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Author Topic: Contributor Africa Studio  (Read 15874 times)

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« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2014, 10:03 »
+1
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« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 22:10 by tickstock »


« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2014, 10:04 »
+1
If you think your business model is working better than Yuri's you are way more delusional than I ever thought before.
The factory model looks far more vulnerable than that of the average serious microstocker who does not have huge overheads to cover. In percentage terms, I should think the return on investment for the model Ron describes is much higher than the ROI of the image factories.

« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2014, 10:07 »
-1
.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 22:09 by tickstock »

« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2014, 10:10 »
+1
If you think your business model is working better than Yuri's you are way more delusional than I ever thought before.

Not really. As I've written before the reason that there are so few 'image factories' is because microstock is notoriously difficult to scale. If it did scale then there would be hundreds if not thousands of 'image factories' out there (instead of about 10 out of 30K-odd contributors). Almost all the image factories that I'm aware of also operate from comparatively cheap countries too __ usually by design to minimise costs.

I'm pretty sure that most individual contributors will be vastly more profitable, as a percentage of revenue gained relative to expenses, than any image factory.

« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2014, 10:15 »
0
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« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 22:09 by tickstock »

« Reply #30 on: April 03, 2014, 10:17 »
+1
I know, but my business model is working, Yuri's isnt. I dont have his overhead. I make a small profit. I am sure he makes a profit too, but his overhead is millions so he needs millions. So his business model isnt working for microstock. Thats what I mean.

The microstock model is also working if you adapt to it. You cant start with 5000 dollar shoots and sell them for 25 cents. But if you start with no cost, just shoot landscapes and use family as models, as I did, then it does work.
Pure unfettered ridiculousness.

Why?  Costs are minimal, responsibility to employees is zero.  Overhead is minimal.  Creating a factory doesn't seem to be a smart way to work it.
So you think Yuri is profiting less than $600/month?

I'm not tying "success" or "is working" to a mere dollar amount.  There's more than that.

« Reply #31 on: April 03, 2014, 10:31 »
+3
I'm not tying "success" or "is working" to a mere dollar amount.  There's more than that.

Exactly. Having to move to a less developed country for example, just to be profitable, is not a 'good thing' as far as I'm concerned.

« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2014, 10:35 »
+6
If you think your business model is working better than Yuri's you are way more delusional than I ever thought before.
The factory model looks far more vulnerable than that of the average serious microstocker who does not have huge overheads to cover. In percentage terms, I should think the return on investment for the model Ron describes is much higher than the ROI of the image factories.
Won't disagree that you might make a higher percentage but haven't you always argued that the money was the most important part?  90% of $600 compared to 30% of $1,000,000?

Sure, the factories are aiming at much higher rewards than most of us here. Though I would say the ROI would be more like 300% of $600 compared with 30% of a million, the problem of scale that Gostwyck mentions.

But once you commit $1m to a business you are going to be in serious trouble if a search match change slices 40% off your income because you still have to service the debt. So your return could flip from 30% of a million to minus 10% of a million.  The guy with a $600 investment going from $500 return to $300 return is not likely to find himself in difficulties.

If I had started at Yuri's age I might well have tried to build something grander and to achieve a far higher cash return than I have but at my age the sort of return that guarantees never having to do "proper" work again is fine.  And the factory owners have to work, they have wages to pay, tax forms to fill, shoots to organise, equipment to order, meetings to hold, appointments to keep...  the factory owners must be primarily company administrators, which I don't want to be, while their photographers are entirely wage-slave employees, which I don't want to be.

So it's also about philosophy, ambition, objectives, age. Although the value of an agency to me is all about how much money drops into my account at the end of the month, the value of the business model is about a lifestyle choice. If you offered me $500,000 a year, guaranteed, as long as I worked 10 hours a day, six days a week, as a photo factory administrator my reply would be no, it's not worth it. I prefer what I've got.

« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2014, 10:42 »
+6
I think the model agencies like iStock want now is millions of contributors with a few images, rarely reaching payout, not expecting their agency to be a proper business partner. This equates to maximum profit for them, zero responsibility to their artists.

Anyone who is investing a decent amount of money for shoots in this arrangement and expects to return a profit in a reasonable timescale is not looking at their figures closely enough or just plain kidding themselves now.

