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Author Topic: Finding a partner  (Read 12433 times)

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« on: April 27, 2010, 12:39 »
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I have a full time job and a tens of thousands of photos sitting on my hard drives for years that I haven't gotten to.  Although I've been a contributor to the micros for 5 years now, the last couple of years I've barely uploaded due to time.

Instead of flat out hiring someone I thought of partnering up with someone I can trust.  I have a friend with photoshop skills and  I could give him batches of images to clean up, keyword and upload to Alamy.  I have a lot of travel shots and want to focus on Alamy right now instead of the micros with him. 

Instead of an hourly wage, his payment would be a percentage of the sales of the images that he works on.  He only gets paid if there is a sale.  What percentage of the sale (after Alamy takes their royalty) would you figure to be fair?  I have to make it worth while for him.


« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2010, 13:04 »
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If I were you, I'd offer him 40% of the profit and pay him around 50 $ a month so that he doesn't feel that it all might be a waste of time should you see no sales. Regards, Lj

« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2010, 13:10 »
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theres so many variables to this question, i don't even know where to begin ???

« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2010, 13:13 »
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Just wondering how your friend will know if a sale has been made. Will your partner have permanent access to your account?

« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2010, 13:21 »
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Yes, I would give him access to my account.  So, he can log in and keyword or submit accepted images, or whatever he needs to do.  He would basically manage my Alamy account and I would only give him images to work with. 

I was also thinking around 40% as well.  So my last sale on Alamy was for $450.  Minus the 40% royalty I'm down to $270.  So he would get 40% of that ($108) and I would net the rest.  The sale before that was for $48, so obviously its not always going to be a big sale. 

Otherwise I make zero, since I'm not going to have the time to do this myself and also contribute to the micros.

« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2010, 14:56 »
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It's always better something than nothing... And, if you can get something with no significant effort it is ok... But, I am more for 1/3 of earnings to give to your partner...

« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2010, 15:16 »
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If you have "tens of thousands of photos", I can't imagine you've spent much time shooting each, so they basically sound like travel snaps or something.  Is it worth the trouble to go through all this?

« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2010, 15:20 »
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Well, I know for sure that I wouldn't want to be the partner. It's not very encouraging to know that I'd only make money when a sale occurs.

Not only that I needed a lot of trust (if not even access to the account myself) but also the time involved may be a very risky venture.

If I'd be a college kid with all my bills being paid maybe, but only then.

From your side as the photographer I wouldn't "outsource" anything. Sure you have a lot of images but Alamy doesn't require a lot of post processing to be accepted, unless your images require major retouching to get through QC.

If it's mostly just a matter of of color/exposure correcting and upsizing I'd try to upload 10 images a day, that's one hour a day, I think that's reasonable for someone who had the time to take "tens of thousands" of images before...

Dook

« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2010, 15:36 »
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I would accept to be your partner if you planned to upload to microstock top tier agencies, but Alamy ???

« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2010, 15:38 »
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The person I'm considering has a full time job, so this would be something to hone his Photoshop skills and make extra cash.  Wasn't sure of the best method to pay him, hence why I put it out there for input.  Want to make sure its worth his time of course without giving out the farm as well.  Perhaps a monthly stipend along with percentage of sales would work best.

Agreed that I could spend an a hour a day, but between my day job, trying to submit to micros and also doing stock video, its time that I'm finding hard to find.

Yes, It's worth going through the process, I've traveled extensively and have a back log of quality images.  I wouldn't waste my time or someone else with snap shots.  My last trip alone I shot close to 20,000 images.

Just trying to find a way to clear the backlog of images and focused on what I enjoy more which is shooting more images.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2010, 15:51 »
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The person I'm considering has a full time job, so this would be something to hone his Photoshop skills and make extra cash.
Unless you have kept your slides in a hermetically sealed environment, the amount of work taken to clone out dust spots etc is absolutely soul destroying. It's really not a matter of honing Photoshop skills, it's just meticulous tedium.
I guess it depends how much he needs the money.

« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2010, 16:07 »
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What do volume shooters do in this situation?  When the amount of images outstrip the amount of time necessary to process and upload?  Most I would imagine probably are full timers and may hire full time help to do this.  I know there are keywording services out there that will do that part, but what about just doing everything else besides making the images?

 

Dook

« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2010, 16:16 »
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You approach is right. Yuri and the others have employees, but I don't think you make enough (at least from informations you gave to us) from stock to employee someone.

grp_photo

« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2010, 16:22 »
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A fair partnership is always 50:50 to me. That is also the reason I consider agencies that pay less than 50% as unfair.

« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2010, 16:26 »
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Right, I'm not on their level and hiring someone full time when I'm not even full time doesn't make sense to me.  Trust me, I'd rather have full control over all my images, but with a lot of people time is always the enemy.  Just trying to find a happy middle ground with some help, where I can clear my backlog and continue shooting.  With more and more images uploaded everyday to stock agencies and seeing a lot of mine images idle is sparking me to try a different approach to getting them uploaded. 

If 50/50 is what keeps someone motivated to upload then I'll do that.  Want to do what's right and fair.  Rather not go through the trouble of training and having someone stop because of a lack of return on their time.

« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2010, 16:30 »
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Yes, It's worth going through the process, I've traveled extensively and have a back log of quality images.  I wouldn't waste my time or someone else with snap shots.  My last trip alone I shot close to 20,000 images.

That doesn't make me think you really have saleable images.  20,000?  I mean, do you take your finger off the shutter button?  That's a ridiculous number.

lisafx

« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2010, 17:44 »
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Sounds like a great deal for you if you can find a "partner" to put in all the many, MANY hours of work cleaning up and submitting that number of images and only expect 40% of the extremely low sales volume you will get from Alamy.  The partner is assuming all the risk. 

I wouldn't touch the job for 100% of the royalties you are going to get from those pictures.  

I agree with Dook - it's not worth it unless you can upload them to the micros and they will be both accepted and marketable there.  


« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2010, 18:54 »
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I would not say that a 50/50 split is always fair. Too many factors involved .. are you going to attack this as a business? If so where is the split for the business? Are you a fix it later photographer or do you shoot it right in the first place and produce raw images that look fully edited? 20 seconds vs. 20 minutes per image edit is going to play a big part in what determines a fair split ratio. Who will be handling or paying for the sale tracking and bookkeeping? Who is in charge of archiving? Who is in charge of keywording? Who is in charge of QC? Who is covering travel expenses, gear expenses, office expenses? Some people will think a 50/50 split is fair when actually a 90/10 or a 75/25 split is actually the fairest ratio. Every single little process needs to be broken down into effort and expense to determine what percentage both parties can call fair.

« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2010, 19:44 »
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sjlocke ~ Was in Antarctica for the trip with 20k photos.  The scenery was fantastic, so I took more photos than a normal trip totals of 3 to 4k.

I'm focusing my travel and editorial shots with Alamy, since I believe they are a better spot for them (I could be wrong).  I'm not stopping with contributing to the micros, that is and has been my main outlet.  I will have to drill down into the details a bit more to figure out a proper percentage as Randy mentioned. 

Its sounding like most photographers do everything themselves as I have done.  Just looking for a better way to reduce the back log of images.

« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2010, 20:05 »
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sjlocke ~ Was in Antarctica for the trip with 20k photos.  The scenery was fantastic, so I took more photos than a normal trip totals of 3 to 4k.

Exactly.  Vacation snaps.  Well, good look getting help to process them, although it sounds like you could just run a batch on the set.

« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2010, 20:20 »
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The partner is assuming all the risk.
That's the heart of the matter. It's a paid job since there is no honor at all in it for the retoucher. It's the same as if somebody would start a business, and tell his employees the will be paid according profits in the course of the coming years. That won't fly. The OP should pay his retoucher upfront on an hourly or per picture base, and assume the risk himself. Lookstat offers services like that.

« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2010, 20:29 »
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I do have enough marketable images, vacation snaps aside.  Where having someone help me get them online is necessary if I want to increase my revenue.  Perhaps paying him an hourly wage would work too as apposed to a percentage.  I don't know its a bridge I'm crossing and looking for input.

« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2010, 21:54 »
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Exactly.  Vacation snaps. 
Just because they are photos taken in a vacation trip, do they deserve the "snap" classification?

« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2010, 22:52 »
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Exactly.  Vacation snaps.  
Just because they are photos taken in a vacation trip, do they deserve the "snap" classification?

+1.

I believe lookstat have a service that would suit, but dont know how much it costs (and is geared for micro, whereas I still believe there is more money in macro agencies for travel images).
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 23:15 by Phil »

« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2010, 00:15 »
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Exactly.  Vacation snaps. 
Just because they are photos taken in a vacation trip, do they deserve the "snap" classification?

Unless he went there to shoot specific things for the commercial marketplace, yes, they're just vacation shots, and income expectations should be adjusted accordingly.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2010, 11:01 »
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Exactly.  Vacation snaps. 
Just because they are photos taken in a vacation trip, do they deserve the "snap" classification?

