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Author Topic: downhill trend all too obvious!  (Read 34299 times)

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« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2010, 13:37 »
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No, gostwyck is totally right.  The only people who call it a pyramid scheme are those who are unsuccessful due to their own failings and it is just sour grapes.  There are plenty of new contributors who have come in only to become successful.

Btw, IS has no such referral program aside from a one time buyer referral bonus.


« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2010, 13:45 »
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No, gostwyck is totally right.  The only people who call it a pyramid scheme are those who are unsuccessful due to their own failings and it is just sour grapes.  There are plenty of new contributors who have come in only to become successful.

Btw, IS has no such referral program aside from a one time buyer referral bonus.

Conversely those that defend it against any similarities to a pyramid scheme sit atop the scheme loftily suggesting everyone else is a sourpuss.

« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2010, 14:01 »
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Ha, ha.  Well like I said, proof is that there are many who are late to the game that have risen through the ranks.  It's like any selling business.  If you don't offer what the buyer wants, you don't sell.  It's got nothing to do with drawing in new recruits like a pyramid scheme.  In fact you're better off not bringing in new recruits,

where have I heard that before? ;)

RacePhoto

« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2010, 14:23 »
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Ha, ha.  Well like I said, proof is that there are many who are late to the game that have risen through the ranks.  It's like any selling business.  If you don't offer what the buyer wants, you don't sell.  It's got nothing to do with drawing in new recruits like a pyramid scheme.  In fact you're better off not bringing in new recruits,

where have I heard that before? ;)

I blame any personal lack of success on myself, lack of effort or failing to meet the market demands.  :)

As for Referred Members 1031 for Lise, 660 for Mr. Locke. Where the blogs and other sites are an effort for people to recruit new photographers for the "make money selling your snapshots, that are sitting on your hard drive." which has been a dwindling program over the past years. Many agencies did give credit for new members or buyers and some still do. That's the MLM/Pyramid part of the scheme.

Of course some new people have excelled and done fine. I've pointed that out before. There's still room for productive new people with creative talents and a good work ethic. What I'm highlighting is that the average person can expect to get a smaller piece of the pie as competition grows.

If I was selling four years ago and part of a few million images offered on a site, I'd have many more sales, than I will as part of 12 million images in 2010. And if you look at the uploads and growth, they are adding as many new images this year as there were total a few years back! That is the supply which is far exceeding the demand, which will cause a lack of individual sales, not lack of agency total sales.

The people complaining about dropping sales are looking from an individual perspective instead of the big picture. The downhill trend may be personal, not market wide.

lagereek

« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2010, 14:46 »
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No, gostwyck is totally right.  The only people who call it a pyramid scheme are those who are unsuccessful due to their own failings and it is just sour grapes.  There are plenty of new contributors who have come in only to become successful.

Btw, IS has no such referral program aside from a one time buyer referral bonus.

Yep Sean!  I agree to that and boy, theres a lot of sour grapes in this business but you have to agree though, our leading sites should really be a lot more selective both in applicants and acceptance of images. There is just too much repetetive stuff at the moment and its no big deal anymore to announce youve got billions of shots when buyers are having a hard time finding them anyway.

best.

« Reply #30 on: August 06, 2010, 15:03 »
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Maybe some of the comments of too much crap on the sites could be solved by the sites deleting any image that hasn't sold within 1 year or 6 months, or some other time frame. For me if it hasn't sold at least once the first two months it's worthless to me. I would hope that the image counts are less important now to the good sites as a marketing claim. How about a claim of "Better images, less crap"?

I do believe that the quality of each well-worn cliche is getting better and the image choice is enhanced with new blood contributors. But the crap does get a little deeper also and that's what many are complaining about. IMHO it's not the search engines so much as the wading through the garbage to find the pearls. I'd love for a site to come up with the search criteria: Probably crap but you be the judge.

« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2010, 15:11 »
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problem is... I already quit/refused a few 'real' jobs for exactly the reason you stated: too high requests compared to proposed wage;

Now, if I quit microstock as well... I'm almost unemployed. At least I feel (almost) free here. I'm afraid THEY know this as well.

Join the crowd.

« Reply #32 on: August 06, 2010, 16:52 »
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I don't think the sites should be more selective because the reviewers shouldn't be deciding what is a good microstock image.  They often don't seem experienced enough, probably because it is a low paid monotonous task.  It makes more sense to delete everything that hasn't sold after a year.  I also wish they would get rid of the free collections.

« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2010, 17:15 »
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I don't think the sites should be more selective because the reviewers shouldn't be deciding what is a good microstock image.  They often don't seem experienced enough, probably because it is a low paid monotonous task.  It makes more sense to delete everything that hasn't sold after a year.  I also wish they would get rid of the free collections.
Totally agree that they should delete which has not sold in a year. Just imagine how much nicer buyers experience would be. I do not get why microstock agencies do not do that.

« Reply #34 on: August 06, 2010, 18:51 »
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BUT, will there be enough Caucasian models there to shoot? Many Eastern European contributors take images with their fellow citizens and you can tell immediately if the image is coming from Russia, Poland, Ukraine etc.
Yes that is a very valid point that Richard (RT) made here a year ago. The Ukrainians are still in a very good position since there are a lot of "Yuri" (blond) models around, but still, you can "feel" the difference.

Actually, this intangible cultural difference still is an advantage for the Western photographers. I heard that local models (I'm in Europe for a couple of months now) do ask 100 euro for a day shoot, and then I say no thanks. There is no way you can recuperate that from microstock, unless you are a gifted and very well organized photographer.

There are other options, like moving Eastward for a while (3 weeks in Tallin for instance - it's close for the Norwegians), since with the right props and guidance, a model can be what you want. Blond is blond. And of course, there are always the object and non-model shoots that are still the bulk of sales (at least for me).

« Reply #35 on: August 06, 2010, 19:10 »
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Totally agree that they should delete which has not sold in a year. Just imagine how much nicer buyers experience would be. I do not get why microstock agencies do not do that.

I couldn't disagree more.  What about seasonal images?  Some have only a small window where they're salable; miss one season and they're gone forever?  And what about more obscure subjects?  A benefit of a large collection is that there's room for images that are right for only a few, but are perfect for them.  If the image was good enough to accept in the first place, and if the costs of keeping it online along with a few hundred thousand equally obscure images, why not keep it around for that customer who'll think it's just perfect?  I don't like to think of unsold images as failures, but rather as content that hasn't met its target audience yet.

« Reply #36 on: August 06, 2010, 19:29 »
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It seems to me that if a new agency (with a big enough wallet for advertising) came along and paid contributors for new and exclusive content with buyers needs in mind that they MIGHT have some small chance of success. They would have the advantage of forward-looking reviewers that can see the trends that buyers want and a tightly-edited collection.

The problem is getting contributors to submit exclusive images to an untried agency.

There's got to be an answer out there somewhere, but it will take someone smarter than me to come up with it!

« Reply #37 on: August 06, 2010, 19:49 »
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Sounds like IS. ;)

lagereek

« Reply #38 on: August 07, 2010, 01:38 »
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Delete them in a year??  sure,  but why accept them in the first place?  makes no sense at all. I mean surely a reviewer at for example IS would have the experience to know a commercial image when seeing one? unless ofcourse staring himself blind, looking for noise and artifacts.

Another issue is the deliberate copying game. In the world of RM, inside the Getty maincore of RM, copying is very seldom allowed or accepted. Many times when Ive submitted shots there Ive got some back saying: we have already got this and thats without conciously copying!
Deliberate copying is in the long run a destructive process, not allowing photographers to reap the benefits of their prime images. This constant copying craze and supported by every Admin in Micros, is one of the reasons why still, many RM photographers are laughing at the Micros, calling them amateurs and what-nots. This si also whats clogging every file with irrelevant garbage, ofcourse along with that comes all the spamming.
Some will excuse this and say "oh well a good shot will still prevail"  thats BS! a good shot can be destroyed is more like it.

There are many, many things the leading Micros can do to raise themselves, get a better image, etc, but no,  its easier to rely on the turnover of neewbies, hoping that one shot of a thousand will sell.
Pretty sad and amateurish I would say.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2010, 01:43 by lagereek »

« Reply #39 on: August 07, 2010, 01:49 »
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^^^I've been doing this for 4 years and I still am surprised sometimes by what sells and what doesn't.  Some of the less experienced reviewers on the sites have no chance.  I had an image that has made me over $1,000 rejected by one site for LCV :)  Istock have rejected several of my best selling images on SS.

