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Author Topic: If you started before 2007 - iStock is your #1  (Read 11705 times)

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« on: April 01, 2010, 17:53 »
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otherwise Shutterstock is the best. It seems to be a rule when I looked at result charts from different people.


« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2010, 18:17 »
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I started in late 2008.  Got into SS right away but it took a year to get accepted into IS and currently my IS port is 1/4 the size of my SS port.  In March, revenues for IS and SS were the same almost to the dollar.  In April and moving forward, I expect IS to be my #1 by an ever-growing margin.

« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2010, 19:13 »
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This might be a better observation: Those who are successful are successful on iStock. Those who aren't, aren't.

Sure, there are a few exceptions, but by-and-large these people are for some reason (very) anti-iStock and don't often upload there. nruboc is a classic case.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2010, 19:19 by sharply_done »

« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2010, 19:20 »
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Hi All,

 I just had my first $1000 month at Istock with 800 images and $2000 from SS with 3000+ images. I have to say that Istock is definitely rising above the competition.

Best,
Jonathan

dbvirago

« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2010, 19:24 »
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Agree with sharp. I started in 2006 and Istock is number 5

« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2010, 20:04 »
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I started in 2004 and SS is biggest earner for me with FT next and IS third.

« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2010, 00:55 »
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I started in 2005, and SS is by far the best earner for me.

« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2010, 03:34 »
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some of the top independants are now saying FT as #1.  Depends a lot on how you are affected by upload limits I think.

Istock has been slowly dropping for me for a long time, SS and FT are growing. I expect FT to overtake IS by the end of the year (not that I'm a top independant :))
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 04:23 by Phil »

« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2010, 05:42 »
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It also depends on the type of images you produce.  People making simple vectors or illustrations could make lots with SS but not even pass the illustrators test with istock.

I started in 2006 and still make more with SS than istock but there isn't much in it now.  I have a much bigger portfolio with SS because they accept so much more than istock.  If I was doing mostly photos of people or other subjects that are more accepted with istock, they would probably make more for me.

« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2010, 06:30 »
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This might be a better observation: Those who are successful are successful on iStock. Those who aren't, aren't.

This is the comment that most intrigues me... haven't really thought about it before, but it seems to make sense.  Many of the most successful microstockers end up as IS exclusives because they do so well there.  

Might be worth a poll... if you make over $X annually in microstock, is IS your #1?

« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2010, 06:32 »
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This might be a better observation: Those who are successful are successful on iStock. Those who aren't, aren't.

This is the comment that most intrigues me... haven't really thought about it before, but it seems to make sense.  Many of the most successful microstockers end up as IS exclusives because they do so well there.  

Could be a song, "If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere..."

It might be worth a poll... if you make over $X annually in microstock, is IS your #1?

« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2010, 09:17 »
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Started in '05, SS is my best

« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2010, 09:54 »
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Agree with Sharpshot sorta.  There are istock people and non-istock people.  I WANT to be an iStock person - but I'm simply not re-editing everything twice.  I don't do stock full time so for me to edit once for SS (which makes me $1000s a year) and once for iStock (which so far makes me about $100 a year) doesn't make sense.  I edit for SS and if iStock likes it, great.  If not, oh well.  I usually get buzzsawed at iStock reviews so then I don't sub again for a month.  I've been on since late '04 but refuse to push every week just to get them buzzsawed so I don't bother.  I cashed out $997 from stock last month - I'm happy enough with that.  Yes, I want to increase iStock but it's not a high priority for me.

Caz

« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2010, 09:57 »
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I started in 2005.  Before I went exclusive I didn't do that well with Shutterstock. They accepted the same things as iStock did and I sold about the same volume per month with them as I did with iStock, but of course the money was much less at Shutterstock.  I don't think it has anything to do with when you started.

« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2010, 10:20 »
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I edit for SS and if iStock likes it, great.  If not, oh well.  

