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Author Topic: Good Old Days of Microstock - Question about Success of Yuri Arcurs  (Read 5302 times)

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« on: August 02, 2018, 07:16 »
0
Hey, I have one question for people who remember the "good old days" of microstock .

How is that possible, that Yuri Arcurs was able to do such fortune with all other photographers around? I mean, the best of my first images (I'm not selling photos) was imitated when it had only 9 downloads on Shutterstock. So I would expect that success like this would by imitated by large amount of people almost immediately. And the market would be diluted between all of them.

I know, its different now - oversaturated market etc... but still, he was not alone there, there was some competition.


« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2018, 07:24 »
+1
I mean, the best of my first images (I'm not selling photos) was imitated when it had only 9 downloads on Shutterstock.

Well, it's a lot easier to copy an illustration than to have access to sets and models in order to take pictures of hospital situations, dentists, corporate offices etc. etc.

« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2018, 07:40 »
0
Yes, but he was not "God of Microstock" on the start, with unlimited funds and dozens of staff.  I guess, that he started low, so what he did in the beginning , others were also able to do. So this is why I'm surprised by such huge succes for such long time.

« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2018, 07:49 »
+4
Other people also did it and had great success at the outset. He was one several at the top and was happy to promote his success. He was very savvy, I think not coming from traditional photography helped him see it more as a business from the outset rather than any sort of "art", he seemed very focused on pumping out exactly what the customers wanted from day one without worrying about what he wanted or liked shooting or anything.

His spend was also much higher than most people resulting in more sales but not necessarily much more profit.

derek

    This user is banned.
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2018, 07:49 »
+2
Ive known him personally for many years. Very early and when everyone else was more or less laughing at the very idea of microstock he still saw the potential of selling pics off the peg and he succeded!...few years later he employed lots of people, ran a massive studio and shot models and lifestyles like crazy, worked on the concept of quantity with quality!

There are at least 20 more good success stories with different people who made small fortunes in the early days but they are long gone, left microstock for something else!

On a different note. Gettys epic mistake in the early days was NOT realizing that micro-stock was the future for many, they laughed, finally they bought IS from Bruce and of course run it into the dirt!
« Last Edit: August 02, 2018, 07:53 by derek »

« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2018, 07:50 »
+2
Others know more about this than me but here is my impression.

When Yuri started the number of other photographers was very low and almost all were rank amateurs with little understanding of how to use their camera to make commercial images, and were doing it part time mostly for fun.  Yuri was one of the first to realize that there was potential to make serious money if you took a professional approach.  He analyzed successful images to identify the types, subjects and styles that would sell, then developed a style that was in demand.  He was probably one of the first to use professional models, makeup artists, setups, etc., while everyone else was still trying to figure out how to shoot an isolated tomato on white and when to use a tripod.  He recognized the potential and capitalized on the situation - he became a pro in a sea of amateurs - and that made him rich.  In those days the number of images was in the hundreds of thousands, not over 200 million.  There is no way he would be able to do the same if he started today.  Timing, luck, and mostly skill in taking a professional approach early is what got him to the top.  Or at least that's my impression, I'm sure others may think differently.

« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2018, 07:54 »
+2
Other people also did it and had great success at the outset. He was one several at the top and was happy to promote his success. He was very savvy, I think not coming from traditional photography helped him see it more as a business from the outset rather than any sort of "art", he seemed very focused on pumping out exactly what the customers wanted from day one without worrying about what he wanted or liked shooting or anything.

His spend was also much higher than most people resulting in more sales but not necessarily much more profit.
Was/is  a Brilliant business person prepared to invest heavily and work extremely hard. Also a great self publicist. While many talk the talk fewer are actually really prepared to put the effort in and take the financial risks required.

« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2018, 07:56 »
0
Others know more about this than me but here is my impression.

