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Author Topic: Artist Rising, Photographers Direct and Fine Art America  (Read 12207 times)

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« on: August 26, 2009, 18:02 »
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Has anyone checked into selling through Artist Rising, Photographers Direct or Fine Art America?

I'm new at this, have read some complaints about microstock (low pay out) and found these three web sites that sell at what seems to be a decent %.

I've sold some through local shops mainly 6 x 9 matted prints and postcards but also various sizes up to a 2' x 3' photo and would like to get some web exposure.

If there has already been a discussion on this just point me in the right direction.

thank you


« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2009, 18:42 »
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do a search for photogrpahers direst here. they are very anti microstock. imo you will get nowhere if you dont pay for account / hosting. most of the requests are things like polar bear riding a unicycle in the jungle :) and terms is usually RM the $ offered is usually less than normal RM pricing and you have to organise and chase payment yousrself etc.

« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2009, 10:08 »
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2009, 21:20 »
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do a search for photogrpahers direst here. they are very anti microstock. imo you will get nowhere if you dont pay for account / hosting. most of the requests are things like polar bear riding a unicycle in the jungle :) and terms is usually RM the $ offered is usually less than normal RM pricing and you have to organise and chase payment yousrself etc.

Not only are they "anti" micro, if they find out you are a micro contributor, Photographers Direct WILL boot you. It's already happened to one person I know who tried to play both sides of the fence.

« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2009, 18:45 »
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PD is mostly worthless... Four years ago I began hearing from them and since nothing has changed (or happened with them).  MyLoupe is another waste of time.

« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2009, 15:38 »
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It's a big issue.  PD has done REALLY WELL for my friend, and they were booted from PD, but it's a REAL double standard.  I TOTALLY understand (and accept) RIGHTS MANAGED - and I totally understand (and accept) MICROSTOCK.  They BOTH have a place - for the SUPPLIER and the CUSTOMER - I mean, if you happen to own a photo of a smoking gun on a grassy knoll somewhere in Texas in the 60's - GO RIGHTS MANAGED.  Get the $$'s it's worth vs. a few bucks.  But a photo of an apple on a tree that is NICE and worth a few bucks for a designer to use on a website or brochure, put that one on Microstock sites.

THE DOUBLE STANDARD comes when someone like Getty (THE monster/quality rights managed agency and group that has made some photographers VERY wealthy over the years) sees the value and PURCHASES iStock for $50 million dollars - and then OFFERS some of those photographers the opportunity to JUMP OVER if they're good enough - you finally realize that THERE IS A PLACE for BOTH models in todays world.

I truly don't understand WHY PPA, PD and other groups won't accept photographers who participate in microstock (and make LOTS of money in many cases).  They even have the gall to say that "The photographers who participate in MicroStock are NOT professional and are undermining the professional photography community." 

Times have changed - COMMUNICATION channels have changed - the ABILITY to (with a few seconds) find DOZENS of not HUNDREDS of acceptable/affordable "get it NOW" images for just about any application has made MICROSTOCK great for the PHOTOGRAPHER and THE DESIGNER/AGENCY/CLIENT.

My three cents worth.

awvid

« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2009, 01:38 »
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awvid: Not all is true - its a pure fact that microstock heavily erodes prices in overall photography, because unfortunately clients see pics on micro for few cents and then require ANY photo for such price. Eg. common magazine price for photo was here about $30-50, nowadays you are happy if you get $20 and some extremes go as low as $7 - but the client do not realize the fact, that you simply must invoice yourself such trade. Is it worth to sell let say 2-3 pics for $7-10 and spent hour just on management and invoicing? Hell no! And we also see many pics on micro which are obviously heavily underpriced, because many folks simply have no sense what is micro and what should be sold for higher price, often because they started with micro and dont have a clue about other pricing models. So I partially agree with PD, however banning photographer just because he/she offers microstock portfolio (of course different from macrostock portfolio) is also silly.

« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2009, 07:14 »
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From PhotographersDirect's page arguing against microstock:

UPDATE August 2009
There has been a lot of talk recently about a design including an image from istock being used on the cover of Time Magazine. The reported price is 30 dollars, though it is not clear if this is what the photographer received or (more likely) he received 20% of this. Amongst all the back and forth discussion on newsgroups about how great/awful this is for the photographer, I think the most pertinent post I have seen is a simple link to Time Magazine's advertising rates.
 
Time Magazine is not to blame here, the photographer is, because he made the image available for that price, with no reasonable limits on use.


It's a nice picture, but no one should pay $1000 for a picture of an isolated jar. I don't care about their budgets, the picture is a generic isolated shot with no production cost, and not worth $1000, simple as that. That's my opinion.

« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2009, 03:09 »
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basti - I totally agree that microstock heavily eroded prices in some areas of photography, but the REALITY is that it is here - it is changing the industury and it will NOT be stopped.  As professional photographers, we MUST work to keep our RM QUALITY images separate from the ones we upload on microstock.  I have had numerous RM images licensed - many for individual ad campaigns bringing in mid 5 figures per image over the duration of the campaign.  For those campaigns the client WANTED an image that was UNIQUE and certainly not over-used.  It does surprise me however that the ms sites DO contain many VERY HIGH QUALITY production value images.  As a former ad agency owner - I can also tell you that when iStock came online - we utilized the images available for our COMPS to present a campaign with a real photo in the comp. Many times the client said "Don't reshoot - use the image that is available NOW. We were able to utilize images from their library for clients who were not as concerned about using an image that hasn't been used/seen before as they were about lowering overall production costs.  They saved money by using RF images and in many cases - we made more money as well.  And another payoff was SPEED to get a client approved campaign in use.  I think we can all agree that the industry really started changing with the introduction of Photodisc RF images.  I smile whenever I walk by our in-house library of over 300 RF CD's that we paid between $100 and $200 per disc - at the time an INCREDIBLE deal.  It was worth it in many cases to buy the $200 disc for the use of ONE image on the disc.

I suppose the real thing we have to do is LEARN to embrace the industry opportunities and changes - and at the same time figure out how to evolve our own businesses and still stay in business.


« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2009, 12:14 »
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Hi MCS,

 There are three tiers of stock these days and I feel, belonging to all three models, that your choice to eliminate good photographers from your business model is a choice that will hurt you in the long run. I feel it is the same thing Istock does to its non-exclusives/ exclusive option and it stops free market trade. We are contractors and our work should be able to be for sale through every image partner that feels the work is sellable. Not to build your model in hopes of changing or controlling the industry. You as well as Istock are trying to do just that, I believe the market should stay open for the most talented photographers, that is the way this business was built. Hardest workers with the best product sell their goods at a larger rate and if they are willing to accept the price point of said agency it should be their option without consequence to their own business model to accept that agency. I appreciate your concern for RM but you are keeping some pretty talented people from shooting your content. Not a big fan of exclusionary contracts.

Best,
Jonathan
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 16:13 by Jonathan Ross »

« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2009, 15:49 »
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Hi Thomas,

 There are three tiers of stock these days and I feel, belonging to all three models, that your choice to eliminate good photographers from your business model is a choice that will hurt you in the long run.

Who are you talking to?  Thomas is a contributor here, not the owner of PD.

Quote
I feel it is the same thing Istock does to its non-exclusives/ exclusive option and it stops free market trade. We are contractors and our work should be able to be for sale through every image partner that feels the work is sellable.

Perhaps iStock doesn't feel your work is as sellable when it is sold at every marketplace, as work that is uniquely available in one location.  Thus the limit, so as to promote the unique imagery and not overwhelm it in the search results.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 16:03 by sjlocke »

« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2009, 16:37 »
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 Hi Shawn,

 Thanks for pointing out my mistake on my title to whom my last post was addressed that was very helpful.

 Actually the contract at Istock is to stop photographers from offering other shoots to any agency not to keep a certain image available solely through their agency. They want a corral of photographers that shoot only for them, not to stop photographers from putting the same image up elsewhere.
 That is the big difference in how they are adjusting and changing the market to benefit the company more than the photographers. Their choice of course but lets call a dog a dog. A professional photographer doesn't have just one look, they use the look that is best for that specific tier of the market if they want to make the best returns. What is bad for the photographer to have as many clients available to see their work as the next guy? The cream is supposed to be allowed to rise. That's what makes us all strive to be better, open competition.
 With the exception of earlier work in Macro most Macro photographers these days that are successful offer different looks for each market. I think Yuri showed us that with his approach to his Macro look recently, different from his Micro I think. I think since I became involved in Micro my Micro work looks very different from my Macro work ( since I stepped into Micro ). Just my two cents.

Best,
Jonathan
« Last Edit: November 27, 2009, 17:49 by Jonathan Ross »

Microbius

« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2009, 06:50 »
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OMG I'm stunned that there are still people here arguing that you should not "sell" photos for few bucks or cents, or saying that  photo is worth more than the few dolars it "sells" for on microstock.
No one is selling their photos for a few dollars on microstock. We are selling a license to use the photo people. What a photo is worth is the sum of the income it brings in. I'd just as happily sell a photo RF 1000 times for a dollar a time as sell it once RM for $1000. The photo is "worth" $1000 either way, what it ISN'T is worth $1 in the first exmple and $1000 in the second. Anything else is just snobishness.

« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2009, 13:04 »
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Hi Microbus,

 May I ask who you are directing your post to?

Thanks,
Jonathan

« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2009, 13:14 »
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Hi Microbus,

 May I ask who you are directing your post to?

