inspecting images.  Some of the sites already do tie acceptance rates to upload limits and also to search engine placement.  That isn't directly tying them to royalties, but it has a similar effect in that people who upload consistently better images also tend to make more money on those sites.

I also think what SS does with raising royalties by how many DL's a contributor has is smart.  Presumably there is some correlation between sales and image quality over time.  SS also has a very stringent acceptance policy.  I am sure when they implemented that policy they saved countless hours of inspectors' time wading through unacceptable images.

I certainly hope that websites DON'T decide to penalize successful contributors by further cutting royalties across the board, in order to pay for the cost of people who submit oceans of unsaleable content.

« Reply #55 on: July 02, 2009, 16:14 »
0
I voted happy over 3 years............... but.........  there's always a but (and sometimes a butt) that you have to contend with in the biz.

For me, depends on the agency.. some I am thrilled with, others, I'd like to walk into the CEO's office and give him/her a piece of my mind and a sample of my shoe size.
It's like any other biz...  not altogether unlike my 'day job'.   Sometimes it's great, other times it sux.
Let me say this, I'm happy in that the sales I generate as a parttime contributor enables me to buy lots of better toys...  New latest and greatest computer, more software, lenses...pays for my websites, pays the accountant.....   this year it already paid for my 5D Mk II... it also pays for one or two vacations a year which the camera and my accountant magically turns into 'work'....  so..... to me, it's like free money.
I'd like to be able to support myself on micro and my free lance and quit the day job... retire early and feed my body and habits with photography... but
unhappily.. i'm not there .........yet.  Maybe someday.... 8)=tom
« Last Edit: July 02, 2009, 16:42 by a.k.a.-tom »

« Reply #56 on: July 02, 2009, 16:24 »
0
There was no category for me 1-2 years. But I am very happy being involved in microstock. Rejections don't bother me and I usually stay detached from all the drama and ups and downs because I still have my regular day job. As far as I can tell, I'm in this for the long haul or as long as I continue to make progress and move towards that goal of 100% self employment. Hope it's not too many years off.  :)


« Reply #57 on: July 02, 2009, 16:55 »
0
I am mostly happy with I earn (more always better) and how much I learnt etc.  Unfortunately in last 8-12 months I have grown rather distrustful of the agencies and that puts a tarnish on things :)

overall happyish :)

« Reply #58 on: July 02, 2009, 17:13 »
0
Up until now stock has been a bit of a game for me, and the anxieties, frustrations and successes are all part of that. It's been a great stimulus and learning opportunity too. From here on it will be more of a business, a real attempt to earn significant income. Different attitude.


 

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