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Author Topic: Do they work for us, or do we work for them?  (Read 1799 times)

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H2O

« on: June 14, 2021, 06:22 »
+1
I was watching Noel Gallagher on a chat show recently and he was saying that back in the 90s when Oasis made it big, the record company worked for them, but now with the new bands and streaming services it is the other way around.

Really the whole gig economy that has arisen in the last 15 years has flipped work on its head, and the returns in the creative industries have been stolen by a small minority.

My question would be, when do you think the pendulum will swing back.

What could be the catalyst for this?


Clair Voyant

« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2021, 09:16 »
+9
As for creatives... The pendulum will never swing back. Long gone are the days of so called partnerships. Believe it or not the old contracts were very simple, the contributor creates the work and the agency markets and sells the work, the agency represented 'you' and 'you' were proud and gave it all your best. Let's not forget that once upon a time most if not all stock agencies the deal was 50/50 then is slowly eroded to 60/40... the rest is history, we now accept $5 for giving our work away for free by a corporate and accept 0.10c for a download.

The current structure in this digital world is not for the benefit of the creator rather it is for the benefit of the publicly traded corporation.


« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2021, 09:44 »
+4
As for creatives... The pendulum will never swing back. Long gone are the days of so called partnerships. Believe it or not the old contracts were very simple, the contributor creates the work and the agency markets and sells the work, the agency represented 'you' and 'you' were proud and gave it all your best. Let's not forget that once upon a time most if not all stock agencies the deal was 50/50 then is slowly eroded to 60/40... the rest is history, we now accept $5 for giving our work away for free by a corporate and accept 0.10c for a download.

The current structure in this digital world is not for the benefit of the creator rather it is for the benefit of the publicly traded corporation.
When shareholders say "I make the money work for me" they mean "I have people working to make me money "

If you don't like it they call you a crazy communist.

Sent from my motorola one using Tapatalk


Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2021, 12:27 »
+3
Quote
Do they work for us, or do we work for them?

Neither. We're independent creators and they are simply offering the infrastructure for us to sell our work.


« Last Edit: June 15, 2021, 07:10 by Noedelhap »

« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2021, 16:38 »
+1
If it's any consolation the same is true for writers/authors as for photographers/videographers/illustrators.

I write books and make photos and videos. Fortunately for me, I do those things mostly for pleasure, because the effort involved in becoming highly successful in any field is incompatible with the notion of retirement, which is the stage of life where I'm supposed to be at this age.

But that doesn't mean it wouldn't be nice to earn a decent return on one's investment in equipment, time, effort, studying, etc.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2021, 16:40 by marthamarks »

« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2021, 17:28 »
+1
Do not ask 'What can your agency do for you'.

Rather ask 'What can I do for my agency'.

« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2021, 19:24 »
+1
Do not ask 'What can your agency do for you'.

Rather ask 'What can I do for my agency'.

Ok, ha, ha ha.

« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2021, 22:25 »
+3
Don't quit your day job. https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2010/jan/24/artists-day-jobs

Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime. It sold for the equivalent of approximately $109, Edgar Allan Poe never made enough money to support himself. Vermeer never gained recognition for his talent during his lifetime. Bach was little-known while alive and was mostly recognized for performing on the organ.

None of us are ever going to be famous, we make stock.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2021, 09:44 »
+3

My question would be, when do you think the pendulum will swing back.


Never. It's not a pendulum, it's change. Technology is the reason.

Do they work for us, or do we work for them?

Neither... We work for ourselves.

« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2021, 00:27 »
+1
I was watching Noel Gallagher on a chat show recently and he was saying that back in the 90s when Oasis made it big, the record company worked for them, but now with the new bands and streaming services it is the other way around.

Really the whole gig economy that has arisen in the last 15 years has flipped work on its head, and the returns in the creative industries have been stolen by a small minority.

My question would be, when do you think the pendulum will swing back.

What could be the catalyst for this?
Noel Gallagher may have said it but its not really true for all but very few in the Music Industry which is notorious for ripping off and controlling artists. So its a false premise.   In the arts only a tiny minority have ever "made it" financially. One exception was a short period when microstock was in a fast growth phase rather than vice versa.

« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2021, 05:40 »
+2
None of us are ever going to be famous, we make stock.

And why stockers should become famous anyway ? Stock is meant to be creative not artistic, it's de facto the lowest form of commercial/editorial photography, real artists don't sell on stock agencies they sell on art galleries and rightly so.

Anyone can do stock and in fact anyone is actually doing stock by the millions and that's exactly why every agency has been flooded by an army of stockers in the last 20 years, to the point that now a stock image is almost worthless, again rightly so, market forces at work, supply vs demand.




« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2021, 05:47 »
0
Never. It's not a pendulum, it's change. Technology is the reason.

Technology is not stopping real artists to produce high-value art, actually it's helping them for the simple reason they've the skills to come up with ideas that are either unique in their market or very original, all things impossible to find in a stock agency and in PODs/Merch platforms where everybody is busy copying/stealing each other ideas and concepts.


 

« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2021, 06:03 »
0
I was watching Noel Gallagher on a chat show recently and he was saying that back in the 90s when Oasis made it big, the record company worked for them, but now with the new bands and streaming services it is the other way around.

But the funny thing is, Oasis were lucky to make a few huge hits in the 90s but they couldn't produce new greats songs in the last 20 years.
They had their chance but oviously they lack the skills or the will, they even dared to criticize Phil Collins which is someone who unlike them has been able to produce dozens and dozens of top hits for decades and he did it because he's got the skills and the talent.

Making it big in any creative field will be more and more difficult not just because of the saturation but also because nowadays the public is zombified by thei cell phones.

Music and Visual arts are meant to give emotions but the end users in 2021 are seeking different thrills and it won't be easy to feed their needs with traditional stuff, just look at the top videos on TikTok and tell me where's the logic behind their success.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2021, 08:48 »
+1
Never. It's not a pendulum, it's change. Technology is the reason.

Technology is not stopping real artists to produce high-value art, actually it's helping them for the simple reason they've the skills to come up with ideas that are either unique in their market or very original, all things impossible to find in a stock agency and in PODs/Merch platforms where everybody is busy copying/stealing each other ideas and concepts.

The question was "...when do you think the pendulum will swing back." and who works for who. NOT producing art or high value art. Please follow? Because of technology, the methods of marketing and distribution of Music, photography and many other artists works, are now global, via Internet, electronically, not through, shipping or mail, for physical products.

The pendulum will never swing back. And what I said was, we work for ourselves, not the agency and the agency doesn't work for us. We are independent producers. We must find the way to be seen and to market our work. Some do that on their own, some with large representative agents and some on Microstock.

Noel Gallagher may have said it but its not really true for all but very few in the Music Industry which is notorious for ripping off and controlling artists. So its a false premise.   In the arts only a tiny minority have ever "made it" financially. One exception was a short period when microstock was in a fast growth phase rather than vice versa.

Some of the old artists who did have their music virtually stolen by the agencies, through rights contracts that gave the rights to the record company, have successfully, had their works returned to them. The old profits for the time when they were hits are gone, but the original artists are now making some money from? Streaming!  :)

Microstock was like the gold rush, people who got in early made some gains. People who supplied and sold, made most of the money. The market is tapped out, except a small number with good work that will still produce rewards. Artists can dig all you want in a pile of tailing, but you aren't going to find more gold, and you can upload 10,000 images a year, and we aren't going to make the $2 an image RPI like so many did in 2010.

Right, in any art, only a small number make it financially. Even more true, only a small number make it at all.

Maybe younger people (I don't mean you @pauws) don't understand the history of the music industry. We have had digital since about 1999, as CDs. 2005, iTunes passed CDs in sales. In recent years, about the last six, streaming has passed CD sales and Digital Downloads. We don't have fragile grooved vinyl that is bulky and costly to produce, using antiquated technology... we have digital via subscription.