Unless he went there to shoot specific things for the commercial marketplace, yes, they're just vacation shots, and income expectations should be adjusted accordingly.
Well, my "vacation snaps", as you and Sean would call them, from Canada have paid for the trip, including airfares from Scotland, so don't knock it.
Pity the market isn't so interested in Uganda and Botswana  :'(, but there you have it.

@Sean: while I respect your knowledge and experience (in your own highly successful genre) and your willingness to share readily though testily, I really have to wonder about your attitude towards genres other than your own. What in the OP's port at iStock, for example, would lead you to think he'd be submitting 'snapshots'?
Many people travel specifically with the intention of shooting many images, not to 'vacation'. Long before I submitted for stock, I always considered my trips as 'working at a different job'.
Also, people who have full-time jobs and photograph on trips probably don't need to earn as much as those who are full time stock photographers, therefore can 'afford' to photograph the more interesting and enjoyable stuff, even though the other stuff often sells much better, especially on the micros.

« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2010, 11:19 »
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Exactly.  Vacation snaps. 
Just because they are photos taken in a vacation trip, do they deserve the "snap" classification?

I don't expect 20,000 images from a vacation to be masterpieces.  The only way to shoot that many is to walk around shooting stuff you come upon.


« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2010, 11:43 »
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Surpasspro, I send you a PM  :)

« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2010, 11:55 »
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Sounds like a nice deal for you, but thinking long-term - it seems unlikely good business person & photoshoper would find it worth (even 100% of) commission of possible sales to photoshop someone else's fine photos, unless:

  • photos are historically significant or unique in other way
  • it's part of well-honed business such as Yuri's
  • person's closely related to photographer

The reason you've wisely determined this photo-preparation is not priority for your limited, valuable time is probably similar to reason why lawyers work on contingency fees only on carefully picked cases most likely to win and get large settlement.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 11:57 by ann »

« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2010, 12:40 »
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The person I'm considering is family related so there is a level of trust there.  I have a meeting setup with him and will gauge his interest with all the pros/cons/risks laid out.  I might have to hire someone full time, but I'm trying this route first.

In the last 3 years, I've traveled to close to 30 countries and all the continents.  Most of it with my day time job photographing most major cities and photo shoots with models in those cities.  Also, throw in photos from personal vacation trips.  So, I haven't submitted much in a couple of years, due to traveling and time constraints.  I've also been focusing more on stock video production to diversify my port, (which is time consuming), so that's why I'm sitting on a back log of images.

The number of shots taken in Antarctica was extreme, but if you've been there you would know why. I also managed to shoot close to 450 HD video clips on that trip as well.  As ShadySue mentioned, I've paid for many of vacations with my "photo/video snaps".

« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2010, 13:36 »
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Exactly.  Vacation snaps. 
Just because they are photos taken in a vacation trip, do they deserve the "snap" classification?

it was a snap comment and thus worth about that much consideration

travel is of course a competitive field, but it's certainly worth pursuing.

s

« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2010, 13:39 »
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A fair partnership is always 50:50 to me. That is also the reason I consider agencies that pay less than 50% as unfair.

???? what if the risk, work, etc isnt split 50-50 -- similarly, a blanket statement that an agency rate is unfair makes little sense without knowing what's involved.  by your method, exclsives should be paid the same % as freelancers, since 50-50 is 'always' fair

when agencies offer 60-70% do you insist on taking only 50% because that's the only split that's fair?


steve

« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2010, 15:45 »
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I seem to be the odd man out, but why would you pay a percentage for perpetuity?  Why not 12 or 24 months?  What happens when you die, who does the copyright revert to?  Your kids will wind up in court with his kids.  I'd pay a one-time per photo accepted rate, and maby a bonus at every 100 he gets accepted.  Or an hourly fee. 

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2010, 15:52 »
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The person I'm considering is family related so there is a level of trust there.  
"Family...trust" isn't necessarily a sequitur. Lawyers make their  money out of family trust being broken. Or as my late mother-in-law's lawyer said, "... family's all well and good until the bawbees hit the bucket".
« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 17:37 by ShadySue »

« Reply #34 on: April 28, 2010, 16:02 »
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I guess I'm trusting that with access to my account that he won't cash my money and take off or misuse my images.  You still have to trust a third party service or someone you hire, so relying on family is not a bad thing.

I would still have copyright to my images, but I will probably have to limit the amount of time a royalty can be earned. 