When Yuri started the number of other photographers was very low and almost all were rank amateurs with little understanding of how to use their camera to make commercial images, and were doing it part time mostly for fun.  Yuri was one of the first to realize that there was potential to make serious money if you took a professional approach.  He analyzed successful images to identify the types, subjects and styles that would sell, then developed a style that was in demand.  He was probably one of the first to use professional models, makeup artists, setups, etc., while everyone else was still trying to figure out how to shoot an isolated tomato on white and when to use a tripod.  He recognized the potential and capitalized on the situation - he became a pro in a sea of amateurs - and that made him rich.  In those days the number of images was in the hundreds of thousands, not over 200 million.  There is no way he would be able to do the same if he started today.  Timing, luck, and mostly skill in taking a professional approach early is what got him to the top.  Or at least that's my impression, I'm sure others may think differently.
Yes he was business orientated and would look for a second into entering stock now.

derek

    This user is banned.
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2018, 09:12 »
+4
Others know more about this than me but here is my impression.

When Yuri started the number of other photographers was very low and almost all were rank amateurs with little understanding of how to use their camera to make commercial images, and were doing it part time mostly for fun.  Yuri was one of the first to realize that there was potential to make serious money if you took a professional approach.  He analyzed successful images to identify the types, subjects and styles that would sell, then developed a style that was in demand.  He was probably one of the first to use professional models, makeup artists, setups, etc., while everyone else was still trying to figure out how to shoot an isolated tomato on white and when to use a tripod.  He recognized the potential and capitalized on the situation - he became a pro in a sea of amateurs - and that made him rich.  In those days the number of images was in the hundreds of thousands, not over 200 million.  There is no way he would be able to do the same if he started today.  Timing, luck, and mostly skill in taking a professional approach early is what got him to the top.  Or at least that's my impression, I'm sure others may think differently.
Yes he was business orientated and would look for a second into entering stock now.


Nope he would not come back to stock not the way we know and sell stock. Spoke to him about 5,6 months back and he sure knows the market is ruined. His company still sell stock though but not as microstock!

« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2018, 02:45 »
0
Interesting reading. Thank you all for answers.

ShadySue

« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2018, 04:27 »
+2
Nope he would not come back to stock not the way we know and sell stock. Spoke to him about 5,6 months back and he sure knows the market is ruined. His company still sell stock though but not as microstock!
So has he got out of his Getty/iStock contract and isn't uploading there any more?
Nope, this one is from July 18th this year:
https://www.istockphoto.com/gb/photo/she-has-been-my-absolute-favourite-patient-gm999833936-270385231

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2018, 04:53 »
+1
Others know more about this than me but here is my impression.

When Yuri started the number of other photographers was very low and almost all were rank amateurs with little understanding of how to use their camera to make commercial images, and were doing it part time mostly for fun.  Yuri was one of the first to realize that there was potential to make serious money if you took a professional approach.  He analyzed successful images to identify the types, subjects and styles that would sell, then developed a style that was in demand.  He was probably one of the first to use professional models, makeup artists, setups, etc., while everyone else was still trying to figure out how to shoot an isolated tomato on white and when to use a tripod.  He recognized the potential and capitalized on the situation - he became a pro in a sea of amateurs - and that made him rich.  In those days the number of images was in the hundreds of thousands, not over 200 million.  There is no way he would be able to do the same if he started today.  Timing, luck, and mostly skill in taking a professional approach early is what got him to the top.  Or at least that's my impression, I'm sure others may think differently.
Yes he was business orientated and would look for a second into entering stock now.


Spoke to him about 5,6 months back and he sure knows the market is ruined.

How ironic, knowing that he partnered with the biggest culprit in microstock: iStock/Getty, in a time when it was said that iStock's pricing and policy would start a race to the bottom. Not to say that he alone is responsible (he's not THAT big), but it does remind me of how mankind is extracting fossil fuels and cutting down rainforests to make money, and when the environment finally is destroyed, they're like 'yea, the planet is ruined, better find some other source.'

« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2018, 07:31 »
+2
but it does remind me of how mankind is extracting fossil fuels and cutting down rainforests to make money, and when the environment finally is destroyed, they're like 'yea, the planet is ruined, better find some other source.'

I think their plan B is to find another planet - too bad for the rest of us.  If we were smart we would be desperately trying to save this one but unfortunately in the US we now have Trump instead who seems to be taking a scorched-Earth policy to everything.  I suspect Mueller probably now has enough evidence of Trump's money laundering to put the scumbag in jail for the rest of his miserable existence - just hope it is all allowed to come out and justice is served, for the sake of all life on Earth.

nobody

« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2018, 09:21 »
0
I bet even Ansel Adams wouldn't be able to make a living in this business today! He would get $.38 for photos that required days of travel by horse to reach!