We'll all come to this conclusion in the end, it'll just take longer for big studios  and high-end production artists to get there. Upping the quality and editing the collection is the only way for this business to work for both agency and photographer, but iStock and others have no interest in that at the moment, they just want to swell to enormous proportions and flip it to the next debt juggler.

« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2014, 10:54 »
0
I think the model agencies like iStock want now is millions of contributors with a few images, rarely reaching payout, not expecting their agency to be a proper business partner. This equates to maximum profit for them, zero responsibility to their artists.

Anyone who is investing a decent amount of money for shoots in this arrangement and expects to return a profit in a reasonable timescale is not looking at their figures closely enough or just plain kidding themselves now.

I think the first point has always been true - it was one of the wonders of the original iStock model, customers pay up front and suppliers are paid (if at all) in arrears. What's more, you have to claim your cash at iS and many other agencies, which means there must be accounts that pass the payment point after their owners have forgotten about them.

Your second point is right, too. But microstock was never meant to be about "investing a decent amount for shoots" and I invest scarcely anything in mine, which is how to make the business model work. I don't try to calculate my hours, either, all I look at is equipment costs and the money that lands in the bank. If the balance is sufficient to maintain my lifestyle I'm doing OK.

« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2014, 11:35 »
+1
But microstock was never meant to be about "investing a decent amount for shoots" and I invest scarcely anything in mine, which is how to make the business model work. I don't try to calculate my hours, either, all I look at is equipment costs and the money that lands in the bank. If the balance is sufficient to maintain my lifestyle I'm doing OK.

The 'shoot what you see and upload' approach is probably the most sensible one at this time, but it bodes ill for the future of the collections. There are some things that need a professional approach and return to do really well such as lifestyle model stock.

I'm not sure this is the way it's always been though. Certainly at iStock there was a culture of respecting and valuing great images and a drive to improve quality through rigorous inspection.

« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2014, 11:36 »
+8
Thanks, but it's not what I meant.
I know, but my business model is working, Yuri's isnt. I dont have his overhead. I make a small profit. I am sure he makes a profit too, but his overhead is millions so he needs millions. So his business model isnt working for microstock. Thats what I mean.

The microstock model is also working if you adapt to it. You cant start with 5000 dollar shoots and sell them for 25 cents. But if you start with no cost, just shoot landscapes and use family as models, as I did, then it does work.

You don't have a business model, you have a hobby.

« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2014, 11:40 »
-4
all I have to saw is wow  427,000 images   :o

I suspect they are buying photos from naive and poor, but reasonably talented hobby photographers en masse.

« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2014, 11:47 »
0
If you think your business model is working better than Yuri's you are way more delusional than I ever thought before.
The factory model looks far more vulnerable than that of the average serious microstocker who does not have huge overheads to cover. In percentage terms, I should think the return on investment for the model Ron describes is much higher than the ROI of the image factories.
Won't disagree that you might make a higher percentage but haven't you always argued that the money was the most important part?  90% of $600 compared to 30% of $1,000,000?

Sure, the factories are aiming at much higher rewards than most of us here. Though I would say the ROI would be more like 300% of $600 compared with 30% of a million, the problem of scale that Gostwyck mentions.

But once you commit $1m to a business you are going to be in serious trouble if a search match change slices 40% off your income because you still have to service the debt. So your return could flip from 30% of a million to minus 10% of a million.  The guy with a $600 investment going from $500 return to $300 return is not likely to find himself in difficulties.

If I had started at Yuri's age I might well have tried to build something grander and to achieve a far higher cash return than I have but at my age the sort of return that guarantees never having to do "proper" work again is fine.  And the factory owners have to work, they have wages to pay, tax forms to fill, shoots to organise, equipment to order, meetings to hold, appointments to keep...  the factory owners must be primarily company administrators, which I don't want to be, while their photographers are entirely wage-slave employees, which I don't want to be.

So it's also about philosophy, ambition, objectives, age. Although the value of an agency to me is all about how much money drops into my account at the end of the month, the value of the business model is about a lifestyle choice. If you offered me $500,000 a year, guaranteed, as long as I worked 10 hours a day, six days a week, as a photo factory administrator my reply would be no, it's not worth it. I prefer what I've got.