« Reply #35 on: April 28, 2010, 16:27 »
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Exactly.  Vacation snaps. 
Just because they are photos taken in a vacation trip, do they deserve the "snap" classification?
I don't expect 20,000 images from a vacation to be masterpieces.  The only way to shoot that many is to walk around shooting stuff you come upon.

Many people try to sell "travel snapshots" (SP has hundreds), but calling any photo taken in a travel trip as "snapshots" is ridiculous. 

I my own case, I normally travel on my own, rarely taking a tour, so I have my own time.  I plan my day ahead, and I often return to an interesting place at different time if I can.  So it's not  This is the Big Ben, click, click, Westminster Abbey, click, click.  My travemates are normally people who like photography, even if not so passionate as I am. 

In the film days, I could easily spend a roll in one day (on occasions even more).  Now with digital it's much more, I experiment more, shoot vertical and horizontal, extra details of architecture, bracketing (what I rarely do).  Not unusually I take over 100 images a day - surely not all keepers. 

Oh, yes, I sold many as RM - could sell more if I had the time and the patience of editing and keywording all of them.

« Reply #36 on: April 28, 2010, 17:16 »
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I would suggest agreeing on an average time that should be spent on each photo in order to get it up to scratch, come to an agreement on price and make a one off payment, otherwise it could get really hard to track to the end of time, gives you flexibility to do what every you want with the images in the future.


red

« Reply #37 on: April 28, 2010, 19:26 »
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Why not give this person say, 100 images to start out with and then discuss a price after he analyzes how much work is involved. I do contract photoshop work and prefer to charge a per-project price after I analyze the time it takes to finish the job. Upload those 100 and see if they pass review and how they sell, then proceed from there. If he is a really good photoshop artist and you are a really good photographer with images that don't need much editing letting him set a price will satisfy you both. I would worry more about turning over the keywording to him.

« Reply #38 on: May 06, 2010, 03:03 »
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My soon us to help me (not any more) but than was great help. I have offered him all the profit above a certain level.

« Reply #39 on: May 06, 2010, 03:57 »
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Hi there - to chip in from the "other side" so to speak.

I started my own photo agency over 10 years ago after 10 years with two larger agencies, specializing in travel photographs. I never actually travelled anywhere, I simply had a look at photographers with large collections of pictures on the internet of marketable material.

They were all gathering dust on the hard drives, and the photographers had no idea how to sell them. My arragement was simple. The photographer sent me all the pics on CD's with the files named to I could identify where they were from. I did all the photoshop work (I'm a one man band 80 hrs a week), and captioned the pics for sale. They were then syndicated to all my outlets - 20 or so macro agencies in different countries, and directly to the UK press.

I then kept track of sales, got cuttings where possible, and paid 50:50 to the photographer reported every three months. This I did for 20 or so photographers, however as time has gone on the editorial market wasn't as lucrative, so some have given up or gone their own way. I never sent any to Alamy, as I did't deal with them at the time.

Most agencies I sell with have a 60:40 split, so the snapper was getting 30%. With UK media, they were getting 50%

It was worthwhile, and would probably be more so nowadays as Alamy sell's a huge volume of travel pics.

Over the last three years I diversified with my own images into micro as well, which is again lucrative.

I would not take on any more images just for Alamy, but would if the deal was going to beneficial for all concerned. As an example, I' would photoshop and upload all your images to Alamy, and you can keep 100% of sales with no fee's invloved for the work. The same photographs you would then allow me to syndicate to oversea's agents and or micro for a share of the profit's.

That's an issue to outside of this site, and I'd be happy to discuss it with you. Alternatively when my esteemed colleagues have finished debating wether they are holiday pictures or not they may be able to point you in an alternative direction.

I'll check in on this thread later, off to vote in the UK election now!

Rgds

Oldhand

« Reply #40 on: May 06, 2010, 07:01 »
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You might have 'thousands of images' on your HD but it is almost inconceivable that a high proportion of them are both unique and have significant stock potential.

When I do a month-long trip for stock purposes I might take 5000 images (including bracketing for tricky conditions, etc). Out of those maybe 200-odd will eventually be uploaded. If I can average 7 new stock images per day, including the loss of some days due to poor weather, then the trip will probably have a payback period of 1-2 years. Of those that I do upload it is likely that 60-80%  will effectively bomb. Almost all the money is in the top 20% of the uploaded images __ and that's just 40 images out of the original 5000 or less than 1%. Although there will always be some surprises most of the images with serious sales potential will be fairly obvious to anyone who understands a little about stock.