That seems backwards.  I think we'll all agree that iStock has the highest standards.  So doesn't it make sense to aim to meet the toughest standards with everything you do, knowing that if iStock accepts it chances are everyone else will?  I know there's certain types of pics I do that iStock tends not to accept, so to maximize my earning potential, I do less of those things and more of the things that iStock wants and tends to approve.  If you want to aim for the highest revenue possible, you should aim to meet the highest standards possible, and that means aiming to meet iStock's criteria.  That's been my approach lately, and my acceptance rate at IS has been gradually increasing.  And it's clear to me that iStock has the most earning potential.  My port there is 1/4 the size of my SS port, but the revenue generated at each site is about equal.  (Earned just shy of $900 at each in March.)
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 10:22 by PowerDroid »

« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2010, 10:31 »
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I edit for SS and if iStock likes it, great.  If not, oh well.  
That seems backwards.  I think we'll all agree that iStock has the highest standards.
That might be but as a buyer for media, I don't even look at iStock for vectors or illustrations. They might look great at full size but media only need 800px max and rasterized is fine. Knowing IS rejects a lot that is very salable, I just look at DT. SS is no option since I don't have the volume. It will all depend on the buyer and his needs. IS certainly has a market but it's not mine.

rubyroo

« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2010, 11:48 »
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It's funny but I usually have stuff accepted equally at iStock and SS.  Just today though, I had one image that was accepted at iStock, SS and Fotolia, and was just rejected by DT.  That really confused me.

ETA:  Oops.  Just to get back on topic.  I have a quarter of the port on IS compared to SS, and about a quarter of the earnings, so currently they're about equal, although I expect IS to overtake SS quite soon.  I started in 2008.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 11:56 by rubyroo »


« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2010, 11:49 »
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I forgot to mention that I have about 85% as many images on IS as on SS and SS earns much more than 15% more than IS.

« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2010, 12:34 »
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IS certainly has a market but it's not mine.

I'm also a buyer.  I think sub-consciously I tend to prefer IS because I know they are extremely picky, and that tells me I will have to look through less garbage to get to what I want.  So as frustrated as I get at IS sometimes for my own rejections, I reward them for their pickiness.

« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2010, 13:15 »
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I started in early 2006.  Checking my stats, I see:

- 2006: DT was my top site, but IS and FT came very close
- 2007: IS was my top site, signifcantly ahead of the others
- 2008: IS was again my top site, although with a smaller margin than 2007
- 2009: FT was my top site, with IS close in second and DT not far in third
- 2010: FT is my top site, 10% ahead of IS and 30% ahead of DT

Not bad given that IS has the smallest number of my images among these 3.

« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2010, 13:16 »
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I started at IS in 2005 and this month they have dropped to 3rd place narrowly beating SS.  Not because IS is doing badly but because Fotolia and Dreamstime are doing amazingly well.   I never expected DT to ever overtake SS or IS but the last few months there have been more and more level 4 and 5 sales giving me many commisions of well over 5$ a time.
Fotolia is in a league of it's own this month and gave me earnings of nearly 50% more than IS.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 13:19 by fotografer »

« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2010, 14:00 »
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That seems backwards.  I think we'll all agree that iStock has the highest standards.  So doesn't it make sense to aim to meet the toughest standards with everything you do, knowing that if iStock accepts it chances are everyone else will? ...If you want to aim for the highest revenue possible, you should aim to meet the highest standards possible, and that means aiming to meet iStock's criteria.

I think you misunderstand me.  I think IS and SS have *different* standards.  IS prefers less editing at all.  SS prefers (and sells more) with higher contrast, higher saturation, more sharpened images.  It's two opposite approaches.  I have a hard time getting stuff in at IS (35-40% usually) and I'm not going to do what feels like a half-ass edit to make IS take it.  I want the image to look the best it can so it sells.  I don't think slightly undersaturated, slightly undersharp, slightly low contrast is a good image.  I know IS wants the designers to have leeway - and that's fine - but I'm not editing twice.  So iStock takes what they want from what I send em.  And like I said, I'm good with that.

« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2010, 14:23 »
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I have a hard time getting stuff in at IS (35-40% usually) and I'm not going to do what feels like a half-ass edit to make IS take it.  I want the image to look the best it can so it sells.  I don't think slightly undersaturated, slightly undersharp, slightly low contrast is a good image.

Is this how you would describe the IS catalog?  My impression was always that it was a technically more solid catalog than the other sites.  I've had a few instances where an IS reviewer would bounce and image back to me highlighting a certain spot with a flaw in it and allow me to correct it, while other sites let the shots with flaws sail on through. 

What's the opinion of you other IS vets out there?  IS exclusives?

Until it's proven otherwise, I'll continue to believe that IS has the most stringent quality standards.  If your pics were students, it would be like having them apply to Yale and the local community colleges.  If they're good enough to get accepted into Yale, it's extremely likely they'll be let in everywhere else.

« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2010, 14:50 »
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I started oktober-november 2008. My port on istock is half the size of the one on Shutterstock but every month istock earns me more than double the amount of SS. DT is third, but with a only a fraction of the $$'s made on iS and SS. (still dumped Fotolia and their shenanigans and still very pleased i did).

I agree iStock has the highest standards out of the stock agencies; but imho also the most inconsistent. It's the only site where it's very difficult for me to predict what will fly and what not, (while i have 90+% acceptance rate on SS,DT,Veer,BigStock and FT back then).
I also think qualitywise iStock's database is the best, but expensive. Shutterstock's junk-clogged database drives me nutters :)
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 14:52 by Artemis »

microstockphoto.co.uk

« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2010, 14:59 »
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otherwise Shutterstock is the best. It seems to be a rule when I looked at result charts from different people.

agree

IS *could* be the best if they didn't have strict upload limits
or maybe not: their rpi is so good just because they're picky

« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2010, 15:16 »
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IS *could* be the best if they didn't have strict upload limits
or maybe not: their rpi is so good just because they're picky
They are the BEST for those reasons.

- Their upload limits encourage everyone to submit their BEST shots
- Their quality is BEST because their standards are so high
- Their position in the market is BEST because their customers appreciate the high good stuff : garbage ratio.
- They have the BEST potential for smart microstockers who understand all of the above and produce high quality work to meet high standards

(And no, I'm not an IS cheerleader... they still frustrate me when they reject more than 40% of my work, though typically when I look back at the rejections I end up agreeing with them.  It inspires me to keep getting better.)

lisafx

« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2010, 16:24 »
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I tend to agree with Powerdroid on Istock and its standards.  Istock are perfectly willing to accept saturated images with a lot of "pop" as long as you don't add artifacts in the process. 

If you shoot at ISO 100 and properly expose, you can add a fair amount of vibrance and contrast to the RAW file without introducing any artifacts and IS will usually accept them.

But to answer the original question, I started in 2005 and have pretty much the same images on every site.  IS is by far my best earner at 40%.  The next closest contender is Fotolia at 22%.


« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2010, 16:40 »
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.... sorry leaf,  I stuttered on the enter key....
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 16:44 by a.k.a.-tom »

« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2010, 16:43 »
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I think you misunderstand me.  I think IS and SS have *different* standards.  IS prefers less editing at all.  SS prefers (and sells more) with higher contrast, higher saturation, more sharpened images.  It's two opposite approaches.  I have a hard time getting stuff in at IS (35-40% usually) and I'm not going to do what feels like a half-ass edit to make IS take it.  I want the image to look the best it can so it sells.  I don't think slightly undersaturated, slightly undersharp, slightly low contrast is a good image.  I know IS wants the designers to have leeway - and that's fine - but I'm not editing twice.  So iStock takes what they want from what I send em.  And like I said, I'm good with that.

