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Author Topic: Fed up to my ears with all the sites. And why!  (Read 27095 times)

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« on: April 18, 2010, 13:58 »
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The big up loaders are finding out that you can not pay models and others to put the images on sites. They are losing money. The fix is: Stop uploading and paying people and just collect your earnings from each site.

I uploaded zip from Jan 1 this year and did not stop earning money at all.

That is my thoughts on the big up loaders.

The micro market has already been ruined by dirt low prices, each site trying to under sell the others and pay the photographers less to cover their losses. They make less and we make less. Many of the sites will fail and go broke very soon. Another bad point: Free images on every site to attract the low payers or no payers to the site. NONE of my images are free on any site and never will be. Thousands more are stolen every day and the sites do next to nothing to stop it. Ever hear of a image theft being fined or put in jail for copyright theft? NO. So why pay?

When I sold stock photos in the 50's 60's and through the early 80's NONE sold for less than $100.00 for RF images and RM sold for $200 to $5,000.00 per image. Calendar and greeting card companies never paid less than $500.00 for an image. Book covers $250.00 and up. Now they get them for less than a cup of coffee.

The Internet ruined it all. That is why I have lost nearly all interest in up loading any more to any site. I can sell Cd's full of images on Ebay for $25.00 per each for low res shots RF and not give a crap what they actually do with them. They do not get my best, only my rejects the ones I did not ever try to up load. Junk.

Sorry to sound sour but those are the facts. I for one just don't want to work for 5 cents an hour.

Larry


« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2010, 14:20 »
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Larry, I understand what you saying, and I think you are completely right. I'm doing this only about 2 years, and I can't believe how fast things gone bad. I can imagine how pissed off you are...
But unfortunately, I don't see things going better anytime soon. That's why I focused in making audio last few months. I saw that audio brings me much more than images. My audios are 15-25 credits each which is more than photos can make on average.
I'm just editing some images right now, and I'm thinking how they will sell for cents... I think it's almost humiliating... I don't say I'm great photographer, but there are people here who are, and I personally think their value is not appreciated enough. When you think how much accumulated work we have behind us, and for what!?
For less and less every month. We are fooling our selves here if we think our sales are steady, or even growing. The truth is in most cases that we upload more and get less. And if our uploads are bigger than downloads, we feel our earnings are steady. The situation is sad.

« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2010, 14:36 »
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There is a lot to blame, not only the internet.  You can blame the development of digital cameras too.  You can blame the ridiculous cheap prices of microstock too, with their very broad license terms.  You can blame buyers who do not care about how many times the image they use has been used before, even by the competition.  I see magazines and newspapers using low quality images probably taken with a cell phone.

Outside the stock world, I also see people who are happy with their snapshots of a graduation ceremony of their children instead of quality images by pro photographers, because the latter is expensive.  

« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2010, 15:02 »
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Stock photography isn't for everyone. Stock images are a commercial product intended largely for commercial use and producing them isn't necessarily fun or lucrative.

Like most creative arts or industries (and also sport) a few people are naturally gifted and can make fantastic money, lots more have less talent but can make a decent living but the vast majority could never hope to earn a living from it. Not many people assume that they should be able to earn their living by painting or singing or playing sport __ so why do so many assume that they should be well paid for their photography when all the evidence is to the contrary?

« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2010, 15:08 »
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Stock photography isn't for everyone. Stock images are a commercial product intended largely for commercial use and producing them isn't necessarily fun or lucrative.

Like most creative arts or industries (and also sport) a few people are naturally gifted and can make fantastic money, lots more have less talent but can make a decent living but the vast majority could never hope to earn a living from it. Not many people assume that they should be able to earn their living by painting or singing or playing sport __ so why do so many assume that they should be well paid for their photography when all the evidence is to the contrary?

Everyone who's photos are accepted to any agency should be well paid, or agencies should reject all ugly photos submitted by non-talented photographers. You compared it to singing, but you know how many bad musicians and bad singers have more money than excellent talented musicians. It's not all about talent.