I think a year is long enough but the sites could just change the search so that buyers can filter out images that haven't sold in a year but can still find obscure images with zero sales if they need them.  Wouldn't that be an improvement?

ShadySue

« Reply #40 on: August 07, 2010, 03:00 »
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I recently heard a buyer say that they usually bought from microstock, but they could not find the shot they wanted simply because all they could find was posed studio shots and none looked candid. They were finding it more and more difficult to find what they needed because of this. These candid shots are what microstock calls...snapshots. In some cases they are snapshots, but the microstock agencies need to realize that not all the buyers want that posed studio shot. It just doesn't look real to a lot of buyers so they shop elsewhere.

I've received a lot of rejections, Donna, just for trying to produce and provide such shots.  I admit, however, it is very difficult to get the kind of "microstock lighting" in unstaged setups that most agencies (and buyers) expect.
There are requests from time to time on iStock to provide less 'posed' images, but the replies always show that it's the cheesy, 'microstock-y' shots which sell really well, and the candid-like ones get very few sales.
And yes, iStock for one is really, really clamping down on natural light, even for natural history shots. I was at over 90% acceptance for about two years, and recently am down to about 50%, and there are several other references to this on different forums, even from golds and diamonds.
Looks like studio lights is going to be all that they'll accept soon.
(Strange decision: I know that none of my best selling shots would be accepted now (film scans with a blue/cyan cast or my BS from the G9, which subsequently got nothing but rejections), but they're still vastly outselling my recent acceptances, with no requests for refunds.)
« Last Edit: August 07, 2010, 03:05 by ShadySue »

lagereek

« Reply #41 on: August 07, 2010, 08:58 »
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I recently heard a buyer say that they usually bought from microstock, but they could not find the shot they wanted simply because all they could find was posed studio shots and none looked candid. They were finding it more and more difficult to find what they needed because of this. These candid shots are what microstock calls...snapshots. In some cases they are snapshots, but the microstock agencies need to realize that not all the buyers want that posed studio shot. It just doesn't look real to a lot of buyers so they shop elsewhere.

I've received a lot of rejections, Donna, just for trying to produce and provide such shots.  I admit, however, it is very difficult to get the kind of "microstock lighting" in unstaged setups that most agencies (and buyers) expect.
There are requests from time to time on iStock to provide less 'posed' images, but the replies always show that it's the cheesy, 'microstock-y' shots which sell really well, and the candid-like ones get very few sales.
And yes, iStock for one is really, really clamping down on natural light, even for natural history shots. I was at over 90% acceptance for about two years, and recently am down to about 50%, and there are several other references to this on different forums, even from golds and diamonds.
Looks like studio lights is going to be all that they'll accept soon.
(Strange decision: I know that none of my best selling shots would be accepted now (film scans with a blue/cyan cast or my BS from the G9, which subsequently got nothing but rejections), but they're still vastly outselling my recent acceptances, with no requests for refunds.)


Funny you should say that but make no mistake, I was flown onto an oil-rig in the northsea outside Norway shooting engineers, posing looking really happy with their job. The candid shots taken from above however, some 15 shots thats all, given to the RM, fetched well over a five figured amount and thats within 3 months.
Candid shots within Industry, business and Finance, ofcourse still with MRs  can if done right make a fortune.


« Reply #42 on: August 07, 2010, 10:46 »
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...
And yes, iStock for one is really, really clamping down on natural light, even for natural history shots. I was at over 90% acceptance for about two years, and recently am down to about 50%, and there are several other references to this on different forums, even from golds and diamonds.
Looks like studio lights is going to be all that they'll accept soon.
...

OK that might explain the rejections I got recently for outdoor shots, which I complained about on another thread.

If I had to give a brief summary of what they are accepting it is: "bright, loud, crisp - but not too bright and loud".

On a happier note, I found one of those grassy hills near my house on which to pose models doing silly things against a blue sky.  I will have to haul fertilizer and water up the hill however to get the grass to that "nearly fake" looking green color that seems so popular.  One or two small ornamental trees could be eliminated too but I better stick to photoshop for that  ::)

« Reply #43 on: August 07, 2010, 12:53 »
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I really don't have problems in accepting images with natural light. I have only few isolations in my port, and they are old. Lately, I almost don't have rejections on IS, and those few that I have are not because of lighting.