Since this is a stock photo, and image kind of forum, maybe I should point out that the same is going on for us. Some of us used to license slides and photos. Then digital came along and no more physical shipping of stock images or consignment work. For Microstock, subscription downloads are what streaming is for music. Pay for the access and download what you want.

ps Oasis? They were irrelevant by 2000 and had their run at fame and fortune. Let me mention someone else who is still putting down the tracks and selling music and selling out concerts. Van Morrison, Formats: LP, CD, Digital download. First hit 1962 "Gloria" and next year that will be 50 years on or near the top. That's relevant.  8)

H2O

« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2021, 08:57 »
+2
Having read all the above comments, it really seems that no one has the answer to when things will change for the better.

With people quoting the 'desperate artists of the past' syndrome, along with the want to be famous thinking.

Who said anything about these afflictions.

We live in the 21st Century modern technology, and Democracies that should deliver for people, not be used to repress them.

Personally, I am of the firm view that legislation should be used to hand power to all artists and gig economy workers.

How to do this fairly should be a major consideration; excessive profit or rewriting contracts in favour of one party or another should be sorted out.

Along with removing shareholders from the 'business model' if they are not the original investors, like when you have a business that can be plainly shown to have grown organically, by the input of the artists.

I'm sure there are plenty of other points to moving forward with modern technology to reward people fairly.

At the end of the day, no one likes to be taken advantage of, and lets face it the Stock Agencies are mostly operating a divide and rule strategy, that goes back to the start of the Industrial Revolution nearly three hundred years ago.

The only way through history to counter this is the rule of law.

« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2021, 09:56 »
+1
Having read all the above comments, it really seems that no one has the answer to when things will change for the better.

At this point several options are gone forever, imagine trying to sell stock images of a sunset or of your dog, this kind of images has just become  worthless and there's no going back, on the other hand i could use a worthless sunset as a background and carefully edit a couple dogs as the central subject, add some text and magically it becomes a nice "composite" which could be worth some money as a FineArt composition or for commercial purposes or whatever else.

Sunsets can be boring, but if it's a sunset of planet mars or the last sunset of a famous city before a vulcano eruption or a heartquake it could be unique and impossible to copy, same for the image of a dog if it's the dog of a famous celebrity, see what i mean ?

But if we stick to micros none of these options is available, we can't even set the price.

« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2021, 10:25 »
0
The question was "...when do you think the pendulum will swing back." and who works for who. NOT producing art or high value art. Please follow? Because of technology, the methods of marketing and distribution of Music, photography and many other artists works, are now global, via Internet, electronically, not through, shipping or mail, for physical products.

The pendulum will never swing back. And what I said was, we work for ourselves, not the agency and the agency doesn't work for us. We are independent producers. We must find the way to be seen and to market our work. Some do that on their own, some with large representative agents and some on Microstock.

I think the pendulum will never swing back in our favour because the markets already "corrected" themselves years ago.
There's not a single reason for a product like Stock that anyone can cheaply produce in big quantity to become expensive.

In order to return being expensive you need scarcity, and that's why i mentioned FineArt, while there are millions of stockers there are not millions of photographers able to make FineArt, at best they can make Creative images but not Art, big difference.

In any case even doing Art you won't have the same audience as microstock and neither the same quick sales.

There are still many ways to get your images seen around but it won't happen with common microstock images, it can only happen with creative non-stocky photos.

Most of the microstockers will give up, sell their gear, and keep photography as a hobby shooting with their phone.



H2O

« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2021, 12:51 »
+1
The question was "...when do you think the pendulum will swing back." and who works for who. NOT producing art or high value art. Please follow? Because of technology, the methods of marketing and distribution of Music, photography and many other artists works, are now global, via Internet, electronically, not through, shipping or mail, for physical products.

The pendulum will never swing back. And what I said was, we work for ourselves, not the agency and the agency doesn't work for us. We are independent producers. We must find the way to be seen and to market our work. Some do that on their own, some with large representative agents and some on Microstock.

I think the pendulum will never swing back in our favour because the markets already "corrected" themselves years ago.
There's not a single reason for a product like Stock that anyone can cheaply produce in big quantity to become expensive.