I reckon that success at stock is something like 70% knowledge of the market, 15% photography and 15% PS skills in optimising images. Your friend might know a bit about PS but if he doesn't understand anything about stock, in knowing which images to select and then how to crop and present them optimised for sale, then most of his efforts are likely to be in vain.

You should be able to identify most of the 1% of your images that are likely to have potential and processing those yourself won't actually take too long. IMHO it is unlikely that you could come up with a compensation package for your friend that is attractive to him, fair and would actually work out economically. Stock is always a risk in that future sales are always an unknown quantity and it would be unfair to dump any of that risk on your friend unless he truly understands stock __ in which case he'd be far better off doing it for himself.

« Reply #41 on: May 06, 2010, 07:10 »
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^^

That was as precise and pointed as I have heard so far . . .  well done.

Microbius

« Reply #42 on: May 06, 2010, 08:02 »
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It sounds to me like if you offer a 50% split on the profits it would be an excellent deal for you as your partner will assume all the risk.
Oldhand's offer sounds even better as he/she sounds like they have plenty of experience in the market.
People can debate if the images are likely to sell all day; there's an easy way to find out-- go for it! You have nothing to lose as all the work will be undertaken by others and it could prove to be good earner for them too.
It's bound to be better then letting the images sit on your hard drive!

« Reply #43 on: May 06, 2010, 14:34 »
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Have you thought about getting a student intern?  You can trade your skills (and have an assistant on hand!) for their time.  I know when I was a student I did lots of this kind of work for photographers, both paid and for knowledge.

« Reply #44 on: May 08, 2010, 16:24 »
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 Hi Surpaspro,
 
 I really think it is better in your situation to do the editing for what you know the market will need and then have an out source do them for a per image cost. Lookstat is a good choice. Rahul there could also give you feed back on the work before you spend money on the processing, he has a great deal of knowledge about what will and won't sell in the Micro market place.
 I would totally stay away from a percentage deal and pay for the cost of the salable images yourself. You might need a good editor more than someone to upload at first.

 Gostywk,

 200 photos from a months travel work.  Are you sure those are the correct numbers, they seem a bit low to me.

Good Luck,
Jonathan

« Reply #45 on: May 08, 2010, 17:07 »
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...
 200 photos from a months travel work.  Are you sure those are the correct numbers, they seem a bit low to me.
...

That sounds about right from my experience, although his payback is perhaps a little longer than it might be. He's talking about taking advantage of "found" images, not doing pre-arranged (model) shoots - a pretty a good plan for a working vacation that suits the microstock marketplace quite well.

« Reply #46 on: May 09, 2010, 10:34 »
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Hi Sharply,

 Yes I realize it is without models, even an easier way to make a lot of pictures while traveling but if you are happy with 200 photos from a months work that is cool. I was actually asking Gostywk but if you think his numbers are right then thanks for the advice. That works out to 6.5 photos a day without people to me that seems like a small number as he was saying when he goes on the road for a months long trip for ( stock purposes ), not about it being a vacation.
 Just thought the numbers were low but not trying to put anyone down. From what I have heard on here I thought they might be a little greater in number for Micro. The cost of the travel must just barely be covered by the time the images are done selling but I suppose it is how cheap you can travel, how thrifty you are as well as how far you travel ( lots of variables ). I shoot locations a lot and I find them easier than shoots you have to choreograph with a crew and models and cost of locations. Locations alone are way cheaper for me  to produce. I think they are more fun to, just you and the camera :)

Thanks,
Jonathan


« Reply #47 on: May 09, 2010, 11:54 »
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surpasspro, why don't you try to go with production agencies which submit images not only to Alamy, but to many partner macrostock agencies (including Corbis, Getty) simultaneously. As far as I know they take your RAW files, postprocess them, keyword (you supply only captions) and submit. But, of course, you pay them more than 40%. That is the way many photographers work.
Alamy alone is very time consuming...

« Reply #48 on: May 10, 2010, 16:46 »
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Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for the note and mention below. Happy to help and answer any questions.

Cheers,

Rahul

Hi Surpaspro,
 
 I really think it is better in your situation to do the editing for what you know the market will need and then have an out source do them for a per image cost. Lookstat is a good choice. Rahul there could also give you feed back on the work before you spend money on the processing, he has a great deal of knowledge about what will and won't sell in the Micro market place.
 I would totally stay away from a percentage deal and pay for the cost of the salable images yourself. You might need a good editor more than someone to upload at first.

 Gostywk,

 200 photos from a months travel work.  Are you sure those are the correct numbers, they seem a bit low to me.

Good Luck,
Jonathan


 

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