I'm understanding you, mantonino.   I agree completely.   I just had a crappo upload with IS.  Shot down 75% of the pix..   why?    A lot of them were tweeked.  With IS  you dont even want to sneeze at the original file!!  Curiously, IMHO,  many of the pix were rich, yet not overdone. Personally, I don't like overly saturated images, they start to look totally fake...  but this is the kicker for me.   Many of the rejected ones were shot down for   "Flat/dull colors".   WTH?    Made no sense at all.   I'm not one to bellyache about rejections... 99.99% of the time, I couldn't care less.   But I have to admit,  this batch and the rejection reasons...  did... tick me off.  It takes so frackin long to upload to IS... and then to have 75% of it shot down,  especially for   flat/dull colors... kind of irked me,  cause they were anything but  flat & dull.
      For me  SS & IS  are about equal in payout $$..   however,  my port is about half as much on IS.  As far as which has higher standards???    SS takes stuff IS rejects on me... but also,  IS has taken stuff SS rejected..
so go figure.

   Ticked as I am today with IS...   I'll be back with another batch next week...   "It is what it is"
Rejections and  even  wacko rejections are the nature of the beast.   8)=tom

« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2010, 16:45 »
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I tend to agree with Powerdroid on Istock and its standards.  Istock are perfectly willing to accept saturated images with a lot of "pop" as long as you don't add artifacts in the process. 


read your comment after I posted mine above... and I must admit Lisafx,  you are correct..  that was a problem with some of those that they rejected in my last batch...    8)=tom

lisafx

« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2010, 16:57 »
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I tend to agree with Powerdroid on Istock and its standards.  Istock are perfectly willing to accept saturated images with a lot of "pop" as long as you don't add artifacts in the process. 


read your comment after I posted mine above... and I must admit Lisafx,  you are correct..  that was a problem with some of those that they rejected in my last batch...    8)=tom

Believe me, I learned the hard way.  They will kill you on those artifacts...

Do you use Lightroom or ACR to edit the RAWs?  The vibrance slider is great for upping saturation without artifacts.  Really helped my acceptance rate :)

« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2010, 17:14 »
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Istock has came on 1st place from last month and still is there...

« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2010, 20:50 »
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My mistake, I'm wrong.  iStock is the best.  They rule.  That's why they're #2 on the poll... Shutterstock users are just lying. ;)

Whatever - if you're happy with what you're doing,  you're fine.  I started in 2004 and iSuck is not my #1 - therefore the title of this post is in error.

« Reply #33 on: April 02, 2010, 22:37 »
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Believe me, I learned the hard way.  They will kill you on those artifacts...

Do you use Lightroom or ACR to edit the RAWs?  The vibrance slider is great for upping saturation without artifacts.  Really helped my acceptance rate :)
I play with Photoshop 7 and  Elements 6... and do some stuff in  Micrografx.
I just recently started playing with the Beta 2 Lightroom (gotta upgrade to the new release).... and am not that deep into it yet....  just havent had the time to devote to it.   But I'll have to try your suggestion...  I must admit that I do get destroyed by artifacting...   
   You know, as you surf  IS... there is a boatload of pix that are obviously tweeked/saturated to the moon and back...  there is no way many of those pix came out of the cam that way..  so whats up with that? 
    The rejection I don't understand is 'flat/dull colors'   on images that are vibrant in color.  oh well....
thanx for the tip, Lis    8)=tom

« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2010, 07:32 »
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My mistake, I'm wrong.  iStock is the best.  They rule.  That's why they're #2 on the poll... Shutterstock users are just lying. ;)

People who don't make much at iStock will rate it poorly.  It's easier to get accepted and quickly start selling at Shutterstock, which is why it's number 1.  But the whole argument here is that those who can master iStock will realize greater earning potential there.  Unfortunately it seems those who are doing so are in the minority.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2010, 07:34 by PowerDroid »