In order to return being expensive you need scarcity, and that's why i mentioned FineArt, while there are millions of stockers there are not millions of photographers able to make FineArt, at best they can make Creative images but not Art, big difference.

In any case even doing Art you won't have the same audience as microstock and neither the same quick sales.

There are still many ways to get your images seen around but it won't happen with common microstock images, it can only happen with creative non-stocky photos.

Most of the microstockers will give up, sell their gear, and keep photography as a hobby shooting with their phone.

I agree with this scenario and this can be seen to be happening at the moment.

I think Art is the way forward and this requires quality, which a great many Microstockers are going to fine difficult if not impossible to do.

Personally this is the way I have been moving in recent years, the treadmill of the agencies is finished, though on saying this I suspect that some of the agencies will move, and have moved into high end quality photography and graphics.

I think Adobe is one of these agencies, obviously SS and Getty/istock are bottom feeders and in the long run finished.








« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2021, 17:07 »
+1

...

Along with removing shareholders from the 'business model' if they are not the original investors, like when you have a business that can be plainly shown to have grown organically, by the input of the artists.
...

but the main reason why those originators invested in the first place was anticipating going public!  it's basic capitalism - surplus value of the workers lines the pockets of owners.  some versions are 'fairer' than others, but capital always out-performs labor.

« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2021, 18:13 »
0
I agree with this scenario and this can be seen to be happening at the moment.

I think Art is the way forward and this requires quality, which a great many Microstockers are going to fine difficult if not impossible to do.

Personally this is the way I have been moving in recent years, the treadmill of the agencies is finished, though on saying this I suspect that some of the agencies will move, and have moved into high end quality photography and graphics.

I think Adobe is one of these agencies, obviously SS and Getty/istock are bottom feeders and in the long run finished.

I'm sure many microstockers can up their game and become a bit more creative, but yes it's impossible they can easily switch and become full Artists, either you think like and artist or you don't.

It's not a matter of quality but of subjects, ideas, combinations, if people don't think you're crazy you're probably not artsy enough.
If you're normal how can you invent crazy stuff ?



« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2021, 02:27 »
+1
The question was "...when do you think the pendulum will swing back." and who works for who. NOT producing art or high value art. Please follow? Because of technology, the methods of marketing and distribution of Music, photography and many other artists works, are now global, via Internet, electronically, not through, shipping or mail, for physical products.

The pendulum will never swing back. And what I said was, we work for ourselves, not the agency and the agency doesn't work for us. We are independent producers. We must find the way to be seen and to market our work. Some do that on their own, some with large representative agents and some on Microstock.

I think the pendulum will never swing back in our favour because the markets already "corrected" themselves years ago.
There's not a single reason for a product like Stock that anyone can cheaply produce in big quantity to become expensive.

In order to return being expensive you need scarcity, and that's why i mentioned FineArt, while there are millions of stockers there are not millions of photographers able to make FineArt, at best they can make Creative images but not Art, big difference.

In any case even doing Art you won't have the same audience as microstock and neither the same quick sales.

There are still many ways to get your images seen around but it won't happen with common microstock images, it can only happen with creative non-stocky photos.

Most of the microstockers will give up, sell their gear, and keep photography as a hobby shooting with their phone.

I agree with this scenario and this can be seen to be happening at the moment.

I think Art is the way forward and this requires quality, which a great many Microstockers are going to fine difficult if not impossible to do.

Personally this is the way I have been moving in recent years, the treadmill of the agencies is finished, though on saying this I suspect that some of the agencies will move, and have moved into high end quality photography and graphics.

I think Adobe is one of these agencies, obviously SS and Getty/istock are bottom feeders and in the long run finished.
The only thing Art and Microstock have in common is marketing. People that can anticipate what sells and can execute it well and market it effectively will always do well. Technical and Artistic ability are secondary. Look at the most popular images that hang on peoples living rooms.........

« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2021, 07:13 »
0
reading some of these replies, I'm rather shocked no one mentioned this...

The pendumlum swings back when you learn how to do your OWN marketing, and be EFFECTIVE at it.