Or maybe you want to say you are satisfied with the fact that you get few cents or few dollars for your images? Actually, you think what you do is worth few dollars and you don't think you should earn more?
« Last Edit: April 18, 2010, 15:21 by Whitechild »

« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2010, 15:27 »
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Stock photography isn't for everyone. Stock images are a commercial product intended largely for commercial use and producing them isn't necessarily fun or lucrative.

Like most creative arts or industries (and also sport) a few people are naturally gifted and can make fantastic money, lots more have less talent but can make a decent living but the vast majority could never hope to earn a living from it. Not many people assume that they should be able to earn their living by painting or singing or playing sport __ so why do so many assume that they should be well paid for their photography when all the evidence is to the contrary?

I agree with you.

Before I retired 15 years ago I made 250,000.00 plus per year as a wedding photographer. I had 10 photographers working for me. So the money is there always has been and always will be.
But not selling RF images for .25 Cents each. Needless to say I do not need the money from RF sales.

I have 7 children and put five of them through college on photography.

In the early 50's when Polaroid first came out, my father told me to close my studio .... now everybody can be their own photographer. But the fact is Polaroid increased interest in photography when people found out that if took more than the click of a shutter to produce a professional image.

Digital has done the same. If I wanted to go back into business, which I do not, it would be weddings complete with professionally printed photo story books of the wedding and video to go along with it.

Many people on this site are good enough to do it and get paid $1,000.00 & up for their time.

My advise to everybody that would like to improve things a bit would be to opt out of subs and delete all of your free images.

-Larry

« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2010, 15:41 »
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Sorry, guys, but this is how capitalism works.  When you were in the minority with the skills and the means to take and sell photos, capitalism worked well for you... supply and demand was on your side and you were happy capitalists.  Today, however, technology has allowed many others to practice your craft, and new marketplaces have been set up to allow them to profit from it.  With these changes, the laws of supply and demand have shifted and you have much more competition. Suddenly you think the world has turned against you, when really it is only capitalism running its natural course. 

Some veterans contend that there's no more money to be made here, and maybe that's their reality, but it's not mine.  You have to evolve to survive and thrive in any changing marketplace.  If you refuse to do so, you deserve the results... but if you accept that the rules have changed and look for ways to serve today's and tomorrow's customers, you can do very well for yourself.  It's your choice.

« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2010, 15:44 »
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Thank goodness for the Internet and digital revolution.  Of course sub plans are an exercise in poor business, but thanks to istock and my rebel300d, I'm doing something I reaaly enjoy.  And I earn more than $.05 an hour :).

« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2010, 15:49 »
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I'm with Gostwyck on this. Just because an image has been approved doesn't mean that it is good enough to make good money  and just because an image sells at only a couple of dollars a time doesn't mean that you can't make a small fortune on it.  It's all down to the usefulness and quality of an image. I know the question wasn't aimed at me but yes,  I am very satisfied with the fact that I get  that I get "few cents or few dollars" per sale because what counts to me is how much my portfolio makes a month not what each individual sale makes.
Stock photography isn't for everyone. Stock images are a commercial product intended largely for commercial use and producing them isn't necessarily fun or lucrative.

Like most creative arts or industries (and also sport) a few people are naturally gifted and can make fantastic money, lots more have less talent but can make a decent living but the vast majority could never hope to earn a living from it. Not many people assume that they should be able to earn their living by painting or singing or playing sport __ so why do so many assume that they should be well paid for their photography when all the evidence is to the contrary?

Everyone who's photos are accepted to any agency should be well paid, or agencies should reject all ugly photos submitted by non-talented photographers. You compared it to singing, but you know how many bad musicians and bad singers have more money than excellent talented musicians. It's not all about talent.

Or maybe you want to say you are satisfied with the fact that you get few cents or few dollars for your images? Actually, you think what you do is worth few dollars and you don't think you should earn more?

« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2010, 15:54 »
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Well, I'm much more satisfied with the fact that I'm selling audios for more than few dollars, and never for few cents. And I think that everyone who is satisfied with few cents deserve to earn even less, because he/she obviously doesn't appreciate his/her own work.

« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2010, 16:02 »
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You're not getting it.  I wouldn't be satisfied with selling it for that price if I sold one or two a month but selling 1000s a month I am quite satisfied.  I really don't care if an image sells once for a few hundreds or thousands of dollars or a few hundred or thousand times for one dollar a time.  I care about the money made at the end of the month and either way it would work out the same.

 author=Whitechild link=topic=10420.msg143110#msg143110 date=1271624052]
Well, I'm much more satisfied with the fact that I'm selling audios for more than few dollars, and never for few cents. And I think that everyone who is satisfied with few cents deserve to earn even less, because he/she obviously doesn't appreciate his/her own work.
[/quote]

« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2010, 16:08 »
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You're not getting it.  I wouldn't be satisfied with selling it for that price if I sold one or two a month but selling 1000s a month I am quite satisfied.  I really don't care if an image sells once for a few hundreds or thousands of dollars or a few hundred or thousand times for one dollar a time.  I care about the money made at the end of the month and either way it would work out the same.

 author=Whitechild link=topic=10420.msg143110#msg143110 date=1271624052]
Well, I'm much more satisfied with the fact that I'm selling audios for more than few dollars, and never for few cents. And I think that everyone who is satisfied with few cents deserve to earn even less, because he/she obviously doesn't appreciate his/her own work.
[/quote]

No, I think you don't get it. You don't get that you would still sell thousands if their price is doubled. That's what I'm talking about. It doesn't have to be very expensive, but you would earn double if images are twice expensive than they are now. Tell me you don't agree.

« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2010, 16:16 »
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I truly believe that people are putting price over quality these days, even when they can afford it.

« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2010, 16:24 »
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Of course I'd like to get paid double the same as I would like to get paid double in my full time job but my point is that I am quite happy with the amount of money that I make from my images which works out a better hourly working rate than my fulltime job.   Would I like to make more? of course, I'm not mad :) but I'm not complaining at all about the total  return per image in microstock. 


No, I think you don't get it. You don't get that you would still sell thousands if their price is doubled. That's what I'm talking about. It doesn't have to be very expensive, but you would earn double if images are twice expensive than they are now. Tell me you don't agree.
[/quote]

red

« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2010, 16:27 »
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You are making dollars on audio files, but how long will that last? Those files will go the way of microstock, probably sooner than later.

« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2010, 16:30 »
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You are making dollars on audio files, but how long will that last? Those files will go the way of microstock, probably sooner than later.

Of course it will happen. I'm just saying it's much better when you get few dollars more for what you do. It would be good if we could make more out of images.

« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2010, 16:43 »
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I truly believe that people are putting price over quality these days, even when they can afford it.

Everybody is putting price over quality,inferior product, less productive employees, lower margins on sales.....and the argument is;this is necessary to compete with the far east economy and their vast output with lower operating costs.

But this is old news isn't it? In micro, 5% make exceptional money, another 10-15% make enough money to do it full time, probably another 20% make enough to pay the mortgage/expenses and the rest make expenses or less.

But there is a lot of crap out there (some of it mine) and people buy it. That's how microstock works. As for wedding photography, minimum charge in the UK is around 1k - 1.5k but why pay that when your nephew/uncle has a 5d mark 11 and will shoot and video the whole thing for a six pack?


Noodles

« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2010, 16:48 »
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Before I retired 15 years ago I made 250,000.00 plus per year as a wedding photographer. I had 10 photographers working for me. So the money is there always has been and always will be.
But not selling RF images for .25 Cents each. Needless to say I do not need the money from RF sales.
-Larry

Microstock keeps wannabe photographers away from where the real money is - I see no problem with this  ::)

« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2010, 16:56 »
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But this is old news isn't it? In micro, 5% make exceptional money, another 10-15% make enough money to do it full time, probably another 20% make enough to pay the mortgage/expenses and the rest make expenses or less.

That's pretty much the case except that I'd revise your figures to suggest that 0.1% make exceptional money (maybe 30 out of 30,000), 1% make a living (roughly the top 300 on IS) and maybe 10% (the top 3000 on IS) make a useful contribution to their overall income. The other 88.9% are just ... well, really just doing it for fun or pin money. The truth is you've either got it or you haven't __ same as every other overt meritocracy like the arts or sport.

« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2010, 17:06 »
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Before I retired 15 years ago I made 250,000.00 plus per year as a wedding photographer. I had 10 photographers working for me. So the money is there always has been and always will be.
But not selling RF images for .25 Cents each. Needless to say I do not need the money from RF sales.
-Larry

Microstock keeps wannabe photographers away from where the real money is - I see no problem with this  ::)

Every microstocker I know (who are doing it for a living) shudders at the idea of doing weddings. That's what many of them used to do and they are so glad to give it up.

You can certainly make decent money doing weddings but that's because it's a horrible job, that mostly has to be done during anti-social hours, that any half-decent photographer would gladly do anything else instead if they could get the same money. Same with having commercial clients. Who needs all that hassle __ the ever-changing briefs, chasing the money, dealing with the unwashed masses of the public, etc, etc?

« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2010, 17:16 »
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Before I retired 15 years ago I made 250,000.00 plus per year as a wedding photographer. I had 10 photographers working for me. So the money is there always has been and always will be.
But not selling RF images for .25 Cents each. Needless to say I do not need the money from RF sales.
-Larry


Microstock keeps wannabe photographers away from where the real money is - I see no problem with this  ::)


Every microstocker I know (who are doing it for a living) shudders at the idea of doing weddings. That's what many of them used to do and they are so glad to give it up.

You can certainly make decent money doing weddings but that's because it's a horrible job, that mostly has to be done during anti-social hours, that any half-decent photographer would gladly do anything else instead if they could get the same money. Same with having commercial clients. Who needs all that hassle __ the ever-changing briefs, chasing the money, dealing with the unwashed masses of the public, etc, etc?



That is why I hired photographers to do the work. I ran the studio and collected the money. Lived well and spent my spare time in the woods shooting wildlife in Montana while my studio was in New York. Just because your in the business does not mean you personally have to do the dirty work.




Just having fun in Montana.

-Larry

« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2010, 17:42 »
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That is why I hired photographers to do the work. I ran the studio and collected the money. Lived well and spent my spare time in the woods shooting wildlife in Montana while my studio was in New York. Just because your in the business does not mean you personally have to do the dirty work.

I thought you'd be back defending the honourable, hard-working wedding photographer __ but nope, you obviously think it's crap work too!

Maybe you should take the same approach to microstock Larry. Get others to do the work whilst you live-the-life in Montana (I really must go there one day!).

« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2010, 17:50 »
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That is why I hired photographers to do the work. I ran the studio and collected the money. Lived well and spent my spare time in the woods shooting wildlife in Montana while my studio was in New York. Just because your in the business does not mean you personally have to do the dirty work.

I thought you'd be back defending the honourable, hard-working wedding photographer __ but nope, you obviously think it's crap work too!

Maybe you should take the same approach to microstock Larry. Get others to do the work whilst you live-the-life in Montana (I really must go there one day!).


If you go to Montana you will never move back home wherever that is. If I was in good health I'd move to Montana tomorrow. Freedom!

-Larry

« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2010, 18:01 »
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I've been doing this for over a year now, and have concluded that it's a fun hobby and nothing more.  No surprise to most of you there.  It's a strange business, though, where "hobbyists" are supplying images to professionals for serious commercial use - at hobby prices.

I see 2 basic problems.

First, these microstocks haven't really figured out how to differentiate themselves and compete on anything but price. That ends predictably, with the lowest possible quality, commodity prices and no margin left.

Second, I agree that the internet has ruined the business. Many buyers would probably be receptive to buying original, creative images directly from photographers for more reasonable prices - BUT, they no longer have any concept of how to connect directly with the actual producers of the products they use.   They don't know who we are, or how to find us - they can only think in terms of web sites like the current microstocks.  

we need to get past this pathological business model, and find new ways to sell our images without  these parasitic middlemen that don't even really know who their suppliers are, what products they have on the shelves, or which ones are good and which aren't - mindlessly driving down prices with gimmicks like subscriptions and packages.   And eventually I think we will, somehow.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2010, 18:09 by stockastic »

Xalanx

« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2010, 18:08 »
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Every microstocker I know (who are doing it for a living) shudders at the idea of doing weddings. That's what many of them used to do and they are so glad to give it up.

And I thought I'm a weirdo because I really hate weddings, baptisms and all that.


 

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