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Poll

What is your ambition in this industry?

Strictly amateur: I enjoy this, but I like doing other things more
6 (7.4%)
Full time wannabe: I'd like to do this for a living, but don't think it'll ever pay well enough
18 (22.2%)
Future pro: It's not happening for me yet, but I'll eventually make my living doing this
21 (25.9%)
Part time pro: I'm a full time photographer, but stock makes up only part of my income
19 (23.5%)
Full tilt: Stock photography is who I am, and what I do
17 (21%)

Total Members Voted: 74

Author Topic: How do you see yourself in this industry?  (Read 4068 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

« on: May 16, 2008, 13:16 »
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Given the results of the recent poll about SS tier levels, I'm curious as to what people's ambitions are.

How do you see yourself fitting into this industry?


grp_photo

« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2008, 13:26 »
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Good Poll

« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2008, 13:44 »
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What industry? Are you asking about photography in general, art or just microstock? I might be dreaming about being National Geographic photographer but then microstock would not be my goal at all. Anyway for me now it's just attempt to finance my next camera upgrade, maybe future part time job. Now trying to review and upload some of my 60K+ collection of photos. Just to make them earning money instead of just sitting on the disk :-)

« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2008, 15:20 »
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What industry? Are you asking about photography in general, art or just microstock? ...
Given that this is a stock photography forum, and by the nature of the questions, isn't it obvious that the industry being referred to is the stock photography industry?

« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2008, 17:22 »
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I feel that microstock is too young to put all my hopes of making a living out of it.  I think that those who diversify will have the biggest chances of making a decent living out of stock.  Yes, there are a few living from micros but they still are too few.  Success stories help fuel the hype that it is attainable, but reality says that at some point saturation will appear and to rely solely on micros as an income will clearly become unsustainable. 

For example:  If (as I feel will happen) photographers from underdeveloped countries start to produce massive quantities of images, with lower or non existant production costs we will see stagnation of growth in our earnings as supply will overexceed demand.  This is a problem compounded by the lower and lower prices of digital SLRs. Also those photographers wont feel the pressure to earn high amounts of money to pay their bills (remember that in many countries people live with less than 200 dollars a month, or less, so a 400 dollars a month income from micros will be very good money for them).  Yes, it may take some time, but it will happen.  Competition will be fierce and we will work harder just to keep pace...  Microstock companies will be happy, since they will have an unlimited supply of images.  We as providers will be the ones that suffer.

I think that most of us should recognize that micros are a part of the stock business, micros are not the future by themselves, RM still has a place in the market and will continue to have, maybe midstock will have a place eventually, and in the end those who embrace changes, adapt and seek out more money making opportunities (comissioned work, local work, etc.) are the ones who will succeed.

The best sign of the times to come is to see what Yuri is saying and doing...

« Last Edit: May 16, 2008, 17:27 by HermanM »

« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2008, 17:35 »
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I would like to make $700 -1000 a month. But i am for the 5th month in $330-350 range even though the number of photos have doubled in 5 months. I dislike that dilution effect and now think that is less likely that I will meet my goal by the end of the year. Good thing, though, is that for the past 20 days I did not have time to shoot and upload I will still get my $300-$350 in May. I noticed that DT and IS are good investments, for SS one has to upload every week.


« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2008, 17:43 »
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well if the masses of third world workers get DSLR'S and the micro's become a worthless income - the midstock and macrostock market will not be any 'safe haven'  If they have the equipment to shoot for the micros (in 3 years time) they will have the equipment for midstock/macrostock. 

People still need the proper skill and in a few years the micros are going to have so many images that the quality standards are going to be very high.  If they have 10,000,000 images buyers are going to be frustrated by having to sift through thousands of poor images.  As such the sites will have very good search algorithms to bring the best images to the top (those who have skill will still be able to sell) or else be very restrictive in what they take.

I remember someone saying a while ago - and it holds true to microstock as well as any other profession.  Even if there is an overabundance of any type of work force there is NEVER enough of the best workers in that work force.  If you work hard at being the best, there will always be room.

« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2008, 17:48 »
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Another point is that people seem to think that those who making a wage on microstock are naive thinking that it will be some sort of stable reliable income.

Well, of course no one can tell the future but what we CAN tell is what is happening right now.  Microstock CAN be a good profession right now.  If all the sites were to go under or if for some reason it became unviable as an income then we would have to switch to something else, just like any profession.  No job or profession is totally secure and i would even venture a guess that microstock is probably more secure of a job than say working for company X pushing papers around the office.  Who knows when layoffs come, companies go out of business, industries change and disappear. 

I realize that microstock / midstock / or macrostock may not be around the rest of my life but while it is here, I am quite enjoying it's employment opportunities.

« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2008, 21:32 »
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I'd place myself somewhere between Strictly Amateur and Full Time Wannable. I doubt that microstock will ever make enough for me to quit my full time job, but I'm serious about making microstock a steady secondary income stream to supplement my full time income and pay for my photography equipment.