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2010, 07:48 »
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The rejection I don't understand is 'flat/dull colors'   on images that are vibrant in color.  oh well....
thanx for the tip, Lis    8)=tom
That's my most common rejection reason, in fact nowadays almost my only rejection, but common, as that's just our light here.
It generally means no enough contrast, not necessarily lacking in saturation - in fact in soft light you do often get well saturated colours.
It's subjective to reviewers (which the forums interpret as 'marginal'). For example, I uploaded a batch of images shot in low/soft light a couple of weeks ago.  I knew the light was very soft, but in a woodland, they're either soft or will be rejected for being 'too contrasty'.
They were uploaded over several days, and reviewed over about a week, so I'm guessing checked by various inspectors. The first one was rejected for flat light, the next 14, in virtually identical, very soft, light were accepted. Good job I didn't pull the others after the initial rejection.
Sometimes I resubmit with more contrast added, sometimes putting in more contrast adds artefacts, sometimes I won't add more contrast as it would make it 'too artificial' compared to the actuality. You have to make your own call on that, probably depending on subject matter.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2010, 13:14 by ShadySue »

michealo

« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2010, 08:01 »
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Agree with Sharpshot sorta.  There are istock people and non-istock people.  I WANT to be an iStock person - but I'm simply not re-editing everything twice.  I don't do stock full time so for me to edit once for SS (which makes me $1000s a year) and once for iStock (which so far makes me about $100 a year) doesn't make sense.  I edit for SS and if iStock likes it, great.  If not, oh well.  I usually get buzzsawed at iStock reviews so then I don't sub again for a month.  I've been on since late '04 but refuse to push every week just to get them buzzsawed so I don't bother.  I cashed out $997 from stock last month - I'm happy enough with that.  Yes, I want to increase iStock but it's not a high priority for me.

if I'm correct your nil to mil?

well I think fixing your IS problem would make all your stock better


« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2010, 12:20 »
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My mistake, I'm wrong.  iStock is the best.  They rule.  That's why they're #2 on the poll... Shutterstock users are just lying. ;)

People who don't make much at iStock will rate it poorly.  It's easier to get accepted and quickly start selling at Shutterstock, which is why it's number 1.  But the whole argument here is that those who can master iStock will realize greater earning potential there.  Unfortunately it seems those who are doing so are in the minority.

i started w istock in mid 2006 and istock as never been my top earner - DT surpassed it as soon as i joined them, and most months now is is my 5th ot 6th best.  for awhile i upl'd the limit every week, but now i rarely do.  myy port is heavily landscape,travel etc, so i do best by having a large port with fewer sales per image.  so it's not that i dislike is, i just recognize we don't have a good fit.

ap

« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2010, 13:29 »
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IS is a strong performer for me and it's growth pretty much reflect how much i upload. so, i give it tops for consistency. however, i have just a slightly larger port on ss, not being a quantity person and its $ performance is just shy of is, in terms of downloads. but ss really blew is out of the water in the last two months with many el's, of which i have not gotten a single one at is. so, if the el performance continues at ss (fingers crossed), then, it's about 3-500%  better.

« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2010, 17:08 »
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I suspect that the quality of the search engine has lots to do with sales results. It may be that IS offers a quicker path to those quality images most relevant.

lisafx

« Reply #40 on: April 03, 2010, 17:35 »
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My mistake, I'm wrong.  iStock is the best.  They rule.  That's why they're #2 on the poll... Shutterstock users are just lying. ;)


I definitely think there's a strong argument to be made in favor of SS.  I don't think image quality issues are the only reason someone might make more there than IS.  Upload limits at IS are another big reason that some people might be doing better at SS.

Personally I don't often manage to output more than Istock's 30/week so it's a moot point for me, but for big producers it surely must have an effect.

« Reply #41 on: April 03, 2010, 18:34 »
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Quote
If you started before 2007 - iStock is your #1

shutterstock is my best selling, however istockphoto is getting better and better.


 

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