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2018, 09:52 »
+2
I bet even Ansel Adams wouldn't be able to make a living in this business today! He would get $.38 for photos that required days of travel by horse to reach!

Truth is Ansel Adams barely made a living in his day. He worked for the parks, feds, had a little shop and sold photos, made some books,. It wasn't until he got a manager and started doing art prints and LE books, that he caught on and cashed in. Marketing

Yuri was smart and saw the market, beyond Micro. Read the buyers minds for what they wanted, made that and built a business. Yes he invested in models, makeup, wardrobe, and did professional settings. Professional gear and lighting. Once he made a name, he grew into the studio, classes, and professional hires, outside of Micro. So while many people were shooting tabletop, lighted through a window he went big with his stark style. Smart guy! Marketing

« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2018, 13:00 »
0
If you want to go through some of Yuri's (self promotional) own words. His web site still has blog postings. http://arcurs.com/

ShadySue

« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2018, 13:34 »
0
If you want to go through some of Yuri's (self promotional) own words. His web site still has blog postings. http://arcurs.com/

I don't see any more recent than April 2017 ... are they hidden somewhere?


« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2018, 17:25 »
+1
Nope he would not come back to stock not the way we know and sell stock. Spoke to him about 5,6 months back and he sure knows the market is ruined. His company still sell stock though but not as microstock!
So has he got out of his Getty/iStock contract and isn't uploading there any more?
Nope, this one is from July 18th this year:
https://www.istockphoto.com/gb/photo/she-has-been-my-absolute-favourite-patient-gm999833936-270385231 [nofollow]

...and peopleimages are still filling like hell, cca 154500 images
this one is from august 03.2018.
https://www.istockphoto.com/gb/photo/flowers-for-the-deceased-gm1012408132-272719640 [nofollow]

so he's a bullshiter like always...  ;)

« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2018, 00:19 »
+2
Yuri saw what this was about and made it a business. a Bullshitter? NO a very good Businessman that knows exactly what he was doing and when to do it.. You didn't!! His father is a great guy also and smart as a whip. He is a good friend along with His Dad. he wrote the forward in My first book "The beginners Guide to Microstock Photography" 2007 which was also One of the first things advertised on this site.
I remember seeing his first 3 pages on SS and wondered what this kid was doing or where he was going because this wasn't the way. Then on Page 4 He Came alive and....with a work ethic second to None Paved the way to success. and the rest is History. Yuri and Andres, Scott rothstein,China Tiger,Jamie Duplass,Forgiss and Not many Others took control and forged what we had for a Long time Until Greed from the sites took control.

Shame you newbs have no Idea what a Lot of us did, It was 20 Cents, That was it and we fought hard for what we got. It's gone now sadly But My deep respect for yuri and the others remain.They....made a difference...

https://www.brighthub.com/multimedia/photography/articles/67267.aspx

« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2018, 05:39 »
+1
I'm not completly sure that you understand what to quote someone realy means..... ;)

anyway, nobody said that he doesnt know how to make money, but comentary was on that that he wouldnt
come back to stock...and he made a million dollar company that prints photos like crazy plus he still puts photos in his own port...
...so he is a bullshiter.  ;)

Stay on the point of conversation, dont weep about time when there was 200.000 pics on stock agencies and 2000 photographers and talk about good business...  ;)

« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2018, 06:13 »
+1
I'm not completly sure that you understand what to quote someone realy means..... ;)

anyway, nobody said that he doesnt know how to make money, but comentary was on that that he wouldnt
come back to stock...and he made a million dollar company that prints photos like crazy plus he still puts photos in his own port...
...so he is a bullshiter.  ;)

Stay on the point of conversation, dont weep about time when there was 200.000 pics on stock agencies and 2000 photographers and talk about good business...  ;)

I wouldn't hang Yuri on Derek's word if I was you.  And, before telling someone to stay on conversation you might want to read the tittle of the thread and the original post.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 06:38 by obj owl »

« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2018, 11:15 »
0
Yuri saw what this was about and made it a business. a Bullshitter? NO a very good Businessman that knows exactly what he was doing and when to do it.. You didn't!! His father is a great guy also and smart as a whip. He is a good friend along with His Dad. he wrote the forward in My first book "The beginners Guide to Microstock Photography" 2007 which was also One of the first things advertised on this site.
I remember seeing his first 3 pages on SS and wondered what this kid was doing or where he was going because this wasn't the way. Then on Page 4 He Came alive and....with a work ethic second to None Paved the way to success. and the rest is History. Yuri and Andres, Scott rothstein,China Tiger,Jamie Duplass,Forgiss and Not many Others took control and forged what we had for a Long time Until Greed from the sites took control.

Shame you newbs have no Idea what a Lot of us did, It was 20 Cents, That was it and we fought hard for what we got. It's gone now sadly But My deep respect for yuri and the others remain.They....made a difference...

https://www.brighthub.com/multimedia/photography/articles/67267.aspx

Yuri did not invent the wheel. He only photographed what others before him successfully photographed. His early work would have never made it to TIB and compete with the likes of Nancy Brown, hence when the anyone can be a photographer industry of microstock came around he was at the right spot at the right time and grew into what he is today. There were many successful lifestyle photographers way before Yuri came into play in the low level entry of microstock. Yuri did however blossom and become what he is today, a very successful photographer and businessman. Kudos to him.

That said, there are so many jealous envious comments on this forum regarding Yuri. I guess one could say the only way these people will ever taste success is to take a bite from those who have it.

« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2018, 17:27 »
+1
Agree with the fact that he got his production ramped up at the right time. One of those things when you just hit the window at exactly the right time with a large quantity of exactly what people wanted.

« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2018, 09:55 »
+1
It may just be in my own head - but I seem to remember a post on SS years ago that his day job or contract had come to an end and he had an opportunity to produce stock full time for six months. He was asking others if they thought that it was a good idea for him to take the risk. If that memory is correct, he took that risk at the perfect time and was able to build on all the other positive traits for success as a result.

While a lot of us were bitching about the high cost of our DSLRs in relation to the amount we made per sale, he invested heavily in the very best equipment he could possibly get in order to create some kind of competitive advantage in a rising tide of contributors. Anyone else remember him being utterly annoyed at his images being rejected for being "over-sharpened" by some muppet image reviewer because he was using a Hasselblad MF camera? The quality was just so much better than the DSLRs everyone else was using the reviewer insisted it was sharpening being applied.

I think he even went so far as to develop a strategic partnership with Crestock in order to better understand what buyers were looking for based on statistical samples. If that memory is also true - then it is quite likely that he developed statistical models in order to track exactly what buyers were looking for based on keywords supplied by Crestock at the time.

Then, when we were all bitching again about what Getty was doing at iStock, he did something that looked completely counter-intuitive at the time. He pulled the plug on SS and other agencies and went exclusive within the larger Getty fold - but keeping his own agency up and running. With hindsight, that was a much better move than to continue feeding an ever hungry database for diminishing returns at SS and other micro agencies.

In a nutshell, I think he went further than anyone else to ensure his own success. And he deserves every bit of it as a result.

As an aside, I'll be in Cape Town on a shoot next week and will probably drive past his studio, Yuri Arcurs Productions at some point. That's another bold move he made in order to position himself intelligently. If you have ever been to Cape Town and the surrounding Western Cape you will understand why, from a stock perspective, that location is a very clever move.


derek

    This user is banned.
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2018, 10:13 »
0
Nope he would not come back to stock not the way we know and sell stock. Spoke to him about 5,6 months back and he sure knows the market is ruined. His company still sell stock though but not as microstock!
So has he got out of his Getty/iStock contract and isn't uploading there any more?
Nope, this one is from July 18th this year:
https://www.istockphoto.com/gb/photo/she-has-been-my-absolute-favourite-patient-gm999833936-270385231

...and peopleimages are still filling like hell, cca 154500 images
this one is from august 03.2018.
https://www.istockphoto.com/gb/photo/flowers-for-the-deceased-gm1012408132-272719640

so he's a bullshiter like always...  ;)


hey dullard!!  his people images have been there for ages, theyre always there!  always since years back!  its his webbsite!..boink!


 

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