Thanks,
Jonathan


Perhaps just 'people' in general ... or agencies who are very anti microstock - like this page
http://www.photographersdirect.com/sellers/microstock_sites.asp

« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2009, 13:43 »
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Hi Leaf,

 Thanks for the feedback. I think the attitude has changed a great deal in the past year and I expect it to slowly pass as it did with RF Macro. These debates I believe are part of the educational process that people have to go through to understand what the pluses and minuses of all our business models are. RM has problems as well as Macro RM/RF and Micro and I am interested in everyones opinion even if it doesn't gibe with mine immediately, it helps me think things through. We are all educating each other here if we realize it or not, this is a good place to share info.

Best,
Jonathan

Microbius

« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2009, 16:54 »
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Hi Jonathan,
Leaf is correct, just at the general attitude demonstrated by agencies like photographers direct.


« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2009, 01:12 »
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Again - there is ROOM for both.  Split your images - ones that are VERY AD/STOCK worthy - keep with the RM groups (that is IF you can even get INTO THEM) - and put your snapshots/vacation photos up on microstock sites.  The issue becomes more GRAY when you look at the microstock sites and see some REALLY GOOD images there.  That being said, I have shots of things like old rusty tools that have made hundreds of dollars on the microstock sites over the years - that I would NEVER have thought worthy to send to the RM agencies.


« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2009, 07:50 »
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OMG I'm stunned that there are still people here arguing that you should not "sell" photos for few bucks or cents, or saying that  photo is worth more than the few dolars it "sells" for on microstock.
No one is selling their photos for a few dollars on microstock. We are selling a license to use the photo people. What a photo is worth is the sum of the income it brings in. I'd just as happily sell a photo RF 1000 times for a dollar a time as sell it once RM for $1000. The photo is "worth" $1000 either way, what it ISN'T is worth $1 in the first exmple and $1000 in the second. Anything else is just snobishness.

While I am certainly a fan of microstock, I have to agree with awvid that some images should definitely be paid for more per usage than others.  ie., some images _are_ worth more more than others, due to their content matter, or uniqueness.  You can't brand everything with a microstock iron.

Microbius

« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2009, 10:13 »
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I completely agree that some images are appropriate for micro and some for macro. This is determined by how specialist an image is. If it isn't going to garner multiple sales then it's for the macro market. That is not to say that the image is necessarily "better" or "worth more", as it's value is determined by how much it brings in total, not on the cost of a single license. I think this is pretty much where your coming from too sjlocke.
It's more talk about this image being too good for micro or that image being not worthy of RM so appropriate for micro that I object to. We aren't doing ourselves any favours by framing things in this way. If buyers are ever to be educated as to why micro prices are so different to work for hire prices we need to be a bit prouder of what we do.

« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2009, 07:22 »
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Actually, I'm not thinking of the "total" it brings in, in this case.  A very rare image of a subject (or however defined by the owner), may be sold as RM, even if it might make more at micro, because the owner feels that the image holds a certain value, even if that results in less profit for him/her.  That would be a case of "this image is too good for micro".  And the glass jar is certainly as case of "not worthy of RM".

RT


« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2009, 08:06 »
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I think one thing we can all agree on is that there is no definitive rule as to what makes a shot micro or macro, we've all seen shots on micro agencies that we individually feel should have been placed with a macro agency by the photographer, and likewise I'm sure we've all seen instances of a shot that has sold for a fair amount on macro that we would have probably binned if it were taken by ourselves.

One thing I do notice more and more is that some photographers are submitting work to micro sites that I feel no matter how popular it is won't recover the production value, and I wonder if they do this in desperation to try and get noticed, as a full time photographer I will always suffer as a result of those that do this for a hobby because to them recouping costs is not the issue and they'll happily spend more time on a shot than I or others could justify, I accept that it's part of the industry and I don't begrudge them anything (maybe the macros shouldn't make it so hard to get in with the odd one or two top quality shots) but I do think it is going to have an adverse effect on the microstock agencies if they don't appreciate the full timers because soon (if not already) they'll notice the full time photographers will not feel it cost worthy to have their high production cost stuff buried in the search rankings, speaking personally I'm spending more time on the macro market both RF and RM.

Circle of life?

Microbius

« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2009, 09:01 »
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Actually, I'm not thinking of the "total" it brings in, in this case.  A very rare image of a subject (or however defined by the owner), may be sold as RM, even if it might make more at micro, because the owner feels that the image holds a certain value, even if that results in less profit for him/her.  That would be a case of "this image is too good for micro".  And the glass jar is certainly as case of "not worthy of RM".

See, this is where I differ, if it's going to bring in more as micro then why not sell it as micro?
I don't see it as a way to sell inferior images. I make my decision as to whether to sell on micro or macro purely on which I feel will bring in more money. I feel the value an image holds is equal to the total it brings in, not the amount a single license purchase sells for. Even if I think something holds a certain value for me, I won't hesitate to sell it micro if I think the multiple sales will outstrip macro earnings.

RT, I agree, these are examples of misjudging when an image is suitable for micro. Hi production cost niche market = macro; but high production cost large market appeal can easily mean micro.


 

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