It's working quite well at the moment as I spend my weekends either out taking photos (for fun, art, or stock) and then some weekdays editing and submitting to stock. I find the industry interesting it makes me consider the things I take photos of. There's a bunch I take for my personal enjoyment that'd never make it as stock, some I take for stock only which I find quite dull, and some that fall in the middle.

« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2008, 22:04 »
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Wow, 65 votes - I'm surprized at how evenly distributed most of the categories are.

suwanneeredhead

  • O.I.D. Sufferer (Obsessive Illustration Disorder)
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2008, 22:53 »
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I am definitely a minor player here in terms of port size and revenue... but its my fervent hope to be able to have stock photography make up a more significant part of my income and working time, in the very near future.

Life circumstances ( read: divorce ) have forced me to try to make the most money in the least amount of time so I've had to bury myself in my web design and print design freelance work, and I just have my camera along wherever I go. Wish I had more time for stock, I already spend way more time than I should on editing and uploading. Kind of addictive to me, photography.

Joyce I hear ya about "shooting for stock" and how sometimes those shots are "boring" from a wall art point of view. I shoot a lot for stock and sometimes don't take the time for the artistic shot but lately ( again life circumstances ) I have been artistically inspired beyond belief ( *sigh* ) and am starting to be a lot more liberal and experimental, in composition and post-processing.

I digress. My vote is, wannabe pro, that's me. Looks good for me, I'm moving to Renton, Washington very soon ... i have found the man of my dreams (thanks to Microstock, we met on MostPhotos)... you cannot imagine what it is like to meet someone who has STOCK in common with you... its better than chocolate! So we are going to see where that takes us... we both learn so much from each other... you know I think getting to the next level in photography always requires learning and influencing and participating... i am seriously inspired now   ( Hi, Mark! ;)  )

Yeah, great poll.   - Stacey
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 23:54 by suwanneeredhead »

« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2008, 19:36 »
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I'd like to do it fulltime as a retirement job... but,  I was fortunate to "step in that stuff". In my first year playing in micros, I was contacted by a publisher (seeing my junk on the micros) to be picked up for  free lance assignments. Hence, I was able to by-pass the microstock middleman and start pimping my work myself with a much, much, much better return on time investment.
     However, I continue to upload to the micros. While it realizes less of a return, I still see it as a reasonable return for minimum work.  Although, I will never retire on my micro $$, it keeps me in equipment, pays for vacations and.... my accountant thinks it's great!
 8)=tom

« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2008, 21:07 »
0
Realistically,
I really want this to be $1000 a month.

« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2008, 23:34 »
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I'm moving to Renton, Washington very soon ... i have found the man of my dreams (thanks to Microstock, we met on MostPhotos)... you cannot imagine what it is like to meet someone who has STOCK in common with you... its better than chocolate! So we are going to see where that takes us... we both learn so much from each other... you know I think getting to the next level in photography always requires learning and influencing and participating... i am seriously inspired now   ( Hi, Mark! ;)  )

OMG is that MWP1969???? How cool is that???? (Or was that Mark from Seattle, I forget???)  Anyhow - the first microstock love affair that I've heard of (other than photog/models)...  Is that why Mark69 has been so quiet lately?  You are keeping him busy?  I hope you kids are blissfully happy, and how nice to have a pal with so much in common.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 23:36 by Pixart »

suwanneeredhead

  • O.I.D. Sufferer (Obsessive Illustration Disorder)
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2008, 00:22 »
0
I'm moving to Renton, Washington very soon ... i have found the man of my dreams (thanks to Microstock, we met on MostPhotos)... you cannot imagine what it is like to meet someone who has STOCK in common with you... its better than chocolate! So we are going to see where that takes us... we both learn so much from each other... you know I think getting to the next level in photography always requires learning and influencing and participating... i am seriously inspired now   ( Hi, Mark! ;)  )

OMG is that MWP1969???? How cool is that???? (Or was that Mark from Seattle, I forget???)  Anyhow - the first microstock love affair that I've heard of (other than photog/models)...  Is that why Mark69 has been so quiet lately?  You are keeping him busy?  I hope you kids are blissfully happy, and how nice to have a pal with so much in common.

YES it is mwp1969 (same guy, Mark from Seattle)... wow... your post just blows me away! THANKS! Yeah I've never heard of a love affair here in microstock either... hee hee... Yeah I'm keeping him busy... we stay on the phone just about 24/7 (nice to be on the same cell carrier)... and he's really busy with his job too, he's ambitious and reeeaaally talented and he's going places!  And yes my kids love him, he's amazing with them, they are very excited to be moving to such an awesome place.

AND OMG how cool is it to have stock photography in common? He gets me all worked up whispering in my ear about PHOTOSHOP!

Hey i'm sure we'll keep y'all posted because we aren't exactly keeping this a secret...

Thanks Pixart, your post was really sweet...
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 00:47 by suwanneeredhead »

« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2008, 00:56 »
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Going completely off-topic - perhaps we should think about local MSG branch...

Anybody else from bigger Seattle? ;)


 

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