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Author Topic: Are you serious?  (Read 6421 times)

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« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2007, 01:30 »
Traveller:  How long have you been doing photography for?  The reason I ask is that you have 1,000.  Many microstock photographers who take this seriously could probably push out that many photos in a year.

Based on that, the work and effort you put into yor shots must be a lot higher (or you work less?).  Therefore it makes sence that you offer your photos for more as they must be more unique in some way.  Do you have photos that you wouldn't consider sending to your macro agency but are still technically ok?  If so, why not send these to a micro agency just to see how the market works?

« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2007, 07:07 »
Sounds like a wind-up post to me.  Such misinformed comment doesn't suggest much 'research' has actually been done as part of the poster's 'research'.

I would be very disappointed to have an income of only $90,000 per annum as a Macrostock photographer; certainly I would need turnover of twice, perhaps three times that.

And if I thought my Microstock income would be capped at $90,000 that would be very disappointing; I certainly expect to earn at least that and preferably twice as much.

Alternatively I suppose I could stick my head in the sand, join the Macrostock market and see my income halve over the next two years as all the customers turn to Micro.

No, I think it's a wind-up and best ignored.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2007, 07:11 by hatman12 »

« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2007, 08:53 »
Great comments, thanks all who replied. First let me say to PR2IS, your absolutely correct, macrostock agencies are doing no great favors for stock photographers either. As all they are in business to make money. Matter of fact a few weeks ago I was in New York talking with stock photography editors, sellers, buyers and a couple of managers, I asked the question why royality free images only get 20% of the sale versus 47% to rights managed. His reply, because photographers never fought it. But I might add that these guys are at least getting a fair market price for usage rights on images. I do appreciate you catching this one. One last comment on this and I'll move on. I would guess you have never been in the offices of a macrostock agency. Their overhead is enorious. They spend millions each year on marketing and research, have full time staffs of sales people, editors who know the market place, legal professionals who help protect the agency, the photographers and the end users and many more behind the scenes people who help make it all happen. This may not sound important to some but it is very important to me. I also have overhead and need the guidance from people who know what the market place needs and to help me make good business decisions.

I never entered into to forum to argue against microstock, I believe I stated I want to learm more about the photographers who are contributing to micro stock. I did question why anyone, in my words, would give their time and talents away for pennies. First about my stock situation, I am a full time stock and assignment photographer. The numbers I mentioned are from one agency and doesn't reflect my business as a whole. I hope all of you strive to make more than $90000 a year selling your work. This will speak volumes about the industry. Yes, it is very difficult to get into one of the three big macrostock agencies today. I am bothered that new younger talent are having problems getting a contract. I understand this is starting to change, time will tell. I suppose there are a lot of sour grapes out there because of this, maybe a couple of you are these people. I understand a thousand images doesn't sound like a lot and it isn't (I might add that I have thousands being distributed through several smaller agencies and tens of thousands collecting dust or being distributed through my own efforts). But let me also say stock photography is not the numbers game it once was, microstock I would guess is still very much a numbers game. Stock photography has become much more of a quality game. Even these larger agencies I speak of complain about photographers not wanting to prep their digital files correctly, therefore they are receiving substandard images, hence, for those who want to break into a macrostock agency one must not only show good quality images but show they understand the digital process.

I realize some of you don't have the camera needed to capture the file sizes some of these macro stock agencies require. You'll get it some day but until then keep perfecting your skills. I might also suggest when you get that one or two great shots that you hope will make it into a macrostock agency hold it back from your microstock agency. The reason is simple, once a image is distributed through microstock or even royality free they are worthless in a rights managed library. Let me also throw something else out there. There are lots of royality free libraries out there that pay pretty darn good fees. You might consider looking into these. I know many photographers from across the country who are doing quite well selling royality free. These images are selling from any where between $100 to $300. Those of you who do have 8 mega pixel cameras and higher do have another option, although not the greatest of deals but something to think about. Getty Images has a fee based library open to all photographers called Lifesize. The photographer gets to put ten images per quarter on the Getty web site for I believe $50 a piece. I spoke to three colleagues of mine who have participated in this and have all said the investment has paid for itself many times over in a short few months. Not the greatest option but will get your work noticed. Again, as I mentioned in my first comments, try I am hearing good things from photographers who are participating with this agency.

I may not know as much as hatman12 and PR2IS but I have been around this industry for 12 years (not a long time and not a newbe either) and have seen many changes, some good some not so good. I'm sure these guys have many more answers than I. I do know the the industry pretty well and have been an active member of the stock photography field speaking with industry leaders and lecturing on many topics that pertain to the industry. Yes I am optimistic about the future of stock photography but a little concerned about what photographers are getting paid for their talents. I will never tell anyone what they should get for their work but simply asking everyone think about what they have invested and ask you to think about what fair market value is for your investment. If you think 25 cents is what your investment and talents are worth then so be it. Maybe hatman12 can tell you better but from my understanding in most professions the more experience you gain and the better you become you demand a higher salary. Why are photographers different? I wish each of you the very best in your photography rather it be professionally or as a hobby. Have fun with it and enjoy every second behind your camera.

I believe there was one person in this forum who mentioned they would like to talk with me, please pass on some contact info and I will gladly help in any way I can.


« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2007, 10:08 »
Interesting thread, thanks for opening this and thanks to traveler for putting in some pro-perspective - I didn't find too much pro - input/comments in the microstock forums.

My way to photography was a bit like freezingpictures - just started from the other side of the business circle, not as student but after a business career. Last year with age 51, after a reasonably successful business career (engineering) I decided to slow down business-wise, to work only half-time and enjoy life, leisure and hobbies for the other 50% of my time. So Im kind of a part-time retiree.

Then I started taking pictures, pure casual hobby. Then I read about this microstock stuff. Uploaded pictures out of curiosity (will my images be accepted?), got accepted, had my first downloads (unbelievable, somebody is paying money for my hobby...). Since then, I was drawn deeper and deeper into this photo stuff, trying to learn and improve. An exiting new world was opened up for me. BIG FUN!

Without the microstock business, I still would just casually take some pictures once in a while. I would have missed great times and a lot of fun. OK, sales margins are low, but for me downloads are primarily a rating system for my images.

And for those who are good and serious enough, microstock sites are great to build up portfolios and gain experience (personally and especially market-related). And then these persons might decide to leave microstock and go pro with macro sites. So for non-professional photographers it opens up an additional choice. And I think its good to have additional choices in your life. So people like freezingpictures (just as an example) can think about working in the business he is studying for - or go pro with photos. This was not an option when I studied many years ago - no microstock sites then.

So I don't think it should be a microstock vs. macrostock discussion. Obviously there is a market for both - and I love more open and wider markets and competition, at the end its better for most people. As in every other business: protected and guarded markets have no long term benefits, they suck.

More choices, better life!

« Last Edit: July 20, 2007, 10:10 by manwolste »

« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2007, 10:07 »
Thank you, Traveler.  It's nice to have a  Fulltime Macro Pro here with supportive comments and encouraging words!! (rather than the usual head bashing, LOL) It was appreciated very much!!
« Last Edit: July 21, 2007, 10:34 by a.k.a.-tom »



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