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Author Topic: Entering Microstock in 2009/2010? Pointless or Not so Pointless?  (Read 11004 times)

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« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2010, 12:25 »
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Pushing a button on a camera doesn't make anyone a photographer!   Knowledge and talent are necessary to be a good photographer and have success.

I completely agree.  Anyone can take a picture, but it takes skill to make a good picture and a combination of skill and talent to make great pictures.

But I do think that the line between people who can take good stock photos and those who just think they can is blurry.  

OTOH the line between people who can draw well and people who can't is pretty darn sharp.  There are far fewer illustrators because everybody and their cousin doesn't imagine they are good at it - unlike photography.

Just go to the thephotoforum.com and look at some of the critique threads. Some images are really so so so bad and the posters really believe that they are phenomenal artists - BECAUSE their neighbors said so!

Some members responding to the posts, call the animal by its name but will be called as rude and unprofessional for destroying somebody's self esteem (simply by being honest...). Other members do (also) think that using almost every filter in Photoshop can only enhance the quality of a photo and applaud to obvious photoshop-raped images.

It's always subjective.

However, the buyers will decide if the subjective opinion will prevail in the long run aiming for some income.


« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2010, 13:00 »
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no portfolio link, what are you working on? objects, travel, people, illustrations?

anc

« Reply #27 on: June 23, 2010, 18:44 »
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hey guys, wow i didnt check the forum for a day and a half and so many replies!

thank you for all of your replies and advice.

Yeah -  I am reluctant to show you my portfolios because I think a lot of newer people like me will want to copy my images to get the same RPI.

Perhaps in 12 months I will post links to my IS portfolio once lots of my images have gold flames and newer images which are copies of mine will not have a chance to overtake mine. As right now if someone copied my images they could overtake mine in downloads when I spent a lot of my time looking into what is not on Istock to find a niche. Does that makes sense to everyone or is that totally dickish? Some of my images for closely related keywords there are only 5 images similar to them! So I want my niches to have some time for my images to become the leaders before I show anyone my portfolio and open up the door to copycats. Not implying that any of you are - but in my first few weeks as a newbie I myself thought "duuuh why not make the same images as the top sellers" until I did it with one image and got pretty much no sales - as the ones I copied had blue flames, and which one would you rather download a blue flamed image or a brand new one?

I am not a photographer though I do 3D images and photoshop created images.

As you have been so kind in giving me advice without me showing my portfolios I will try and tell you what has worked for me so far (bearing in mind I am so new and green it is not funny and not in anyway trying to be know best on the subject) ---- I make generic images on subjects which there are not much of on istock.

For example say a graphic designer is doing a poster for a veterinarian and they need an image of a dog, if I make a generic 3D cartoon dog it is probably more likely to be downloaded than a photo of a border collie. Why? Because what if the graphic designer is in, i dont know, egypt - where they dont have border collies, or hollywood where most of their customers have Maltese dogs --- my generic dog has more chance of being downloaded more times internationally. So that is what I have found successful for me so far - creating generic images and before creating them checking how many of that type of image are on istock so i dont completely waste my time.

Now saying that I don't think that my portfolio has proved it will survive or continue yet. As i think I said before it has been consistent for 3 months which is nothing seeing some of your ports.

No vectors but I would like to in the future.

I do think my SS portfolio will drop in RPI. as already after such short time my first images I uploaded are not getting downloaded anymore! shame!

But I am confident in IS will keep going strong for me the more I add.

I am going to persist and work very hard at it. I wish I had the finances to do it full time but I don't :( - however with my fiance away for 2 months I do have some free time to work hard!

Thanks again for all the advice. I hope to create a portfolio as good as some of the great microstockers who have commented on this thread.

So I will keep working hard on it --- and if I fail ---well it was fun anyway, its funny to get a kick every time I log into my portfolios at my day job and see a little increase in earnings

anc

« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2010, 18:51 »
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oh also i found it quite natural to think of ideas for images - as I am a graphic designer and have worked in graphic design and marketing for 5 years so it comes easy to me "I wish I had a blahhh graphic" or "if I was doing a promotion piece on a self help book I would want an image of a blaaaah" etc.

I love the fact that our customers are graphic designers!

I think, correct me if im wrong but creating images which are smart and interesting but also instantly communicate a message or idea is very important. As thats what I look out for as a graphic designer - what images instantly communicate what I am trying to communicate.

« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2010, 19:27 »
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There's truth in all of the answers posted here, from healthy skepticism
... everybody can push a button on a cam, illustrators' talents are scarce.
Come on!!!  >:(
Pushing a button on a camera doesn't make anyone a photographer!   Knowledge and talent are necessary to be a good photographer and have success.
I should have added a smiley. The fact is that there much less (good) illustrators than there are photographers, and that illustrations are in demand.

« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2010, 19:54 »
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I think it's do-able.  Imho you need some luck with image placement and avoid uploading similars (they are their own competition in placement). Having at least one pretty good seller helps too in attracting traffic to your portfolio i'd guess...

« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2010, 19:55 »
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Yeah -  I am reluctant to show you my portfolios because I think a lot of newer people like me will want to copy my images to get the same RPI.
If you are an illustrator and if you developed your own style, it's hardly possible to get successful copiers. In photography, it's much easier to copy, depending on the setting. Apart from style and technical skill, the choice of your concepts (if they fill in a niche) could pose a vulnerability though. Although we are a community, we are also competitors, at least some. Your concern is fair enough.
I am not a photographer though I do 3D images and photoshop created images.
Well that says enough. Illustrations in general have a much higher RPI, and if you mastered a style and you found subjects that the market likes, you will certainly continue your success. It would have been totally different if you were a photographer shooting more of the same. Being a graphic designer gives you a buyer's feeling of what is needed and missing, which is more than most of us have.
I do think my SS portfolio will drop in RPI. as already after such short time my first images I uploaded are not getting downloaded anymore! shame!
You will have to live with that. You'll get a higher exposure as new contributor for a while, plus that new images get a boost. After that, they fall back on a baseline. You'll have to keep feeding the beast to keep it going. It will be compensated by iStock that only takes off after a while.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2010, 20:06 by FD-regular »

« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2010, 20:05 »
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If you are an illustrator and if you developed your own style, it's hardly possible to get successful copiers.
Except when people download your vectors and and use bits and pieces of them and reupload them as their own.  :-[

« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2010, 20:09 »
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And the million and one glossy buttons, Apple-esque silos, swirly Xmas tree or whatever style is in vogue this week.

« Reply #34 on: June 23, 2010, 20:11 »
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If you are an illustrator and if you developed your own style, it's hardly possible to get successful copiers.
Except when people download your vectors and and use bits and pieces of them and reupload them as their own.  :-[
Not being an illustrator, I wasn't aware of this kind of reverse engineering. Does it really happen? Well, there are angels and *insult removed* everywhere. I was thinking of OP stating he does 3D. If he bought his models, he is quite vulnerable too. No matter if he prefers to keep his links private for now. If he gets flames on IS, soon enough the guild of copiers will find him.

« Reply #35 on: June 23, 2010, 20:23 »
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Yep, it happens. Probably not as much on IS, but on SS it seems to happen quite a bit. These images get on to the free pirate sites and it is open season. There is actually a thread now in the SS Illustrator forums about this. You are probably safer with 3D, but there's always someone out there trying to make a quick buck on someone else's work.

« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2010, 20:27 »
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time to come out with a newer, harder to copy style....

« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2010, 21:41 »
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time to come out with a newer, harder to copy style....

Not me. Nobody would bother to copy my stuff. I'm not a home run hitter.  Just base hits. :D

« Reply #38 on: June 25, 2010, 10:50 »
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time to come out with a newer, harder to copy style....

Not me. Nobody would bother to copy my stuff. I'm not a home run hitter.  Just base hits. :D

Cory - I LOVE your stuff.  Just clicked through and added as a fave.  Looks like grand slams to me.

« Reply #39 on: June 25, 2010, 11:48 »
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Aww shucks.  :)  I guess I'm just jealous of all those people that create those quadruple blue flame images at IS. But, I have a lot of fun doing my own style and the money isn't bad either.

lisafx

« Reply #40 on: June 25, 2010, 12:30 »
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Congrats on being both smart and talented ANC.    Considering that you have a design background, are good at coming up with original concepts, and are producing illustrations, which the average person can't do well, if at all, then I think you have an excellent chance to meet your income goals!

And no, it is not "dickish" to not share your portfolio links.  If you have discovered a niche you WILL be copied as soon as it becomes obvious your images are selling well. 


 

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