Most artists (and I get this) don't like marketing, because it is "work". But once you figure out a formula that WORKS - so start seeing nice returns.
While "stock agencies" are nice (and I 100% admit I use them myself) - they aren't the only way of making $$$ from your work. Start seeing that, learn & apply, and you'll see increased $$$.

« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2021, 20:03 »
0
reading some of these replies, I'm rather shocked no one mentioned this...

The pendumlum swings back when you learn how to do your OWN marketing, and be EFFECTIVE at it.

Most artists (and I get this) don't like marketing, because it is "work". But once you figure out a formula that WORKS - so start seeing nice returns.
While "stock agencies" are nice (and I 100% admit I use them myself) - they aren't the only way of making $$$ from your work. Start seeing that, learn & apply, and you'll see increased $$$.

and just HOW do you propose someone do this???  there are NO NICE RETURNS anymore from self hosted microstock sites

« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2021, 00:51 »
0
reading some of these replies, I'm rather shocked no one mentioned this...

The pendumlum swings back when you learn how to do your OWN marketing, and be EFFECTIVE at it.

Most artists (and I get this) don't like marketing, because it is "work". But once you figure out a formula that WORKS - so start seeing nice returns.
While "stock agencies" are nice (and I 100% admit I use them myself) - they aren't the only way of making $$$ from your work. Start seeing that, learn & apply, and you'll see increased $$$.

and just HOW do you propose someone do this???  there are NO NICE RETURNS anymore from self hosted microstock sites
Microstock and the internet are not the only sales channels.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2021, 09:32 »
0
The only thing Art and Microstock have in common is marketing. People that can anticipate what sells and can execute it well and market it effectively will always do well. Technical and Artistic ability are secondary. Look at the most popular images that hang on peoples living rooms.........

Almost anyone can make a photo that's "good enough" for Microstock just by pushing a button. Exposure is easy. Almost anyone should be able to learn composition basics, and lighting basics. Someone does not necessarily need to be an artist or skilled photographer, to make Microstock images. They might even make some money and get some sales. They can pick some easy and common subjects, that are easily available.

"People that can anticipate what sells..." there you have said it all. I call that producing images that buyers NEED and WANT. But it's the same thing. 10,000 ordinary, common images, won't make anyone as much money as 500 smart, well planned, trendy images. Anticipating what sells is as simple as making subjects that are needed. Artistic and Technical ability may help, but content / subject is the real answer.

Yes, to look at the walls. I look at the hotel rooms when I'm on the road. Someone, most likely some hired designer, picked what's going to be on the walls. A few hundred similar images, spread throughout the building. Much of what we sell in Microstock seems to be more limited, specific uses. Even with FAA, I can tell that my sales are personal use. I know from some of the buyers, for rec. rooms or offices.

Some people do work that's special enough to get public exhibition licenses, or commercial uses.

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2021, 09:33 »
0
and just HOW do you propose someone do this???  there are NO NICE RETURNS anymore from self hosted microstock sites

Were there ever?  ;D

« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2021, 11:48 »
0
"Anticipating what sells is as simple as making subjects that are needed."   The key for the real stars is knowing what will be needed i.e getting ahead of the curve...its not so hard to see what sells now....what will sell in six months not so much. Those people who followed events closely were probably pumping out Covid related images months before the rest of us.....see also Crypto etc.


« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2021, 12:00 »
0
reading some of these replies, I'm rather shocked no one mentioned this...

The pendumlum swings back when you learn how to do your OWN marketing, and be EFFECTIVE at it.

Most artists (and I get this) don't like marketing, because it is "work". But once you figure out a formula that WORKS - so start seeing nice returns.
While "stock agencies" are nice (and I 100% admit I use them myself) - they aren't the only way of making $$$ from your work. Start seeing that, learn & apply, and you'll see increased $$$.

and just HOW do you propose someone do this???  there are NO NICE RETURNS anymore from self hosted microstock sites

Scarcity and exclusivity.
Look at all the Instagram models selling memberships to their OnlyFans page.






 

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