« Reply #44 on: August 10, 2010, 02:58 »
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What a bad first 10 days in this month, double worse than in July.... :P :-[ :'(
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 08:23 by borg »

michealo

« Reply #45 on: August 10, 2010, 04:34 »
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What a bad first 10 days in this month, double worst than in July.... :P :-[ :'(

here here

ShadySue

« Reply #46 on: August 10, 2010, 05:08 »
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I really don't have problems in accepting images with natural light. I have only few isolations in my port, and they are old. Lately, I almost don't have rejections on IS, and those few that I have are not because of lighting.
Yebbut your images were taken in 'iStock-y' light; mine were in rainforest.

« Reply #47 on: August 10, 2010, 05:49 »
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FD, there is a lot of truth to what you said.

I think though that there is something to consider first.

I saw three years ago the first wave of Asian or Eastern European contributors coming to the micros. And of course in most of those countries cost of living is much cheaper than in most other industrialized parts of the world.

Naturally this kind of business will attract a higher percentage of contributors from these countries.

BUT, will there be enough Caucasian models there to shoot? Many Eastern European contributors take images with their fellow citizens and you can tell immediately if the image is coming from Russia, Poland, Ukraine etc.

I wonder if those images will easily replace Yuri's style? In America people want to see classic American faces and even the Latino market is huuuge.

I think there is only so much that can be produced in "Eastern World" but some things will never change...

jeepers creepers.... You put Poland in the same basket with Ukraine ? I congratulate you on the knowledge of the contemporary world.... and invite you to Poland, you would be surprised that girls do NOT have 'Eastern' faces in a way you connotate it.

« Reply #48 on: August 10, 2010, 07:47 »
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jeepers creepers.... You put Poland in the same basket with Ukraine ? I congratulate you on the knowledge of the contemporary world.... and invite you to Poland, you would be surprised that girls do NOT have 'Eastern' faces in a way you connotate it.
I was just quoting a respected poster here, with a great model portfolio. I wouldn't have an idea. I guess if you pay properly for models, you can select looks. The problem is that for microstock, you'll have to use TFP and grab what you can get.
Quote
Well it's a theory except you're forgetting something, the highest yielding type of imagery are those that feature people, the buyers at present don't want that many images with Chinese folk in, and the other countries you mentioned are all poor in comparison to the largest image buying countries, and without sounding patronising I could spot a Polish girl in a cheap looking outfit a mile off, so although they may be able to mass produce the images cheaper than the Western world a lot of them will look cheap which is not what sells.
(for the record, I objected that post, pointing to Dolgachev - the fact is that around the southern shores of the Baltic <included Poland> there are still many people of German ancestry since Poland moved a lot to the west after WWII)

Edit: as you can read, the poster I quoted mentioned more the "outfit" than the looks. All my business outfits I use in Asia came from Europe. I wouldn't dream to buy a business suit there, since they all have this outlandish look - except for Thailand and Vietnam where the hand made suits are the best looking in the world.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 08:01 by FD-regular »

« Reply #49 on: August 10, 2010, 08:39 »
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FD, there is a lot of truth to what you said.

I think though that there is something to consider first.

I saw three years ago the first wave of Asian or Eastern European contributors coming to the micros. And of course in most of those countries cost of living is much cheaper than in most other industrialized parts of the world.

Naturally this kind of business will attract a higher percentage of contributors from these countries.

BUT, will there be enough Caucasian models there to shoot? Many Eastern European contributors take images with their fellow citizens and you can tell immediately if the image is coming from Russia, Poland, Ukraine etc.

I wonder if those images will easily replace Yuri's style? In America people want to see classic American faces and even the Latino market is huuuge.

I think there is only so much that can be produced in "Eastern World" but some things will never change...


What are you talking about!!!?
Have you ever been somewhere in Eastern Europe, especially in shopping...?
I live and Croatia, so...

Here is the cheapest prices in our the biggest shopping market....
Divide  (kn-Croatian currency) all prices with 5,5 and you will get prices in American dollars...

http://online.konzum.hr/categories/list/5471110
Everything is much more expensive than in western countries, especially in the USA...
From food to Photo cameras...
You can buy cheaper equipment than I can,so probably that was main reason why you are in Microstock earlier than I am...

From which countries was StockXpert and Dreamstime?
From Hungary and Romania...

So, you can't talk on that way...
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 09:09 by borg »


 

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