It's very very unlikely that so eastern european small scale teams would operate, especially start an opertaion like that based on debt, loan. They don't seem to realize, but that's pretty much a 'western world' privilege. In poor countries like Ukaine, you simply don't get the loan and that's it. You have to be profitable almost immediately or you can pretty much just F-off.

« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2014, 13:01 »
+1
Thanks, but it's not what I meant.
I know, but my business model is working, Yuri's isnt. I dont have his overhead. I make a small profit. I am sure he makes a profit too, but his overhead is millions so he needs millions. So his business model isnt working for microstock. Thats what I mean.

The microstock model is also working if you adapt to it. You cant start with 5000 dollar shoots and sell them for 25 cents. But if you start with no cost, just shoot landscapes and use family as models, as I did, then it does work.

You don't have a business model, you have a hobby.

Me too. But it's a pretty good hobby that sells 250,000 licenses. (Imagine where I would have been if I had put the effort in!)

« Reply #40 on: April 03, 2014, 13:05 »
+1

It's very very unlikely that so eastern european small scale teams would operate, especially start an opertaion like that based on debt, loan. They don't seem to realize, but that's pretty much a 'western world' privilege. In poor countries like Ukaine, you simply don't get the loan and that's it. You have to be profitable almost immediately or you can pretty much just F-off.

I wasn't the one who came up with the suggestion of a million dollar investment, that was what I was responding to. I'm sure they have come up with a cheaper approach. I guess the best way would be effectively to be an agency, only to grab the rights from the suppliers.

Ron

« Reply #41 on: April 03, 2014, 14:33 »
+3
Putting people down to score a few votes is popular on MSG, but according to Irish Revenue I have a business and they are happy enough to take my taxes. Whatever some self-certified art director thinks of my business/hobby is his prerogative, but I have a lot more respect for people such as Baldrick who can appreciate what others are doing. There already are enough bloated egos around who think they are better then others, each to their own.


« Reply #42 on: April 03, 2014, 15:14 »
-5
quick, click downarrow on the on above this. I give out prizes for the quickest.

« Reply #43 on: April 03, 2014, 15:53 »
-3
quick, click downarrow on the on above this. I give out prizes for the quickest.

guess I am not interested in amateur models that will melt my pants ;D

« Reply #44 on: April 03, 2014, 16:02 »
+2
Oh, is Topol the art director dude? I vaguely remember that. I've got a Graphlex Crown Graphic and a pile of 4x5 film (and even a 90mm Super-Angulon), so that makes me an artist. I wonder if he would find me some outlets?

« Reply #45 on: April 03, 2014, 16:04 »
0
.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 22:08 by tickstock »

« Reply #46 on: April 03, 2014, 16:09 »
0
Oh, is Topol the art director dude? I vaguely remember that. I've got a Graphlex Crown Graphic and a pile of 4x5 film (and even a 90mm Super-Angulon), so that makes me an artist. I wonder if he would find me some outlets?

You need a beret too.  Old cameras are the in thing now go take some shots with it.


No beret, but will a flat cap do?

I've taken a fair number of shots with it. This is my favourite
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/cloudscape-at-three-cliffs-paul-cowan.html
It's actually rather good, I think, do you agree?
(Anyway, it looks good on my daughter's wall, which is the main thing).

Mind you, this possibly ambiguous picture of a pepper has made me a lot more money
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/in-the-raw-paul-cowan.html
You know where I got the idea for that, of course.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 16:13 by BaldricksTrousers »

« Reply #47 on: April 03, 2014, 16:10 »
+1
Oh, is Topol the art director dude? I vaguely remember that. I've got a Graphlex Crown Graphic and a pile of 4x5 film (and even a 90mm Super-Angulon), so that makes me an artist. I wonder if he would find me some outlets?

Garage sale.

« Reply #48 on: April 03, 2014, 16:14 »
0
Oh, is Topol the art director dude? I vaguely remember that. I've got a Graphlex Crown Graphic and a pile of 4x5 film (and even a 90mm Super-Angulon), so that makes me an artist. I wonder if he would find me some outlets?

Garage sale.

I'll give you a + for that one.

« Reply #49 on: April 03, 2014, 16:16 »
-1
quick, click downarrow on the on above this. I give out prizes for the quickest.

guess I am not interested in amateur models that will melt my pants ;D

yeah I see this all the time. most men just give up on hot women, later they start to hate them too.


 

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